This post is probably going to be bad for my business but someone has to say it, get the message out. Over the period of time I have faced many issues with wedding clients and clients in general, not all of them have been bad but not everyone has been great and here are some pointers based entirely on my experiences, hope it helps!
1) I will Quote One hundred thousand for one day shoot, yes!
This is one of the basic and major issues why freelancers lose out on clients, and this includes graphic designers, photographers, Videographers, editors and anyone who basically has a business or is into freelancing. How much to quote is the golden question! I cannot give you a figure in fact no one can, someone can charge INR 300 for their one day service and someone might charge 30,000. So where do you stand?
Let’s say Ramesh comes to you, Ramesh Lives at marine lines and drives a BMW and wants to get a Candid photographer for his wedding, how much should you charge? Because your friend charges 10,000 a day, should you charge 10,000? You read in a newspaper that a photographer charges 1 lakh for a one day candid photography assignment so maybe 1 Lakh then? OR since Ramesh lives in Marine Drives and seems rich he might just be willing to pay you 2lakhs right? Mind it Ramesh isn’t your father and neither is he a philanthropist.. uhhh, OMG HOW MUCH TO CHARGE THEN! It’s actually very simple.
Everyone knows where they stand and how much they should charge, they just want to quote too much because they fear judgment from their peers, what will my friends think of me if they come to know I charge so less and I make so little money? Or what if I’m charging way too less compared to the trending market price, I don’t want to be taken advantage of! You need to calm down, look in the mirror and ask yourself these questions,
1) How much Experience do I have? Am I just starting off? Or have I been doing this for years? Because weddings are events and events need to be photographed at the right time in the right time with the right lightings and set up so experience is of essence I cant just screw up and make it fine in post.
2) Do I have too many shoots or I barely get any work? I mean I can quote him whatever I want and even if he doesn’t hire me it’s okay because I’m really tied up with a lot of assignments right now.
Actually that’s not true I don’t have a lot of work I should just do the work and charge how much I think I should get and ill just go below my quotations, just a little bit.
These are two major Questions you should be asking yourself and decide how much you want to Quote and seriously never care how much someone else makes after all the grass has always been and will always be greener on the other side.
2) I Said 80,000 He said 40,000!
Now Ramesh is not only Rich but really kanjoos as well. He wants the best of the services but is quoting half the amount and I can’t even shoot my own wedding for that price Bhavesh!
When it comes to negotiation, the first one to mention the quote loses, always. When you are talking to a client make sure you get his quote, ask him his budget. What if he doesn’t mention and keeps asking me for a budget? Well if you quote first you lose. Keep talking to your client make sure he tells you the quotation first, ask him as many questions as you want, asking him multiple questions and him being patient with your questions will also show you that he is serious about hiring you But Never Never Quote first, make sure You get his budget and then provide the services accordingly because sometimes a client will come to you with a requirement to shoot a haldi function and you will assume it will last for 5 hours and you’ll quote him 12,000 for photography where as the client just requires you for 2 hours and he will most definitely not want to pay you 12,000 for 2 hours and on the contrary you might assume his haldi will last for 2 hours and you charge him 3,000 and he makes you shoot for 6 hours and you don’t want that do you?
3) Clients negotiate Like it’s a Fish Market!
Bhavesh! Ramesh wants to shoot a 1 day wedding and he wants 2 photographers and 2 cinematographers and 1 traditional photographer. I quoted him 1 Lakh and he is asking me to do it for 80,000! 20,000 ka discount kaun mangta hai! This is really net net expense I cannot go even a penny below 1 Lakh what do I do! I will not shoot for 80,000 coz I CANT!
We are Indians, we bargain with vegetable vendors we bargain while buying phones we look for discounts everywhere, we bargain for literally everything then why do you expect your client to not bargain with you?
This really depends from client to client but how this usually goes is you quote a little higher, so that the client gets the pleasure of bargaining and gets to think that he cracked a really good deal and you also don’t go below you net cost for the shoot and you guys meet somewhere in the middle.
4) Mr Client you don’t know what you need!
My client has a big fat Punjabi wedding and I know exactly what he needs and I made a really good package of 3 Lakhs but he wants me to do it for 2 Lakhs! I can’t provide all the services for 2 lakhs ya! He doesn’t understand! If he takes my package I can make his wedding look better than a YRF film!
My creative friend, I understand that you want to do your best and give your ultimate creativity to every shoot but every client doesn’t realize that and quite a lot of them don’t even want a YRF film they just want a good wedding film and you have to understand that. Avoid giving a package which has everything and give a quotation according to the minimum services first the most basic one, when you give the basic package to the client, he himself will tell you that he needs more things, where you can tell him that additional services will cost extra and you can then increase the budget and the client also won’t be able to negotiate much because you gave him basic and he wants more and more always costs more.
5) All Weddings are the same, haha!
NO, all weddings aren’t the same, every wedding is different and every religion has a different way of celebrating their special day. If you have shot a lot of Punjabi weddings shoot some Gujarati weddings, if that’s done shoot some Jain weddings, if that’s done shoot some Muslim weddings, if that’s done too do some Catholic weddings. Because a lot of clients will not only want to look at the quality of your work but would also want to see if you are aware of their customs and if you know how their weddings are executed because after all their wedding day is a once in a lifetime function for them they would want everything to be perfect. Make sure your Wedding portfolio contains weddings of all caste and religion.
There are many more small things that you will learn with every new client that you get and your experience in the industry will make you wise. Also if you’re lucky you might not face a single problem that I have mentioned in this blog, and for those who are looking for some guidance I hope this post helps and if you have any other questions you can comment down below and make sure you share this post with your friends! And enjoy the journey of your freelancing career because it’s all about the journey and the experiences because at the end of it all, there is no destination.