Let’s get one thing clear right up front
… I am definitely not a wedding photographer! However, like many serious photographers I am occasionally asked to shoot the wedding phtography for close family and of course one does exactly that. My niece got married and I made sme prints from the wedding photography in handmade Palladium. Turns out that they had their wedding rings made in Palladium, so there was a synergy when I gave them one of the prints as an additional gift. When i did the Wedding Photography for my youngest brother I made one of the prints in a Daguerreotype! He is also a serious amateur photographer so this was something that he really appreciated. It is these special touches that one just does for family, and of course the qustion of ‘How much do you charge?’ simply doesn’t come in to it.
I was recently asked by a colleague
… how much I would charge to do some portraits of her new family following their wedding (second for bride and groom) and again I was happy to do that for them, I had previously made portraits of her and her two boys as an exchange to add to my portraiture portfolio. A few weeks later this lady came back to ask me how much I would charge to take photographs of her family groups on behalf of her mother. Now I felt I was in that territory of ‘How much do you charge for Wedding Photography?’ Of course I was happy to make the images for them, but charging is a whole different ball game. What do you say to these requests?
Of course, there is no problem
… in working out a cost and I could have done that many ways – hourly rate, cost per processed image etc but I am not a wedding photographer and so have none of the insurances involved and as soon as you start charging for wedding photography, whatever the circumstances then you do leave yourself open if things do go wrong (and I am sure that there would be no problem … until there is a problem!).
Have you provided wedding photography
for friends and family? Do you charge? What do you do about Insurance?
Now, again let me be clear
… it was none of these considerations about the legalities of charging that were in my mind at all. The plain fact is that I know how involved wedding photography is, how fraught it is with pitfalls and I simply felt awkward charging these people. How to respond then?
Here is what I did …
I suggested that I do
… their wedding photography and process them and once they had seen them then the bride’s mother should decide what she felt they were worth to her and make a donation to charity in that sum. They were delighted with this and I did specify that the charity should be one which works directly with Street Connected Children – a cause which resonates deeply with me so I am happy too.
So, the next time you are asked to provide
… someone’s wedding photography this might be a solution that you might like to try to that vexed question.
The image here is of the first kiss as newly weds
… a must have for any wedding. I had originally envisioned this as a silhouette but as I was processing it this image presented itself and I felt that it made the perfect metaphor for the sanctity of marriage with the newly weds bathed in the bright glow of light. Of course there are all kinds of blown up highlights which I would normally avoid like the plague, but here it seems to work perfectly. Shot on the Sony A7Rii with Samyang 25mm lens. I wasn’t asked for these images, it just seemed churlish not to make them whilst I was there! This is one of my favourite images this year.
Interested in becoming a Wedding Photographer?
Check out this article on pricing for Wedding Photography at the SWPP website