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Old March 21st, 2011, 03:33 AM   #1
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Is HE among us? Story from newspaper this morning....

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to share story that I read this morning from the local newspaper.

Just feel sorry for the couple....

Here it is: Calamity camerman ruined our wedding day - Sunday Sun



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Old March 21st, 2011, 03:50 AM   #2
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Re: Is HE among us? Story from newspaper this morning....

Its hard to imagine what they expected to arrive for £350. While some would say that because they paid something they deserve a professional product its also true that you cant expect much for that price. We know exactly what it costs us to produce each feature for materials, equipment depreciation and even if you remove the cost of our time the cost for us to just get out of bed is 3 times what he charges for the finished product.

Pay peanuts, you will get monkeys.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 06:03 AM   #3
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Re: Is HE among us? Story from newspaper this morning....

I agree Danny, recently i had two viewings and both i lost to someone cheaper by far!!! So i rang the clients to provide feedback why they had chosen the cheaper guy when they loved my work, they had said simply because it was cheaper and nothing against me. i had asked them did they view the videographers work they said no!!! so i then left the conversation by saying ok no problem and did not go any further. This was regular for me so i have put my prices up by double but giving discount like Danny from minty slippers kindly adviced me which was the best advice anyone has given me... thank you Danny.... steve
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Old March 21st, 2011, 06:53 AM   #4
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Re: Is HE among us? Story from newspaper this morning....

A fuller account here: Wedding photographer ordered to pay compensation for 'dreadful' £350 video - Capitalbay News

For anyone to expect to get a professional video done for £350 is completely unrealistic. That's a full days work (he was contracted up until 8.30pm) for a cameraman, his equipment, his transport, and a full edit delivered on dvd. What were they thinking?

It's amazing that people will spend ridiculous amounts on lavish weddings, but then skimp on the one sure way to actually document the whole event.

Seemingly they had never even met the guy: they were surprised to see his face covered with scars, when they asked him he said he was a 'cage-fighter'.

Yeah, it's unfortunate but they probably got what they paid for...
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Old March 21st, 2011, 07:15 AM   #5
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Re: Is HE among us? Story from newspaper this morning....

Whilst not intending to put the responsibility for the poor work on to the couple, surely if they had looked around before making a booking they would have realised that at £350 they were buying from the bottom of the barrel.

The groom runs a publishing business so should know that cost and value have a strong correlation in producing any media product. But maybe people are so determined now to beat all suppliers down on price that getting a low price becomes their only concern.

I note that the videographer was based in Sunderland and they were in Essex, did it not ring alarm bells that someone was prepared to travel maybe 4 or 5 hours each way covering 600 miles before even switching a camera on, then spending the day and then more time afterwards to edit the recording, all for £350. I cover weddings around the country and to be honest my travel costs for that distance would be near that figure.

I am a bit dubious about promoting a higher price and then offer a discount back to where you want to be. That in my opinion only reinforces the idea in clients minds that DVD is a bater-able product. Those who are only intending or hoping to pay the lower price would probably not be contacting someone offering the higher price anyway.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 04:03 PM   #6
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Re: Is HE among us? Story from newspaper this morning....

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Kilroy View Post
I am a bit dubious about promoting a higher price and then offer a discount back to where you want to be. That in my opinion only reinforces the idea in clients minds that DVD is a bater-able product. Those who are only intending or hoping to pay the lower price would probably not be contacting someone offering the higher price anyway.
Depends on your clientèle George. In Asian culture bartering is the norm, so you can expect to have to give a little. Although it does not necessarily mean discounting your product. It could mean offering more DVDs/Blu ray which are cheap to produce anyway.

With regarding to the OP's link, I've seen worse footage from people charging more here in the Manchester area :(
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Old March 21st, 2011, 06:25 PM   #7
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Re: Is HE among us? Story from newspaper this morning....

You get good and bad in all industries and this was obviously a bad!! Surely the couple looked at samples before buying??? Sometimes people look at price first and "assume" that the end product will be OK.

George?? I agree about not inflating your price and then giving a discount. I have found a simple solution to avoiding eithnic/asian wedding clients that want to barter and eventually get your services for a fraction of your original price. I just don't offer my services to them at all. I have had 3 bad deals in the last 5 years and all were ethnic couples and all were over getting "double the service for half the money"

I see ads here for photogs that will give you 5 hours of their time (with TWO photographers!!!) and at the end you get 2 x 16"x20" enlargements and all the exposures on a DVD PLUS a coffee table book all for $800.00 ?????? Surely the average person has enough brain power to calculate that after expenses the vendors are making so little the end result will be bad!!

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Old March 22nd, 2011, 06:03 AM   #8
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Re: Is HE among us? Story from newspaper this morning....

Interesting points being made...

IMO, the wedding video industry does appear to be inflating prices and the consumer is on to it. The old ploy of stating "you get what you pay for..." is not a truism, as not in all cases this can be held as fact. It's often a statement put out to denigrate a more competitive supplier against one who is justifying a (much) higher price. It probabaly also serves to reinforce a belief that all others are inferior in comparison... As is always the case, the consumer will be the final judge.

In the case of the report about "Sunderland Man" here is a man who spotted an opportunity like many do. Unfortunately for him he did not have sufficient sense to approach it from a business point of view and learn more about what he was about to involve himself in. From the pictures, it does look like he hired his gear (check out the stickers on the camera) and may have been attempting to do an "at cost" job to build a portfolio - we just do not know. I'm sure we will hear or cite other similar examples in the future. The fact he is reported as being a cage fighter is not relevant - the UK press are very good at ridicule and absurdity. What were some on this forum doing 10 years ago for example might give some surprises?

Discounting IMO is all part of salesmanship. Not something I like personally. But if someone wants to get as much as they can out of the consumer then that's their business, but it's often at the consumer's expense (no pun intended). But clearly if they are discounting and prepared to do the job (and still make a profit) then it says much about where they are pitching their price in the first place.

There are two types of consumer, those that like the product and ask "...how much do I need to buy it?" The other says, "...how much discount will you give me? As a result a manufacturer (or producer) inflates the sticker price by a few points (in the large format audio console manufacturing business it was often 15%) only to give the same points back in discount - salesmanship.

:)
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 07:48 AM   #9
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Re: Is HE among us? Story from newspaper this morning....

Quoted from the newspaper:

'Wedding coordinator had to go searching for cameraman Clayton Bennett and found him at another wedding'

This is unforgivable, unless the Bride's "twin" sister is celebrating another wedding of her own at the same location there is no excuse for this.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 07:54 AM   #10
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Re: Is HE among us? Story from newspaper this morning....

Perhaps at his price he had to do two at a time to make it pay, or maybe he just got bored; apparently some people do at weddings.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 04:14 PM   #11
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Re: Is HE among us? Story from newspaper this morning....

Hate to disagree with you Claire, but aside from the ocaissional "great deal", and one must learn to HUNT for those... you can't alter the facts.

Statistically and practically speaking, you generally do get what you paid for, unless you discover the rare bargain, or are the victim of a fraud or rip-off... I'm guessing the clients here THOUGHT somehow they had #1, and later discovered they had a pile of #2... that's usually EXACTLY how that works, to be sure.


EVERY business has "hard costs", meaning the amount one HAS to expend/spend to make a product/provide a service, and in addition a business must provide sufficient cashflow to provide a "living", or it will quickly cease to be a business, as this fellow PROVES beyond any reasonable doubt.

Depending on business models, one may charge a PREMIUM for certain services on certain dates or times of the week (not many weddings Monday through Thursday, but WEEKENDS... and certain dates...), or conversely provide a discount to pick up a bit of extra work in slow times (there are better times to go purchase "big ticket items" - like when they are trying to meet quota on a slow month...). Point being it's EASY to criticize an industry that effectively has to squeeze 5 days of "profit/wages" into 1-2 days of "work" shooting (no one knows how much time editing takes, so that must be free, right?).

IOW, a wedding shoooter MUST charge about 1/2 of a solid weeks wages plus overhead, MINIMUM, or plan on a 2nd career as a greeter at Wal-Mart. It's actually probably higher than that, if one doesn't do other video work in the many weeks/months that there isn't much wedding business.

If any of the planning sites were interested in giving brides a REALISTIC pricing gauge rather than telling them to go cheap on the videographer, they'd probably begin to use such a metric. They have a "standard" for how much the guy should spend on the ring, wouldn't it benefit if the wedding video industry did a little market research and began to promote a "reasonable" pricing expectation? Maybe that would be a good thread here on DVi...

Of course the fly in the ointment is equipment costs are coming down FAST, and virtually any schmuck can buy some gear and pretend to be a per-fesshinal. Yeah, so maybe most of us resembled that remark at one time, but I'm illustrating that the "barrier to entry" in this business gets lower and lower... and if the expectations of the client get lower and lower, "Uncle Bob" will be quite busy... but you won't find many videographers in business, or much quality finished work product. And perhaps more than a few ex-cage fighters...

The informed consumer MAY shop price, but particularly when you're talking a creative or technical product/service, "lo-balling" or bottom fishing on price alone will more often than not come back to bite you in the rear (What? You mean this ISN'T a real Rolex?? But the guy who sold it to me SAID it was!). That sure looks like what happened here. Not to minimize the legitimacy of the couple's grievances, as they didn't really get ANYTHING for the consideration paid, but if you consider hiring a vendor without vetting them, reviewing their work or sizing them up a bit, you need to have a look in the mirror when things go south.

The price quoted is absurdly low, any way you slice it. Even if it was someone saying they needed a "show reel" (no indication that was floated), would they EVER show such shoddy work?? This whole story borders on "scam", it's almost surprising the guy showed up at all IMO. This sort of thing happens when times get tough, and people will do anything for a buck (or to "save" a buck).

Sad to see it, but it is what it is. In the end it means someone "lost" the memories of their special day FORVER, and it looks like the "vendor" will no doubt be off to another enterprise soon enough. Another "old truism" is that you shouldn't deal with some "fly by night" operator who will be here today, and gone tomorrow. Perhaps the young couple might have heard of that, and saved themselves some unfortunate grief.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 06:14 PM   #12
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Re: Is HE among us? Story from newspaper this morning....

The problem with this whole thing is that now that the story has made the morning shows and news magazines here in the US it give ALL of us in the wedding video business another strike. It hard enough out there with budget constraints, the Uncle Charlies, the CList cheapos, their aunts 2nd cousin thru marriage to her step uncle and the brides that don't feel any need or desire to have their wedding day captured for eternity. This can only give more brides who might have been on the edge another reason to NOT hire a quality video person/company.
The thing that really sticks in my craw is, 1) the couple hired this guy who lives as I understand it, 4 hours away. Gotta be a couple of hundred miles and while many of us HAVE traveled that and more to do weddings I think most of us have been around for long enough to have developed a reputation to warrant being hired. 2) The price. I agree that every once in a while the low priced work can be very well done, it's a super bargain special deal price and that's great but most often that low a price should raise red flags, lots of them 3) They never saw any of his work? I have nothing to say to that. How he looked, how he dressed, how he acted or not since appearently he dissappeared for sometime, yeah he was wrong, shouldn't be allowed to have a camera in his hands and certainly shouldn't call himself a professional but the bottom line while he most assureadly screwed up so did the couple that hired him. Looking at the whole package that led to the lawsuit, they both should hang their heads with shame.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 06:53 PM   #13
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Re: Is HE among us? Story from newspaper this morning....

Hey Don

I agree wholeheartedly with you!! The couple are just as much to blame for actually hiring this guy. Surely any couple with half a brain would realise that his fee asked would hardly cover his 8 hours of travelling, never mind the actual shoot!!!

I don't believe in over-paying for any service or product but equally there comes a point where even the most stupid person must be able to see that something smells fishy with such a low price.

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Old March 22nd, 2011, 09:24 PM   #14
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Re: Is HE among us? Story from newspaper this morning....

Wow. I wasn't expecting the victim-blaming mentality here.

The local news here said he charged $500. That's 20 hrs of work at $25 an hour. $25 an hour is a good wage and is much higher than many people make (perhaps including that young couple). Why should someone not entrenched in the wedding business have cause to be alarmed at that price, those hours, and that rate?

Or even change it to 25 hours of work at $20 an hour -- still a pretty good rate. The videographer is getting more hours and better wages than someone working part-time for $8.25/hr doing retail, and is still doing better than recent graduates of our top universities working for $15/hr (if they are lucky) in office jobs.

I feel sorry for the couple, and I'm proud of them for sticking it too "the man", even if it is just a little man. And the press is wonderful for the wedding videography business. It's a big heads up to potential brides to make sure they get someone who is "legit" and a big warning to jokers to shape up or ship out.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 10:15 PM   #15
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Re: Is HE among us? Story from newspaper this morning....

Sorry can't agree. It ain't just the money. Read what I said. HE SCREWED 'EM no doubt but THEY SCREWED THEMSELVES as well. No due diligence. Not to mention $500 is pretty inexpensive for wedding video. While pricing is all over the place depending on market place and many other variables I know of no one that will go out travel 4 hours each way, shoot the job, preceremony, ceremony, postceremony and reception which in my area makes for a typical 10 to 12 hour day plus travel then load the footage edit, author, burn and print the DVDs for $500. That's not making a living that's a hobby. I'm not quite sure where you got the 20-25 hours to do this but it appears to me you don't do weddings.If you do and can shoot, load, edit, author, burn and print all in 20-25 hours for a full wedding please let me know your secret.
Am I blaming the client. Yep, to a certain IMO well deserved degree. It's like anything else. If you don't do due diligence and get burned, you've got no one to blame but yourself. End of story.
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