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


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Old March 17th, 2009, 12:25 AM   #1
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How is your wedding business going?

How is your wedding business going?
Iím getting a lot of clients wanting a one camera shoot due to the extra cost for a second shooter. I have now done two of theses shoots by my self and man you got to be on the ball. Iím so used to the second camera when Iím editing and finding suitable cut always to overlay when I have shot a bad few seconds and this is a challenge. Not only this but itís a very boring video with only one shot on the B&G during the ceremony.

Anyway back to editing
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Old March 17th, 2009, 06:22 AM   #2
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Hi Simon,

I've had a few of these over the years. I cheat. At the Ceremony I place an unmanned in a good but unobtrusive location and set it up for a wide shot. For the toasts I use an unmanned usually on the podium while I shoot the couple and look for reactions. This gives me a little more freedom during the shoot to move and pan around. Just having a second unmanned camera makes the editing go much easier. A single camera shoot is a bear to edit.

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Old March 17th, 2009, 06:34 AM   #3
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So, noting that you say:

"you got to be on the ball" "this is a challenge" "itís a very boring video" "a bear to edit"

- and presumably you charge less for this type of shoot, yet it clearly involves more work/stress. So, I have to ask:

Is this a good business decision to offer such a package?
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Old March 17th, 2009, 06:40 AM   #4
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I have to go along with Martin on this one and honestly I find a single camera shoot to be easier to edit-you just have to shoot it KNOWING you don't have anything to fall back on. Hell, that's how I learned to shoot 25 years ago and frankly thats how I still shoot. No matter how many cameras are running I shoot as if there are no other cameras running so I shoot with more concentration.
I'm just saying that if shooting with one camera is twisting you up then put up a 2nd unmanned camera for the ceremony at least so you've got something to cut to which equals less stress
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Old March 17th, 2009, 07:21 AM   #5
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We would never do single camera just because of the stree is generates. I know you want to charge them less, but you still have a second camera just sitting about doing nothing right? So why not use it just to make your life easier?

You wouldnt refuse to use a tripod to save the client money when it makes your life easier? The cost of tapes is neglegible and saves you having to adopt a whole new shooting and editing style. Just use the second camera, youve paid your money, put it to use.

If the competition are charing less for 1 camera shoots then charge the same low rate but offer 2. Gives you a USP.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 03:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Ash View Post
How is your wedding business going?
Iím getting a lot of clients wanting a one camera shoot due to the extra cost for a second shooter. I have now done two of theses shoots by my self and man you got to be on the ball. Iím so used to the second camera when Iím editing and finding suitable cut always to overlay when I have shot a bad few seconds and this is a challenge. Not only this but itís a very boring video with only one shot on the B&G during the ceremony.

Anyway back to editing
You know, business had a big bump after the wedding show in Jan, but then everythign disappeared in Feb / March. :-(

So I'll be pouring a few more hundred $ into some ad campaigns & print work for local advertising. I'm not focusing ad $$ online much any more, but I may need to continue that this year also.

Regarding 1 vs 2 cam... I completely eliminated 1 cam shots from my service offerings. Any "joe with a cam" can shoot one cam events but usually only pros have two cams, ,much less the experience to position & run two at the same time. I have no evidence that this tactic has worked or will work. I just felt I needed to distinguish my business a bit more from the low priced under-cutters.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 06:45 PM   #7
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Hey Simon,

Things here are down but from previous years but they are not as bad as I would have guessed. I'm actually doing better than most of my colleagues in my area I network with. I can understand your frustration of 1 cam versus 2 when it comes to weddings. In reality you have to give them that package of 1 cam. I agree with Don and Martin that you are working to hard on the 1 cam if it's causing you stress. You have to show the difference in your presentation between 1 cam and 2 cam packages. That way you can easily influence your potential clients to go with your 2 cam package. Now I shoot 1 cam for all my gigs except for really high paying contracts where I use 2 for certain segments of the job. For me it's so much easier shooting 1 cam cause I know what is being recorded and I have full control. I just have not found good help to consider adding two cams again to my packages.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 11:25 PM   #8
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Oddly enough I started with 3 cameras. I wanted to be different than everyone else in the market, so I just started off with 3 for every wedding. At this point, I agree with Martin. It's not worth shooting 1 cam if you're creating more work for yourself and getting paid less. Either shoot 1 cam and make less and just shoot a really boring video .. or don't offer the 1 cam option.

And Jason, I hear you buddy. It's been totally dead this year. I'm hoping people are just scared with the news and the economy and they'll start spending money soon. Even my wife has been struggling and she does photography. She's NEVER struggled. It's crazy. Good luck, man.
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Old March 20th, 2009, 12:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Simon Ash View Post
Not only this but itís a very boring video with only one shot on the B&G during the ceremony.

Anyway back to editing
My business is going better than ever, and due mainly to 1 cam weddings. As to the boring part, I always find out how long the ceremony is before I start offering suggestions. If it is only a 5 or 10 min ceremony ( and I sense that they are on budget!) I will suggest 1 cam. But if it is 1/2 hr or longer, I will really push for multicam and stress that 1 cam on a long ceremony is boring.
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Old March 20th, 2009, 01:48 PM   #10
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My January and Feb. were great, all kinds of work not just weddings, January was actually best in years.

Can't tell if it getting slower, yet, we will see in May, then it's clear how is the season's going...for the summer some great bookings so far.

I'd recommend all the colleagues to look for opportunities besides only weddings, can be interesting love stories, family vignettes, many products can be created/ offered to the market.
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Old March 20th, 2009, 04:34 PM   #11
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Since weddings are usually planned one year in advance, I don't think the lag in weddings has caught up to the economic conditions yet.

A slowdown would seem to still be a little further out to me. Of course, budget cutbacks or canceled weddings may be coming soon.
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Old March 20th, 2009, 07:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jeff Kellam View Post
Since weddings are usually planned one year in advance, I don't think the lag in weddings has caught up to the economic conditions yet.

A slowdown would seem to still be a little further out to me. Of course, budget cutbacks or canceled weddings may be coming soon.
Unfortunately, in my area, weddings are planned a max of 6 months in advance and videographers are about the last vendor booked and the first cut when someone spends too much money on the catering / cake / flowers.
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Old March 20th, 2009, 09:27 PM   #13
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2009 is turning into my best year ever!
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