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Old November 23rd, 2014, 07:37 AM   #61
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Re: Any one only offering highlights?

Michael,

I got your Email message too, but will reply here so everyone can see.

It's funny you mention pricing, because I just updated all my stuff yesterday afternoon for 2015.

Things to keep in mind:
(1) This is not my full time gig. Or even really a part time gig. I do it because I find filming weddings fun and I enjoy the challenge of trying to be creative in putting something together

(2) I am 100% ok with not booking any gigs. Would I like to book some? - Sure. But if not, ok. A lot has changed in the almost 15 years I've been doing this. I went from being single to being married with kids. That all changed my perspective on exactly how much time I want to be spending away on a Saturday. As such, I'm in an experimenting phase to see what is the max I can get.

(3) My previous prices were $750, $2,000, and $3,500. For 2014, I had 1 $3,500, 2 $2,000, and 3 $750. So I did 6 paid weddings this year. I also did a couple of freebies though in Jan/Feb 2014 to try out a bunch of new gear. So anyways, 6 paid gigs. - The 2 of the expensive ones were in August, and I'm just now finishing the second one up. I have another expensive one in Oct that I just started on.

So, my new prices for 2015 are $4,900, $2,900, and $900. We'll see how that works out. lol I have no weddings booked for next year yet. But then again, I've found that most people don't hire the videographer until the last minute anyway. At least, that's been the vast majority of my encounters.

(4) While I have info at many many online wedding vendor sites, including wedding wire, I don't pay for any of them. Although, I have been contacted by wedding wire about 1/2 a dozen times this year trying to get me to sign up. I have a friend on Nashville who uses wedding wire for wedding videography and he says it gets him jobs. But for me I'm not sure I need it.

(5) I have found my best source of work has been either previous client referrals or wedding photographers. For wedding photographers, it's my belief that you want to try to align yourself with the ones who are the most expensive. Because, whoever is hiring them, likely has money, and will have money to pay for video. If you "befriend" a lot of low end of middle of the road photographers (in terms of pricing), then you're going to have hard time making a pricey video sale.

Of course, the flip side to that is, if you're ok with doing a lot of weddings at your current prices (which quite frankly is about the range I was up until 2014, I would imagine photographers priced in the middle of the road would be good sources of clients) When we started into this, we would routinely do 15-20 weddings a year.

(6) The last little tidbit that I picked up on this year is - Brides are busy. Very busy. Not only with wedding planning but life stuff. Several of my clients were involved in building new houses or moving and looking etc etc. I think probably the best thing you can do is try to keep things as simple, clean, and easy as possible when it comes to your website and offerings (I am still working on this myself). Personally, I don't want to overwhelm the client with option after option. I prefer the "here's the price - you get everything" approach.

That's mostly what I changed for 2015 - I found I was always making the Cinema Poster anyways and also taking a lot of photos and doing highlight reels, regardless of if they paid for it or not. So I just bumped my prices and added all that to the 2 main packages. This helps cover the cost of Vimeo and SmugMug, assuming I can sell any packages this year. Ceremony only is kind of the odd man out, and I debated not even offering it. But, it is an easy money maker and a lot less stress than the other 2 bigger packages.

The only add on option for 2015 is Rehearsal coverage - $1,000 and Raw footage on a USB3.0 hard drive for $500 [which I pretty much sell to every client at that price])

(7) For me, it comes down to, I'd rather do 1 very nice wedding at a high dollar price, then 2 or 3 smaller ones (thus tying up multiple Saturdays).

(8) This all started because I watched Ray Roman's 3-day wedding cinematography seminar on Creative Live in Nov 2013. I suggest if you have a large block of free time, you check it out. (You'll have to buy it now). I learned a ton from him over those 3 8-hour days.

Hope that helps some! and good luck!
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Old November 23rd, 2014, 01:45 PM   #62
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Re: Any one only offering highlights?

Kyle,

Thanks so much for all this very useful information. I have seen some of Ray Roman's clips online and I remember he saying that the risk involved with raising prices is that you may not book as many weddings but the advantage is that you get paid more for each wedding. So it definitely seems like there's a balance that has to be taken into account. For me, video production is my full time job and while I do other types of videos besides weddings, I need to be sure that I am booking enough weddings to make a living. Last year my prices were much lower ($800, $1000, $1200) so for 2015 my lowest package is higher than my top package was for my 2014 weddings. We ended up shooting 27 weddings in 2014 and I would like to bring that number down while getting paid more per wedding, so I'm hoping to do closer to 15-20 for 2015.

I actually have written on my to do list to watch some of Ray Roman's videos, so I will take a look at the cost of the seminar you mentioned as right now work is slowing down so I'll have time to watch it. I've also joined a local wedding vendor networking group and I'm planning to attend their holiday party in December to network with some of the photographers in town.

Thanks again for the response!

Mike
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Old June 20th, 2015, 10:40 AM   #63
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Re: Any one only offering highlights?

This may be slightly OT but I figured I'd revive a prior related thread rather than create a new one. My question is about etiquette with social media and highlight trailers. For those of you active on social media, and you posting & tagging the B&G on your own FB page? Or are you letting them see if first ( I would think so). If you're letting them see it first, are you then letting it up to them to post it on their wall, (are you implying, reminding them they can do it in your email to them?).

Also, how did you go about setting the FB page up. I feel like I missed the boat on it this season & had a few decent shoots. Not sure if I should start my page up & add them all & their videos, or just start going forward. One bride friended me on FB, but hasn't shared her video on her timeline. I'd like to build my page, but not sure whether to add her video, or just begin adding them going forward. And if so will she wonder why I never added hers.
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Old June 21st, 2015, 09:59 AM   #64
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Re: Any one only offering highlights?

For the first part, always show the B&G their video first. I upload to Vimeo, then send them the link. THEN I post it to my website's blog and our own Facebook, and send them the links to share with their friends.

Fewer and fewer young people are active on Facebook, so you won't always get a lot of shares, or they won't bother posting it at all. That's OK as long as they watch the darn thing.
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Old June 21st, 2015, 11:23 AM   #65
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Re: Any one only offering highlights?

Thanks Rob.

OT - that line "Fewer and fewer young people are active on Facebook" just sounds amazing. I'm sure its becoming true, however its amazing how rapidly Facebook went from being for young Gen-Yers & Millenials, to now becoming too old?! We're talking like 5 years.
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Old June 22nd, 2015, 02:27 PM   #66
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Re: Any one only offering highlights?

I don't send highlights to the bride and groom first. I usually will tease that it will be online the next day on Facebook, twitter, instagram to try to build some hype. Then I will post it on Vimeo and Facebook the next day.

I usually will pay to have it boosted, even just 1 or $2 helps. You can get pretty specific about the demographic that you want Facebook to put the video in front of. It will usually get at least 600+ views just depending on how active that person is on Facebook.

I really think it's worth setting up a Facebook page. While you may see less people actively engaged on Facebook it is still a huge platform that can get your name seen where it otherwise wouldn't. Especially considering it's at no cost to you to make page and put your videos up.
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Old June 22nd, 2015, 03:04 PM   #67
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Re: Any one only offering highlights?

The social media aspect is indeed very interesting.

2014 was the first year I actually used FB because it was the first year I did "highlights".

I posted it and let the couples tag themselves.

In the future - I'm now leaning towards pushing only highlights. I actually have a client who hired me for August that specifically hired me because she thought she was getting highlights like are on my website. As a result I clarified some language there... but in the end, she was happy getting the regular long form, and upgraded to a highlight reel for $750. Sweet.
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