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


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Old April 28th, 2011, 08:05 AM   #16
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Re: Thought this was interesting

Matthew, you appear to be basing your business model on doing only weddings, and assuming that everyone doing weddings will be trying to make their entire livelihood from that income. If that's your aim I wish you luck. I discovered long ago that in my market if I tried to charge the sort of prices that others say they can get I'd have gone out of business a long time ago. Green grass on the other side comes to mind.

I have have never charged more than £1000 for a wedding. My only income for over 20 years is from my video work which as well as weddings includes business events (which do pay well) theatre events (which repeat) and a multitude of various video productions (which keep my interest keen).

To build a business on only weddings seems like putting all your eggs in one basket, even if they are golden goose eggs.

I'm not knocking your model just pointing out to those who may feel frustrated by the fact that they don't achieve top dollar that there is still a viable and satisfying business to be made but if you feel under valued raise you prices, if your market will take it.

I've just had a look at your website Matthew and can see that you are in a market that is worlds away from mine. I couldn't even dream of getting your prices here, you certainly don't need my good luck wishes.

Last edited by George Kilroy; April 28th, 2011 at 09:18 AM.
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Old April 28th, 2011, 08:46 AM   #17
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Re: Thought this was interesting

It is interesting and sad at the same time...Imagine weddings in 5 - 10 - 15 years time? New tehnology, human like robots filming receptions...

Wedding Videos London | Wedding Videos Essex | Wedding Videos Surrey from YouMyWorld Productions
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Old April 28th, 2011, 10:31 AM   #18
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Re: Thought this was interesting

Another issue is the continual entry of new people into the business. The cost of entry is less now for equipment so the cost barrier is reduced. Aside from a low skill level which yields results that can stigmatize the whole business, many of these new 'videographers' don't know how to sell their service at an appropriate price. Deep down inside they know they are lousy so the only sales tool they have is price.

This causes two problems. The first is the downward pressure this has on the market price for the service. The other is the negative stigma it has on the overall videography business. It sounds like this, "Yuk! I saw Mary's wedding video and it was horrible! Why would I want a wedding video!?"
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Old April 29th, 2011, 05:20 AM   #19
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Re: Thought this was interesting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Snow View Post
Another issue is the continual entry of new people into the business. The cost of entry is less now for equipment so the cost barrier is reduced. Aside from a low skill level which yields results that can stigmatize the whole business, many of these new 'videographers' don't know how to sell their service at an appropriate price. Deep down inside they know they are lousy so the only sales tool they have is price.

Being new to the business doesn't necessarily mean that someone has a low skill level - little experience maybe but we all had to acquire our experience somehow. Without new people coming in to the industry there might only be 90's type three hour epics available on VHS. New entrants keep us on our toes. And why this "Deep down inside they know they are lousy so the only sales tool they have is price". I don't think that many people go into a business thinking that? Yes, to begin with I bet most charge lower than the average to gain experience and a portfolio to show; hands up here who didn't.

It sometimes seems that some of those who are established think they have ownership of the industry.

Until there is a standard wedding video product and it is obligatory for couples to book through one controlled portal we have to deal with the market as we find it. Those with the creative and technical skills to command high prices, and find the market to match, should have no worries about the average price, those who do not have such high ambitions or access to wealthy clients, will always have to be price sensitive and will have to continually find ways to attract potential clients, and keen pricing may be one of the tools. It's up to the provider to establish the price they're prepared to work for and for the clients to sort out the dross from the good deals.

Last edited by George Kilroy; April 29th, 2011 at 06:34 AM.
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Old April 29th, 2011, 11:04 AM   #20
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Re: Thought this was interesting

George, I said "another issue", not the one and only issue as you seem to be spinning it. This IS a significant problem in our industry. You are distorting what I said and then using that as a reason for a condescending lecture. There is a vast difference between new and aspiring talent with much to share and sleazy operators out for some quick money. Unfortunately there are both types entering the market. To deny that doesn't change the issue.

We have a very active videographers association in my area. One of our primary objectives is to invite people that are new to the business into the group. Franky we have been blessed with some amazing new talent. BUT, an ongoing issue and problem that we are frustrated with are those who see videography as a way to make a quick buck. And believe me, that IS "another issue."
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Old April 29th, 2011, 02:12 PM   #21
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Re: Thought this was interesting

I hear what you say Jim, one of the problems with forum discussions is that those nuances of speech communication that give tone to a contribution are lost, and opinions can be misconstrued.
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Old April 29th, 2011, 03:01 PM   #22
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Re: Thought this was interesting

Almost ANY "unregulated" business will have a wide selection of "operators". This is why so many businesses ARE regulated in some way or another, so as to protect the public...

Hopefully no one will die from ingesting a bad wedding video, or grow deathly ill, and as a practical matter, the "maximum damages" would generally be calculated to be the price paid for the service or lack thereof. So in effect, such services aren't "big enough" to warrant a "structure" or regulation, thus any monkey with a camera can hang a shingle and "go for it".

Sure you get people thinking it's a "fast buck", lots of "businesses" like that really, and they come and go, and perhaps a few true "shysters"/con artists show up, just like anywhere else. I've picked up lots of good gently used gear from the "come and go" crowd when they figure out it isn't really for them or going to get them the huge $$$ they hoped.

MOST small businesses FAIL, statistically speaking, it's part of the deal, but for the bride/client, they should have a very cautious approach to finding someone trustworthy, and hopefully financially sufficiently viable that they will show up 6 months to a year after hiring.

As noted, the "average" budget is actually fairly modest, and while it hopefully includes a large number of "samples", including weddings that had NO video budget whatsoever (divided by a number of weddings, lots of "0s" would reduce the "average"), it probably is representative for someone thinking about what they can expect as a VENDOR as well as what a client might be looking for.

As an "industry" or even as a small business, the challenge is to raise awareness and quality expectations enough so that a client knows when they are dealing with a serious business vs. the "dude w/ video camera". Video is becoming so common in everyday life (we won't consider the "quality"), that at least it's raised in the consciousness of the potential client. Convincing a client that they can get a QUALITY production at a reasonable price that will ensure business longevity is an entirely different cat to skin...
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Old April 30th, 2011, 05:42 AM   #23
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Re: Thought this was interesting

Had just finished shooting a church ceremony this morning. I started early since I had to cover bits and pieces of the make-up and the part where the groom and his best men come to pick up the bride. Locally, thereís a Chinese custom whereby the groom and his best men need to overcome various Ďobstaclesí set by the bride and bridesmaids (or Ďsistersí as they called it). So just the morning part lasted about 5-6 hours. This isnít a paid work Ė itís done voluntarily as I want to get into serious wedding/event videography, and this will hopefully serve as portfolio-building.

Well, there were occasions where the lav was hissed by cloth scrubs, late-coming guests sat blocking the spot where I stationed a camcorder, bled my thumb trying to pry open a CF Card case hurriedly in the middle of ceremony as my card was full.

Itís tough work. I have to disagree with people thinking this business is a convenient way to earn quick buck.

I want to continue though, as Iím partly inspired by othersí works which were more than excellent. Itís an area of interest, and also videography has been with me for the past 6 years since I graduated from Uni. The above statistics did concern me, but I really hope good portfolio and strong networking will be of some help to entice clients to pay more for quality. I want to earn a decent living. Not just enough, but more than enough. Passion is one thing, but Iím a realist too. You canít pay the bills, support a family and have savings just through passion alone.
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Old April 30th, 2011, 08:17 PM   #24
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Re: Thought this was interesting

In 1987 my Church Wedding and Reception cost a grand total of £280, and that included catering, hire of a venue, flower displays in the church and venue, photograph's, and video.

The largest cost was the Photographer at £80, the Videographer (if that was the role), was free, the Flowers were grown in my Father-in-Laws garden, and my Mother-in-Law created all the dresses (retired dressmaker), and she also created the wedding cake and all the catering for over 100 guests.

The rest was spent on the venue, my suit (Burton's), and the rings.

Please don't take this as a slight as this is your business, but even with inflation over the last quarter century, I shudder to think why any average couple needs to spend $26k on getting hitched. Who needs that level of financial millstone round your neck when just starting out.

In the UK at least, the money is better spent on a deposit, setting up the home, and a reliable car.

Now I realise the circumstances of my wedding aren't going to be repeated, but £700 to £1000 to produce a Wedding Video, probably at venues you've all been to before, using a format that is rarely going to vary, except in editing if you're bored with the same old; is very good money for the work.
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Old May 1st, 2011, 12:01 AM   #25
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Re: Thought this was interesting

Hi Wayne
I did a bride two years back who had a complete budget of $2000 ..so it can be done...and that included video!! They went down to the market at 6am for fresh flowers, the wedding was on the beach and the reception was at a delightful sit down cafe where just a modest fare was offered. I think nowdays if you take away the alcohol the median price would also drop dramatically!! Most weddings I do have guests whose sole purpose in life is to drink as much as they can in the shortest time!!! Funny, often the nicest weddings are the small simple ones!!

I think we also need to look at the fact that we are essentially working on site for just ONE day and from a business POV editing for another. That's a good income for two days work in my books!! Yeah I know people say it takes me at least 40 hours to edit a wedding...I still fail to see what takes 40 hours!!! That's slogging at the NLE for 8 hours a day, Monday to Friday!!! I do a standard wedding edit in 8 hours cos I edit in camera and I'm a business not a creative art studio...if I had to take 40 +10 hours to do a wedding then to be economically viable I need to charge at LEAST $5000 .... No bride in our area wants to pay anything near that so it's just not practical. Yes, I really cannot see wedding videography as a viable sustainable business on it's own unless you can charge $5000 +++ I shoot weddings on a Saturday and do Realty shoots during the week as well as commercial promos ...that makes my business viable and profitable and I can still do weddings for $1500 or less and make a profit with them.

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Old May 2nd, 2011, 08:51 AM   #26
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Re: Thought this was interesting

Hi Chris

Interesting you mention the editing time, apart from still having to wait for HDV raw footage to get from tape to Mac, in terms of actual editing it only takes me about 4 hours to edit a game of rugby, and that includes everything, including all the chapter markers, freeze frames, slow motion. Additional time, possibly 2 to 3 hours, is taken to add Open Subtitles, and creating another four or five video clips as a Training Resource, targetting specific areas of the game, Scrums, Lineouts, etc., again with chapter markers, freeze frames, slow motion. In total, actual editing time is currently somewhere between 6 to 7 hours, and that is without my future plans to create promotional and match DVDs that the organisation could distribute or sell to raise funds, by adding Closed Subtitles, and the recording and editing of a Sign Language Interpreter, and effectively creating all the videos again using Chroma Key Filtering.

The biggest time consuming areas for me are currently down to my equipment, loading footage from tape, and the fact that all my video processing is undertaken on a two year old MacBook Pro. However, not in terms of authoring or encoding DVDs; generally the master Blu-Ray copy takes many hours of processing, and the creation of media files for uploading onto the secure web streaming service seem to take hours too, and that is before the time spent uploading at between 500-750kbit. I'll admit to leaving some processes to run overnight!

I'm doing all that as a hobby, and as a volunteer, within a current target of 3 to 5 days; I've no idea what you guys would charge for doing that commercially as a business, or indeed for the additional filming and effort I'm planning, but I'm certain they couldn't afford it.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 08:36 AM   #27
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Re: Thought this was interesting

I think everyone has missed the point.

Shooting wedding video is not going to net you a professionals salary for your area.

Some people do manage to do well financially, 99.9 percent do not.


My only gripe is the disparity between photographer rates and videographer rates. Its crazy, but it's the market.

Disclaimer, my full time job is as a professional engineer.
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