As a wedding photographer, regardless of which part of the world you're based, it's always fascinating to look at the yearly statistics of your industry and see how you compare. Take a look at the results from the U.K.-based wedding portal Your Perfect Wedding Photographer.
Bearing in mind that each one of us operate in different parts of the world and equally have completely different ways of working, whether it's full time or part time combined with other photography related jobs, or perhaps you do it only for couple bookings a year while focusing on a different career path, these statistics are based on surveying 300 professional U.K. wedding photographers and as such may not directly relate to your business. However, it's still interesting to look at the numbers and see where we fall within them.
Firstly, a few statistics about the average surveyed photographer. They were found to be 38 years old (compared to 39 last year), with 54% of those having 5 to 10 years experience working in the wedding industry. Editing photographs was what we spent the majority of time on (77%), followed with business and admin duties (18%). The rest included photography (4%) and communication (1%). If your couple is questioning your fee, why don't you show them these statistics to remind them that although they see you photographing on the day, whether it's half a day or a full day, your duties and responsibilities don't stop there by any means. On average, we spent 14 hours editing each wedding; this number has gone up from 12 hours last year.
The survey found a quite large increase on average spend by couples on wedding photography in 2018, which was £1,560 ($2,039), in comparison to £1,480 ($1,934) in 2017 and £1,450 ($1,895) in 2016. With the living expenses growing, it's nice to see that clients are spending more on our services, too. The average number of weddings captured in 2018 were 29, compared to 31 in 2017, and 28 in 2016. Personally, to me this number is not as relevant because each one of us have differently priced packages to suit our business needs and working arrangements, such as working alone, having an associate shoot a wedding under our name, and so forth.
Only 13% of wedding were unplugged (i.e., allowing guests a limited usage of mobile devices), while 53% of us photographers prefer to photograph such a wedding. No surprise there, it's a lot easier to do our job when we don't have to fight Uncle Bob who steps out in the aisle with his iPad. However, on the other hand, it's still a social documentary of the event and guests using mobile phones, tablets, and cameras can be seen as a natural part of it.
Interestingly, Instagram was found to be the most fruitful social media source for acquiring bookings (45%), followed with Facebook organic search (39%) and Facebook paid advertisement (10%). Most of our hard-earned money went on equipment, as well as online advertising and travel expenses. As for our camera preferences, Canon led with 47%, followed by Nikon (27%), Sony (18%), and 7% of Fujifilm users.
If you want to see any additional statistics and numbers, you can find them on the Your Perfect Wedding Photographer website. As always, take this data with a pinch of salt; we all have different ways of running our businesses and this information shouldn't make you feel any less accomplished if your business doesn't look anything like this. Enjoy your progress and look back at what you achieved in 2018, learn from your mistakes, and try to improve on personal and professional level every day.