The barrier to entry for new wedding photographers and videographers has never been so thin. Equipment is cheaper. Editing services and labor are more available and also more affordable. More and more engaged couples are able to leverage this by getting good work for a very cheap price. The downside of this—moreso for the newcomer and not the established business owner—is that sooner or later, the newcomer realizes that their cheap business model isn’t sustainable. It may be because they realize how small their profit margins actually are and that they aren’t earning much more than your average fast-food worker’s hourly wage. Or, they simply burn out by taking on too much work too fast for too little money. But after some time they all come to realize (hopefully) that they want a life and not a business that rules it. Regardless of why this is happening, this history-repeating trend is a blight on the wedding imaging world. It ripples upward and thereby impacts the bottom-lines and hard-earned financial health of established photographers and videographers who may be operating on a sound business model, but are now left struggling to compete among a flood of new operators in the imaging space. The key to staying relevant and operational in such a time—at least what has worked for me—is adaptivity with a hint of subterfuge. I’ll break it down for you.
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