It’s so funny. My wife and I were just talking about this new business plan the other day, and then I happened across the case online. Things have been difficult, to say the least, in the wedding business. When clients pile up, it’s real easy to get overwhelmed. In light of some of Amy’s more recent discoveries, she’s decided that she’s no longer interested in trying to maintain a full-service photography studio. That is, she’s switching over to the digital revolution. She’s an advocate of photography purity; but when it comes to a rock and a hard place, something has to give. Though the technicalities aren’t worked out yet, the plan is to offer her photography as a service. She’ll contract out to take pictures, then deliver the digital sources on CD/DVD. We’re thinking of some auxillary services around that basic concept, but I don’t know that anyone would expect them yet. This will put the onus of getting prints made on the customer. That’s going to be a hassle in the case of a wedding, but ultimately it’s going to work out better for them. Amy will also continue to sell the wedding albums as a reseller, but that’s mainly because she already has a line open.
If both photographers and buyers of their services would just convert the current business model to a simple “work-for-hire” contract, with all deliverables – such as the negatives in digital form – turned over to the buyer for one simple fee with maybe an extra $20-30 bucks tacked on for an “archiving” charge. Because if the prints are that precious, you likely want to have a secure backup somewhere. Then people could simply go get their prints done where and when they want them.
I like how we’re actually ahead (or at least, inline) with what the customers are demanding. That’s the agility of a small company working for you!
I think that you guys should look into video editing services. Everyone tapes these weddings and then noone ever watches the video more than a couple of times because of the long continuous boring shots. So you guys come in and produce dvds with all of the good stuff edited and arranged into easily found chapters with transitions in addition to the original footage. Sure anyone can buy software and do this themselves, but ,like photography few people are going to do it well.