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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old December 24th, 2007, 09:39 PM   #1
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Is $100 the standard rate for 2nd videographer (weddings)

Okay, I posted a thread not to long ago about a guy I was freelance for.. for "free" .. well I finally told this guy I expect to be paid like he would pay any other freelancer.. he says $100 is what he pays his other free lancers for each event. Is that a rip off for me, or is that worth a days work as a 2nd videographer? I need an answer asap so I can tell him whether or not I am willing to do this wedding on SATURDAY..
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Old December 24th, 2007, 10:50 PM   #2
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How much does it work out an hour + travel costs + tape costs etc.
What is your hourly rate?

Time is money.
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Old December 24th, 2007, 10:57 PM   #3
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I would say if his rate for a second videographer is just a $100 then he either under priced the job to begin with or he has other cameramen lined up to work for peanuts.

I have a question for you. What does he charge for a wedding?
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Old December 24th, 2007, 11:09 PM   #4
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Is it just the ceremony? Or the whole day? Makes a big difference.

Are you using his equipment, or yours? Also a big difference.

But as Dennis says, just work out what you would like to make an hour, and do the math. Add 'more' if you are using your own equipment.

Also, you should have some kind of minimum fee. What if you decide your rate is $20/hour. Do you get $20 to shoot a one hour ceremony? I don't think so. I would suggest a 4 hour min (at least that goes over where I am). Other shooters work on half and full day rates. No mention of hourly rates at all.

But I read your other thread, too. Adding that to his offer of $100 makes me think you should just move on and find a better person to shoot for. And you now have experience! It's obvious from the way you tell your stories that you think he is taking advantage of you. Why not listen to yourself?

Personally, I wouldn't turn off the tv and go out to shoot anything for $100, unless is was a private project for fun. The time you spend preparing your equipment, testing everything, paying for gas, travel time, etc,... it's just not worth it.

Even a beginner (as long as you are producing good video) with no equipment should be able to make double that in a day. $100 sounds like what you would pay a student to carry your camera bag around.

Just my opinion. Maybe I'm way off base for your area, I don't know...
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Old December 25th, 2007, 12:23 AM   #5
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There is no "standard".

He will pay what somebody will accept as fair value for their time. It's up to "you" to decide whether it's worth your while - nobody else.
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Old December 25th, 2007, 12:44 AM   #6
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I use my own equipment, he charges like 1500 or more for a 2 camera wedding video. so it sounds like I might be being ripped off. I need to answer this guy by tomorrow, as to whether or not i'm going to do the wedding.
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Old December 25th, 2007, 02:42 AM   #7
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Hi Jenna,
If you feel like taking the gig, then do it. It's a hundred bucks and experience. If you feel like you are being taken advantage of, then I'd say don't do it (assuming you are in a position to turn down paying work) and look for other gigs. Like others have posted, you determine what is not worth your time/effort to do. If it was me and I had the time, I'd take the paying gig.
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Old December 25th, 2007, 04:37 AM   #8
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I suppose I'll take the gig. Despite what my mind tells me or otherwise. I just know that I've given far to many freebies to people when i deserved to be paid. I know at my young age I need far more experience before I could succeed in the business of wedding videos. Mainly because of age alone.
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Old December 25th, 2007, 07:04 AM   #9
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The 3 things that determine pay for a 2nd operator are, in no particular order; location, experience and what they charge.
Also to take into consideration are his gear or yours.
Since all of these questions are answered there is one left to ask. Is it ceremony only OR full day (ceremony and reception)? IF it's ceremony only then I suppose $100 is OK, if it's for a full day, uh, not so much. However your location and experience and mine are quite different. I don't need the experience anymore (over 1200 weddings over 25 years-I THINK I got the idea) BUT it seems like you might need more experience. As much as it seems to me this guy is taking advantage of you you might want to take SOME work from him simply to gain more experience in the industry before striking off on your own.
Good Luck
Don
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Old December 25th, 2007, 07:35 AM   #10
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What I would have done, personally, when I was getting started in that situation - I would throw him the occasional cheapo job as I had time to spare, and also try to cultivate new relationships with better contacts in the meantime. Sure, take the experience and the small paycheck, but also work on overcoming this stage of the game.

Go out, meet potential customers, and (this is the whole idea of sales and marketing) convince them that you are the best thing since sliced bread. It really doesn't matter if you are. Watch a few commercials - then tell me that advertising has anything to do with honesty. =D

You don't have the most experience, and probably aren't the 'best' and you don't want to sell yourself as the cheapest, do you? What about the best value? Don't charge the least, but not the most, and let them see you go the extra mile for them. And forget about tiny paychecks from other videographers.

I know what you mean about age. I'm 24, been doing media (started in web design) since I was 21... however.... I look like I'm barely old enough to drive. Your customers don't check your ID for your age, but they do get a pretty big impression based off of looks - and I've fought that one my whole life. If it gives you an idea, I got carded for muffin samples at Publix Grocery when I was 22, told I needed a parent present because it contained possible allergens. =D Do NOT let your age (or appearance thereof) hold you back. It's just a number. And the truth of the matter is they don't really care if they know you will provide what they are looking for.

Carl
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Old December 25th, 2007, 08:36 AM   #11
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I pay $200 for second camera for a $1500 wedding. Although, if you have nothing else going on that day, a $100 is better than nothing.
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Old December 25th, 2007, 08:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
As much as it seems to me this guy is taking advantage of you you might want to take SOME work from him simply to gain more experience in the industry before striking off on your own.
As much as I appreciate Don's vast experience and valuable advice, I can't agree with him on this one. I don't know the size of your market, but surely there is someone else in your area that can give you work. Why feel like you have no choice but the guy who is taking advantage of you? There is no way I could go work for someone if I felt that way. Go ask the other studios if they need shooters!

By the way. Merry Christmas everyone!
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Old December 25th, 2007, 12:40 PM   #13
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Hey everyone, thanks for the quick answers. I've kind of already gotten myself booked for this so there is no backing out, and I've screwed myself in the sense that NEXT time he comes around asking me to work with him, I'll be getting another $100 pay check.

Yes it's a full day ceremony, the distance is about 30 minutes, then we meet up and I ride with him the rest of the way. I'm 21 years old, by the way, and This will be my 4th wedding, and I've never been paid a dime for any of the work that I have done, so I'm aching to get something. I know I should be getting more for a full days work. I have no choice at this point. In my area there isn't really more opportunities for work. Another thing that bothers me about this guy is that he has yet to give me copies of the past 2 weddings, so I have no evidence of my work for any type of demo..
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Old December 25th, 2007, 02:51 PM   #14
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I need to preface my remarks by saying that I am not trying to slight anyone or their opinions.

I don't know about what fair prices are in large cities or areas with large populations regardless of whether you are the video producer or just a hired shooter. But I will tell you this. Where you are and the price your market is willing to pay determines what fair pay is.

I read stories about wedding video producers collecting $1500 to a few thousand dollars for doing a video. I think to myself... wow, I wish I could get that. The truth here in rural northwest Ohio is that people are not backwards hicks with no money but if you try to get more than $800 - $1000 for ceremony and reception coverage, you are pretty much pricing yourself right out of business. Oh sure, they'll spend a lot on the other facets of the wedding like the hall, decorations, caterers, etc., but when it comes to video, they think it's no big deal to produce so it shouldn't cost a great deal of cash. After all, Uncle Bob can shoot it for us!! ;)

In my area, $100 for a day of shooting (for someone else) would be fair. That may entail working up to 6 or 8 hours.

For one, you're not responsible for the final product and the fact that you're available to shoot for someone else means you don't have any work of your own. If you want to make more, book your own clients.

I think you have a great opportunity to pick up some cash for your efforts and get some valuable on-the-job training that will give you exposure and make you feel a lot more relaxed when you do have the responsibility as your own boss.

Just my take.

Jeff
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Old December 25th, 2007, 03:24 PM   #15
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I have someone help me on some events. If they just shoot and use my equipment, I will pay them $25 an hour for little experience and $50 for an experienced shooter. I pay them a little more if they use their own equipment. Sometimes they say that %100 or something is better then nothing. Unfortunately you have set yourself up for $100, but I wouldn't work for that price again. If he really needs you, then he'll pay you. Good luck with it.
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