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Old August 8th, 2010, 01:14 AM   #1
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Is it a losing battle?

Just came back tonight from filming a beautiful wedding..we also had the privilege to work with one of the top photographer outfits in our city..what they said shocked me..out of the 160+ weddings they've done, they've only worked with /seen 5 videographers.. and to top it off during a photoshoot, i noticed 5 other weddings around the area and guess what ? No videographers!! This saddens me :(

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Old August 8th, 2010, 01:36 AM   #2
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To answer your question ... it's not a losing battle ... what you're seeing is ripe opportunity. d;-)
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Old August 8th, 2010, 02:20 AM   #3
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Hi Kren,

We are coming into the wedding video market from band promotional video, which the recession pretty much killed. Since beginning to look at this market segment, I have tried my darnedest to ascertain how large a market my specific area has for wedding videos. I can tell you how many video shops are out there, can tell you what they charge, but as far as if this market is big enough to add one more, or at what price point, I have no clue. Here's what I have seen so far.

A buddy from the band promotion side, now is managing a DJ company that has 20+ DJ rigs and DJs they provide to brides etc. I knew I had to get my feet wet and see what weddings and receptions would be like, compared to what we have typically shot. I contacted Rich, and asked if he would mind asking a few of his brides if we could come and test out our gear and settings. The upside for them, they got whatever we got of value for their kindness of allowing us in. I will bet Rich has emailed at least 10 of his brides over the last few months for us, and only one had a videoguy lined up to shoot her wedding. Rich sent me the schedule and let me pick which venues and weddings he should contact and those I selected I would say were middle of the road to upper middle, for my area.

Before we decided to pursue this segment, a good buddy's daughter was getting married and he and I talked and as far as video " need, have a photographer" was his answer. He never asked me and I never offered. Two years ago his other daughter was married, and same thing, photog, but no video. Those two weddings, I would say were middle of the road as far as size and cost for here.

A dear friend is getting married in three weeks. She and her fiance are in their mid thirties and she has a daughter from a previous relationship. They both have decent jobs, but not exec level and sure not exec level pay. They are paying for their wedding themselves, and their budget for the ceremony and reception for 150 is around $6000. They are writing checks to pay for everything, and when I asked about if she had someone to video, her answer was she was hoping her mom and a friend would bring their cams and take some for them. Aimee and Joe are dear people, and I offered their wedding video as my gift to them and they accepted. Aimee and Joe are not scrimping on the meal, we have our choice of 4 entrees. I am sure it will be a nice wedding, but probably lacking lots of the foo foo-ey stuff so many have. They worked within their budget to prioritize for what was important to them. (For my friends in the Big City, take that $6000 figure and double it for your market comparison)

My buddy Larry who married off his two daughters has no clue what his wife paid for either wedding. Our best guess, his and mine, probably in the 12K range for the first and 9K for the second. Those I have been to that Rich has set up for us, I would say have ranged from 8k-25k in cost, most in the 15k and up range. (Again, Big City friends, double those numbers for your market comparison.)

For Aimee and Joe, to go from $6000 to $7000 to add a budget video, not going to happen. For Larry, go from 9 or 12K to 11 or 14K to give his daughters a full video, wasn't even considered. The others, again, most of those below that 15k range I see why it didn't happen, those above I was surprised. The one that did have a videoguy was most likely a solid 25k+ bash, and the chick's email response sounded like she had bridezilla potential up the ying yang !!!!

So that's been my experiences as I am entering this market in my area, one out of 13 paying to have her wedding shot.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 03:59 AM   #4
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I think it also depends on your market, but that said.. I've seen a quite few wedding videographers picking up non-video work lately. The ones that seem to be surviving here are also photographers and make roughly 70% of their income off photography.

Lately in BC there have been a ton of layoffs of productions staff from TV broadcasters. Global alone laid off over 190 people from their news teams (30 in my town alone), centralizing all "local" news from one studio in Vancouver. Many of these laid off production staff (mostly cam ops etc) are forming new video companies resulting in an even more saturated market.

That's the story here anyway. Not sure about elsewhere.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 10:20 AM   #5
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What perfect timing of this post....

I did three weddings with three different photographers in the last three weeks, and they are all saying the same thing about videographers..
The point being, that good videographers are hard to come by..
In fact, all three have asked if it's okay to reference my work, since they don't know of any videographers personally that they can count on...

I am finding that 3 years seems to be the staying power of most of them...They get in, realize the hours and equipment costs, and then get out..

But as the poster above said, there's a wonderful opportunity beckoning if you play your cards right...
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Old August 8th, 2010, 08:39 PM   #6
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We are much the same on this side of the pond!!!

There are probably a dozen videography businesses in my area that list on popular bridal directories and they all fit on one page!! The photogs have to be done in alphabetical order there are so many!!!!

Unfortunately there is still the fact that the bride places photography way higher on her list than video but as Travis says, take it as an opportunity!! It's nicer to have to complete with only 5 other videographers rather than 500 photographers!!

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Old August 9th, 2010, 07:55 AM   #7
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I have to 2nd & 3rd Kren. That is a very good opportunity on your end. I think 200 weddings a season divided by 5 is a good number. In Toronto, there are too many videographers plus there's Still Motion =)
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Old August 9th, 2010, 09:08 AM   #8
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Sounds like a wide open market to me. Much better than being in photographers' shoes, with millions of them competing for the same weddings. It's saturated here for photo.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 09:36 AM   #9
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I think that one of the differences is that in the UK almost every wedding hires a "paid for" photographer whereas about one in twenty (if that) will pay for a DVD. My figures are not scientifically arrived at but just based on discussions with photographers and clergy in my locality; rural England. I guess from reading post on this forum and others the situation may be different in large cities, especially in North America where having a DVD seems to be derigueur.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 01:36 PM   #10
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I believe this is also a challenge to improve video productions. Many, if not most, brides don't have any idea of what a well done production looks like. I daresay they visualize "Uncle Charlie" grade stuff when they contemplate video and decide they don't need it.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 02:23 PM   #11
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Sure am happy this thread is here, adds more input as I look to decide on, and figure out how to try and aim what we are going to offer, that will get sold. Isn't that the key for all of us, creating something that we will have willing buyers for, for the amount of compensation we need to survive and thrive ???

I will admit, as I wrote my earlier post it was a "comin' to Jesus" as I looked at the amounts probably spent here, considered the price points we need, and the numbers of current non buyers as I have seen them with my own eyes. My concern for business here in the weeds of Wisconsin, is the percentage of total wedding cost to buy video, and how in my area I would not be at all surprised if that isn't the real barrier to overcome.

From here, I'll start a new thread so not to as appear to hijack this one.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 03:12 PM   #12
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For me in rural Montana, the business seems cyclical. Some years, I do 20 weddings in a summer. So far this summer, its only been 5. Partly, its the aftermath of the recession. Partly, there seems to be a thing where this year's cohort of brides and grooms just don't want to think about being followed around by video cameras (as I've been told by several prospects.) On the other hand, I already have people calling me up for next year and I've had a bunch of event gigs from musicians this summer plus depositions for lawyers, so I've been busy.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 03:19 PM   #13
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Thanks, there are some good insights here..the opportunity is there for sure, we've tripled our business in the last 3 years but it still saddens me that despite all the progress and advancement in wedding videos in the last 5 years, couples are still hesistant to hire a videographer....Can't really pinpoint the exact cause.... the most prevalent though i think is the cost and various negative experiences watching their friends $500 wedding video..its proving difficult to get rid of that "dark and shaky" videogs usually get the "left over" amount from the photographer's budget so trying to deal in $2-3K wedding packages, after the couple has spent $4-6K on the photogs, is a delicate sell...
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Old August 17th, 2010, 04:30 PM   #14
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I don't know, I have 48 weddings in 2010 and had to refuse about 20 couples, maybe I'm just lucky
I love this place!
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Old August 17th, 2010, 05:46 PM   #15
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My year this year started out as my worst year ever. The first half of the year sucked, plain and simple. I thiught I'd be lucky to end with 40 and worked hard to try to get that. Recently (since about June) my bookings have jumped for 2010. Now I'll end up with a number that I have been averaging since 1983. (about 55) November and December are still very light but I'm certainly making up for in in August September and October.

While the recession has hurt especially in the first 4 months of the year, people are not only still getting married but it seems that they are spending as much and in some cases more than the last few years. While video is generally the last hired and the first cut because of budgetary constraints, right now it seems that things are definately turning around.

Of course each market place is different so YMMV.
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
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