Like I said, the poster is actually really nice but we still find ourselves with some issues price wise.
By pricing yourself so low for a wedding, it's costing you money to shoot a wedding.
think about it, your posters ... you need to print those ... that costs money. Printing a 8X12 is around 8$ ... Let's say you print 50 of these that's 400$ ... at your current rates you'd have to do 13 weddings just to pay for your posters!
Not only that but taking on a wedding without the proper gear or, in your case, backup gear is very negligent and opens you up to potential litigation should your equipment fail mid shoot.
----- Imagine the following scenario -----
You are at the church shooting he ceremony, you trip on a small child/purse/step/table ... and drop your one and only camera. the mirror jams ... you can no longer continue with the shoot.
After the ceremony, you go see your paying clients and tell them the bad news ... next thing you know, you're in small claims court for failiure to meet your contractual obligations so instead of "making" 200$ you are losing 1500$ (or more) in penalties from the judges decision and you still have to fix your camera (something you should be budgeting for).
Anything can happen, your camera can simply flake out one day and suddenly you've ruined the brides important day, ruined your reputation as a "professional" and you find yourself in court.
You also say "I personally believe that's what my work is valued at". you seriously think that your work is only worth less than 2$ an hour? Seriously? People get paid 4 times more than that just to serve a cup of coffee and they aren't expected to supply their own coffee maker, grinds, cups ...
Let's say you valued your work as barely acceptable, you would still need to charge at least 600$ and that would mean you would be only breaking even in the end (so actual value of your art would be 0$ instead of negative several hundreds).
Not only that but people who price themselves negatively like you do are also harming the market in general. People look at my prices (a little under 2000$) and then look at your price at around 200$ and then they think "Well, if this guy can do it for 200$ then the other guy must be way over charging!" when in reality you are doing it at a loss.
Anyway, that's all I really have to add about this.
What I'm trying to tell you is you aren't making any cash at all. You'd make more cash on the side working at McDonalds.
- How are you getting your clients? Posters, adverts? That cost needs to be taken out of your earnings. Just think about this poster you are asking about ... how much do you think it'll cost to print those. What about your printed portfolios? how much do those cost you? Mine cost 300$ a book.
- Your travel costs to get to the clients, to get to the shoot ... that cost needs to be taken out of your earnings.
- What gear are you renting for your shoots ... you don't have the gear to do weddings and you have no backup gear so I HOPE your'e renting the proper gear. That cost needs to come out of your shoots. Same with liability insurance ... someone gets hurt during one of your shoots (light stand falls on them for example) and they sue you, you'll go bankrupt.
- What do you hand over to the client? Albums, CDs, prints? Those cost money. That money needs to come from your shoots.
So when you factor all that, how much do you think you have left at the end of your shoots.