"Wedding Photography looks easy enough"....

Started Feb 2, 2010 | Discussions thread
Smudger79 Contributing Member • Posts: 933
Re: Yep

In any recession the first thing people stop spending on is luxury items and products.

Photography is not a commodity product that one puts in their shopping basket at the supermarket, it is an artistic industry and can only be classed as a luxury item - there is no need for a professional photographer at a wedding, so it wouldn't surprise me to hear that high end professionals are currently struggling to justify their prices to their clients (that's not to say the prices aren't justified, just that justifying them to clients would be more difficult as they are penny pinching).

For example, high end imported Belgian chocolate sales are likely to have declined in the recession, but we may find a slight increase in the middle of the road or cheap chocolate.

It doesn't mean that the cheaper companies are undercutting the more expensive, it just means that people are now less willing to pay for the luxury item.

And in Photography this may force more people to look at the cheaper alternative of Craigslist etc but this is the same in any industry selling a product at the moment. Most clients of any business are looking for the cheaper alternative. Many clients I'm sure are also willing to lose some quality in the photography in order to keep the cost of their wedding down (I know of a few people who have done just this - one didn't even hire a pro simply relied on a family friend to do a couple of formals and the guests and they were very happy with the results) in such times where loans are not as easy to come by.

Craigslist photographers should have no bearing on the cost of the high end pro because they're offering two ends of the spectrum in terms of product quality.

If Fiat drop their prices by £500, does that mean that the Ferraris and the Bugatis have to restructure their pricing? Of course not, and I see the same in photographers.

If Joe "I got a Canon for Christmas" Bloggs drops his prices or opens up a business selling his photography product for £250 for the day's work - it's not going to take any £2000 clients away from the high end pro. He may take some clients away from the photographer selling for £300, but the high end photographers will not be affected because they are aiming for different clients.
If Fiat drop their prices I don't decide to buy the fiat instead of the Ferrari.
That's the way I see it anyway.

And if, as someone said earlier that clients don't know the difference between the photographers, well then that's down to the photographer to sell his skill and technical ability over Joe Bloggs.

If he is unable to explain to high end clients that what he does is worth the extra £1750 to what Joe Bloggs charges, and help them understand why he/she costs so much more, then I would suggest that he/she is either not talented enough nor indeed are they justified to be charging those prices or he/she needs some sort of training in how to market themselves.

P.s I'm no Pro, but do take an interest in these sorts of discussions because I find it interesting how threatened by other business some photographers can be, despite the fact that every other business out there will be experiencing similar issues with clients opting for cheap over quality.

tonymp wrote:

Smudger79 wrote:

Don't see why, the bloke with one camera and 2 lenses is usually providing a different service to the bloke with 5 cameras and 10 lenses and the people who will be hiring him are different to the people who hire the £2000 photographer.

The Fiat 500 doesn't threaten the Bugatti Veron does it?

I agree and these cut price guys are to be fair, mostly competing among themselves rather than directly with the guys at the levels above but, surely it affects those guys further up, even if indirectly as, the ones higher up find it harder to raise and adjust their pricing structure to remain viable and still competitive - especially in today's financial climate.

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