"I remember when there'd be a family photographer at the wedding, and he'd show up with more equipment than I had," Bering says. But that was before digital technology. "During the recession, anyone laid off with a digital camera could be a photographer--or say they were. Now if you go online you'll see page after page of wedding photographers, probably more photographers than there are weddings!
"People with money to burn will still hire a whole coven of photographers, and they'll pay eight to ten grand for all of them. Everybody else is looking for the cheapest thing they can find." Bering doesn't see things improving. "This is the new normal. People who made a living at it can only continue by pandering to the upper 5 percent."
To make ends meet, Bering is cannibalizing his business. "I've sold tons of equipment. I still have enough to do wedding or corporate things, but I don't foresee myself earning a living as a photographer. And I don't know about the future of photography. There're a lot of new photographers out there, but they don't have the training. It's just point and shoot."