Understanding the Industry
All right, hey, I am very excited to be here. I have to I've got so much information, just like in my brain right now, I don't even know where to begin because basically, you know what? This courses this is three days, right? But putting my thirteen year career into three days and trying to jam everything that I've been through and what I've learned to try to tell you guys on dh share my story and that's what I'm actually that's what I really like about this class is I'm able to share my story and how I became a wedding photographer, and when I was listening to you guys, you know, each the position that you are right now with your business and with your life, I could identify with almost every single one of you, and I got a little bit emotional because I go. I remember when I was there, I remember that and feeling that that uncertainty and wanting more for my life in my business and for my family, and so this is going to be exciting because I'm going to get to share um, some of the thi...
ngs that I've learned along the way, um, and it's taken me a long time to get here I started my photography career when I was thirty seven years old. And now that I'm fifty, I kind of feel like I'm really just getting into who I am and where I want to go. So it's been really a long process for me, but I can't wait, so let's get into it. All right? Who is this workshop for? You know, it says, you know, the titles think like a ten k wedding photographer guess what? This is for everybody, not just those who want to be wedding photographers, but anybody who wants to improve their photography because we're going to talk about portraiture, okay? With opposing we're going to talk about lighting, we're going to talk about business, we're going to talk about life skills, all that kind of stuff, and so anybody who's interested in learning to be a better photographer? You know, this class is going to be for them because I kind of feel like wedding photographers of the most versatile photographers in the world because why we've gotta shoot product, right? We've got to do detail shots, we've gotta deal with portraiture, we've got a deal, photojournalism, we've gotta deal with the crazy mother in law, all that stuff, right? And we've got to do all this kind of stuff I gotta do with lighting, we gotta do it all in one minute. And so it forces us to be very, very efficient at what we do and so if you're just you know and just anybody who wanted to improve their photography skills this is the class for them people who want to make money okay, this is about making money too, right? And you know, hey, you've had all those other classes with the, you know, doing all the collage and the fine art stuff and all that's great whatever right this is about making money okay improving your life, improving the life of your family, moving forward, wanting a artistic career and if you want artistic career eventually again had to make some money and this class is going to help you try to get there okay photographers wanting to get to the next level anybody feel that anybody feel like, oh, man, I just been stuck at this plateau I just can't get to that next level, you know? And you've been trying this and you've been trying that and nothing seems to be working well address those issues artists who want more out of life do you ever feel like handcuff? Sometimes just, uh you're going to work and you just feel like you're doing the same old thing again and you're just not doing the creative things that you want to do and I'll tell you this as a creative if you are creative and you're going to work every day and you feel handcuffed like this I'll tell you right now a little bit of your soul is dying every day you feel that way it is a terrible I've been there and it is a terrible feeling and you just want to be free to express yourself and to create and on top of that to earn a living to provide for yourself to provide for your family that all that what will we be learned during these three days? One valuable photography skills that earned money okay, I'm going to tell you these things don't argue with me just do it because I know it's going toe put money in your pocket okay? And so I'm goingto create these very easy skills tto learn that will actually earn you money where to start how to start with your wedding but maybe you're just like toying with the idea maybe I should be maybe you should try waiting photography but I have no idea where to start I'm going to take it from ground zero and build it up and show you how to make ten thousand twenty thousand whatever fifty thousand dollars with your wedding photography and this it is how to book one k five k ten k weddings plus you know I had a goal for myself when I started this business I said listen I want to earn over ten thousand dollars with wedding photography not because I wanted to be rich or anything like that but because it seemed like amazing gold toe have like wow if I could do that if I can unlock those keys to earn ten thousand plus for a wedding that would be a really an amazing growth experience for me and on top of that it was always been in my mind ever since I think high school that I wanted to be an educator and I go listen if I can charge ten thousand dollars for a wedding maybe I could get a chance to help other people and it has and that's why I'm here that is my one passion my one passion in life really is to help people help creatives especially to to kind of reach that excellence in their life and everything in their art in their business and that's what we're going to try to do this week maximize your potential you know uh when you want to make a lot of money uh with your business it's not about secret skills and this and that and oh wow, I know the scot robert pose and that does it it's it's not that stuff ah lot of it is is we become confronted with our shortcomings it's evident why? Because we're not making as much money as we want and it just shows it and it puts it right in your face and it's saying something is missing and you be confronted with it now either take those challenges right on and say, okay, I know that this is my shortcoming and try to overcome that, but what a lot of people do is they see that and they realize that the changes they need to go through um is uncomfortable, so they stop and they rather fail, but I don't want that to happen to you guys were going to talk about those issues, and we're gonna learn how to get past them. So you can he have that extraordinary life that you've always dreamed about, what makes this workshop different? Well, uh, my unique experience, first of all, uh, I've been a photographer for thirteen years as a full time for talking for not part time as a full time. When I started my photography career, I put myself in a really, really desperate situation. The situation was I started my photography career, I started a family and my wife, who made all the money in our household, quit her job, so I had to get it done. So in my mind, you know, at that time, we didn't have a heck of a lot of expenses, but in my mind I said, listen, I'm going to do this thing there, I have no other option, I have to make this work and so these things that I've learned along the way, I think I am confident I can help you because I've been through so much to my thirteen year career before that for twelve years, I was an entrepreneur and that by itself is really hard, so I haven't I have twenty five years of experience of working for myself during the hay, the reagan years, when everybody was making money during the internet years, you know, the clinton or gore, right? Gor discovered the internet was that right? They were right there and then and then through the down years, too, during the crashes. Now, I've kind of had my career through all that, and I can tell you one thing, your business is never, never, ever depended on the economic situation, it always points back to us and what we're doing, okay, wax on, wax off, anybody see karate, kid, right? And what I love about that movie is mr miyagi, right? Is that his name? He kind of boiled down his philosophy into this little saying, wax on and wax off and that's what I like doing, I like taking something that's what I feel that I'm gifted at that takes something that's very, you know, complicated, like flash, and I bring everything down to one little shark, right? And that's how I got famous with my lighting that's what I'm do with everything that I teach especially wedding photography it's a very complex subject, but like for my posing techniques basically, I have basically two ideas and I just go off of that, you know why I'm a person with a terrible memory? I can't I'm gonna probably forget your names this week. I can't remember more than four things and as I get older it's getting harder and harder to remember things right? Plus, you know, going to the bathroom were often too, but anyways, I have a hard time memorizing like a bunch of things, so I have to break down everything into very simple concepts that I convey base my entire technique off of and that's what? I can't wait to show you guys um you it's gonna hurt so good I'm gonna affirm your potential, but I'm also gonna tell you the truth. I'm not gonna you know, uh I'm gonna just lay it out there and I'm going to confront you with some things and it may hurt a little bit, but that's okay, we're family here, we can talk about it and we can get through it because it's about making us better, okay, and sometimes that hurts if you want to look back on your life and you want o c like the greatest areas of growth in your life, it's probably when you've been struggling with something and you've overcome it so we can't be afraid of those moments of her hurt means that you actually care so it's okay to hurt and we should keep feeling that because that means we care we still want to be in the game we still want more out of our life so feel the hurt accepted acknowledge it and move on from it okay it's very personal every blood can learn from a good success story and that's really like I said before that's with these three days is about it's my story, my story on how I went from zero two ten thousand plus and even my story on how I'm even here front of I can't believe it I mean, I you know, as I said in my crazy stupid light as I introduced myself, I claim to be be the one and on lee asian college dropout okay, I am claiming that there's a lot of pressure being asian, growing up and having professional careers and stuff like that and then to drop out of college and become an artist oh my gosh, right? But I love it I love the artist lifestyle and I'm just going to be happy to share my story with you and I can't wait, okay so let's get into it let's first of all let's talk a little bit about the industry okay, how many weddings in the yusa I don't know about norway or I don't know anything about but let's just deal with the yusa right now how many weddings do you think there are in the yusa every single year anybody take a guess anybody twenty hundred thousand two million okay anybody else eight hundred thousand all right. Curious yes. You have to know how many weddings what this industries like if you're going to get into it you kind of have to know these facts before you get into it. There's about two point three wow, awesome gs a year. What is the average hostile wedding if if you've been in the business for a little while you probably kind of know this already but how much does a couple and their parents it's banned on a wedding what's the what? What kind of money on the edition out anybody take a guess? Twenty seven thousand okay, think around here it's like thirty five thirty five thousand okay, did anybody other guesses, man? You guys are really good twenty eight point four thousand dollars that's a lot of change there. What is the average cost of photography? S so how much does the average client spend on their photography and their video? Anybody know, take a guess six thousand six thousand average two kids married yet had one get married if I wasn't hired ok bridge what's that you're okay I wouldn't give you deal wait got chat room is shining it told they are okay and so schrader photography says to kay and indie john agrees with the six k well max soto says three thousand as does rutger photography three hundred were getting in twenty five hundred okay well here it isthe twenty three seventy nine for photography and sixteen hundred bucks for video okay so I guess if you add up for talking video it's almost about that for well there was that four thousand interesting what is the average age of a bridegroom who army deal what is our target client looking like how old are they? Anybody know twenty five hundred twenty five hundred twenty five twenty seven, twenty seven wait twenty late twenty's okay, well here we go twenty five twenty seven and so if we're going to get into this business we kind of have to think like a twenty five year old in a twenty seven year old right you have to know who we're dealing with. What is the average household income of the bridegroom? How much money do they make so we kind of have to know that we have to kind of know like how much their household income is you know just to know general pricings things and how much they could afford right what do you think six others combined seventy seventy thousand sixty thousand sixty thousand eighty five eighty five wow okay you guys are great man have the stats sixty thousand dollars how many photographers are there in your area now I do not know everybody's area but I just did my own area okay two minutes which I live in the los angeles area which according to wikipedia is the second most densest city in america okay so there's a lot of there's like fifteen million people in my general area that I live in okay there's a lot of people and it's growing so I guess the trends are nowadays is that the most populated cities are getting even more populated so everybody's moving out of the rural areas and moving into the cities so it's getting denser and denser that's what the trend is okay so in my area in the u s census okay how many photographers us census said that there's one hundred and fifty two full thousand full time photographers okay but just because you're not full to anybody here who who's here a full time photographer rage and that's what you do okay so that's only three out of what eight people so if this hundred fifty two thousand that we're going against is a lot more than a hundred fifty two right would you not agree ah lot of times when I'm speaking and they say there's a room of one hundred people and I'll say ok, who in here is a full time photographer that's what they earn their money they support themselves and their family with their photography on lee ah lot of times only one or two people will raise their hand out of one hundred so most of the photographers that are in this industry are hobbyists are serious or part timers so I'm assuming and those people were competing and guess too right is that that we're competing and gets just the full timers we're competing against the part timers also so if you think about it I in general I think this polly a half a million to a million photographers out there maybe even mohr but I'm just being kind of conservative with that. Okay, so in california we have about ten percent of the population. Okay, so if you live in california about ten percent of the u s lives in the state of california state of california's huge it's like, you know, seven states on the east coast but okay? And then I broke it up there's about uh s o between california right? Maybe there's about fifty thousand to a million photographers just in california and then I broke it up even more twenty percent live in san francisco and forty percent living the los angeles area that I'm from okay, so if I go back down I would think that there's ten to twenty thousand photographers then I'm competing against in the san francisco area and there's about twenty thousand ok so if I broke it down according to wikipedia here and because of my I used to be a math major I figured out that there's twenty photographers per square mile in the san francisco area okay now let's go to los angeles which is the second most dances city in america and this is where I have to compete okay forty k ind of a six hundred square mile area there's sixty six photographers her square mile okay so if I willing to drive an hour to go to a job I am covering what sixty square miles and so split sixty times six hundred and sixty two which is almost four hundred photographers just driving an hour but sometimes some people will drive two hours will you drive more than one hour to a job maybe you'll drive two hours to job I'm done jobs in los angeles where I've given two hours to a job okay, now I'm competing against almost a thousand photographers okay that's your competition you have to understand what you're up against okay and when I put it into that light sixty six freaking photographers per mile like oh my either makes you want to quit or really makes you want you know what I need to up my game because this is serious here I gotta provide for myself I gotta provide for my family I've got to get good I've got to be above my competition okay so how many weddings in california that's good so I know that there's sixty six photographers per square mile but then how many weddings are are there and let's figure that out well there's one hundred eighty thousand marriage certificates issued in california so if I break that up again thirty five thousand roughly in san francisco seventy thousand people in los angeles area getting married on and then s o thirty five thousand weddings twenty thousand photographers right seventy thousand weddings in los angeles what around my area and forty thousand photographers what is all this mean means about two or three weddings per photographer that's conservatively can we live off of two or three weddings maybe if we're making fifty thousand dollars a wedding or a hundred thousand dollars a wedding yeah that's that's cool but two or three that's average so hey hi yourself on about anybody doing more than two or three weddings a year here ok guess what your over average congratulations but that's not the point that's not the point to get alike because you're over average it's we need to be way over average we need to make money we didn't work than that to survive okay so hey how would you like to know the top five wedding location that this has really not I just threw this in because I found this stat and that well could be interesting to know where that where people spend the most money on weddings anybody have any ideas? The top five go ahead go for it las vegas okay quiet hawaii I think you just want to go toe on why we're not anybody else you napa valley area napa valley area okay. Any other suggestions? What about anything? Anything on the internet way trymon okay so we'll start off at number five boston boston interesting thirty nine thousand dollars per wedding average that they spend there so you can think of it a lot of times they kind of seat say in general that the bride will spend ten percent of their budget on a wedding on their wedding photographer so if you look at that thirty nine wow boston averages four thousand dollars wedding there not bad and scott oh yeah go ahead. Well now we have them ruining okay roll in the morning revealed wei have san francisco niagara falls jamaica mexico new york we got we got paris paris san fran mexico rome well, you know what I only did united states I'm sorry I don't know how to convert from the year old yeah, I'll then that to make it one is interested you know why? Because directly after this workshop I'm doing a workshop in jamaica so we're getting a lot of florida as lord okay? Well uh miami let's find out what the suspense is killing me now santa barbara ventura california how'd you like that that comes in at forty two thousand dollars what I gotta do more weddings up there shoot that's only a couple hours drive from me up there okay new jersey huh? Forty nine thousand dollars chicago nobody said chicago I love chicago it's just that's where I bought this jacket zara in chicago it's a great city um number one manhattan seventy seven thousand you know what if you're a new york photographer she's you should easily be making ten thousand dollars a wedding it's not even fair because looking at of course your costume living is extraordinary but well probably not that much more than seattle or san francisco or whatever right but seventy seven thousand dollars per wedding have bridge my gosh pick up make a lot of money over there that is crazy seal the money that's being thrown out in the wedding business the wedding business is a six to eight billion dollar business okay do you have any idea of what six to eight billion dollars is? Well, I didn't so I looked up on the internet what what kind of businesses generate sixty eight billion dollars and one that I found was the national football league. So what that's the number one most popular sport in america for all you guys out there in norway and australia whatever nfl that's what we are football is a little bit different we call soccer whatever. Okay anyway uh that okay? Our sport generation that sport generates probably I think it was in two thousand six that generated about six billion dollars so now must be mohr so it's it's relatively that on the same scale all the money generated the jersey sales, the ticket sales, the licensing, the commercials on the super bowl whatever is the same amount of money that's in the wedding business okay, with all this money floating around like that, the competition is always going to be high when there's high dollars at stake that means everybody and their aunt is getting into the trying to grab a piece of the pie it's a huge industry we have to realize that you have to realize your competition in which you're up again. Ok, the lowest that's a good one in alaska, right? So if you get in a wedding's over there you know you want to try to be a little bit above average there? Okay, okay, so what? Oh, this is a good while I didn't know this stat. How much does do they stay band like if I was planning a wedding say my daughter's getting married how much would I spend per guest at a wedding that's a good one, huh? I never I really didn't know that, but what what is the average cost per guest and I'm going to use this information when I when I talk to my clients or I pitched to them knowing this information right two hundred and for yeah that's what I said average cost per person at a wedding is two hundred dollars so what if your thousand dollars more just invite five less people and you can afford me right? That information is handy yeah, I just I mean that blows me away first of all scott robert I've never seen anybody teach this information on creative lives so that's really good by the way just thinking about it in a different way yeah, but to think that so many people are out there charging two hundred dollars three hundred dollars five hundred dollars even to shoot a wedding with two hundred dollars on each guest that blows my mind yes, that actually gives me more confidence it does, doesn't it it does it's like two hundred dollars per guest come on I'm only five hundred dollars away and you're complaining man justin fight two less people but I kind of bring that into my I don't say it like that I do what we'll talk about business later I do bring up like, you know I'll say something like okay, well, you know, I know yes you like it, my style and I'm a little bit over maur than what you wanted to spend, but when you consider the totality of how much that you're spending on your wedding day you know, to get everything that you want and peace of mind it's really not that much more so I do kind of use this information in my pitch to kind of reposition and re negotiate yourself because you know how much they're spending you know generally how much they're making and with that information you could be logical in your assessments and have confidence about pitching your wedding price is but it's good information to know okay average cost of the wedding we talked about that swell twenty eight thousand average cost of video is sixteen hundred and actually this is going up because I remember when I first started uh this evers cost of video used to be very low like a thousand dollars but now with these amazing dslr sze that khun shoot you know what major film quality for people that people are really brides and grooms are really starting to get high quality video now and they're spending more money on it so this this this actually is taking away from photography too because it's it's becoming a must but now you consider can consider combining it with your service perhaps right? The average cost of the wedding photography is about twenty three hundred dollars okay, so that's just a little bit of an overview of things does anybody have any questions about the stats or anything like that before. Scott, we do have one question from br photography. Could you just let us know where the best place to research this type of information for the photographers out there? Where did you find this information? Oh, you can look on the internet and what it but I actually someone paid to get this information and loaned it to me to look at so that's how I found it. But you can, you know, on the nod orders. Side's still mentions that you have to put it together. Yeah. You have to, you know, be a math major. I appreciate how you kind of you worked backwards. And so people asking, how do I find this out about the number of people in my area? I mean, take a look at what you did and look at those for yours. Yeah, just kind of I mean, you know what? This is just general. I mean, don't like, quote me on this or whatever. This is just jet. We just want to get an idea of the industry. And this is what it does. Oh, hope these numbers kind of help you with that.