Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob 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 January 12th, 2014, 11:12 AM   #1
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Crookston, MN
Posts: 1,353
Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

I was giving some thought with how to compete with $300 Handycam's and am considering this strategy. I'd love your opinions and ideas:

First, I've posted a 'How to Hire a Videographer' page on my website that shows ideas and options.

Second, I'm considering SHOWING the difference between a single cam and our footage, showing the same wedding's processional, vows, kiss, and recessional. A simple 2 minute video to demonstrate the contrast.

The contrast will be audio and camera angles. So, maybe cutting back and forth (so that it becomes obvious how the Handycam can't hear the vows, or maybe it's one of those with a noisy baby); but also how much better we can show the other moments.

Any thoughts?
Robert Benda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2014, 11:28 AM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Perth, Western Australia.
Posts: 568
Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

Robert, I think you need to be careful in defining what you are contrasting. I would not look so much at the value of the camcorder, but at the single viewpoint as a contrast. Many wedding videographers on this site, from what I have been able to determine use $300 camcorders as PART of their wedding setup. GoPros certainly fall into this sort of price range.

Also Uncle Bob may be what we call a CUB here (Cashed Up Bogan) and have a two to three thousand dollar camcorder that he uses to make crap videos and still from only a single viewpoint.

When defining a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) for your business, I think it is best to make sure it reflects the values you wish to convey to your prospective clients.

(My two cents)
__________________
Cheers
Tim
Tim Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2014, 11:31 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,064
Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

Do you really fear competition from Uncle Bob? Couples that decide to let Bob shoot their wedding most likely would never hire you in the first place, unless your charging fee would be 100 dollar. As a photographer though I would fear Uncle Bob more, seen enough guests carrying canon 5dII with them and I have seen enough "friends of the family" that are asked to be the photog of the day, worst kind ever if you ask me as they run all the time in the way.

I used to have a blog on my website where I did have a sample of a camera in back of a church with onboard sound of a camera nearby the couple or altar and then by switching to a microphone that was attached to the groom or to the altar, I removed my blog some time ago but the video was still on my vimeo account, makes things clear enough for the couple.

Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2014, 11:35 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Perth, Western Australia.
Posts: 568
Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

I didn't understand a word of it Noa, but the video said it all!
__________________
Cheers
Tim
Tim Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2014, 12:05 PM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 1,430
Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

I don't think you can show the difference between cameras. If you put a $100 camcorder into a professional's hands, there is virtually no difference compared to a $5000 camcorder in the eyes of a customer.

One thing you could do from now on is to have your couple talk to the officiant beforehand. Before the processional starts, have him make an announcement to the guests that no cameras are allowed during the ceremony, and that everyone is welcome to take pictures and videos AFTER the ceremony. Works for me!! Same thing with the reception, have the DJ NOT announce everyone with cameras to come up to the cake for the cutting. Uncle Bob ain't welcome in our house!
Warren Kawamoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2014, 12:29 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,064
Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

Quote:
have the DJ NOT announce everyone with cameras to come up to the cake for the cutting.
2 years back I did a Curdic wedding, EVERYONE had a camera (smartphone and/or small handicam) shooting from the same angles as I did, that was fun :)
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2014, 12:59 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bedfordshire, UK
Posts: 863
Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

People aren't booking uncle bob because they don't know the difference. They know a pro is better. They are booking him because that's all they can afford. I think your efforts are better spent elsewhere.

Don't think the budget guys are stealing your clients. Unless of-course their work is on par with yours.
Danny O'Neill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2014, 03:49 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

I'm sure everyone has seen the two photos of the most recent Pope announcements (I think that's what it was, something about the last two Popes anyway...) one photo just a few years ago, and there were a couple cameras (likely actual camera LCD screens of some sort) visible... the latest one was a SEA of screens - phones, tablets, phablets, you get the idea... might even have been a couple "real" cameras in there too...

EVERYONE has a "camera" now, this means EVERYONE, and most fancy themselves to be a "photographer" or "videographer" since now they have the "tool", albeit in the wrong orientation, blurry, and poor quality in low light - these things don't matter, because they are "capturing the moment" themselves. These devices ARE getting better, and can even be used to take some pretty good pix/clips - I have a cousin in law who regularly posts some AWESOME instagram pix - seriously look great in a 2" onscreen display on Facebook, but I'm guessing would sadly lose much in a 10" print...

People "forget" to bring an SLR or even a compact digital, but you can bet they WILL NOT forget their PHONE... which now quite probably has a somewhat passable camera and video camera built in!! I only use mine for "junk" shots, but I'd suspect the next phone I get will be nearly equal to most compact digitals...

Remember the "trendy" thing for while of putting a bunch of disposable cameras around for the guests to use to shoot "candids" at the reception? How many of those came out? A thousand monkeys with typewriters do not produce classic literature, and a thousand monkeys with cameras won't produce much usable either...


It is not about the device or the cost, but about the technical SKILLS - (stable) framing, audio capture, getting decent results in awkward lighting conditions, knowing where to be to get the shots, knowing which shots to get, knowing how to edit out the ones you didn't need to shoot... and so on... and about TALENT - careful here because "uncle Bob" might actually swing a mean camera, if you know what I mean... but if he's never done a wedding, and he's there as a GUEST, he's not going to have those aforementioned SKILLS that one develops. AND he probably doesn't have the specific gear (yeah guys, we know what's in our bags and boxes so we can get "everything" - it ain't pretty... and there's some "cheap" cameras in there that shoot quite good video!) that will get top quality shots/video.


In the end you're selling your artistic talent, your vision, and your ability to capture and memorialize a one time event effectively. Remember you're "selling the sizzle, not the steak" to use an old marketing term. It's all too easy to be all excited about the new "toys" you use, or this or that bit of gear - but the bride cares about whether you capture HER... her emotion... her guests and family... HER DAY, the one she's run through her head since she was a little girl... Uncle Bob "might" get that, or he might not... but if she knows YOU WILL, she won't care WHAT you shot it with.

She likely won't give a hoot about whether she is in glorious 1080 60p or 4K, or even SD... or if you used a slider or a steadycam... although these things can provide a "wow factor" that you can and should make sure are evident in your "show reel", or your sample wedding DVD/BR that you use to "sell the sizzle".

Show your "stuff"... yes... it should be obvious that it's good, or at least better than uncle Bob or whatever YouToob wedding video is currently viral... but most people's eyes glaze right over when you start to "talk tech"... as a "techie", I've watched the effect firsthand plenty of times <wink>.

As the old saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words" - you're shooting 24-60 "pictures" a second AND you've got audio to add even more "sizzle" - make them count when doing your "marketing", and you might make it into the budget (presuming there is one)!


As a final thought, remember that "uncle Bob" is already "family" - you need the bride to want YOU to be part of "the family" for her special day, putting down uncle Bob probably isn't the place to start, even though we like to address his shortcomings here!
Dave Blackhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2014, 03:58 PM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: London, UK
Posts: 1,380
Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
As a final thought, remember that "uncle Bob" is already "family" - you need the bride to want YOU to be part of "the family" for her special day, putting down uncle Bob probably isn't the place to start, even though we like to address his shortcomings here!
+1 agreed.

There is no way we can compete against an enthusiastic, serious, family member who's been given the task of filming the wedding. Who then follows through and does a good job because he has a bit of an idea with editing etc.

But some one that's casually filming it for the sake of it ... then the bride would make a mistake not hiring a pro for the job!

But then refer back to Noa's point ... it would usually be due to a lack of funds. So even the pro needs to be charging peanuts to secure that wedding.
James Manford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2014, 04:09 PM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: England liverpool
Posts: 1,310
Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

I am finding simple answers to discount questions are sorry we do not give discount my price is 1495! And do you know what I have booked five that said uncle bob will do it because it's psychological! If it's a quality product you and they will always want it!!! Why because the brain thinks and says I want the best
Steve Bleasdale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2014, 06:36 PM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Crookston, MN
Posts: 1,353
Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

I guess I wasn't necessarily going to even mention 'Uncle Bob' or camcorders per se, just the difference between amateur and professional.

Based on bridal message boards I read, OFTEN, though not always, brides just don't see the value in hiring a professional. I'm hoping to make a short video to illustrate the difference to try and show the value.

Part of the reason is, simply, videography isn't really an automatic, assumed part of the day. IF they want a video, they may think 'oh, it's $1500-$2500 to hire someone, or I my cousin will do it for free!' Yes, a lot of folks CAN'T afford that, but I'm concerned that many just don't see the difference.
Robert Benda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2014, 07:32 PM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

Rob

One thing you never mention is audio. Uncle Bob's camcorder is simply not going to be able to capture the vows without a decent audio system and I doubt whether he has one or will spend $1K getting one simply for his niece's wedding.

Nothing gives a cameraman the Uncle Bob label more than audio from the on camera mic audio!! To me that's what usually makes them Uncle Bob's. You can take a single under $1K camcorder, place it correctly in the aisle and hook up a good wireless lav or recorder on the groom and your video just might be as good as the pro's but drop the audio (as most Uncle Bob's do) and it becomes a guest video only.

As already mentioned, if the couple cannot afford video, then let them have Uncle Bob ...I guess it's better than no video at all and you certainly don't want to do it for almost free just to say you did it!!

I have done three freebies in the last 5 years and they were my nieces and it was their wedding present. My policy is I either do it for free (my family) or my normal prices with no discounts cos they are broke..Uncle Bob is more than welcome to those gigs

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2014, 07:52 PM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Crookston, MN
Posts: 1,353
Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Rob

One thing you never mention is audio. Uncle Bob's camcorder is simply not going to be able to capture the vows without a decent audio system and I doubt whether he has one or will spend $1K getting one simply for his niece's wedding.
Chris, I thought audio, in particular, would be a big part of it. That's why I'd show the vows. Most of the time, we never hear the vows over the church's mic. If we do, they're is often so much other noise that on camera audio is worthless (baby crying or coughing guy...whatever).

I'm not fighting over cheap or 'can't afford it' brides. I'm going for the education. 15 years ago, as a DJ, I had a big, up hill fight to get paid a decent wage. Our area's normal was $375 ($500 or so in today's dollars). Within two years, after spending the time educating potential clients on the differences, which they had never seen, I was $750 a wedding. That was big. I was willing to spend 20 minutes on a phone call to explain myself.

Now, with video, I don't need to do 20 minute phone calls, and almost no one calls anyway, they email. I thought it wouldn't take much to show the difference. I'm hoping that even just a few couples might be turned into potential clients, just because they didn't realize what they didn't know.
Robert Benda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2014, 08:28 PM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

Hi Rob

Absolutely! All I figure you would need is a nice tight shot with pristine audio of the vows and that should show the bride instantly what pro video is like. Pity you couldn't do a comparison clip ..showing an Uncle Bob vows clip (maybe done from back in the aisles with no zoom up and echoey audio from the Church PA and then your clip with tight shots and clean audio ...and then say "Which one would you like as your special day?" That should educate them pretty well !!

I think we also tend to forget that brides (well most of them anyway) have never done this before so they seldom see comparisons or standards and it's up to us to educate them.

Bear in mind that your "educational" video not only singles out Uncle Bob but also poor quality videographers who charge big prices.. it can only enhance your profile.

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 13th, 2014, 03:56 AM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Belfast
Posts: 823
Re: Selling Your Service VS. Uncle Bob

I just had an enquiry from a couple and then they came back to me saying that their friend from a media company said they would do it as a one off with two camera operators for like 150 less than me.

I just told them to go with the other guys if they thought it would be good. (Thats the beauty of having another job as steady income).

Even if the couple came back to me offering to pay my full whack - I'd be reluctant - they've already established that I'm stretching their budget and are likely to be very fussy as a result.

Not uncle Bob, I agree, but in general I detest people trying to 'work' me. A person who barters is basically telling you that you aren't worth what you thing you are.

On the contrary, I believe I'm very good value.


My advice to OP - take the clients that want you, and are happy to pay the amount you quote and your working life will be much happier.

Anyone who needs convincing is trouble from the word go.
Clive McLaughlin 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 07:01 PM.


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