I was recently tagged in a blog post online stating that “Wedding Photography Is Dead”.
I also continue to hear of individuals closing their businesses because of the “over saturation of the wedding industry”.
The cynism feels at an all-time high in the industry and rightfully so because people are starting to lose their marbles at how things are changing.
News flash, the industry is always changing.
For anyone who does believe this click bait worth of a tagline or for anyone who is struggling in their business, if you are feeling wildly overwhelmed because your inquiries have dried up, you can’t seem to break through that $2000-$4000 price point, or you constantly compare yourself to others… don’t worry. Just lean in for a moment.
Wedding photography is not dying.
What does seem to be for some individuals, however, is their awareness of self-worth and having confidence in how they stand out.
We aren’t the only industry that is growing. The population of the planet is exponentially rising and it’s not stopping anytime soon. More humans mean more photographers (and more of everything else as well)…
If you feel pressure or anxiety when you scroll through Instagram double tapping your heroes bomb images from Iceland or Patagonia than know that there is a cure to the “I’m not good enough” syndrome.
Most of us jumped into business because we love using a camera. The moment money comes into play, we get really excited and then we start chasing how to grow while simultaneously trying to also figure out this whole branding, marketing, pricing, client relationships, shooting, editing, posing, albums, etc. craziness.
One couple leads to two leads to three and all of a sudden we are shooting weddings 40+ weekends out of a year making $60,000k-$80,000k “loving life” and possibly starting to travel the world until we realize that work has become our life. We don’t have friends, we forgot who our families were, and because we moved so fast, we unconsciously built a business around what we do rather than who we are.
Most photographers build a business around what we do, rather than who we are.
Some may even think they are building a business around who they want to be thinking only of the accomplishment side of success and passing by the fulfillment side of success.
I did this.
I built a traveling wedding photography business making over $200k and then fell apart. Why? I didn’t know any better. I never had someone help me not do that and I was so focused on becoming someone, a false reality of myself, that what I cared about more than anything else was how I could do more and make more.
It’s not your fault if you are in this place. The game is rigged and few people and sharing anything other than “work harder”.
Part of why we naturally take this path is because we are taught to.
Most people don’t understand why they do what they do and in turn, they focus on what they do.
When it comes to education in our industry and in our world, it’s easier to teach what to do rather than teach why to do it. Partly because why you should do something is completely different than someone else. It’s intrinsically linked to who you are, who you will become, and it’s a deeper purpose driven from within you as an individual. This is one reason why I believe in mentorship. Workshops are like a school field trip, they’re great and a ton of fun, but they are still standardized instead of specialized or individualized education.
Business is universal and it’s something I’m passionate about because most people have completely missed what a business is about. Most people believe business is an external thing that we do to make money to survive. A lot of people are terrified of not having money and that little tiny fear that sits deep within them drives their every move in life. Needless to say, money rules the world which means business rules the world. Every government is simply just a business and right now, most of the governments on our planet are running those shady wedding photography businesses that you don’t want to book for your wedding.
Because our government doesn’t run a quality business, our country continues to go farther into debt and fall more and more into a desensitized population of people who are diversified and segmented in every way with specific labels to turn us against each other.
I’m passionate about business because if the mindset of business owners shifts to not chasing the external value of wealth but instead driving harder than ever to create worth, maybe we can turn this ship around.
Wedding photography is not dead and won’t be dying anytime soon because there’s a deeper value in it that has nothing to do with a camera. What will die, is the individuals who don’t learn how to create and communicate that value and when you build a business around who you are rather than what you do, that also means that your value is specific and unique to you.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”
If you don’t believe you are worth $10,000 for a wedding, you aren’t. However, the shift in mindset to believing you are worth $10,000 will make it so.
Now, I need to make this very clear because I’ve heard stories, even from some of my mentorship members when they first joined, that they didn’t believe working less and making more was possible because they raised their prices $1000 and then inquiries dried up.
Working Less and Making More is not about simply up’ing your prices and then magically people believe you are worth it. It’s about increasing the value behind what you do and building an intentional strategy on how to continue to increase that value over the relationship with a client.
The other route is non-sense and if you’ve increased your prices and failed, it may have just become another weight of shame on your beliefs of not being good enough. For that, I’m deeply sorry.
Let me also be very clear in sayig that if anyone, ESPECIALLY an educator, ever tells you you are not worth making more because of the look of your images, please know that is not true.
Your worth does not come down to the quality of your images nearly as much as it comes from the quality of the experience you provide.
Just because it’s pretty, doesn’t mean it has value.
So how do you build value?
“Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.”
Business 101: Solve people’s problems.
The thing is, people have two different kinds of problems – internal and external. Your job is not only to solve the external surface level problems but to go deeper and solve the internal problems your clients have. Their internal problems are the problems they more than likely don’t know they have.
Let me explain.
A couple needs a photographer and hey! You know how to use a camera.
I need a photographer and you know how to use a camera so I believe that’s worth ehhhhhh… what does TheKnot.com say?
$2000? Ok, that’s what I now believe it’s worth.
This is for two reasons.
1. The Knot looks WAY more legit than you do on your website – plus your site may look like everyone else’s so your clients greater trust leans towards The Knot.
2. You aren’t solving your client’s internal problems. Their deeper problems. The problems that change everything and ultimately build immense value around you and your business.
Solving surface level problems creates surface level value and takes crazy hard work.
Solving deeper level problems creates more expansive value and takes crazy deep work.
Do you want to work deep or do you want to work hard?
Neither one is right or wrong, but one gets you much greater results and far faster.
The world spins around every day with humans racing to the top of every industry dishing out surface level value.
Don’t run that race, because it’s not worth it and there is a better way.
Wedding photography is not dead and won’t be dying anytime soon as long as you aim to create deeper value and no longer live on the surface level.
Want to go deeper?
It’s a community built on positivity and support and just like you want to work with the right clients for you, I’m building a community with the right people in it. If you think this could be you, come join us!
If you want to take an immediate action step to deepen your brand and growing your business through my personalized mentorship, book a free 30-minute strategy session with me.
We’ll sit down and talk for 30-minutes over a video chat and if you’re the right fit, we’ll start transforming your business.