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


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Old February 4th, 2009, 02:59 PM   #1
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Weddings and the economy

Talking to an edmonton wedding planner, Edmonton Wedding & Event Planner - Flawless By Maria and she was saying that she hasn't noticed a drop in high end weddings yet. We live in a weird part of the country though, and have been somewhat sheltered by recession but I have been wondering about it a lot.
I decided to do a couple weddings this year and raised my prices and have been told by three brides, that I am just too much. One bride booked me without blinking. I dont want to do many weddings at all so having a smaller closing rate is fine with me, but what are the rest of you doing?
Have you dropped prices?
Raised Prices?

just curious.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 03:11 PM   #2
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We are having a pretty good year for bookings here in Central, Ca. We are a DJ & Video company I have noticed we are booking more of our combined package than either service seperately. We do offer a slight discount for booking both so I'm guessing brides see it as more of a value and a better deal.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 03:48 PM   #3
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Hi There,

We are actually having record sales this year.I was pretty worried last fall as I was watching the economy taking a nose dive.I haven't raised my prices,but I haven't lowered them either.My average booking is about $2800 for just photography and people are definitely always interested in a photo/video package to save some dough.I'm in New jersey and have noticed many small retail stores closing but the wedding industry is booming as usual.I've spoken to many vendors and they all say the same thing..."we're doing great!" I hope it keeps up!

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Old February 4th, 2009, 03:49 PM   #4
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My booking is down this year. I am not dropping my pricing just yet, right now I am in full marketing mode. I use to get by advertising in the local Filipino newspaper, but it now seems my market is being plagued by " opportunist". This are friends of the B & G, who thinks $ 1200 is too much and offers to shoot it for half the price.

I am seriously looking to tap the funeral market, when I googled the top 25 videographers in the world, one of them does funeral shoots ( bread & butter)

I have done funeral shoots in the past, however morbid it may sound, it's a lot easier to do, one they don't look for beauty shots, the priest don't mind you moving around, no season (people die everyday) & they all like Josh Grosbin. If you have experience marketing to this market, any thoughts is greatly appreciated.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 04:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noel Lising View Post

I am seriously looking to tap the funeral market, when I googled the top 25 videographers in the world, one of them does funeral shoots ( bread & butter)
I heard the funeral market was dying...which is good right :)
I have shot a couple before, it's not my cup of tea. The best thing to do is get involved with the funeral directors themselves, offer your service to them and they up-sell to their clients. Unlike weddings, there isn't time to plan everything needed so a lot of people just trust the funeral homes to make arrangements.

good luck
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Old February 4th, 2009, 04:23 PM   #6
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All I can say is when the market is down most people back off on the marketing end of things....so that's your opportunity to kick it up a notch.Dropping your prices is a huge no no.It will take twice as long to build them back to were they are now.I've done more advertising then ever this year.Bridal shows,bridal publications....you name it I'm there.It's paying of ten fold so I must be doing something right.In fact I just signed on as a sponsor for Bridal show here in Jersey and I booked a bride and groom before it even started (they saw my ad on the show's website.That paid for my entire thing and then some.Food for thought.Hope this helped

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Old February 4th, 2009, 04:26 PM   #7
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Thanks for the information David =).
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Old February 4th, 2009, 05:07 PM   #8
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I'm feeling mixed on this issue. Things feel slower this year, but in comparison to last year I have the same number of bookings at this point. We have, however, had A LOT more "no shows" for appointments this year. Very strange.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 05:45 PM   #9
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I've been thru bad economy before and here's what I found.
First people are still getting married. Good times bad times inbetween times. They get married. Now they may cut back in certain areas. Table favors, fewer guests, maybe a vendor who is less expensive than another but the banquet venues are the ones taking the big hit at least from those that I've been talking to. They're lowering prices, including things that they use to charge for before, value added meals ( chicken and steak instead of 1 or the other) top shelf liquor instead of premium, chair covers etc.
Yes things are slow but I raised my prices $200 before the end of last last and frankly I think I'm up 1 or 2 from last year.
Having said all of this keep in mind that every geographical area is going to be different. The greater Chicagoland area though hit just like everyone else is still pretty strong but maybe other areas aren't.
Now is the time to ramp it up. More advertising, more shows more of whatever you do to advertise your business. IF you can and IF you do when times improve and the money starts flowing freely again, you'll be at the top and those that pull in the reins and slow things down becase they're afraid of spending ad money in this type of economy, well they MIGHT be OK but YOU will be in a much much better place. You will have built a reputation during the bad times that will carry on many time over during the good times.
Of course what do I know...I'm just a vide-O-grapher ;-)
Don

Wow.this is number 2800...do I get a prize? ;-0
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Old February 4th, 2009, 06:20 PM   #10
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Don - your prize is me taking the time to figure out how much time you've spent posting on DVInfo.

Assuming each post takes an average of 5 minutes (factoring in getting the computer up and running, logging on, reading and then responding) then you've logged 233.33 hours just posting. That's 9.72 days. Congratulations.

The actual figure of how much time you've spent on DVInfo is sadly probably far more than that.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 06:56 PM   #11
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WOW! you actually took time to figure that out? I thought I was anal ;-)
actually, 6 years ago when I stumbled upon this site I knew I had found a great place to gain knowledge, spread some knowledge, and meet up with some decent folks. There are times I don't post because I just read but there have been times when I do spend an awful lot of time posting.
Anyway, this is a great community and Chris should be slapped on the back (not to hard) and congratualed heartily for developing such a wonderful place to hang out.

And now back to the topic..

Don
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Old February 5th, 2009, 02:11 PM   #12
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I can't give it away.

I had a prize drawing for people at my booth at a wedding fair and my top prize winner (basically a $350 off on a package) is still reluctant to book (and her dad works in the broadcast industry so they know the value of a professional videographer).

by this time last year, I had my Feb (a freebie) and April weddings booked. This year, I only have an incredibly reduced price wedding shoot for a relative (I'd like to not book it obviously so I can get a client for more than $500, but my wife essentially says I'm doing it). I have one strong nibble on the line for a June wedding from the wedding show (meeting with them next week after I kick this cold/flue).

Bookings are pretty slow. I didn't change my prices from this time last year (nothing noticeable, a few adjustments in additional camera charges, or adding camera op hourly for receptions, etc).

But my web site traffic is up up up. Lots of people looking. I posted my package prices online, so may be that is adding to the lack of calls. Lots of people see it and shrink back. May be I need to yank the prices and have them call so I can spend more time talking to then and working the sale, rather than letting them get scared away by the prices. And by "getting scared away" I'm talking I start at $1100 so I'm not talking about a huge amount.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 02:21 PM   #13
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Jason, I feel your pain. All I can say is that this market is stinking repressed when it comes to videography. It's so frustrating. I couldn't believe how many brides would walk past me at the show and not even take the brochure I was trying to hand them. Why go to the show if you aren't going to collect information? I don't get it.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 05:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
WOW! you actually took time to figure that out? I thought I was anal ;-)
actually, 6 years ago when I stumbled upon this site I knew I had found a great place to gain knowledge, spread some knowledge, and meet up with some decent folks. There are times I don't post because I just read but there have been times when I do spend an awful lot of time posting.
Anyway, this is a great community and Chris should be slapped on the back (not to hard) and congratualed heartily for developing such a wonderful place to hang out.


Don
So Don - which is a higher number, your postings, or the number of weddings you've done? Ha- I know the answer but thanks for the contributions you've made to this board. You speak from a LOT of experience and have been been a big help to many.

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Old February 6th, 2009, 06:32 PM   #15
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Thanks for the kind words Art. Hmmm posts vs. weddings? Well if you include the 12 years as a still photographer which accounts for about 300 to 350 weddings then 25, almost 26 years in video which accounts for about 1600 weddings my posts still outnumber my weddings. Thank goodness. After doing my age in weddings last year (62) I am definately cutting back this year. I'm gettin' too old to keep running around with all the young guys. Although I don't look my age I have finally gotten to the point of believing what Indiana Jones once said. "It ain't the age, it's the mileage" and man I got some miles on me.
In all seriousness though, I still enjoy (for the most part) doing weddings just not as many. 30 to 35 is a good number for me so that's my aim.
Anyway I contibute what I can when I can andhave gotten plenty back from this place and really enjoy hangin' out here. Again thanks for the kind words.
Don
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