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


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Old January 28th, 2009, 02:16 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
Steve, did you increase your package prices once you started including Blu-Ray in your packages?
Yes by 150. Two years ago I was 845, last year and this I am 995. Because of the credit crunch I have maintained 2008 prices for this year, as well for any future bookings I might take for 2010. That is until the autumn wedding fairs when my prices will no doubt rise to 1095.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 02:17 PM   #32
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That's good. My concern is for videographers who add new products and services and don't raise their prices to compensate. In the short term, they often gain an advantage over the competition. Over the long term, though, they generally devalue the industry and hurt their own business. If you're raising your prices then that's a good thing. It doesn't sound like you raised them by much, but every market is different.

EDIT: I just wanted to give my reasoning for presenting HD as an add-on. I get the idea of just including it in the package and how appealing that can be. However, I determined that adding HD into my packages should increase the value of those packages by a minimum of $500 to help me compensate for the additional time and equipment required. I wasn't convinced that my market was ready for HD, so I didn't necessarily want to raise my package prices and force couples to go with HD, because if my market is NOT ready for that then I could be shooting myself in the foot. If I've learned anything it's that just because you can "wow" a couple doesn't mean they'll sign on the dotted line.

Anyways, I made it an option so I could test the waters first. Now I'm glad I did because I've had ZERO interest in HD, and the current economy will probably only keep things that way for a bit. The unfortunate thing is that I had to invest in the equipment up front.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 02:20 PM   #33
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you dont have to offer both. and one be more expensive than the other.
Obviously the way you put that wouldnt sound right.

But if you are a little more expensive, as long as the couple are made aware that one particular element of why you are dearer is the extra time it takes to provide HD content.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 02:31 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
That's good. My concern is for videographers who add new products and services and don't raise their prices to compensate. In the short term, they often gain an advantage over the competition. Over the long term, though, they generally devalue the industry and hurt their own business. If you're raising your prices then that's a good thing. It doesn't sound like you raised them by much, but every market is different.
As I just said, yes I did. I can't increase my prices every year by 100. The business would never support it. I went from middle of the road wedding videographer to the most expensive in the area as soon as I adopted blu-ray as standard. If I was still shooting and delivering in SD only, my prices would probably be in line with all the others, instead of being set apart in price.

Proof that I am doing it right came only a couple of weeks ago. Last July I shot a wedding 40 miles from here. Delivered in Blu-ray. The bride had a video party, with wine and pizza. 20 friends turned up and had a ball watching it.I have booked two of her friends, both of whom are getting married this year, and the reason was they loved what they saw and though the blu-ray was spectaular. ( they may have just loved my work but both mentioned blu-ray in booking me.)

Hey its all horses for courses and whatever works for you. Every videographer has their own way of doing things. I for one certainly don't think I am underselling myself. If you think your way is best, good for you! Every videographer has their own way of doing things. As long as I see good growth every single year, I know I must be doing something right.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 02:38 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
EDIT: I just wanted to give my reasoning for presenting HD as an add-on. I get the idea of just including it in the package and how appealing that can be. However, I determined that adding HD into my packages should increase the value of those packages by a minimum of $500 to help me compensate for the additional time and equipment required. I wasn't convinced that my market was ready for HD, so I didn't necessarily want to raise my package prices and force couples to go with HD, because if my market is NOT ready for that then I could be shooting myself in the foot. If I've learned anything it's that just because you can "wow" a couple doesn't mean they'll sign on the dotted line.

Anyways, I made it an option so I could test the waters first. Now I'm glad I did because I've had ZERO interest in HD, and the current economy will probably only keep things that way for a bit. The unfortunate thing is that I had to invest in the equipment up front.

How I sell blu-ray to clients, even if they have no PS3/BD player. Coouple like what they see. i tell them all but blu-ray. they say they have no way of playing it. I say here's your chance to buy that PS3 you have hankered after.

But my selling pint is this. I sell the wedding film as an important peice fo family social history. I tell the couple that their childrens children, in the year 2075, will be able to see their great great great granny chatting away to the camera ( I do a lot of interviews) in crystal clear clarity. I say we never had the chance to view something like that but our childrens children will be able to. So isn't it worth leaving that record of your big day in the highest quality possible?

Lots of nods.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 02:40 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Ger Griffin View Post
you dont have to offer both. and one be more expensive than the other.
Obviously the way you put that wouldnt sound right.

But if you are a little more expensive, as long as the couple are made aware that one particular element of why you are dearer is the extra time it takes to provide HD content.
They don't get the choice. If they really don't want the blu-ray, the price is still the same. But I would throw in few more SD DVDs as a form of compensation.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 02:43 PM   #37
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Steve, I get the feeling you think I'm arguing with you. I'm not. In fact, I congratulated you on increasing your prices when you factored in HD. I also never stated that "my way was best". I simply explained WHY I do things the way I do them. I also made it clear that I understand that every market is different.

Once again, my whole was to push the idea that too many videographers ARE underpricing their services. I'm not saying that YOU are.

Just so you know, I started out as the 2nd most expensive videographer in my area, and quickly became the most expensive. But that's because I worked harder than everyone else to provide a better product and better service. Originally I offered only one package; and it included everything .. literally. I decided to try breaking it out and having options for couples to choose from, and I found that couples became much more interested in booking. So again, different things work in different markets. I've just gotten to a point where I refuse to give my time and equipment investments away for free.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 02:52 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Steve Shovlar View Post
How I sell blu-ray to clients, even if they have no PS3/BD player. Coouple like what they see. i tell them all but blu-ray. they say they have no way of playing it. I say here's your chance to buy that PS3 you have hankered after.
That's awesome that this works for you. For me, couples have been completely disinterested in HD. Most of them don't even own HDTV's. So not only would I have to convince them to purchase a blu-ray player, they'd have to purchase an HDTV. Now eventually they probably will anyways, and I try to make this point, but no one is interested. I might be able to get away with adding the cost into my packages and forcing HD on them, but then again I might not. And if the latter is true then I go out of business.

You aren't increasing the cost of your packages by much at all, so it's less of a risk for you to just include HD. The only potential issue is whether or not that cost increase is adequate for the demands of HD. And that's going to depend on your business and your market. It seems quite low to me, but I'm in a different market.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 02:55 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
Steve, I get the feeling you think I'm arguing with you. I'm not. In fact, I congratulated you on increasing your prices when you factored in HD. I also never stated that "my way was best". I simply explained WHY I do things the way I do them. I also made it clear that I understand that every market is different.

Once again, my whole was to push the idea that too many videographers ARE underpricing their services. I'm not saying that YOU are.

Just so you know, I started out as the 2nd most expensive videographer in my area, and quickly became the most expensive. But that's because I worked harder than everyone else to provide a better product and better service. Originally I offered only one package; and it included everything .. literally. I decided to try breaking it out and having options for couples to choose from, and I found that couples became much more interested in booking. So again, different things work in different markets. I've just gotten to a point where I refuse to give my time and equipment investments away for free.
Its OK Travis I get exactly where you are coming from. Videographers are often treated as second class citizens behind the photographer but I refuse to belive in that way of thinking ( which has led to some rather serious behind the scenes out of sight finger wagging when a photographer leaps in and ruins shots on purpose to get his next shot. Why they think they have a god given right to walk over videographers........anyway enough of that)

In the past I tried a varied pricelist, but it didn't work for me. the main reason is the couple would want the videographer, buut try and cut it down to bear bones. "We don't need you at the brides house, we don't need you to film interviews, we don't need you after the first dance. Oh, and we don't need the musical montage".

-50,-50, -100. -75

I can't go and do another job. I am still there for the day, although I will start an hour later and finish an hour earlier. And I am 275 out of pocket.

So I don't give them the choice.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 03:11 PM   #40
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That makes sense, but my starting package WITHOUT any extras is priced high enough that it's not an issue if they don't select any additional options. So in a sense, we're doing the same thing. My starting package includes full day coverage (up to 10 hours). If someone says, "We don't want pre-ceremony coverage." Then I say, "That's fine, you don't have to use it, but the price doesn't change." If they don't want the highlights video, same thing. I don't negotiate my packages AT ALL. I've had people ask me to "throw something in as a bonus", but I don't do that either. I've had people ask for cash discounts, or paid in full discounts, or whatever. I don't do it. I tell them that my work is worth exactly what it is priced at, no less.

What I noticed about having packages that included everything was that people felt too restricted. They felt like they had no choices to make. Just my experience. Do what works for you, though .. just make sure you get paid what you're worth.

As for boneheaded photogs ... nevermind .. back to my happy place ...
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Old January 28th, 2009, 03:40 PM   #41
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Hey Steve...I'm a huge fan and preacher of Cinema Craft..
Can you see a standalone software HD encoder coming in the near future?

I'd jump to Bluray in a heartbeat if there was a dedicated software encoder like CCE for HD...
That would be fabulous. Not many have got a copy of EncoderMP as there is no free trial. But I think its well worth the money. A HD version would be super.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 05:05 PM   #42
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Well as long as things are going well then i say Slainte - More of it to ya and long may it last
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Old January 30th, 2009, 10:42 PM   #43
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Just my 2cents.
Of the 50 or so couples I talked with at the bridal show a few weeks ago, only 1 asked about HD delivery. (I told them $500 extra)
One bride said "I just found out yesterday what HD was!"

I was preparing myself for the wave of interest in HD that would come with the big transition coming up of free HD over the airwaves. The only problem is that the huge majority of people will still be getting SD through cable and satelite for who knows how long. I don't think that many people are willing to pay for it.

Anyway, I think the idea of offering hardware is a good one. Back when we made the transition to DVD and compatability was a nightmare, I thought about offering a free DVD player if theirs wouldn't play the disc. I never did it, but I would have if someone really had issues.
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Old January 30th, 2009, 10:47 PM   #44
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This year I am just putting the projects on Blu-Ray if the client requests it. It's easy and little to no additional cost.
Where are you finding blank Bluray discs for only a little more than DVD's. I thought they were around $30 each
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Old January 31st, 2009, 08:19 AM   #45
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Where are you finding blank Bluray discs for only a little more than DVD's. I thought they were around $30 each
Check some of my posts. I'm getting them between $5.50 and $7.00. It's cheaper per gig than goo DV tape now.
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