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


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Old July 8th, 2008, 07:06 AM   #1
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Generating Business/Booking Brides

Good morning everyone,

My boyfriend and I have a videography company, specializing in weddings and have had it a little over a year.

My boyfriend is a professional shooter/editor and has been for years. He's been doing freelance weddings for about 8 year os so and we decided to branch off and try it out ourselves, infusing our own style and vision.

We did one wedding last year to get a demo. We built a website. We put ads on two of the top local bridal websites last summer too. Then, in the winter, we did one bridal show, and got maybe one bride, after getting our lead list. We also got a wedding from a lead list that a photographer I work with gave us. We've had one referral from the photographer that shot our first demo wedding.

This year, we've gotten on 2 more local websites and have about 5 weddings booked.

Is this the normal progression of things? What else could we be doing? We have videographers standing by for those days when we have 3 or 4 weddings on the same day, much like the people my boyfriend freelances for. Couple's say they really like our demo and we believe we have a pretty good product that's, hopefully, evolving and improving.

Any insight in this issue would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old July 8th, 2008, 06:58 PM   #2
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this may be a nonsensical idea or may already have been done to death but for what it's worth....

can you approach the local bridal store and arrange a shoot using their gowns on models to create a dvd which can be shown in store or given/sold to prospective customers?
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Old July 8th, 2008, 08:42 PM   #3
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Hi Miraj,

Welcome to the forum!

After reading your post it's hard to give an answer without knowing more background information - i.e. your pricing, the quality of your work, your local competition and their pricing, the demographics of the area you're servicing, your branding etc ...

I'm not saying you should post that info on here - but they are some of the factors that will affect your business and your number of bookings.

Looks like you're doing a lot of things right - maybe take a look at some of those factors (and there's plenty more) and do some market research to figure it all out.

The biggest thing I've found in my area is that wedding videography doesn't have a great reputation and is very much an afterthought for most brides. Often video is the first budget cut that couples make.

In terms of generating more business you can always approach hairdressers, jewellery stores, makeup artists etc ... And word of mouth is by far the best advertising you could dream of - make it easy for people to talk about you.

Anyway, hope that helps a bit. Hopefully others will chime in with their thoughts - this forum is an awesome place to learn and get feedback.

Cheers,

Matthew.

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Old July 9th, 2008, 12:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Paul Mailath View Post
this may be a nonsensical idea or may already have been done to death but for what it's worth....

can you approach the local bridal store and arrange a shoot using their gowns on models to create a dvd which can be shown in store or given/sold to prospective customers?

That's a really good idea, Paul. We could definitely try something like that. Thanks!
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Old July 9th, 2008, 12:53 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Matthew Ebenezer View Post
...The biggest thing I've found in my area is that wedding videography doesn't have a great reputation and is very much an afterthought for most brides. Often video is the first budget cut that couples make.

In terms of generating more business you can always approach hairdressers, jewellery stores, makeup artists etc ... And word of mouth is by far the best advertising you could dream of - make it easy for people to talk about you.
Thank you Matthew. We've found this too in our market, but we're really working to change the reputation, hopefully. Gotta make people realize this is really something you're gonna want!

We expect that the more weddings we do, the more clients we'll get...and maybe I'm just being impatient, and that's all it is, but we're just to eager to shoot more weddings and let our craft evolve, and hopefully improve!

But thanks for the tips! We'll certainly try them out!
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Old July 9th, 2008, 03:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miraj A. Berry View Post
Is this the normal progression of things? What else could we be doing? We have videographers standing by for those days when we have 3 or 4 weddings on the same day, much like the people my boyfriend freelances for. Couple's say they really like our demo and we believe we have a pretty good product that's, hopefully, evolving and improving.
Any insight in this issue would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
You are finding that tough expansion period I currently am fighting through. I've managed to book 5 for the year, but I shoot my last one in a week and a half and am trying like made to get new clients. In my market, videography is very much an after thought, and certainly on a much smaller desired price scale than photography.

My only suggestion is to revisit the venues you filmed in the past and offer to make up a demo just for them (which is also a big ad for you).
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Old July 13th, 2008, 08:31 PM   #7
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Another idea could be to tag along with a local photographer when they're doing an engagement shoot. You could shoot and edit a cool little video of the couple, throw in a few shots of the the photographer "behind the scenes" style. Put the video on your blog, send the link to the photographer and the couple - encourage them to send it to their friends, family etc ...

Anything to get people talking about you and what you do.

A few hours of your time + some great word of mouth is often way cheaper (and much more effective) than a lot of $$$ spent on advertising.

Cheers,

Matthew.
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Old July 14th, 2008, 12:12 AM   #8
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Hey Miraj,
I think that just about everyone's market considers video to be an afterthought. My business built up very quickly by including video in our large photography package. I have now scaled back my pricing after a few months of dead air. What I've figured out is that what the vast majority of brides want is a clean clear classic recording of their day without all of the flowery editing we like to add in. I think the brides looking for a great cinematically edited video are out there, but are not the majority. I have 3 packages and only the largest package includes any cinematic editing. The rest are very straight documentary style. I can tell you through cautionary tales I have witnessed in this business, it is easy to burn out through too much. I think that pricing yourself according to the work that goes into it is a good move in the beginning. This will keep your price per hour high, and your stress lower. Good luck. We got all of our initial business through bridal shows and vendor referrals btw.
Bill
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Old July 14th, 2008, 06:44 AM   #9
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Thank you Jason, Bill and Matthew,

Those are really good insights and suggestions. We've just gotta be patient and keep at it. The more we do, presumably the more we'll get!
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Old July 15th, 2008, 01:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Miraj A. Berry View Post
Thank you Jason, Bill and Matthew,

Those are really good insights and suggestions. We've just gotta be patient and keep at it. The more we do, presumably the more we'll get!
Also branch out. Shoto video of other stuff to fill the time, pay for your meals & insurance, etc.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 06:37 AM   #11
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Sorry ,picked up on this topic late for some reason. Anyway, the best way to let people know who you are and what you do is to TELL THEM! ;-)
Every chance you get. Network with everyone. Never leave home without business cards, make it a point to talk to 3 new people every day and tell them about your business while handing them a card. Join the Chamber or some other business networking group. Unless you want to, don't limit yourself to weddings. Learn how to do other types of work (believe me, it pays better and in many cases less headaches). One of my biggest and best accounts for came from a business seminar I was working on (running video world) and the big boss was there. I introduced myself to him and from that I got over 16 years worth of work and a friendship that lasts today. It has paid me many many times more than all the weddings I've done in the last 16 years.
What I'm saying is to network with everyone. You never know where business will come from.
One day I'll tell you the story of the waitress, the 3 year old business card and the $150,000 wedding!

Good luck,

Don
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Old July 15th, 2008, 02:15 PM   #12
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Thanks for the advice!

We are capable of shooting other things, but it's a matter of generating the "other" business too. Making it a point to pimp the business every chance I get IS something we could work on.

We've done PSAs, but no paying TV ads quite yet. As I mentioned in another thread, we're shooting an appreciation dinner. But we could definitely expand out horizons to corporate videos, etc.

Thanks so much, gentlemen!
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