Getting Busy & What I’m Worth

Warning: This is going to turn into a rant/announcement. I will release feelings that have been held inside. And this is really how I feel. You’ve been warned, lol.

There are many different ways to explain to you my train of emotions currently. I’ve just experienced my first actual “busy” weekend since I’ve started weddings fully and boy, was it a rush! A tiring, hard working, full of love and people, rush.

But I didn’t plan on writing a blog post to tell you how it went, I’ll do that when those weddings are ready for blogging 😛

What I’m really feeling right now is blessed. Blessed with the fact that I have clients who really believe in me and trust me to do the best absolute job even when things go wrong. Clients who are wonderful enough to want me to be there on their wedding day to document the whole day because they appreciate my work, my work ethic, and hopefully my personality, lol.

But I digress…I noticed that during this busy weekend, I had some moments where I felt like I wasn’t respected as much from other people or just wasn’t noticed in the crowd. I don’t know if it was my height or what, lol, but something has got to give. I’ve had my fair share of wedding guests who literally get in my way, or stand in the way of ceremony shots with their cameras (even when specifically asked to not be in my way by yours truly), or even completely ignore the fact that I am the paid professional. No big deal. ((((((Sarcasm)))))

I know that my clients respect my wishes on their big day, I honestly do not ask for too much at all. But I also know that they can’t really control what their guests do on their wedding day. It’s the inevitable, we all know this. But when it gets to the point to where I feel like I’m not even being noticed or appreciated as the professional photographer on the bride and groom’s wedding day, it really starts to get me thinking on how much I am really worth.

I had a small talk with a DJ at one of my weddings from this past weekend and he really understood exactly how I felt. DJ’s and photographers really go hand in hand when it comes to weddings. Communication is key and as long as you’ve got it, everything goes smoothly. But anyway, he spoke to me about pricing and people. People are cheap, is something that definitely stuck out to me and I remember the face he made while he said that to me. It was kind of portrayed as sadness and anger in my eyes. And what was even more sad to me is that we are both underselling ourselves. Between the both of us, we only made less than $2000 on the wedding. Now, to some people, that may be a good chunk of change, but a lot of you don’t know what expenses we have as photographers and DJ’s. Equipment, time, preparation, clothing, transportation, meals, etc. the list goes on and on. And for a photographer, the work doesn’t end after the wedding day. You have to take so hours after that, culling & editing, blogging, uploading, social networking, emails, invoices, etc. And THAT, is only for one wedding. ONE.

So really, what am I worth? Much more than I am right now. I am worth more than being pushed out of the way, stepped in front of when I’m clearly taking shots. I am worth more than being stood up, not being paid when and what I should be. I am worth more than someone telling me that I’m too expensive. Really? $500 is too expensive? But I do understand that not everyone can afford that much for JUST a photographer. I mean, it’s only one of the biggest days of your life. What all can you keep after your wedding? Cake? No. Location? No. Flowers? Well, you could, but they don’t last forever. But you know what does? Photographs. Pictures. Documentation on what happened on this tremendous day. Every single moment and detail, captured in photographs. But if you don’t hire someone who knows what they are doing, you may be sticking with guest photos for the rest of your life. Just a thought.

This whole post wasn’t to really rant at you, but to give you all a heads up that I am changing. Pricing, how I book clients, and how I will book weddings based in my ideal client. So yes, pricing will be changing soon. And if you don’t book within the next two weeks, you’ll miss out on old pricing. Please contact me if you don’t know what booking your date means.

I want to ensure to all of my clients that I do love you all. I appreciate you all so much and you’ve made what I am today. I wouldn’t be the best that I can be and realize that I deserve better for myself and for my family, if you all didn’t help me see that. You guys rock!

I’m sorry if this post seems a bit harsh, and if it does, then I guess this can be a dose of reality for all of us. You don’t have to read, but if you do, I thank you.

Here’s to the “new” JMP and it feels great.

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Also? I do everything that I do, for this little bugger right here 🙂

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One thought on “Getting Busy & What I’m Worth

  1. Hey Jen, I’m a local wedding photographer in Greenville and I certainly know exactly where you’re coming from. Check out a business blog that I run that might help you out with some the things you mention. You can check it out at http://www.shutterio.com. We should chat sometime soon!

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