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

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Old April 28th, 2010, 05:43 PM   #1
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Cheaper and faster | attract customers

I just uploaded an additional website catering for people on lower budgets. Here in the South Wales valleys at least, people shop by price. They just want the wedding on tape. I figured I can cut corners with just one camera and shoot less material, spend less time rushing around and editing for a much smaller price.

I'm just not generating enquiries. I've done the wedding fayres, advertised in papers, displayed flyers in hotels and tried to network with photographers. I suppose the seo on my site needs serious attention...Google adwords and paying to submit to directories, again more money in the wind.

How does one attract opportunity? I've shot two weddings in the last 7 months.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 09:39 PM   #2
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Hi Charlie

I find that my website is purely a place to send brides to..not a place they can find on "google" ..I have been listed with my new domain close on 3 years now and I'm still way down the list!!

My answer is to advertise on bridal online directories. If you can find one with a forum, even better!! If you have yourself amonst brides-to-be that are chatting with others then you are in the heart of the consumer..the bride is usually the one who says "I want a wedding video" the groom just pays!!!

By all means have your site but get brides to visit it from online forums and directories where they tend to congregate!!! You also need to look at your pricing!!! If budget weddings are running at say 500 quid then you need to be somewhere in that ball park's no good to offer weddings at 200 or 1200 !! The same goes for higher end weddings. I do mainly "budget videos" as we have a big market and I always make sure that I have people who price lower and higher than myself in the market.

Like you I found that local ads, local papers and the rest were useless. Brides tend to go online and find other brides so that's where you need to have exposure

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Old April 29th, 2010, 05:51 AM   #3
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Hey charlie,

Do you have a good portfolio ?
Because if your portfolio is great and people like what you do, they will pay the price.
Even if it's high, but it just depends what or who your market is.
You don't have to be on top of Google (but it sure will help), but when the referrals start,
you will get a lot of leads.
But in everything, it starts with great service ! Good luck.

Greetz, Bart
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Old April 29th, 2010, 09:03 AM   #4
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Thanks Chris.

Bart, my portfolio is not quite top 25 quality but I am told its good enough from competitors. However, the trick is getting brides to view it and not competitors - which often seems to be the case from my site stats.

I would watch the brides make a swift turn at the wedding fayres on impulse of seeing "wedding video" advertised. Those are the ones I would grab and ask them why. Certainly around here, most people will not pay for a wedding videographer, which is why I came up with the idea of offering them cheap. Shoot them cheap and bang it on a disc if its one step above asking a relative, you could say. But I just think there is a way to cut corners by shooting the best bits with one camera, not worrying too much about heavily editing the footage down. I'm promoting two different sites with different addresses and phone numbers for whatever market I can corner.

It's all time vs profit, but I'm struggling getting this business going.
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Old April 29th, 2010, 09:27 AM   #5
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Hey Charlie

I have had a similar problem here in Arizona, U.S.A. I have shot about 1/2 a dozen weddings this past year trying to build my portfolio. I already offer a "Discount" package and have even networked with wedding planners.

I did learn a hard lesson though: Cheap or free wedding videos only gets you more cheap or free wedding video shoots. None of the so-called promises of more work from the bride's friends and relatives have ever panned out - even though they loved their videos.

I tried the 1 camera shoot last weekend and was more stressed out trying to cover it than I would have been with 2 cameras. Now that I am in editing, I sure wish I had at least 1 static camera going to cover my shot transitions.
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Old April 29th, 2010, 12:23 PM   #6
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I'm not doing any "free" work ever again. I've done enough of that in this life and now its time to make up for it.

This is an interesting topic though. I found it stressful co-ordinating two cameras, radio microphones and keeping up with the pace of the photographer for the money I was paid.

I decided I could cut corners by using less gear and offer a more economical price for people on lower budgets, who will otherwise opt for the family camcorders. That's not to say my effort will be tacky and ameteur, my idea is to edit only sections of what I capture - not all the ceremony and speeches, just about as much as the relative would get. A shortform edit with no time shifting is what most people want anyway.

When you think about it, wouldn't you rather watch raw video coverage of your wedding years later than have hired a stranger to mess with it?
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Old April 29th, 2010, 03:47 PM   #7
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I never advertised. My business started because I had a few photographers refer me. Hook up with a cool photog.
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Old May 1st, 2010, 01:20 PM   #8
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Thanks Michael. I met two who I thought might help me...I don't know.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 04:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Charlie Wiser View Post
A shortform edit with no time shifting is what most people want anyway.
Really? How much research have you done on this Charlie?
You may actually find that budget brides want everything for rock bottom prices.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 05:04 PM   #10
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Hi Charlie,
First you gotta define who your market is and what your goals are with your business. These are some questions you must ask and answer honestly before you move forward

-Do you want to do Quantity over Quality?
-Are you willing to take just any wedding or looking for those which get you more work?
-Are you willing to turn down a wedding because it's not up to your prices
-Do you want to do this long-term or short-term?

These are some of the many questions that you have to ask yourself. Once you have answered them in pure honesty, then you will get all the answers and clients will come to you.

Discount clients always get you discount clients. Be brave to say no. Because if you don't do that then simply you are not working for yourself but other people.

Hope this helps.
Jawad Mir / Cinematographer . Filmmaker
Film Style Weddings Jawad Mir
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 07:55 PM   #11
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The first thing brides (couples) book is the venue for their wedding - the church and/or reception venue. We've had a lot of referrals by being on the "Recommended Suppliers" list at a number of reception venues in our city. We target venues that we think have the right type of clients.

It helps if you're seen to be providing great service at the reception, make some form of connection with the manager on the night so when you approach them later you're more than just a name, and also dress well - I've had a venue manager approach me and suggest I get added to their Recommended Suppliers list because he was sick of seeing videographers turn up in jeans.. You can also provide copies of weddings you've shot at each place to the venue manager - presuming the disks are something you're happy to use as a promotional tool for your work.

Good luck with it!

Life in Motion | Real life videography for real life Weddings - Home
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 09:35 PM   #12
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Charlie, think again would be my advice. If you aspire to do anything other than cheap weddings with cheap gear and little or no profit, improve your product. There are already more than enough amateurs, hobbyists and photographers doing video on the side to cater for the lowest price market.
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