Starting a wedding photography business can be a very difficult task and incredibly overwhelming at times. You don’t have much of a portfolio so you don’t have a lot of clients coming your way but you know you’re talented and eager to show everyone what you can do. You start to research your ‘competition’ by looking online – particularly the classifieds or Facebook buy & swap groups – and realize that even though you’re new in the industry, you’re still overcharging since so many other photographers seem to be shooting for just a few bucks an image. You find your wondering how do you compete with photographers that work for free?
The secret is… you don’t.
There are two types of competition in the photography world: those that compete on quality and those that compete on price.
If you genuinely care about the quality of your product and work your butt off to produce amazing images that meet every one of your clients expectations then you aren’t going to be the type of photographer who competes on price – you’ll be competing on quality. It may take a little while longer to climb that ladder of success – especially if you live in a region where quality photography is a new thing – but if you stick to your guns, you will get there… without compromising your morals and beliefs! Pricing your photography packages properly will help ensure that you’ve set the foundation for a strong business and straying from this strong foundation will cause a lot of financial stress in the future. While you may find it advantageous to offer some limited-time specials to help recruit new clients (especially when you have a limited portfolio) it’s so important to never simply lower your base pricing.
Although it may seem frustrating when you see 10+ people reply to a photographer’s article for a “$100 wedding” just remember that potential clients also fall into 2 categories: those that shop based on price and those that shop based on quality. Clients who shop based on price alone will always go for the cheapest deal – even if the work isn’t as good as yours may be. There is nothing you can do to change that persons mentality – the only thing that may happen is that they have a less-than-optimal experience with the cheap photographer and then decide on their own, in the future, to try someone who provides quality images instead.
When it comes to competing with photographers that work for free (or nearly free), there’s no real trick or suggestion because there really isn’t a competition there in the first place. Just scroll past those articles – they don’t deserve your attention.