It is amazing on how 6 months could have change the whole world in such drastic way. As for the New Zealand photography and the wedding industry, things will definitely be difficult from this point onwards. Many New Zealand wedding photographers will struggle. We have seen this in many northern atmosphere countries where the pandemic takes place just before their summer, the peak wedding season.
There was an article recently which criticised China for the Covid-19 situation, saying that China has won World War 3 without firing a single shot. World War is an international catastrophic event that cost the lives of hundreds and thousands and live in infamy among our history book. When I step back and look at the cost of this Covid-19 pandemic, such comparison really strike my nerve as to the scale of devastation of this virus around the world. And yet, we all must find a way to move on.
As a New Zealand wedding photographer, life will never be the same. This is of course true for every other wedding vendors around New Zealand, as brides and grooms have to adjust their wedding planning to cope with the restrictions in place. So here are some of the wedding trends that I think will take place over the next year or so:
- The demand for New Zealand wedding photography will still be strong, as we are tasked with the responsibility to capture and create beautiful memories for our clients. Wedding photography will always be one of the most important item on a wedding budget list. There will always photographers who will cater for high end clients, and those will cater for more budget conscious clients.
- Weddings will be smaller, mainly due to the border restriction. A Trans Tasman bubble would make a massive difference to the wedding planning as many wedding guests and families are often from Australia.
- Elopement will be more popular and the demand for elopement photographer will increase. I certainly love doing elopement photography, where I can still celebrate such a special event with my clients, and go on pretty awesome adventures to wild and rugged landscape of New Zealand
- Wedding videography will become even more important than before so the brides and grooms can share more of their wedding memories with families and friends. I have always love doing wedding videography for our clients to compliment our wedding images. I hope this will continue as weddings are just so much fun, and wedding has their own unique love story.
- Some New Zealand photographers and videographers may not survive the down turn, or just do not want to expose themselves to the risk of being around many strangers weeks in and weeks out. As long as we can keep the virus out of the border, and all of us play our part with social distancing, we are in pretty safe hand. However, only time will tell. We have seen second waves in other countries such as Germany, Taiwan and South Korea. But I certainly do have high hope for New Zealand, not just for my photography business, but for the lives and safety of all of us.
- There will be next to zero overseas clients for the foreseeable future. With the border being closed to foreigners until a vaccine is available, or our health system, quarantine and testing procedures are adequately in place, overseas market is essentially zero. I know the New Zealand government will look at this very carefully, as their are many sectors that need this overseas revenue, such as high value intentional students for tertiary institutes. In regards to wedding photography, we are essentially talking about pre-wedding photography which is very popular with Asian clientele from the likes of China, Japan, Vietnam etc. It will be interesting when the border opens as to the interest of these clients to come all the way to New Zealand to celebrate their love stories.
- There will be weddings upon weddings in the 2021 season. As you can imagine, all the postponements from this summer will be shifted to the summer of 2021. There will also be the regular 20,000 odd weddings to be held annually. Thus, you will have alot of tired and overworked wedding vendors all around New Zealand. Still, I don’t think many of the vendors will be complaining. With unemployment hitting record highs in recent years, we are very lucky to be in an industry that our services are needed for such important events.
So what do I feel about all of this? I feel blessed that we are fighting this virus in New Zealand and not in any other countries. Our small population, isolated location, easy of closing the border, and the dedication of 99% of the population involved, we have done remarkably well. Over the last week or so, our new cases have been zeros and just a few here and there. The economic burden will be huge and be felt for many years to come. The mental and health effect will become apparent as time goes on. But for now, I feel safe for myself, my family, and for the rest of New Zealand. I can’t wait to see how New Zealand will step out of this situation, as well as small and local businesses around the country. Always look on the bright side of life I say :).