Untold Wedding Videography and Photography Business Struggles
Wedding Video and Photography business is an easy one to start but not that easy one to operate. Running a business in this niche is a struggle. That is why many creatives treat such jobs as ‘side gigs.’
Before I continue, or rather start this blog. I have a disclaimer.
Wedding Videography and Photography-in my own experience- is reliant on Freelancers with specialty in either Videography or photography.
In this I mean, the Camera work is done by a professional who offer his/her services on a freelance basis.
With this said, is wedding Videography and Photography business profitable? Well, for the weddings I have covered and produced in the past, it’s not.
It’s a business run by emotions and conflict of interest.
The bride in most occasions is the one that calls the shots. If she doesn’t like you as the producer, the quality of your output does not matter, you will not get that business.
If you do get the job out of influence by the groom, you will not enjoy doing the job. Something will go wrong somehow. I mean the attitude will be off the peak.
That’s why every Videographer or Photographer you know-who rely on wedding, birthdays and the likes- take very long to make their ends meet in life.
In this blog post I will share with you the unknown challenges Wedding Videography and Photography business owners go through and proposed solutions.
1. Fierce Pricing Competitions
The competitions in the business is fierce and only the passionate in their craft survive. Reality is, in the world we are living in, you cannot eat passion unless you put value on it. And value in this case is Money.
That’s why, as a photographer, you should always promise yourself that for better for worse, you are willing to charge what you are worth despite the ‘couple’ in question threatening that they have an option of someone cheaper for the job. This is a very common card they pull and is meant to scare you as the producer so that you can lower your price.
When looking for a wedding videographer, what most couples look for vary. Some look for Quality first then cost comes last while for others price comes first then quality.
There are those who prioritize both.
Any videographer or Photographer who wants to progress in life should put focus on only those clients who prioritize quality over price.
This way, if the client likes what they see, you can give them the a quote to have that.
In many occasions, such clients have no problem paying and they will never fail you.
2. Church Offering Videography and Photography Services to their Members
With televangelism becoming one way to spread the word of God-as one way of church becoming self reliant, some churches are now providing video services to their members at a cheaper price.
In this I mean, they can give the same quality as you do at half the price. This has contributed to many wedding Photography businesses closing down.
The difference between the two is, church have resources and can retain a Videographer and photographer for long term as they are employed by the church.
It thus means that, for you to remain relevant, you will have to consider bidding for Government tenders and doing other independent productions i.e producing TV shows e.t.c. Otherwise, your days in the wedding photography business is counted.
Solution to this is, Videography business owners should invest their savings on other avenues or businesses that merge well with videography like marketing and real estate. This way, they can use the team to develop marketing content and so on. This for sure will make the Photography business sustainable.
3. Wedding Frequency Especially during the Covid-19 Pandemic
While Covid pandemic has terrorized most businesses, I think videography and photography is the worst hit. With cancellation of events and gatherings during the pandemic, most videographers have been left with only one option; to create content and post them on YouTube to kill boredom.
Now, how you monetize will depend on YouTube algorithms…and burning out is expected.
This is not only unpredictable, but it’s also unsustainable for any creator who knows the value their their content.
First you have to create regularly on your budget.
If you get no feedback, you will need to ‘tweak ‘ the content until you succeed.
For high budget projects like drama, you will only servive if you have a sponsor.
So, the solution is, before going on this path, see how much you will loose. For me, it’s better to create content and keep it until you find someone who sees the value in it and is ready to sponsor. It pays to have patience. Also, consulting a lawyers who understands copyright is fundamental.
4. Couple Vanishing after the Wedding for more than 3 months sometimes 5 years
Get this; most Videography/photography business owners pay themselves last. They prioritize paying their Freelancers first to build trust. In this context, if the client vanishes after the wedding, he is the only one left languishing in ‘bankruptcy‘ as he waits for the client to come back for their videos and pay balance.
The only solution this , is charging more. I also recommend you request at least 70% as down payment.
This thus means that if the client pays 70% of the agreed amount, you have some profit left to you after you have paid everyone else.
5. One moment missed causing trouble getting balance payment
As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, the bride in most occasions is the one calling the shots.
Now, you have got the job and covered the wedding. You have edited the video and now ready to deliver. But when editing it, you realize that you forgot to take a photo to be mounted on frame during photo-shoot.
Or the ones you took are good but the bride ‘is not happy with her facial expression on the photos that are meant for the wall frame. The blame is shifted on you. There is nothing you can do.
That’s unless you go for another photo-shoot.
You argue until the couple accept to pay you angrily. They assure you that they will never recommend you to anyone.
This is disheartening if you did everything good except for that one thing. Worse enough, if you made very small profit out of the project.
Now, the solution lies again on charging more. This way, in you team, you can pay a director. The director will be the one reading the facial expressions and ensuring they give legit smiles.
There are many other things that are killing the wedding photography business like the committee managing the wedding making unreasonable request for them to consider you for the job.
As I conclude. I recommend that you start paying well videographers and photographers you know and be kind to them. You will thank me later for this.
Also, what I can say to a person looking for wedding photographers or videographers is to look at the quotes offered to them. The higher the quote, the more the assurance that you will get quality.
If you bargain too much, expect disappointments in either photography or video. Fact is, creativity is like gold, the higher you pay, the more value you get.
And that’s it, if you are in Nairobi-Kenya and is looking for Videography services, you can request a quote here.
Until next time, bye bye and take.
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