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Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!

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Old March 27th, 2004, 12:23 AM   #16
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,483
I can totally relate with your feelings about the
photomontages. This is one add-on that I hope
they *don't* request. But they have.
You know what I've seen a bit of that I'd like to
get into is what's called "bridal elegance".
It's not too far off from love stories. I haven't
had any interest expressed in love stories,
I have had requests to do extensive coverage of
bachlor/bachlorette parties. Or also "guys" and
"girls" pre-wedding "get-togethers" for round of
golf/bowling, et cetera.
I've read on another forum from a guy who has
been in this business for awhile that the real
budget brides, you don't even want them. That they
are more demanding and much less appreciative
of the finished product than the ones who
spend $2000. His theory on that was that some
B&Gs making "professional wages" themselves
can understand why a good videographer
charges what he/she does, but that the budget
ones have unrealistic expectations. Not an exact
quote, but the jist is there. I tend to believe him
based upon his level of experience, which makes
me leery just starting out (more or less), like yourself.
At first, that's what you have to deal with it seems.
Have you managed to break into that upper echelon?
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Old March 27th, 2004, 12:55 AM   #17
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: United States
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starting out and budget brides...

Yep. I'm dealing with one right now. I cut a deal for some out of state bride on Valentine's day. She told me outright that I was too expensive over the phone and for whatever reason I relented and gave her $300 off. She's been more than demanding even going as far as to tell me how to run my business. She also is tardy in getting me some pictures she insisted be included at the beginning of the video. She even altered the contract that I sent her. Everything you described and then some.... also never fall for the "it's a small wedding" spiel. Sure it's small but they then expect you to get on camera interviews from all 60 guests!!!

I'm looking forward to kissing these clients off with good riddance. However I'm not there yet. Maybe in another season or so...
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Old March 27th, 2004, 01:02 AM   #18
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catch 22

Another catch with cheap brides is that there is no pleasing them. In fact the harder you try it seems the more they want to burn you. I'm tempted to just finish the video with the one I mentioned about and send it certified mail. That way they'll sign for it and it will be a done deal. I wouldn't even call them back to see if they liked it or not because more likely than not she'll have something to complain about and want me to fix. It's risky I know but it just might be my best bet.
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Old March 27th, 2004, 02:26 AM   #19
Join Date: Aug 2003
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"Altered the contract"?

Yep, sounds like you're more or less a start-up, like
us. We have one that sent the retainer, but not the
My opinion on the "trouble bride" is don't even
call her. Cut her loose.
Right now we're dealing with an unexpected
Get this: She signed for our "ceremony only"
package. She went on to inform us that
her "arrival" is at 10:30. Then her prep
follows till noon. Then she has a photo shoot
which, she noted, she wants extensive video
coverage of. Then her ceremony, which will
last from 3 till 4. Then receiving line. Then
cake cutting.
Basically, this girl is not having a reception, so
far as we can tell. But to her mind, this is all
under "ceremony only".
I caught your drift about "hourly" but I just don't
know if that will work out when you're first
starting out.
Boy, can't wait till we're doing only The Debutantes,
like Don. : - )
Don, does a person have to put up with this as
a start-up?
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Old March 27th, 2004, 06:12 AM   #20
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
Geez, sorry guys, I got distracted from this thread for a few days.

Dave, I looked at the flowpod and no, I won't be investing in one. I DO however on occassion use a monopod at ceremonies and at receptions use it frequently. I use a wrist weight from a sporting goods store on the bottom to sorta balance it out but I'm also using the Bogen 682B which has the legs at the bottom so I can set it down. Not the same as a glidecam or anyother stabilser method but it works for me to do what I need it to do.

As for getting the higher end brides, well, 1st let me say that once you've built your reel, then you need to be brutal when looking at it and compare your work to others around the country who are getting the higher end brides and be as objective as possible. Does your work compare in quality to theirs? THEN, if you feel it does raise your prices. In the last 5 years I've raised my price LOTS first a small amount then more then more until today my pricing is commensurate with the higher end videoguys (girls) in my area and the quality of work compares also. NOT THE STYLE, my style is different and although I offer a long form style, I haven't had anyone but it in over 2 years. Remember, the geogaphic area, the demographics,the market,your abilities as a businessperson and your abilities as a cameraperson and editor...determine your pricing. However, IMHO, what people buy is STYLE,QUALITY and CONTENT.

I do offer photo montages and engagement videos but frankly I don't get a lot of call for the montages, as they'll either do them themselves (poorly) or not at all, mostly-not as all. The engagement video,depends on the time of year. Not so much in December in Chicago but the spring-summer months a few.

Well I hope that helps some remember, you can't charge $5000 overnight-well you could but you probably wouldn't work much but IF you want to do the higher end , your work has to reflect that and so do your prices. Higher end buyers won't buy low qaulity, no matter the price, but if you charge high, you'd better give them what they expect-high quality and excellant service. I love the higher end buyer, for me, as demanding as they are, they are great to work with. I do know some that are PITA as well, just like the bride who's looking to get 10 hours of video for nothing.
BTW, I'm now in my 21 year of video with 12 before that as a still photographer. No wonder I'm tired!
I should of listened to my parents when I was a kid and been a dentist! ;-0

Anyway, gotta get ready for a wedding today,
Don B.
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Old March 27th, 2004, 10:52 AM   #21
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Location: United States
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Confidence in your work is the key...

I have found in my young business experience that you cannot falter with people. You have to be exacting with everything you say and do. That means you also don't give in to these clients in question. If you charge a certain price then you don't discount. You have to believe that your work is worth the price you charge otherwise you'll be taken advantage of. Luckily my dad is a business man and has a good eye. He looked at my work and the time I invest in it and told me that I should be charging $2,000. Of course I disagreed. I'm anal and fairly observant of what I see out there on the web. I decided a couple of months ago that my work was worth $1500. I had been charging less but not much. If it were not for my dad's advice I'd still be at $1,000. The magic number it seems for getting away from the 'knotties' is $1500. At that point they won't even bother trying to haggle with you. Why? Because $1,000 is usually their limit. Sometimes they go above it but then start wanting free stuff because "so and so will do it for half of what you're charging". Yes all of us hear the same thing from these types.
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Old March 31st, 2004, 05:06 AM   #22
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Location: Aus
Posts: 3,884
the trick is educationg your POTENTIAL clients...

once educated, they usually scan the scene...

99.999% they come back :)

1) you KNOW what youre saying and doing and you PROVE it

2) Your Work is demonstrated without apprehension or fear

3) Your Price is RIGHT for what they NEED

4) THEIR character is visible within the Presentation

5) Choice of music and editing style FLOWS seemelessly

6) Presentation of Final Package is FLAWLESS

Weddings rent easy, and theyre a damn rip off...
I make more money on a 3 day Corp job than id make on a high end wedding package here. Here in Oz, wedding video isnt looked upon as being important. that and afew people and so called "Accreditation Services" have ruined the industry for us.

In the ned, if you beleive in what you do, the client WILL recognise it.
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