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


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Old July 21st, 2009, 08:47 PM   #16
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And I've talked to plenty of (younger) couples who love their photos, but watch their video more often...

BOTH media have a place, and some clients realize the added value of video. I think we will see more "fusion" clients who demand and expect both from a "studio", and those who deliver the combo gracefully and artistically will do well.

You've got to remember that video has changed so much in just the last few years, with affordable HD, high quality affordable delivery media, broadband, and the commoditization of video through things like You Tube... I believe that starts to help people see and understand the value in video. Are they going to forget having a nice formal portrait for the wall? I doubt it, but in a few more years that portrait may be displayed on a large flat panel screen that can serve up both stills and video...

I shoot both, I'm trying to improve my skills and the ability to cover each medium, I can say I love shooting stills, yet, I also love shooting video. I feel like stills are easier to "nail", yet the additional challenge of video/audio has it's charms.

Video will become more mainstream, but wisdom suggests that still photos won't just disappear - they complement and enhance each other when done right!
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 04:15 PM   #17
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Well I am relieved the couple that I thought were going to be unhappy are thrilled. I went back and worked on the highlight show myself instead of having my editing guy do it, and they are thrilled with the entired DVD.. I am so releaved.


Still going to do one or the other and continue to make it clear what they get.

I am also going to improve my workflow every way I can so the basic edit can be done easier and faster.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 10:52 PM   #18
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Walt, I respectfully disagree. If you love video, I mean really love it, it will show in your work and you'll be turning couples away over time. If (even subconsciously) you don't understand why couples would want video, that's going to show in your work as well. There is nothing wrong with having a stronger conviction for one over the other, but I can only sell video because I believe it is: 1. Taking its place as essential, and 2. ...going to mean more by capturing their vows, toasts, music and laughter.

We will never, ever refer to a photographer who also does video. That's not being mean, it's just business. We will also never delve into photography. For that reason we have a substantial amount of leads from photographers. They know we respect their craft while honing ours. I really think there is something to be said for staying pure to one discipline.

We do, however, cater to high-end clientele. There is obviously a market for the low-end where-in a company could do both, but that's a lot of gear and there's only one Saturday in a week. Sure, it's easier to get bookings, but that Saturday pay has to get me through the week.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 12:50 PM   #19
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Respect to you also, but the facts of the area where I live tell a different story. We are in a small market and its difficult to market and sell. Large markets have a distinct advantage, numbers game volume of customers.

I have done some incredible videos and but get the same response, " very cool, now where are my photos?"

Syracuse Population only 150 k.

Just out of curiosity where is your wedding video? TV stand or a box in the attic ?
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 01:46 PM   #20
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LOL, it's under our TV w/ all our DVDs. We watch it about every six months. Not the best video, but our photographer really sucked...

I understand the smaller city thing. Not only is your population smaller, but I'm sure the average income is as well. Travis Cossel stuns me. He lives in Idaho and does top-end work. I don't know how he does it.

There is an ideal business model for where you're at, and it does vary based on location.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 02:16 PM   #21
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Photo+Video=Good Times :D

I just watched your footage.. it definitely has some room to grow in the filming/editing department.. however if this is you covering photo and video simultaneously then its outstanding!

Our studio is a successful photography & videography production team with the vast majority of booked events being photo+video.

At first it was very challenging and yes.. our work suffered because we never clearly defined our roles; so first and foremost, know your roles! And no matter what do not dip into each others role.. the mindset of the opposing medium will throw you off completely.

So if you choose to book any more photo+video gigs (which I recommend), decide right now exactly what you are going to handle and then do it well without consideration to the other medium. The other person should do the same. And if you book just a photo gig or a video only gig, no problem.

In our situation my wife is most often the lead photographer and I being lead videographer, and when we shoot only video she is my assistant.. and visa versa when its only photo. Then we have our teams (usually a shooting assistant per medium and perhaps a shared grip for gear ect.) and pay your help for what they're worth; I recommend (without breaking your own budget per gig) to pay a fair wage for talented help, it will pay off.

Hope that helps.

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Old July 23rd, 2009, 02:43 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Dana Salsbury View Post
We do, however, cater to high-end clientele. There is obviously a market for the low-end where-in a company could do both, but that's a lot of gear and there's only one Saturday in a week. Sure, it's easier to get bookings, but that Saturday pay has to get me through the week.
I'm always curious about this.. it seems that in a large pool.. like were in, it's actually harder to get into a "high-end" market because of the mass amount of poor competition that flat out bottoms out the majority of traffic. When we more than doubled our rates we went from several bookings a month to a close zero! Now we are reconsidering.

What is even more disturbing.. or perhaps encouraging.. is that less than stellar work can demand, or cater to high-end clientele. Dana after watching your "new demos".. (and I apologize but I really want to know) if you are getting top dollar, I have to ask how is that possible and what are you doing to get high-end brides to book?

This question should really go into a new thread (sorry)
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 08:43 PM   #23
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To Padilla

Nice work, I would just love one time to shoot outside in good weather. Three weeks ago we shot outside, wind was blowing 30 MPH rained during the ceremony lightly, freaked me out about my cameras and still cameras temperature fell to 56 degrees during the ceremony. Brides maids were shivering uncontrollably.

Many of the venues we shoot at are rough. We try to make it look good but sometimes black & white is all we have to save it. We can edit till the cows come home but it still looks like cows coming home.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 09:00 PM   #24
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I need to make one thing clear, there are no, and I repeat no pro videographers in this area, I believe Erie has some but that is over an hour away and even then there are very few.

So my plan was to offer more than what they were getting with Uncle Bob hand holding a handy cam half in the isle. I never promised more than 2 cam, good audio. I always shot with 3 cams, just so I have a safe shot (hv30), and a good shotgun and lav mic, backed up with the other two cams and a sony audio recorder.

My mistake came when I started to try and do what I see on here, the beautiful flying moving camera stuff. I see many edits that are nice clean but to most on here boring, well that is still much better than uncle Bob.

I am planning on trying to do one or the other, but if our weddings start to slow much will just streamline our workflow and as I get better possibly offer more.

I know different markets are different, but I have had many customers think I was crazy for trying to charge $1000.00 for video coverage.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 10:07 PM   #25
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Hi Denny

I found that there is always a market for budget wedding videos, especially with the economy as it is!! We have a bunch of pros here who still insist on $3000+++ for a basic wedding but they are crying for work since they have the attitude that they are worth no less than they charge. I do a full wedding for $1399 at the moment and people love the prices. Yes, I shoot on my own with two cams but only use two during the ceremony and the speeches. Brides are happy with the end result and I really think that we tend to get either too technical ("I need a Sony EX at least") or way to creative (spending 40 hours (as some people claim) to edit a wedding is crazy) My little business netts me around $40,000 a year and I don't over-capitalize on gear or time and work from a home office. No full time job would pay me $40,000 a year to work maybe 15 hours a week!!
All brides (unless they have had a $100,000 hollywood style wedding) just want memories and will often not even see your carefully edited footage and creativity when they notice that "Aunt Jane" is in the shot. It's really a memories thing and if you shoot for editing you can produce a DVD in a very short time!!

I'd love to be able to shoot on $15,000 cameras with a crew of 6 and charge upwards of $5000 per shoot!! Our current market might get me one job a year at that price!!

We tend to be over-critical of our work and all the bride wants to see is her special day then the DVD goes in the rack probably until the grandkids arrive!!!!

Nothing wrong with your prices in my opinion!!!

Chris
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 10:19 PM   #26
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We offer far more than our demo videos, although that's usually a hook. I think our commitment to sound throughout the DVD, color correction, etc. has given us the referral base that makes it work. We work very hard on each project, and my wife (also a talented shooter) watches every second of footage that I edit. By doing this, our clients (mostly) appreciate those details even though they don't really know what we do to a video.

We cater to the high-end, but you are correct that they are hard to come by. The reality is that most of todays millionaires don't live like it -- and that's why they're rich!! Most of our clients see what we do and write their deposits with a shaking hand. I think even that helps us to want to knock the ball out of the park for each client.

Melana and I challenge each other after every wedding. It sucks. But we know the sacrifice our clients make to go with us, and owe it to them. We also, with God's help, guard ourselves from becoming jaded at the occasional tough customer. That's a tough discipline in its own rite.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 10:21 PM   #27
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Hi Denny

I found that there is always a market for budget wedding videos, especially with the economy as it is!! We have a bunch of pros here who still insist on $3000+++ for a basic wedding but they are crying for work since they have the attitude that they are worth no less than they charge. I do a full wedding for $1399 at the moment and people love the prices. Yes, I shoot on my own with two cams but only use two during the ceremony and the speeches. Brides are happy with the end result and I really think that we tend to get either too technical ("I need a Sony EX at least") or way to creative (spending 40 hours (as some people claim) to edit a wedding is crazy) My little business netts me around $40,000 a year and I don't over-capitalize on gear or time and work from a home office. No full time job would pay me $40,000 a year to work maybe 15 hours a week!!
All brides (unless they have had a $100,000 hollywood style wedding) just want memories and will often not even see your carefully edited footage and creativity when they notice that "Aunt Jane" is in the shot. It's really a memories thing and if you shoot for editing you can produce a DVD in a very short time!!

I'd love to be able to shoot on $15,000 cameras with a crew of 6 and charge upwards of $5000 per shoot!! Our current market might get me one job a year at that price!!

We tend to be over-critical of our work and all the bride wants to see is her special day then the DVD goes in the rack probably until the grandkids arrive!!!!

Nothing wrong with your prices in my opinion!!!

Chris
I believe there are different approaches to everything. Your approach seems to work for you. Others may not find it work for them very well. If you can get 40grand working 15 hours a week. That's great!

so you're only spending 5 hours or so on capturing/editing/authoring/labelling/finalising assuming you shoot for 10 hours? that's one hell of an achievement. I'm very much looking forward for the result. Don't get me wrong, its just because I'm spending around 40 hours for all of that so I kind of wonder how you can do the same thing with 1/8th of the time regardless of the outcome.

If I were you, I'd think about how to make 40.000 into 80.000 by working 30 hours a week. then 120grand by working 45 hours a week.

oh one last thing, I don't think anyone here shoots with a crew of 6.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 10:33 PM   #28
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Hi Chris, just noticed your post. If I were single I would pry do exactly what you are doing, although I think people watch their wedding videos more often than you think.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 01:01 AM   #29
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Hi Susanto

I'm at the venue for 10 hours but I probably shoot onto 3 tapes (Cam A, Cam B and then a new tape in case the speeches go on and on!!) I am the cameraman and the editor so I shoot to edit. 90% of edits are purely trimming start and end points of each sequence. Take the ceremony ...I will add the bridal party arrival to the timeline from my "B" cam then drop in the "A" cam ceremony footage, overlay the cutaways from the "B" cam during the ceremony then finally add the register signing and congrats footage from the "B" cam. Short and sweet and fast to edit!!! I also have templates in Vegas filled with presets I have already done as well as pre-made DVD Menu templates so only the photo and couple's name need to be changed.

You are probably doing cinematic style video which I suspect would take ages to edit and cut to music!! All my weddings are documentary style so they are quick and easy and very fast to edit. If you are indeed doing Cinematic then 40 hours is more than justified I'm sure!!! but then again I make $1400 and you probably make at least $5K!!!!

I found the market here was documentary biased. All most brides wanted was a realtime recording of their wedding. I'm sure the Cinematic style has a market here but I notice that most Sydneysiders offer Cinematic ... my market is documentary here and the majority of brides have small budgets!!!

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Old July 24th, 2009, 01:13 AM   #30
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Were doing at least 40hrs in editing.. and yes its the Cinematic style.. but I wouldn't have it any other way. This is an art form of expression; we sell art while documenting a moment in time. I by the way don't get 5k from a wedding.. just 3k.. the biggest package we've booked for one medium was 4.5K and that's honestly just not enough, we should be getting 5-7K everytime for the work we do.. but I just can't figure out how exactly to do that?! And yes I do want a crew of 4 equally talented artists (6 is a little much) but mostly my crew consists of 2 (maybe 3 tops ever).

Do better work, get more money.. get better toys.. recycle :D
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