How a Female Videographer Books 80 Weddings a Year in a Male-Dominated Industry

In today's wedding video business market, the female demographic is vastly unrepresented and is far outnumbered by men. In this insightful video, discover the ways that one female videographer found success and is booking 80 weddings a year! 

A common question that comes up in the wedding video business or even the filmmaking industry is that if you're a female, can you succeed in making a living doing video? The answer is yes! In this video from Parker Walbeck, he highlights one of his students, Kaylor Ficklin. The video shows how Ficklin, who picked up her first camera just three years ago, is making a full-time living out of it. Walbeck gives the audience an inside look on how Kaylor shoots her weddings, how she markets herself, and how she continues to succeed in the business. The biggest takeaway from this video for me was the way she works. She explains that the way she got to where she is today was with pure dedication. After watching this video, I was inspired to go out there and keep shooting even when it's hard in order to accomplish my dreams.

Do you have any tips on what it takes to be successful in video industry? Share them in the comments!

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94 Comments

Ivan Vranić's picture

If you are very good in what you are doing, it doesn't matter if you are male or female.

I'm not sure that's always true but it's always better to accept your situation, good or bad, and make the best of it. Having said that, framing these kinds of articles in terms of male vs female gets really old, really fast. In his defense, the author is young and idealistic.

Eli Dreyfuss's picture

If you watch the video you will clearly see her state what challenges she has a female videographer working in the buisnsss and the video highlights how she overcomes those challenges. That's all.

Frankly, I'm surprised to see an article that acts like it's a novelty for a female to be successful in any business. I find it way more compelling that she is making more that $100,000 a year just three years into her career.

Eli Dreyfuss's picture

Like I mentioned above in the video she says what kind of challenges females face in the busonsss and says how she overcomes them. None of these ideas are my own I'm simply restating the facts

Jared Wolfe's picture

She is in Utah. That place is wedding central with all the Mormons. There is no wedding season there. It is weddings season all year long. It has one of the highest weddings rates per capita in the country. It is competitive out there though but if you do a good job and have reasonable prices - like she does- you will get work. The Mormon network is great for referrals.

Johnny Rico's picture

LOL at this article title, really guys? I come here for photography, not for the SJW. I could careless about the sex of the photographer, merit alone

Laz Toth's picture

And if you had the merit but were passed over because of the color of your skin or the lack of certain genitalia? How would you feel then? It does happen, just not to you.

Patrick Hall's picture

It's kind of shocking to me because as a male wedding photographer, I always felt like females in the industry had it a little easier than me. I might have been a better sales person when meeting with clients and setting their minds at ease, but I can't tell you how many times I felt like a potential client bride felt more connected to the feminine touch often seen with female detail shots, soft airy color grading, and their attention and understanding of all things wedding. Many times women also felt much more comfortable having another female in the bridal suite during the dress reveal and all the bridesmaids getting ready. I don't think the difference was HUGE but as someone who was a successful wedding photographer that really didn't get obsessed about all things weddings, I always felt I had a disadvantage when booking clients compared to my equally capable female colleagues.

Laz Toth's picture

Well, the female photographers out there are saying that it's not easier. Should we listen to them? That's up for everyone to decide for themselves. I think that unless one is in their shoes, it's not really our place to judge how their experience is.

Eli Dreyfuss's picture

She litterally points out in the video that it was hard for her because she would constantly get looks seeing her as a joke or weak because she's a women. I'm basing the whole article on someone else's experience that was clearly documented.

Patrick Hall's picture

Obviously each person's experience is different. From a photographer's side, I have never felt like men or women have had a leg up in this field, at least the wedding genre specifically. Generally, I'd say men are better at setting up websites, servers, domains, email lists, etc and being more technical with their photography (creating composites, using flash, understanding post production) while women have been better at communicating with brides, looking past the technicals and seeing the "emotion" in a scene, and catering their style to their clients with mood boards and personalized notes, letters, gifts, etc. Of course this is a generalization I know but that's been my experience doing it for 10+ years. Almost all of my female photographer friends have complained that the bride has consulted with them about picking out their colors, decor, and other details not related to photography while almost none of my male photographer friends have ever had those sorts of conversations with their clients.

All that being said, the nice thing about photography is most clients only judge you based on your portfolio. If they love your images, they usually don't care about your gender, your education, or your gear. As in all marketing and human nature, people do care about your personality, your overall fitness and attractiveness, your ego and world experiences, and also your perceived value which is usually expressed most strongly in your prices. We've all heard about the "creepy, anti social photographer" but strangely enough those types are almost always dudes and not females. Maybe there is a female equivalent that I just don't know (the bitchy, pushy female photographer maybe?). Either way, simply don't be either of those stereotypes and learn to be outgoing, interesting, and understanding and you should have an easy time connecting with prospective clients.

In most cases, it is the bride or the bride's mom/parents who are picking out all the details for the wedding. So if women photographers are feeling like they have a harder time, it's usually not because of some male dominated field where men are also employing the photographers but rather some weird prejudice women have towards other women (bride vs photographer). I'd say I usually meet with 30% couples, 70% brides only and maybe 20% of the time the bride's mom attends the meeting too. Of course of the 70% brides only, most of those bookings are done through phone call or email only and not necessarily in person.

I say all this just to make out the point that I don't think wedding photography is some male dominated field where women are being suppressed by men themselves. Weddings are a lot like the healthcare field where most of the people involved are overwhelmingly female (I'd say officiants, DJs and videographers are the few exceptions).

Eli Dreyfuss's picture

Good points. However the video and article is regarding specifically the video and film making industry not photography. But slot of the same principles do carry over into both industries

Patrick Hall's picture

My response tends to be that videography is technically more involved than photography so that would make sense. With photography, you can literally shoot jpeg and have a final product right out of the camera. With video, there is so much editing and technical elements that I think men in general tend to excel in the field. I'm not saying women can't be great videographers but that men gravitate towards it more than women. For my assumption to be correct, it would be interesting to see how many females are directors on movies. If that is the case, I don't think the issue is with weddings as much as it might just be in creating, directing, and editing video.

Eli Dreyfuss's picture

Exactly that's what I was hinting at. That in general film industry women are under represented. But it's an interesting approach that Men are generally more technical. Probably why she got so many looks at weddings like she didn't know what she was doing. I forgot when but I know I remember reading some fstoppers articles regarding women in the film industry.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Just a few say that who are into SJW nonsense.

Laz Toth's picture

Really? Just a few? Wow, they must be enormously influential, because it's a huge topic in modern society.

Jeff McCollough's picture

A huge topic? Far from it. A few SJW writers trying to get more views? Absolutely.

Laz Toth's picture

I guess it would seem that way in Bolivia. Too bad the hatred infected there too.

Laz Toth's picture

Your profile puts you in Bolivia. Is that true? If not, then, well, whatever.

Jeff McCollough's picture

That's creepy trying to see where in the world I am located at lol. Major stalker.

Laz Toth's picture

Ummm, if you hover your mouse over your name, your profile pops up - didn't even have to click. You don't want people to know where you live, don't put it out there. Like me! Now, to find out where I live you'd really have to stalk. Anyway, have a nice day!

Michael Little's picture

Instead of you spewing insults at people who disagree with you why don't you suggest changes. This is a good place for you to do that. What suggestions do you have, I'd like to hear them?

Laz Toth's picture

Not sure where I insulted anyone. Here's a few insults I found though...
"It's just more cry babies looking for something to whine about."
"what we call either a liberal or a fan boy (most likely both). Either way, when you challenge one of those classes of people you will get attacked."
"How sad for these narrow minded people..."

Motti Bembaron's picture

I agree with you but for other reasons. As a school / children / family photographer I can say without a doubt that female photographers have a huge edge on male photographer and it has nothing to do with communicating or posing. I can say that I am better with children than most women.

The reality is that in the family genre -i.e, children, family, school etc.- the decision making is done by women/mothers and many would feel more comfortable with a female photographer. I heard it from a couple of clients of mine that were referred to me but were reluctant and initially wanted a female photographer.

Eli Dreyfuss's picture

That makes sense. All valid points.

Patrick Hall's picture

Great point. Most family photographers I know are in fact women. It's anecdotal but that's my impression.

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