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My wedding photography bookings are down this year. I seem to be getting less and less bookings made far in advance of the wedding date but the last couple of years i have taken a lot of bookings in january and febuary and have been very pleased with the amount of bookings i have taken. I have been very slow on bookings and enquiries this year so far and dont know why. My websites still have the same position in google and i have the same advertising in place as i always have done so unless the number of people getting married this year is down then i dont understand what could be the problem. is anyone else experiencing a quite time?
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lack of dosh maybe
As there appears to be a plethora of wedding photographers out there, perhaps they are going elsewhere?
I think it comes down to your target market.
Your target market is to the lower end of the scale when it comes to cost, these are the same people who are finding it financially tough at the moment, and the type of people who may well sacrifice the Wedding Photographer and hope some of their friends can get some decent pictures on their iPhone. They may have a friend who is a bit of an Amateur who might offer to do the wedding for free.
At the middle end of the market, people still have some money available, maybe a bit less but still have some. They are likely to prioritise what they spend their money on carefully and pick the best they can afford, and look for the best deal.
At the top end of the market, there is still a reasonable about of money floating around, and I doubt there has been much impact there.
I think it is becoming debatable what price is considered to be on the lower end of the market. Some people that i consult tell me that they have got a better package at a lower price. If i google photographers in my area almost all of the websites that come up have packages at around £450.00 so this would suggest i am in the mid price range.
These days, £450 isn't mid-price at all. It's upper end.
Take a look at the sheer number of wedding snappers that now ply for trade in your area. Any more than 5 years ago?
know your market? what type of couple are you atracting? what type of couple would you like to attract? Re-brand. improve your work, invest in training not just photo training but also business and selling skills,
If you aim low with shoot and burn packages you'll always compete on price. If you can show your the best in your area from proven results price is less of an issue.
Perhaps there is a simple reason for the bookings being down.
People are not having weddings anymore.
doubling prices is the way to go Lucian...
Quote: These days, £450 isn't mid-price at all. It's upper end.
Absolute rubbish. We average £1200 per wedding and this is simply because we're good at what we do, we give great service and value and a great finished product. Anyone, like yourself, who is supposed to be in the industry and who goes about saying that "£450 is upper end" wants to retire and take their madcap ideas with them. What would a statement like that do to the industry if a Bridal mag logged on here and picked that comment up?? What would it do to our business??!!! - as a matter of fact, I'll now officially ask a Moderator to review your comment and this reply and delete them both, for all of our sakes...
Quote: These days, £450 isn't mid-price at all. It's upper end.
Not sure where you get the idea that£450 is upper end. Although alot depends on your catchment area. I would expect an average wedding photographer to charge in the region of £800 to £1500. With the higher end anywhere above. Anything below £600 is a budget price.
If your a budget photographer then your market is getting saturated with partimers wanting to earn some quick cash on a weekend. And you cant blame them. Almost all pros started under cutting the competition and working partime. So theres is nothing wrong with the weekend warrior.
If your competition is charging less for the same quality then you can give up or pick up your game.
If your a pro photographer you have to look at your own work and be honest with you ability. If your competition is charging less money for an equal service or better then your not going to get many bookings. So you have to reduce your prices to match your ability and be competative. If you think you are better than the competition then increase your fees to reflect your ability.
It doesnt matter if your the best photographer in the world, if your advertised prices are too cheap people will not believe you are any good.
As a pro photographer i have to be honest with myself and look at my work. Its not about what i want to charge its about how much my work is worth. If i want to earn more money then i have to up my game and improve. I dont mind competition and im quite happy to chat with fellow pros and weekend worriors. If it wasnt for them i may become complacent. They keep me on my toes.
To the OP have you looked at how your competition is marketing themselves. Things have changed in the last few years. Social media is a massive resource now. Also trends change. Are you still taking shots in the stlye, you may have to move with the times and addapt to what the market wants.
Hope that doesnt sound too negative.
Answering Lucian's question is simple.
We are seeing the result of the TERRIBLE press of 2011 and the constant talk about recession, depression and massive job losses across the country. Coupled with the fact that some are seeing 2013 as "unlucky", this is not a good year at all. We are down 20% from last year, so we are quiet, but not "quite"...
Today I had 3 wedding meetings, 2 of which booked for 2013 and 2014 - so 2014 looks more promising. My 3rd potential bride had contacted me from Afghanistan as she is in the Army. We had emailed over 4 separate occasions, me giving her a full breakdown of my pricing and her day and what she should expect. Her venue is one where I am personally recommended by the owner. She emailed, asking me to meet her around 30 miles from my home to review sample albums and to book. I turned up at the pre-arranged meeting to receive an email saying that she was at a wedding fayre and had booked another photographer who she had just met and she had booked him instead - but thanked me for my help. Experiences like this, more than anything else, would make me give up wedding photography...
Well said Gareth - I tell people that I'm running a business, not playing with my camera at their wedding. That's the attitude people have to understand - business people will always be here, so the business element is often far more important than people would believe. They want to know that as they've invested their time and effort in reviewing your work, meeting you and booking you for their day in 2 years time, that you're actually going to be around to fulfil their dream...
Quote: Experiences like this, more than anything else, would make me give up wedding photography...
that's why I don't really do them
if someone comes as a recommendation, I'll do it... warm referrals
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