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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 30 Oct 2014 (Thursday) 10:37
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Product based wedding Business Models are DOA

 
NewCreation
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Oct 31, 2014 14:46 |  #16

Mike, How long have you been doing weddings? (Your reviews look great, btw)


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umphotography
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Oct 31, 2014 15:29 as a reply to  @ NewCreation's post |  #17

Year 8

I absolutely love doing them. Its a great honor for us to be part of these. By far huge events for any family. Its great to capture the interactions and all the emotions of the day. cant think of anything i would rather do in terms of paid photography assignments. Enjoy the HS seniors and when i get a chance to cover professional models, well, thats a blast as well. But weddings is where the heart goes to.


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NewCreation
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Oct 31, 2014 16:19 |  #18

Awesome! This is very encouraging to me. This was my first year dipping my toe into weddings and I found that it really makes my heart sing, so to speak. So many come and go and while 8 years is not 20, you've lasted longer than a lot that I know and you are still enjoying it. That is great!


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Phil ­ V
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Nov 01, 2014 03:52 as a reply to  @ NewCreation's post |  #19

Is this localised?

It's rare for any album co. in the UK to sell to the public, what's more, I've been offering digital only packages for years, and all of my next years customers (so far) have ordered album packages.

Although it wouldn't hurt my business if they didn't, my business model isn't reliant on album sales.


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umphotography
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Nov 01, 2014 07:38 |  #20

Phil V wrote in post #17245092 (external link)
Is this localised?

It's rare for any album co. in the UK to sell to the public, what's more, I've been offering digital only packages for years, and all of my next years customers (so far) have ordered album packages.

Although it wouldn't hurt my business if they didn't, my business model isn't reliant on album sales.

Phil

Its all over the states now. Anyone can buy products directly from any lab. Numerous album companies now design and offer the same album to the public at photographer price points. I get email all the time now for 10x20 hard cover flash mounts anywhere fro, $89.00 to $249.00 when they are on sale. Picto has not done it yet but its a matter of time. Nations sent us an email with their $229.00 base 10x10 on sale for $79.00 9 mo ago so that started a search by myself and a couple of other people I met through DWF to see what was going on. The result was that Every lab we talked with would allow us to order from them. Its not their job to determine if you are an actual pro or not. No pre-qualifications with a tax ID. NOTHING. Just sign up download ROES and order away.

Graffi, nations. and others let you use their sotware to design albums if you order from them for free. And many have people that will design and make changes for you for $90.00.

Brides are aware. I have had several that have told me that they are going to make their albums themselves through a couple of these companies. As soon as the labs start showing up a bridal shows, products are dead..........and it will happen. Its a goldmine for the labs. Watch for WHCC, ACI and others to be at your cities huge bridal shows and when it happens, you can kiss product sales goodbye.


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memoriesoftomorrow
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Nov 01, 2014 08:00 |  #21

Data sales are where the future is.


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umphotography
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Nov 01, 2014 09:08 |  #22

memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #17245244 (external link)
Data sales are where the future is.

Data Sales ?? Are you referring to digital files for photography ?? confused by this.


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memoriesoftomorrow
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Nov 01, 2014 12:48 |  #23

umphotography wrote in post #17245323 (external link)
Data Sales ?? Are you referring to digital files for photography ?? confused by this.

Sorry... I should have explained. I view photography in the digital age as the capture, manipulation and delivery of data... photographs are just data when you think about it. It used to be that prints were the end product as there wasn't really any alternative to them. These days we have digital displays everywhere which mean the prints are an extra (optional) step.


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ArisPhoto
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Nov 02, 2014 07:33 |  #24

nicksan wrote in post #17242626 (external link)
I still second shoot (Have done maybe 20 gigs this year), but otherwise I'm out of the game to concentrate on my real career in I.T. :)
It's quite liberating. I get to hang out with photographer friends helping them out and get paid handsomely!
Yeah...I kicked the POTN habit...well sort of...I'm here typing so I guess not so much eh? ;)

I feel the same way Nick, though I am not in the same league as you. Your photos are amazing! I´m a freelance photographer and concentrating on my career in management consulting and supervising. I have enjoyed your photos, guidance and reading your posts in the past :) . I am more of a reader than a commentator, though not today ;) ...

umphotography wrote in post #17245227 (external link)
... Graffi, nations. and others let you use their sotware to design albums if you order from them for free. And many have people that will design and make changes for you for $90.00.

Brides are aware. I have had several that have told me that they are going to make their albums themselves through a couple of these companies. As soon as the labs start showing up a bridal shows, products are dead..........and it will happen. Its a goldmine for the labs. Watch for WHCC, ACI and others to be at your cities huge bridal shows and when it happens, you can kiss product sales goodbye.

memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #17245780 (external link)
... I view photography in the digital age as the capture, manipulation and delivery of data... photographs are just data when you think about it. It used to be that prints were the end product as there wasn't really any alternative to them. These days we have digital displays everywhere which mean the prints are an extra (optional) step.

Interesting discussion. Did a album photography package gig a month ago, which included photography of the band & portraits of them + layout of the CD + 12 page booklet -design. Maybe that´s the way to go, get into commercial shooting as well? I believe that print sales for the consumer is declining for both photographers and print labs!

I have seen that change going on here too. It is quite rare that people will want to order printed photographs at all nowadays. One reason is that many are satisfied to print themselves at home with their own inkjet/laser printer. The quality is good enough for them. In spite of this, in many family meetings they just enjoy looking through the wedding photos on the computer display or on the TV. It could be that in the future wedding couples just want one print on the fireplace mantel or on the wall + a copy of that to their parents + thank you cards for the rest. That´s it. And some print them by themselves! It is a nightmare for the print labs as well.

I think the print labs see the change coming and fear it. The only way for them to fight back is by constantly lower their print prices, search desperately for new markets, like wedding albums, offer more and more rebates. I don´t think wedding albums is a goldmine for the labs in the long run. For time being it is a new market for them. It is just about surviving for them. Now some of them try get into new markets without any real profit.

Print labs are seeing that prints become more and more an outdated form of viewing photography and are in a struggle themselves! Here a few print labs and photography shops relying in print sales have been forced to close their doors for good. They tried to fight back by offering rebates, but in vain. I think Peter is right. Today the end product is a digital jpg-picture, which is rarely going into print form at all. I´m thinking of all the e-books that exist without any printed equivalent. Photography is also going into that direction. Photographers has to think through their strategy as well.

The good thing is that quality wedding photos are still widely needed and some are ready to pay for quality, as Mike said. That will not change. The same do not apply to most of the print labs, when people start to do by themselves e-books of their weddings using free software.


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Nov 02, 2014 19:40 |  #25

tim wrote in post #17242087 (external link)
I haven't sold more than a handful of prints in years, I've stopped even bothering to offer them. I took albums out of packages a while back too, people just want digital files these days. A few want high end albums, and some just want someone else to do the design work.

Mine are down also (prints) unless it is for display or commercial work.


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Nov 02, 2014 20:24 as a reply to  @ sapearl's post |  #26

Interesting observation by the OP, and some good follow up posts too. When I jumped into the wedding photography business 10 years ago, I was strictly a shoot'n'burn guy; I didn't offer any print or album services. My business expanded in both of those areas only because so many brides kept asking for them. Over the last 10 years I've tinkered with streamlining my product prices, making them affordable for my clients but still profitable to me. I've always been able to sell albums, letting my clients know that, in this age of digital media--and constantly changing ways of storing that media--it's always nice to have a professional album; something they can look at whenever they want and that won't become anachronistic as digital media constantly changes. I use Picto--good to know they haven't jumped ship yet--and for my prints I use SmugMug (offering very reasonable prices and always telling my clients that their Smugmug prints, especially the larger sizes, will be of much higher quality than they can get from their local drugstore or giant box store).
Still, it pays to adapt so I'll keep a closer eye on how album companies are now direct marketing; thanks for the tip.


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memoriesoftomorrow
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Nov 02, 2014 20:39 |  #27

FWIW I have included online digital albums as standard as part of my print album sales as far back as 2008. Every album I've sold since then is available via my website to my clients and remains available all the time.

Whilst many photographers take the view that print is the only way people can reminisce and look over their wedding whenever they want that isn't the case for my clients. They can look at their album whenever they want (and show anyone they are with too). In fact when I look over my website stats I know many of them are still looking at there online album several years on. Whilst-ever I have a website the albums will be available for the clients through it.

Fortunately for me though very few photographers have bespoke websites that they have full control over so it is very many of them to offer something similar that stands the test of time whilst the photographer is still in business.


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Nov 09, 2014 18:06 |  #28

umphotography wrote in post #17243689 (external link)
I get very upset with the knot as well when they write the horse**** articles we are al familiar with. But you have to remember, they are also marketing to a broad segment so they have many brides as well that are on Tight budgets and are looking for that type of information. So they need to do what they need to do to attract clients and to stay in business as well. Seriously, People that are looking TO SAVE $$ may also be your clients. Some will skimp in a lot of areas if they value photography, others dont value photography and will spend on the video guy.

One thing ive learned is that its all about the referrals and the reviews. The girls see the reviews and read them. I have 50 positive reviews on Wedding Wire where we advertise- they help sell what we do. But If I can get my reviews transferred over I may switch to the knot. I need to talk to them

here is what people say about us- I like wedding wires review system. They wil not let you buy off a bad review so it keep you on your toes.

http://www.weddingwire​.com …bor/b714e8a7e64​5ffda.html (external link)

Didi you have you WW ad as "featured" from the get go? If not, did you have what they now call "Professional"? What is the difference in stats compared to your "featured" ad experience?


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1000WordsPhotography
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Nov 11, 2014 14:41 |  #29

helloagain36 wrote in post #17242663 (external link)
...

You mentioned The Knot and I think that explains a lot. That website caters to a penny pincher bride, who definitely isn't going to be interested in spending any more money than she needs to. If you are marketing to a clientele that frequents websites like that then you are going to have clients who don't buy anything and just want a shoot and burn photographer.
...

I agree with the topic overall but I don't know that I agree with this statement. I've booked three weddings from the Knot this year for $3,600, $4,250 and $4,500. I also get contacts from people looking for $1800 weddings but I don't really work those.


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Nov 16, 2014 07:17 |  #30

The future is seen in these kids in this great and fun video:
http://www.youtube.com​/watch?v=DDtWxURLlPk (external link)
The majority of them have never seen a [recent] picture of them self printed out.


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