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


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Old July 23rd, 2010, 03:01 PM   #1
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Advice Please

Thanks in advance.

After being unemployed in London for over 5 months. My wife encouraged me to use my indie film making knowledge to shoot wedding videos.

I already have kit, sound, video etc...and I can use it.

One problem - how the hell do I start? Where do I start?
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 03:31 PM   #2
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First off, start making videos/shorts to get caught up with everything and I would recommend networking with anybody in any film festivals around your location. I live in arizona and have had to turn down like 3 or four opportunities to film/photograph weddings. I just don't have the time.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 03:40 PM   #3
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I would say start working for other as a 2nd shooter and get the feel of it.
Then you will have to do some freebies or very low budget wedding until you have good portfolio to show.
After that it is advertising and network.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 03:49 PM   #4
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Good advice. Thanks. I've advertised free wedding videos on classified - no replies. Don't people want free stuff!!??
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 03:58 PM   #5
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Joseph,

Most of the time free is lumped together with bad... not saying you are bad by any means. but you need to charge something to give yourself some worth.

Just what I think :p

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Old July 23rd, 2010, 04:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Kassana View Post
Good advice. Thanks. I've advertised free wedding videos on classified - no replies. Don't people want free stuff!!??
Firstly it's their wedding day, not a day they might take a chance on. I think they need some reassurance that whoever records their day knows what they are doing. Offering it for free doesn't imply much confidence. Sort of okay if it works out but if not - well so what you didn't pay anything for it. I think most couples want something a bit more certain than that.

Secondly. I don't know how long you've been advertising for but you won't find that there are lots of couple out there scouring free adds for someone to capture their big day. I took me about three years to get up to enough work for full time business. That included having weddings from brides on the fashion course at the college, recommendations from a hairdresser friend. Advertising in bridal magazines and hand-outs. The business really starts to build when you get the recommendation and pass-ons from those, and then forming an association with other videographers with a similar standard of work and attitude to the business.

Try asking around for someone you know or friend of a friend who is getting married and offer to do it for them. A direct approach where you are able to talk through with them your intention and the reason you'll do it for free or at least a low rate may be instil enough confidence in your ability to let you do it. At least then you'll have something to show people and also discover if you have the skills and temperament to do it as an ongoing occupation.
Remember having the tools is only part of what's involved in producing a video which both your clients and you will be proud of.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 04:58 PM   #7
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Joseph, I think you're asking the wrong question. What you say you have is the equipment (though gear for weddings is often more specialised than for indie production, especially in the sound dept) and the experience, though again I think you've already recognised that you don't have actual experience in the market.

I'm a little concerned that you've been unemployed for five months yet only now want to start your own business, but since there are many reasons for the delay, these are what I think your first questions should be:

1 Do you have the mental fortitude and make up to run your own business rather than working for someone else?

2 Do you have the money to create, promote and under-pin your business for up to three years?

Weddings especially are typically booked 12-24 months ahead which means your first serious order book may not emerge for three years. It is also recognised as one of the least profitable part of the video market.

Sorry I can't be more encouraging.

Best regards
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 09:43 PM   #8
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A question for Phillip Howells: what are the more profitable sectors of the videography market?
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 10:22 PM   #9
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Outside of wedding videography, I would say commercial videography can be more lucrative.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 11:24 PM   #10
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A question for Phillip Howells: what are the more profitable sectors of the videography market?
In my experience, in general, those which require you to equip yourself for the specific type of programmes, specifically, niche markets.

The problem with working, and especially starting, in weddings is that you're competing with pros who are equipped with multiple cameras, multiple channels of radio mic etc. Additionally, what is a wedding? The term can mean a small, quiet affair, a modest ceremony and a wedding breakfast with a couple of short speeches or an event with a couple of hundred people, multiple speeches, table magicians during the breakfast and cabaret afterwards. Ideally someone starting would only bid for the more modest affairs but we generally don't have that luxury.

Furthermore, you're dealing in a retail market so any amateurs won't necessarily be required to charge sales tax (in UK anyway) - that means you're 17.5% to 20% worse off straightaway.

In contrast, for 30 years we made corporate, travel, and documentary programmes, never owning more than one camera (for a long time a workhorse BVW507) and hired in additional cameras and cameramen when we needed them - eg once every two months for almost that entire period we made a programme shot in a studio with two cameras and three channels of mic in one day. We hired in everything we didn't own, same people, same gear every two months.

My advice would be to find a niche market and stick to it eg in some places it's normal to have a video of real estate for sale. Get into that and you have the potential for regular, repetitive programmes that, compared to weddings, require little creativity, need vary only with the content not the style, aren't compared to current TV styles and which require specific gear. Each programme won't earn a fortune but overall such niche markets have the potential to be very profitable. They require consistency, constant availability, probably at short notice which could mess up your private, family and social life but you asked about profitability!

You might now wonder why I work in weddings. There are many reasons relating to my personal situation but I'll leave you just one - no-one goes to a wedding to be miserable - and that makes for a very amiable environment in which to work.

Finally, Keaton, others here will have other views, perhaps they'll also respond.
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Old July 24th, 2010, 11:50 AM   #11
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I've been unemployed in the 9-5 office job sense of the word. I work in the media and whoring industry. Hated it.

Yes I do have the mental fortitude. Ah you know, something always works out, there is a randomness to life which I am enjoying because paradoxically there is a plan. Not my plan, but whosever it is, I can't wait for it.
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Old July 24th, 2010, 12:16 PM   #12
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Go for it; I wish you every success.
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