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Wanted: Wedding Photographer for $100 | “Very Attractive” Bride Posts Ad on Craigslist

By Hanssie on September 30th 2013

You can find anything on Craigslist these days.

A couch? Check.

An old vinyl of a Beatles Album? Possibly.

A photographer that takes high quality professional images for $100? One Philadelphia bride hoped so when she posted an ad on Craigslist looking for someone to take “high quality professional images for her wedding day.”

She continues on by saying that she “[doesn’t] want to pay for a professional. They charge way too much and are not worth it.


Why Might Anyone Who Takes “High Quality Professional Images” Jump at this Opportunity?

“I think I am very attractive and will be wearing a wedding dress so this would be great for your portfolio. I want someone who has a really, really good camera. You also must be experienced with working with people, especially drunk people. I want someone who knows how crazy a wedding day can be (even small ones) and who can keep his or her cool no matter what happens…Also it’s important that you actually show up for my wedding day…”

The post has since been flagged for removal. Sadly, I am sure that this bride would have received a few legitimate responses from starting photographers looking for experience.

It all comes down to value. The value of photography has declined due to the relative ease of taking a photo, the influx of photographers in the market and variety of other reasons. The potential bride or client thinks little about exposures, f-stops, or shutter speeds, the cost of equipment, time and editing. “What’s the big deal?” they think, when majority of cell phones can take an image. Then, with relative ease, anyone can slap on a filter, upload it to Instagram and garner 600 likes. In a world where perception is reality, it is our job as photographers to educate potential clients on why your unique eye, your talent and vision to capture their special moments, is worth the high price tag.

(via @PetaPixel)

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. wedding photographers

    leading New York Wedding Photographers,and i like this site.Thank youwedding photographers.

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  2. lila

    to be honest with you,I will bet on her getting her wishes! the market is astureted with the so called “pro” with great gear and even a studio. i know of a woman in NZ that take the most horrendous wedding photography and has stached a load of cash in her account. When I asked the secret,she said: ” Lila,for each great photographer that is doing nothing with his/her talent there are many like myself that does not give a s**** and goes out there every day and make money.After all,It’s not talent that makes money is gutts.and I do not give a s**** if the client got what they want or not,all I want is to be paid!”
    You see my point? how can we compete in a world full of $100 dollars Dont give a s**** photographers out there? We need to reeinvent the rules pretty soon or this Art will be dead and repalced with iPhone shooters( that become already an Art) and don’t give a s**** ” prophessionals.

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  3. Hiklassphotography

    Sorry for the extra post. I put in my info incorrectly so hopefully the site admin will correct it.

    We have a few weddings under our belt now and I wonder why anyone would do this for some of the prices I see listed around my area. It’s an incredible amount of work but incredibly rewarding as well. I am very happy this is not my full time job!

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  4. Hiklassphotography

    We have a few weddings under our belt now and I wonder why anyone would do this for some of the prices I see listed around my area. It’s an incredible amount of work but incredibly rewarding as well. I am very happy this is not my full time job!

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  5. Barbara

    I am not sure what the word, “professional” means anymore. I call the rash of people taking “professional” photos now “girls with cameras.” In my small community five or so women have made a remarkable name for themselves with no formal training in photography. The quality of the photos they produce is outstanding. The staging they do and the digital editing they do is wonderful. My daughter has used one woman several times for family photos and has not been disappointed. The rates these women charge are very reasonable. The nature of photography has changed so much in the past ten years or so that it seems almost impossible to keep up. I am a novice and have obligated myself only once to take photos of an event (opening of a medical office) for free (never would I charge because I am not very good). My photos were pretty decent and the customer was satisfied.

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  6. Anne Morgan

    Our experience with “Professional” photographers, at my daughter’s wedding certainly left much to be desired. They refused to let the bride cool off after dancing before taking a series of pictures, so they were all ruined because of her flushed face. They refused to work with us on some particular shots we had wanted. Worst of all, was something that could have proved to be a huge embarrassment. As agreed, we had arranged food for the photographers, so they would not have to leave in the middle of the wedding to eat. We had the same meal planned for the children attending, which was mostly the same as the other dinners, but did not include the open bar. INstead of asking, they sat down at one of the guest tables, where 2 guests were expected to be coming late because of a family funeral, and ate the guest’s dinners. Fortunately, the guests did not arrive during the dinner portion of the reception and find the photographers sitting in their seats. If social media had been around then, I would sure have posted to warn others about that studio and their “Professionals.”

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  7. Rick Ohnsman

    How is it that people understand the difference between a gourmet meal and will pay for a fine dining experience and a hamburger from a fast food joint, yet miss the difference between a snapshot by a hack with a cell phone and a fine photograph crafted by a photo professional?

    I guess we’ve entered the age of “fast food fotography.” Some people will be satisfied with this and thus will pay the discount prices for it. A few will want the gourmet experience and will pay for that. As a professional, cater to the latter group and let the others get what they pay for – “fast food fotos.”

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  8. Felice

    “it is our job as photographers to educate potential clients on why your unique eye, your talent and vision to capture their special moments, is worth the high price tag.”

    — Let’s do so by delivering better images then the casual hobby photograph delivers. Not by removing/banning posts. The latter is just a reaction of ANGST, not a sign of a working free market.

    If you are right that she won’t get professional quality for 100$ (which, generally, I would support), then why not let her make this bad experience? She’s grown up enough, isn’t she?

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  9. Walt Mateja

    I have been in the business of Photography as a profession for over 45 years.
    In 1975, I attended the Professional Photographer’s of America Convention in Los Angeles, California.
    The “HOT” topic of the day was how to battle the $.99 cent Baby Portraits that department stores like Sears, Penny’s etc. were offering.
    35 mm photographers have also always competed with medium format wedding photographers.
    It’s just the nature of the game.
    I learned to price my work so that I would eliminate those who were just looking for the cheapest price. I was not the highest, but just a little above average price.
    Somehow I managed to keep my business going and support myself on a full time basis for those 45 years, and it was mostly because I would contract as a photographer for just about anything, not just weddings. I would do portraits, passports, legal, commercial, industrial, sports, photojournalism… whatever a client needed.
    You just need to constantly circulate, pass out business cards, participate, do volunteer work, make friends etc.. do everything that comes along just living as a good person in the community. Show up at church and civic events. when possible, keep that camera always in sight, maybe sponsor or be involved in a little league team, and above all Don’t get Greedy!

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  10. Tiffany

    I am a professional photographer. I deal with this all the time. Saying photographers want to much. Well, our work is more than just point and click. It is also the editing and posing, the equipment plus our time away from our family. I mean, I don’t charge a million dollars but I am reasonable for my area. Secondly, I went to school to study what I love. Wedding Photography is not easy. I specialize in it and being on your feet 6-8 hours or more getting the shots you know they will want. We are not there to party, we are their as a job.

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  11. peter

    Sadly, I there are many people out there that offer to do it for free. Photography as a profession is in danger. Most people serious about photography are only doing it for passion, no one else sees the value in all the work involved.

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  12. Lanti

    Come on, just look at the picture. It’s clearly a joke ad.

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    • Randall_D

      I would hope so, but I’m not so sure. There are always people in the market that want everything for nothing. This could be one of those people. But as so many who demand low prices have many other demands, I would feel pity for the poor soul that might say “Yes, I’ll do it for $100”.

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  13. Jason Borg

    The shutter click is often not the last action, it is sometimes just the collection of the raw material that will later become a finished work of art printed on a tangible medium.

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  14. Sammuel

    I also agree with your comment, and it’s unfortunate that people don’t understand how much work goes behind a photograph, all they really see is the click of the shutter, but pressing the shutter button is the last action, before that there is thinking about exposure, f-stop, ligting, posing, etc…. But I guess one never understands something until they do it themselves.

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  15. Ross

    I hate weddings & specially wedding photography . Yeah these days everybody is a “Professional” photographer with their crapy phone photography & a billion likes everywhere on the social media, those people are nothing & nobody but “button pushers” & those who like the result of those “bp’s” are even worse they all are like bacteria infecting the photography environment .. Man I am pissed

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    • Stewart

      This is the most irrelevant comment I’ve read in a long time… Please don’t share any of your thoughts again. You obviously are a sour photographer who doesn’t know how to adapt with your time. If you know what you are doing and create quality work, you shouldn’t feel threatened in anyways by “crappy phone photographers”…

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  16. Ronald Johnson

    I agree with your comments. I finally jumped from large format film to dslr for landscape photography. As a favor to a friend I shot one wedding and quickly learned the pros earn every cent they charge! I spent hours post-processing and wasn’t satisfied even though the bride was-she paid me more than I asked. I have no further desire to shoot more weddings (way too much work). I’ll stick to mountains and sunsets.

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    • Kurtz A

      Yea stick to your sunset and mountains lol like thousands of you out there who have the same shots

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