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The other night I was in a bar with a photographer that we featured here on the site recently. When we chatted, we talked about how the industry was going in general. She (the photographer) assists other larger names and does her own work on the side. For extra income, she thought about doing weddings with another photographer she is close with. The problem is that they didn’t want to deal with the editing process and everything else in the post-world that has to do with working with weddings. Additionally, everything that they found wasn’t worth the money and there are tons of low ballers out there. Essentially, that is also only one of the reasons why wedding photographers get paid what they do.
So after chatting with her and a couple of other photographers, we figured it out: just don’t post-process. If anything just shoot JPEG, cut the session down to the best images, and then hand them off to the clients. This goes for weddings, portraits, events, etc.
Again, we are not preaching laziness here–and if you take away from this article that we are doing that then you’ve obviously not read it. We’re preaching a way for photographers to make some extra cash on the side and still make the work profitable for them. If someone only wants to pay you $300 for a wedding and you’re giving them six hours of your time, just find ways to cut corners and make your time totally worth it and as profitable as you can.
On the other hand, if someone is paying you handsomely, put the according amount of work in and show that work off in your portfolio accordingly. Then always keep in mind that the high end photographers will never compete with the ones that only do cheap weddings because they are totally different price points. To the gear heads, it’s like comparing a Nikon D4s to a Canon Rebel.
Then in the end, just don’t tell anyone that you did it.