#ShaadiSeason: All work and low pay for wedding photogs
Despite the wedding season underway, wedding photographers have little to cheer about. Being asked by clients to slash their fee by as much as 50%, owing to a guest list cap of 200 attendees, many are claiming that they are earning much less than before. “Prospective clients say that even hotels are charging less per plate than what we photographers are charging,” rues Rajesh Luthra, who owns a photography studio in the Capital. He adds, “People tell us that since we will not have so many guests, so you cannot charge the same amount as before. But the number of guests is irrelevant to us since we still have to deploy the same team size and number of cameras.”
Akshay Sansare from a Mumbai-based photography studio says, “There’s a hit of 20-30% in overall profits in the entire year. People have to understand that it’s creative work, and a reduced guest list only means a change in group shots. Candids for bride and groom and core family, remain the same.”
Wedding photographer Rahul Saharan says, “Some want us to settle for an amount that is 50-60% of the quoted price, some ask for a 20-25% reduction. If it’s too less, I don’t do it, but we have reduced for many.”
Even for photographers with relatively affordable rates, the bargaining doesn’t stop. Vanshaj Handa, manager at a photography studio in Delhi, informs, “We charge ₹75,000 per day, which is quite affordable according to industry standards. However, we have also closed a deal for ₹60,000. What to do? People do ask for prices to be slashed.” Nidhi Kashyap, a Mumbai-based wedding photographer quips, “I don’t go more than ₹10K up or down while negotiating, but clients do ask for discounts. In total, even If I cut ₹10K for 20 weddings, it makes a difference of almost ₹2 lakhs to overall profits.”
“Wedding photography is seasonal work. Earlier after working for a few months, we earned for the year,” shares Luthra, who adds that many have left the industry due to Covid-19- induced cuts and most of the industry is working on the ‘no profit, no loss’ mode.
Author tweets @siddhijainn