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Old July 30th, 2005, 08:28 AM   #1
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OT - Overly Picky brides ugggg

I met with this bride (same client from the Booking fee fiasco thread) 2 weeks ago to present her with the final video. She liked it excepted wanted me to add more dancing to their highlight video. Kinda annoyed as she signed editing rights over to me in her contract. She also wanted to send me pictures to incorporate into the highlights, that was fine with me as a photomontage was included in her package, but she declined it at first.


I ended up doing a second highlights clip to get all the dancing because it was far easier to start again from scratch, then to randomly delete clips in the highlights. I met up with her last night to show her the second highlights, which I put A LOT of dancing clips in and her photomontage. Then she told me to just add in all the dancing at the end, unedited. I'm thinking OK, no big deal, about 10 minuts of work and I can finally call it quits.

I check my email this morning, and she now wants more pictures in her photomontage. Uggg! So I rewrote my contract so it bluntly states re-editing will result in additional charges. Atleast she paid me her balance last night, which btw was another violation of her contract. She was suppose to pay 2 weeks in advance, but got worried we would run off with her money, because she thought we were shady like the DJ that referred us to her.

I mean, she got an $800 package and only paid $400 if she's not happy after this, I'm gonna have to tell her sorry, if she wants any more done, she needs to pay for it. I have another wedding in a week, and I'm not gonna hold up that client because she wants more free work.
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Old July 30th, 2005, 08:47 AM   #2
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Damn Ken -- it sounds like you've gone well beyond to satisfy your bride there especially if she paid only *half* of what the package normally sells for. But your subject line reminded me of a show that's airing out on one of the cable stations called 'Bridezillas' -- where there are some really hyperactive b/g and b/g families out there. I watched part of one before I couldn't watch it anymore.. *blech*

Out of curiousity -- most contracts I've read contain a caveat that if there were to be future edits, that they automatically charge the editing rate. It sounds as though your contract did not contain that provision until later and I was curious why you didn't put it in there to begin with.

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Old July 30th, 2005, 10:48 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Michael McGruder
Damn Ken -- it sounds like you've gone well beyond to satisfy your bride there especially if she paid only *half* of what the package normally sells for. But your subject line reminded me of a show that's airing out on one of the cable stations called 'Bridezillas' -- where there are some really hyperactive b/g and b/g families out there. I watched part of one before I couldn't watch it anymore.. *blech*

Out of curiousity -- most contracts I've read contain a caveat that if there were to be future edits, that they automatically charge the editing rate. It sounds as though your contract did not contain that provision until later and I was curious why you didn't put it in there to begin with.

Regards,
-Michael
Well, it stated that I had final artistic say, but it didn't say anything about charging an additional fee. I reworded it so it's blatently obvious that after I hand them the final DVD, any changes will incure charges.
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Old July 30th, 2005, 11:59 AM   #4
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First of all, I don't think that "picky brides" are off topic, they should be just one of the many obvious hazards inherant to wedding videography... Like Mothers, In-Laws, and children. Personally, I am a coward, and will run from weddings.

Secondly, I would assume that you are kind of new to this, and don't have a lot of references. This in itself might make a client nervous about the safety of their invested money. Add a shady DJ's refferal, and you can see why she was hesitant. Cut her a little slack, but not too much.

Thirdly, you did not stipulate anything about changes in the original contract. Live and learn, and put this in your NEW contracts. Do your best to complete the job, as this should get you positive word of mouth. At this point, you need as much as you can get.
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Old July 30th, 2005, 01:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Hendrickson
I mean, she got an $800 package and only paid $400 if she's not happy after this, I'm gonna have to tell her sorry, if she wants any more done, she needs to pay for it. I have another wedding in a week, and I'm not gonna hold up that client because she wants more free work.
I had a similar problem when I started. However, always wanting to please and to build a referral list, I doggedly kept at it until they were happy. They have since referred two more clients my way.

As you have rightly pointed out, she paid you (albeit not the amount). Sometimes these things bite us in the b$#@&side but more often than not, they result in more referrals.

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Old July 30th, 2005, 02:34 PM   #6
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Hi Ken. This is one of the many reasons I don't do weddings. Providing services to consumers is so much different than with businesses. I did do a few in the past when just starting out but this issue plus other headaches involving expectations beyond a reasonable budget steered me away. One way to get around the unexpected add ons is to over budget with a not to exceed amount which is definitely higher than what you know it will cost, derived from experience, but will provide you with pay if they start adding editing decisions. The great thing about this method is that you're covered if they want more work and if they don't you could come in way under budget and everybody likes that. Just don't get greedy and take the money left over if you didn't have to do extra work. This was my solution for not working for free with unforseen additional work time and providing the client with a ceiling to the cost because no client wants an open ended project. Of course it has to be understood and agreed upon that if even more work time is added that exceeds the original ceiling it will be additional to the original cost. The not to exceed method only works efficiently if you can accurately project the costs based on experience with similar projects.

Another way is to do it the normal way and just charge for as long as it takes for your time in post which it seems as though you did by changing your contract indicating that more editing would be an additional charge. Realistically though, I don't know of too many consumers that are willing to pay by the hour but I guess that depends on your rate. I think consumers, all of us, are so used to package deals and free, free, free that we are spoiled rotten. We all like and take advantage of great offers but too many start letting that carry over to unrelated services. It's even worse when your competition is giving it away and the client tries to compare you to them. As you know though, you get what you pay for!

One of the most ironic patterns when doing this years ago was the willingness to spend upwards of $8K-$10K for a great still photographer and the reluctance to spend just $1500-$5K for a videographer.
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Old July 30th, 2005, 09:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Hendrickson
I mean, she got an $800 package and only paid $400 if she's not happy after this, I'm gonna have to tell her sorry, if she wants any more done, she needs to pay for it. I have another wedding in a week, and I'm not gonna hold up that client because she wants more free work.
Dude, the reason you're getting used (or should I say hosed) is because you're doing a $400 video. Why would you give her half off an already low price of $800?!?! Do you not trust your own abilities?
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Old July 30th, 2005, 09:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by James Emory
One of the most ironic patterns when doing this years ago was the willingness to spend upwards of $8K-$10K for a great still photographer and the reluctance to spend just $1500-$5K for a videographer.
I doubt the market for $8K-$10K photographers is any more than the $5K video market. True that on 'national' average photography is treated in a higher regard thus better money. However I'm noticing an overall change of late. Brides are placing heavier emphasis on video. I've done a few weddings recently where I was getting paid more than the photographer.

To put it bluntly most wedding videographers 'suck'. Their work is un-inspired, technically poor and they have no people skills. Photographers know how to sell their services and their personality. That's why they make more.
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Old July 30th, 2005, 11:55 PM   #9
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Notice that I said years ago. Things may have changed as you say because as I said I haven't done one in about 3 years. Different markets are going to have dramatic differences in what will be paid, especially small ones as opposed to larger ones. I don't necessarily think that still photographers command those high rates because of personality as much as their actual work and reputation. If the potential client doesn't have the budget, all the talk in the world isn't going to get them to pay a premium rate.
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Old July 31st, 2005, 06:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mathew Evan
Dude, the reason you're getting used (or should I say hosed) is because you're doing a $400 video. Why would you give her half off an already low price of $800?!?! Do you not trust your own abilities?
Well, I'm just starting out in weddings, she was the last one I was doing for $400. I'll probably do another 3 or so at $800 before I up my rates again.
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Old July 31st, 2005, 09:55 AM   #11
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OT but $800 is way too low for covering a full wedding & then editing it........ remember you just about always have some type of problem or hassle, like the one you mentioned above....

it pushes the whole wedding industry low ball...

weddings are hard work.. its a very long day covering it, you have to be always one step of the couple & you dont get a "2nd take" if you miss something...

$1500 should be the absoloute minimum if it includes coverage & editing...

if they want cheap I offer them coverage of the entire day for $600 (even which is cheap) & give them to tapes in which their uncle who's "good with computers" to edit it....
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Old July 31st, 2005, 04:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Darren
OT but $800 is way too low for covering a full wedding & then editing it........ remember you just about always have some type of problem or hassle, like the one you mentioned above....

it pushes the whole wedding industry low ball...

weddings are hard work.. its a very long day covering it, you have to be always one step of the couple & you dont get a "2nd take" if you miss something...

$1500 should be the absoloute minimum if it includes coverage & editing...

if they want cheap I offer them coverage of the entire day for $600 (even which is cheap) & give them to tapes in which their uncle who's "good with computers" to edit it....
hi all, here is my humble take on this:

the thing is, people have to start somewhere. no one will hire a videographer at market price without experience or a reel. most of my weddings are now at $2500 a pop, but my company started with 2 free weddings and one $200 wedding before we started charging market prices. sure, i went to film school and work professionally making movies for videogames, but i can't show a bride a box cover and some footage of an xbox game and say "now i require $1500 to film your wedding."

i also disagree with the notion that newcomers push the industry to lowball.

hiring a "cheap" and "inexperienced" videographer is a risk, but most brides that go that route are not willing to pay market price to begin with, so they are not taking money away from me, or any other videographer for that matter. chances are, if you weren't there, uncle so-and-so would probably get the gig.

ask a professional photographer, florist or day coordinator how they got their start, and most will tell you that they did a few free weddings, started pricing below market value, and slowly adjusted their pricing to match their growing portfolio and experience.

it's the old addage in employment: compensation commensurate to experience.

ken, keep at it. starting out is tough, but each unsavory experience brings a wealth of knowledge and precious lessons that no book can teach. take your lumps and learn from them. it's the only way to get better.

in fact, i think this wedding might be teaching you that you need to do some research in coming up with an iron-clad contract that grants you "final cut" rights and extra charges for additional editing.

good luck!
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Old July 31st, 2005, 04:39 PM   #13
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That's fine. I don't disagree with any of your points. Some guys/gals stick with this mentality doing it for years and never really raising their prices or trying to improve themselves.

What I think was wrong was his cutting a 50% off deal for this bride. Basically he was sticking a giant blue light on his head. Shows a low self worth. Give a 'bridezilla' an opportunity like this and she'll eat you alive as what happened here.
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Old July 31st, 2005, 04:45 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ken Hendrickson
Well, I'm just starting out in weddings, she was the last one I was doing for $400. I'll probably do another 3 or so at $800 before I up my rates again.
Then you should of set your prices at $400 to begin with. Basically when you gave her a 50% off deal you're sending the customer a lot of mixed messages. She's probably thinking "this guy doesn't value his services highly", "this guy is a push over", "this guy is just starting out and he'll do whatever I ask of him".

We all start out low and make mistakes but just learn from them.
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Old July 31st, 2005, 07:34 PM   #15
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I agree with you Matthew. I am also very new to weddings and filmed my first wedding for free. My second $1800. My third $2200. People who like quality and understand quality don't go searching for a videographer who is running a 50%off special. I tell them that I am passionate about my work and will deliver only the highest quality. Brides will pay for quality.

If someone says my rates are to high or that I am out of there budget, I ask what they budgeted for a videographer. If they aren't close to my fees, I reassure them that they have called the wrong company. I explain that what I do goes far beyond what most people expect or imagine. I then ask them cordially what the budget for the whole wedding is and compare to the now nominal fee to have it documented by a professional rather than Uncle Shmoe. I usually gets them thinking and will often land me the job.
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