SEO Membership Login


Keep an eye out for our blog posts! We love to bring you all the good SEO & WordPress tidbits.

2011 Wedding Photography Industry Pricing

25 October

About a month and a half ago there was a Google Doc making the rounds in the Wedding Photography circles. It got shared a few times on Twitter and ended up amassing 112 anonymous entries from all over the world sharing their wedding package pricing and other information. I was looking at the data the other day, and thought how incredibly awesome it was that we live in a time where:

  • Photographers have become open about their pricing
  • The internet allows us to see the global trends almost instantly
  • That data is easy to access and free
While the data on the spreadsheet is easily accessible using the link above, it’s not until you start actually forming the data into digestible chunks that it takes on a real life. So staring at this data the other day, I thought it would be great if we could actually analyze that data for everyone and give photographers an idea of what others around the world are charging, and other interesting data points.

Wedding Photography Pricing Disclaimer

This is when Flaunt Your Site’s legal department (that’s me) tells the editorial staff (that’s me too) to put in a disclaimer that this is not meant as a guide to set your prices on, and that it’s purely informational.
So, before you continue reading, please pinky swear to me that you won’t base your pricing on this blog post.

If you need to learn how to set your prices, I would do two things:

  1. Watch the “How Much Should I Charge?” Adorama video to get a handle on a few terms.
  2. Go to The Modern Tog and check out the Photography Pricing Guide. It’s a step by step process that will guide you by the hand in coming up with pricing that makes a profit for you.
OK… Now let’s have a look at what I found in the data.

Average Package Cost

While it’s not in the range that PPA suggests is a profitable average wedding cost, the majority of photographers 34% are charging in the $3,000-$3,999 range. With the average pricing being $3,206.

Yearly Billings

While the pool of information indicated that the average yearly billings was around $80,000. Considering we have taxes, equipment, and other expenses, the margins look a bit tighter than one would hope for in running a business, and providing a solid income for ourselves and families.

Number of Weddings Per Year

Oddly, of the group in the survey, a full 34% of wedding photographers are shooting less than 10 weddings per year. However the average is 19.
And, while I’ve heard of people that shot 50 per year, I always thought those were myths. Yes that’s correct. I have it on good authority that Ryan Brenizer is an urban legend, he doesn’t really exist.

Number of Hours Per Wedding

The average hours put in at a wedding is 9 hours, with a predominate amount sticking around for more than 10 hours at each wedding. Make sure you get some Odor Eaters for those shoes. Those are some long days to be wearing black socks.

Do You Include a Disc?

This figure was rather expected. The business model that the majority of wedding photographers use is to include a disc of images with their wedding packages. But it is surprising to see that there are almost a full 20% of photographers out there that are not providing a disc of images with a package.

It’s actually quite encouraging. I know that JB and DeEtte Sallee out of Dallas aren’t offering a disc of images automatically with their packages, and I think that as people become more and more serious about making a profit in their photography business, more and more photographers will not blindly offer the images.

To be fair, I do think that photographers just breaking into the industry feel some obligation to giving people the images, because it’s “easy to do.” I’d like to see photographers turn to sustainable business practices, and at the very least require a minimum print or album purchase.

Of course, I’m a little biased, as I believe that photography is about a tangible product.

Do You Include an Album?

This is also great news. The information from the survey was all over the place, but it seemed that the majority of people did offer albums, but 59% of them did not offer the album in the package price. And since that average package price was just over $3,000, that bodes well for the profitability of most of your businesses.


This one perplexed me, but I’m not putting a lot of stock in it. I am under the impression that this particular Google Doc just got shared within a fairly narrow spectrum of photographers. I think in the broad scheme of things the United States has far fewer than 65% of the entire Wedding Photographer population.

I think I personally know all 1% of the photographers representing Chile.

Age of Photographer

This one also surprised me a little. I quite expected to see wedding photography appealing to a much younger audience with the 20-25 year old segment taking a much larger percentage. But this particular survey resulted in an average Wedding Photographer age of 31 years old. And, collectively, the whole 26-35 year old range of photographers taking up half of the entire population.

Since I’ll be 36 next summer, I’m almost at retirement age. 🙁


I think this is a no-brainer. I think it’s also a no-brainer that if you are a woman, you have an incredible competitive advantage in this industry, and you should definitely use it. Brides can really connect with another woman in the wedding planning stage, and photography is no different.

Years of Photography Experience

This is definitely an industry of start-ups. A good 53% of Wedding Photographers find themselves in the 3-5 year experience range, and the next biggest segment is those photographers with just 1-2 years of experience.

The data could be skewed due to the tendency for more experienced photographers not spending as much time online filling out random Google Doc polls about their rates, age and experience. But who really knows?

The Take-Away

112 people is a rather small pool of data to get an accurate picture of the entire wedding industry. But I think this does provide an insight into other people’s businesses that we wouldn’t normally have. With the range of experiences, geographic differences, clientele, this is absolutely not something that we would base our own pricing on. But

Now let’s do the funnest thing with data; demographically stereotype people!
Wedding Photographers are typically 31 year old American chicks, making about $80,000 per year, and have been using a camera for about 5 years. Most importantly, if we can get one of them to be our girlfiends, they’ll be gone about 19 Saturday’s a year, of which we’ll have a full 9 or more hours to watch College Football.

…That is of course if we weren’t the other 41%.

The Discovery of Paths

04 October

If the waves aren’t good in the afternoon, instead of surfing, I’ll opt to take a 4.5 mile walk to get out from behind the computer for awhile. Yesterday, the waves were not only bad, but totally non-existent. Off on my walk I went.

Out of habit, I walk the same line every time. I walk through the same field, I cross the street on the big hill so I can see out over the bay and to the ocean, I don’t cut across the dirt path shortcut by the school, (I don’t exactly remember why – some superstitious reason I’m sure).
As you can tell, I’m very locked into my routine.

What was interesting about yesterday’s walk was I noticed a gentleman walking his dog about 20 yards ahead of me. He walked up a long access ramp that I’ve seen a hundred or so times, he proceeded along a path on the embankment adjacent e to the sidewalk I was on. Despite the hundred or so times I’ve seen the ramp, I had no idea that path existed. His higher path eventually descended back down to the sidewalk.

This made me think about how oblivious I was to the possibilities of getting to where you want or need to go, while experiencing a new, possibly exciting route. I was also struck by the idea that if it weren’t for another person in my community, I would have never discovered that new path.

Not every discovery is a groundbreaking invention. Sometimes it’s just a new dirt walking path. For us photographers, maybe it’s a new way to mask out layers that we learned in a seminar, or a something you learned about SEO to promote your website. But until someone guides you to that discovery, it’s hidden from your view. Usually right there under your nose.

Now that the path is discovered, I think I’m going to go experience what it’s like to walk up there.

…Well, if the surf isn’t any good that is of course.

What new paths are you going to be on the look out for?

Why Writing Well is Important… Even for Photographers.

22 September

Such a great deal of our business is centered on writing. Emails, blog posts, bios, website content, marketing pieces, invoices, proposals, etc. If your writing skills aren’t up to par, you could turn off potential clients with poor grammar, spelling or even lazy writing.

Take a look for yourself and see how many blog posts you’ve written lately that are half-ass’d attempts at scrawling something out as quickly and painlessly as possible. (I’m looking at you Wedding Photographers).
I must have read at least two hundred wedding blog posts that follow this general pattern:

“I just shot a wedding this past Saturday that was to DIE for. Jane was SO beautiful in her dress and Jack looked so handsome. They’re such an amazing couple, and I was so honored to be there and take part in such a big moment of their lives.
Here’s the photos. Hope you like them.”

And have you all even looked at your “About” pages? Most of them look like they were taken from the same template.
Your writing style doesn’t have to win awards for style, but if you spend some time with it, and translate the creative juices you use for photography into your writing, you can come away with something far more original, and vastly improved.
For example, look what San Luis Obispo Wedding Photographer, Ken Kienow did with his About page. What’s unique about it, is that it’s simple, but written well, and more important, it’s from his heart.

Writing is a skill, and I promise it can be improved.
Ernest Hemingway once said:

“It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.” 

It won’t be an overnight phenomenon, but put a little extra effort into your writing from this day forth. Create a backstory from your life experience for your next blog post so that people can not only experience your fantastic photos, but also create their own unique picture of what it was like to be there. One of my own personal favorite blog posts was from my best friend’s wedding in which I was a groomsman and I weaved one of my travel adventures into a special moment that we all shared. Can you bring something from your own history to your blog posts?

Work on it. Push yourself. And in the meantime learn some writing skills. There are great books out there to read and improve. Here are a few:

I read Elements of Style 18 years ago and I believe it should sit next to everyone’s computer right alongside a Thesaurus. It’s a very quick read and it will point out many of the common misuses of English that people tend not to catch such as: “there, they’re and their,” “lose, as opposed to loose,” and the dreaded “its/it’s” problem.
The book will also cover other grammatical and sentence structure errors that make the difference between being taken as an intellectual, or …the opposite of that.

The other books can take your skill of writing to levels that you would never have imagined.

In closing, remember:

  • When so much correspondence is focused on email and the internet, the way you write creates an indelible impression, on others, about you.
  • Stretch your imagination. You don’t have to hit “Publish” or “Send” when you’re done writing. You can save drafts and come back to it later.
  • If you take on the challenge of boning up on your writing chops you will have a tremendous advantage over those that resist and are left behind with their poor writing skills.

Grammar and writing is one of those funny things where it only stands out to people if it’s bad. And it’s a terrible thing to say, that if you develop your skills as a writer, you’ll turn off fewer people.
But that’s the truth. So learn to write well.

Are You an Artist or a Vendor

14 September

A recent Seth Godin blog post I read has been bouncing around in my mind since I read it last week. In it he mentioned the difference between Vendors and Artists. I thought it was quite relevant to the photography industry, especially wedding photographers who are often looked at as just another vendor.

Here’s an excerpt that really stood out for me, from the full post:

That’s the key economic argument for the distinction: if you treat an artist like a vendor, you’ll often get mediocre results in return. On the other hand, if you treat a vendor like an artist, you’ll waste time and money.

Vendors happily sit in the anonymous cubes at Walmart’s headquarters, waiting for the buyer to show up and dicker with them. They willingly fill out the paperwork and spend hours discussing terms and conditions. The vendor is agnostic about what’s being sold, and is focused on volume, or at least consistency.

While the talent is also getting paid (to be in your movie, to do consulting, to coach you), she is not a vendor. She’s not playing by the same rules and is not motivated in the same way.

A key element of the distinction is that in addition to the varying output potential, vendors are easier to replace than talent is.

So how do you represent yourself to your clients? It would seem that all wedding vendors are artists themselves; the Photographer, Florist, Baker, Musician, Dress Maker, and Coordinator/Stylist all are at some level an Artist.
Yet we are stuck with the moniker of Vendor.

Just as in Seth Godin’s post I don’t really have any answers for you. But it does at least open the inquiry to how you present yourself and your wedding photography services to your clients. Are you just another vendor providing a service, or are you an artist? And are your clients aware of the distinction.

I’d love to hear your thoughts below.

Find New Clients Using TweetDeck

06 September

I figured we would do a video blog post this week to touch on a great way to seek out clients. You can use this technique when things are slow, or you can have an assistant or intern working on this while you’re managing other aspects of your studio.

As always, feel free to add comments and questions below.

Video Transcription:
Hi everyone. This is William Bay from Flaunt Your
Today I’m going to help you find new clients by harnessing the power of Twitter with the program TweetDeck.

If you’re unfamiliar with TweetDeck, I highly suggest that you go to and check it out. The program comes in a desktop version which I use, as well as a web version, and mobile apps for iPhone and Android.
It’s a great program as it brings your social media like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles under one easy to use interface. It also allows you to manage multiple accounts. So if you have a personal Twitter account and a business account, you can manage them all from the same program.
What I’m going to share with you today is the power of the search columns and how that can be used to prospect for potential clients in your photography business.
In TweetDeck, you’ll find the “Add Column” button here. We’re going to click on that and the following dialog box will ask us which account you want to use. We’re going to use Twitter which is the default account already.
Then in the Search Bar we’re going to input a keyword that you think your potential customers may use while tweeting, so that we can target those people.
For example, I’m a Wedding Photographer in San Diego, so I’m looking for people that are getting married in San Diego. In this case I would use terms like San Diego Married, or San Diego Wedding, or even San Diego Engaged. You can have multiple search columns, which will payoff with more potential prospects.
The words don’t have to be in any particular order, and the great thing about this is that San Diego (or the city in which you’re searching) doesn’t have to be in the Tweet itself, but could be in the person’s Twitter profile which would create an even better target for you.

Now comes the process of sorting through the searches and finding good prospects to respond to. You’ll want to find good tweets that could be open to receiving some information from you. It’s important to not just bombard people with unwanted info about you and your services.
You can potentially have your account suspended if you are just spamming people.

You may find people that have announced that they have just been engaged. In this case you might respond with a message of congratulations and send them to something you’ve written about ‘selecting a wedding photographer’ or ‘ten things to know about planning your wedding’ on your website that they could read if they were interested.
Or you may find someone that is actually looking for recommendations of other vendors. You would definitely want to recommend the vendors you’ve worked with. The opportunity may present itself to let them know that you’re a photographer for hire as well, but remember social media is about sharing, and growing communities and relationships. If you were to refer a vendor, they may refer work back to you at some point too. There’s something to be said for internet karma.
Now can this work for other photographers? Of course. If you are a Maternity Photographer, you might look up phrases like “having a baby” or “I’m pregnant” if you are a Senior Photographer you can look up words like “graduate” or “senior.”
It’s really up to your creativity.
Why use TweetDeck over Twitter’s search:

  1. In my opinion TweetDeck’s interface is quite a bit more streamlined than Twitter’s and has more features.
  2. TweetDeck feeds are automatic, so I don’t have to refresh my browser screen when people send new tweets. It’s live, in real time.
  3. Since I can have as many search columns it’s just as simple as scrolling to the right of my most used columns to go through my lists.
  4. One of my favorite features is that you can assign an audible notification as the searches come in, so you don’t have to check every five minutes to see if you’re missing something new.

I hope now that you have a new way to obtain new clients. The bonus to this technique is that as you start spreading your content with other people, you may gain new followers, as well as having your links spread across the internet which will bring you more traffic, and increase your SEO.
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with me here at We do specialize in SEO, and Social Marketing for photographers and can help you in your campaigns.

Are You Losing Clients Before They Enter Your Site

05 September

I’ve recently been looking at resumes of Web Engineers to expand the capabilities of Flaunt Your Site and grow it into the business I see it becoming. Through the process of looking through resumes online, I’ve been quite dumbfounded by the number of resumes that don’t provide contact information at all.

I’ve seen a number of talented and qualified people that I’ll never be able to contact!

That got me thinking about photographers with websites. Most pointedly the ones with Blu Domain websites that use a splash page on the main page. None of these sites provide contact information!
How do you expect clients to email you or call you to hire you? What if there was a wedding day emergency and all the client had was an iPhone? (They won’t be able to look at your Flash site from their mobile device).

The lesson here is that you should provide a method for contact that potential clients can reach from every page on you website. Whether that’s a link to a contact page, or footer information with your address and phone number at the bottom of every page.

Having a footer with your information at the bottom of the page has an added benefit for Local SEO optimization. When we do a Local Optimization Service, we modify the client’s website with the contact information in the correct microformat for Google to read it and associate it with your Google Places listing which helps boost that listing towards the top.

Don’t lose clients before you’ve even had a chance to meet them and impress them. Make sure they can contact you from the very beginning.

The Importance of Branded Email

26 July

Are you that photographer

that hands someone a free Vista Print card, and an email address that says “”

Or worse yet, have you spent hundreds of dollars on beautiful letterpress cards, but have a Gmail address on them?

Shame on you!

Personalized Domain Emails FTW

Just as the way you dress says something about your image, so does your email. And it’s a relatively easy and cheap fix.

Reasons for branded emails:

  • Professional appearance (This should go without saying).
  • Consistency (Using your domain with your email address drives home that brand).
  • Credibility (Gmail addresses are easy to get, making them less reliable).
  • Security (Less likely to get marked as spam by filtering software).
  • Expandability (Use multiple email addresses for different aspects of your business or additional employees:,,

The Solution

If you don’t already own your domain. Please go buy one. I recommend Name Cat or Omnis.
*Please don’t buy from GoDaddy. The GoDaddy owner kills elephants and I boycott their products and services.

Most domain registrars and hosting companies will have a FAQ on how to incorporate your new email address into the most popular programs such as Outlook, Apple Mail, Thunderbird, etc.
If you like using Gmail’s webmail, you can still use it along with your new domain email address by signing up for Google Apps. It provides the same interface, and spam filtering that you are used to, with the ability to use your own branded email address.


With as many photographers as there are these days, you need to do everything you can to set yourself apart. Having your own domain and email address is one of the easiest and cheapest to do. It legitimises your business and provides a professional image. It is quite literally one of the best return on investments you can make as a business owner.

If you have questions or need help in getting your new email setup, please feel free to contact us at Flaunt Your Site.

WordCamp Talk

18 July

Thank you for all of you that came out to see me at WordCamp San Diego. I had a tremendous amount of fun with you all. I’m posting the slides here for you all to review. When the recording is available I will post that as well.

If you have any questions that aren’t in the slides feel free to drop me a line, or add a comment below.

And a huge thanks to the organizers and all the sponsors.

I’m Speaking at WordCamp San Diego

13 June

I’m excited as all get out to announce that I have been invited to speak at WordCamp San Diego! It’s completely sold out too! My topic will cover WordPress and SEO for photographers.

I first attended a WordCamp in L.A. back in 2009 and was blown away by the feeling of community and comradery present. Everyone was so open to learning and sharing with each other.
For those of you that have tickets, you’ll be able to see me speak at 9:30AM in the “Gaslamp” room.
If you can’t make it, there is a chance that they may be webcasting it. I’ll keep everyone informed if they do.

I’m thrilled and looking forward to seeing you all out there! I’ll have some great information to provide to everyone and maybe even a few freebies to give out.

Las Vegas Pictage User Group

28 January

Just got back from teaching a workshop on SEO at the Las Vegas Pictage User Group. It was a blast and everyone there was so much fun. We held everything right in Chelsea Nicole’s living room, I just hooked up my laptop to their big screen TV, and we did everything there. Ordered pizzas for lunch… It was a cool, laid back atmosphere to teach and learn some great SEO tips and strategies.

Plus driving through the desert from San Diego to Vegas and back is always a beautiful experience.