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


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Old March 30th, 2005, 11:03 AM   #1
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Location: Westfield, IN
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FREE videographer in my area

I recently learned of a woman in my state who travels all over the state shooting wedding videos with her husband for free. While browsing a Knot.com message board, I read some reviews of her work. Brides have complained that the video is grainy because she shoots with old VHS gear. Still, they keep recommending her to couples who wouldn't otherwise be able to have any kind of wedding video.

I've e-mailed this woman about her motivations, but, not surprisingly, she never responded. Although I don't consider her competition -- I don't want her level of clients anyway -- I tactfully tried explaining that her grainy video is hurting us videographers who DO need to be paid. Her low standards perpetuate the idea that video should be an afterthought and that it's not as valuable a service as still photography.

I find this very frustrating, and downright creepy. Ever see the movie One Hour Photo? I imagine this woman as a similar character, or maybe some voyeuristic redneck from a Stephen King novel. Either way, she's bad for "normal" wedding videographers.
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Old March 30th, 2005, 11:49 AM   #2
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I've e-mailed this woman about her motivations, but, not surprisingly, she never responded.....explaining that her grainy video is hurting us videographers who DO need to be paid. Her low standards perpetuate the idea that video should be an afterthought and that it's not as valuable a service as still photography."

Maybe that's why she didn't respond- she probably felt like you were attacking her or had an aggressive connotation. It would have rolled over smoothly if you just contacted her, explained you were a fellow videographer, and found what she did was interesting and was wondering what her motive was.

Granted this behavior is a bit bizzare but why be threatened by it. I don't think this girl is making any broad statements with her videography- after all you never DID get her true motive. As you said yourself- she's not competition for you...nor should she be competition for any true professional videographer that is getting paid. She's only going to attract brides that couldn't or wouldn't purchase video anyway. This may be out on a limb here but I see how it could HELP the industry somewhat. From the sounds of the quality of work she is producing it'll only further separate professonals from non-professionals even wider.

I understand your intent was genuine and your concern for our industry was the motivation in contacting her. You might have been able to get some info from her if you had taken an even MORE tactful approach than you did- ommiting your opinion about the negative aspects of what she is doing. Interesting non-the-less, I vaguely remember hearing about this. Thanks for posting.
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Old March 30th, 2005, 12:08 PM   #3
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"Brides have complained that the video is grainy because she shoots with old VHS gear."

Are you sure about that? Then don't worry. :)
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Old March 30th, 2005, 12:12 PM   #4
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Tim, if you wanna get rid of her...offer to shoot for "Free" and throw in about $100 per Wedding. She'll run out of clients quick!
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Old March 30th, 2005, 12:35 PM   #5
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I've heard about this woman before and wouldn't spend any time worrying about her. If anyone's willing to take a chance on a free videographer that's their choice, and all any of us can do is try to show evidence that we offer something better at a reasonable price. You'll never put a stop to newcomers (and eccentric old ladies) trying to offer wedding videos at bargain prices, so you just have to be good enough to convince potential customers that your services are worth a higher fee. If you're having trouble doing that, you need to examine your own situation and improve it.
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