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first123last
Photographer
ForeverFotos
Posts: 6,621
Indianapolis, Indiana, US


FKVPhotoGraphics wrote:
Free weddings....

I don't even know what I can say except for, "FUCK THAT!"......

This gets my vote.

Mar 27 11 02:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Andrew Thomas Evans
Posts: 24,078
Toulon, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur, France


GlamourLingerie Studios wrote:
Now and again I see models asking for "free" TF wedding pictures.  The sad part is they get replies to these so called "casting calls".  If some photographers think their work is work nothing... then they shouldn't be doing it.

I'd love to shoot a great looking persons wedding, and would do it for free if the event was in a week or two. No way in hell I'm going to plan something big months from now, let alone a year.

From there it'd give me images to shoot more weddings for a little money, and from there it would give me the images I'd need to start marketing and going around to be a wedding photographer.

Just have to start somewhere. 



Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

Mar 27 11 02:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Andrew Thomas Evans
Posts: 24,078
Toulon, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur, France


OlafSiebert wrote:
No, but I am 'steeling' work from the pro by offering TFP.

The same as the free wedding guy 'steels' work from me..

Yes and no.

If some (not talking about you, in general) random person wants to shoot fashion and uses models who don't have money in the first place, then, no, they aren't stealing any work from anyone.

What you have to worry about and compete with are new up and comers into your market, who not only steal the work, but also reap the benefits of getting paid to do said work. Those are the ones to look out for, not others who undercut, give for free, or the clients that "hire" them.



Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

Mar 27 11 03:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
OlafSiebert
Posts: 51
Zagreb, Grad Zagreb, Croatia


Andrew,

but in the end, both are newbees trying to enter a market.

a bride willing to pay me, will not go with the free guy.
The same for the model...
Mar 27 11 03:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Andrew Thomas Evans
Posts: 24,078
Toulon, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur, France


OlafSiebert wrote:
Andrew,

but in the end, both are newbees trying to enter a market.

a bride willing to pay me, will not go with the free guy.
The same for the model...

Yes and no.

Someone with no work at all is going to need a short period to get the work. Doing a few very select free shoots will do that for them.

Someone with work who is willing to compete in a market is a bit different.


Not disagreeing, but different kinds of newness.



Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

Mar 27 11 03:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SAND DIAL
Posts: 5,965
Santa Monica, California, US


Andrew Thomas Evans wrote:

Yes and no.

Someone with no work at all is going to need a short period to get the work. Doing a few very select free shoots will do that for them.

Someone with work who is willing to compete in a market is a bit different.


Not disagreeing, but different kinds of newness.



Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

Honest competition in a market where 'the Bottom is Falling Out'...
I havent done WP, If I did and did it TFP Im not sure if id let ANYONE here know!

Mar 28 11 11:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dynamic Images 101
Posts: 228
Snyder, Texas, US


Ok I have to say this much. I have shot very few weddings. My first being my brothers wedding. As their wedding gift i gave them my time and a printed album i created for them. They offered money for the job and i refused.
Now as a photographer whom hasn't had a TON of experience in shooting weddings, I feel that doing a few weddings TF isn't a huge issue. I need the experience and I would rather continue being passionate about photography vs. charging the hell out of people for my inexperience.
I have 3 weddings coming up that i am shooting. 2 are paid and 1 i'm doing tf as a giant favor to the bride whom has always been a very close friend.
Say what you will but I firmly believe that my choices to do TF at a wedding isn't an insult to anyone it's more of a learning experience.
Mar 28 11 12:05 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
PashaPhoto
Posts: 9,726
Brooklyn, New York, US


only shmoes worry about those who shoot for free... don't be a shmoe smile
Mar 28 11 12:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
FlirtynFun Photography
Posts: 12,923
Houston, Texas, US


Post hidden on Mar 23, 2011 06:48 am
Reason: violates rules
Comments:
Trolling.


I see this semi-regularly. When someone brings up a topic which has been beaten in the dirt 10,000,000 times on Mayhem...sometimes a snarky comment should be allowed or the Mods ought to just create a new forum for stuff like this...call it- ALREADY BEEN ASKED AND ANSWERED AD INFINITUM
Mar 28 11 12:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dakota Art Nudes
Posts: 36
Folsom, California, US


I will shoot a wedding for free provided the bride is willing to do it as a trade for the same amount of time shooting Outdoor Artistic Nudes.
Mar 28 11 12:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Educated Savage
Posts: 581
Casa Grande, Arizona, US


I know this might make me a Bad Person, but I'm shooting my friend's wedding for free. She knows I've never done weddings before and she's paying for my travel and accommodations while I'm there, and my fiance's. So I guess it isn't totally for free, but I consider it a fair trade. I'll get to see my friend for the first time in years and on the happiest day of her life and I'll have the best seat in the house.
Mar 28 11 12:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mark Harrington Photo
Posts: 383
Riverside, California, US


Wedding photographers have two primary ways of attracting business. The first, advertise (Bridal shows, ads, web etc) and the second word of mouth (ie shoot a wedding). They also have to deal with restarting their marketing momentum once the wedding season is over. Shooting a wedding in hopes of word of mouth advertising strikes me as a better option than spending hard cash on shows, ads and such. If you don't have sufficient marketing materials or portfolio images you can leverage the "free wedding" by designing an album, even if sold at cost, to combine with a buy one get one free offer from the album producers. Now instead of purchasing a sample album to attract business, you have recieved one free. For the new photographer looking to establish their business, free weddings offer experience and opportunity. For the established photographer free weddings offer the opportunity to expand your market and move beyond the backyard weddings and into a higher caliber venue. Remember, you don't have to accept an offer to shoot a wedding for free if it doesn't offer you sufficient return. How are you going to book weddings without experience? Many people go to college or trade school to learn their craft, others work on an apprenticeship and some just jump in and do it. Think of giving away labor as your way of going to college.
Mar 28 11 12:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JTSBlack
Posts: 74
Los Angeles, California, US


Free wedding photography? But of couse!

Because what we do has no worth.

Ask the 300 Gazillion wedding photographers advertising right here on the internet.
Mar 28 11 01:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tee Batinich
Posts: 26
Riverside, California, US


Advertising on the Internet (paid placement) does not insure customers. It is better to have a high organic placement. The best way to get business for Weddings is by client referral. I suppose you could shoot for free if you are desperate but you should realize that most people who will accept a beginning wedding photographer who shoots for free, well generally these are not the type of clients that wil sustain any hope of business, you are being hired based on the cost and not the value of your work.

You will be referred by them to other people with the same mind set,.. they will want their photography for free or real cheap. Even if you have never shot a Wedding you should value your work and ask a fair price. What is fair is the question that can't be answered easily.

Those who are serious about getting into the Wedding photography business have to realize that the market is flooded and you have missed the boat. So what you will have to contend with is a bunch of people who shoot in "P" mode and have read a few books and now think they ready to shoot potentially one of the most important events in a persons life.

This has had a negative affect in that these people don't offer anything that anyone else can't do with a camera. There needs to be something you offer that sets you apart, a reason you should be hired other than you work cheap.

If you are really serious you should try to find an established Wedding photographer and ask to assist, it will give you a real good idea of what to expect and allow you to prepare in a focused manner. This may not be an easy thing because the market is flooded.

I just got another email from Career Services office at Brooks Institute of Photography, they want me to hire recent graduates who have earned their Wedding certificate. This reminds how a long time ago you could make real money in data processing,computer repairs or programming.

Look at modeling, head shots etc. I can remember when you could make a decent living shooting portfolios for aspiring models . Good luck now, just look at how many talented photographers there are on this site, or better yet how many gorgeous women & men there are who will never pay the bills as a model.

I am not saying it's hopeless, but it is more difficult.
Mar 31 11 01:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SAND DIAL
Posts: 5,965
Santa Monica, California, US


' just got another email from Career Services office at Brooks Institute of Photography, they want me to hire recent graduates who have earned their Wedding certificate.'

is that you?

' This reminds how a long time ago you could make real money in data processing,computer repairs or programming'.
                                    ..Not sure what you mean in this sentence.
Apr 01 11 12:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marshall Photogrpahy
Posts: 1
Holyoke, Massachusetts, US


Most of you don’t get it, half of you think photographers should not shoot for free, and the other half think photographers charge too much.

Shooting for free is to grow your portfolio. I have looked at the work of some of the photographers posting here and can tell you honestly, your work is nasty! There are very few really good photographers out there, I think this is because you have all decided that you are so fantastic, you don’t need to learn anything new.

I don’t practice new ideas on actual weddings because I will look like a fumbling, bumbling idiot. I have to protect my reputation, and look like a top class professional. What I shoot on an actual wedding must be fantastic.

Look at it like this, I am not actually shooting a wedding for free, because I have decided how much money it is I intend to earn, and this gets charged to my paying clients. So why should someone pay my huge costs when others are getting it for free? The bottom line is, this is what it takes for me to shoot your wedding day full of incredible images, set in a family heirloom album to be cherished for the rest of your lives.

Of know photographers that take an average sale of $10,000 per wedding and still shoot for free.

I understand though why so many of you are threatened by this. It is because the free shooters are doing just about as good a job as you are, even though they are not experienced.

Honestly I look at the work of most wedding photographers online in my area, and I feel like crying! Those poor, stupid brides will have wedding albums (or CDs) that their grandchildren will hate. They will receive comments like “Oh that was that nasty selective color effect everyone used to do, even though it sucked even in the 80s!!!”

Do you know how to not be worried about free wedding photographers? You shoot jobs for free, so that you can learn to become so good that there is a huge separation between you and all the crap out there.

Just telling it the way it really is guys!
Apr 25 13 05:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leighthenubian
Posts: 2,793
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


GlamourLingerie Studios wrote:
Now and again I see models asking for "free" TF wedding pictures.  The sad part is they get replies to these so called "casting calls".  If some photographers think their work is work nothing... then they shouldn't be doing it.

I recently saw a casting call from a model looking for a TF wedding shoot. It was posted for Toronto but the actual wedding was taking place an hour outside of the city. She wanted coverage from 10AM to midnight for the prep, ceremony and reception and wanted all of the images from the day via DVD ROM the next day.

The best part was that the photographer would get "mad exposure" and full dinner in return.

No doubt she found some sucker to do all that.

Having said that, I shot my first two weddings for free in order to build two complete wedding albums to show new clients. That was four years ago. I shoot between 15 to 20'ish weddings each season at an average fee of $3500. Last Saturday's wedding was a big one with a second and third assistant shooter.

We all have to start somewhere, just don't be a sucker.

Apr 25 13 05:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Trisha Bowyer
Posts: 1,311
Martinsburg, West Virginia, US


I've shot only about a dozen weddings, half of which were free. Why? Because they were friends and family and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I've now hit the three 000 mark and I don't feel like I'm charging enough when factoring in all the work. It turns out that wedding photography is hard work (IMO) and I do not relish the thought of doing it for free. Ever again.

But, like some stated, you have to start somewhere. Free or cheap seems the obvious choice for some.
Apr 25 13 07:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,331
Salem, Oregon, US


for my part i've never been that comfortable charging for something i've never done before. i think it's common to do a few gigs for free (or at low cost) until you've proven yourself (not just to others but to yourself).

the thing is just that if you have thousands of photographers doing that then you wind up with thousands of free shoots on offer as people get their business going and need practice and portfolio.

and then you have the people who do it for free because money makes it messy, dirty. clients can be demanding when money is involved. of course i think some of us have found that free clients are often the worst (lack of respect).

and with models in particular i imagine some are like "she's so hot and will look great in my porfolio and help me reach good-looking rich people!" of course the irony may be that the really hot ones are able to get it for free.

so long as there are a zillion new photographers being launched i think we will continue to see lots of free shoots being done. and i imagine a few friendships have been ruined in the process. weddings can be very challenging and if you've never shot one before it may not go well. partly with weddings you need to be able to think on your feet and make good decisions under pressure and in sometimes emotional circumstances. it's as much of a mental challenge as a physical one.
Apr 25 13 09:10 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dragos Codita
Posts: 82
Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania


Why be mad at others? They are free to do anything they want and afford.
Just be a better photographer than them, and you will win.
Apr 25 13 09:14 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wolfy4u
Posts: 1,089
Grand Junction, Colorado, US


We can all control what we do,  but not control what others do. As to weddings, I believe are the most difficult assignment a photographer can have, mainly because there are so many parameters beyond the photographers control. Usually, you have to shoot the ceremony from the very back, no artificial lights and usually not the best natural light. During the reception, you have to get shots of all the important people, not interrupt the proceedings, get the required shots (cake, garter etc.). You have to get the group shots posed by people who would rather be doing something else. The day is the most important day of the brides life and you have to guess what's important to her.
I've shot three weddings, all free, all for people that I couldn't say no too, because they were too close to me. I escaped any negative situation, but consider myself very lucky.
I'm a musician, and have played dozens of wedding receptions, and they're the most difficult musical jobs, but very easy compared to photography.

All of this is the long way of saying that in free wedding photography, it may be that both sides get what they deserve!! and what they pay!! for.
Apr 25 13 09:29 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Will Snizek Photography
Posts: 1,387
Beckley, West Virginia, US


Every once in a while, I will do a little wedding photography for friends and family, but I would never do a TF wedding shoot for a stranger.  Weddings are hard work!
Apr 25 13 09:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Solas
Posts: 9,486
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


braiiiiiinnnnnsssss...thread is two years old dudes.
Apr 25 13 10:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Drew Smith Photography
Posts: 5,209
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom


Karl Johnston wrote:
braiiiiiinnnnnsssss...thread is two years old dudes.

You mean....... it's a ......... a ..... ZOMBIE thread!? yikes



Edit: Come on MM, get the gaffer tape and glue out and lock down threads that are more than a certain number of months old - may I suggest 3 months.

Whaddaya mean it will never happen? A boy can dream.

Apr 25 13 10:30 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Downtown Pro Photo
Posts: 1,548
Crystal Lake, Illinois, US


you get what you pay for.  Free = worthless.
I have had couples pay me 4x what other studios quote them and be happy about it.  Why?  I give them a real product that has actual value.  I offer something the other studios can't, and they then realize that not everyone with a new camera is automatically a professional.

The only situation I can possibly think of that I would shoot a wedding for free is if it was between two celebrities who are always in the tabloids and I had full exclusive rights to the images to sell to whoever I wanted.  Let the bidding wars begin.
Apr 25 13 10:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Eros Fine Art Photo
Posts: 2,573
Torrance, California, US


GlamourLingerie Studios wrote:
Now and again I see models asking for "free" TF wedding pictures.  The sad part is they get replies to these so called "casting calls".  If some photographers think their work is work nothing... then they shouldn't be doing it.

Damn...

I wish I had taken your advice years ago when I first got into photography and shot some weddings for friends and family  as a gift.  I never realized I've been wasting my time all these years. 

Thanks for the enlightenment.

(EDIT)
Damn it!  Who keeps reviving these old ass threads??

Apr 25 13 10:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gulag
Posts: 1,233
Duluth, Georgia, US


Free in terms of what? Photographer's sweat and labor? Free exploitation/ depreciation of the photog's gear/supplies? Can they ask for free gas at any gas stations? Can they ask for free visit to any doctor's office? Can they ask for free ride at subway stations?
Apr 25 13 10:56 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bravo Magic Images
Posts: 765
Temple City, California, US


How else are you going to learn to do something if you dont first do it for free. I would do a free wedding photoshoot for some one. I know it is time sacking none stop takeing of pictuers to capture every darn moment of the wedding. And if i mess up at times do not put the blame on me Im learning and so should the people asking for the free Bee off of me. Like the saying goes. "You get what you pay for."
Apr 25 13 11:06 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,331
Salem, Oregon, US


+1. enough with the zombie threads already.

Drew Smith Photography wrote:
Edit: Come on MM, get the gaffer tape and glue out and lock down threads that are more than a certain number of months old - may I suggest 3 months.

Apr 25 13 12:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MCPHOTO
Posts: 731
Duvall, Washington, US


If a model wanted to do a photo shoot in a wedding dress at a great location. I might do it for trade. But a full wedding no way.
Apr 25 13 01:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


Step Above Photography wrote:
As a wedding photographer who are you really competing with . If you are shooting weddings for $6000 are you really competing with those shooting for $1800. If you are shooting weddings for over $25000 are you really worried about getting that $1200 wedding. Why are wedding photographers so worried about someone shooting cheap weddings. It is a new market. Clients pic and choose the work that they want.

Every wedding magazine that I have looked at is based on wedding photography and not one of them has advertized "I will shoot your wedding TFP" or "I will shoot your wedding for free".

Look at it this way at every wedding for as long as I can remember and I am retired there has been an uncle or a cousin or someone taking Polariods, Brownie pics. Are you really worried about them getting your work. I think that the only time I ever would say it is time to be worried was when I read a note from a wedding photographer who stated that he had been shooting for several years and he was upset because the brides uncle was taking better pictures than him.

You're competing with Canon/Nikon/B&H.

Which makes more sense, pay a wedding photographer $5k or buy $5k in cameras and lenses and have a friend or family member shoot and have a nice camera to bring on the honeymoon.

It's about perception of what's responsible for great photos.

Apr 25 13 01:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,793
El Segundo, California, US


ontherocks wrote:
+1. enough with the zombie threads already.

Rather than rail blindly at old threads, I find it useful to see if they contain info which is still valid.

Some lighting thread over 10 years old could still be useful, for example, while others, 1 week old might be a waste of electrons.

If the content is still pertinent, the age of the thread doesn't matter, and jumping in with a cricket bat to 'kill the zombie' isn't appropriate. If its not, it will die on its own--or be killed for unnecessary drama: not just age.

Apr 25 13 01:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Phil Drinkwater
Posts: 4,753
Manchester, England, United Kingdom


Step Above Photography wrote:
As a wedding photographer who are you really competing with . If you are shooting weddings for $6000 are you really competing with those shooting for $1800. If you are shooting weddings for over $25000 are you really worried about getting that $1200 wedding. Why are wedding photographers so worried about someone shooting cheap weddings. It is a new market. Clients pic and choose the work that they want.

Every wedding magazine that I have looked at is based on wedding photography and not one of them has advertized "I will shoot your wedding TFP" or "I will shoot your wedding for free".

Look at it this way at every wedding for as long as I can remember and I am retired there has been an uncle or a cousin or someone taking Polariods, Brownie pics. Are you really worried about them getting your work. I think that the only time I ever would say it is time to be worried was when I read a note from a wedding photographer who stated that he had been shooting for several years and he was upset because the brides uncle was taking better pictures than him.

While I do largely agree with this, a reduction of price at the lower end of the market DOES have an effect on the higher end of the market, but it will usually take years for that to happen.

So someone offering weddings for free and someone offering weddings for $10k don't directly affect each other, but the person offering them for free affected those charging $1000 who reduced their prices to $800, and that affected those doing them for $2000, who reduced their prices to $1600 and so on.

Apr 25 13 01:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Trisha May Photography
Posts: 304
Colchester, Connecticut, US


I shot my first wedding this year and I didn't do it for free. Weddings are too much work to do them for free ~.~
Apr 25 13 01:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
CandiceCampbellPhotog
Posts: 1,302
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia


wow! why did a 2 year old threat get reopened. i commented on this back in 2011!
Apr 25 13 09:02 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
PashaPhoto
Posts: 9,726
Brooklyn, New York, US


GlamourLingerie Studios wrote:
Now and again I see models asking for "free" TF wedding pictures.  The sad part is they get replies to these so called "casting calls".  If some photographers think their work is work nothing... then they shouldn't be doing it.

for someone who has never shot weddings, and is in that weird "catch 22" where they need at least some wedding images before they can start booking wedding clients, this is a real genuine opportunity...


and yes... ZOMBIE thread comes back to life smile

Apr 25 13 09:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
deletedxxx
Posts: 149
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


I think sometimes there is a big gap between what some people want from a photo and what some photographers expect to achieve with a photo.
I only realised this recently when I decided I should scan all of my old film based family photo's. I realised that 90% (I wasn't a "photographer" then) of them were out of focus, poorly exposed and all in all crap. Even my professionally shot Wedding photo's (by the best photographer my folks could afford and cost more than the reception) are very, very ordinary. Funny thing is I have looked at those pictures umpteen times and until I became a "photographer" (last year) I never even noticed how bad those shots were. Until I became a "photographer" these photo's did exactly what they are supposed to do- be a record of memories and events from my past.

Many people who book a wedding or folio shoot are wanting a record of events and memories, and not necessarily wanting perfection. Photographers want to deliver perfect pictures. I think this may be what the "pro" versus "person with camera" argument needs to look at.

My opinion only, and I will emphasise that I am only an "average Joe", so my observation is based on average- to -low income earners wanting photo's.  I'm sure people at the higher income level are more picky than I am.

Personally i wouldn't spend a day doing something for "free" no matter how much fun it sounds like (Unless it was a charity, cos free work is charity)
Apr 25 13 09:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dragos Codita
Posts: 82
Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania


It depends how you see this service: as a bussiness or art.
If you do business, you are about money. You don't want your pictures to be too bad or too good, you want to fit in your market. Even mediocre or bad photogs have theyr market. And there will allways be somebody worse or better than you.
If you are talking about art, than the business part (money involved) should not matter if you want to be happy.
Choose wisely, and by happy that in catholic religion weddings are not that hard. Just look at the orthodox, where a wedding is usually 14-16h of work just for shooting.
Apr 26 13 12:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
fullmetalphotographer
Posts: 2,756
Fresno, California, US


I have no issue with TF if there is a benefit. But I would not shoot a wedding just for a portfolio, I have only shot one wedding for free and that was my sisters and that was after the photographer who was hired crashed and burned.

Now if the model looked like Brooke Burke, Patricia Ford or Sung Hi Lee then I would consider trading time for a shoot but it measured in days not hours.
Apr 26 13 12:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GNapp Studios
Posts: 6,197
Somerville, New Jersey, US


Why do you get Facebook for free or a portfolio of 15 shots on MM for free?

Because of advertising.

A wedding can give you an opportunity to advertise yourself to 300 people.
Apr 26 13 01:02 am  Link  Quote 
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