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


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Old February 28th, 2010, 10:11 AM   #16
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The 'trust' model does have much going for it, but I suppose that the more you do, the greater the chance of discovering couples who are skint and possibly have a few rubbishy videos provided by friends at the wedding and they don't feel the need to have yours. I only do work for businesses, not for individuals and just start the UK county court system on-line and this usually works - and it's not a big problem.

If you can afford the occasional loss without financial problem, then as you say - the extra business you might get from NOT requiring payment in advance still works.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 11:01 AM   #17
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If you can afford the occasional loss without financial problem, then as you say - the extra business you might get from NOT requiring payment in advance still works.[/QUOTE]

Thanks Paul. I do find that this works really well for me. I have constructions workers building me a new office on my property. I haven't paid them in full before they started the job.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 12:10 PM   #18
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Michael...

I also share the same mind set in terms of payment. For me it's much easier to accept their remaining balance once I know they 100% satisfied with their product. I have been lucky so far to only work with the kindest couples around in my area...
Most brides love to hear that the payment is due once they are satisfied with what they have in their hand. It shows them that I'm commented to my work and customer satisfaction.
All that being said I only film around 15 weddings per year and this isn't my full time job. If I was relying on this to pay the bills I would most likely rethink my business plan.

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Old February 28th, 2010, 01:21 PM   #19
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seems like this is one of those subjects that comes up about 1 or 2 times a year.
About 21 years ago I did a wedding for a couple, shot it, did the edit, remember it was lineal deck to deck; control track and all that loverly stuff. Anyway when I went to deliver the tape they told me they had the marriage annuled after about 2 weeks. Ooopps, didn't tell me. BTW this was about 6 weeks after the wedding. I got burned for about $500 which back then was a lot of cash. Hmm, still is today. Anyway I never got paid and finally threw the tape out a couple of years ago, don't ask me why I held on to it. About 12 years ago I go burned again, they ran out of money after the honeymoon, the tape was edited (no DVDs then but no lineal either whoohoo) and guess what, I was out about $500. I started seeing a pattern. Well not really but I did start asking around to photogs, DJs, bands, banquet and facilities and other vid guys in my area. 99% of the other got all their money up front so I started to do that. I get 50% at the booking and the balance is PiF no later than 30 days prior to the event. Of course I will work with people if they seem reasonable and there is enough time before the event. Has anyone objected, yeah 1 or 2. Have I lost business because of it? Probably the same 1 or 2. Do I care? Yes and No. Yes, because I want the money, NO because they are generally the same ones that are the real PITA that we don't want to deal with. In my area almost every vendor out the of any kind get their money up front, it's pretty much a standard thing around here so the couples are very used to it. Much of this business is built on trust going both ways but when it comes to money I simply tell them that IF I went around screwing people for the money I don't think I'd still be around in 5 years much less 26 going on 27.
But that's just me.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 06:30 PM   #20
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trust

sorry dudes, there is none in this type of service industry. booking jobs with no deposit is damn foolish, and I bet you all that are doing it are charging amounts most of us wouldn't leave the couch for. I have held strict terms when it comes to payment, and have
never been burned. as far as delivery goes, if a couple is local i usually will meet them.
if not, in the mail it goes. no frills padded envelope with their copies. no popcorn, no wine, just a plain brown wrapper.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 12:42 PM   #21
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"Plain brown wrapper"??? I don't do THOSE kind of videos. Heh heh heh.

Seriously, though. For me, this is just a way to make enough money to buy new toys. I charge a non-refundable deposit to hold the day, and collect the balance when the proof copy is delivered.

If I depended on the business for a living, (and that may be the case in the near future) I would definitely collect 100% of the fee up front.

All this talk has me thinking about changing my policy, though...
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Old March 1st, 2010, 12:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
they ran out of money after the honeymoon,
It seems to me that this isn't that unusual. Prior to the wedding and up through the honeymoon, the romance of it all can overshadow good judgment and sound financial management. But after the honeymoon is over, it's back to reality - and bills. Then, the costs of setting up a household etc. suddenly loom and the little "details" such as the wedding video payment can get pushed down the list.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 12:55 PM   #23
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heehehe, plain brown wrapper meaning a big bubble wrap envelope. with regards to doing this just to buy toys, you need to get that out of your mindset right now. I love upgarding gear, but after going through tax returns over the past few years, i could have had my kids college and my cars paid off already. Keep your current gear until it just isn't feasable to keep using it. make a profit. spend money only on necessary supplies like ink, dvd media, paper, etc. pass ALL extra costs onto the client. I really want to upgrade my still cameras, but i am keeping them, they are paid for.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 12:58 PM   #24
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I don't do weddings to much mush.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 03:26 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Hayes View Post
heehehe, plain brown wrapper meaning a big bubble wrap envelope. with regards to doing this just to buy toys, you need to get that out of your mindset right now. I love upgarding gear, but after going through tax returns over the past few years, i could have had my kids college and my cars paid off already. Keep your current gear until it just isn't feasable to keep using it. make a profit. spend money only on necessary supplies like ink, dvd media, paper, etc. pass ALL extra costs onto the client. I really want to upgrade my still cameras, but i am keeping them, they are paid for.
I just bought the Canon 7D and accessories. Cost me close to $7k. I'm charging each bride another $350 if they want me to use it over my A1. I show them videos shot on both cams. So far, every bride has upgraded to the 7D and I've already got back over $3k.
I'll probably bring in close to 18K this year just on the 7D.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 07:50 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Scott Hayes View Post
with regards to doing this just to buy toys...
Bad choice of words on my part. I am using all the money I make with my videography to buy new necessary video gear, not upgrade existing gear that does the job well.

I'm going a bit OT here. When I use the new gear (or, my "toys"), the price of my services increases because the quality is normally improved. What I earn at my next gig will allow me to buy a DTE and a BR burner. Then I'll be able to do same-day-edits at weddings (show the ceremony footage in a loop while I'm shooting the reception), and deliver BR to clients. The next gig will be priced a bit higher because of the added services, and that money will be spent on a stabilizer rig.

My ultimate goal is to have enough of the proper good-quality gear that I can branch out into other video production services. At that point, video production will by my primary income source.

Hmmm....I'll have to change my forum signature once I get that DTE.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 08:00 AM   #27
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method to your madness

is all wrong. I operated like that for years. Let me clue you in - Brides don't care what you shoot with. content is king. they won't pay a higher price because you bought new gear they don't give a flip about. You will HATE having an external DTE on your camera, it is cumbersome. Buy tapeless cams, make the initial investment and be done. it is a blackhole man, that you will never get out of until you look around your empty house and wonder WTF did you waste money on depreciating electronics when you could have made your daily life and your families' daily life more comfortable?

IF you are single, then I say buy a hot tub. I am telling you this out of hard lessons learned. This business is part of the reason i lost my family, and now I need to continue with it to support them even when they are gone. As much as I want to upgrade to DSLRS for video, I am done buying stuff. Maybe hard drives, but thats it man. focus on content
be a story teller. BRIDES DON'T CARE WHAT YOU ARE SHOOTING WITH AS LONG AS YOU ARE THERE COVERING THE EVENT!

sorry for going to OT.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 04:48 PM   #28
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Yeah i agree with Scott...majority of couples don't care much for the lux rating on your cam or the glidetrack you just bought..as long as you are there to capture the moment and tell their story on video. Also, i always thought that its the skill that dictates the pricing and not the equipment..was i under the wrong assumption?
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Old March 9th, 2010, 05:03 PM   #29
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Hi Guys
What I have found is that brides (who order the videographer anyway) are normally totally non technical!! I think we tend to get very wrapped up in technical issues rather than getting more involved in content issues and getting involved in getting technical perfection and then the bride watches her wedding on her 15 year old 21" CRT TV and is delighted (not for any technical issues whatsoever, but purely because she looks so pretty and the bridesmaid's dresses are fabulous)
We do the tech stuff mainly for ourselves to satisfy our technical needs and we HAVE to have something to talk about on the forum too!!! I agree that content is absolutely KING and as long as you present a visual story that delights the bride she really couldn't care less what you used to achieve it.

With this in mind maybe we need a few more posts about filming technique and better ways to tell the story..I've seen a few, but the majority are technical issues.

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Old March 9th, 2010, 09:45 PM   #30
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Yes, I concur... most brides/couples don't care about equipment specs.

For years we did the "Pay final amount on delivery of DVD", but I've recently changed that to 100% due before the wedding. It works just fine so far and is a lot less hassle.

Plus, just about every other wedding vendor (florist, caterer, photo) does the same thing.
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