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I have read pricing guides etc and since I haven't been in business for years and years its kinda hard to plug the numbers in to the formula. Anyways I'm just having a hard time pricing a wedding. They contacted me yesterday...they are getting married in Jasper Alberta on New Years Eve. So for me that is 3 hours of driving there. So 6 hours total. I was thinking offer them 9 hours or so with a CD. They want to know my experience. And really for weddings I only have done a wedding and a half. So not much experience. I would like to get more experience...rather then saying a price and them not booking. But at the same time making a little bit. I have a feeling even if I said $900 they may think that it is too much for a photographer that has hardly taken any wedding pictures. Your help would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

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    I would look at what other more experienced photographers are charging and charge somewhere around the lowest price, reflecting your lack of experience. While it would be nice to make some money on it, I would be happier to cover my costs and gain experience rather than charging more and disappointing the customer. – ElendilTheTall Mar 26 '14 at 10:11
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    I think you are somewhat confused about what you're asking here. The client clearly wants someone with experience, which you obviously don't have so that's another issues altogether but it looks like you're asking if you could temp them in by offering the right price? you could do that, but need to be honest. It also looks like you're going to charge an hourly rate with 6 out of 9 going on travel. If you are charging $900 for 3 hours photography then that's a lot for someone inexperienced. I wouldn't even dream of doing a wedding 3hrs drive away anyway. – connersz Mar 26 '14 at 10:27
  • Pricing is a very localized thing, but, as a photographer who does weddings professionally, if you quoted $900 at your proclaimed experience level, I would laugh you to the door. If I was taking you as a second shooter, I'd offer you maybe $400 at your current experience level if I was feeling generous. Probably more like $250 unless you have a really good portfolio and gear. If you are actually doing touch up and such on the images for the CD, then maybe $500 unless your portfolio is amazing. – AJ Henderson Mar 26 '14 at 16:10
  • No I wasn't going to photograph them for only 3 hours...I was thinking 9 hours of photography. That won't be worth the drive for only 3 hours. I want to be honest. I'm going to tell them straight up how many I have done. @connersz – ashar Mar 26 '14 at 20:05
  • Of course I would be editing the photos. At the same time I have gotten advise from other photographers...and they said don't under sell it b/c do you want to be doing weddings for X amount of dollars in the future. I pound myself into the ground a lot. But I know a photographer that is closer to the location and her work I would say is not even the same quality. But she's probably more weddings. And the amount I want to charge is not even close to the amount she charges. A lot of ppl don't recognize what quality is or what makes a good photo. I'm not the worse or the best. @AJHenderson – ashar Mar 26 '14 at 20:08
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This client wants to purchase a professional photographers work. The key question to ask yourself here is if you can deliver professional work. If the answer is yes, then you should get paid to do so. Some of the factors to consider are not in your question, so Is this a "shoot and burn" wedding. Are you simply providing what falls out of your camera? Or are you providing color balanced and possibly retouched digital files? Will there be an overnight stay if the couple ask you to work longer? Is that included in your contract? Is overtime? Do they pay a 50% retainer to hold the day?

If the later is the case then you need to plan for those hours of post process work in your pricing. So many new Wedding photographers these days are willing to work for less than minimum wage, and that is hurting this industry.

So first be sure of your abilities, then charge a fair price. If your skills are not there yet, you have some months to work on them. How are your lighting skills, your posing skills? It's amazing to me that some skilled photographers that are clearly selling good work are charging little or will sell it for a pat on the head and an attaboy.

Figure out your time, then make sure your at least getting 25.00 an hour. Your clients will be spending allot of money on this special day. So make sure you can deliver your art, and remember that years down the road if their house catches fire and their standing outside wondering if they can go back in for valuables, their wedding pictures will be on the top of the list, nothing else they buy this day will be so valuable to them. So yes you have a great responsibility, but do not believe for a minute that it's not a valuable commodity to sell a customer. When you give them the price. Give it with confidence, and then shut up and wait. You don't need to explain it. Don't be desperate, or you will be taken advantage of.

  • @Ahnika my pleasure. Think of it like this: Which stores do you purchase from? You do so because you like their brand. You pay their prices, without question. This is your brand. – R Hall Mar 26 '14 at 20:15
  • I know some are cheap. A guy I use to work with asked me to shoot his wedding. For a whole day I offered to do it for pretty cheap. But he went and found someone even cheaper. Like this person is probably just inquiring. Of course I'm going to be honest in my experience. But time is money. I don't want to be doing wedding for X amount from now on. This pricing this is what I struggle with the most. And I really need to have my prices typed up and figured out. I've read some of Easy as Pie pricing and other pricing stuff. @R Hall – ashar Mar 26 '14 at 20:22
  • @ashar There will always be cheaper. Do you want to have to be the cheapest in order to shoot? If you are the cheapest, is your work worth more? If your work is worth more, don't be the cheapest. Get what your work is worth. If your brand is not Walmart, then don't compete with Walmart. – R Hall Mar 28 '14 at 15:56

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