A recent survey conducted by Hitched.co.uk looked at the distribution of more than 15,000 wedding suppliers across the UK on its vendor marketplace. Out of all suppliers, almost a quarter (24%) were photographers or videographers, the largest category at 3,649 listings on site.
Since the industry was heavily hit by the impact of Covid, spend on photographers and videographers has increased in the last year by 4%, with couples spending an average of £1,200 for this service.
The city of Durham was found to be the UK’s Wedding Capital, with an average of 260.72 wedding suppliers per 100,000 people listed in the region. This was three times as many as the runner up region, Greater Manchester, which lists 83.87 wedding suppliers per 100,000 people.
As was the trend in the UK, photography and videography was the biggest vendor category in Durham, with 35 out of a total of 139 listed wedding suppliers offering their creative services.
According to the latest Hitched Annual Wedding Survey, the average cost of a wedding in the UK was £17,300, and the venue accounted for largest chunk of a couple’s budget with an average cost of £7,600.
The survey also looked at city-level data to see which cities across the UK had the most options for couples planning their wedding. Cobham, in Surrey had 63 photographers and videographers listed out of total 494 suppliers. Meanwhile, Birmingham showed a dense number of photographers and videographers competing for business with 51 listings out of a total 252.
How to make it as a wedding photographer
Amateur Photographer spoke to Rima Barakeh, wedding expert and Deputy Editor of Hitched.co.uk on what it takes to stand out as a photographer in such a competitive market:
“The best way to break into a condensed market is to increase your visibility to potential consumers, whether that be through advertising on a marketplace directory, increasing your presence on social media or paying for advertising elsewhere.
As well as visibility, it’s important to network. Though the wedding industry may seem vast, it’s actually a pretty close-knit circuit and by networking with other wedding photographers and professionals, you increase the likelihood of a recommendation.
If a photographer isn’t available to shoot a couple’s date, they will often recommend other photographers. A lot of wedding venues and suppliers also work with a particular circle of wedding vendors and when couples hire their services, they will often ask for recommended suppliers. The third way to really increase your chances of being a successful wedding photographer seems an obvious one – but it’s all about the imagery.
Couples will only book you if they like your images. Ensure your digital ‘shop front’ is showcasing the absolute your business has to offer.”
Wedding Photography bounces back after Covid
With so many photographers competing for business is the industry saturated? Not according to Rima Barakeh:
“Not only have we seen the number of weddings per year increase both pre-and-post pandemic, but we are now seeing a trend of “sequel” weddings – where couples are having an intimate “legal” wedding, followed by a larger party for their closest friends and family at another time – meaning there is now potentially twice as much demand as pre-pandemic for wedding suppliers.
If anything, with the industry bouncing back as well as it has done since before 2020, and with wedding spend up a massive 90%, now would be the perfect time to get into the wedding industry!
Our annual National Wedding Survey saw an increase in spend on wedding photography, with couples really spending on the elements that are the most important to them – in this case, making (and keeping!) memories of their big day.
People are going to continue to get married, have weddings, and want lasting memories of these special occasions. Although wedding styles, traditions and trends may change, the desire to want to get married and have the day captured by a professional wont’.
There’s a reason wedding photography is so in demand; as a great boy band once said: “let the reason be love.”
Featured image: © Emma Davenport – Big Bouquet Photography