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


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Old September 8th, 2014, 05:00 PM   #46
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

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Is the (occasionally unneeded) demand for 4K lurking around the corner? Or do you feel that's just kinda a marketing thing that really won't ever take over or be needed, like 3D?
I've heard a lot of speculation both ways. Who knows?

But, just to state the obvious, I hope it's not round the corner. Most of the 4K advantages (cropping, stabilisation, sharper output) seem to be when you're delivering an HD product.

So, if consumers widely adopt 4K, then we'd need to be looking to 5K, 6K, 8K...
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Old September 8th, 2014, 07:09 PM   #47
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Hi Roger

I actually asked in another thread where you had been nut have seen the answer now. You were moving!

Now you were actually the prime instigator in making me add stills to my packages and yes it's quite practical to do it solo but admitted it's a little tough doing it totally solo in some events like when the limo arrives you need to put down the video camera after the car comes to a stop and jump inside and do some stills of dad and the bride ... a bit tricky but not a huge issue. Lets face it 99% of the still WILL be when you are not shooting video anyway! After the ceremony and guest congratulations I can kick into stills mode and do the group and couple shots. I have done complete photo/video all on my own with not problems and brides seem to love "all in one" deals!

I do have my wife assisting with stills now too mainly to cover stills while I'm busy with video so, because I don't need her during the group pics, we also now offer a simple open photobooth that she runs for the guests in the reception venue which adds more value to a package and keeps her busy while I'm doing groups and the couple.

I wonder how far the "all in one" package will evolve to ??? We already have a DJ/video/photo guy here but I'm not partial to working until midnight so that's not an option for me

Chris
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Old September 8th, 2014, 09:14 PM   #48
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

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I wonder how far the "all in one" package will evolve to ??? We already have a DJ/video/photo guy here but I'm not partial to working until midnight so that's not an option for me
I'd have to be insane to do DJ, Video AND photos. Though, we (my wife and I) did just do DJ and photo booth. Next week is DJ and Video.

Not sure if 4K will ever be standard, like HD is, though probably in a few years. I'd guess anyone who wants to can hold out for 3-5 years without too much trouble.

Mostly, I'd agree that shooting 4K seems like it would be handy for digital zooming, or if you want to replace the photog :)
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Old September 9th, 2014, 05:02 AM   #49
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Hi Chris, I just replied on the other thread and here you are :-) Most here seem to feel that joint photography/video packages are not getting the best from either, but I find that it gives a great balance unless you are wanting to carry out lavish video shoots with lots of equipment set up time and staged shots.

In my own personal experience, the vast majority of weddings require good honest photography with some romantic shots, and full video coverage that isn't intrusive. High end high cost video and photography work is certainly out there, but much more expensive to promote and operate, with a far smaller market. Many of the 90% that don't have a video are using friends to take amateur clips and even photography. This is usually down to cost as most families do not have extra money for what they see as expensive luxuries, even at a wedding. What I have found is that combining the traditional role of photographer with the less popular video, is a lower cost option for a couple and much easier to sell.

You could argue that doing both is taking work away from other professionals. I would totally disagree, as it is a dog eat dog world and other professionals can do the same thing if they feel threatened. We all need to earn a living, and for different people that means differing income requirements. The wedding market is constantly changing and joint packages is just another alternative for couples to consider.

Roger
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Old September 9th, 2014, 05:39 AM   #50
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Thanks Roger

Hope things are getting back to normal and you are settling in. We moved last November which is also one of our busiest months. Silly move!!

I would think trying to do high end video and high end photo wouldn't work but we deal with the budget bride who's father isn't a Saudi prince so it really works for us. We also shoot our video in documentary style and do traditional photos rather than super creative stuff and bride's love it. I love it too as I'm working with a photog that is aware of the cameras and doesn't get in the way. It's a win-win for us too!

Chris
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Old September 9th, 2014, 06:43 AM   #51
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Coming back to the subject of the thread, where does the future lie for wedding video?

To answer that, you need to look at what wedding clients want and why. Based purely on my own experience with no official figures I feel that there are 4 areas of interest:-
1) Highest Quality of product and prestige, a market that wants the best and is prepared to pay for it
2) High Quality within a controlled budget, normally clients with a higher than average disposable income
3) Acceptable quality and production but within a restricted budget
4) A fun record of the day where quality is not a high priority, usually from friends and family

1) Possibly 0.5 to 1% of the available market
2) 1 to 2% of available market
3) 7 to 8% of available market
4) 90% of available market

It doesn't take a marketing genius to see that there is a vast untapped market at the bottom end of the scale, where cost is a factor that usually makes professional video a no go. Here though is where there is a big dilemma. Do we want to earn an acceptable income producing something that is to a basic formula, or do we want to push our artistic and creative talents to a more discerning market. I have a feeling that a large number of contributors here would choose the latter option rather than the former. That of course means competing in a highly competitive and very small market, where image, presentation and equipment are king. Highly developed film making skills and technical and artistic interpretation are essential, plus the insight to keep up with or ahead of current film fashion.

Against this, we are seeing a minimal uptake of professional video in the overall wedding market, with the rapid increase in video and photographic technology meaning that the remaining 90% of the market are still getting video and photos taken, frequently at acceptable quality to the client, but taken by friends and family. I can only see that side of the business taking more work from the professional as people upload immediately to social networks and share fashionable wedding selfies with each other This is an area that we really should be looking at, both by offering something different and by educating that market as to what they are missing, particularly as a proper wedding memory for the future.

Price will always be the determining factor here, but lower return doesn't have to equal lower income. I see wedding photographers armed with a couple of huge top of the range NIkons, lenses and ancillary equipment that must have cost many thousands of pounds, plus videographers here that use multi high end video cams or dslrs with sliders, dollys, cranes etc. Yet in such a huge percentage of the market, couples would rather do it themselves. Less so with photography which is long established, but clients with very expensive photographers still express dissatisfaction with the results and ask for stills from the video. A big investment in top range equipment, promotion and premises is going to require a high return to finance it. Here we are talking about moving from fairly recently acquired HD gear into 4k cameras and editing systems, while 90% of the market is delighted with phone footage/photos and watching SD programmes on their HD tvs.

My own answer was to the budget restricted area, which covers both those who want a professional and those who aren't sure, but are working to limited budgets. I added photography to the solo video package, because it opens the door to all those who would have a photographer but probably not a video. I keep it simple by using small HD video cams and bridge cameras on a double camera tripod mount. This enables me to take stills and video on both types of camera at the same time, plus a dslr for later photos. I also use a GoPro for different ceremony angles and another HD cam on lightweight locked off tripod, plus audio recorders.

I can edit a wedding with video and stills quite easily in less than a week and stills are simply delivered as files. No album or prints to make, which has proved very popular with clients as they can email to friends, make their own photo books or come back to me later for albums and prints if they want. My overheads are minimal, consisting of fuel, leaflets, wedding shows and an allowance for repairs and replacements. As my equipment is simple and reliable, the investment cost is comparatively low, which gives a good profit margin on what are seen as very affordable prices. As my wife is also able to offer a joint package, then double weddings give an even greater income return.

The above is just my personal opinion and approach and I am offering it as my way own of moving on with video.

Roger
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Old September 9th, 2014, 08:18 AM   #52
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
Coming back to the subject of the thread, where does the future lie for wedding video?
I would disagree with your %'s, Roger, but not much of anything else.

Perhaps as videography continues to be normalized and be more common, then it will enter into the early weddding budget planning closer to realistic prices.

Until then, as a DJ with a camera (sort of), I've seen this: when it's under $1000, half my 32 DJ clients will book videography. Over that, and the number drops a lot.

Since my wife didn't take to videography like I did, and as I continue to transition away from DJ'ing towards videography (3 year plan), I'll be offering an 'Uncle Bob' option to my DJ clients as an add-on to the DJ service. Just me, single or 3 camera setup, ceremony only, digital delivery only. Nice and cheap for them.

Hopefully, I'll keep getting better and can start pulling in a few more videography only jobs, instead of it being a value add-in. Though I will say, Chris Harding has the right of it with the simple photo booth. It's a nice and easy add-in with one big benefit: if you post the photos/video the next day, you'll get a ton of social media shares, which is free advertising. When we do the booth, we have a sign-up sheet for email. By noon the next day, the pics are on Facebook, and I make a stop-motion video. People love it.
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Old September 9th, 2014, 08:43 AM   #53
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Hi Rob and Roger

Well, the bottom line is still dictated by the bride's budget and that always varies a lot! Some brides seem quite happy to spend $4K on a photographer and some only want to spend $1K so the chances of the $4K bride wanting a photog and video is a lot smaller than the bride who is spending on a $1K photog.

The way I market my whole operation is that quite often my wife and myself are doing video at the venue so "we are already there" which saves the bride heaps of money compared to hiring a video guy who has to get into his car drive to the venue and work for 8 hours at his rate and then a photog who has to do the same exercise so it makes sense to assign both tasks to a single team which will cost her less.

I'm pretty sure that Roger's percentages are not 100% accurate but close...his point is correct and there is a HUGE gap between what one photog called "the bottom feeders" and the rest of the media vendors and they are dictated by what market they are targeting.

Take this example ..Over here in 2010 there were 11,000 weddings in the area ...and there are no more than 20 active videographers that advertise on the major directories. If we all did these weddings we would have 45 weddings a MONTH! each! That's an impossible number to shoot of course so the 90% is actually quite a practical figure and the vast majority of weddings have family/friends/iphone coverage.

The 90% market of course needs to be carefully costed and you can either do it or you can't. If your thing is to spend hours on staged shots and creative shoots and then 3 weeks at your edit station then you have no option but to target the top two options, If you can cover a wedding in 5/6 hours and provide a finished product in under a week then it's worth targeting the 90% ...and yes there is a big market there.

I guess it all comes down to whether you want to produce a cinematic masterpiece and pour over every detail until it's absolutely perfect or whether you want to record the day as it happens, shooting for editing so your post work is minimal.

There is a market for both ..you just have to choose!!

Chris
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Old September 9th, 2014, 09:11 AM   #54
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

Chris and Rob, yes my percentages are just off the top of my head and I don't suggest they are based on anything other than observation, although the 10% of weddings with a video has been researched fairly accurately I believe.

Rob I would be interested in what you feel would be more typical percentages. I based mine on the high end being 0.5 to 1% of the available market, so 5-10% of wedding videos, which is possibly even an over estimate for my own area. It would be interesting to hear what others estimate.

Chris, I think we are pretty much agreed on marketing strategy and pricing.

Roger
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Old September 9th, 2014, 09:16 AM   #55
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

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Take this example ..Over here in 2010 there were 11,000 weddings in the area ...and there are no more than 20 active videographers that advertise on the major directories. If we all did these weddings we would have 45 weddings a MONTH! each! That's an impossible number to shoot of course so the 90% is actually quite a practical figure and the vast majority of weddings have family/friends/iphone coverage.
Here in the States we have a site called CostofWedding.com which breaks budgets and spending down for each little region. You can see the variation between, say, New York City and my little area, which is VERY rural. The percentages tend to be similar, though.

50% of weddings spend under $10,000 (not surprising. Plenty of courthouse weddings, or small backyard events)
25% spend $10,000 - $20,000 (enough to have a reception, but probably not spend any real amount on videography)
15% spend $20,000-$30,000 (plenty to have it all, I'd think, though not without some limits)
10% spend $30,000+

30-40% of couples book a videographer of some kind, and spend anywhere from $700-$1900
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Old September 9th, 2014, 09:45 AM   #56
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

I don't know where costofwedding.com get their figures from for their stats, but I am surprised that in the US 1 in 3 weddings have a professional videographer. That seems to be contrary to what other US posters on the forum have said and is leagues above the UK take up.

Looking at their site, some of the figures look a little dubious to me, like 15-20% of brides don't have a wedding ring and even less with an engagement ring mmmm. How do you get married without a ring? I've never seen that in over 30 years and over 2000 weddings. They also reckon that up to 45% have a video, I certainly doubt that. I wonder where they get those figures from! I'd be much more interested in your own personal observations rather than that website.

Roger
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Old September 9th, 2014, 01:26 PM   #57
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

I assumed the videographer stat included Uncle Harry with his camcorder, or cousin Sam with his DSLR. I see that often.
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Old September 9th, 2014, 06:19 PM   #58
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Re: So where do we go from here? (whats next in video?)

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I assumed the videographer stat included Uncle Harry with his camcorder, or cousin Sam with his DSLR. I see that often.
That I definitely can believe.

Roger
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