Getting my wedding video website started... at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 16th, 2011, 02:54 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Kingsburg, California
Posts: 84
Getting my wedding video website started...

Well, it's kinda the old vicious circle:

Can't run a wedding videography business without a website, and can't run a website without good sample wedding videos!

Guys, my question is, do you think this old clip from 2007 is good enough to start with, until I have some newer and better quality stuff, or would it be detrimental to use? (I dug out the old Mini DV tapes and put together this clip a few days ago. Shot it 4 and a half years ago.)

I hope to launch my website the middle of next month, and this is about the best I have to work with. I shot it in 1080i on a Sony FX-7. Actually, my wife and son shot most of it since I was in the wedding party.

Ben Creighton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 16th, 2011, 05:15 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: Getting my wedding video website started...

Hi Ben. It could work. But I have a suggestion that might be better. Consider contacting churches and finding the wedding coordinator or whoever books wedding at the church.

Tell hem you are testing your video equipment, and are seeking a pleasant couple that would like a wedding video but cannot afford to pay for one. I've done it and you won't believe how hard it can be to give your services away.

You must insist on interviewing couples before agreeing to do the video, and make sure they are good fit beforehand. I do it in the off season on occasion, but be forewarned that people that want something free are often the worst type to deal with.
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 16th, 2011, 06:06 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: Getting my wedding video website started...

Hi Ben

Doing a few freebies is a good idea. My feeling is that you probably need a couple of samples (possibily a Church wedding and an Civil wedding) to show you are versatile! I think I started my website on two samples..one was a friend and another was my neice...you also need to be "covered" if the bride wants to see a "DVD Version" so it's always best to have at least one full wedding under your belt so you can actually mail a prospective client a DVD or show her one.

Once you have some bookings you can then add to your collection on the website....I'm never sure if you should have plenty of samples on your site (I have close to 50 and just replace the old ones as I do more) or just have your very best one? My thinking is that I would rather have the bride see a big variety of my work so when her badly organised, rained out wedding looks nothing like your carefully touched-up web sample there are no nasty surprises on delivery day!!

If you search thru the forum you will find quite a few hints and tips on web design...include pricing or not etc etc.

For right now why not put up your current sample and a special offer so you can fairly quickly attract another job and add that to your site....at least it will get you going!!! It's silly sitting on your backside waiting for a "really good" sample before hosting the site!!!! Host away with what you have and get some interest.

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 16th, 2011, 07:11 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: Getting my wedding video website started...

I agree with Chris, you can use what you have as a starter. I would edit it down a bit, and I would remove most of the homey indoor stuff, and end the video on a shot of the couple. Just a suggestion.
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 16th, 2011, 10:34 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Beverly, MA
Posts: 512
Re: Getting my wedding video website started...

My feeling is that if you think that your abilities and equipment are appreciably better now, that it would in fact be worth it to reach out to a coordinator and offer a freebie. (That's actually how I started my business originally -- I pretended to be "upgrading equipment" -- which I suppose was true in a way, cold called a coordinator, and I had a wedding lined up within a couple days). That freebie got me the sample I needed to land jobs.

Good luck!
__________________
Event Videography, New England
www.timothybakland.com
Tim Bakland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 17th, 2011, 08:27 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: Getting my wedding video website started...

Contacting wedding coordinator is an excellent suggestion, Tim. Don't know why I never thought of it.

Of course you want to have your ducks in a row and do the best job possible, the reasons which should be obvious. There is a well-known and popular wedding planner in Cincinnati that blogs after each wedding and she will slam vendors in a heartbeat, and she can be downright nasty. She got a photographer friend of mine and she was brutal and mean-spirited. So pick your wedding planner carefully. Since you're new, play it safe and check their websites and make sure they do not blog, unless you have a lot of confidence. The word-of-mouth they can generate can work for you or against you.
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 17th, 2011, 10:38 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 78
Re: Getting my wedding video website started...

I think doing one for free is a great idea. I'd put an ad on Craigslist or WeddingBee though. You will get a million replies and the couple will be thrilled.
Chris Bryan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 17th, 2011, 10:45 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: Getting my wedding video website started...

When I had all new cameras a couple of years ago, I advertised on Craigslist that I would do a free wedding video. The few responses I got were very unpleasant, low budget types and they were not in the least cooperative. Not disagreeing that it can work, but my experience was pretty bad.

It would depend on area you are in. Craisglist users in the Cincinnati area are a very strange group of folks overall; but in Columbus, Ohio just 100 miles north Craigslist users tend to be somewhat more mainstream. I suggest no matter where you find them, unless they are referred by a trustworthy wedding planner, interview your couples before agreeing to do anything.
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 17th, 2011, 01:57 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 236
Re: Getting my wedding video website started...

When we started out, we got a lot of our "starter" website videos from friends. Luckily we happened to have a lot of friends getting married the summer we started out, so we gave them great deals, and in return they wrote us great testimonials and gave us great video footage to work with. We also did a couple for family members the same way. Although despite the fact that you need more samples/experience, I wouldn't go free...you are starting a business afterall. Even if it's really inexpensive, you should get something for your time.
Katie Fasel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 17th, 2011, 02:46 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: Getting my wedding video website started...

Nice point Katy, but remember if Ben gets the opportunity to shoot a wedding to be used as a demo, he is getting something valuable: experience and samples to use, which are worth $$$ if it will enable him to launch his business. A nice video sample for one's website is critical for attracting paying customers, as we all know.

Expectations and everything else changes as soon as you involve money, and initially it is nice to have the freedom to make mistakes and not disappoint a paying customer. Just my two cents.
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 17th, 2011, 03:46 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 236
Re: Getting my wedding video website started...

Jeff, I feel like you contradicted yourself with that last post, because at one point you are saying how the "free" customers can be unpleasant and difficult to work with, but now free might be better because expectations change with money.

I completely agree that the experience and samples will be invaluable and result in more work. But the work he posted here is already worthy of getting paid something for...I'm only thinking that doing this involves costs...well before it meant tape cost, but not so much any more. But if it were me, I would as for something just to cover travelling if need be, and just a little bit of my time. Like I said, even if it weren't much. After all, they will be getting a professional wedding video in the end, providing everything goes as planned.

We lucked out with friends' weddings, because many of them were good friends who understand the work involved and were very grateful to get a deeply discounted professional wedding video. Either way, free could work. I do think the idea of going to some local wedding coordinators is a great idea as well.
Katie Fasel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 17th, 2011, 05:07 PM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: Getting my wedding video website started...

Hi Ben

You can actually make your demo extremely short too..even a minute of footage to show that you can put stuff together and it's critical to actually put a sample out there ..once you get a booking then you have two samples .... I was lucky with demos as my neice was getting married so that was her wedding present from us and my main demo!!

The real important thing to do is to get your website up and running with plenty of information that will attract brides to it. I'm a terrible salesman so I designed my site so I bride was able to phone/email me and say "I want to book" but it's up to you what to put there. There are, as already mentioned, lots of other website threads here asking various topics like "should I display prices" ....shift thru those too!!!

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 17th, 2011, 05:59 PM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: Getting my wedding video website started...

Katie, if you read my post then you read that I was talking about Craigslist people and bad experiences in reply to Chris suggestion to post on Craigslist and advertise free video services. Craislist tends to be bottom of the barrel and that's what I was addressing.
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; November 17th, 2011 at 06:41 PM.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 18th, 2011, 08:05 AM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 236
Re: Getting my wedding video website started...

Jeff, I read your post about craigslist...I agree people on there can be sketchy, depending on your area... but I was referring to your very first post, before craigslist was even brought into the mix.

Either way, experience is key...the more samples on a website the better...I very rarely even have to meet with people before they book because we have so many samples and information, and I think that is probably true with others here too.
Katie Fasel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 18th, 2011, 08:26 AM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: Getting my wedding video website started...

Hey Katie

Absolutely..it does you credibility if the bride sees a whole bunch of videos..especially recent ones..it basically shows that firstly you HAVE done a fair amount of weddings so you are experienced and also (because mine are dated) you are currently shooting weddings NOW and the demo isn't a wedding you shot in 1993!!! My YT player only allows 50 so as I upload a new one, I just trim a few from the bottom of the list.

Unfortunately Ben isn't in that position BUT we all had to start somewhere didn't we??? When I started many many years ago I had just two weddings done but I put up only a single demo and got 2 bookings ..I now had 4 once the shoots were done so my site started to become a little more credible than when I first begun!! I would still say to Ben .."Go for it!!!" put up a shorten version of your clip and as soon as you do more add them to the list. There has to be a circle breaker so it might as well be right now...otherwise the website will never get going because there are not enough clips and the absence of a site means no work to get those extra demos!! Don't worry Ben it won't be long until you will be uploading clips every week!!

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:17 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network