Costs and What You Pay Yourself
So in terms of costing and pricing we want to run a sustainable business which improves our lifestyle if you're an accountant or a doctor you start out with a certain lifestyle as you're going through your career you end up being in a position where you can afford a better house a better car and you know, forty fifty years down the line you can retire that is what we're aiming for and improved lifestyle and a fulfilling career we don't want to be in a career where I've got another waiting to shoot I want to be excited to go and shoot another waiting so let's look at our input costs you're gonna have fixed input costs and you gonna have variable input costs if we look at things like advertising you can spend in terms of the advertising three thousand six hundred dollars a year and I've taken these figures I've got a friend of mine here in seattle a photographer by the name of sean he will be helping us a little later on today as well and he helped me with a few figures because I mainly ...
target the european and this and the african market just because of the time zones it takes me like three days to get here and three days to get back so I talked to the european mark it so I charged in pounds and in euros so just to convert what we're looking at here in terms of your advertising and I'm talking about your print advertising your web you were advertising maybe or your facebook promoted posts things like that bridal shores bridal fairs and bridle exhibitions and things like that you're looking at about three thousand six hundred dollars a year and all those people out on the internet please just you know let us know in the chat rooms if you think that I've overestimated or underestimated the numbers here I do understand that in kenya it's going to be very different but it's all about ratios that that's the kind of thing that I'd like teo get across here so your training you're investing in your training perhaps you're you're a w p p ay member you gotta vegas you know once a year to go and get some training done looking at about eighteen hundred dollars a year which works out to about one hundred fifty dollars a month let's look att computer hardware and software you know, maybe six thousand dollars over a five year period am I on the right track here? You guys agree with me or okay because we can have an interactive discussion you know we can talk about this if you think I'm wrong your camera gear thie amount of money that you're gonna invest in your camera you know, seven thousand two hundred dollars over three years pretty much you know you need to have my eyes a bit low there okay that's that's good then I'm a bit low because it's going to make it even more depressing so if we look if we look at that over three years you're down to about two hundred two hundred dollars a month in your office rental your internet your telephone seven thousand two hundred dollars a year you about six hundred dollars a month then let's look at insurance and insurance this isn't insurance mainly for your camera gear you still got your your car and household and all that kind of thing so if we break it down in terms of how much it's going to cost you per wedding to produce an album and give it to the bride per wedding your album is going to cost you around three hundred dollars give or take in terms of your assistant or your second shooter two hundred dollars for that on then telephone two hundred dollars advertising one hundred dollars computer and hard way computer hardware and software three thirty dollars your camera equipment seventy dollars and then travel wear and tear on your vehicle that kind of thing you're looking at about a hundred dollars so in terms of how much the average photographer charges for a wedding if you look at statistics statistics sure that about ten percent off a bride's budget goes to the photography on average now in the states weddings cost around twenty twenty two thousand dollars for it for a wedding we do know that people do it on a much lower budget, and we do know that there are some weddings that people are spending millions on the on the winnings on average looking about twenty thousand dollars for for a wedding, which means that we are charging ten percent off that average wedding photographer charging about two thousand dollars. Now we know that some people are charging a lot less than that we know some people are charging a lot more than that, but let's say for argument's sake, that it's two thousand dollars that's what the photographer is charging and they are shooting three a month, which is quite a nice figure you shooting thirty six weddings a year so it cost you one thousand and thirty dollars, to to produce that album so your profit you're looking at nine hundred and seventy dollars and then your after tax take on papa's, depending on where you live your your tax implications. I've just taken a a round figure of about thirty three percent about thirty percent terms of your tax on there, you've got federal tax and state tax and all that kind of thing, but basically you're taking home six hundred forty dollars for a two thousand dollar waiting let's look at this, some people will spend more time on awaiting some people will spend less, but let's look at an average and I know that some people get your immediate thoughts are going to go down to the total annual media thoughts I never I don't spend that much time on the way just watch when you sitting until two a m in the morning three a m in the morning and the time is just ticking away because you're doing all the touch ups or you you're getting everything ready for facebook or your blogged or whatever I'm telling you you spend a lot more time on the wedding than you think you do so let's look at that your pre pre wedding consultation about an hour maybe if if she's a little teddy you're gonna talk for a little longer than that maybe there could be two or three pre wedding consultation on your site inspection you know she wants you to go to that teo whether we're the winning is going to take place you've bean there fifteen times before but this is her waiting so so off you go the actual wedding itself ten hours worth of time and then your post production time I'm talking about the time that you take to go to the lab to pick up deliver your actual retouching your blogging you're facebooking all that kind of thing I seriously think that fifty six hours and I did fifty six hours and all that's up to seventy but fifty six hours is probably the amount of time that you spending post production I'm not talking about people that shoot the waiting on set today bernard to disco on sunday and give it to the client I'm talking about people who have got some sort of concept about quality and getting the work out there so how much are we earning at seventy dollars at seventy hours? How much money are you actually earning nine dollars and fourteen cents an hour and right now they are striking the grocery workers are going on strike and they are earning more than that we haven't got healthcare we haven't got pension we haven't got paid leave we are earning less than minimum wage if you're shooting awaiting for two thousand dollars you're earning less than minimum wage you saw that the second shooter's about two hundred dollars they earning twenty dollars, bacon double more than double what you're earning and you've done all the work to get your brand and all of that to that point where they are shooting for you for ten hours and getting two hundred dollars seriously you know going pick fruit going be a waiter you're going to make more money than uh then shooting weddings if you're charging two thousand dollars for a waiting so on that happy note that what that then encouraged me to start targeting a more affluent market because I need to make money and I need to make enough money to have a great life style to have a nice house nice car a ll that kind of thing so what I started doing was looking at affluent people looking at people with money and understanding which would be my target market because we all know that there are big weddings going on they are big weddings going on and somebody is photographing that why can't it be me? You know somebody's charging fifteen thousand twenty thousand dollars to shoot away why can't it be me because I know and I've done this I know that a lot of the times you sit on the internet and you look at all the other waiting photographers photographers that are charging a lot of money and you're thinking well I can do that what my pictures are on much worse than this or my pictures are better than that and you just leave feeling depressed that looking at looking at other people's pictures on the internet I don't see any benefit to that because either you look at people's work and you realize how bad yours is which means you get depressed or you look at other people's work and you think my work's actually not that bad they're earning a lot of money but I'm only charging two thousand dollars that's your fault that you're charging two thousand dollars and other people have had the confidence to market themselves to the affluent so you know if you look at if you look at facebook now facebooks and amazing place now because everybody gives all the information on you know they tv show is that tv shows that they like you can see which restaurants they've gone to, the kind of clothes that they wear so you khun you khun learn everything about somebody just by checking out their facebook page and I do that I'll talk to you a little bit I facebook stalk my clients and then I come up with a concept that I know they're going to like because I've seen that they're like, you know, this tv shows I know what type of personality there, so understanding the fact, first of all, we have to understand the fact that we are not our target market. If we were all talking market, we wouldn't be doing this. This is hard work if we were talking about, could we be on holiday right now? You know, eso we've gotta understand that we are not our target market, so you've got to look at all of these things here, and one of the very interesting things for me is perfume. It is very, very interesting to understand the psychological reasons why a woman will chose chooses certain perfume if you look at magazines magazine advertising magazine advertising is obviously visual how do you sell a fragrance visually now if you look at the different fragrances that are out there you could have a specific brand alienating a certain market because of the shape of the bottle because of the advertising in print, that could be the perfect fragrance for that person, but they will never buy it because the marketing is not directed at them. Look, a tte perfume ads and one of the one of the best ways off finding out what a person is going to like in terms of when the bride comes to you, tell her she smells like eau. Wow, you smell so nice. Said, what is that gucci rush she got? I don't know. It's uh, it's, chloe innocence and you're like, okay, cool and, you know, now you've done a little research, okay? Chloe innocence. She likes chloe. So after that, when she's, when she's left, I'll don't check out what it means to like the perfume. Chloe, you know that kind of thing. So then you can see what type of a person what top of ah, what type of ah personality your client is, and I know that that sounds a little pedantic and complicated, but that is how we work. You know, that's, the kind of mentality we need to start getting ourselves into, we can't be going. Fishing for clients and throwing out a great big net and hoping to catch something anybody can walk past your hot dog stand and buy a hot dog I'm going out specifically looking for a client who wants to go fine dining so what I started to do then was to look at the kind of magazines my target market looks at that's vogue, vanity fair harper's bazaar w magazine I looked at those magazines and I saw that they normality in terms of imagery were images like this. Now we have a really, really good fashion photographer in south africa. His name is jack villiers, incredible fashion photographer and he's allowed me to use his image is in terms of this display this presentation over the next couple of days is also another new york photographer antony friend who's also allowed me to use his images on you'll see that these are jack's images over here and this is normality for affluent people. These are the types of images they see a ll the time so when they go into high end department stores, they see images like this all these images that I'm flicking through they see that in their everyday life, so to them this is normality, so if I can now create images like this for them in terms ofthe there engagement shoots or their weddings, I am now giving them a product that is their normality and resonates with them because I'm going to say something here. That's probably going to set the internet a light right now. But I think that wedding photography is cheesy. In general, wedding photography is quite cheesy. Regurgitated poses. Um, what do you call the actions you know, buying actions that everybody's doing the same thing? Backlit fifty millions, one four wide open subjects in the shade. Everybody is doing the same thing. And I think that wedding photography needs to progress. The reason why I looked to fashion photography is because fashion photography progresses every month. These different stuff out there every single month. So going by those magazines and look at them, look at how they like things. Look at how they shoot through different objects, create different effect, use off different types of lighting using big flash using ring flash, using led lighting, using natural lighting in general right now, waiting photography is everything looks pretty similar, and what I'm trying to do is to take that take that fashion philosophy and incorporate that into my wedding photography. That being said, it's, not every single shot does not fashion inspired because you are you have to understand that we're not only shooting for the bride and groom. You're shooting for the mom you're shooting for the grand and we're going to make money out of those people is well we're going to make we want to shoot images that mom wants to buy that grand wants to buy so it can't be everything super creative and you know they get them and mom's going where can I put a picture up in my in my home there's nothing here that I like so it's not that every single picture is the same I mean sorry it's not that every single picture is fashion inspired there's a balance to what I do so when I can take control that would be the the bridal portrait off her off yourself that would be the family shots and the bridle party afterwards I would shoot those images with very much of a fashion style but everything else cutting of the cake I'm gonna shoot that like cutting of the cake it's coming up cake you know the first dance I might bring in a little bit of extra lighting but the ceremony I'm going to shoot pretty much the same as everybody else's is shooting I'm not going to try and get all fancy with that because it's it's going to alienate a few people and I want to talk about that when we talk about bridal shows and things like that but this is the kind of imagery that I would like to shoot for my engagement shoots why can't we do that? You know everybody's everybody's so caught up with okay meet me down at the park will meet me down at the beach you know jeans and a white t shirt and you shoot for three hours in the same clothes and and it's like regurgitated poses as I said and everything could have looked like you know you did it last week when I when I when I look att the types of images that I want for my engagement shoots I look to fashion editorials for inspiration for certain stories and there's a website fashion editorials dot com is like pages and pages and pages ofthe inspirational ideas and you can go there and check out so many different shoots and so many different techniques that are so far from wedding photography it's it's ridiculous! So as I said to high inclines to affluent people, these types of images are there normality, so I'm going to try and shoot like that I'm just gonna flick through these slides over here and this this short is first is the first of a serial all those other images where shocks images and these on our antony friends images and I looked to those images not only for the lighting but for the field, the mood and the posing as well the cool thing thie cool thing about following fashion photographers as well is that you don't get depressed checking out other people's work online because I know I'm never going to be ah high end fashion photographer annoyed that I'm never going to be shooting for vogue I mean maybe maybe vogue brides hopefully but not for I'm never going to be any leave of it I'm never going to be mario testino but if I follow their work I get inspired by the work I don't get depressed about the way because they're in a different genre so I can look at their work all day and I get it I come like I really want to try this or anyone try that whereas in the past when I was following wedding photographers, I'd get depressed about it and I mean seriously depressed like physically depressed it's it's not a cool feeling t look att pictures online and you're thinking, well, you know where's my career going I look a fashion photography and looking fashion photography because I see that as being, um the cutting edge leading edge fashion type of imagery. So if I'm just behind that, I'm still way ahead of wedding photography because wedding photography takes a long time to catch up I mean wedding photography still shooting vintage you know event is how long is that going to be around there's a wedding photography inspired top of genre where's fashion photography is changing all the time and you've got so many people that you can follow in something other ideas so yeah in terms of the opposing the lighting I really try and incorporate that into my wedding photography you guys have any questions? I'll just be in speaking and here's amazing wonderful information I'm sucking it in okay way have questions of here from the internet yes you want to start with a toughie? Hey, is it okay? Brett? So we'll question him susan kelly who asks is it possible to get these kind of high fashion looks from people that don't look like models or are you just attracting clients that look like you know they have that certain look because of the high end, you know, because I think about me being a fashion and a q and a so you have got that kind of particular you look, I understand what the question means I will be addressing it a little later on in my presentation but it will cause some controversy I'm up for that I don't have any issues for that it's very much the similar concept to abercrombie and abercrombie at the moment maybe taking a bit of flak from heavier people that they specifically target very good looking people and the staff in the store are very good looking that's a business decision I'm going to put images on my website that will alienate certain target market it will alienate a person who's not confident it doesn't mean that that person who's not confident is a bad person it just means that they're not my target market I I photograph people who are confident and wants to do these types of things there'll be many people out there who feel that what I do is contrived and staged, but the way I see it is that weddings our contrived and stage weddings are not natural occurrences as as they are in a big white fluffy dress you know how often do you do that? You'll never do that once and it's a fairytale so you've got this kind of poetic license but I understand the question and I will take some flak furred but yes, I target attractive, beautiful, confident people that want the types of images that I shoot it's a business decision it's not a moral discussion, it can be politically incorrect but that's my target market and I think this is also cause a little bit of a stir I think that people who proclaim to be photojournalists in terms of waiting photojournalists, I think they're doing themselves a disservice because waiting photojournalism potentially can be a middle market thing because you're targeting people that are not so confident you know, use the photographer you're going to hang out over there and you you know if you get a good shot that'll be great, but I don't really want to pose I'm talking to being people I'm targeting people who know that they are good looking and they want to pose if you're targeting a market that have the vera wang jimmy choos those aren't those type of people was like if you get you know, if you get a picture of my just just, you know, going past me that'll be called they want you to see I'm in a very way that kind of thing so yes, I am alienating a certain market, but I'm doing that intentionally and it's purely a business decision thank you that's purport thank you. How about another quick question from the you know a little bit easier one ah chases memory is asking have you ever shot a wedding when the bride refused to do oppose or an idea that you wanted? Yes once and there's a quite a cool story about that however, this does kind of go on from what I've just discussed now people want book b if they don't want to do what they've seen online, so they've seen my portfolio, they know what I do if they don't want to do that type of thing, they're not going to book me, which is cool because I want to be shooting for people who want images like that very, very, very, very cool story when you say other people that don't want to do what I was booked by wedding coordinator a lot of the times I'm booked by court coordinator so I didn't have any interaction with the bride so on the day off the winning is the first time I'm even laying eyes on the bride first time even saying hello to so I arrive arrive and I start doing everything that I normally do and we did the ceremony and after the ceremony we went out into down at the beach or something like that and I was like, okay, just sit down on the set down on the sand and she's like I'm not sitting down in the sand thiss amazing drink this amazing gown I'm not sitting down on this and I'm like come on, just sit down understand sand it'll be beautiful, you know, shoot from this angle it looks like I'm not sitting down in my dress just dump so eventually and I put down a blanket or a tall so she sits down and I and I going to take my shot and it's a nice truck and I show her and she's she's happy and later on during that evening they tell you that even though I know this room, I've never met her before I'm standing by this pillar I'm standing over here and there's a it's like a cocktail party type of event and the bride's speaking teo one of her friends and her friend is like ah, so you've got bread. Florence, how did you book great, zach booked up years in advance, which is not true because I only shoot twenty weddings a year. So so he's, nobody can get bread he's like he's like super super busy. And how did you do that? And she obviously didn't no my reputation, which I think is quite strange anyway, because it's just me, you know, but she didn't know my reputation, but she obviously then worked out that I had some sort of reputation and she oh, oh, yes britt I of course I made sure that I got him and, uh oh, yes he's wonderful here dislike lying down on the beach it was fantastic one two minutes ago, you know, like, well, fifteen minutes ago, I'm begging you to get down on the understand and here you are telling everybody hard how amazing I am because I had you lying down on the sense. So yeah, I have had have incident have had incidents like that, but it's not very common. Normally they're like, when can we do this? And when can we do that? Because I'm attracting people who like my style and I think that's the most important thing that I'm going fishing for a very specific type of fish