Good Afternoon Everybody,
I was on the phone with Peachpit for over 30 minutes yesterday. They had some great ideas on how to get the word out. I liked their idea of an online Twitter Interview – sounds strange but fun. Anyway, I’ll keep you posted as things begin to unfold and processes begin.
For the last two Fridays, I’ve posed the question, “Are there Too Many Wedding Photographers Shooting Wedding Photographs.” Lots of you responded in the “Comments” section of the two posts – my thanks to all whom made the effort.
The insights and ideas presented by our DPT readers consisted of nearly 14,000 words and made the “Comments” section itself a solid resource for readers wanting to review the debate.
All that being said, where do I stand on the topic?
Hit the “Read More…” link below for the rest of the story.
The current situation - Here is what I believe:
I Believe… that the low priced sub $1000 DSLR killed the “Golden Wedding Goose” for long standing studios in our profession. I hear it everyday. They’re just are not that many “Main Street” studios surviving these days.
Back in the day (of film), if you wanted to shoot weddings, the “Cost of Membership” was at least $5000 for a medium format camera, lenses, and flash gear. That was a deterrent to the someone wanting to shoot wedding part time and kept the number of new shooters at bay.
I Believe… that there is much less of a monetary commitment a photographer needs to make to the process of shooting a wedding for his/her client these days. That fact alone has mushroomed the numbers of wedding photographers shooting today. And, resulted in driving the cost of weddings WAY down.
Back in the day, if you wanted to shoot a wedding, that meant that you were going to need to buy film and processing. Most photogs in my area were spending , on average, about $350 of actual costs per wedding. I personally spent $1000 a week on film and processing to shoot a wedding. Today that cost is FREE, FREE, FREE!!!
I believe… that there is much less of a monetary commitment needed by the buying public when it comes to buying wedding photography. Because of the proliferation of cheap all the way to inexpensive pricing in the field, the client sees that as the norm these day.
I was just reading in Business Week this morning that some of the luxury products use a pricing procedure called “anchoring” to offer one product at a very high price so that the second tier product, still pricy, becomes the big seller. Here is the link to the article right here.
What’s happened to the wedding profession is that the “PRICE” has been anchored to the bottom of the heap – i.e. the flea market wedding shoppers looking for rock bottom pricing for “professional photographic services” on Craig’s list.
I Believe… that the “Digital Age” itself has done much to reshape the wedding photography business. All the new aspiring photographers can find free or very reasonably priced training anywhere on the internet. My site DigitalProTalk, the Strobist, the Online Photographer, the Digital Photography School, et. al. have really revved up the enthusiasm for the profession.
Believe me, I think all that “easy to reach”information is a good thing. I’m a web surfing junkie myself and love to bring the tid-bits I find to you, our DPT readers. Hey, it’s fun.
That enthusiasm has also encouraged many new photographers to “give it a go” in the profession.
So do I believe that there are too many photographers shooting wedding these days? My answer – YES. Now for the rest of the story. Are many of them making any money? – NO!
But you say, “I love shooting weddings. What can I do?” Lots of suggestions were given in the “Comments” section of the last two posts.
Let me cover several more right here.
I Believe… we have to become adept at marketing with the new social media tools. 300 million Facebook members are surely connected out there. You’ve got to get them to connect to you too.
I Believe… we need to constantly strive to build relationships with our favorite vendors in our communities. It’s that cross-pollination that works to everyone's benefit in building business.
I Believe… you’ve got to constantly be looking for ways to add value to your wedding photography, value that the clients can readily see and make them want to choose you as their photographer.
I Believe… we can never “rest on our laurels” or become too complacent. Even if you are an “established studio”, the fight to get the potential customer’s attention is more fierce than ever. And that DEMANDS you take a more PRO-ACTIVE posture in your community. You’ve got to be like a shark – keep moving, never stop promoting yourself!
I Believe… a lot of photographers are lousy sales/business people and settle for sales far less than they should. That would include the “shoot and burners” out there and also those who simply post their images on-line and “spin the wheel of misfortune” hoping for a big sale. Hey, no sales effort in, no sales out!
I Believe… that you’ve got to be CONTANTLY striving to differentiate yourself from the competition. You’ve also got to continue to “educate your clients as to what your differences are. The bottom line is that these differences are clear discernable differences from the competition.
I Believe… It’s easy to be the the best wedding photographer in your area. You’ve just got to work harder at it than the next person - your competition. You might ask, “If it’s so easy, why do I need to work harder?” The answer is simple. There are many, many lazy photographers who will settle for second best. It doesn’t have to be you.
I Believe… that when you shoot a wedding, you’ve got to bring your own sense of passion to the shoot. You’ve got to give it 120% of your effort. You’ve got to leave a bit of your heart in every job. That’s what can make your photography special, lasting, and in demand.
You know, Confucius had it right. He said, “Those who think they can and those who think they can't are both right.”
Watch this short video interview with Will Smith. He’s a guy with “Attitude” – the right kind of “Attitude.”
Have a great weekend everybody, -David
Post 1 - January 15: [link]
Post 2 - January 22: [link]