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


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Old October 27th, 2009, 08:33 AM   #1
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unusual case

Ok... this might sound selfish.. but I was very happy to read this email from a client that is considering to book us..

the first part of the email was proposing to us to reduce our out of town fee since it is a destination wedding..

But then they wrote this:

"..Additionally, from our side, we are willing to book immediately and pay a larger deposit to help secure your services according to the above details. We hope that you will agree to our proposal as we would really love for Paper Cranes to be a part of our wedding and have had to cut costs in other parts of our wedding (such as our photography) in order to make this possible.."

I repeat... cut costs in other parts... such as PHOTOGRAPHY...

so happy...... video era is coming in australia... i know this email might be a bluff.. but still made me happy lol..

Kind regards,

Santo
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Old October 27th, 2009, 11:19 AM   #2
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Instead of dropping your price you could offer them stills from the timeline as a "freebie", they might go for this seeing as they've dumped the tog.
You could give them the stills as jpegs on a disc, they can print them theirselves then.

Paul.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 11:24 AM   #3
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Congratulations Santo, that email means you have achieved what most of us wants to achieve a " must have status". I know Jmag, Still Motion have so much following Brides would book based on their availability. It seems you are on you way to that elite status. Now if you can just add photography to your package think of the potential.
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Old October 27th, 2009, 11:32 AM   #4
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I hope this continues. If videographers produce the quality of work that you and a number of others on this forum do, I believe more people will see the value of professional videography. It's a far cry from the Uncle Charlie type of "production".
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Old October 27th, 2009, 11:38 AM   #5
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I hope this continues. If videographers produce the quality of work that you and a number of others on this forum do, I believe more people will see the value of professional videography. It's a far cry from the Uncle Charlie type of "production".

Edit: I'm don't know why this double posted - sorry.

Last edited by Jim Snow; October 27th, 2009 at 11:40 AM. Reason: Double Post
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Old October 27th, 2009, 01:25 PM   #6
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Santo... thats awesome. I would frame something like that!
I hope one day videography catches up to photography in my area. I'm tired of seeing photogs acting like they're the cats meow just based on their position.

Steve
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Old October 28th, 2009, 12:07 AM   #7
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Two things ...

I would most definitely NOT reduce your travel fee. If yours are anything like mine, they are designed specifically to cover my costs and provide a small bit extra for the added hassle destination weddings generate. By reducing the fee you accomplish two things. You make it more logical to just book a local wedding for the same date ... and you end up cheapening your services in the mind of the couple. Trust me on that last part. It WILL happen.

I would also avoid offering stills from the timeline. I think that borders on unethical as you are basically taking work away from the photographer even though you are there to shoot video. Imagine having a photographer show up and shoot video on the side to undercut your own product.


Anyways, it IS a great sign that they have placed such a high priority on the video. I know it's hard to stand by your pricing sometimes, but you have to do it if you really want to build your business. Otherwise you end up in a cycle of constantly cutting deals and reducing fees, all of which have been designed and put in place by you for a logical business reason.

Good luck!
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Old October 28th, 2009, 03:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen J. Williams View Post
Santo... thats awesome. I would frame something like that!
I hope one day videography catches up to photography in my area. I'm tired of seeing photogs acting like they're the cats meow just based on their position.

Steve
Looking at the massive improvements in your work over the past 6 months... I'm sure it won't be too far away... :) Thanks for all of your support!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Snow View Post
I hope this continues. If videographers produce the quality of work that you and a number of others on this forum do, I believe more people will see the value of professional videography. It's a far cry from the Uncle Charlie type of "production".

Edit: I'm don't know why this double posted - sorry.
Hi Jim, thank you so much for the nice compliment. I do have a huge passion of making people realise the TRUE VALUE of wedding videos... :)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kellett View Post
Instead of dropping your price you could offer them stills from the timeline as a "freebie", they might go for this seeing as they've dumped the tog.
You could give them the stills as jpegs on a disc, they can print them theirselves then.

Paul.
Hi paul, I actually sometimes do that to my brides when they can't wait to see the final results and the vimeo file is rendering... i took some frame grabs and send them via email.. they would go wild! lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
Two things ...

I would most definitely NOT reduce your travel fee. If yours are anything like mine, they are designed specifically to cover my costs and provide a small bit extra for the added hassle destination weddings generate. By reducing the fee you accomplish two things. You make it more logical to just book a local wedding for the same date ... and you end up cheapening your services in the mind of the couple. Trust me on that last part. It WILL happen.

I would also avoid offering stills from the timeline. I think that borders on unethical as you are basically taking work away from the photographer even though you are there to shoot video. Imagine having a photographer show up and shoot video on the side to undercut your own product.


Anyways, it IS a great sign that they have placed such a high priority on the video. I know it's hard to stand by your pricing sometimes, but you have to do it if you really want to build your business. Otherwise you end up in a cycle of constantly cutting deals and reducing fees, all of which have been designed and put in place by you for a logical business reason.

Good luck!
Hi Travis, thanks for the great advice :)

We are considering about reducing it a little at the moment i.e. get rid of taxi fee just for the sake of giving away something. We'll see how we go..

Santo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noel Lising View Post
Congratulations Santo, that email means you have achieved what most of us wants to achieve a " must have status". I know Jmag, Still Motion have so much following Brides would book based on their availability. It seems you are on you way to that elite status. Now if you can just add photography to your package think of the potential.
Thank you so much... we're planning to launch a photography service.. just waiting for the right time... got the concepts and everything... just finding the right people is kinda hard...

Santo
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Old October 28th, 2009, 04:01 AM   #9
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Yes I too agree on maintaining price point. Reason is if you do it once, word will spread and it does damage the branding. We have had local companies that had to start from scratch to rid of the "Le cheapo" pricing even when they were offering top quality work.
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Old October 28th, 2009, 04:05 AM   #10
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I completely agree with sean and travis about keeping your prices for the long term benefits.

We would not discount our products for any local jobs.. its just that I find destination weddings deserve a bit of a break because they are paying 2 tickets and acommodation, car hire and out of town fee which means another $1500 at least.. and since they really love our work.. its a bit hard if you know what I mean...

still learning... :)

Santo
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Old October 28th, 2009, 02:46 PM   #11
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I couldn't disagree more about destination weddings deserving a 'break'. I know it's easy to feel sorry for the couple since they have to pay so much more in travel fees, but you can't let your emotions run your business.

I don't know how many destination weddings you've done, but in my experience they are ALWAYS more work and ALWAYS more hassle. At the very least you should be charging your regular rates and have ALL of your travel fees covered (my opinion). Otherwise you may as well just book a local wedding. Don't get caught up in feeling sorry for the couple or in thinking that destination weddings are all fun and sexy. You'll just have regrets later.

For what it's worth, we've passed on quite a few destination wedding 'opportunities' because we refuse to work more and endure more hassles and make less money. It just doesn't make sense. But for those destination weddings we do book, it feels oh so good to get our full rate AND all of our travel expenses paid for. And best of all, those couples truly give us the respect we deserve and appreciate us being there so much more.

Anyways, just my thoughts based on our own experiences. Good luck!


EDIT: By the way, I think it's even more important for those videographers with solid work to stand by their pricing. Only then will our industry advance and bring the opportunity of higher prices.
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Old October 28th, 2009, 04:26 PM   #12
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I totally argee with Travis about not reducing any travel fees/costs. I have only had two major travel shoots. One turned into a total travel nightmare.

I would plan/price for the worst and hope for the best. Many of the destination/travel weddings have such large budgets, a few thousand dollars more or less makes no difference at all to the couple. You are also essentially working the entire trip too.

I personally will never travel again to shoot video. It's mostly because the kids are at an age I need to be home. But it's also just generally just not worth it.

Travis; I also agree about not giving stills from the timeline. I depend on the photographer to produce the stills and ring shots I use in the intro and DVD box cover art about 80% of the time. Stepping into their territory would be bad for my photographer relations, some of who are good friends.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 10:44 AM   #13
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We have reduced our travel fee before, if it fits into being a personal vacation. If its a place you have always wanted to go and you can have them pay for part of your expenses to get there, do what you are comfortable with. We have done that before...added another week. You might also look into a payment plan for them so that it is easier to swallow. You might get a percentage of the full package and spread the rest out but get all the up front costs first.

I agree that we should not be offering images from our footage.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 04:33 PM   #14
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I've done destination weddings (actually just did 1 in LR AK) and I never lower my travel fees. I charge for the travel regardless of whether it's plane or car, overnight(s) stay and a per deim for food. I also don't do it for anything less than my top package. To lower your fees IMO lowers the value of your time. We're not talking about the pricing of the packages but TRAVEL. For weddings, I don't necessairly charge for the travel days but I certainly do for most corporate/TV work. Granted, lately I don't do too many dest weddings anymore but a plane ticket costs, drive 700 miles and pay for gas...that costs, wear and tear on the car (not to mention the driver) hotels cost, meals cost. Don't short change yourself.
Charge what the job calls for.
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