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


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Old October 17th, 2011, 07:35 AM   #1
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Family Session Videos?

The thing that initially got me into wedding videography was editing photo/video shorts of my now-wife and I when we were in college. I'd just take a camera with us most places, and if it seemed like a good opportunity, we'd film us doing something fun. Going back and watching some of those videos ten years later is now one of our favorite things. Anyway, I digress. I wondered if anyone was professionally filming family outings (a specific event) or maybe something similar to a wedding "love story" (where you'd interview the parents and kids, then film them walking around and playing at say, a park). Seems like those would be a lot of fun. Not sure how you could price this. Below is an example of something along the lines of what I'm talking about (this is my family and some friends, so I didn't get to spend as much time on paying attention to filming as I did having fun with family, but you get the idea). A real video would be a lot more polished obviously.

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Old October 17th, 2011, 08:14 AM   #2
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Re: Family Session Videos?

Or let me add a question. Even if you're not filming these, do you think there'd be any interest? Getting my feet wet a little would be the only way to know for sure, but just thought I'd start here with your opinion.
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Old October 17th, 2011, 09:26 AM   #3
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Re: Family Session Videos?

Absolutely no. Not a money maker, there is no real market. By market I mean there are very few people who would pay for such a video. I have done what you're talking about for friends, but would they have paid for it? Only for a special occasion like an anniversary celebration, or higher-end birthday party, which I've done a few of. These events are held at country clubs or restaurants or reception halls, and the folks with the expendable money for such events and a video are relatively few.

When I've recorded anniversary parties at country clubs it was often paid for by the children of the parents or grandparents as a gift, and was a surprise.

I should add the closest thing to which there is a real market are bat mitzvahs and bar mitzvahs. There is a thriving market for recording those, but it is tough to break into.

I've done a few "low-end" birthday parties, but always had to cut my price down to nearly nothing. I don't do those anymore, unless it's my slow season and I'm desperate for something to do or if I need beer money.
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Old October 17th, 2011, 09:46 AM   #4
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Re: Family Session Videos?

I would second Jeff's opinion. Maybe for momentous birthdays or anniversaries, but I can't see why anyone would just want a video for a non-occasion.

We have done one 90th birthday video, and zero anniversary videos...and we have done a couple of graduation videos, mixing home video footage and still pictures, put to music, for play at a graduation party...but they are NOT big money makers at all, because people just don't want to spend the money that a project like that is actually worth.
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Old October 17th, 2011, 10:04 AM   #5
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Re: Family Session Videos?

Here is a family video we did about a year ago. The wife wanted to capture their children at this age and the fun they have as a family. Can you make money at it...well that's up to you and finding the right clients. We charged $2000 for this one.

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Old October 17th, 2011, 10:15 AM   #6
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Re: Family Session Videos?

It's totally possible, but not an easy market to attack.

Like others have already mentionned it, it's much harder to find people willing to hire you for that. They would normally pay a photographer a few hundred dollars for family photo session but paying a few thousand dollars for a family video would be a bit more challenging.

If you are able to find the rich clients out there and hang out with them, then that shouldn't be the biggest problem. Somehow, I don't think it's easy to find those specific clients.
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Old October 17th, 2011, 10:20 AM   #7
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Re: Family Session Videos?

Well, I stand corrected! Nice video as per usual Mark! I have a friend who, now that I think about it, probably does many more special occasions that I do. He is the "Go to" videographer for families in Mason and northern Cincinnati, does tons of miscellaeneous stuff, and he has preached to me about the unlimited potential for video.

Mark, thank you for reminding us (me) that we are limited only by the contraints we place upon ourselves. I needed that today.
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Old October 17th, 2011, 10:25 AM   #8
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Re: Family Session Videos?

I agree with the comments. Maybe if I did one for a friend, offered it as a service, just to see if the interest was out there. Because I mostly film one-take events (weddings, etc.), it just seems like it'd be a lot of fun. Again, it's a business, but merely offering it as a service wouldn't be any harm done if I had little to no takers, I suppose. Loved the video, Mark! That's exactly along the lines of what I hope mine could one day be!
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Old October 17th, 2011, 10:30 AM   #9
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Re: Family Session Videos?

I think the reality is also the longer you're in business, the better known you are, the more likely you are to be called for the special occasion thing, based on referrals and past customers.

When you have a large client base, with hundreds of happy customers, that have enjoyed your wedding videos, etc, they will think of you automatically for the special things. Referrals are hugely important also, I think, as many of my unusual jobs have come via referrals by photographers.

Success breeds success, and that is nowhere more evident than in the field of videography. My biggest competitor has been in business for 30 years or so and he is constantly landing all kinds of jobs that I have never seen. He is just so well known.

Unless you are an insane marketer, some things do just take time.
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Old October 17th, 2011, 10:50 AM   #10
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Re: Family Session Videos?

As you said Michael, offering it would not hurt a thing.

Because I have never pursued this kind of business means the truth is I don't really know. My first comment was based on my own perspective, not having really tried to go after this kind of thing. My first comment was wrong and was made in haste, as is clear to me now.

You could also create a need, much like Microsoft did with Windows, and build business that way. By making some great free ones, and then marketing them, who knows?
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Old October 17th, 2011, 07:54 PM   #11
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Re: Family Session Videos?

Here's a short newborn video we did for friends of ours. Just a gift tho. They LOVED it.
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