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Thread: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

  1. #41

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Use CS or Aperature etc. to reduce the saturation if you think it is too saturated loh...... Maybe can help to filter out those inferior ones.... kekeke
    I have expensive camera and big lenses but don't know how to use..... Sound familar???

  2. #42
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
    I think you can't equate having many rich people in Singapore to the expectation that high end wedding photography here to cost a lot more, like in excess of $10k. Neither is the comparison with other countries like Australia a fair one. There are so many factors to consider.

    Culture is one big factor. We also have different views about weddings.
    Many Singaporeans have this "culture":
    a guest on averages gives a 100-120 ang pow...get so expensive pg, can recoup or not?
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  3. #43
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by ovaltinemilo View Post
    Many Singaporeans have this "culture":
    a guest on averages gives a 100-120 ang pow...get so expensive pg, can recoup or not?
    Eh.. I thought that ang pow money like enough to barely cover hotel/restaurant only lei.

    I could be wrong (I have high hopes it will cover a lot more including my wedding photographer)

  4. #44
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    Eh.. I thought that ang pow money like enough to barely cover hotel/restaurant only lei.

    I could be wrong (I have high hopes it will cover a lot more including my wedding photographer)
    Tt depends on the food you book then...haha...anyway, once in a lifetime...pay for a good pg(don't really need to cost sgd8K) and capture the moment forever...
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  5. #45

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by ckuang View Post
    When you consider that Singapore has the highest concentration of millionaires at around 12%, one of the highest average spends on weddings and one of highest cost of doing business in the world, it's actually surprising that the high end market in Singapore tops out at around SGD$8K only.
    Agreed. I have heard of expenditures on wedding photography to go up to 6 figures in Indonesia.

  6. #46

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
    Taken all together, you think a typical couple (consider themselves rich) here will want to pay a photographer $10k for a full day wedding? As long as they can get decent pictures, that will do. And I don't think it's a wrong mindset, considering the factors I've listed above.
    Typical couple no. But we're talking about high end market. And 5 digit to 6 digit earners are unlikely to rationalize things they way you did.

  7. #47

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by shinken View Post
    Typical couple no. But we're talking about high end market. And 5 digit to 6 digit earners are unlikely to rationalize things they way you did.
    I think kiwi2 raised some good points not brought up b4.

    As to whether your so-called "5 to 6 digit earners" really rationalized that way, only they have the right to answer you. My guess is, they do it subconsciously, among other factors. And you've got to ask our local photographers how come they are not charging more than S$10k for a wedding? Then you might have the answer.

    I have not heard of these "5 to 6 digit earners" paying super big money to engage top photographers here to capture their weddings. How much is our higher end photographers charging? From the last I heard it's only S$5-6k which pales in comparison to other Western countries.

    I think it's a misconception to think that the relative rich couples will want the higher end photographers just cos they got the money to spend. Yes, their wedding gowns may be designer style, their dinner may be held at posh 5 star hotels, but photography-wise, it's a different story.

    Local celebrity Tay Ping Hui is a good eg. He didn't get any of the known photographers here. Instead, he got Ix Shen, his friend and also former mediacorp star. I'm sure he can well-afford 3 or 4 of our photographers who charge S$5k a wedding. But he didn't.

    We can't assume the rich will always splurge money on a higher charging photographer just cos they have the $$$. You'd be surprised that some millionaires actually are very frugal with $ and will not give their children everything they ask for. We have all heard such stories.

    My take is this: Using the topic of culture and the local context, would you engage a S$12k photographer to take pics of you and your brothers wearing bras and panties during the gate crash? I'm not sure about spending such money. In other words I feel the content and culture of the wedding does in a way dictate how much a couple want to pay for a photographer.

    Another eg: Assuming you're so-called rich, earning $50k a month. Would you pay a good photographer S$15k to take pics of you and your spouse in front of ordinary looking Chijmes? Or would the price be more justified if the background is some breath-taking 13th century building? These are some of the things to consider.

    Another simple point is that you can't just compare prices of overseas with Singapore's. It's situational. Some Singaporeans always like to complain, Singapore car prices so ridiculously high. In Australia, it's only less than 1/2. That's not a good comparison. Similarly, You can argue how come you can buy a big landed property in Johor but for the same price, you only get a small 4 room HDB flat?

    So we need to stick with the context to determine what sort of expectations are reasonable as far as photography charges are concerned here.

    I have attended overseas weddings before and I can say it's really a lot more fun and meaningful than many of those here. Take your typical Chinese wedding dinner. There's relatively less interaction with the couple and guests. The mood of everyone is just to eat, wait for the boring group table shots, and then they can't wait to have the desserts cos in their minds, they want to leave the wedding asap. So you need to consider such issues also. Would you want or need to pay a photographer in excess of S$10k to take these kinds of shots here?

    Many couples, rich or lower earning ones, just want to have memories of the event. Once its over, the album will be kept away for a long time. It's an event like birthdays and other celebrations but on a larger scale. Whether or not they want to engage a $5k photographer here or $1k one, it's their choice and nothing is wrong between photographer and the couples. It's a fair "trade". I've heard wealthy couples in high end weddings paying S$600+ for a full day wedding here! I don't think it's wrong.

  8. #48

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    But I'm not hypothesizing. I'm speaking from experience. And I'm not talking about what's right and wrong, merely sharing my observations, that's all.
    Last edited by shinken; 29th June 2010 at 11:04 PM.

  9. #49

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    It's good to share. I'm also sharing and I think we all are having a healthy discussion here.

  10. #50

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by shinken View Post
    Typical couple no. But we're talking about high end market. And 5 digit to 6 digit earners are unlikely to rationalize things they way you did.
    Not sure what you're trying to say here.

    We're talking about Singapore.

    High end or not, it does not imply "rich" couples will pay big money to hire a wedding photog.

    I'm just offering possible reasons from various psychological perspectives.

    Of course, couples may not rationalize aloud right down to the details why they won't pay a photog here S$10k just for his or her photog services.

    Our market rates for photgs here are dictated by our perception of weddings which can be very different from those elsewhere.

    Basically, what I'm saying is, we have to look at the culture here. Cos some CS members have the fallacious thinking, if somewhere else people are paying photogs so much, so why can't it happen in Singapore?

    And ckuang was saying given that "Singapore has the highest concentration of millionaires at around 12%, one of the highest average spends on weddings and one of highest cost of doing business in the world", it is surprising the high end market tops at about S$8k.

    They are not looking at the big picture. You can't explain things just by implying rich = willing to pay more.

  11. #51
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
    Not sure what you're trying to say here.

    We're talking about Singapore.

    High end or not, it does not imply "rich" couples will pay big money to hire a wedding photog.

    I'm just offering possible reasons from various psychological perspectives.

    Of course, couples may not rationalize aloud right down to the details why they won't pay a photog here S$10k just for his or her photog services.

    Our market rates for photgs here are dictated by our perception of weddings which can be very different from those elsewhere.

    Basically, what I'm saying is, we have to look at the culture here. Cos some CS members have the fallacious thinking, if somewhere else people are paying photogs so much, so why can't it happen in Singapore?

    And ckuang was saying given that "Singapore has the highest concentration of millionaires at around 12%, one of the highest average spends on weddings and one of highest cost of doing business in the world", it is surprising the high end market tops at about S$8k.

    They are not looking at the big picture. You can't explain things just by implying rich = willing to pay more.
    Hell yes!!!

  12. #52

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    kiwi2:

    I agree. In fact, in Singapore or not, it's unrealistic to assume that being rich equates to spending more money on any specific type of goods, photography or otherwise. There's a danger of over-generalization.

    But that's the risk of any type of generalization. And any generalizations can be contextualized and debunked, as illustrated by yourself. This particular generalization on high end photography is no different.

    However, it is not unrealistic to assume that having a high percentage of the rich should translate to a proportionately higher (which in the case of Singapore, doesn't) willingness and ability to spend more on any type of commodity, photography or otherwise.

    In my most humble opinion, the very fact that '8k' is a ceiling, is because the majority sees that as a ceiling. Some of the reasons brought up by yourself and others. Valid and logical reasons, no less. But it's an imaginary ceiling. This ceiling can be pushed. In the case of Singapore where the high end is able and willing to pay for higher priced photography, the fixation on a 'realistic pricing' only serves to limit the potential for growth. My argument and point of view applies to any industry.

    The rich are already paying the highest prices in the world for a variety of goods and services, some of them would have been deemed illogical in the past.




    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
    Not sure what you're trying to say here.

    We're talking about Singapore.

    High end or not, it does not imply "rich" couples will pay big money to hire a wedding photog.

    I'm just offering possible reasons from various psychological perspectives.

    Of course, couples may not rationalize aloud right down to the details why they won't pay a photog here S$10k just for his or her photog services.

    Our market rates for photgs here are dictated by our perception of weddings which can be very different from those elsewhere.

    Basically, what I'm saying is, we have to look at the culture here. Cos some CS members have the fallacious thinking, if somewhere else people are paying photogs so much, so why can't it happen in Singapore?

    And ckuang was saying given that "Singapore has the highest concentration of millionaires at around 12%, one of the highest average spends on weddings and one of highest cost of doing business in the world", it is surprising the high end market tops at about S$8k.

    They are not looking at the big picture. You can't explain things just by implying rich = willing to pay more.

  13. #53

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by ckuang View Post
    When you consider that Singapore has the highest concentration of millionaires at around 12%, one of the highest average spends on weddings and one of highest cost of doing business in the world, it's actually surprising that the high end market in Singapore tops out at around SGD$8K only.
    good point Kuang. But then again, when our market consist of such a HUGE middle range market, its hardly strange that everyone across the board thinks that the high end market should be charging only 8k and below.


    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
    I think you can't equate having many rich people in Singapore to the expectation that high end wedding photography here to cost a lot more, like in excess of $10k. Neither is the comparison with other countries like Australia a fair one. There are so many factors to consider.

    Culture is one big factor. We also have different views about weddings.

    In Singapore, a typical wedding may not be as grand or posh as what you see overseas. Overseas, it's not rare to see Rolls Royce cars, very grand rooms. beautifully decorated places, well-dressed guests, etc.

    To us, yes, weddings are a big affair but many Singaporeans are also practical minded people. Life goes on after the wedding -- rat-race, sprucing up your crazily expensive new but small HDB homes, buying a car, etc. Better to save up money for all these.

    2ndly, Singapore is so small. Parents and children who get married will still meet each other after the marriage.

    3rdly, Singapore is so damn bloody warm and lighting usually harsh. I wonder how long ang mo photographers can last here.

    4thly, there's really no nice place to take pics here.

    You may wonder what have all these got to do with pricing? A lot!

    How many times have you seen guests in Singapore dress in nice and formal outfits? There are uncles who come in polo T and many just have the "come on, get it going, I want to go home soon" feeling. A wedding is not something WOW to them.

    Overseas, children don't meet their parents and relatives for a long long time. They want good pictures to keep as memories.

    For point 3 above, overseas weddings are usually cooler. You can wear nice clothes without sweating like roasted porks. Everyone feels good in the pictures. And Chinese weddings here may start at crazy times, with crazy tight schedules. Couples and poor photographer typically running around. I don't even know if it's called a "wedding".

    Point 4 above: Typical HDB flats. So cramped. (Ugly someitmes!) Lighting may be tough. No nice surroundings like the countryside with good lighting.

    Taken all together, you think a typical couple (consider themselves rich) here will want to pay a photographer $10k for a full day wedding? As long as they can get decent pictures, that will do. And I don't think it's a wrong mindset, considering the factors I've listed above.
    some interesting points as well. Isnt it true that it is possible if lets say a group of ppl decided to set a trend to start a minimum of 5K service rates only. then everyone else starts to follow? Cos the service provider these days carry a huge mindset that photography is easy money?

  14. #54

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by shinken View Post
    kiwi2:

    I agree. In fact, in Singapore or not, it's unrealistic to assume that being rich equates to spending more money on any specific type of goods, photography or otherwise. There's a danger of over-generalization.

    But that's the risk of any type of generalization. And any generalizations can be contextualized and debunked, as illustrated by yourself. This particular generalization on high end photography is no different.

    However, it is not unrealistic to assume that having a high percentage of the rich should translate to a proportionately higher (which in the case of Singapore, doesn't) willingness and ability to spend more on any type of commodity, photography or otherwise.

    In my most humble opinion, the very fact that '8k' is a ceiling, is because the majority sees that as a ceiling. Some of the reasons brought up by yourself and others. Valid and logical reasons, no less. But it's an imaginary ceiling. This ceiling can be pushed. In the case of Singapore where the high end is able and willing to pay for higher priced photography, the fixation on a 'realistic pricing' only serves to limit the potential for growth. My argument and point of view applies to any industry.

    The rich are already paying the highest prices in the world for a variety of goods and services, some of them would have been deemed illogical in the past.
    Yes, I definitely see your point.

    As you mentioned, I think the upper ceiling can be pushed. I think the higher end photographers have been doing it along the years. Slow but they are moving. In fact, I didn't even know it's 8k now. The last I heard 1-2 years ago, it was 5-6k.

    So I don't see that as a challenge for these photographers. Unless they want to quickly charge like above $10k in a few short months. That will be unrealistic.

    The big challenge I feel is having every photographer from the low to mid to high ends all moving together in price.

    And that's why I gave the reasons of the perception of weddings here, and how a typical Singapore wedding is like that affect your asking price.

    I'd like to give egs again here. Cos I feel with egs, people will appreciate the situation better.

    As I've mentioned earlier, how do a local couple look at weddings? Sure, some want the best photographer, the best albums. But the meaning they attach to a wedding is very different from Western couples (I use Western cos photogs are generally paid higher than our local ones).

    Their weddings can be super grand. Some of them live in very beautiful big houses with large gardens which our local semi D can definitely not match. Many of their guests wear nice jackets and tuxedos, the bridesmaid are all decked out in their beautifully designed gowns. Their cars are not the usual Mercs you find here. They have Bentleys and Rolls Royces. And they get married in super beautiful churches that none here can compare with.

    Now, if you ask me, I'd say paying the photographer $12k, heck make it $15k makes sense. The photographer himself is also dressed very smartly in tie, jacket, no less. Everyone and everything looks classy. The price of the deco matches the price of the photographer.

    Moreover like I mentioned, photos are more treasured over there cos many of these children have not met their parents for a long time. And after they get married, they could live thousand of miles away and who knows when they will see their loved ones again. Weddings are possibly the only time every loved ones get together for one last time.

    Now back in Singapore. Our climate is so warm. Guests are not well-dressed. Even the activities can look frivolous. I dunno about you guys, but when I see all those crazy gate crashes, guests who dress in plain shirts or even T-shirts, mundane customary tea ceremonies, plain churches with boring 4 white walls, etc.... The price of a $12k photographer just doesn't match the occasion. No matter how good his skills are.

    And the meaning attached to photos is not as strong as those overseas. Married couples here can always visit their parents and loved ones any time -- darn, Singapore is so small.

    So overall, the perception and expectation one attaches to a photo is definitely not as strong. They just want memories which does not necessarily mean you got to get the higher charging photographers. Many mid ranged ones can do the job very well.

    You would need super strong valid reasons to charge the couples a lot. Anyway, it's so easy to get other photographers who are willing to do a good job for less price. You may choose to increase your price by 1-2k this very instant. But couples, rich ones included, are not dumb. They know they can find cheaper ones of the same standard as you. So why not? They won't throw their money away so easily even though $10k may be peanuts to them.

    This is a photo forum so I do admit photographers here do have a tendency to be biased towards themselves. Now put yourself in the shoes of couples who are not rich. Why not we argue there are many other countries with talented photographers and they charge much less. Why should our photographers here charge so much higher than them?

    Therein lies also the consideration of the standards of living. To me, it's quite expensive to live in Singapore, definitely a lot more expensive than our ASEAN neighbours. So we can't sell services as cheaply as them. But we are not in the same league as those in the West or Europe. So naturally, things there generally cost more.

    That's why I emphasize you need to take into consideration the culture. Naturally, everyone wants more $$$.

    Just some digression... The way I see wedding photography here, I think it's so darn crazy. The photographer will have to wake up super early to be at the bride's home by unearthly times like 5am. They literally have to run around, snap snap snap, be called to snap boring ceremonies, then before they could even take a good breather, it's time to leave again at 5pm and prepare for the dinner. And everything ends only by super late 11pm.

    After all these crazy movements and rushing around, many photographers say how much they "enjoy" the weddings. How nice the couples are. How this and that. Everything sounds so nice. Honestly, with all the rushing, the terrible heat and humidity here, the lack of sleep, the backbreaking tasks to carry out, how can anyone enjoy?

    Therefore, I think the only way you can put on such a front is when you are duly paid a good sum of $$$. So I certainly understand why so many pros right now always argue for a higher ceiling. Unfortunately..... as I said, things are not as simple as it sounds. Consider the culture, situation and perception of photography here!

  15. #55

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    kiwi2:

    In principle, we're in agreement. I do agree with your perspective on pricing and equitable value. Although in reality, not just in photography, we also witness how price does not equate quality. I'm sure you can come up with countless other examples from tons of other industries. You're also right to be uncomfortable about the nature of pricing with regards to an area you're an expert in (i.e. photography) as compared to another industry. I totally agree how the quality of photography in Singapore is not always reflected in the asking price. Even though we see similar phenomenon in various parts of the world as well, perhaps of a different frequency in terms of occurrences.

    I believe in a similar way, there are people in F&B (lousy food, service, ambiance and high prices?), entertainment or any other industry (cars that break down several times a year, costing a few times more than a more reliable one?), questioning the pricing decisions by various companies and businesses.

    Like how a Ferrari or Lambo can never extend its muscles sufficiently to a fraction of its capability in SG, yet people are still paying several times more (than what it cost elsewhere) just to own it; even if the photography opportunities of a wedding held in Singapore is limiting in potential, there should still be people willing to pay a premium (questionable or otherwise) for it.
    Last edited by shinken; 30th June 2010 at 01:26 PM.

  16. #56

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    I think that it is foolish to think that 8k is too much. I think what would be useful is for someone to come up with a list of costs of a wedding.
    For example, how much do the flowers cost, what is the cost per table, etc etc etc.

    That may put into perspective arguing about $3-5k vs $8k.

    And if you want to raise the value of wedding photography how about looking into how you can integrate your services into the wedding dinner itself, so that the photography is not just a quick slideshow and then a personal collection to be stored away?
    Make it part of the wedding entertainment itself and people may be more willing to pay more money

  17. #57

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Culture has the most impact in pricing.
    a) one word summary of Singapore is Pragmatic
    b) Singaporeans by and large do not appreciate art/design as compared to countries like UK
    c) Clients(consumer not commercial) would ask for an average market rate, then top up a bit more for security in "quality" which they are oblivious of.
    d) I guess even if top rated pg make ordinary chijmes look extraordinary, client won't be 'WOW' by it.
    e) Singaporeans has mid-low degree of respect to ceremonies. In US even during summer season, people wear suits to attend funeral.
    f) Singaporeans like "investors" would like to gain more than 200% of what they invest in. (they pay $100, they demand >$200 quality)
    g) Singaporeans are not well trained in their eyes to differentiate one average pg from pro pg. (They most likely give excuses like bcuz pro pg uses pro-grade dslr that's why they can achieve this and that, or ever DSLR is the same [black, big in size], why pay more?)
    h) typically AngPow is only to pay the food they eat. but not every one gives AngPow.
    i) Since divorce rate is on the raise, how special can a wedding ceremony be to pay premium price? most people think that marriage is just a contract

    It is just my observation as a Singaporean, and my broad generalisation.
    I would wait for the desert in the wedding dinner because it is the NICEST DISH of the night!

    I wonder if there's such a thing called landscape wedding, (couple at foreground, with nice bg)
    Lastly, it is not as saturated as you think, or as they(both clients and competitors) want you to think.
    Last edited by DarkPa1adin; 30th June 2010 at 03:32 PM.

  18. #58

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    there are some different between shooting for consumers and commercials.

    for consumers, photographers are selling fantasy to them, as such, the value of the photos is very subjective, it can worth thousand to this customer but it is worthless to another person. So it does not make sense to many people.
    yeap..

    give u a properly taken photo of my client's product/dish..to you it is just a stack of food..

    to him, becos of the photo..every of his customers points to it and order...

    n that is where the value is.

  19. #59

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    Quite a good discussion going on here but I sincerely did not know that the market in Aussie can go up to 10k. Man, that is really something.

  20. #60

    Default Re: Do you think photography biz market is saturated?

    A very good read..
    Please Don't Report This Post To A Moderator

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