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Old November 1st, 2011, 03:14 PM   #1
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Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

I know that a lot of you are full time at the wedding video gig. But I thought it would be interesting to see who wasn't.

For us, having other jobs was the ONLY way to start up our business. We knew we wanted to start our own business, but didn't have the means to just jump in without a steady income. Now we get busier each season, and I feel like eventually there is absolutely no way I will be able to do both. And if I had to choose today I would definitely leave my "day job" to do weddings full time. Just wondering if others are in the same boat currently, or have been, or plan to do both forever! Just curious to know how others deal with this.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 03:21 PM   #2
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

I have not just a full time job, but it takes up about 60-80 hours of my week, including some nights and weekends. However, I work very few saturdays, which is when I would expect a large percentage of weddings to take place. And, this job is paying for my venture into wedding video! If I am lucky enough to get super busy shooting weddings, I will hire more help here. Then I will be working 7 days a week. (and 7 nights, for that matter).

Bring it on!
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Old November 1st, 2011, 03:54 PM   #3
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

wow Ben, that is very ambitious. I'm at least lucky enough to have a no-brainer 9-5 that I get to leave every day and not bring home with me. Exactly why I accepted the job in the first place, so I could concentrate on the job I really enjoy.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 06:56 PM   #4
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

Definition of Entrepenuer:
the willingness to work 80 hours a week for yourself so you don't have to work 40 hours a week for someone else.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 07:11 PM   #5
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

Hi Katie

I don't have a "real job" as such but I don't do weddings full time but still work for myself full time. Over here our season runs from September to May and mostly you are working only on a Friday or Saturday only which essentially leaves the week free IF I wanted a 9-5 job during the week!! However I do Realty shoots during the week (anything from 2 to 6 in a week) so I often have lots of time to myself plus earn a decent income too.

If you do a Monday to Friday 9-5 job it would be a little tough having to see clients in the evening and also edit your footage after work that you did at the weekend. I think the way I do it is easier on my body and still provides the same or higher income

Chris
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Old November 1st, 2011, 10:46 PM   #6
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
Definition of Entrepenuer:
the willingness to work 80 hours a week for yourself so you don't have to work 40 hours a week for someone else.

I'm very willing. I just didn't have the financial means to dive right in and hope things worked out....it seems like they are working out now. I hope I am someday working 80 hours for myself, as I'm not to fond of working for my other boss.

Chris, I see your point, but for me, most clients have day jobs too, so most of them are unable to meet during the daytime anyhow. Editing is a challenge, but so far we've been able to stick to our delivery schedule and keep brides happy, which is most important. And as for me, I don't need to eat/sleep/work out or anything else :-) at least until I can quit that day job.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 11:28 PM   #7
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

Hi Katie

Your income as a self-employed person is vastly different from that as a worker! You can claim a vast number of expenses that make your turnover far more than it really is...as a worker in a 9-5 job I would be paying around 30% tax ...as a videographer with a home office I can chop a good two thirds off that!! As a worker you have to shower and dress nicely every day, you have to travel to work and home every day too. If you cost in the fact that the 8 hours you are actually at work and then calculate the extra time you lose that you don't get paid for you get less than you realise. My travel costs are tax deductable, as are my business expenses. Working a 5 day week you are actually probably tying up closer to 50 or 60 hours if you think about it!!

Even ignoring that factor if I work 9 - 5 I have to stay at work for 8 hours even if I'm doing nothing!! At home I can choose when I work and when I play ...that convenience factor alone is worth it!! This morning I delivered some DVD's , went shopping and I'm spending the rest of the day doing what I want to, why??? because I CAN!! My biggest "irk" is if the boss says do it now..you have to do it now!!!

My nett income here is not high at all (last year was $100K) but it's plenty to live comfortably and my time is my own. If I worked my butt off 8 hours a day for a boss I think I would end up with a lot less !!!!

It seems a lot of time working for yourself but it's productive time that is paid for!!!

Chris
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 12:03 AM   #8
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
Definition of Entrepenuer:
the willingness to work 80 hours a week for yourself so you don't have to work 40 hours a week for someone else.
A-MEN!

Thanks for the re-assurance, Don, I'm putting in hour 79 right about now....

I worked a part-time retail job evenings about 25 hours a week for a period of about a year when I first went full-time video. This might be a little backwards compared to the norm, but switching my entrepreneurial business hours to daytime really helped me be more efficient and willing to get up and work. It was easier for me to be accountable to someone else in the evenings when I was tired and more apt to skip!

Overall, the hours haven't gotten shorter, but they sure are a lot more enjoyable.
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 07:57 AM   #9
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
My nett income here is not high at all (last year was $100K) but it's plenty to live comfortably and my time is my own.

Wow, if I made that much I never would have posted this topic :-) haha...someday....We're still a little new to this game, going on 3 years now. So I hope we can be as successful as you and many others here.
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 08:51 AM   #10
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

So whats a comfortable amount of weddings to do per year? To make $100K, you would have to book 30 weddings at $3k.

Its still a side business for me, don't know if I would have the guts to do it full time. At the moment I was thinking I could do 20 weddings with a full time job. Is the usual evolution for videographers to go full time? Has anyone done videography part time for an extended period, and enjoyed the lifestyle?
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 09:48 AM   #11
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

Part of owning and running your own business (in the creative arts arena) as a full time venture is being able and willing to put up with good years and not so good years. In my personal experience I've made barely enough to pay my bills and more than enough to live quite well. It's the peaks and valley's that cause many to get out. I've said for many years I can pretty much teach anyone how to shoot and edit at least the basics but it's knowing how to run your business that causes many to quit.
When people tell me they shot a job be it a wedding or a seminar or what have you and they made X dollars on a job I have to ask how did you do that? Did you take into account your advertising, website costs, time it took to get the job, post production time, time meeting with clients, travel time, office expenses including phone, rent (even if you work from home which I've done since 1971-talk about the IRS not having a clue about home office expenses) equipment costs which get written down over time, charge card expenses since most people buy their gear with the dreaded visa or mastercard. All of those things cost you money. Even if you're sitting in front of your computer doing paperwork, that's time and time is money.
This business is constantly evolving and one must constantly accquire new clients especially in the wedding industry and that costs money to do. Advertising, shows, web presence.
I, like Chris and others have had really good years and some that aren't so much. You've got to be willing to put up with the not so good and know how to handle the others.
It can be fun, exhausting, exhilerating and enough to make you want to poke your eye with a fork but for people like me who don't work or play well with bosses, being self employed is the only way to go.
Keep in mind a great line from a great movie (Garden of Stone)..."Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you". You gotta roll with the puches and be willing and ready to get out there aand fight for your peice of the action.
Whatever you do do it from the heart and because you really want to. Like they say, if you love what you do, you'll never work another day in your life.
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 10:03 AM   #12
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

Hi Katie

I want to cry sometimes when I see guys here doing weddings for $8K!!!! I probably make a bit over half my income from weddings and the rest on Realty shoots. Then again, I'm lazy!! I only like to do one wedding per weekend so I probably shoot around 30 in a season and guys like Don Bloom will notch up twice that!!!
Breaking into weddings full time is a lot easier than other businesses cos you are booked forward so much so you at least know what you will earn as an absolute minimum 12 months ahead!! That's quite re-assuring if you are going it alone. Most other business need you to toss in a heap of money and then you hope and pray that you get customers along the way!!! and sometimes you don't get any... with our business at least the pre-booking nature of the business means you WILL earn an income in the next year!!
I work on the assumption that most brides in my area would like a wedding video but are not going to shell out $4000 for one... I do affordable budget weddings so we are talking $1500 as a norm which a lot more brides are prepared to pay nowdays. Obviously you need to work as a business so a $1500 wedding cannot take you 3 weeks to edit... I work on 10 hours for the shoot and 10 hours for post so I can cost my time in at around $75 an hour, a lot more than I would make working for a boss!!

The important thing about weddings as a full time job is you HAVE to treat it as a business and stop becoming a "time is not important" creative artist. If you make a decent profit then you will go far!!! I shudder when videographers talk about taking 60 hours to edit .. you get a stunning result but your business model will fail miserably unless the market you are in can support $5K to $6K prices!!!

Chris
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 11:31 AM   #13
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie Fasel View Post
I know that a lot of you are full time at the wedding video gig. But I thought it would be interesting to see who wasn't.

For us, having other jobs was the ONLY way to start up our business. We knew we wanted to start our own business, but didn't have the means to just jump in without a steady income. Now we get busier each season, and I feel like eventually there is absolutely no way I will be able to do both. And if I had to choose today I would definitely leave my "day job" to do weddings full time. Just wondering if others are in the same boat currently, or have been, or plan to do both forever! Just curious to know how others deal with this.
Hi Katie,

You mean "us", meaning a husband and wife team?
Im in the same boat as you. I also have a full time job as an engineer and my wife is now doing full time work in the business. so i have two full time.

before you leave your job make sure that you have done the math. It will also depend on how much work you do and how much you make on your current job. I work in the office, and make decent(more than averge) so just like you it is hard to leave it because my wife is already at home working on the business.

you said you're getting busier, I suppose it means about 90k-100k in bookings this year. if you are booking below that, and there is two of you, so lets say 80k/2 then that would be hard. specialy if you are planning to have kids in the future.

i would leave my current job if: the full time business can make way more than what i make as an engineer after taxes.

now, if your current job does a lot of work, like lifting, strenous, and make very low (10-15 per hour) then I suggest you leave that and go full time, you'd be happier.

just my two cents.
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 11:57 AM   #14
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

Yes, "us" meaning a husband and wife team. Sigmund, we don't make NEAR what you suggested yet, which is why it's not feasible to go full time with the wedding video biz. The "day" job is a 9-5 desk job that pays average for our area, but among the perks are benefits, which I would have to cough up money to pay for on my own if I didn't have that job. Kids will complicate things...we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Our pricing is similar to Chris...I would say brides in our area are willing to pay between 1,500 and 2000 for wedding video. Others do charge more than that, but I 'm not sure how busy they are or if those people are booking those more expensive packages week after week. We're not booking 30 weddings a year yet either...we had 16 this year...we're already on track to surpass that for next season. And I hear you all on the "time is money" aspect. I think since we've started, editing time has probably been cut in half because a) we're just getting better at things, and b) we've learned to stop nitpicking over things that we used to, things that no one notices but us.

I guess it comes down to other video work too...The off-season, and during the week are great times to dive into other video projects, but it just depends on if we really want to get into that.

This is an interesting discussion, I enjoy reading everyone's advice on this subject....or on any of these threads for that matter.
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 03:51 PM   #15
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Re: Full-time vs. 2 Full-times

Hi Katie, I have a 9-5 job and shoot weddings on the weekend. My dream is to be able to work full time shooting weddings and quit my day job. I did $ 40K in 2010, this year I will be making $ 30K which is way less than what I made in 2011. Until I have booked enough weddings in advance I will not be comfortable quiting my 9-5 job. My business has been in cycle, one year I am up, another year I am down, I am still trying to figure out what I should do to take my business to the next level. I tried Facebook, Google ad sense, Bridal network but most of the business I get is from referrals.

Honestly I am burnt out working 9-5, editing at night, shooting during the weekend. I'd really want to be my own boss.

I also play the lottery.lol

My 2 cents.
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