Monday, March 9, 2009

Let's talk Photography

Starting your photography business up again in another state is one thing, but starting your business up again on another continent is a whole nother ballgame. Wow, I've never written, "a whole nother ballgame" out before, is that how you spell it? 'Nother'? Weird.

Anyway. Prices. Theoretically, say I charge $1,000 to do a wedding in Utah (just wedding day), in California, you could charge up to $5,000. In South Africa.......guess what you can charge? Just guess!?


And that price always includes 2-3 hour drive one way (the typical venues are far away), a wedding album (costing anywhere from $50-$200), a few prints, and an all-day event. That takes me home with...$200??

So I guess I won't be the sugar momma in this industry. This friend at the gym, a fellow (commercial) photographer said, "Ya. If you do photography down here, you just do it for fun. Not to make any money." That's why so few people do it here! I am advertising on Google as well, and in Cali and Utah, I would never come up because it is so saturated with photographers. Here-I'm the first on the list everytime!

I started advertising my business on Facebook just to see what would happen. I almost did it in California, but it's $5 dollars a day to advertise, so I decided to hold off. I tried it for a week here and got over 500 clicks and MANY MANY emails requesting quotes for their weddings. Totally awesome! The weird thing is, the earliest one is in November! I've even had 5 wedding dates in 2010, that's AUGUST 2010. What?! It really is a different world down here. I thought wedding celebrations and traditions were pretty standard. But it's taking some getting used to.

The celebrations are different as well. The ceremony starts around 3pm, lasts a half hour or so, and then the celebration goes until well past midnight. Bride, groom and all! There's a dinner, and lots and lots of drinking and dancing. The client usually puts the photographer up for the night! How different huh?

Portraits however, are pretty comparable to back home. One of my photo shoots got rained out, so we rescheduled to this Wed, one was Saturday and another this weekend. I'm getting out and trying to find some cool areas. It's pretty hard though since parks are scarce, and anywhere with cool buildings is a death trap...but I successfully found a few and used them this weekend with these 3 girls. Different than anything I'm used to. But can I tell you how fun it was? They were natural models, loved the camera, and were beautiful!
It was so funny. We stopped at a fun graffiti wall (you can see them on my photo blog) to do some fun shots and I am not kidding, EVERY car passing by stopped to watch. They, of course, were all men and were blowing kisses, honking, barking & growling. It was a little hectic (the new word here for sketchy or scary). I kept yelling, "Keep moving! Keep moving!" And trying not to create a mess in traffic. I swear, some men almost crashed.

Anyway, I'm really excited about these pictures. I think they'll love them. More photos on my photo blog!


reagan: said...

You're a great photographer! What beautiful girls! I really like the blue background, it is a very eye catching photo! tres bien! : )
And sorry about the biz over there, Utah and west are strange that way... it is strange to think that we are so neurotic about weddings and then in other parts of the world they have years of engagements and lower key events. But you will be thriving soon I am sure of it!
OH---and on a side note I showed Jon (my hub) your post about sun city...I think we might come out there with our fam in a couple of years, so cool!

laura said...

Hey, Meelie, that's because "nother" isn't a word!
Love reading about your adventures. You're doing great! Love you. Hang in there!