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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Wedding photogs...beware the DJ
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01/21/2015 03:46:35 PM · #1
Hey all

Recently I bought a whole load of stuff from a wedding/port photog who is leaving the business after trying to make a living at it for 15 years. Apparently the straw that broke the camel's back was when he offered to shoot a wedding for a friend for dirt cheap. Then they called and cancelled him because guess what, the DJ also offers photography services along his DJ'ing! Apparently this is a new trend at least up here in the Great White North.

Although I do admire, to some extent, the DJ's resourcefulness in adding to his skill set...really? Is he just going to shoot frames between songs?

So in the future, all wedding photogs, I strongly suggest you start packing along a boom box and a bunch of CDs and offer your services as a DJ. I mean, how difficult can it be?
01/21/2015 06:47:29 PM · #2
Originally posted by snaffles:

Hey all

Recently I bought a whole load of stuff from a wedding/port photog who is leaving the business after trying to make a living at it for 15 years. Apparently the straw that broke the camel's back was when he offered to shoot a wedding for a friend for dirt cheap. Then they called and cancelled him because guess what, the DJ also offers photography services along his DJ'ing! Apparently this is a new trend at least up here in the Great White North.

Although I do admire, to some extent, the DJ's resourcefulness in adding to his skill set...really? Is he just going to shoot frames between songs?

So in the future, all wedding photogs, I strongly suggest you start packing along a boom box and a bunch of CDs and offer your services as a DJ. I mean, how difficult can it be?


LOL, I would need to rent a truck all the time :)

Beside that I agree, in my photoshoot (2 weeks back) DJ reached out to me was kept on asking about charges to the client etc and I just ask him to visit the website for details.
01/22/2015 02:51:31 PM · #3
bump
01/22/2015 03:12:28 PM · #4


I had a friend hire a DJ for a party and the guy put his ipod on shuffle and just sat there all night. so i'm sure there is plenty of time to take pictures for some of them.

01/22/2015 03:15:47 PM · #5
I was a major market radio DJ for over a decade... I confess that I did once act as a photographer/DJ for a banquet (not a wedding, though)...
01/22/2015 03:23:15 PM · #6
I'm cheap - no DJ, no photographer, but we did our wedding at Monument Valley in front of iconic and beautiful scenery so the photos the guests took looked pretty darn cool ;)
01/22/2015 03:30:06 PM · #7
i strongly believe in the market as a determining factor for these kinds of things. If DJ quality wedding photos is what the market currently demands, then too bad for professional photographers. Find a way to innovate, or do something else. I also disapprove of photographers who band together and dissuade newbie photographers from pricing their services competitively, saying it will hurt the market as a whole. Sorry guys, but if there are people out there who will buy dirt cheap photography, and there are people out there who will offer it, that's the market working. Maybe photography shouldn't be a profession.
01/22/2015 03:30:45 PM · #8
Originally posted by Mike:

I had a friend hire a DJ for a party and the guy put his ipod on shuffle and just sat there all night.

Shuffle? He could at least program a playlist ... I think maybe he deserved to have that iPod play the same song five times in a row ...
01/22/2015 04:08:16 PM · #9
I've seen one or two DJ's offer photography and/or photobooth services, usually it's a partner/spouse who takes the photos. Maybe the friends of the wedding photographer didn't like his work/style even for cheap and that was a good excuse? (doesn't sound like there was a contract either!)... or they didn't care about quality pics and went for the even cheaper option haha

There are so many potential clients out there (and only so many clients you can book a month) that I don't see other local photographers, or DJs hehe, as competition. All about word of mouth referrals and raising prices as your work improves (which leads to clients who want high quality work and don't mind paying for it).
01/22/2015 05:06:13 PM · #10
wow- we have a few in my area that does that as well... it's seperate entities, but they work together and claim contracts together. They just moved into a building, seperate offices but under the same roof.

What I can not understand at the moment is the newbies who just got their first DLSR cameras and their little kit lenses, never shot anything posting and asking what to charge for their first weddings without even know how their camera works. First time ever picking up a camera like that.


I am sure ppl will try anything though so it doesn't surprise me one bit ppl are doing that. One of my friends asked me to shoot her daughters wedding and I asked her why she wants me... she told me word for word "you shoot fantastic eagle pictures!" *Blinks* she had no clue shooting people took different equipment let alone different lenses and it takes more talent and more processing to make things right, I gently laughed and declined it and gave her to someone who shoots pro and was reasonable. No clue.. it took me over 6 mo just to get out of auto mode. LOL

Also, I noticed with the wedding photography is that the quality has been suffering over quantity.
Posting services 300 photos for x amount... I think I would rather have 20 of the best photos from my wedding then 300 crap ones.

I totally respect those that are into the portrait photography and weddings.. it takes a lot of hard work and knowledge just to get something right.. what a lot do not understand, they only have one shot and chance to get it right. I wouldn't want to mess or be responsible for that.

Message edited by author 2015-01-22 17:23:37.
01/22/2015 05:19:01 PM · #11
Originally posted by jgirl57:

wow- we have a few in my area that does that as well... it's seperate entities, but they work together and claim contracts together. They just moved into a building, seperate offices but under the same roof.

What I can not understand at the moment is the newbies who just got their first DLSR cameras and their little kit lenses, never shot anything posting and asking what to charge for their first weddings without even know how their camera works. First time ever picking up a camera like that.



let them do it. if that's what people want, they'll buy it, and it'll change the way wedding photography works forever. which is good, in my opinion. people don't just have weddings in churches either anymore, you know. things are different.
01/22/2015 05:39:47 PM · #12

Originally posted by jgirl57:

what a lot do not understand, they only have one shot and chance to get it right. I wouldn't want to mess or be responsible for that.

Wedding Photographer Sued for Missing the Kiss

Photographer Sued For Bad Wedding Photography
01/22/2015 06:14:16 PM · #13
Originally posted by glad2badad:

Originally posted by jgirl57:

what a lot do not understand, they only have one shot and chance to get it right. I wouldn't want to mess or be responsible for that.

Wedding Photographer Sued for Missing the Kiss

Photographer Sued For Bad Wedding Photography


Alas, can't see the video. It's been pulled from all the places I tried.

The multi-tasking DJ/photographer sounds so much like that wacky character in The Proposal, who is the bartender, waiter, chef, and stripper.

As for "fair", I have to agree with Lanndon. Caveat emptor. Competition. Changing tastes and market. The people who want professional, high quality wedding images are out there. And the market is incredibly fierce to land one of those gigs. A lot of people skimp on the one thing that will be around forever (unlike the cake, the favors, the dress...) to remind them of that day. And if it all goes wrong they can always sue ;)
01/23/2015 06:51:28 AM · #14
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by Mike:

I had a friend hire a DJ for a party and the guy put his ipod on shuffle and just sat there all night.

Shuffle? He could at least program a playlist ... I think maybe he deserved to have that iPod play the same song five times in a row ...


maybe he did, but my friend was pissed either way :P. next year for his annual party, he rented some speakers and did it himself.
01/23/2015 08:54:58 AM · #15
Originally posted by jgirl57:

...What I can not understand at the moment is the newbies who just got their first DLSR cameras and their little kit lenses, never shot anything posting and asking what to charge for their first weddings without even know how their camera works. First time ever picking up a camera like that.


I am sure ppl will try anything though so it doesn't surprise me one bit ppl are doing that. One of my friends asked me to shoot her daughters wedding and I asked her why she wants me... she told me word for word "you shoot fantastic eagle pictures!" *Blinks* she had no clue shooting people took different equipment let alone different lenses and it takes more talent and more processing to make things right, I gently laughed and declined it and gave her to someone who shoots pro and was reasonable. No clue.. it took me over 6 mo just to get out of auto mode. LOL

Also, I noticed with the wedding photography is that the quality has been suffering over quantity.
Posting services 300 photos for x amount... I think I would rather have 20 of the best photos from my wedding then 300 crap ones.

I totally respect those that are into the portrait photography and weddings.. it takes a lot of hard work and knowledge just to get something right.. what a lot do not understand, they only have one shot and chance to get it right. I wouldn't want to mess or be responsible for that.


Julie, I really want to commend you for your astuteness and having enough sense to know that owning a DSLR does not automatically make anyone an expert! I don't think You Are Not A Photographer still exists, but it's aswarm with fauxtogs who got a *pro* (re: DSLR) camera and shoots on green camera mode with the kit lens...then use free editing software on the images. And of course they advertise themselves as professionals and offer their services for, like, $500 for 8hrs.

So, very proud that you turned down the wedding gig and sent them to a pro wedding photog. It's good to know when you might be in over your head. If a potential client had a horse that I really didn't want to ride, like a real bucking monster, I'd send them to a cowboy in my area who is also a trainer - and a previous bareback bronc rider. Riding rank horses is his thing, so he gets the ones that I'd love to see and shoot at a rodeo.

Mind, shooting wildlife IS excellent training for shooting weddings - your subjects are often dressed in contrasty outfits, that can be very unpredictable and impossible to direct...esp after a few drinks ;-) So you learn to change settings quickly and scamper around trying to keep up with the subjects.

Message edited by author 2015-01-23 09:01:17.
01/23/2015 11:45:31 AM · #16
Originally posted by snaffles:

Originally posted by jgirl57:

...What I can not understand at the moment is the newbies who just got their first DLSR cameras and their little kit lenses, never shot anything posting and asking what to charge for their first weddings without even know how their camera works. First time ever picking up a camera like that.


I am sure ppl will try anything though so it doesn't surprise me one bit ppl are doing that. One of my friends asked me to shoot her daughters wedding and I asked her why she wants me... she told me word for word "you shoot fantastic eagle pictures!" *Blinks* she had no clue shooting people took different equipment let alone different lenses and it takes more talent and more processing to make things right, I gently laughed and declined it and gave her to someone who shoots pro and was reasonable. No clue.. it took me over 6 mo just to get out of auto mode. LOL

Also, I noticed with the wedding photography is that the quality has been suffering over quantity.
Posting services 300 photos for x amount... I think I would rather have 20 of the best photos from my wedding then 300 crap ones.

I totally respect those that are into the portrait photography and weddings.. it takes a lot of hard work and knowledge just to get something right.. what a lot do not understand, they only have one shot and chance to get it right. I wouldn't want to mess or be responsible for that.


Julie, I really want to commend you for your astuteness and having enough sense to know that owning a DSLR does not automatically make anyone an expert! I don't think You Are Not A Photographer still exists, but it's aswarm with fauxtogs who got a *pro* (re: DSLR) camera and shoots on green camera mode with the kit lens...then use free editing software on the images. And of course they advertise themselves as professionals and offer their services for, like, $500 for 8hrs.

So, very proud that you turned down the wedding gig and sent them to a pro wedding photog. It's good to know when you might be in over your head. If a potential client had a horse that I really didn't want to ride, like a real bucking monster, I'd send them to a cowboy in my area who is also a trainer - and a previous bareback bronc rider. Riding rank horses is his thing, so he gets the ones that I'd love to see and shoot at a rodeo.

Mind, shooting wildlife IS excellent training for shooting weddings - your subjects are often dressed in contrasty outfits, that can be very unpredictable and impossible to direct...esp after a few drinks ;-) So you learn to change settings quickly and scamper around trying to keep up with the subjects.


the only similarity between photographing a wedding and wildlife photography is that you are photographing live creatures.

if someone shoots a wedding for $500 for 8hrs good for them for being able to offer that service. as long as the clients are happy, who cares what the rest of us think.

Message edited by author 2015-01-23 11:46:56.
01/23/2015 12:08:24 PM · #17
Mike, are you saying $500 is too low in general, or that it's too high for a newbie photographer to charge?
01/23/2015 12:18:19 PM · #18
im saying that if that person is able to charge that, turn a profit and make the client happy, good for them.
01/23/2015 02:00:22 PM · #19
Thanks Susan!!!

~~~~~~~

Devils advocate
I just find it very sad, how in the situation Susan found her equipment and the reasoning behind it.

It seems like a walmart kinda of world these days,every service you need under one roof, who cares about quality..

I would like to hope some people and those "do or should" care.. kinda like putting a brand on something and protecting the specialty that you are in..

Pros these days are having to go through hoops to explain their pricing and why the charge the way they do which can be a great thing, people will pay for great quality in the end and those will notice the quality they are getting "hopefully".

A buyers beware. What is dangerous is that these same newbs that are getting into it for business think they are good and they are not and they really don't give a crap about their end work results.. They don't take the time to learn the craft, they jump in, point and shoot and sell. Do I care? No, I don't. It is fustrating to hear them posting and requesting help assistance on what to shoot for an outdoor or indoor wedding and what lenses to use, or the settings and in the end they are like.. well I will use auto mode.. a pro knows.. but I am also not in compition with them either, even if I was a pro and doing it for a business, I would want to hope that my quality would show in its portfolio and sell itself without having to go through hoops. I would also be explaining my equipment over what the newbs have and explain the quality in the 2k lenses vs their kit lenses...as well as my professional full frame camera vs their beginner DLSR.

The public these days don't even have a clue on what to look for. As long as they see something doesn't look like a snap shot they will be happy with anything.

Message edited by author 2015-01-23 14:12:06.
01/23/2015 02:14:13 PM · #20
being a professional doesn't mean that you have to be good at what you do, it just means you are good are running a business and turning a profit. if you arent good you most likely wont last very long.

what i dont understand is all the hate towards "fauxtogs". i have quite a few friends that post pics that they got done from a friend and i bite my tongue and say they look nice, but my friends are happy so who am I to tell them the quality isn't good? they paid a cheaper price and got happiness out of it so they got their moneys worth, why should they have to pay a premium when they can get the same satisfaction for less?



Message edited by author 2015-01-24 07:08:48.
01/23/2015 02:56:45 PM · #21
The definition of a "free market". Tastes change. Needs change. Desired end product changes. If we are not going to print an album, why do we need "high resolution" images? I'm surprised there aren't more "wedding photographers" using their iPhone.

As long as "cheaper" is more important than "better" (always a subjective scale), this kind of business practice will thrive. Those of us who strive to earn a living with our photography must learn to compete using a different scale.
01/23/2015 04:10:39 PM · #22
besides, REAL artists paint potraits, a process that takes weeks and weeks of careful study and painstaking attention to detail. being able to rig up some lighting and snap a shutter is the easy way out.
01/23/2015 04:29:01 PM · #23
Uh oh, I can't remember where I put the fire extinguisher ... ;-)
01/23/2015 05:08:49 PM · #24
Meh. I can screw up the DJ part just as well as a DJ would screw up the photography, but the photos will still be around when the wedding is over.
01/23/2015 05:27:01 PM · #25
lololol
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