Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Just be upfront

I received this email today from a "potential client". Or so I thought:

Hello! I am a recently engaged bride
looking for an amazing photographer to shoot my wedding. I am unsure about a
date as of now because I am still in the planning stages. I have several
questions about your wedding photography and was wondering if you could help
me. Is there any information you could send me such as pricing, what's
in pricing, and how you handle weddings?

-How many photographers do you send to
shoot a wedding?

-How many hours do you cover of the

-If I was interested in purchasing a book
of all the photos after the ceremony, would I be able to? Is it included in
the wedding package?

-Are digitals of all the images included
as well, if not how much would they be?

-If i wanted a video of the wedding,
would this be included in the package?

I hope you can help me as I am clueless
about where to even start with this! I am hoping for an excellent

Thank you so much for your time.

Now, we get emails like this all the time. Most of the time we try and setup an appointment, and get a more accurate idea of what they need for their wedding day. This particular email struck us as a bit odd. It was completely vague over what they need. No specifics, nothing.

I got to thinking about it, and decided to take this person's email, and drop it in Facebook. Oh look. What do ya know? It's another photographer!

Why do people have to try and be sneaky about it? If you have a real question over pricing, or how to set up packages, be upfront. Tell me who you are, why you picked me to ask, and what you are trying to do. I'm a fairly open person about a lot of things. I might not give you my pricing sheets, but I'm usually more than willing to help you out.

A real letter should look more like this:

Dear Photodouche,

First off, let me tell you how much I adore your work. I am 18, and just getting started on what I hope will be an incredible career in the photography field. I am currently shooting pictures for friends-mostly headshots and couples. I would like to branch out and do weddings eventually, but I am not sure where to start with pricing, packaging, etc. Any help would be great.


Aspiring photographer in TX

And there ya go. Compliment me a bit, and tell me about where yourself. Maybe sent me a link to a few pics. Be upfront, and honest, and you will get some, (hopefully) good information back.

Just stop being sneaky about it. It just makes you look bad.


  1. OMG! You have a blog! Swooooon!

    First of all, this photographer needs a slap on the ass. Like you said, just be straight up about it! Or, if you're in the same city, they could invite you out to lunch and "talk shop" and get info THAT way. (I've had other photogs do that with ME, and I am happy to pass on my knowledge of the industry.)

    Secondly, I think I'd ask different, more specific questions than that. Those could easily be found on Flickr's SWPB forum, or DWF or anywhere that pro photogs hang out.

    Lastly, I would be suspicious of anyone already trying to potentially book a wedding photog without a date yet, and without more information than this. Like you said, TOTALLY vague.

    Keep on keepin' on, man. There's so much insanity in this industry!

  2. I see these posts so often. "You should just ask, we'll help you out" I've even seen people blasted over it publically. The thing is. When you're first starting out. You don't know everyone in this industry will just give you their prices. You may be intimidated. Or whatever the reason may be. Sure, they COULD ask. But some have. I did. I got ignored non stop.

    So my thought on this goes like this. Walmart Shops kmart and kmart shops walmart and all these companies are always "shopping" each other up. It's a business practice that goes back to, well probably the beginning of business.

    A nice photographer should probably just write back and educate them as to the ways of the industry instead of calling them out.

    But hey, who am I?