This Bridesb*tch is mastering The Barter

My sister, the one who killed her CC debt and got a great deal on her platinum engagement ring, has officially dubbed me and our other sister her “bridesbitches”. She has always wanted to wield power over us, and now she feels justified. So we’re “bitches” in the sense of “you’re my bitch now” rather than “you’re a nasty rodent”.

Anyway, this evening I worked on a long-time client who had ditched his lucrative IT career to move to Hollywood and become a cameraman…and then moved back. He was telling me about a friend’s wedding, and how they asked him to do the photography for their local reception (they got married abroad) as his gift to them. He’d never done event photography before, still photography had only ever been a hobby, but he enjoyed it way more than he thought he would.

I asked him to send me a link to the online snaps of the 100-pic dry-mounted album he put together for them within 4 weeks, and mentioned my sister’s upcoming nuptials. He said he’d be interested and he’d do it just for expenses – probably because it’s in Aspen and he loves mountain biking. I said I’d throw in a few free massages to sweeten the deal…I’m thinking I could use that as a carrot to dangle until he hands over the results (J. Money has me all scared about this, with his awful ongoing frustrations).

After he left, I called Bridezillerina to see where she stood on photography, and she’s quite open to this idea. There’s someone local who will do it for not much more than this guy’s expenses will run, but his pictures are pretty unoriginal. Of course, I have no idea what my client’s will look like, but he once had aspirations to become a Director of Photography in TV/film, so I reckon that’s a good sign.

I’ll share a tip that he mentioned: Don’t print professional photos from Ofoto and similar. There are better online labs that don’t cost much more, and the quality is night-and-day. He did say something about a color palate or guideline that you submit to these places, but that’s where he lost me. It was his offhand comment that “it’s a great sales technique to let people attempt to cheap you out by printing off their photos on their own, because they will quickly realize how worthwhile it is to pay the pro to do it” that caught my interest. [Sorry, peeps, but I didn’t get the name of the good online photo labs.]

So after polling people about their wedding photography expenses and hearing everything from $3K to $12K, I’m salivating over the prospect of arranging this for my sister for a cost of about $900 worth of airfare, hotel and printing/production plus a few hours of massage treatments. I am one awesome Bridesbitch!


7 Responses

  1. Hi there-what fantastic negotiating skills you have, thats a real good deal!!

  2. You are awesome! What a generous donation of your time to her. After all, your photos are pretty much the only thing you hang on to from the big day. My wedding dress is under the bed in it’s bag (almost five years later). 🙂

  3. It’s always good to have skills that people actually want! Excellent negotiations. 😀

  4. What up Bitch! (haha…i crack myself up) I was about to say something here about the whole photographer fiasco, but you beat me to it! so now, i just say “Congrats” and keep it up 🙂

  5. My sister is very photogenic (so are the rest of my sibs, but I got my mom’s unphotogenic gene – we both look stoned in pics), so I really don’t think having a top quality photographer is that big a deal. She and her fiance would rather spend their wedding money on a decent band and dance floor rental, if necessary.

    @BudgetsAreSexy – my amateur photographer-client did candids of a reception, and managed to deliver the finished product in 4 weeks despite being a full-time IT manager. He didn’t even realize how incredibly expeditious that was, heh.

  6. […] mentioned last week that I might be arranging my sister’s wedding photography for the guy’s out-of-pocket expenses and a few massages (he’s an existing client). I […]

  7. […] mentioned last week that I might be arranging my sister’s wedding photography for the guy’s out-of-pocket expenses and a few massages (he’s an existing client). I […]

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