SOS, My Wedding Photography Business Is Not Doing Well

SOS, My Wedding Photography Business Is Not Doing Well


SOS, my wedding photography business is not doing well, and I don’t know what to do about it.

Hello Lisa, I’m in my 12th year as a wedding photographer and most other years, I’ve managed to reach my target number of bookings. A few months into the current year, I am nowhere near my usual target and yet I feel that I’m still working just as hard trying to attract bookings. I do not know what I am doing wrong, and I’m worried for the future of my wedding photography business – can you help?” Scared Scarlett

“In the midst of challenge lies opportunity.” Albert Einstein

Dear Scared Scarlett,

It’s understandable to feel frustrated when your efforts don’t seem to yield the expected results, especially after years of consistent success for your wedding photography business. Let’s delve into some possible reasons for the current shortfall in bookings and explore strategies to address it.

A good place to start might be to consider the broader picture and the industry-wide issues at play.

Challenges Facing the Wedding Photography Industry:

In addition to the factors affecting your individual business, it’s probably helpful to acknowledge the broader challenges facing the wedding photography industry as a whole. I’m hearing from many wedding photographers experiencing similar struggles, reflecting the ongoing complexities of the current market. Thanks for raising this topic as I’m hoping between us we can reach and help a few others.

  1. The Engagement Gap: A phenomenon known as The Engagement Gap has emerged, characterised by a decline in the number of newly engaged couples planning weddings. Simply put, if less people got together three years ago, less people are getting married now. It’s just couple maths and it’s making it challenging for many wedding photographers to secure bookings.
  2. Cost of Living Crisis: The cost of living crisis, coupled with inflation and rising prices across various sectors, has added financial strain to couples planning weddings. Many individuals and families are reevaluating their spending priorities and may be more cautious about investing in non-essential services, such as professional wedding photography.
  3. Rising Costs: Wedding photographers are also grappling with rising costs associated with running their businesses, including equipment upgrades, marketing expenses, and insurance premiums. In just this past week alone, I’ve had notifications that two album companies and one photographic lab are raising prices. Balancing these increased costs while remaining competitive in pricing can pose a significant challenge.


  1. Market Research: It’s such an anomaly of a time in the wedding industry with many external factors at play. Changes in consumer preferences, or even shifts in popular wedding styles could impact your booking rate. As will the high volume of choices that consumers have. It’s a buyers’ market and that’s always a tougher one to have an impact in. When things hit a downward shift for big companies, they will often conduct market research to identify any shifts – nothing is stopping you from doing the same. This could be through social media polls or a survey sent to past and current clients. When you have the results, look at how you can adapt your marketing strategies accordingly.
  2. Competition: With the rise of social media and online marketing, the competition in the wedding photography industry has become fiercer. Review your competitors’ strategies, pricing, and branding to ensure you remain competitive in the market – yes this is another way to research the market so you know exactly what you are competing with.
  3. Client Feedback: Have you sought feedback from potential clients who chose not to book with you? Understanding their reasons for choosing another photographer or not booking at all can provide valuable insights into areas for improvement. Don’t be shy about asking for this as it can be very insightful.
  4. Marketing Effectiveness: Assess the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Are you utilising a diverse range of channels, such as social media, wedding fairs, and collaborations with wedding suppliers? Analyse which channels are generating the most leads and focus your efforts there.

SOS, My Wedding Photography Business Is Not Doing Well

and I don’t know what to do about it…

5. Portfolio and Branding: Your portfolio and branding play a crucial role in attracting potential clients. Ensure that your portfolio is bang up to date and showcases your very best work, as well as accurately reflecting your style and aesthetic. Your branding, including your website, logo, and messaging, should resonate with your target audience.

6. Networking and Relationships: Building strong relationships with wedding suppliers and venues can lead to referrals and collaborations. Attend industry events, join networking groups, and engage with other professionals in the wedding industry to expand your network. Same with your fellow photographers as they can be a great source of referrals.

7. Customer Experience: Providing exceptional customer service and a positive experience throughout the booking process can differentiate you from your competitors. Ensure clear communication, prompt responses to enquiries, and a seamless booking process.

8. Managing Client Expectations: Talk about the specific parts that matter most to them, such as walking down the aisle with her mum, and discuss potential challenges you might face in terms of lighting, etc.

9. Clear Communication: Clearly communicate lead times and deliverables with your couples and leave enough buffer room for unforeseen circumstances.

10. Under Promise, Over Deliver: Offering unexpected extras to help elevate your couple’s experience goes a long way in terms of word-of-mouth marketing. Dropping some Polaroids into a nice pouch for them at the end of the evening, for example, would make you the talk of the wedding!


When I work with photographers in my mentoring programme who are experiencing a similar dry spell, I always get them to start by going back to the beginning and getting the foundations of their business as strong as possible. You cannot build anything strong and resilient without strong foundations.

I have a resource in The Barn that would help and inspire you at this point. The three classes that make up the Book More Weddings series. These take you through a sequence from seeking out cold leads, nurturing the warm ones, and then selling to your hottest leads.

It sounds to me like you are willing to do some work to fix this and I would add that in this weird anomaly of a year, last-minute bookings are more than highly possible.



Drop me a note with any industry issue that you might have and I will do my best to offer up some advice.

After a couple of decades as a wedding photographer, the chances are high that I will have some experience that might be relevant or have some insight into what your best course of action could be

The process is 100% anonymous, so feel free to share whatever is on your mind currently and know that this is a safe place.