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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old March 12th, 2011, 11:00 PM   #1
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Breaking up your shooting time

For those who have multiple wedding packages (4 hour, 8 hour, unlimited etc.) Do ya'll break up your hours by request of the couple? I have a client wanting to hire me for a 4 hour package.......however they want it broken up throughout the day. 1 hour for preperation, 1 hour for the ceremony, 2 hours for the after party. This wedding is all day though, meaning I would have to drive back and forth throughout the day. Do you guy offer this?
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Old March 13th, 2011, 12:21 AM   #2
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Re: Breaking up your shooting time

Kelly,

If you're offering a 4 hour package but have to break it up throught the day and film an hour here an hour there, two hours here etc, and driving back and forth throughout the day...seems like it would be an all day shoot therefore negating the original 4 hour concept. It's pretty common practice in my area among togs and videogs that if you get a 4, 6, or 8 hour package, the clock starts when you show up and stops at the end of the 4, 6 ,8 hours. It just seems like in your scenario, your 4 hour package could end up being 8-10 hours of your day and you were only paid for 4. Just my 2

Last edited by Michael Bray; March 13th, 2011 at 11:40 AM.
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Old March 13th, 2011, 03:45 AM   #3
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Re: Breaking up your shooting time

I've never been one for selling my time by the hour. I offer a full day with a cut off at 10pm - though they can extend the end time if they can convince me that it'll be necessary - if for no other reason than if I did offer hours I might take a 4 hour job but my next call wants 8 hours so I'd loose out. On weekdays or quiet months, or at very short notice if I'm available I offer modules that cover parts of the day, not fixed hours. OK so some times it over-runs but then again some finish early. I'm in it to make creative videos not watch the clock. I've always thought that employees are hired by the hour, I work for myself.

Selling by the hour doesn't make much sense to me anyway in this sort of business as it's the hours that are spent afterwards that are the longest part, and they are the hours the client will never see.

In the case you describe it's a full day. Let them choose what they want you to do but not how they'll pay you for it, It's your business not theirs.

Last edited by George Kilroy; March 13th, 2011 at 06:47 PM.
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Old March 13th, 2011, 04:12 AM   #4
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Re: Breaking up your shooting time

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Originally Posted by Kelly Huffaker View Post
For those who have multiple wedding packages (4 hour, 8 hour, unlimited etc.) Do ya'll break up your hours by request of the couple? I have a client wanting to hire me for a 4 hour package.......however they want it broken up throughout the day. 1 hour for preperation, 1 hour for the ceremony, 2 hours for the after party. This wedding is all day though, meaning I would have to drive back and forth throughout the day. Do you guy offer this?
We don't shoot by the hour, but if I did I'd have a 'waiting' time as a reserve, so it's $X per hour while shooting and $Y per hour if you want me to hang around in between shots. The $Y per hour would be almost as much as the $X ;)

There's just as much editing to do, so time on the day is not the only factor.
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Old March 13th, 2011, 06:37 AM   #5
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Re: Breaking up your shooting time

Hi Kelly

With me (I don't work by the hour either) it would depend where and when. If they wanted me for a one hour prep and it was close to home then I wouldn't mind doing the prep..going home and relaxing and then as long as the next bit was also close I would do the same.

If you are say, 30 minutes or even an hour from home then what on earth do you do if the next job is less than 2 hours time??? You don't want to have to hand around in a strange neighbourhood for 2 or 3 hours because it's not worth driving home and then realising it's time to drive back.

I would seriously cost that sort of bride for the day not per hour..I think she is penny pinching and you can be sure if you start shooting at 10am and finish at 10:55am she will question the 5 minutes!!!

Give her a package that starts and finishes by event, not time and then allow yourself to be paid for your waiting time in it!!

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Old March 13th, 2011, 09:09 AM   #6
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Re: Breaking up your shooting time

I do a 10-Hour day and just had a bride "tell" me I can take a "much needed break from 3-5pm during the portrait session so I can go home and relax". She wanted me to work from 12-12 I got a kick out of that one.
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Old March 13th, 2011, 12:57 PM   #7
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Re: Breaking up your shooting time

We don't market ourselves on the number of hours, but since that is your approach here is my advice. The hours in a package should be for 'continuous presence', meaning you are available for filming for a 4 hour block for a 4 hour package. I wouldn't use the term 'continuous coverage' as some people may interpret that as 'continuous filming'.

Do not concede and turn a 4 hour package into a 5 hour package because the bride is too cheap to pay for a 6 hour package for the coverage she needs. 'Taking a break' is the bride's way of getting what she wants without paying for it.
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Old March 13th, 2011, 02:27 PM   #8
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Re: Breaking up your shooting time

We charge by hour, and hardly ever allow a couple to break them up.

In the RARE instances that we do we charge them at half rate for that time, and I still hold them to our 8 hour min. package. That way I don't feel like I'm wasting my day, and the couple feels like I'm "trying to work with them".

If your bored or if it's a stellar venue, you could arrive to the reception early, and shoot the location for a while and make a demo for them. Guess who just got on the preferred vendor list, and got paid by the couple to do it. Bam.

You also need to set a specific time of when you start and end. And stick to it.
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Old March 13th, 2011, 03:45 PM   #9
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Re: Breaking up your shooting time

Unless it's possible for you to actually work on something else or take another gig during the "off" hours, do not break up the package.

Let's face it, you have to block off the whole day.
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Old March 13th, 2011, 05:21 PM   #10
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Re: Breaking up your shooting time

To me it's no different than shooting any corporate job TV work. They hire you for the day (10 hour day) so I don't work 3 take 2 off then work 7. It's a 10 hour day includes meal time. Period. I get $XX per day plus plus (if suppling gear or whatever or not). Weddings get me for X hours depending on the package and that includes meals and travel from one location to another. I have a start time and an end time. Period.
It's sounds like I'm a grumpy old man about it, I'm not, but I do deserve to get paid for any extra time I might put in and IMO splitting the hours of your day can oly lead to arguements, disagreements and disfavor from some clients. Not worth it. Hire me for 10 hours, hire me for 5, hire me for 2, fine. Tell me when the event starts, I'll tell you when my end time is how much it's going to cost and that's all folks.
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Old March 13th, 2011, 11:33 PM   #11
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Re: Breaking up your shooting time

In my experience, any potential client who is trying to beat you down on cost is also going to complain when they get the finished product.

Slitting up the day to discount the cost of my services...I swore I would never EVER do it. Whether I am shooting you or hanging around waiting to shoot you, I am still not elsewhere making the other money I could be making shooting somebody else. If you hired a masseuse to help you with the sore legs after the all day shoot but you said: "Give me 30 minutes now, then wait around in the lobby an hour while I have lunch and give me another 30 minutes later?"... you know what the answer would be, right?

Then a couple I have coming up in June changed my mind. Well, convinced me to make this one exception anyway. Young couple. Very friendly. Lots of single friends. Interesting venue. Right in the middle of a crazy stretch where a little relaxation would be greatly appreciated. So I am going to take the 2 hours off to so a great SDE for the reception. Gonna blow the minds of all the single friends so they choose to hire us at some point when they get hitched.

Re: the hourly charge thing. I have worked it out that every hour I shoot (I always have multiple cameras) costs me about a day in the studio editing. Ask yourself what your lowest acceptable daily wage would be. double it to account for tax and costs and charge that per hour. If you are charging anything less than $150 an hour...come and work as a second shooter for me!
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Old March 15th, 2011, 07:34 PM   #12
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Re: Breaking up your shooting time

Damn! Well apparently the bride did NOT like my answer for turning her down on breaking up the hours. Apparently she said she's never met any videographer or photographer that didn't offer time breakage. Oh well, I was polite and told her if she changed her mind, that I would be happy to shoot her wedding......Good luck trying to find someone who will shoot for 4 hours in 1 hour increments all day long.
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Old March 15th, 2011, 07:39 PM   #13
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Re: Breaking up your shooting time

Don't worry, she's probably lying. No self-respecting videog/photog would offer breaks like she is asking. It reminds me of college, when the time between classes would determine if I went back to my dorm or not for a break or just stay on campus. If the time is too short and the class is too far from my dorm, it wouldn't be worth it.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 03:48 AM   #14
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Re: Breaking up your shooting time

Tell her to book a hotel room but offer to pay for just the time she'll spend in it; she doesn't need it when she's shopping or eating, why should she pay for the time she doesn't spend in the room.

She may well find someone who'll do it for her. I read on other forums that some are so eager to break into weddings that they'll offer to do anything for any price.

Last edited by George Kilroy; March 16th, 2011 at 12:22 PM.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 09:32 AM   #15
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Re: Breaking up your shooting time

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Originally Posted by George Kilroy View Post
Tell her to book a hotel room but offer to pay for just the time she spend in it; she doesn't need it when she's shopping or eating, why should she pay for the time she doesn't spend in the room.

She may well find someone who'll do it for her. I read on other forums that some are so eager to break into weddings that they'll offer to do anything for any price.
She doesn't need to make her car payment while it's parked in her garage either..only when she drives it.
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