Wedding panorama portrait at the Scansonia Ferry.
The wedding of Kelly and Shaun, Skansonia Ferry, 2008

Seattle wedding photographers The Different Business Models

Seattle wedding photographers The Different Business Models

When hiring Seattle Wedding Photographers, an important thing to keep in mind is that the way that the Seattle wedding photographer prices his photography may actually make a difference in the kind of photographs you wind up with after your wedding. In pricing their services, there are two basic business models that wedding photographers follow. The first model is practiced by photojournalists and other non-traditional wedding photographers and is based upon charging upfront for everything. Initially photographers using this model appear to be more expensive than the “low cost” wedding photographer following the second model. The client pays the creative fee, overhead cost of business, and profit all at the same time before the wedding. Afterwards, the photographer turns over the high resolution digital files and the client can go to a cheap lab and make an unlimited number prints for a low cost. The cheap prints look ok, but sometimes not as good as prints made by the photographer. The reason is many pictures can be improved by working on them in programs like Photoshop. Some clients have the skill and expertise it takes to do this, but if not, the photographers who follow this model will also be happy to make beautiful custom prints and albums at a competitive price or recommend someone to do the printing. The clients also have a DVD with all the images, avoiding the loss of the photos in case the photographer goes out of business. The second is standard practice in other kinds of businesses too. Think of the razor blade companies that charge a low upfront price for the razor, but then when you need replacement blades you find the only ones that work are their replacements and they are priced very high. In general, the traditional studio wedding photographers follow this model. It has been around a long time because it has been very profitable for them. It works like this. Charge a low upfront fee for the first part of their photographic services, and then when the client is locked in, charge an extremely high price for the prints and albums. This approach often works quite well because many people without prior experience of hiring a photographer shop around for a “low cost” photographer and fall for the low upfront price. Everyone is looking to save money if they can, so this model fools people who do not know enough to ask the right questions beforehand. At first they feel good, but later discover they will wind up spending more on the reprints than on the original photography. The photographer gives the clients a set of inexpensive proof prints but keeps all of the negatives, holding them for ransom. This leaves many clients feeling unhappy and resentful no matter how much they actually like the photographs.. Before selecting your photographer be aware of one consequence of the two different models, the motivation of the photographer who receives just a small payment up front. He needs to make photos of what he thinks will sell a lot of prints. This is often a lot of posed or staged shots, as he has no need to shoot photos that will not sell. Photographers paid upfront have no need to keep future sales in mind and are free to capture each and every moment as they happen, telling the story of the day as it unfolds without worrying if they will make enough selling prints later to stay in business. Daniel is a Seattle wedding photographer. His Seattle wedding photography is created in an artistic, editorial fashion with classic photojournalistic style. He photographs weddings using a subtle, unobtrusive, story-telling approach and creates artistic documentary wedding photojournalism. Photographs by Seattle Editorial Photographer and Seattle photojournalist Daniel Sheehan. In addition to weddings, Daniel specializes in portraits and photojournalism for publications and corporations.

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