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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old January 10th, 2008, 04:43 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Matt Bishop View Post
Thanks Mark! That was very helpful information. I think I am already in the process of doing a lot of what you've said. I currently have my prices on the website, but within a week or so I plan to take those off...

I would also like to see what you think about pricing as the post above mentioned. If my middle package is 1800, where do you think my top should be ? In this market, there is a complete population of 380,000 with all cities combined so it's good enough to support this work, but I feel it's still a bit behind and people still see video as an extra if they have the money. We are working to change that as we have created a vidoegraphers association and are getting the word out a little more. I myself am using every outlet I can to advertise and get work out there for everyone to see what wedding videos really can be. The photographers here get an average of 3-5k for their weddings but I've yet to see a videographer make more than 2500.
Hi Matt,

You are welcome. It always been a debate to whether you should or should not have your prices on your website. If you want to sell brides on a cheap price, then you should have your prices listed, or if you have more business than you can handle and don't want to qualify Brides over the phone, then list your prices and let your website qualify the Bride.

If you are on the upper range of the market you may not want to list your prices. I say that because I want the Bride to look at my work first. If she loves my work, she may be willing to pay my price. If she sees my price first, then she may not even bother to look at my work.

If your middle package is $1800, then I say raise it. Seriously. Maybe you don't raise it tomorrow, but that middle package needs to go up, especially if the photographers are getting 3-5K. The photographer have already proven that there is some money in your market.

I'm going to cheat a little, and you will know what I mean, but here is a way to look at pricing. If you are pricing yourself too low, you can't just double or triple prices overnight. So what can your do? Go up gradually. What is your goal for the total number of weddings in 2008? When you have hit 40-50% of that goal take your prices up a few hundred dollars. If you have already booked more than 50% of your goal, then go up more than a few hundred dollars. The higher up you go the less you will usually book, but you don't have to book as many at higher prices. Do you really want to be away from your family every weekend?

You mentioned your local video association. That is great that a market your size has a video assocation. That can be a very good thing.

You also mentioned that you are using every oultet you can to get the work out, but I haven't seen you mention Wedding Day Edits, also known as, Same Day Edits. If you have not done a WDE, you need to. It's a great marketing tool. It's a wonderful way to show your work to 200-400 of the Brides closest friends on a large screen. It's also great marketing with other vendors.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 04:55 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw View Post
I know this is an old debate, but if you could do one wedding video a week at $1500 for just 40 weeks per year that's $60K gross, which even after expenses is at least equal with the average U.S. household income.
Hi Kevin,

We will probably have to agree to disagree, but there is not much left to support a family on the net of a $60K gross. Between monthly business expenses, taxes, insurance, savings and not to mention replacing equipment and growing your business.

Now if you have another source of income from a spouse or an additional income and your video income only supplements the household income, then that is a different story.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 05:03 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Denis Danatzko View Post

...for an over-the-top wedding package, would it be entirely impractical to offer a highlights DVD as "favors" for guests? (It would require someone to burn and print x number of DVDs in the course of the reception, but would, IMO, be more memorable - and considerably more expensive - than a book of matches, etc., and could lead to more clients). There would probably be few takers for such a package, but it would certainly be "over-the-top" for a very high-end client. Something like Microboards GX Disc Publisher might be useful for such a job, with a copy of the invitation as a cover and/or case insert...
Hi Dennis,

That is a great idea. We have done that twice after creating a Wedding Day Edit. With our own client, they booked a WDE and then ordered 200 DVDs as Thank You's for their guests, which were given out before the end of the reception. We charged $5.00 a disc, in addition to the WDE fee.

We did a WDE for another videographer and he sold 200 Thank You DVDs to the B&G to be handed out to the guests at the reception for $10 each. The Bride liked the WDE so much that she bought another 200 WDE DVDs to send to people who did not come to the wedding. That was a gross of $4000 in just Thank You DVDs. At the same time, it was great advertising for the videographer.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 05:12 PM   #49
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I would love to get setup to do a SDE. I can have the equipment and pull it off in most situations, but when it's hard to get the brides to pay for the product, how do you get them to throw on an extra like that and upsell them on it.

I would love to hear your opinion and anyone else that's doing these on how you got started doing them. I feel that when I watch SDE from other people, they almost have a different kind of couple than I typically see here. Most people here would see that as something that is not needed at all. Again I mentioned before that video is still something that is not needed, but added if you have the money.

Now I'm not trying to come out here and act like I can't get any money and that everyone is cheap. We do book 30 each year and do very well, but you're right that there is more money because they do see the need for the photography here. I just need to find the right formula in getting the work for what it's worth and helping to educate and develop a new mentality on how they see this service....and all of this is helping a lot. The wheels are turning! I appreciate everyone's help and comments.
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Old January 11th, 2008, 08:26 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Bishop View Post
I would love to get setup to do a SDE. I can have the equipment and pull it off in most situations, but when it's hard to get the brides to pay for the product, how do you get them to throw on an extra like that and upsell them on it.


Now I'm not trying to come out here and act like I can't get any money and that everyone is cheap. We do book 30 each year and do very well, but you're right that there is more money because they do see the need for the photography here. I just need to find the right formula in getting the work for what it's worth and helping to educate and develop a new mentality on how they see this service....and all of this is helping a lot. The wheels are turning! I appreciate everyone's help and comments.
Hi Matt,

I feel your pain. Upselling a Bride on a WDE can be a challenge, especially when the Brides total budget for video is less than $2k. I have seen WDE prices from $500-2000. We charge local Brides $1000. It seems like the videographers in big markets with big budgets have an easier time selling WDEs.

To help in selling a WDE, you could try doing one for free. You want to select a couple who will have a nice ceremony and reception. You also want to select a couple who is likely to friends who can afford your services.

One of the conditions for doing the WDE at no charge is that the couple will do two things. One, give you an interview after watching it. Two, send the link that you will provide of the WDE, to their friends.

You need to have two cameras rolling during the WDE presentation. One on the couple, of course from a distance and the other one from the back or the room, showing the WDE being projected. Roll cameras all through the presentation as well as for the applause after the presentation.

You can put together an edit from this footage and use it to sell WDE's to future Brides. Many Brides can't appreciate the value of a WDE, so it's up to you to show them the value.
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Old January 18th, 2008, 06:40 PM   #51
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A Marketing idea for WDE's?

Mark,

When showing a WDE during the reception, have you also taped those watching to get their reaction to the WDE, then use that footage in a marketing/demo reel?

Or, have you taped the b&g's reaction/response in a post-ceremony interview? The parents? Some sound-byte clips of people's reactions, interspersed with some of the WDE content itself, might be enough of a commercial for upselling, maybe from your web site.

Seems either would helpful there.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 10:33 AM   #52
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Hi Dennis,

I'm sorry for the delay in responding to you. We were in Orlando for 10 days and I am now getting caught up with everything from being gone.

Yes, we have shot the couples reactions as well as their comments after seeing the presentation. On our 2007 demo we showed a B&G watching their WDE as well as their comments about the WDE.

The best reactions we have ever had was from a couple of years ago. I wanted to put it on our 2008 demo, but ran out of time. Your post reminded me that I need to use it on our website. Thanks.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 05:17 PM   #53
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Couple of general assumptions of our customer base:

1. Customers compare a photographer's work to what they see in popular print media to subconsciously judge the skill of the photographer.

2. Customers compare a videographer's work to what they see in movies + television to subconsciously judge the skill of the videographer.

When it comes to photography, a single person can potentially spend a few thousand dollars, pack all of his gear into a backpack and capture images that are on par with stuff in print media. The artist is the bottleneck here, not the equipment.

The problem with Video is that it takes a ton of equipment, money, and man power to produce a video with a look that comes even remotely close to what we see in movies and television. After all, the negatively connotated term "video-look" was derived from this comparison. The equipment and budget, to a large extend is the bottleneck to full artistic potential.

So from our perspective, we should be charging more for our work accordingly, but that won't work and it will not change until there is industry wide bump in prices and acceptance from the customer base, which will take a long time. If not that, the customers will simply settle for the "sub par video-look" products and the artists behind the camera will forever be locked into this perpetual cycle of producing work that we know can be much better but is prohibited by the laws of economy.
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Old August 28th, 2008, 11:18 PM   #54
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ok i just read some posts ONLY at the start and here's my thought.

What if a Sony Z8 or Z9 (future camera) with a built in Nikon D3?
I hope that sort of camera would come out. haha


Would photographers fights with videographers for market shares?
what's the new job title? videophotographers or photovideographers . which one sound better?
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Old August 29th, 2008, 03:47 AM   #55
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Sony already makes something that's getting pretty close... the little SR11/12 and the new CX12... both are designed to shoot dual mode, meaning you can shoot "7.2 Mpixel" still simultaneously with shooting HD video.

Although the stills aren't on par with a good dedicated still cam (I suspect the compression algorithm is optimised for display on a large 1080i TV), they aren't bad with some post sweetening. As always, it's the composition of the shot... and that depends on the skill of the operator, but it's probably a sign of things to come.

For the "tight budget" client, hiring an experienced shooter with a dual mode cam might well be a practical solution. I'm considering trying a 2 cam, 2 op shoot (with a safety angle in the back on tripod) with this approach - something just to meet the market in a bad economy... Shoot the formals with the old DSLR, but cover most of the event with the dual mode approach.

Even wackier is the "smile mode" in the CX12 - the thing knows when someone smiles and pops off a still while it's shooting video... all by itself! I can see these being very good for front angle shots with carefully placed cams - bride smiles, click... etc...
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Old December 20th, 2008, 03:08 PM   #56
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Perhaps this is unorthodox but i thought it might be entertaining to look back on a not so old post.
Even if its just to acknowledge how far and how fast this thing is moving!
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Old December 20th, 2008, 09:34 PM   #57
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Its been almost a year since I started this post, and I have to say I still feel someone who is good at Videography will always be able to find work. I have always been able to pick up things very quickly, and did with photography, video is taking me MUCH longer, not to master but to be decent at. Sure I can set up a tripod, run a single camera of an event that requires no zooming, panning etc. But to do a wedding that requires good audio in the wedding envirement (from soft vows, to loud receptions) Multi camera angles etc. Oh yea and add in that your doing a couple weddings a month, not just one or two a year. This is a occupation that not many will be able to do. Many may try, and get in and then back out as fast as they got in. I dont see too many people jumping into this business anytime soon. Could be wrong but that is MHO.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 09:56 PM   #58
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It takes a special sort of person, that's for sure...

The job description would probably be part daredevil, part gearhead/geek, part artist, and part just plain nuts...

To shoot video is "easy"... to shoot/edit/produce video worth watching more than once (if that)... whole nother ball o' cheese! Especially doing it live with no retakes, taking the results, tossing them in the blender, and creating something with lasting significance...

If you stick with it and really enjoy it, it's fun though, keeps weddings from being dreadfully boring!
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Old December 20th, 2008, 10:14 PM   #59
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I will stick with it, have way too much invested now not to, and can finally see some better footage, and easier to edit stuff.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 10:25 AM   #60
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... but I don't see how anyone can say that a frame grab, even a nicely shot hd frame grab can compare with a well shot still. Think of the differences in the cameras. Our prosumer HD cams don't have anywhere near the latitude of the good DSLR's that the photogs are using and the resolution isn't close either.
We're right on the verge of that changing. The frame grabs from the 5DII are great up to 8x10. And there still the option of pressing the shutter button and getting the full 21mp. The next RED cameras will produce very high quality frame grabs too.

BUT....looking at both frame grabs and still shots from on most videographers website shows me that the basics of good people photography aren't understood. There no fill light or catch light when needed, there are bright backgrounds and faces in shade. More knowledgeable B&G aren't going to buy that. And this doesn't even address proper posing for more formal shots that most couple want. This is craft stuff, not art. It's taught in books and DVDs and seminars.
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