There will always be cheap shooters for weddings, and in the end, people get what they pay for. When people sit down an look at wedding albums, the shots that stand out will generally be from the Professional, or that cheap shooter will develop, learn and be charging higher as their skills and reputation develop. Absent the cheap shooter, there will always be cousins, friends, brothers, sisters, and others with camera who will take their place, so just because the $100 amateur is not there does not mean there would not be a photography student or other similar learner who is showing skill. Some of it is supply and demand, but a lot of it is a person only has so much to spend, and you never were in the running regardless. This.
Someone previously said they had lost a client due to another person undercutting them. In all likelihood that was true; but there is also the possibility that when they saw what that person was charging, they realized that there was no way they'd be able to swing that much. Enter Shooter B and his bargain basement price. They figure, "okay, maybe we can talk the really good guy down a bit since we still prefer his work." No luck with that, so they end up going with Shooter B. So even if Shooter B never existed, our friend here on the forum never had a chance at that job to begin with. Not because someone cheaper existed or because they were "overcharging", but because the potential client just didn't have the budget for that level of service.
EXACTLY. Near where I live there is a Kia dealer right next to a BMW dealer. On the lower end maybe some of the BMW 128 drivers go cheap with a Kia sedan, especially when it comes to service costs, but would the person in the market for a 7 or 8 series run next door and say, Hmmmm I can get the BMW 750li for $107K or a Kia Forte for $25K.
I don't hear BMW yelling, "Hey KIA IS SELLING CAR CHEAP" They are undercutting our business!
It is an exaggeration, but again, the Kia buyer really never is in the market for a BMW 750li Lottery Winning aside.
There will be many many many familys who simply will not pay more than a few hundred dollars for a wedding photographer, because in the end, their experience may be you look at the pics for a year or so, then they sit on the shelf...
Especially with divorce rates so high...
My big wedding picture is currently in the attic waiting for a more suitable picture to reuse the nice frame.
How many people are on their second marriage? You think the "glimmer" has worn off just slightly on the idea.
I think there are actually more single people than married people now, and while memories are important, many many people are gun shy.
Also look at it this way... Would you rather work for someone who likes your work, likes your price, or someone who is stretching their dollar and hoping to squeeze more or add more out of you in the end to make it pay off.
If someone only thinks shooting a wedding is worth $100 do you think you will up sell a lot of pics? Do you think they are going to be easy clients to work with or difficult?
I understand the larger point of the perception that the amateur devalues the field, but I think it also saves you a lot of headaches in the end.
How long does it take to field phone calls, discuss packages, etc.? What if all the people who just wanted cheaper shots had no options and were spending time with you trying to figure out how they can get you to shoot for $250 or $300???
I have been away from sales for a LONG LONG time, but one of the first lessons I learned, especially when doing say presentations, was to only do so when a decision maker was in the room. Ultimately you will have to present to them most of the time anyway, and presenting to underlings without signing authority most often was just a practice presentation. It costs time and money to do a sales pitch, field phone calls, etc, especially when they were never in a ball park price wise.
You can look at it under-cutting your business, but I look at it as also saving you a great deal of time.
I think there are more of these people who go with the $100 Guy with a good camera for a wedding that never really could come near to your price.
Do you consider a big night on the town a meal at Morton's or TGIFs?
Ever have a client you gave a bit of a deal to? Ever find that sometimes those are the ones you bust your a$$ the most for?
Just a different perspective.
On the side I buy and sell high end designer fashions. Have done well with it. Have great customers who pay more than I expect sometimes, and even worries me because I find it is more than what I perceive the value to be, but more times than not, those are the happiest customers. I also run into a TON of tire kickers, who only want to pay me half or less of what I consider the floor price to be. They are persistent. They can also be the biggest pain in the neck to me in terms of "minute details or issues" I have more issues with someone who got a $100 items from me down to $75 in terms of grief or complaints, than someone I sold a $2000 item in my eyes for over $4000.
I have also run into those who expect the finest and are seriously demanding, but when it comes to expectations and delivery, when someone steps out of their comfort range and pays more for an item or service than they are comfortable with, they tend to holler and scream the most.