So you wanna be a photographer? Think it’s cool? Well, yes…it is…usually. Then you get jerked around by people that think that just because you have a digital camera you’re a photographer. Well, putting a camera into someone’s hands doesn’t make them a photographer anymore than handing someone a paint brush makes them a painter.
And it’s amazing how people who expect to pay their doctor, plumber, mechanic or anyone else a decent amount, stumble and falter when it comes to paying for a photographer.
Let me explain.
Back in July or so, I was approached by a friend. She had some friends that had gotten married at the beach and wanted a reception. Since her friends didn’t have a lot of money, she was putting on the reception for them and wanted to know what I would charge to shoot for two hours at the reception. Two hours…remember that.
I told her my day rate and also told her that I had a minimum charge of $150.00. But since she was my friend, I’d give her a price break and do it for $100.00. She said, “No, I’ll be glad to pay the $150.00; I think that’s more than fair enough”.
$75.00 an hour. Pretty cheap for an experienced photographer with my portfolio.
The appointed day came and I showed up with my camera. Things never go the way you’re told.
Now that I was there, they didn’t just want shots of the reception….now they wanted the bride and groom to get back in their wedding clothes and get some shots that SHOULD’VE BEEN taken at the wedding.
I figured, why not. I’m here, might as well do it.
Well, the two hours started to come to a close and then I was asked to stick around just another couple hours for the dance at the reception.
I won’t go into all the details, but because this lady was a friend, I ended up staying – and shooting – for twelve hours. Even went with them – AT THEIR REQUEST – in the limo that had been rented for a ride to various venues in town.
OK, let’s see: $150.00 divided by 12 hours now means I was getting, oh….$12.50 an hour.
She offered, and I accepted, an extra $30.00 by the way.
Finally, yesterday after waiting on the couple to purchase pictures that hopefully would offset my time investment, I got their order.
127 photos. OK, maybe I was too hasty in my original belly aching. But wait…the bride and groom want me to GIVE them the 127 photos AND want me to do post-processing on them.
Even if I only spend two minutes per photograph, that’s still 254 minutes or almost five hours of more work they don’t want to pay for.
So let’s see, 17 hours divided by $150.00 equals: $8.82 per hour.
Some days it just don’t pay to get out of bed.