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


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Old January 30th, 2009, 02:18 PM   #16
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I hear what you're saying Scott, but I really only offer that kind of advice to customers if the opportunity arises or it comes up. Most, not all will see it as me trying to protect my turf. Those kind of people usually don't learn except for the hard way, until it's too late. the ones that need to hear it most are the ones that don't trust vendors anyway and always feel suspicious of motives.

One videographer in our area has a page dedicated to why you shouldn't let uncle Bob do it, and it is well written. Actually that wouldn't be a bad thing to incorporate on my site.
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Old January 30th, 2009, 02:22 PM   #17
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Wow, Chris. I understand how timid people can be and afraid of being honest, but that kind of lying really bothers me.

It is important for me at this point to reaffirm (for myself) most of my clients are great. I have at times become discouraged by the kind of behaviour we are discussing, but in the end it is a good business, most of the time.
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Old January 30th, 2009, 02:55 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Wow, Chris. I understand how timid people can be and afraid of being honest, but that kind of lying really bothers me....
I actually had one last year tell me that her fiance got in a fight with her parents and the wedding was off. Then I came across her personal networking page (i don't remember if it was Myspace, Facebook or...) on a later occasion and saw that she got married on time, had "uncle bob" do the wedding and had posted a blog about how the audio sucked and they couldn't figure out how to get it out of movie maker on to DVD. Is it wrong that I felt kind of smug after reading that?

For the last year, I have been offering brides a "no bride turned away" option that we can get them something for their wedding no matter what and it has been helpful. That is not to say I am offering them 2 cam HDV ceremony and reception for $500 but if they can honestly only afford $500 then I offer maybe a 1 cam ceremony only pkg and then give them upsell options. It has worked well because they feel like they are ala carte-ing the pkg they want and often can talk an aunt and uncle into paying a portion of their videography as a present. I have had many of the "strong arm" brides in the past come around with this approach. You tell me what you can afford and I will tell you what that can get you and somewhere in the middle we compromise or part ways.
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Last edited by Bryan Daugherty; January 30th, 2009 at 03:55 PM.
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Old January 30th, 2009, 02:58 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Chris Estrella View Post
Maybe my story doesn't fit in this category as B&G's never really threatened me to say "lower your rate or we won't book you", but I still feel like sharing. I had two potential clients that were interested in booking me, one of whom actually confirmed (and was going to have their wedding on a small cruise too), but I didn't meet them to sign a contract or take a deposit.

Both said they were on a budget, both later said they were going to have family members do it and not hire me because of their low budget.

Months later, I stumble upon other wedding videographer websites and what do I see? They're wedding video highlights with those same potential clients. They were with different videographers with rates much higher than mine. I'll admit, they probably produce higher quality videos than I can, but that didn't seem to be a concern to them.

How's THAT for disturbing?
Ouch. Ouch....
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Old January 30th, 2009, 04:35 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Chris Estrella View Post
Maybe my story doesn't fit in this category as B&G's never really threatened me to say "lower your rate or we won't book you", but I still feel like sharing. I had two potential clients that were interested in booking me, one of whom actually confirmed (and was going to have their wedding on a small cruise too), but I didn't meet them to sign a contract or take a deposit.

Both said they were on a budget, both later said they were going to have family members do it and not hire me because of their low budget.

Months later, I stumble upon other wedding videographer websites and what do I see? They're wedding video highlights with those same potential clients. They were with different videographers with rates much higher than mine. I'll admit, they probably produce higher quality videos than I can, but that didn't seem to be a concern to them.

How's THAT for disturbing?
well......maybe the other guy did a huge cut for that couple....
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Old January 30th, 2009, 07:56 PM   #21
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Just earlier today I got this email:

Hi Ger,
I am just wondering if you can do any better on price, I have had two offers of under 1000 for a similar package that you are offering.
Let me know if you can do anything
Regards xyxyx

This woman has already paid her deposit, just the other day.

I replied:

Hi xyxyx,
Sorry xyxyxy but that is my price. There are other video guys doing things cheaper.
There always will be. But with the experience and standards I have I must charge more.
It wouldn't make sense for me with the finished product I achieve to charge in par with
the low end videographer.I encourage you to look at some samples online of these guys work and then look at mine. If you genuinely see no difference and want to cancel your booking I will return your deposit. Please inform me of your intentions within the next 48hrs.
Otherwise I will assume you are sticking with myself.
Thanks,
Gerard.

I honestly wouldn't lose a minutes sleep if she asks for it back. Will let ye know.
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Old January 30th, 2009, 08:33 PM   #22
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I had a bride come to our office and talk to us about shooting her wedding. We ended up being out of her budget and she said she was going to have her uncle do it. This wasn't a threat or jab, she was seriously close to going over budget and still had stuff to do. Jump ahead about 9 months at a bridal show. That same bride walked over to my booth with one of her bridesmaids that was getting married. She told me that what her uncle shot looked horrible. In my head I'm thinking, "what did you expect"? She told her friend that she would have booked us if she could have afforded it. Her bridesmaid ended up booking.

If we ever have a couple that seems like they are teetering back and forth, we sometimes will offer a honeymoon/baby picture montage for their DVD. This has pulled a few couples back to booking us. As for the ones that seem like they are going to be problems, they probably are. Cut your losses now and start looking for someone else to fill that date.

When people ask for discounts, it almost feels like an insult. We all work hard at what we do and we charge accordingly. We will sometimes give discounts for a Sunday wedding or something in August/September (hurricane season for Ethan and myself). If that won't cut it, we will be more than happy to suggest someone else to shoot your wedding.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 03:08 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ger Griffin View Post
Just earlier today I got this email:

Hi Ger,
I am just wondering if you can do any better on price, I have had two offers of under 1000 for a similar package that you are offering.
Let me know if you can do anything
Regards xyxyx

This woman has already paid her deposit, just the other day.

I replied:

Hi xyxyx,
Sorry xyxyxy but that is my price. There are other video guys doing things cheaper.
There always will be. But with the experience and standards I have I must charge more.
It wouldn't make sense for me with the finished product I achieve to charge in par with
the low end videographer.I encourage you to look at some samples online of these guys work and then look at mine. If you genuinely see no difference and want to cancel your booking I will return your deposit. Please inform me of your intentions within the next 48hrs.
Otherwise I will assume you are sticking with myself.
Thanks,
Gerard.

I honestly wouldn't lose a minutes sleep if she asks for it back. Will let ye know.
Thats a spot on letter and a spot on attitude.

When I hear that "Uncle Bob" is filming the weddng, I ask the bride, "and is "Uncle Joe" taking the photos"?
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Old January 31st, 2009, 06:11 PM   #24
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Thanks Steve,
I think so, this approach works for me. I wont allow anyone to tell me what Im worth. Ill tell them.
I still havent heard from her and its been nearly 48hrs. I assume at this stage shes sticking with me.

The annoying thing about it is that they are very quick to assume the guys offering it for cheaper are every bit as good at it as you are. The only 2 deciding factors for some of these people is how much it costs and for how long the videog stays.
We'll educate them as we go. There's a change on the horizon I feel. The quality coming from some videogs is getting very good.
Uncle Bob wont get a look in.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 09:30 PM   #25
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I have the luxury of turning away whomever I want because I have other sources of income (I know some don't). I love working with couples that like to work with us, if that makes any sense.

We try and be very selective with who we will work with because there is nothing worse that spending that much time with a couple you don't "Click" with.

I wouldn't feel the least bit bad about turning away that bride.

Last edited by Chad Nickle; January 31st, 2009 at 10:16 PM.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 05:56 AM   #26
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I had a client contact me the other week, she had seen my site and liked my videos. Then the conversation went like this:

her: "Have you seen xxs's website?"
me: "Yes, I have, I like his work"
her: "Yes, he was my first choice but he's booked for my wedding date"
me: "er...oh dear"
her: "Can you make your videos like his, specifically the bit where..."

..and then she proceeded to describe in excrutiating detail the other guys work and if I can replicate it.

From when she mentioned 'he was my first choice' I got the hump (maybe wrongly so) and lost interest. I was actually quite insulted even though she had stated she liked my stuff. Like most of us here, I take pride in my work and dont want to play second fiddle to anyone.

Customers who choose on budget, OK, money is a concern for almost everyone and If I like the couple and feel they're genuine I'll maybe give a small discount. But this bride made it clear with her words and tone of voice that "You'll have to do"

She wanted to book me and I politely declined by giving an astronomical quote.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 07:03 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Dan Burnap View Post
her: "Can you make your videos like his, specifically the bit where..."
You did right thing.

I went once into this trap. Oh, man, never again.

Client came to me and showed a dvd of their friends wedding. She said she wants exactly the same opening sequence like the other couple had, and some more things. She new very well all little details (i.e. amount of slow-mo or b&w). I agreed.

Then all the issues started after the wedding. She wanted to see every little piece of dvd before finalizing. I put twice as much work as for regular wedding and got paid the same. I never realized that at the booking - I should have charged them arm and leg.

The video came out great, the couple was very happy, but I said to myself - never again. If somebody doesn't like my style, then move on. No need for headaches.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 07:11 AM   #28
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dan, i had this happen to me, except I was first choice, and mistakenly told the couple
i was booked when I wasn't. so, they found someone whose work was close to mine
and asked him if he could include some of my style in his work. He ended up calling me
to ask me stuff, and I ended up helping shoot, and editing a short form version of the wedding. We have been working together ever since, and it has turned out to be
one of the best things for both of us, thanks to this client who just wanted the best
video he could get.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 07:35 AM   #29
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Maybe it's just me, but my feeling is this. First as a solo operator when I'm booked I'm booked-first in with paperwork and money gets the date, regardless. Second, a potential client either likes my work or they don't and they either like, or at least agree to, my price or they don't. I tend to keep things simple. Over the years I've had every one of these situations mentioned above. My answer, "Fine if you feel that uncle Bob can do the job, great. Enjoy you special day and thank you for your interest."
I had a couple ask about someone elses style about 5 years ago, "We really wanted him but he was booked,can you do the video like him?" My answer was a very simple "No. I'm not him, and he's not me. His style is his and mine is mine. Sorry but thanks for the interest. Enjoy your special day"
Now while this may sound like I can afford to pass on jobs let me say that NO I am not rich so like everyone else, every job counts and like everyone else I am not totally inflexible and I will do things in editing that I might normally not do and YES I will work with them on pricing within REASON BUT...I am not going to try to be someone else nor will I cut my price by 30 or more % to book the job nor will I play games once the job is booked or shot.
I guess I'm just a grumpy old man who has been burned a few times over the last 25 going on 26 years inthe business and i don't take it anymore. You hired me for my style, my price, the quality of my work and yes maybe even my personality or at least some combination of the 3. LET ME DO MY JOB! You know the one YOU HIRE ME TO DO!
Again I'm not inflexible but only within reason and I never and I mean NEVER lose sleep over a client. I lose enough sleep on my own.
Use common sense keep you ethics high and it'll always work out right.
Don
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 01:10 PM   #30
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Well said Don.
I have it in my contract that creative content is at the discretion of the videographer.
Once a bride asked me on the day if she could have creative input in the editing process.
I didn't know what to say. I actually said ' ah, no, that sounds a bit dodgy ' and the groom burst out laughing.
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