How to Price Your Wedding Photography Services

Often I get questions from photographers asking about how to price their photography services. Although there isn’t one specific answer to this question because several things need to be considered while pricing your services (such as: different markets, clients’ spending on weddings, your experience, demand, etc). But following principles may help you with pricing your wedding photography services.

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  1. Costs must be covered.
    Make sure your fixed costs are well taken care of (studio rental, assistant/second shooter, online gallery, album printing, etc). Know your fixed costs, variable costs, and then add your salary so you don’t end up working for free.
  2. Demand of your services.
    As tempting as it is to compare yourself to other photographers, don’t establish your worth based on their work/pricing. If you think you are worth $5000 and your clients are willing to pay, kudos to you.  If you are in high demand & seem overbooked, it is about time you raise your prices a little but If your bookings are decreasing, there is a good chance you’ve raised your prices too high.
  3. Adjust pricing over time. 
    If you are starting out my friend, it is okay to test the waters. Don’t hesitate to adjust your pricing gradually overtime as wedding season & demand fluctuates. Adjustments is also required if your fixed costs increases. Try at your own pace and improvise your pricing based on what needs to be done.

I hope this blog helps & wish you much success with your business.

Your friend,
~ Rima

Tea Party at John Lewis – MyList Event

It is always such a pleasure to be invited for MyList.ae‘s events. Their team is warm, welcoming, and sweethearts to say the least. And their events are fun, educational, and useful especially for the brides-to-be. This time, MyList.ae hosted a wonderful tea party in collaboration with John Lewis at Robinsons Department Store.

d4798df9-576e-4c92-b33b-3cc7341b3264 The attendees enjoyed TWG’s delicious tea, mouthwatering mini-treats, a photo-booth, and took part in raffle draws worth AED 4000+ of beautiful products from John Lewis.

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P.S. The past three MyList.ae’s events that I attended & spoke at can be found HERE (Ethan Allen), HERE (Mall of Emirates), and HERE (bloomingdale’s).

P.P.S. Follow MyList.ae on Instagram for future events. I hope to see you at their next event ❤

Resolutions, and some more!

Oh-Em-Freaking-Geeeeeeeeee!
It is mid-February already and I’m officially starting the brand new year (January was just a trial month 😀 ).

I finally got a chance to jot down a list of resolutions that I’m planning to accomplish in 2018 (better late than never right?!?).

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Resolutions & some more for 2018:

  1. have a personal photoshoot done.
  2. don’t be afraid to stay real.
  3. explore two destinations & four new places within Dubai this year.
  4. write more of personal blogs.
  5. pay extra attention to details (both personal & professional).
  6. do more styled photoshoots.
  7. work on passion projects.
  8. go to the gym more.
  9. catch up with family & friends regularly.
  10. get back to reading books.
  11. take time out when needed.
  12. lower expectations.
  13. accept changes.
  14. be more grateful…
  15. accomplish at least 11 resolutions from this list!

I know its a lo0o0ong way to go but wanting more of goodness isn’t harmful. Hopefully I’ll be able to look at this post at the end of 2018 and check-off most (if not all) resolutions 🙂

Wanna Talk about Business?

Most people look at successful photographers/studios and think it is solely because of their amazing skills and techniques. Let Me. Tell You. The TRUTH!!!!

Honest equation of being a successful photographer/studio =  20% of Photography and 80% BUSI-NESS! (get it, busy-ness/business 😉 )

I’ll tell you what…if you are an aspiring photographer, it is easy to find photography techniques on Google. You may also learn by trial-&-error & self-teaching. But one thing that most people will not teach you is how to run the photography, or in fact ANY, business!

Very very fortunately, I graduated with a business degree (majors: marketing & management – graduated with honors – on full scholarship!) So here is my humble proposal to YOU!

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  1. Do you want to learn about photography business?
  2. Need help with marketing & social media?
  3. Wanna learn how to write emails/contracts?
  4. Need help selling your services?
  5. Want to build a brand?
  6. Want to be your own boss?

If you answer YES to at least 2 of the questions above, you wouldn’t want to miss this chance. I’m hosting the very first Rima Hassan Photography’s Mixer on 9th December 2017 from 3pm-5pm in Jumeirah area, Dubai, where I will be answering all of these (and some more…) questions. And YOU are cordially invited. Only a couple of seats are left & registration will close on 7 December 2017. All you need to do is fill out the form on THIS LINK.

I hope you join me to celebrate photography & talk business!

GirlBoss,
~ Rima

How to Take Sharp Photos

Once I heard, “if you learn late, pass on the knowledge to someone else early.”  When I received her message, I answered her questions and then asked her if I can share both (her message and the answers) publicly so someone else might benefit from it too.

“Hey Rima!! I saw your Instagram feed and I am so inspired by your detail shots! They are so beautiful! How do you get your lighting in such difficult venues so perfect? Every single one! So consistent and glossy. Just beautiful. I have major goals this summer inspired by your sharp images. Totally in love.”

Even if it helps ONE person, I’d feel that this post served its purpose. I’m not a guru but I tried my best to answer with all that I know. Here is my answer to her…

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  1. Know what your equipment can do.
    • I upgraded to Canon 5D Mark IV. It is a 30.4 Megapixel full frame camera (5D Mark III is 22.3 Megapixels in case you wonder). It is ahhhhhmazingly SHARP!
  2. Macro Lens.
    • Get close to the main subject, use shorter focal length and lens. For all my detail photos (as well as few of bride’s portraits), I use Canon’s 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. The macro lens is specifically used for tiny-details and its latest results can be seen here.
  3. High Aperture.
    • I use a flash or soft-box with very high aperture for jewelry shots. Most of the jewelry, bouquet, shoes, and/or dress photos I take are between f/4 – f/11. The high aperture will produce great results regardless of the lens.
  4. Use Flash.
    • For ballroom photos, I use On-Camera Flash (600 EX II-RT) but on MANUAL to keep the colors consistent. You might need a battery pack for speedlites because manual mode uses too much battery power.
  5. External Lights.
    • I also use external lights in the ballroom (for details only – not for the family/bride/groom photos in the ballroom). It provides extra lighting and separates the main subject from the background so it pops out in the photos. High aperture makes it easy to edit and the photos end up crisp sharp regardless of the dark venues.
  6. Light Angles.
    • Use flashes/soft-box at different angles so the details, especially diamond jewelry, doesn’t get too many highlights. Place the external source of light on the sides, on top, or behind the main subject to produce exotic photos.

I hope my answer help you create beautiful sharp photos. Feel free to share your own tips/tricks in the comments. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions related to photography. I will try my best to answer. Promise! 🙂

A Step Forward…

She had tons of questions…
Being the first one amongst her siblings to get married, she was lost in all the wedding planning process. As I was answering her questions, a past bride of mine came in to meet me. I asked her to join in and the conversation went to a whole new level.

I sat back and watched both of these amazing girls. It was like watching an amateur meeting an experienced one. The crazy idea popped into my head and I asked the bride-to-be if she’d be interested in meeting my other past & future brides to help her plan the wedding. She agreed in a heartbeat. Before leaving, she turned back and said thank you several times to my past bride and myself for being the reason that so much of her stress was reduced.

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In that moment, I felt like I was the missing link! I decided that I haddddddd to take a step forward & plan a friendly get-together for my future brides-to-be. To help them connect the dots, help each other with the tiring wedding planning, bring and share ideas to plan and have the best day of their lives.

With that being said, I feel sooooo very nervous & super excited at the same time because I actually did take the step…..the venue has been booked, invitations have been sent, and I can’t wait to see what this small step will result into…

Cheers to a step forward!

The Missing Link,
~ Rima

Things Worth Seeing…

I cherish spending time with the couple beforehand as well as on the wedding day and getting to know their love story. I love watching their chemistry and writing about it. When I am unable to express my severe joy and/or sadness, I write – hence this specific post is a byproduct of my extreme happiness & dedicated to the bridesmaids who put their hearts and souls to make it the best day of their friend’s life.

This past weekend, I was honored to document wedding of a bride who was loved and cherished and taken care of beyondddddddddd measure. The bride’s family and school-friends since childhood, along with her teachers were so immensely involved throughout the wedding planning process. She had an entire army of absolutely adorable bridesmaids. Their love & compassion for the bride showed in every conversation & gesture.

Not only I thoroughly enjoyed watching their excitement, my heart was doing its happy-dance the entire duration of the wedding and even until now for being able to observe them take love to a whole new level…

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Sometimes, reading between the lines leave me speechless. It’s not about how much money is being spent on the stage, decorations, overall wedding. I absolutely enjoy to witness care & love of the family and friends for the bride and the groom. It shows how good-hearted the people giving the love are, but it also shows that people receiving that love are more than deserving.

And that is exactly the type of brides/couples I feel humbled & honored to work with. Who give and receive love with pure heart. Who do things selflessly. Who see beyond what is visible. Who see things worth seeing….

Zabeel Hall, DWTC Wedding – Huda & Ibrahim

Her phone rung and, busy as she was in makeup chair, she requested me to see who it was.
Instead of a name, it said ‘My One & Only <3’.
I smiled and told her. A bigger smile came as her reaction.

When Ibrahim came in the bridal suite, he was beaming so much that the room didn’t need any lights. The exchange of smiles & unspoken promises of a lifetime between them were a vision. My heart melted as I clicked through it all.

Huda & Ibrahim celebrated their wedding in Zabeel Hall of Dubai World Trade Center. The kosha/stage and ballroom decorations were done by Klassna Events. My personal favorite was the ramp/catwalk of the stage that seemed like thousand of stars lined up for the bride’s entrance. Huda wore a stunning Hazar Couture bridal gown & Manolo Blahnik shoes. The super talented Layali‘s makeup added a perfect amount of awesomeness to the day and made Huda look even more stunning.

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Dearest Huda & Ibrahim,

Both of you are gems that shine even brighter near each other. I adore you two and your chemistry both on and off cameras. Thank you for giving me the honor of documenting your wedding day. I pray to Allah that you both always love, cherish, and live your lives to the fullest together, each other’s One & Only! Forever. Ameen.

Much appreciation,
~ Rima

Barsha, Dubai Henna – Maryam J. & Mohamed

People stared.
And she made it worth their while.

With incomparable style and months of planning, Maryam stunned all the guests with abundance of details, thought, and exceptional planning for her henna night. I already was a fan of her planning skills since her engagement day, but documenting her henna made me beyond excited.

Maryam & Mohamed’s henna night was celebrated at their hottest villa in Barsha. The decorations were done beautifully and with keen attention to details by Iqbal Wedding Events.  Maryam wore a stunning dress & shoes customized from Bahrain. Lots of gold & green details with bottles of kajal (khol) and atar (perfumes), lanterns hanging from the ceiling gave a sense of traditional henna party with a modern twist of barqah with Swarovski crystals and pops of hot pink color here and there.

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Dearest Maryam & Mohamed,

Where do I begin? I’ll start with my humble appreciation of you both for choosing me again. You two are adorable and I feel above and beyond honored for the opportunity of having you both in front of my camera. Thank you again for your trust and friendship. I will always, alwaysssss, alwayssssssssssssss cherish it  ❤

Love,
~ Rima

Grand Hyatt Dubai Wedding – Khalid & Nouf

Her eyes were trained to see perfection.
Her heart, love.
When she saw a small loose thread coming out of her right sleeve, everybody present in the room got busy looking for a pair of scissors.
When all failed, her prince charming came to the rescue.

He was ready to pull the thread but all the girls shrieked simultaneously, including the bride. He smiled and assured everyone it’s alright. Her forehead scrunched with worry. He lowered his head and cut the thread with his teeth. As he looked up to see her expression, she smiled gratefully. The magic happened in the moment.

Nouf & Khalid celebrated their magical wedding night in Baniyas ballroom of Grand Hyatt, Dubai. The entrance, three types of centerpieces, candy stations, and stage/kosha was miraculously designed and decorated by Omar & Mohamed (and yes, two thumbs up to these guys for always providing the perrrrrrrrfect lighting). The details were topped with gourmet handmade designer candy with the bride and groom’s name on it by CandyMe.

I fell in love with Nouf’s gorgeous bridal gown by Esposa. Nouf wore her beautiful shoes by Miu Miu for her entrance and then changed into stunning D&G Rainbow Lace Collection pumps when it was time to dance.

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My dearest Nouf & Khalid,

Where do I begin? Even since our first meeting, I always felt so overjoyed thinking about all the plans that you had for your wedding. Your big day was above and beyond my imagination. Every details reflected perfection. I can’t express how grateful I am for your trust and friendship – especially for giving me full permission to show my creativity. Documenting your wedding was an absolute honor and your friendship is something I will alwaysssssssssssssss cherish for the rest of my life. May the Almighty blesses you both with his utmost attention, care, mercy, and lovely magical moments – forever! ameen.

Love,
~ Rima