Every industry has competition and every industry has its competitors. It seems (to me at least) that photographers have more competition than most! I've mentioned in a previous post that photography is an easy business to get started in and it seems that anyone with a posh camera can call themselves a photographer! The local newspaper keeps printing stories about new photography businesses in the area...
But just because someone is in the same industry it doesn't necessarily mean they're competition. Yes, we're all looking for people to sell photos to, but are we all looking for the same people? I don't think so.
Photography customers all have different criteria when choosing a photographer. Particularly regarding wedding photography. Some people are on a budget and will book the cheapest photographer they can find (not something I recommend!). Some people like the kudos of booking the area's most expensive photographer. Others will book the best photographer they can afford (a much more sensible approach...). No one photographer can appeal to all markets so we have to pick one to work in.
There are literally dozens of 'professional' photographers in Grimsby and Cleethorpes, but I really only count 5 or 6 of them as genuine competition. We're all full time and fully insured. We all put a lot of time and effort into marketing ourselves. We all offer good customer service and excellent attention to detail. And we all supply the best products from the best suppliers. We don't appeal the the 'cheap is best' market, but none of us is the most expensive in the area either.
But even that competition isn't really a problem. There are about 150,000 people living in and around Grimsby and Cleethorpes so there's plenty to go around! There are tons of weddings in North East Lincolnshire every single weekend, so again there's plenty to go around without us all stepping on each other's toes.
And don't forget, photography is very subjective. We all have our own particular and distinctive style which some people won't like. It took a while to get my head around it, but I genuinely don't mind any more if someone books a different photographer over me.
Having said that, I still like it when I win a customer ahead of my competition!