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Old January 14th, 2014, 07:09 PM   #31
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Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

Uncle Bob just got a Canon C100 and 2 Sennheiser wireless mic sets. He has an evil smirk on his face. Now what? This scenario is entirely possible.
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Old January 14th, 2014, 07:31 PM   #32
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Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

Rob?

You cannot compare DJ services and video services ...you really have to have a DJ/MC but you don't have to have a video. The MC and DJ basically run the wedding and keep things flowing so it's considered an essential by 99% of brides ...video is just an extra service that they can live without if the budget won't stretch far enough so success rate will always be different.

Warren .. I have seen a guest with better gear by far than the photog ! Remember you can also give a monkey a C100 and sometimes I look at fairly wealthy people and wonder where to draw the line. A real pro can make stunning footage from a little handicam .. give an idiot a Digi Betacam and you know what the result will be!

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Old January 14th, 2014, 08:28 PM   #33
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Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

For now, yes, the video is sort of an add-on to the DJ service. We want to move beyond that. My wife is the boss on the video side. I help film the guys getting ready and during the ceremony, then do all the editing. We want to move beyond that, though.

Bottom rung of acceptable is about high standards for ourselves. If we don't get better, we'll never be able to do the video as it's own thing, truly. Our gear is good enough to do really great work - and sometimes we do it, but we need to be more consistent. If anyone wants to see what I think is just 'good enough' I have three wedding films (around 15 minutes each) on our main video page: Wedding Videography | RNB Weddings though my favorite 4 minutes is from "Olivia & Lewis' wedding film' and skip to the 19:15 mark for outtakes.

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Originally Posted by Warren Kawamoto View Post
Uncle Bob just got a Canon C100 and 2 Sennheiser wireless mic sets. He has an evil smirk on his face. Now what? This scenario is entirely possible.
If Uncle Bob spent $6000 for a camera, plus who knows what for lenses, then he can have at it. I'm trying to break the notion that Uncle Bob or Cousin Merle can show up with a Canon T3i with kit lens and film something well. As a DJ I actually saw the look of panic on one B&G's cousin as the lights dimmed for the first dance - I had to lend him a fast prime for the first dance and some extra batteries to get through the rest of the evening... lucky for him I had brought my camera to get a headshot of the B&G for my wedding blog.

Again, not competing with Uncle Bob, but trying to differentiate.
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Old January 14th, 2014, 10:58 PM   #34
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Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

Alfred Eisenstadt one of the original and greatest photographers for Life magazine (also happened to have more covers than all other combined) used a Lieca II with a 50mm lens virtually all of his fabulous work. (yes I am a fan) To prove a point he took an old (relatively) Kodak box camera (127 film) and shot off a roll. IIRC it was 12 exposures. Compared them to an amature with a high end 35mm camera. I don't know if it was a rangefinder or an SLR but in any case Alfreds photographs were in every way so far superior there was no contest. Not just the technical aspects but the composition. Proved the point he and others were trying to make. The gear doesn't see a damn thing until the person holding it does. It's all in the minds eye. While it's nice to have and use up to date modern gear that in and by itself won't get you a single client or earn you a single dollar. It's the person behind the camera that counts.
Now having said that, I run across a lot of "Uncle Bobs" in my time at the wedding. Some I've had to ask "nicely" to get out of my way and others were polite and reasonable and worked within the bounds of good taste and attitude. Of course that doesn't say anything about the quality of their work but at least they weren't a PITA! ;-)
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Old January 15th, 2014, 02:35 AM   #35
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Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

I have heard what Don is saying summed up as:

"Your camera takes excellent pictures!" (You could substitute video)

"Thanks, I taught it everything it knows."
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Old January 15th, 2014, 09:40 AM   #36
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Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

Blackhurst & Harding bring up good points. Video can be cut, and people are fine with that. Also, you should attempt to upsell your DJ customers. Myb put a video together of what video gives you with regard to dance floor that photographers do not. Take some of your best dance floor footage, and grab a still frame image (a decent one) and show it for 7 seconds. Then, show the actual dancing scene. The Cha Cha Slide, The Cupid Shuffle, the best man taking off his tie & swinging it around to ACDC's You Shook Me All Night Long off their 1980 album Back in Black. People NEED a DJ (for the most part, some might do without), people NEED a Photographer, so to alot of people it comes down to if they WANT or CHOOSE a videography package. If someones hardcore into using just a Friend With Camcorder package, their mind is pretty set and content with that. What you should try is how video works in capturing those memories in ways photography does not. And then if nothing else you can also use the same dance floor footage to promote your DJ business as well:)
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Old January 15th, 2014, 04:36 PM   #37
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Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

I suppose if you are using dance floor footage, you could do a "side by side" with a cheap consumer camera that chokes miserably in low light and a "prosumer" cam with better low light performance... of course both would benefit from even a small LED light <wink>!

Again it comes back to trying to sell the benefits of more "pro" gear vs. the "average consumer grade"... I'm not sure most clients will "connect" at that level, I think the eyes will glaze over quickly.

ALL that matters is showing that YOU can get good results that resonate emotionally (keep in mind that a great picture can do this, but a good movie is more effective). By all means "strut your stuff", show that you can get good results in typical wedding conditions, maybe explain that having "the right gear" makes all the difference over what most non-pros will bring to the shoot.

Everyone gets a little frustrated with the blurry, off color, dark, etc. results of the "typical consumer" camera/device - that's why the cell phone mfrs are touting high resolution, good low light performance, etc!!

Show that YOU (more accurately your wife<wink>) get good clear, crisp, color correct (or mostly anyway) footage, well framed and in focus... and of course audio that adds to the moment. I think most people already know what the other "stuff" looks like, thanks to YouToob!
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Old January 16th, 2014, 09:39 AM   #38
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Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

Funny story, I may have posted this before, but a few months ago a guest couple chatted me up in the parking lot, asking how much editing I now have. We joked a bit, I said more than people think, then he asked a question. He told me a story, that for his wedding, rather than hire a videographer, a friend (probably younger & just out of college I would guess) offer to do it for him, if he bought him the camera. Well to him he said it seemed like a fair deal. So he bought him a camera (dunno how much but I'd guess $500 camcorder, tho he reiterated it was "HD" lol). And he said the footage looked terrible, and asked if there's any way to fix that. I said it depends, but possibly. Informed him that believe it or not, tho are eyes are comfortable in reception venue low light, it's actually terribly low for cameras sensitivity, and he probably shot auto bumping up alot of grain and giving it an orangish hue. He kinda was surprised and said "Yeah, it was" tho he added "It was HD tho" as if he thought the HD marketing meant better in every possible standard than previous camcorders. So I said I could possibly color correct it, and there's software out there (Neatvideo) which surprisngly does a great job at de-graining the footage. He seemed surprised it may yet be salvagable, tho his wife was more like "Oh just let it go. It's over" (I think she didn't want to be reminded of the terrible decision they made, and let others know about it). I gave them my card, although I never did hear from them. It's a lesson to be learned for them, and for us to tell as well! The guy chuckled at the end and said "Geez, the least he could do was give me the camera back.".

Nonetheless, disappointing way to be reminded back of your wedding day. If you're gonna do it, do it, but don't cut corners or take shortcuts.
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Old January 16th, 2014, 10:06 AM   #39
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Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
You cannot compare DJ services and video services ...you really have to have a DJ/MC but you don't have to have a video. The MC and DJ basically run the wedding and keep things flowing so it's considered an essential by 99% of brides ...video is just an extra service that they can live without if the budget won't stretch far enough so success rate will always be different.
I'm not comparing DJ and video in the sense of demand and necessity - though it's nice to see you value a competent MC/DJ. I meant that I'm trying to build the video side of the business in a similar way I did my DJ one. When I began DJ'ing, there was no other higher end DJ who MC'ed and kept the schedule (a big part of why people hire me is that I know everything that is supposed to happen and generally keep things moving, like a day of coordinator). However, before people can ask for something, they have to know it exists.

With the absolute lack of videographers in our region for years, people sort of forgot it was an option. In order to fix that, and the fact that we're just not that experienced and polished, we are focusing on a lower-priced volume rather than getting our price. This will get our work in front of more eyeballs and normalize videography as a bit of an option. Certainly I don't expect 100% of weddings to get videography, but I need it to be more than the 1% that were.
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Old January 16th, 2014, 11:01 AM   #40
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Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

Robert, regarding your original post, I believe comparing our service to Uncle Bob demeans our service and is a form of negative advertising. If you notice, it's lower end sites that have tons of explanations and overly-detailed text explaining things to customers.

Emphasize the words professional in your adverstising and put up your best samples. It will be quite clear to anyone with any brains that uncle bob cannot do what you can do.

IMO you could address these topics on your FAQ page, at the top if you want, and be done with it.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; January 16th, 2014 at 12:10 PM.
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Old January 16th, 2014, 11:21 AM   #41
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Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

I've come around to this: I think I'm going to make a 2-5 minute video more in keeping with a 'What Kind of Videographer do You Want' gist. Much like the article I wrote, it will simply highlight some of the different options out there. Yes, I will include DIY (single camera from the back of the church), cinematic, and documentary.

Much like the article, I will do my best to come across as someone just trying to help them sort it all out, which means positive and honest. It's less about selling our own service. I'll include various examples with reasoning of why or why not someone might be interested.

This is actually similar to what I did for my DJ'ing. I'm well aware that some folks just don't see the value (or the point) of what I do, and that a DJ who only plays music and does NOTHING else, is what they expect - or even just an iPod playlist. Or even no dance at all.

I don't need all of them to be interested, but by helping them figure out what they're really looking for, and how to get it, I can find my clients.
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Old January 16th, 2014, 11:43 AM   #42
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Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

Robert,

I looked at your site. I have something you may be interested in. I got an e-mail the other day from a wedding planning company. It is a so called press release addressing the issue of guests getting in the way of pro shooters (both still and video) at weddings. It has pictures and all. If more planners would address this issue it would make life easier for you guys. If someone wants to see it PM me and I will forward it to you. They did a good job of it. PDF and all. You might want to show it to planners you work with. This planning company is definitely backing their shooters!

Sorry for going OT but I know it is a big issue for you wedding guys. And Robert is trying to educate couples on his site.

Steve
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Old January 16th, 2014, 08:10 PM   #43
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Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

As Robert (being a DJ/MC) would know, the MC can make a HUGE difference here. Just communicating with the guests and telling them to allow the video/photog clear access to the cake for the cutting THEN they can come up and take all the photos they want..

Once your video is made Robert post the link for us so we can take a look ?

Chris
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Old January 16th, 2014, 08:39 PM   #44
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Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
As Robert (being a DJ/MC) would know, the MC can make a HUGE difference here. Just communicating with the guests and telling them to allow the video/photog clear access to the cake for the cutting THEN they can come up and take all the photos they want..

Once your video is made Robert post the link for us so we can take a look ?

Chris
Will do. Probably a month or so. We have a wedding next week where I will try to setup an Uncle Bob cam.
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Old January 16th, 2014, 10:33 PM   #45
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Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

That's great Rob

Make sure that you have someone also who can take it off the tripod and walk around a bit with it so you get true amateur footage ....even a back view camera can look pretty good if it's left on the tripod ...Often brides rave about footage from my little GoPro so it will be essential to get really poor audio and some nice wobbles on the video. The last thing you want is a bride to think that the Uncle Bob footage is better than yours ... !!

Chris
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