Dear Devlin, Should I Lower the Price Of My Wedding Photography?
Since increasing my prices by only a couple hundred pounds, enquiries have seriously dropped. Not sure if it’s the market being an idiot or if it’s just a step too far price-wise for my couples. I only offer online galleries and downloads.
Should I lower my price back down (although a handful have booked at this price but not as many as I was getting beforehand) or maybe include a package upgrade to a bundle of prints etc to make it look more attractive (plus lovely new product photos for socials and website)
Thanks, Devlin X
Needs more caffeine from Scotland
Dear Needs More Caffeine from Scotland,
Ahhhh pricing – us wedding photographers could talk about this from now until Kingdom Come. The truth is that there is no one solution to this dilemma. The market – as you’ve rightly identified is in an unusual place currently with recovery still happening post-pandemic and being halfway through The Engagement Gap. Add in a looming recession and potentially fewer weddings might be happening or the people having them might be spending less.
To answer your question, “Should I lower my price back down?” – in my experience, most photographers do not give any changes enough time to test the waters of any significant changes. An entire year would be ideal as then you could gauge how successful the change was despite any seasonal factors.
Many photographers will be motivated to increase their rates out of panic as targets are not met towards the end of the year but this might not be prime booking time. Over 40% of engagements happen between December and February or Engagement Season as it’s often referred to. So if you are testing in a lull time, this could be the reason why it feels like it’s not working.
You say that you do have some bookings at your new price, so this would indicate that people are willing to pay for it. You also don’t want any of those customers to think that they overpaid.
Pricing weddings to me feels like cars – you can get a beat-up Yugo from Gumtree for a few hundred pounds or you can go to a showroom on Park Lane and get yourself an Aston Martin for a quarter of a million. However most people do not buy either, most people buy in the middle and go for the car that they trust and feel a connection to. It’s the same for us. Yes, there are super cheap and super expensive wedding photographers but most of us hover around the middle.
Nobody is sitting there comparing photographers and saying ‘I like this one more but we get a bundle of prints from this one’. We are now in such a digital and fast-paced online world that people will spend more on a Content Creator who will make Reels and TikToks than they are prepared to spend on printed products from their weddings.
Just like the cars, work on trust and connection more than anything else, then the sales will follow.
Yes, in the ever-evolving landscape of wedding photography, pricing is just one piece of the puzzle. While testing and adjusting your pricing strategy is a valid approach, it’s also crucial to consider the broader context, including market trends, timing, and the overall value you offer to your clients. Remember that trust and connection often play a more significant role in the decision-making process than the inclusion of specific product bundles.
As we approach Engagement Season, consider investing in advertising and a strong online presence to reach these newly engaged couples as they hit search engines and social media with a wedding to plan. Showcasing your expertise, service-oriented approach, and the personality behind your lens can build a deeper connection with potential clients.
Should I Lower the Price Of My Wedding Photography?
Whilst getting the initial bookings might be considered a Hard Sell, as we are selling one high ticket item to a completely new client each time, the good news is that selling products post gallery delivery is a relatively Soft Sell. Once couples and their loved ones have an emotional connection to the images they are highly likely to buy printed products. Ensure that this is easy for them and consider implementing time-limited offers after delivery to encourage sales.
If you use PicTime for your galleries, it comes with incredible built-in sales apps that can make this seamless. The easiest to implement are The Early Bird and Abandoned Cart apps. The revenue from aftersales can easily provide that boost in income that you are seeking without too much additional effort.
Finally, I’d say this. When you are only talking about an increase of ‘a couple of hundred pounds’ that might feel significant to you but in the overall budget of a typical wedding, it’s not that much. When couples do make savings in any area, they usually spend it in another, they don’t tend to reduce their entire spend. So consider this, the money they don’t invest with you will be going on something like candles for the tables. Being aware of this might help your mindset when it comes to sticking with your rates.