Photography is one of the largest sectors in the wedding industry. It's also one of the most saturated and competitive markets, and accounts for 16% of all wedding businesses across Australia.
The photography sector is entirely made up of small businesses that primarily service a local community. Most businesses are owner operated with 1 or 2 additional staff and there are a growing number of consortiums, where local photographers collaborate under an umbrella brand. The industry has no regulatory body and anyone with sufficient means can establish a photography business.
The sector offers an enticing vocation for both professionals and amateurs, and established suppliers must contend with a constant stream of start-up businesses entering the market. This creates a highly competitive environment and puts downward pressure on prices, and on profit margins. Successful wedding photographers are most often businesses that do not solely compete on price, but secure bookings based on the quality of their products and service.
The number of photography suppliers that can sustain a successful business in the wedding industry grows only slightly over time in line with slow growth in actual weddings. And as the number of start-ups entering the market is high, so too is the volume of market exits. As we continue to research the wedding photography sector, the high level of competition is evident in the frequency that we find dormant websites and abandoned Facebook pages.
So far our research has uncovered 1,642 wedding photographers around Australia. With 110,000+ weddings in Australia every year, this equates to about 67 weddings per business per year. It would suggest, there are probably more photographers yet to appear out of the online woodwork.