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Old December 1st, 2002, 12:31 PM   #1
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Wedding Videographers - How Did You Start?

For those of you shooting wedding videos, how did you start?

I'm considering entering this field, but have no experience, like most of you at one time, but am at a loss of where to take the first step.

Did you shoot a friends wedding first, then show it around, community events, etc.?

How did you build your video portfolios?

Thanks
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Old December 1st, 2002, 02:23 PM   #2
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It wouldn't hurt to do a friends wedding first at no charge and get permission to use it to show others who would be interested in your services. I just got right into it. I made a lot of advertising posters and posted them wherever I could....Jewelry stores, Flower shops, Textile shops, anywhere that anybody involved in a wedding might shop or browse. It's also a good idea to have business cards and pass give them to the store managers of these shops. I think confidence is the big key here. You can't satisfy everbody no matter how much knowledge or gear you might have.

Try to get a videotape of somebody's wedding that was done by an expert videographer and view it a few times. It will give you a good look at how to frame shots, angles etc.

Experience is really the biggest key to developing you own personal style and expertise. And remember to have fun.
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Old December 1st, 2002, 07:03 PM   #3
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How did I start? People/friends saw my other videos and photos and just asked me to do their weddings. No one killed me yet! (And they tell their friends about me.)

My wife's cousin started by setting up a photo/video studio. He makes a killing. But then he invested in good gear and has 2 other people working for him---so he's not the only one doing the sales, shooting and editing.

A great website about shooting weddings here:

http://www.videouniversity.com
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Old December 1st, 2002, 07:19 PM   #4
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Thanks to all for the advice, encouragement and links. Looks like it's just a matter of getting my feet wet.
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Old December 1st, 2002, 10:14 PM   #5
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Oh, one more thing. I use a JVC 1 CCD (GR-DVL9500) cam to shoot weddings, and no NLE. Now just imagine what you can do with a GL2 or VX2000 and an editing setup! Ugh! All you need is money (and getting your feet wet).

Just keep in mind, though, it's not so much the cam as it is skill (and getting your feet wet). It's fun doing a wedding, but lots of work! You gotta set-up fast, be prepared, and do a lot of running around (I just limp around due to my bad knees). Good luck.

PS: one more thing, get yourself a good, HEAVY tripod. It won't get knocked down as easily by the drunks and children.
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Old December 2nd, 2002, 06:02 AM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Frank Granovski : Oh, one more thing. I use a JVC 1 CCD (GR-DVL9500) cam to shoot weddings, and no NLE. Now just imagine what you can do with a GL2 or VX2000 and an editing setup! Ugh! All you need is money (and getting your feet wet).
-->>>

Well, I've got the GL2, tripod, and FCP, and a Steadicam JR, now all I need is some talent. Wish that was as easy to buy as the rest of the equipment. But, I guess the old saying, "99% perspiration, 1% inspiration", could apply here as well.

Thanks again.
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Old December 2nd, 2002, 07:04 AM   #7
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If it were easy, everyone would do it. One of my favorite sayings.

Jeff
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Old December 2nd, 2002, 10:20 AM   #8
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Honest question, not an observation:

Isn't the market for wedding videographers flooded by now? At least in the big cities, and for the larger bigger budget production companies?
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Old December 2nd, 2002, 04:36 PM   #9
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I think there is always room for more, especially in a large market. The demographics of a large market are always changing, creating new markets. There's less change in a smaller market, unless there is a catalyst for growth like colleges.

What always amazes me is how the established production people look down on newcomers. I frequently hear wedding videographers bad mouthing the new guy for whoring his services. Saying how he's killing the market by lowering his prices. When I point out that is the way he started 10 years ago, I usually get a response something to the effect that things were differently back then.

If you can market your services, in a creative, fresh way, you'll have a market for your work.

Jeff
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Old December 2nd, 2002, 05:34 PM   #10
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I have a lot of respect for the guys and gals who are Wedding Videographers. It is a tough job and you give up your weekends doing it. There is a lot to making this business go, with constant promotion to get the business off the ground. On top of that you deal with families on a very important day. Their emotions are running high and it can make for a stressful situation.

The Houston market spans the spectrum of wedding videographers. Mark Bearden (DVinfo.net member) runs a pretty successful wedding business. He does some pretty cool things for his clients and does a great job of working with them. From talking with him, it is the extra things (service, delivering on promises, simply being nice) that creates referals. We live in a world were good service in not the norm.
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Old December 2nd, 2002, 05:51 PM   #11
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Service is King. It's everything to a small business. The other thing is returning a phone call. If I had a dime for every time, I asked someone to call me back and never heard from them again. It's no way to do business.

Jeff
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Old December 2nd, 2002, 06:07 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jeff Donald : Service is King. It's everything to a small business. The other thing is returning a phone call. If I had a dime for every time, I asked someone to call me back and never heard from them again. It's no way to do business.

Jeff -->>>

Having spent most of my adult life in some sort of sales capacity, nothing drives me more crazy than an unreturned phone call. I could write a book on this subject. It all starts with communication. What amazes me is the small business owners who don't understand this simple revenue generating idea.

Jeff - you hit on a very sore subject with me!
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Old January 16th, 2003, 01:28 PM   #13
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Destination Weddings

hello!
Has anyone ever shot a destination wedding? A bride to be has asked for a quote from me to videotape her Jamaica wedding; I don't know where to start as far as compiling a quote, and what rates to charge for a destination wedding. I basically want to know how to break down my costs.

P.S (I've done one other destination wedding, but that was for a friend of my husbands) They covered all expenses for us to get to to Aruba plus hotel, so that was considered our "payment."

Any opinions offered here would be much appreciated.
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