A wedding photographer is primarily concerned with capturing memorable images. If you're starting without a staff to support you, this leaves very little time to engage with prospective clients. And even if you do have a full-time staff, engaging with your prospects becomes less time-consuming.
Consider the following:
- A booked client wants to find out how much it would cost to add an extra hour of your service
- A prospect wants to find out how much putting together an album would cost
The more services and add-ons you offer, the more variables you have. Each variable costs money and adding or removing a variable from the price quotation changes your costs.
Granted, you would probably love to chat and discuss each possible change with your client. However, you can save your time for other things by directing them to your website's calculator! They, in turn, can play around with your calculator and discover the possibilities on their own!
The price calculator's inherently interactive feature also impacts your website's SEO. Search engines like Google can detect when your website users spend more time on your site. The longer time spent, in turn, helps improve your site's ranking on the search engine's results pages.
Concluding: A wedding price quote calculator on your website helps you increase high quality leads, while saving time!
Tips and Tricks for Earning Better From Your Wedding Photography Business
Fair warning: This article may help you land more lucrative wedding photography gigs using an easy-to-use web tool!
Congratulations! You just sent out your second cousin's prenuptial and wedding photos, and the family loves them. You even earned a couple of hundred bucks! You could make a decent living from all this, you say to yourself.
Now comes the hard part -- taking the plunge and going full-time. As a budding wedding photographer, this means turning a hobby into a viable business. You have the necessary equipment - check. You possess mad photography skills - check. And your passion and eye for beautiful images are unquestionable - check and check!
Soon, however, you realize there's a business side to wedding photography, and making it viable involves more than just ticking off those boxes. Newbies and even experienced wedding photographers dread putting a monetary value on their work. Sometimes, quoting the correct price can be even more daunting than taking memorable photos.
On the flip side, couples, too, get rattled at the prospect of setting their budget for wedding photographers. The cost can run to thousands of dollars and is among the top five wedding expenses (catering is usually #1).
That's why we're here to help! We'll give you over a dozen pointers on how to price photography jobs and churn out accurate wedding photography quotes. More importantly, we'll try to help you land those lucrative contracts. On the side, we can even help brides make those difficult choices!
Elements to consider when pricing wedding photography work
As a commercial endeavor that relies on talent and hard work, the wedding photography business is filled with pitfalls. You may encounter some clients who will belittle the hard work you've put in and won't even consider the years you've dedicated to perfecting your craft.
You can protect yourself and your budding business by clearly establishing how much to charge for wedding photography jobs.
Here are some elements to consider when setting your wedding photography quotes and prices.
Assess yourself honestly
Are you talented or just a lucky shot? What about the hours you've put in? Have you had your share of photography workshops or booked enough jobs? Assess your skills and capabilities honestly and objectively.
Food for thought: Lying to yourself won't convince the others around you. After an honest assessment, your price should reflect the skills you possess and the hours you've put in for a job.
Assess your competition honestly
After your self-assessment, you should also assess your competition. Is your competition priced higher or lower? Are they any good? Make sure to study them (and keep an eye on them, too)!
Food for thought: Ultimately, as you grow your portfolio, improve your skills, and get to know your market, you will have to determine whether you will price yourself within range, higher, or lower than the competition.
Your location is a key consideration
Are you in a highly-urbanized area or out in a rural area? Your geographic location impacts the prices you can believably set. Photographers in cities often charge higher rates than those based in rural areas.
Good to remember: Even within an area, wedding photography quotes can vary widely. It's wise to check out the competition and assess your prices against them.
Level your expectations
You can be very talented and the best in your area, but make sure to be realistic about your prices. Always consider the average wedding photography cost in your area. Note, however, that this means some quotes will be higher, and some will be lower.
Food for thought: Wedding photography is a luxury. Consider it as such. Remember that couples planning to tie the knot will spend as much as they can afford on their wedding. When you market yourself as the cheaper alternative, people may remember you like that - cheap and possibly unprofessional.
What are your goals as a wedding photography business?
The first two hundred dollars you received from your second cousin seemed a lot back then. Is that enough to run a business or support your lifestyle or family? Are you planning to do wedding photography as a side hustle or your sole income source?
Don't forget that a business has other expenses. Do you have enough left for overhead? You may need to budget for an assistant, rent if you don't work from your basement, and monthly utilities. You'll also need to leave room for new equipment, marketing expenses, and some savings.
Where you decide to take the business from hereon and how you answer these questions will affect your pricing strategies.
Pro tip: Be thorough and plan well. You'll surely need an online presence - a website, and maybe an amount for social media expenses, too. There are also taxes and other contingencies like travel expenses to consider.
Go packaged or a la carte pricing
There are pros and cons to both types of pricing. Packaged pricing may simplify your pricing strategy and may be simpler to track which customer bought what. However, a bride may not need or want all the items you include in a package.
A la carte pricing will allow brides to pick and choose the items they need. However, it can overwhelm the bride with too many choices.
Pro tip: Consider going hybrid with a mix of packaged and a la carte pricing. Offer a basic package with just the necessary inclusions, but allow clients to pick and choose their add-ons. The key is to offer enough flexibility and give them the ability and a system to upgrade easily.
A calculator form is perfect to explain your a la carte or package pricing model!
Work closely with your client
Sit down with your client and precisely find out their requirements so you can offer your best price. Are you required only at the ceremony, or do you also proceed to the reception? Do they need full rights to their photos? Are the wall art and album included in the package? Make sure to discuss these items during your client meetings.
Pro tip: Communication lines can break down. You can avoid the drama later by clearly specifying the inclusions. You can achieve this only if you work closely with both bride and groom. Don't forget the bride's mother and other key personalities involved with the wedding!
The extras you offer can set you apart from the competition. Identify them and make them uniquely yours. These extras can include personalized albums, framed wall art, drone wedding photography, and the prenup and engagement photoshoot.
Food for thought: Your unique artistry in putting the concept together for the prenup photos, for example, will set your work apart from everyone else's. Similarly, your personal touches in producing the final wedding album or the framed wall art can become the hallmark of your work.
Charge a deposit
Call it a deposit, an advance, or a downpayment. In the end, it gives you a measure of security against unforeseen events. Weddings get canceled. They get postponed, or the location changes. You can protect yourself against any last-minute cancellations or changes by securing the deposit.
Pro tip: Wedding photography jobs are usually scheduled way in advance. You block off dates and refuse other appointments during those dates. You may also be required to make travel arrangements and give advanced payments to hotels. You may have spent time creating your shot list or checking out the wedding venue. These costs add up, so make sure your deposit covers them.
Another tip: When specifying the deposit in the contract, make sure it's not too high or too low. You'll need to strike a delicate balance. Set the deposit high enough to discourage arbitrary cancellations. However, it should be one that you're comfortable with pocketing in case of a legitimate cancellation.
Draw up a wedding photography contract!
Even if you're very close to your second cousin, don't rely on verbal agreements. Put everything in writing - always. You'll be glad you did. Ultimately, it will save you the aggravation when a dispute comes up.
Pro tip: Here are the most common things to include in that contract:
- The pictures you'll be taking (also called a wedding photography shot list)
- The number of hours you're committing to the project
- A menu of the services and extras you will provide
- Indicate the prices of each service or inclusion
- Your working deadlines
- Your final outputs and deliverables
- Your client's payment schedule
More tips and tricks for landing wedding photography jobs and putting together wedding photography prices and packages
Here are some additional tips that even some better photographers don't know.
Don't make yourself the benchmark.
Just because you can't afford thousands of dollars for your wedding doesn't mean you can't charge a client a top-tier price. Think, for example, of the real estate agent who sells only luxury properties or the salesperson at the counter of a luxury goods store. We can't always assume that they can afford the products or properties they're selling.
Food for thought: Your price quote, whether it's low or high, reflects the service you provide and should always be of high value to your clients.
Your skills as a marketer or account manager are just as critical as your photography skills.
You can be a master photographer and still not land the jobs you want or need. Maybe it's time to look at how you're marketing yourself. Or, perhaps, you need to improve on your client servicing skills.
Is your website easy to find online, and does it display your best work? Do you engage potential clients on social media? These days, having a website and a social media platform account would be a no-brainer. In addition, however, you may need to acquire basic skills in digital marketing so potential clients can find you easily.
Pro tip: A less obvious aspect of the wedding photography business touches on your skills as a client manager. Top-tier photographers are also effective client managers. They know how to put subjects at ease, anticipate their needs and wants, and remember the tiny details. They also draft foolproof contracts, among many other skills!
Increase your perceived value with personal touches.
This tip is related to our previous point and goes beyond what your photography skills provide. Even if your photography skills are not at par with the best, you can always level up your game in other ways.
Food for thought: Here are some ways you can add a more personal touch to your business and land more clients.
- Meet clients at a location and time that's convenient for them.
- Personalize your service by asking pertinent questions. Find out what's important to them so you can provide the service they require.
- Be a subject matter expert on photography-related matters: printing and the best paper types, framing suppliers, etc. Help your clients with advice on what they can do with their photos and possibly earn extra from your recommendations!
Make sure to display what you're trying to sell.
Whether online or offline, display your portfolio and products prominently. You will only be as good as the portfolio you're able to present. As you gain more photography skills and master different techniques, make sure to include them in your latest portfolio.
Pro tip: This may seem obvious, but just as you need to upgrade and display your portfolio, you'll also need to show clients samples of your products.
If they're interested in framed wall art, make sure you have examples of your past work on your walls. If they're thinking of getting an album, it will help convince them if you have these laying around. When someone is on the fence about your products, a physical object seen up close or held in one's hands will help convince them to add more to their budget.
Make it easy for clients to calculate their wedding photography budget using an online calculator.
Sometimes, it will take the bride and groom much pencil-pushing before settling on an affordable wedding photography budget. They may even want to discuss their budget privately. Help them decide by providing them with the right tool to determine this themselves.
Pro tip: A price quote calculator can help prospective clients set their budgets. This web tool can relieve them of the pressure of making on-the-spot decisions. Your prospects can determine their needs and pinpoint a working figure which acts as their starting point to negotiations.
Meanwhile, you free yourself of the tedious task of going through each negotiation in person. You are also able to prepare a menu of your services. Additionally, you can generate leads more effectively and even identify your real potential customers.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) by new wedding photographers
What is a reasonable price for my wedding photography business?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. The most important thing to remember is that clients intend to hire you based on the potential value you can provide them. Without regard for your photography skills, something they have yet to experience, the soundness of your wedding photography prices and packages ultimately depends on your final output. Until you submit this final output, your clients will judge you based on your ability to manage them and fulfill the agreed timelines.
How do I price myself as a wedding photographer?
You will need to consider several things when you price your work as a wedding photographer. We gave you several tips and tricks and pointed out important considerations. Mainly, you will be assessing your current skill level and determining your goals for your new business. You will also be thoroughly defining your offerings and watching for the common pitfalls. As you level up your skills, you will need to review your prices constantly.
How can I get more wedding photography leads?
You will need to level up your digital marketing skills, and there are plenty of free lessons online. To start, try launching a lead generation campaign for your wedding photography business. Next, guide your website visitors along their journey as prospective customers by providing a price quote calculator.
The price quote calculator reduces some of the stress for your prospects during their journey to land an affordable supplier. Meanwhile, it reduces friction by enabling them to achieve a working budget.
ConvertCalculator's price quote calculators are easy to set up. You can start from scratch or use our wedding photographer quote template. Adjust the template to input your variables that pertain to the services and products you offer. Once you've accomplished the wedding photography quote template, generate the form. Embed the generated code on your website, and you are on your way to gaining more leads! From your prospect's perspective, it's completely contactless, which is how some clients prefer to start their search for a supplier.
Your fantastic photography skills can only get you so far. Perhaps your second cousin will recommend you to a client or two. Or maybe not.
Self-promotion is also a key ingredient for a business that relies on pure talent and hard work. There are several available venues and platforms on hand to promote yourself. Here's a quick rundown of some avenues for self-promotion.
Start by listing yourself in a local offline directory. You should also be attending bridal and wedding fairs and networking with competing and non-competing suppliers. Go online and publish your best works on your website. Don't stop just yet. You'll need to promote your website using digital marketing techniques. Establish a social media presence and engage potential clients and fans. Finally, launch lead generation campaigns and guide your prospects in their journey to becoming your paying customers. Don't forget -- a price quote calculator works by reducing friction for them!