$1,000 for wedding coverage?! at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 28th, 2005, 05:28 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Long Branch NJ
Posts: 69
$1,000 for wedding coverage?!

Maybe I should not post this at all,,
This lady today was trying to get her wedding (2006) for $1,000! She also told me that she got this price from somebody else - i believe her...

My pricing is not high but at least is not that low.

We try to improve our product with better cameras, software, mics, edit,etc and spend all those hours for edit. And some people work for 1k?

Some people (new guys - start now) have to understand that even if they start by charging 1k, a time will come (if they stay and become pros) that they won't be able to have a second job - because of time.

It is the time that vidography won't provide for 100% survival, but it consumes a 100% of your time and you can't work another job.
Then they will understand that the "1k deal" was only digging their grave.

Thanks for listening
Anthony Mooney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2005, 12:40 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,488
The question is, how much did you charge for your first few wedding videos? This discussion comes up frequently on various forums, with established videographers griping about low prices charged by newcomers -- but that's pretty much the way to get started in this business. If someone isn't willing to pay you what you feel you're worth you shouldn't worry about that; just work on convincing people who have money to pay you a fair fee.
Kevin Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2005, 05:27 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Aus
Posts: 3,884
i agree with the comments so far, on all accounts, but theres one thing people are overlooking.

Brides arent stupid...
they KNOW that if they plan ahead, and book at least 1 yr to 18 months ahead of time, theyll be saving $$ as most people review prices (i review my prices every season)

but you gotta play it smart..

For an average job thats to be filmed this year, i give them a 2005/2006 price list. For next year, i give them a 2006/2007 price list which is more expensive for obvious reasons. Most people dont do this as they're "despereate" for the booking, they offer too much for free.. i used to do this and sometimes i do it now if im competing for a decent gig.
The amount of money i have invested in my business, time, as well as the background work i do for suppliers and distributors here just increases, not to mention the cost of maintenance and travel... we do MUCH more work than a photographer woudl ever do (ie been in both pairs of shoes, but video to me is more open for creativity.. hence my decision) but the money is hnowhere as near a photographers of this level.
In effect, what im tryin to do here in Oz, is to change the reputation of video.. the way it is seen here in Oz for example, its as if its a substandard service which isnt required, or is a waste of money... this is simply because the level of work delivered in the past by other companies is subpar, therefore it has set a precedent..

The more backyard producers come to the fore, the more work we have to do to justify our rates... which is wrong.. i dont agree with it, but we have to start somewhere.. so i understand that mentality.
But in the end, its all about the finished product, what YOU offer, and HOW you sell your wares and the EXPERIENCE and SKILLS you have to be able to produce a decent piece which is worth watching over and over again, as oppsed to collecting dust on the shelf..

There is a difference and you CAN make yourself stand out from the crowds... but this again is all abotu trial and error and the how you manage dealing with your competition.. irrespective of their "level"

I am open with my clients and i say to them on the outset.. if you want dodgy mpg stereo audio (i do DD 5.1), if you want a good looking "home video" (I shoot and deliver progressive scan), if you want a basic edit with all the raw material intact, if you want cheesy effects and bad transitions.. youre looking at the wrong company..
You pay us to shoot and edit. Thats what we do. If you want HDV, you pay for it.. but im not taking my Z1s out and racking up hours when im selling them in 3 months..
If you want your wedding video 2 weeks after the wedding date, forget it.. minumum 16 weeks.. and i tell them, that they get what they pay for. They get what they see in the demos, and they get everytign in writing without question.

Remember.. youre running a business.. and the your priority is to make sure that the business pays for itself.. after that is when you worry about profit.. its not an easy task and its very easy to offer too much too soon when your building a portfolio, however there comes a point in time, where you must stop and rebuild and review what your doing..

how much are you REALLY worth... and do you have the ability to sell THAT
Peter Jefferson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 22nd, 2005, 01:10 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 2,966
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
how much are you REALLY worth... and do you have the ability to sell THAT

Hey Peter,

I just wanted to say thanks for the words you wrote. For some odd reason a recent lowballer took a gig away from me. The gig was a referral off another wedding I did. I was a little disturbed because even though she liked my product, had seen me in action, she still went with someone she had never seen before. It came down to about 350 bucks.

I tell myself that this is what business is all about, competition. And we'll be fine, it is however frustrating.

So as the victim of a lowballer, I will continue to try and maintain a higher standard.

I just have a problem slicing my prices. As a company we pretty much saturate into a wedding celebration with a lot of preperation and post work.

I respect what you wrote Peter and it's words like these that are very encouraging to others. I wanted you to hear it from a 3 year newcomer.
__________________
What happens if I push the 'Red' button?
Steven Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 22nd, 2005, 02:19 PM   #5
suspended -- contact admin
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 214
Well according to www.ourweddingvideo.com they will charge 500 dollars for a one camera shoot of the wedding ceromony only. This of course will be shot in high definition at no extra charge. And they offer various upgraded services for a substantial additional charge.
Tommy James is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 22nd, 2005, 03:03 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 275
to me, it's not a matter of lowballing. the brides that take these low prices know that they are taking risks and know that they won't be getting superior product. it's payless vs. fendi, imho. it's great for starting videographers who need the experience, great for brides who can sacrifice quality and risk for price, and great for established videographers as an example of why their prices are higher.

everyone wins.
A.J. Briones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 22nd, 2005, 09:13 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Venice, FL
Posts: 850
Steven , i f you lost deal due to $350 price diff, you just failed to make the sale. You did not do a good enough job if differentiating, making prospect comfortable with you etc.... Polish up your sales techniques....

Everyone agrees the middle is where competition sucks. Either be bargain basement or high end, the middle guys are the ones always complaining and making the least money.
__________________
You are either growing or dying.
Bob Costa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 22nd, 2005, 09:36 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 2,966
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Costa
Steven , i f you lost deal due to $350 price diff, you just failed to make the sale. You did not do a good enough job if differentiating, making prospect comfortable with you etc.... Polish up your sales techniques....
Normally I would agree, but this bride refused to go over 1000 bucks. She got her video for 950.00.

And I'm not complaining. I was just making a comment about what Peter said. Hell, if I wanted to I could low ball everyone around here, because I have a full time job and my wife has income. My original point was just to say thanks to Peter.

I am trying to raise the standard. I think you missed my point. But thanks for the advice.
__________________
What happens if I push the 'Red' button?
Steven Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 22nd, 2005, 09:56 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Vermont, USA
Posts: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Costa
Steven , i f you lost deal due to $350 price diff, you just failed to make the sale. You did not do a good enough job if differentiating, making prospect comfortable with you etc.... Polish up your sales techniques....

Some people just don't have the money period. Even if you sell well, and they want you, there will be some who will compromise. I got my first lead from the wedding show I did. The bride said her total wedding budget was $5000. I don't see how she's going to get a wedding video at all. A disapointing lead.
Marion Abrams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 22nd, 2005, 10:14 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Venice, FL
Posts: 850
Actually, I think you missed my point, but nevermind.

A price objection is never about price, but about value. [Last try].
__________________
You are either growing or dying.
Bob Costa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 23rd, 2005, 01:52 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 230
I think one of the biggest problems for beginners is having a place to start. It has to be hard, if not impossible to gauge where to start your pricing and how long it will take you to complete the project, and indeed how long it should take if you were to do it as a profession.

It's a bit of a catch 22 situation. You can either under cut a professional crew, so as to match your price with your abilities, or you can charge the same amount and either not get hired or fall short of what is expected.
It's a bit of a stab in the dark doing your first few videos.

I remember the first job I took editing some footage (not a wedding). I completely screwed up my estimates on how long it would take and how much other people would charge. I knew it as soon as I provided the quote. A response of "wow! that's cheap!" makes you kick yourself instantly but until you do those first couple, how are you suppose to know? It seems that's the only way to learn.

How about some of the more experience people here doing a bit of a guide for those that are starting out? Something that would give a beginner a rough idea on how to price and time estimates and what they could be aiming for.
It doesn't have to be really specific or give away secrets, just somewhere to start.
Matt Brabender is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 23rd, 2005, 03:37 AM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Brabender
It's a bit of a catch 22 situation. You can either under cut a professional crew, so as to match your price with your abilities, or you can charge the same amount and either not get hired or fall short of what is expected.
It's a bit of a stab in the dark doing your first few videos.
when a videographer with little or no experience charges far below market price, i don't consider it undercutting. i'm not worried, i'm not upset, and i feel no animosity. they are cheaper for a reason. the brides take a risk, albeit at heavily discounted prices. in return, the videographer gains experience and expands their reel. it happens all the time with other vendors (florists, photographers, djs, etc.) and in other industries.

there's a clear difference between an experienced videographer and a newcomer. experienced videographers know the local churches and venues. they know how to work with difficult photogs and lighting conditions, they have the confidence to adjust on the fly to catch the right moments, they know where to set their cameras up to get the best angles, they know when to stage a shot or shoot candid, they know how to make brides, bridesmaids and children feel comfortable during awkward moments (i.e., getting dressed), they have honed their skills in the editing room, etc. etc. and it all shows in the final output.

i don't worry that the market becomes saturated with sub-par work or that newbies may be lowering the perceived value of my services. i'll take the pepsi challenge with my work versus a newbie any day of the week and feel comfortable that any bride will see the difference and justify the added cost. if she wants to go with the cheaper product, more power to her. two weddings ago we did a photo session at a popular location (balboa park in san diego, ca). i counted 6 other wedding parties at that location alone. there is so much work out there. the way i see it, we choose the brides we work with, not vice versa.

basically, what i'm saying is, feel free to undercut me. if you can take a wedding away from me and save the bride $2k in the process, more power to you. it just means that the bride is willing to take a risk to save money and give you experience. no worries. i'll still be able to book someone else for that date at full price.
A.J. Briones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 23rd, 2005, 08:44 AM   #13
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 2,898
There is no reason to be alarmed or concerned about the 1k videographers. No matter how high the bar is raised for our industry there will always be the McDonalds and BurgerKing's metaphorically.

If you produce high quality work and cater to high end clientel then the 1k videographer shouldn't even be a thought, yet alone a concern. Brides that seek this price range and demand it be under 1k, as stated, either 1) Don't put a high value on video and/or 2) Simply cannot afford it.
__________________
Glen Elliott
Cord 3 Films
Glen Elliott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 23rd, 2005, 07:37 PM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 190
I think Glen just nailed it. As with just about every other industry, there are differing levels of clients and those that serve them. Pick where you want to be and differentiate yourself.

If you are a 3k video guy you will never nail the 1k bride. That's OK. Market accordingly. Oh, and one more thing...perception, perception, perception. If you want to be a 5k guy, make sure you look like it. Perhaps the best business lesson I was ever taught.

Good luck!

mike
Mike Cook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 23rd, 2005, 08:29 PM   #15
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Clermont, FL
Posts: 1,520
I suppose that one solution would be to introduce yourself to a couple of the 1K guys and figure out how to get referral fees if you send business their way.
__________________
Steven Gotz
http://www.stevengotz.com
Steven Gotz is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:01 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network