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


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Old June 16th, 2005, 12:39 PM   #1
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What am I doing wrong?

I have spent close to $5000.00 in equipment to start a Wedding Vidiography business. My issue is that I have no business comming in. My marketing has consisted of visiting bridal shops, flower shops, etc and using them as a point of contact to the public. Also I have been listed on a Wedding web page as a vidiographer for the geographic are I am in. I have been in busines now for 4 months now and have been registered through the state etc. Can anyone suggest something that I can do to get busines to come in. Thanks so much for your suggestions
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Old June 16th, 2005, 03:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Harkins
I have spent close to $5000.00 in equipment to start a Wedding Vidiography business. My issue is that I have no business comming in. My marketing has consisted of visiting bridal shops, flower shops, etc and using them as a point of contact to the public. Also I have been listed on a Wedding web page as a vidiographer for the geographic are I am in. I have been in busines now for 4 months now and have been registered through the state etc. Can anyone suggest something that I can do to get busines to come in. Thanks so much for your suggestions
Find out where the weddings are happening in your area, and make phone calls to the event coorodinators / catering directors. Thats always a good place to start.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 04:41 PM   #3
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Perhaps you could join a networking group and get together with other professionals in working in weddings. Photographers, Florists, Wine Merchants, Event Organizers, Wedding Cars, Cosmetics, Planners etc. I joined BNI and I'm in two groups as a result - ironic thing is I'm bringing more wedding work to them than they're bringing to me at the moment!

We are looking at producing a really snazzy brochure - advertising all our services (a paragraph or two, a picture, a logo and contact details for each of us), it works out very cost-effective to produce if you can get 10-15 suppliers together. We all get a few hundred and include them when we send out our brochures.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 05:33 PM   #4
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I agree with other posts. You need to make contact with event coordinators at the various banquet facilities in your area.

You note you have no business coming in. How many inquiries have you received regarding wedding video? You will always get many more inquiries than signed contracts. I find many of the shoppers will be stopped cold by my pricing. Others simply don't understand what it is I am providing. Many think my work is the same as uncle charlie's hand held single chip camera. A few know just enough to be dangerous.

I usually tell prospective clients I am making a feature film of their wedding, complete with introductions, a structured story line, and credits roll at the end. While not really accurate, comparing my work to that of feature film making seems to get the "oh, now I understand" response that I feel is necessary for them to recognize that I do something significantly different that Uncle Charly would do. I also try to tactfully ask why they have chosen to have a professional photographer at their wedding instead of Aunt Mary.

My most recent "dangerous one" was a computer engineer specializing in surveilance video. He dicided he could do just as good a job, but had to ask the wedding planner (a friend of mine) to hold the camera. She flatly refused.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 06:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Harkins
I have spent close to $5000.00 in equipment to start a Wedding Vidiography business. My issue is that I have no business comming in. My marketing has consisted of visiting bridal shops, flower shops, etc and using them as a point of contact to the public. Also I have been listed on a Wedding web page as a vidiographer for the geographic are I am in. I have been in busines now for 4 months now and have been registered through the state etc. Can anyone suggest something that I can do to get busines to come in. Thanks so much for your suggestions
hello derek,

i think there are a lot of people out there shooting weddings (i don't). i like to suggest to do 2-3 weddings for free, or just at tape cost, to get demo wheels going, do your very best. suddenly you will have something you can show off to new customers. if you read www.sba.org , you will find that 75 % of new businesses fail within the first year, and an other 50% the second year.

i tape ethnic dance troupes/ singers, and opera, nobody has money off course, but after about 8 month shooting about 3 events a month for free, my portfolio is up. now i have 2 contracts for the 2005/ 2006 seasons, and a different class of clients (the ones with the money) which are willing to pay, and i do not edit at all, nothing to get rich,....but in the year 2025 i will have my investment back..lol

just keep going

greetings
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Old June 16th, 2005, 09:51 PM   #6
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What yoiu need to do is see when the next wedding show is in your local area. Usually the Chamber of Commerce puts one on as well as local bridal shops. Put together a good demo reel and market the hell out of it. Your probably too late to get any weddings this year as most brides tend to book a year in advance if not more. I started in March of last year and had no weddings all summer, I did a wedding show in November and have eight weddings for this summer and a couple for 2006 and 2007 already. Find out what the competition is doing and what their videos look like and really try to stand out. I personally do a lot of After Effects work and i'm the only videographer that does so I tend to stand out among the rest. This year we will put a yellow page ad in so that our contact number will be there if anyone loses our card or brochure. We have already booked our spot in this years wedding show in November and am hoping to double our business. I also reamed up with a well known DJ here to offer a video/music package at a reasonable price, and it has really worked well so far. Network is the key, really get out there and introduce yourself and maybe give them your demo to view. It just takes time and timing...Hang in there if you stand out yoiu will get the business...
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Old June 17th, 2005, 08:19 AM   #7
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thanks all for your advice. It seems as if I am running a little late this season to pick up many bookings. I have taken on some non-paying jobs to work on that demo and I also went out of the Wedding videography field to do one paying gig at a large family renunion. Thank you all for weighing in as I was feeling like I have been doing somthing wrong but to know that It is a great work in progress is a comfort. I am going to move on many of your suggestions and thanx again this group is great.

PS that is a great quote to have "Aunt Mary" do the still photos if "Uncle Charly" doing the video work.....
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Old June 17th, 2005, 10:06 AM   #8
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You have to be shooting and producing things. Parties, Non-profits, something. Every time you have your camera out to do work, you are in front of new prospects. You get more experience. You get to feel productive and practice at being professional. I spent 3 hours yesterday shooting a portion of a non-profit promo I am working on, and gave out 5 business cards. When this project is done, it will get placed in front of 200-300 local business owners. I will probably have 50 hours in it when done, and got paid $600. But it is a tremendous non-profit group, and I expect it to lead to at least a dozen other projects in the next year. If I can help them land an additional $20k in donations, it will be easier to sell another one at $2k or more.

Two days ago I shot a dress rehersal at a local theater for my demo reel. You don't know your camera until you can find every control by touch in a completely dark theater without jostling the microphone. I thought I knew my camera, but don't.

Get your demo done. Make friends with those vendors. Offer them something of value. Learn to spell videography. Good Luck.
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Old June 17th, 2005, 11:14 AM   #9
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I lucked out. I'm getting married this Dec. so we have a wedding planner. We had an idea for something very different for our wedding video, but she had trouble finding a suitable vendor. I had shown her some of my work (TV & indy stuff) to give her an idea of the feel we wanted and she turned around and said that she had some clients who would be very interested in what we wanted as well. One thing led to another and now I'm her recommend vendor...


You will have to bite the bullet and do some freebie stuff to get people noticing you - build up samples, learn technique (in your particular style), etc. A lot of advertising is done by word of mouth, so you have to provide things for people to talk about.


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Old June 18th, 2005, 05:29 PM   #10
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The problem is that you do not shoot in high definition. Lets face it if you don't shoot in high definition your customers will think that you are no different than Uncle Charlie with his single chip camcorder. All that 3CCD is just a bunch of nonsense. No one buys a video because it is 3CCD. Have you ever heard a television network say that the following program is brought to you in 3CCD ? A big network like PBS says " the following program is brought to you in high definition, welcome to the future a PBS digital presentation". For my demos I burn Video CDs in high definition playable on most windows XP computers. Also my work is showcased on big screen HD televisions. My customers gasp and say that it looks just like a movie. They say "Now thats what I'm talking about". HD looks so professional. So as long as Uncle Charlie doesn't own an HD camera you pretty much have a monopoy don't you ?
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Old June 18th, 2005, 05:43 PM   #11
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I don't think that is true Tommy.
I think if you can shoot professionally, the normal customer won't notice resolution. Because face it, that is what HD is: more resolution.
If you shoot professionally, they will say: ow, now I see that's completely different then what my Uncle filmed!

That's my opinion though.
28 days later was shot on miniDV. Why didn't everybody in the theatre think it was a home movie?
Because it had some professional acting, lightning, camera movement, sound,...

HD isn't available for us since such a long period. If I would follow your theory, a couple of years ago, nobody ever went to the wedding videographer. Because: hey they hadn't HD.
Why would the people now all want HD?
I think you are overestimating the usual customer.
They just want a beautiful wedding video. If they see the professional results, they won't complain because it has a too low resolution.
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Old August 21st, 2005, 03:43 PM   #12
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You could always stand outside your local churches on Saturday's with a sign "VIDEOGRAPHER FOR HIRE - LAST MINUTE NO PROBLEM"..:)
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 08:31 AM   #13
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Derek, where are you based out of.
I have been in business doing weddings on a part time basis for jst over a year now and I haven't had much trouble getting requests for shoots. As a matter of fact, I have turned several clients away, because I am currentl ony doing 2 or 3 weddings a month, although I do love filming Weddings, I have a fulltime job and need some quality time wit the wife as well as editing time.

Just so you know the best invetment that I have made so far is registering at a site called wedj.com, that specializes in DJ and Photography, as well as Videography vendors.
I paid for their Silver Membership which includes their Gigabilder software (event planning and booking, excellent) as well as a pretty high exposure level on their site.
I annualy get 8-10 requests a month from that site alone.

Also if you have a website, make sure that your website is being submitted to the major search engines and setup properly with it's metatags so the search engines can spider your site properly. if it's not setup right, your website won't be searched by the search engine spiders and your site will pretty much be non existant on the web.

Just some thoughts.

Good luck,
Michael
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 03:16 PM   #14
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HD vs SD

I agree with what has been said above concerning HD vs SD for weddings. I guarantee that the Videographers who plan on selling their product based soley on the merits of shooting HD will go out of business fast. Alot more, and I mean ALOT more goes into a high quality wedding vid. I shoot with an XL2, and though I am in the market for an HD cam, I have had NO requests for a wedding vid shot in HD yet this year.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 09:11 AM   #15
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Yeah, I'm with Brian on this one as well. I'm also wondering if Tommy was drinking when he wrote his last post...
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