Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Economics of Wedding Photography Startups

For my wedding anniversary last year good friend, Erin Scott, took some pictures of me and my bride around D.C. I like this one so much it made my Facebook profile:

You can see the rest here at Starting a small business is a tough task for anyone and photography startups are no different. You don't want to charge too much, you are relatively new after all. You don't want to charge too little, people will assume you're not very good. You can't shadow another local photographer without them worrying about competition. So here's a unique suggestion from economist Tim Harford:
You really have two options. One is to take photographs at friends’ weddings. You don’t need permission from a rival photographer, you just need permission from a friend.

But I have a more radical suggestion. To win business you need to demonstrate confidence in your expertise. Tell prospective clients that you will pay them for the privilege of taking photos at their wedding, and that you’re confident you’ll make money anyway because they will want to buy your prints. Not only does this scheme give them some compensation if you prove to be an amateurish snapper, but more importantly it sends a signal of your self-confidence. A true incompetent would never be able to afford such a deal. I only hope you are as good as you say you are.
And as you can tell, Erin is as good as I say. Thanks again Erin and happy anniversary Traci!


  1. I, as a freelance musician, found those words of advice very helpful. Thanks a lot again Harrison :D

  2. Hey! I just saw this! Thanks man :)


You are the reason why I do not write privately. I would love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or not.