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

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Old March 25th, 2010, 05:21 PM   #16
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what is the essentail ingredient in going full time ?
That is the willing in going full time.

If you want to do, you can do it as long as you want it bad enough.
You will have to do the investment in time and material and it won't be easy at first, but it will work out.

Your question for getting rich ... follow these tips ;o)
it's very difficult getting rich in offering services.
The way to go is offering products.
Making a wedding video is a service.
Having several teams and offering multiple weddingvideos a day is offering a product.
Keep in mind, it's hard and difficult but it all starts by doing what you love to do.

Another tip is raise your goal higher then expectation within realistic boundaries.
If you're making now for example 6k a month.
Instead of saying : "next year I'll make 6k a month", you'll have to say : "next year I'll make 9k a month" and do whatever is possible to achieve it and you will achieve it.

This is just my advice from my own personal experience.
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Old March 26th, 2010, 04:45 PM   #17
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I'm a strong proponent of multiple streams of income. I used to do weddings full time (about 30 - 40 per year), but after all the expenses and taxes, etc. I only netted about 45 - 50K a year which is nothing in California. Plus the workload was just too insane... always editing 24/7, never being able to take a vacation, and having the wife be constantly pissed because I'm gone every weekend and not able to attend parties or family functions.

Thankfully she works full time and has a health insurance plan that I'm on. Without that we would have been screwed.

I now work as a freelance corporate video editor during the week, occasionally do corporate shoots, and book about 10 - 15 weddings per year max.

I've never been happier with this set-up. The money is sustainable, I have more weekends free and I'm not editing weddings round-the-clock. I wouldn't do it any other way.
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Old March 26th, 2010, 07:43 PM   #18
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Hi Jeff

Me too!!! If weddings go quiet (as they do here in Winter's not that cold but very wet!!) I have my alternate incomes to fall back on and also it means that you can do a far more manageable one wedding a weekend instead of fighting with a Fri/Sat/Sun scenario!!

During the week I do Property Condition reports for Realtors's stress free and just involves going to an empty home (before the tenant moves in) and doing a zip around each room and the garden making comments on any defects. Usually takes less than an hour!! The nice thing is you do it in your own time with no-one to bug you!!

I also make camcorder rig tutorials and that gives me a neat 2nd passive income from my website.

Putting all your eggs in one basket can be both dicey and very stressful as a sole income source!!

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Old April 2nd, 2010, 09:36 AM   #19
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Great advice in here!
I went video full time as soon as I finished Uni and after 3 years I think that I'm starting to earn a good living out of it. I'm also supporting wife/baby so no other income at the moment.

I'm quite surprised with some comments on this thread. you cannot make a good living out of wedding videography? I know people making 40K-50K a year and if that's not a good salary I don't know what is!
I've been filming weddings for the last 2 years as a freelancer for someone else and i decided to take the risk and start offering full service myself last November. Since then I've had 13 weddings booked. I've been offering a cheap package in order to get a proper portfolio but i envisage putting up the prices next year and hopefully do 20-25.
And i agree with everyone before me, nothing like being your own boss, I wouldn't ever go back to 9-5!
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Old August 18th, 2010, 04:38 PM   #20
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Hi Guys,

I'm overwhelmed with the response and it seems I may have picked the wrong words "Rich". At the end of the day, I'd like to have a successful Business that I can provide for my family with. I am based in the South of Sydney, Sutherland Shire area. Not a lot of competition down here. If you google "Wedding Video Sutherland Shire", I usually take up the 1st 2 results for both my pages drumroll & defilms.

Success for me would be to have a solid reputation as the one to hire for Videography services here. I'd like a shop front in Cronulla and shoot about 70 weddings a year this would give me an income that would cover expenses and enable full time self employment.

Still doing tours and have started filming destinations, although the day is busy. I'ts great to look forward to every day.

If you ever plan a trip to Sydney look up and it would be great to meet up, just make sure you request me as your tour guide..
David Edwards - Sydney -
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Old August 18th, 2010, 10:49 PM   #21
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I'm full time with my business and I am employing 3 more people. Soon I will be hiring a fourth.

Going full time is a big step, but it's just a step and the first of many. There has been some good advice given. Set goals... Short term, long term... And intermediate goals that will help you achieve those goals. Hold yourself accountable. Reward yourself for achievements. You have to be willing to take risks. You have to be willing to put in the time. If you ever start to feel like you are getting burnt out... Hire someone quick to take care of whatever is taking up most of your time so you can get back to doing whatever it is that you you enjoy that got you doing what you do.
RED One #6135 "Spartacus"
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Old August 18th, 2010, 11:44 PM   #22
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I involuntarily went full time Jan '09 and can't imagine going back. My wife does have a great job and has health benefits covered. (seems to be a theme on this particular thread!)

Now, I don't go after the wedding biz though I have done a few.
Personally, I'd rather have a wide variety of projects and have built my biz by never saying "No".
Let me follow that by saying I have turned down lowballers on projects but never due to "I can't or don't know how or I don't have time" I can ALWAYS find a way to get stuff done.
It's forced me to build a team of pros that can handle any type of project regardless of scale. Kind of a virtual production/multimedia company. Nice thing is since we are all independents, there's no real overhead and with all of us out there fishing for work but from different angles, our success in landing projects has been great. Whoever lands the gig oversees the project.

The real benefit to being self employed is the time I get to spend with my wife and kids. I do most of my editing at night and with shoots scattered through each week, it's great! And now that I've jumped on the smartphone bandwagon, I can check and respond to emails anywhere.

No regrets!
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Old August 24th, 2010, 10:44 AM   #23
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I do this part-time. I used to live in the Poconos (Pennsylvania) and for a while it looked as though I could possibly make it full-time. That's when this economic B.S. hit. My jobs dried up almost completely and Craigslist didn't help either with having people go for cheap rather than quality. My full-time job also became part-time because of lack of clients there too (I was a graphic designer).

I ended up moving and have a full-time job with benefits and my wife is a photographer who will shortly be doing that full-time. With the move we both need to re-establish ourselves.

There's pros and cons to both full-time and part-time.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 11:09 AM   #24
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I went full time almost by default over twenty years ago. I had worked as a pro photographer and had video as a hobby. A move back to my home town for family reasons reduced my income from photography so I supplemented it by working at the local art college as a part-time lecturer in photography and added a video module. Video was still a bit novel back then. I set up a student crew shooting drama, dance, bands and fashion - the college ran a fashion design course. Through that I was asked to film a couple of weddings, then a couple more and very soon became the one to ask to cover weddings. Around that time the college merged with one in another town and the A V side was moved away, I didn't go with it but had built enough of a reputation and contact base to risk trying video full time. The rest as they say is history. Though I have been doing weddings ever year since I would say that it would not have been possible to survive financially solely on a wedding market, bear in mind that I'm in a small rural town so you may have a larger more lucrative market in a city.

The benefits from my point of view are that I'm my own boss, I like to do things my way.
I can work my life around a schedule that suits me and my family
I can take holidays and days off when I like. Obviously not on someone's wedding day.
I can work with the kit I want to, well what I can afford.

The downsides are.
You must continually seek and secure work.
Your income flow can be erratic, sometimes non-existent.
You must make your own provision for illness, time off and eventually retirement.
You'll stand or fall by your own hand - unless you get into employing people you'll have to carry the can for everything, even when it's not your fault.

Would I start a video business right now - no
Do I wish that I hadn't - no.
As with any business, if it's something you love you'll do everything you can to make it work. If your doing it to get rich the only tip I can give is - start off rich.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 01:29 PM   #25
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Unfortunately I am going back to part time and am taking a course in GIS (geographic information systems) so I can generate a decent income (in BC $55k starting salary in normal) working in that field while I wait for the video industry to stabilise here.

There is to much turmoil in BC in any arts field and I am hoping things will improve over the next few years but the income I am generating this year is abysmal compared to last year.

My business was primarily live events (Sports, Concerts etc) and corporate and I started doing weddings this year. ALL aspects of the business have slowed to a crawl. Competition from lowballers who do this as a part time "hobby business" and laid off news crews have definitely stifled things. On top of that, many customers in my area are actually finding 2010 to worse than 08/09 for their end of things. Perhaps my region was a little slow to accept the downturn?

Anyhow. My main concern about going back to school for a non-video career has been, will I be able to still do this profession part time? I really enjoy video production and setting my own (if oddball) hours.

On the other hand I may find new aspects to the business that I never knew about. While talking to some of the instructors I found that they have a need for video! I may actually find paid work providing some sort of video service to their Geomatics lab while attending school.

I am moving to a new areas to attend this 1 year program but maybe a change of scenery will lead to some part time video work outside of the college. Anyhow, it feels weird going back to part time, but one can see the writing on the wall and I don't have the financial buffer to allow for a dead year or two.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 10:13 PM   #26
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I was a full time wedding videographer / one-man show for 5 years (2001 - 2006). I made enough money to survive, but after paying taxes every year and having to buy new equipment to stay current, I basically broke even. I fortunately landed a steady freelance gig as a producer/editor for a major corporation, so now I only do about 10 - 15 wedding per year tops. I can get more creative with the weddings because I have more time to focus on each one, and don't have worry about spending a fortune on marketing.

My wife has a good full-time job with health insurance and 401k so I'm on her health plan. For those of you doing this full-time with your spouse... how do you plan to retire? You can only break even for so many years before you have to start getting serious about the future.

The problem with doing weddings full-time is that you're painting yourself into a corner, and considering the physical demands of the job, there's no way you'll still be able to do this when you're 60 +.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 10:27 PM   #27
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Jeff, I don't think I'm the only person here who's on the wrong side of 65 and whilst I agree that the shoot day is physically demanding, whilst the knees hold up I intend to keep going. It's all too much fun and I hate golf.
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