Two Photographers – Two Views On The Future

I was out networking at a variety of events yesterday. I started out at one event early morning, and ran into a photographer I’ve known for years.

“Business is bad. I don’t have any weddings or senior portraits booked. I can’t afford to be in the senior or wedding fairs, and postcards are a waste of time. Nobody is buying senior photography any more – even the kids are taking their cameras out and photographing each other. There’s no money to be made here anymore.”

He’s working full time at a big box store to supplement his income.

Then last night I attended another networking event, and ran into a photographer friend I haven’t seen in a few years. He specializes in weddings, and is at the upper end of the spectrum here in Denver. So I asked him how business was going as well.

“It’s the best it’s been in a long time. I wanted 20-25 weddings this year, and I’m already up to 29, with 2 more potentials coming in that I’m sure I’m going to book. I haven’t advertised in a long time, and get all of my business through referrals. I’m loving it.”

Wow. How can two photographers in the same area have completely different viewpoints?

  • Is it the market?
  • Is it the people?
  • Is it the economy?

Nope, it’s completely the attitude.

Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right.”

People are still spending money. They still look for value. They will buy if they feel the value is there and its worth their time and money to invest in it.

Just because you see everyone charging $500 for a wedding, doesn’t mean there aren’t people willing to spend $5000 for it. One photographer here has 29 weddings at a high-end price, with 2 more on the way. So it’s definitely possible.

If you think it’s possible.

6 thoughts on “Two Photographers – Two Views On The Future”

  1. Even though I am not a wedding photographer, this post spoke to me. When it comes down to it, everything is about attitude. I had my own period of doubt, frustration and basically a bad attitude, earlier this year. It was interesting to see how my sales increased as my mood and attitude shifted toward hope and back to passion for what I do.

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  2. The middle class has been in decline for some years, splitting between upper and lower income groups with fewer people in the middle class (I am old enough to observe this happening). This appears to be effecting a similar split in photography gigs. It sounds like one photographer caters to wealthier clients, a growth market, while the other caters more to middle class clients, a declining market. Worse yet, the influx of new photographers in the low to middle income range only complicates matters with more competition and confusion on the part of the consumer.

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  3. One of them is lying…..I know a ton of pro photographers. We are ALL doing badly. I’d say one of these guys is using the Power of Positive Thinking. Sorry.

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  4. I’m reading a book by Dane Sanders, “Fast Track Photographer” and according to what I have read and done to this point, The world of photography has changed, and he believes that the influx of new shooters isn’t the problem. It is how we as photographers approach our business. He stated that our business shouldn’t be about us but how we can serve our customers. I totally agree with that. I just haven’t decided how, exactly I’m going to accomplish it.

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