For all the talk about cheap cameras and everyone becoming a photographer, there certainly seems to be a fair amount of money still being spent on Weddings. Although judging from the success of WPPI and similar tradeshows there are probably more photographers out there than the market can support. However, if you can successfully carve out a niche the money seems to be there. (As with most business, you’re sales and marketing prowess needs to be as good as your photography prowess)
Why do I think that?
I was talking to a friend who had recently been to a wedding. Apparently the total cost of the thing was about $80,000 including about $10K for the photography. At first I thought, ‘well, ok, they must be pretty well off’, but not so. Apparently they took a home equity loan out to finance part of the thing. Never underestimate the need for social validation that comes about by spending money. Sometimes people WANT to spend money.
This is also borne out by stories I hear from my sister who runs a florist in Los Angeles that, among other things, does high-end weddings. (shameless plug: her company is LA Botanicals) There doesn’t seem to be a dearth of people willing to spend $10-15,ooo on flowers. Granted, that’s LA, but it does seem like folks are willing to spend money on weddings, recession or no. And that includes photography. So I think a lot of the fears that any family member with a Canon Rebel is going to displace real photographers is a bit overblown. I think most people understand that if they want memories of this expensive event to last a lifetime, a pro photographer is important.