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Wedding Photography

Lesson 29 of 31

Packages and Pricing

Joe Buissink

Wedding Photography

Joe Buissink

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Lesson Info

29. Packages and Pricing

Lesson Info

Packages and Pricing

You know what? Why don't we quickly go into package? Priceless. Because that's actually a fun one. Okay, so I'm gonna preface this first, you guys are not seeing it online yet. And, uh, this is one that you think I believe you will get this one for free. Just cause you're listening to it right now, but, um, I'm always like I said, a work in progress, and I'm never afraid to admit that this may not be working. I'm gonna change it. So, you know, I went back to this. This was something that I had an o eight prior to oh, eight and then I changed it because the philosophy behind why I did it this way change since the bottom fell out in the industry, you'll notice package one on my current one, which is now I'm trying to reinforce that start, which package one, which is for a total of forty two thousand nine hundred ninety five dollars. It does include a whole lot of things, including the kitchen sink it's, an engagement session uh, three hours in the day for the rehearsal associate shooter ...

also to shoot three hours I shoot for unlimited time on the day of the associate shooter for unlimited time, three hours in a day, the brunch diese kind of packages that are for the people you know not only do they have money but they have a whole weekend involved where it's a friday rehearsal saturday wedding sunday brunch and they want the whole thing the thinking and philosophy in putting this first um did I explain to you the whole scenario with the popcorn tub right am I expecting the sell this first one no because I want people and most people do do this when they see forty two nine nine five to go uh they almost choke on that until they flipped the page and they see the next one at under twenty grand less than half of it I want them to buy that one I want him to freak out and then by the one underneath that that's a lot less I just want him to get that middle box of pop not the humongous calhoun a big kahuna tub and not the little tiny one which is the last one which is package seven seven thousand nine nine five okay and that is noticed available in southern california only november through april only okay because these are my lean down times and these air addressing the people that also are getting married during those times because they can't afford the venues during the other times so I look at the venues like beverly hills hotel four seasons any of those in l a or santa barbara and their heavy months are the summer months the spring months so those get book quicker so then when they have open spots in november or december they give them a break they're not gonna charge the same thing because they want to fill that thing up so I have that the bottom I don't want them to get this one I want them not to get the first one but notice the second one is nineteen, ninety five and it's one engagement session associate shooters there's a rehearsal usually eight hours on the day of for me okay but the associates shooter for unlimited time so at least there's one shooter there that they don't have to think about time what's happening now especially high end clients they almost feel like this is nickel and dime ing them to death when you say I'm on for seven hours and this is how much I am afterwards so I'm changing something about this fairly soon I really don't wanna have to come at them afterwards let's say I'm in it for seven hours and my seven hours is up now now I go to the coordinator and the coordinator head down or in lap uh walks over the declined who's enjoying her meal around the table saying joe is leaving now would you like him to stay for fifteen hundred dollars an hour? Okay that's actually not a good thing so I'm revisiting all of that and that so I think right now what I'm starting to give up is that my associate shooters on for now from all my weddings at least ten hours, and then if they need the word unlimited because some clients do, I'll charge a little more for that and just make it unlimited because I have had weddings that have gone fifteen, sixteen hours. Chinese weddings, traditional one sometimes go that long if you go to mexico and shoot a wedding in mexico for a mexican couple, I can tell you right now, you're going to be, uh, hanging out with the mariachis at six a m having tequila shots and having breakfast, so they go on for a long time day party. Hardy okay and that's great! I love that about their culture and indian weddings our week long about that wee a weeklong for fifteen hundred people, I love them, I absolutely love them. So for people like that, I have to use the word unlimited so that they don't have to think, my god, but now eighty eight hours have to think about this really, really have to think about this. Now I have to pay you more and you don't really want to ask for more money after it's said and done there in the middle of their winning. So I'm restructuring a bit of this why I gave you the shot of this particular priceless is that initially it starts off with the big one psychologically it's a bit of a sticker shock until you get to the second one versus reverse order start with the small one and work your way up now interestingly enough since oh eight and in o nine this backfired on me because the minute they saw forty two nine they didn't bother to look at the rest because everybody was looking for a deal so that's when I reversed it I started with my low packages first up until last year so now I let him know what the high end is again and work my way down up until last year I started at seven nine nine five the next one was eighty, five hundred ten grand whatever it was I changed it back up because people are looking for a deal what I did was I had a fifteen ten thousand dollar package right last year too oh nine ten thousand dollars package so I said people are looking for a bargain because there were all hurting so I have to show a discount so I took fifteen hundred dollars off my prices and made my package eighty five hundred and I tried to sell that now I'm fee based I'm still fee based back then and I'm I'm I'm looking at the people I'm used to seeing this ten enquiries I might book four or five of them seriously that was how much I would you know I get ten in cory's half everyone would book me I was down to ten enquiries maybe one book me maybe one book me so I started doing a little research said okay what's the problem here you're giving me nothing for eighty five hundred it's just your feet I need to see something in it okay let's do this let's make it eighty five hundred I will throw in on engagement session at normal price fifteen hundred dollars I will add that to my package I will add a graph e book fifty images another fifteen hundred bucks or so I will throw that in a swell I'll keep it eighty five hundred but let me add some things to add value to the package let me add a couple of hours on me a couple hours on my second shooter I did all of that so I'm still a eighty five hundred dollars with added stuff these are my next calls joe we love you absolutely have to have you at our wedding and thank you so much for adding all that stuff tio the previous price is where you didn't have that we really really appreciate that but we have a question joe if we were to sip track that engagement session at fifteen hundred dollars would that make our package seven and another step if I didn't subtract the extra hours or the book I may not really need a book right now basically what I'm asking you joe four grand can we do for thousand dollars no actually what I'm trying to tell you was I was adding value to the package this is not to be subtracted to make the package less so I just couldn't wrap my head around it but I understood the the psychology of what that was about right so I said I don't understand why you're doing it so you know, before that that's just what with the dilemma was right so I decided to take out that whole thing all the extras and I left it where it was and now the same people grab me at eighty five hundred and are adding those things back in so my average packages twelve fifteen thousand dollars now so there's a bit of psychology you have to play with depending and the mood and where you are and more importantly in the economy because people are still looking for deals they're coming out of the woodwork this is how I see it kind of people peeking out of their doors it's safe to come out that's what it looks like to me in terms of my business they're spending more uh I'm getting more hits now I'm thinking I'm booking maybe three four out of ten probably closer to four but it's not where it was five six it's more three four but it's working and in essence that's the psychology behind the get the big one up front and then lower your rates from there and hopefully they land in the middle somewhere what are the benefits for you in creating packages versus doing straight up many style like you have your set feet and then they can just add in what they want and that's what most of my book me okay, so here I they see some of this and here's what I let them know because you know what? People get confused, right? They just they can't platinum package the diamond, you know, thank you, delta uh all those different packages we get really, really confused, right? So here's what I say look, here's, what you need to do just book me at my base price get me at the eighty, five hundred ten grand where, you know, have a couple of those right just book me on my fi, we can discuss what you need later and I'll work it into this thing so it doesn't hurt you so much don't worry about it and that's where it is, so just the book me because that date may slip away from you if you don't book it, someone else will I'm on a first come first served basis I don't pencil anything in so if you don't book me someone else will and yes I will give you first right of refusal if you've are the first one but however a lot of times I have to let you know I have a soft enquiry on your data swell so I let them know ahead of time that there's another person that still shopping and looking it's all good but she's actually before you so if you don't decide now and she decides first I'm gonna have to let you know that she made a decision to get me you book me now I'm gonna have to tell her you know hey first right of refusal before you book me so you can turn me down and if there is shopping still that's fair to be fair with them so get me in at the bottom feed based and then we'll add stuff to it later because they sometimes don't know what else they want rightto later on I have um I have collections and then I also do it that way we're I'll create a custom collection for them and most of them go with the custom yeah they always add on I have never had a client my pitch is what my pitches about the image mad it my pitches about the books how beautiful uh all these things are part of the pitch at the end of the day after they booked me don't you think they want that? Because that's what they saw that's what they like that's what? They want it they're gonna get it. Uh, yeah, and there's no time limit when they could do it. So I don't person like you got to do this in six months, but they always end up back with me. And sometimes I hear this well, we had a baby, you know? But now it's time, it's all good, but they always come back and after their one year anniversary haven't habits sometimes they call him congratulations. School. What about that book? You still want to write? So and thank you for the call. My god, yeah, absolutely. I've been thinking about it. I keep putting it on the back burner. Other stuff is happening. We sold our house about a new one. We moved, I started a new job. All these things come up, I totally spaced out things for reminding me I'll call you next week and boom, they're in so a gentle reminder if you haven't heard in one year eyes great, it works for us question, question, audience. You just send them a bill for their travel expenses in the meals and everything back very it like at the end yeah so there need acting meals aren't a bill they're part of the package that one hundred dollars per person if there's three of us it's three hundred day times three days since nine hundred is part of the final payment nine hundred two foods paid up front so if I go over the hundred dollars a day my bad my bad travel is different when it comes to a cab because usually the cabs will not accept for the person who's driving allow you to put it on another credit card except for whoever showing up so I have to give him gas and uh car rental afterwards and then over time if there was overtime that's also after terms yeah yeah I'm not sure if the person that acts if when you travel you said that they booked the hotel you book a hotel they book it okay so they would say you know quality and I'm looking for joe you think yeah and then I come there and what they asked for me from me is a my my license right to make sure that you abusing and a credit card for me for incidentals so they'll tell me the room is pre paid your credit cards only for incidentals and in flight the same way like lights the same way so what they did I say get me the flight you want me okay so if you're looking for you're paying with mileage and whatever I want to be on delta sorry and sometimes that can happen sometimes it's southwest alaska a virgin america whoever it might be it's okay but before you book it run it by me give me the schedule because I also don't want to go to cheap and have me and three stops and take fifteen hours to get there when it's a two hour flight okay so get it by me and I'm not doing that five a m flight okay so that has happened to so run by me the schedules and you know ofcourse if it's for rehearsal fly me friday mid morning and I'll be there for rehearsal yeah and if there's no rehearsal still fry me friday because I want to show up the day before the wedding in case I have to catch something happens with the flight gets cancelled I need a full day before I'm supposed to show up to make sure nothing can happen sometimes out of countries two days I don't want to mess with that give me two days before the wedding supposed to happen because out of countries with connections forget about I need two days yes how do you handle taxes with these packages do you add the tax on top of that there is there's a little a little tricky thing in the state of california right? I've had the franchise tax board look into the business to find out how I was doing it since I'm fee based is based on labor on the way that we build the album is labor it's labour is the labor we're charging them more than anything else what I pay in terms of the actual printing costs and what have you I pay taxes on okay, so I paying the taxes instead of having a resale license where I don't have to pay the taxes the client has to pay the taxes I have to keep track that send that the franchise tax board I don't do it that way so I've been ableto get away with it this is a labor expense that the design I'm actually charging her for the design of this thing the other thing too is is sponsorships sometimes I get sponsorships and the sponsorship comes in terms of whether it's cannon or whatever in product right? So there's really no, I don't know that we put a monetary thing on it it's it's a freebie so they don't I don't know how they classified on there in when they send me an album that's like a, uh sample book or something like that, but I don't pay taxes on that, but how did they declare that I don't know that, but they deal with it from there because they have to pay for the outgoing shipping charges and the tariffs that might go through customs they pay for all that so what about whenever you so the digital negatives is that is that still considered part of the labor cost? Three it is for me as I include that in that fee based thing that somehow you know what I I they asked me all these questions what I do says you managed to find a tiny little window to squeeze through where there's no tax that's needed from you on these things but what I have found out is that if you selling albums and you have an invoice you have to tax it now if the album instead of california the album goes to new york I don't tax that right right so it's only the albums that happened in california so it's it's just you really have to which each state look at the rules from from the tax board from your sales tax port and how they do because of all the states are different living um sales taxes where oregon where I was just at no sales tax you know when you live in washington and there's no income state income tax so great ideas live in washington shopping oregon so I said that's true for international shoots as well you know you have to deal with I know you okay? Ah international I really don't have to do a lot of time so terribly photo would like to know if you have a price structure for your second shooters well, no. Yeah. You know what, it's, the second shooter in all my packages comes with its the overtime it's, the overtime that I charged them. And so let's, stay out of my ten thousand dollars. My second shooter gets a thousand dollars for seven hours of work. Okay, that's, just part of my package price. The client doesn't know how much my second shooter is, but let's say that's what? I'm giving him a thousand dollars that's what? I give him a thousand dollars and you shoot the gig could be seven hours could be ten hours up to ten hours and when it goes over that I'll pay you extra so that's kind of the deal there. So there's not really a set package for my associate shooter. Having said that, there's been times where I've been booked and I can't do it. Uh, and they've looked at these social work and I say they're half as much as I am and then what I do with my associate shooters, I split that with him. So if the package is five thousand, I give him twenty, five hundred twenty five hundred that's kind of how I work it. How does one become, uh, for the internet, yeah, ah, somebody wanted to know, um you know what? I have a list I go ah lot of out of state gigs out of country gigs where I don't bring assistant and that's why I hire my system so I would start with anybody that's interested? Teo email me I will put you on the list and whatever air you are and if I get there I dig out the list okay? He's there I'll call him up call you up letyou know him over here this weekend? Are you doing a gig? No, you want to help me? You wanna assist me and I pay you for that? So three hundred fifty bucks toe come help me for seven hours it's fifty dollars an hour is what I paid. Um I've had offers from a lot of assistants say can I pay you to assist you? No, no, no no. If you're working, I'm gonna pay you so I pay my systems and that's how I do. So if we get put on your list way comply ourselves down to l a and absolutely put yourself on my list absolutely. And so I noticed defining the moment that's the name of your company that's the llc yeah that's that's everybody that looks me up that nose looks me up on a job using their eye pop up right contracts are written through defining the moment because that if they just come after me they consume me I would lose everything if the contracts written through defining the moment you'd have to sue my company and that's a limited liability company so you can't go after my personal income or what I haven't savings account you can nail my company for all you on if you want to sue me so from a standpoint of protection uh yeah all my checks that I get are written to defining the moment llc that's also where my soc it's workout of right so the checks written to them are from defining the moment llc okay so you have so in california defining the moment you know job using at the head and you have employees that report to work every week or so that either one person is your assistant or they may be shooting other weddings under defining yes absolutely correct this one and I spent seventeen years building my name that I now have managed to make it a registered trademark so the initial thought wass to get my name out there and known so I branded myself just via my name no fancy logo it's my signature actually my logo that's it right but I want a name recognition so that was good in bed because when someone comes across my name and wants to hire me that's who they want if I'm not available and I try and sell my associate shooters they're not interested they wanted me and if they can't have me they have x y and z in the wings thank you, but no I was really looking for you so that kind of back hard so I had this started as more than a mouthful photography with more than a thousand words whatever you know and then under that were fifty photographers then it didn't matter who the heck it was I went to you because you have a good reputation let me see whose work I can look at who's available on then they picked bello whoever you want to talk to about that kind of set up. Okay, but multiple shooter studios usually don't start with their name on it. You know, while dennis reggie is different it's dennis reggie photographer first plural so if they go to him yeah, they want him usually first, but they also see photographer so a lot of him he's able to book his his good guy steve out to shoot weddings for him. I started with just one job using I have nobody else and I build my name on that and now when I try to sell these social is very hard to do it's very hard to do for me right now to similar questions of regarding insurance one from light catcher can you please say a few words regarding liability insurance that you carry on the job. And also el tor van, who said, asked if you carry insurance both against client dissatisfaction with the work provided and against theft of the equipment. Yep, both I do both. Okay, advance client satisfaction. What hasn't happened, but definitely equipment and liability. If someone trips over my bag at the beverly hills hotel, I have a two million dollar policy through the hartford you you want to get the hartford is amazing. It's a great, great company is cheap it's not that much. Five hundred a year. You know what? I went to teach a class in new england. My laptop in the airport. The guy dropped it, it crashed er the following week it was replaced free because the laptop was part of my job and teaching at new england. Hartford took care of it. They said, just get a new one and we'll reimburse you, which is what I did so but more importantly, that that that liability rider is is really important for the high inclined that I work with mohr importantly, the venues that I work with, because the venue's require you to have some type of insurance, that if someone trips over your bag breaks their leg, they can't be soon you will be soon, so there's that policy to protect you and the hotel, by the way and the client that protects all of them from any damage that you may inadvertently have done to cause someone pain. So, yeah, insurance hartford great place creep back to the packaging and pricing stuff in the products that you sell noticed that, like, the album is a big thing for you in the print of a big thing are those parts that you decided to sell because that's kind of what you like? Or did you feel like, oh, this is what people want actually probably offer this no it's what I want, ok, yeah, um, I don't sell slide shows, I think I think I've done maybe one or two so far that someone insisted on having and I created a slide show for them, but the complaints I've heard from people that do nothing but slide shows is that they don't buy anything else. They never even come back for an album, they just get to slide show because for me, the experience I go back to the experience is the tactile feeling of having a print or the book in your hands and flipping through the pages and just seeing it's sitting on a shelf somewhere if it's stored on your computer, I mean, what are we doing today? Everybody that shoots stores their stuff, you know where all your stuff is? It's spread out, man, I am on my laptop. It is I haven't the faintest idea. I have to look for folders sometime and embedded in there somewhere. Is that one image? It might take me hours to find it. So people it's very easy. Just download that stuff. Throw it on the computer. I don't want that with my wedding. Where? For someone. I want them to be able to hold it in their hands. Flip through it, I think that's beautiful. Even the smaller books that mom may carrying her purse. She wants to pull it out at what? The hairdressers and show her girlfriends. The wedding on a smaller graph. E book it's awesome. So it came from me having the need to have that me appreciating the prince theologian by fourteen, you know, mad it. And because I collect art and I like seeing that on walls that's where it starts. And then I tracked the people that think the same way it just it's by nature that's how it works. People come to you because they've heard when they see it somewhere else. If I have a client advice three, four prints and they put it on the wall, they go, wow, who did that, hey, jobe used because I signed him, right? Um, so they get that. And then eventually, when they get married, they think about it again. I really liked what I saw on her wall. I'm gonna go call this guy, so it tracks it. And then when they seen that come to my studio, that's, all my wallet's on the table and matted prince and that's what I show them, that's, what I'm selling.

Class Description

Joe Buissink is coming to creativeLIVE! Joe will show you his award-winning photojournalistic approach to weddings. He'll teach you how to find your own style and bring your own personality out in your images, because the most important thing about photography is who YOU are! Your clients want you for your passion, and Joe will help to bring out the artist in you. Joe will also get into the technical aspects of his business, talking about how he designs his contracts, packages, and prices, and why he designs them that way. Joe is an internationally sought-after wedding photographer who has shot weddings for celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson & Nick Lachey, Christina Aguilera, Katharine McPhee, and others, and now on creativeLIVE he'll share the passion, knowledge and skill that makes him such a success!

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Joe Buissink - Wedding Contract.doc

Joe Buissink - Wedding Contract.pdf

Joe Buissink - 2012 Packages.doc

Joe Buissink - 2012 Packages.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Carlos Zaldivar

Joe, This is a amazing course so much information. I am a wedding photographer that loves your ways. Your self and Dennis Reggie are my favorite photographers. This course is the best. Thank you for sharing all of your great information. God bless you for being such a great person hope some day to meet you so that I can thank you for everything. I look up to you every day and have also read your book wedding photography from the heart. Your a great inspiration to me which makes me love being a wedding photographer from the heart. Thanks again for everything you share. Carlos Zaldivar, New Jersey Carlos Zaldivar Photographers-

a Creativelive Student

I feel like this course with Joe Buissink is a basket of gems. Several times already I have been tearing up, because Joe is validating each one of us, as artists and professionals. Being ourselves, selling the experience, and knowing what we offer artistically IS enough. Of course we have to do the work, know our craft, and have good business sense...But what has been the most valueable to me is the sense of joy that happens when Joe says something that I have felt myself, him sharing so much with us makes reaching our goals real, because he has been there.... when he said he pitched in Dunkin Donuts and still made it an experience..I cried, I have done that myself. (And booked the client:) I remember wishing I had a studio at the time, but now I day I will! To hear him say he tears up at clients weddings...I do that, and felt so silly, but now I feel proud! This is a morale boost...a shot of joy in my arm. Thank you Joe Buissink for offering up your help and advise and for being so willing to share yourself with us. You are inspiring so many...and Thank you CreativeLIVE!! To anyone who is not sure if they want to purchase this workshop...DO IT!!! It is a gem.


I always feel so grateful to have Creative Live in my life, which, in turn, has given me the opportunity to have this wonderful source of information, Joe is one of them, he made find myself as a person when it comes to dealing with yourself and with the client, he vibrates in every thing that he does, every step from beginning to the end, that is the essence, put your passion in everything you do, we love what we do, It was so touching when he said that he tears up with moments of their clients in their weddings, I do too and I thought it was wrong, show our sensitivity it only proves us that we are human, and we can break barriers created by wrong schemas letting us be who we really are and then we can be free to feel and create, and do what we like to do, thanks JOE, thank you also for all the technical information, is PRICELESS. Your course it was my Birthday present that I give to myself, and I have not regret, thank you.