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

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Old May 29th, 2009, 04:55 AM   #31
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
Some of what I was saying was cynical, I guess perhaps it didn't translate thru but I applaude you for what you are doing. If you are taking care of your parents good for you. I wish my kids would look after me and my wife, then I wouldn't have to do video work anymore ;-)
I also think your idea of raising your prices every 5 bookings is a very good idea. As for the people charging $600 and brides wondering why you charge more, well perhaps they need someone to explain to them that in many cases you get what you pay for.
Best of luck to you
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #32
Inner Circle
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,488
Originally Posted by Jason Robinson View Post
I agree about the price point. But in order to get a call in the first place I have a "no hourly charge" selling point which is what gets the father of the bride's attention as compared to the 1/2 dozen or so "one man with a cam" outfits here in the valley.
Not having a time limit on your services is a prescription for trouble and amounts to giving away a significant amount of value, plus wearing yourself out in the process. I've settled on six hours as my standard coverage because that's the amount of time I usually spend at "typical" weddings, and it's enough to give me a marketing advantage over companies which start charging extra after fewer hours. Anything over eight hours I consider excessive and try to avoid unless the customer is clearly willing to pay top dollar.

On a related note, you might also consider making rehearsals optional after you've shot enough weddings to be comfortable doing so. Committing to rehearsals can hamper your business schedule and/or personal life, but if you leave them out of your contract then you can decide later whether you want to go or not. If you don't promise the rehearsal and do go you'll look good to the client because you gave them something extra, but if you say you'll go and can't you'll look bad. Some videographers prefer to go to every rehearsal as a standard practice but I feel I can get most of the same benefit by showing up early on the day of the wedding, where I can learn about anything important from the rehearsal with a few simple questions.

Some of what you're doing sounds like beginner eagerness, and if that's right then hopefully you'll soon find you don't have to do all that to get work. Promise a little more than your competitors but don't give your life away at bargain basement prices.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 04:22 PM   #33
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 1,996

I am still on the "breaking into the market" type of business (I think?) but are market is pretty depressed. I need to offer more than the "one guy and a cam" outfits in order to convince the parents to shell out the extra. There are only about 4 companies in town that do "real videography" and about 10 of the "one guy and a cam" outfits.

For now, it helps me develop a rapport with the client and gives me a chance to essentially "run" the wedding and help decide where people stand so I'm not scrambling during the ceremony trying to cover because the groomsmen stood in an unexpected place, or because they wern't aware of where I would be.

I'm also finding there is little to no time before the ceremony to talk to the whole bridal party to get ideas on where they will be standing.

So yes it is a trade off between extra hours on my part in exchange for what I believe to be a better serve for my clients.

I am by no means the cheapest in the valley, so I am not giving away my time (well . . . not much any way).

In the future I may opt out of rehearsals, but for now, I found that the perfect time to "train" the house sound guy and the bridal party for how to achieve the best production value.
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