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


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Old October 22nd, 2007, 07:51 AM   #1
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Finding freelance work for beginners

Hmm... buying all my equipment has put me into mucho debt.

Additionally, I don't know if I'll have a job in six months.

BUT, I do have a camera, microphone equipment, and editing hardware and software now!

How would you go about finding freelance work (weddings, birthday parties, behind-the-scenes documentaries on movie sets) when you're just starting out? I guess the footage I just shot for Maker Faire might work as a good "resume" but how do you find those jobs? And how much is fair to charge?
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 09:13 AM   #2
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Brian,

If you don't have sample work from weddings or parties, it can be hard to convince a consumer to hire you. Probably, your best bet is to contact established shooters in your area and ask them about working for them in some capacity (freelance). An established videographer will be able to take a look at your work from other genres and determine your skills. There are jobs out there ranging from carrying gear to shooting a second cam to being sent out on your own as 1st camera.

One of the really cool things about the video biz is that in many ways it still functions in the old world way of master and apprentice. Depending on your level of experience, you may have to work a couple of gigs for free or very little pay but, consider the experience you're getting and you're developing a relationship with someone who can give you more work with better pay in the future. One thing to remember is that no matter what your pay is, make sure you have access to what you shoot to show in your portfolio. This will give you material to go out one your own when you're ready. Then you can post a new thread asking about marketing ideas for an established videographer.


In addition to the above, another thing you can do to build your reel is to set up shots. I guarantee there are other people in your area that want to break into the wedding/event industry in capacities other then video that you could share in the set up shoot with. For instance, find a hair stylist/make-up person who will trade for their portfolio, same with a florist. You can find used wedding dresses on ebay, models on Craig's List, rent a tux cheap and head to a nice park and shoot some good footage. I'm pretty established 15+ years of still photography and 2+ of video and I still do things like this when
I want to experiment or get something I think would be a good addition to my portfolio.

Another thing you can do to get footage is offer to do a wedding really, really cheap or free on Craig's List. There are two things to consider when doing this. The first is the bride/groom that are looking for free or cheap probably aren't having the fairy tale wedding you'd like for your portfolio. The other thing is that by working cheap/free for a consumer (as opposed to being an apprentice) you are cheapening the profession which hurts everyone.

It's a tough road to start down but if you're determined you'll find a way and you'll be surprised how quickly things will happen. Good luck!
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 12:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Josh Laronge View Post
It's a tough road to start down but if you're determined you'll find a way and you'll be surprised how quickly things will happen. Good luck!
Thanks! This'll come in handy if I need to change careers in New Zealand.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 12:53 PM   #4
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Talk to everyone you know, tell them what you're doing. You'll be surprised how many jobs you'll get just talking to people you know and telling them what you're doing. For example, you may have a friend who's kid plays on a baseball team and they want to have a DVD made for the team at the end of the season, you shoot a few games edit it down and sell them to parents.

Then a parent who's kid is on the team likes what you did and wants you to do a DVD for his manufacturing company...

Sometimes it's that easy, but if no one knows your "out there" then you're not going to get any business.

The best advice I can give is to make some business cards and give them to everyone you know.

1 turns into 10 to 20 to 40 ...and so on...

Good Luck..
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 12:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Another thing you can do to get footage is offer to do a wedding really, really cheap or free on Craig's List. There are two things to consider when doing this. The first is the bride/groom that are looking for free or cheap probably aren't having the fairy tale wedding you'd like for your portfolio
Plus the ones who are looking for a free videographer are probably the ones who will demand the most out of you :)
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 05:16 PM   #6
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Plus the ones who are looking for a free videographer are probably the ones who will demand the most out of you :)
Isn't that the 11th commandment? Thou who pays the leasts demands the most!
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 11:15 PM   #7
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It's easy to get some stuff for your reel-- just film stuff for family/friends.
Or, of course, put an ad out there that you'll work for free. Won't take long, I'm sure.
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