View Full Version : Work for a wedding photographer or do own work??!!
10-02-2007, 10:57 AM
So recently a local photographer posted a job online looking for freelance work. I responded to the photographer to set up a meeting. We met and She really enjoyed my work, my personality and my passion for photography.
K lets cut to the chase...
She approached me this past week and wants me to shoot for her. She doesn't want to do weddings anymore. She basically wants me to run her wedding business under her name. Would that be wrong since I'm getting a lot of work myself? My name is slowly getting out there. but she brings in alot of people & is in a great location.
I don't know what to do. HELP???
If I were to take on this job, how much should I ask for pay??
Thanks for all input
10-02-2007, 11:19 AM
Well, this comes down to a business decision, doesn't it? First of all, how much work are you getting on your own? I looked at your website (no photos posted on the Zo) and you do pretty good work. I would say you could probably make a fair amount of money on your own......given some time to get established.
Now, if you shoot for this woman, what is her part of the deal? Does she get the calls and you do all the shooting, editing, printing, etc and she gets her big fat cut? Or do you just do the shooting and she does the rest? My thought is that if you are doing all the actual work and she is using her name on the work, then your cut needs to be significant or you end up selling your soul just to work for peanuts.
On the other hand, if you are not getting much work, this could be a chance to get out there and get a name for yourself, riding her coat tails for a while. I have a friend who does weddings and I know from his experience, it's a cutthroat business. You are either well know and liked for your work, or people step on your toes and make life miserable. I don't perpose to know the ins and outs of wedding photography. I've shot two weddings for good friends as their wedding present and didn't particularly enjoy the work. I did OK, but it's not my first choice of work to do.
I think there are some other Zo people who do a fair amount of wedding work and hopefull they will step in with some ideas.
10-02-2007, 11:25 AM
just be careful. if you are not, she's gonna make the $ while you do ALL the work.
also.....look out for signing a contract with her. odds are she will slide in a "no compete" clause. meaning you can't do any buisness on your own anywhere near her.
10-02-2007, 11:35 AM
Good observation, Mike......have someone read that contract.
10-02-2007, 11:42 AM
Im doing alright on my own right now. But not making enough thats why Im working a fulltime Commerical job that i want to get out of. I recently got some studio space which hopefully will increase more work my way. The space is probably 40minutes away from her location. I totally agree with you about riding on her coat tails and getting more work and my name out there.
The thing is she has a very well known name in a VERY well know area. People are willing to spend the big bucks for her business. (& there is no competition around her) Basically here's how it would work.
She would be booking them, I would do all the wedding consultations, shoot the weddings and she said she would hire someone to edit and do all the post processing. ( I really dont like the thought of having someone work on my images, because everyone has their own way of editing and thats how you create your style.) Going to figure that part out..
Anyways, I guess another question that both her & I are trying to figure out is, If I work and shoot weddings for her is it ok to get work on my own w/ out crossing the line. U know how that can get sketchy at times...
I dont know. it sounds good to get out of the Corp. job & be doiing photography more on a fulltime basis, but im hesitate about this....
10-02-2007, 11:44 AM
We already talked bout the No Compete Contract I told I wasnt interested and she wasnt going to do that.
10-02-2007, 08:10 PM
Have you shot weddings before?
Being an assistant shooter for 2 years, Its quite a big undertaking. After 2 years of doing it, I still wasn't completely comfortable doing weddings on my own.
I don't quite grasp the concept of working for her to get a better name for yourself. If your working under her business name people will always see it as that, her business name. People will remember this great photographer (you) and tell their friends to call the business that was hired (her).
If you are getting enough work on your own, and making ends meet by working otherwise, I would be hesitant. If she does have alot of work it definitely would affect your individual progress on building a reputation by doing shoots on your own. It sounds like all your time you would typically spend doing that would be spent working for her.
Either way, good luck!!
10-02-2007, 10:18 PM
Will she be doing the booking, talking with the clients about packages, reprints, etc, doing the paperwork, taxes, paying insurance to cover you? She also is taking care of a lot of overhead with the building, utilities, advertising, etc. Having an established business bringing in clients is definitely worth something.
Will you be doing the shooting and pp? Do you have a good feeling about this and does it interest you a lot? If you do the engagement shoots, you'll get to know the clients then. Attend the rehearsal dinners to get a feel for the flow of the day. She might discuss the wedding day scheduling with them, or you, or both of you either together or at different times (such as you following up on what she started). Work that out.
Will you be in the ofc doing bookings also? Does she do any bridal shows and will she want you there? Would that be done together?
Make sure this is very worthwhile to you. The fact that she respects you and your work and is willing to trust her name to your shooting is good. You're bringing a lot to this also, just recognise what she is contributing. Make a contract for a trial period, then possibly a longer contract. Figure out exit strategies for you to leave, protecting both her and you AND the clients, if either of you is no longer feeling the arrangement is working. Keep the communication open.
It may be too early to bring this up, but sometime you might talk to her about the possibility of using 'Her Name' Wedding Photography by 'Your Name' if this works into a long-term relationship -- especially if you take over the booking and some of the business end of the weddings. This would establish your name while still letting her take on the business end.
Always, always keep exit strategies in mind. They are a positive thing; not a negative. It's not so much a bail out clause, but a way to keep communication and let the two of you part well if that time comes.
Now after that long-winded speel... if working for yourself sounds much much better, in spite of the paperwork, the advertising, bookings, etc., then think twice and a third time before making any long-term deals to work for someone else. ;)
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