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Old January 26th, 2015, 07:25 AM   #16
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

Hi Roger

You neglected to mention that, like us, you don't try to shoot video and photos as a solo operator. The comments here seem to be targeted towards solo operators trying to shoot video and photos at the same time and although I have done it, it isn't easy.

Just to set the record straight guys, both Roger and myself work with a husband and wife team, one doing photos and one doing video so my photog just concentrates on the stills leaving me to concentrate on the video which is a far cry from one poor soul with a video camera on a tripod, 2nd video camera in one hand and then two DSLR's around his waist. I do agree that a set up like that would result in either poor stills, poor video or both.

The advantage is that we can offer dual packages and we are using the photog of our choice too. There is no extra costs either as we travel together and work together which is a saving for the bride compared to hiring a photog from one side of town and the videographer from the other. It works for us and works for the bride with no compromise in quality.

Chris
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Old January 26th, 2015, 07:58 AM   #17
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

Chris, I'm not knocking either you or Roger. You're both experienced Videographers and are offering an additional service. Makes great sense. However this thread opened with the idea that others are catching on and whilst competition is healthy, I'm not sure a future of combined packages is going to be as good for the Industry as perhaps you and Roger feel it would be.
How long before weekend warriors are charging 600-700 for a combined Photography / Video package, or worse, even less. It's hard enough convincing Brides as it is that a Wedding Video has value; most only really see it's worth after they've watched their own. When Photographers start trying to convince couples that a 300 Video upgrade is worth as much as a Videographer charging for example 1000, you can hardly expect me to embrace this development with a whoop and a cheer.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 09:13 AM   #18
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

Steve- I think you are worrying unnecessarily as the market will find it's own level fairly quickly. there is absolutely nothing to stop anyone going into a shop, buying a cheap handycam and offering a really cheap video service, which will undercut your own by miles. It won't be any good, but do you worry about it? No not really because you have to credit potential clients with a certain amount of intelligence over what they expect and also have confidence in your own product. I don't see Rolls Royce worrying about Kia taking their market, it's just another product that will sell if people want it and will die if they don't

A 300 video add on to a photographic package may not be very good as the cost wouldn't cover the editing time that would be required to bring it to a reasonable standard. One that I saw yesterday at that sort of price, was very poor and a number of potential clients who visited my stand said exactly that. The making of the video in my opinion is very much related to the time put into the editing and synching cameras and sound. The camera work still has to be competent of course, but I feel that with photography, the framing and the pose or the moment is the deciding factor, with the processing far less time consuming than a video. I would consider a 300 add on to a video package to do stills delivered on a USB drive, a much better solution than the other way round. Having said that, if I was offering a photo only package, then the buying of my time for the day, travelling and any other costs would bring that sort of price up to the average typical photography price. The advantage with the joint package is that the time on the day is only paid once and that the extra cost is really just the processing time.

Chris- sorry to disagree with you for once and correct you, but I frequently work solo for photos and video and absolutely love it:-) If we only have one video on, then we both attend as it lightens the work load, but Claire also does solo video and photo. One of her clients from last year for the joint package, turned up at the show yesterday with a friend just to thank her for fantastic stills and video and even told a visiting couple how delighted she was. They reserved their date :-)

Roger
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Old January 26th, 2015, 09:43 AM   #19
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

Roger, I would be more concerned with 1 established Photographer offering Video than half a dozen weekend warriors starting up in my area. The weekend warrior who has bought a handycam has no established business, no capital unless he/she has savings, no website that ranks highly, no previous clients to speak of and no experience or understanding of Wedding work. A well established Photographer is likely to be blessed with all of these; they know the game, having played it for several years.

With Videographers that do try their hand at Weddings, many will give up quickly because they find the work too demanding, not creative enough or just lack basic business sense. Those that do survive are my competition, but at least they'll be playing by the same rules, at prices I can compete with.
A Photographer though, already having enough income from his Photography business, assuming of course it is successful can charge at a considerably reduced rate and are in a position to meet couples well before I get a look in. Whilst I like to think Brides will still check out Videographers before committing, I'm not sure a considerable number will think, 'why not, it keeps things simple and cheaper' and sign the dotted line. I've been guilty of not researching enough when hiring in professionals, so I can't expect others to be any different.

Basically anyone new starting up doing both, I'm not concerned about. However if enough well established Photographers began to offer Video, then yes it is of concern to me. That is not lack of confidence in my product. I'm sure Tescos were equally confident in their product until Lidl and Aldi became established.
I can't say I'm seriously concerned at the moment, but certainly am watchful of this new trend as any Business should be if it wants to remain viable in the years ahead.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 10:23 AM   #20
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

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However if enough well established Photographers began to offer Video, then yes it is of concern to me. That is not lack of confidence in my product.
To be honest, I think it is, if you are good at what you do you don't need to worry about photographers starting to offer videography, unless they make it a full time thing with a dedicated talented videographer that just like us spend years to learn how to capture great images AND clear sound and how to edit that all together to a compelling piece. Every photog I see offering video around these parts does just a half decent job when it concerns video and they attract clients that will never choose for me anyway. They do great photography but video is just an afterthought.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 10:51 AM   #21
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

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To be honest, I think it is, if you are good at what you do you don't need to worry about photographers starting to offer videography, unless they make it a full time thing with a dedicated videographer that just like us spend years to learn how to capture great images AND clear sound and how to edit that all together to a compelling piece. Every photog I see offering video around these parts does just a half decent job when it concerns video and they attract clients that will never choose for me anyway. They do great photography but video is just an afterthought.
I take it you've seen Peter Riding's work here on this forum. Established Photographer offering Video. I know some Video guys have issues with his work and yes I would rate my own work higher if being honest; however it's far from bad work and frankly I've seen worse by Videographers offering video alone. For many Bride's, a video such as Peter provides, would be more than acceptable. As many do so often remind, our clients aren't looking for a blockbuster.
On an equal front, if Roger and Chris can do photos to a quality they feel is acceptable to them and their clients, it's no great stretch that Photographers can do the same re Video. That Roger and Chris are offering both Photos and Video mean they are in effect taking away business from a Photographer that would have otherwise snapped up the work. Why can't it swing the other way? Do you think Bride's really know good work when they see it? Depth of field is a cinematic technique designed to give the illusion of depth to a 2d image, but to a Bride it's an out of focus shot. With that kind of example that Roger quoted, it seems most Videographers are wasting their talents.

As I said, I'm not yet seriously concerned. A lot more would have to happen for that. However keeping an eye on a growing trend and considering the potential impact on my own business is not a waste of time for me nor an indication that I'm not confident with my own work. I just don't feel the need to dismiss it so lightly.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 11:50 AM   #22
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

I have seen Peter's work, he is the only one I know that manages to juggle video and photo effectively getting good images from multiple fixed camera's and good sound all by himself, but from all of his work I have seen, it's completely different from what I deliver and we do have different clients with different expectations. Even if there would live 10 photogs like him in my own street I still would not be worried :)

There is a big difference between one photog, like Peter, doing video and photo simultaneously or a man/wife team where one concentrates on photography and the other on videography, in this last case each can concentrate fully on one job only being able to provide a more versatile product.

If I look at Peter's videowork, I mainly see fixed camera's, almost cctv wide angle like recording of ceremonies and speeches, but done right considering he does 2 things at the same time which is something I would not be able to replicate. I only don't see any creative artsy fartsy camerawork, no story building or special editing, just basic, no-nonsense recording of longer events. There is nothing wrong with that and there certainly are enough brides that are more then happy with such a memory, but those are the kind of brides that never will end up with me anyway which is why I never would worry about that.

The photogs I was referring to operate just the other way round, they concentrate almost exclusively on the artsy fartsy videocamera work which is why it looks a moving photoshoot, nice to look at but completely hollow inside.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 12:13 PM   #23
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

Noa, my clients are quite diverse in their requirements; probably more so than most other Videographers here. I would say that 15% of my clients would not mind if I filmed single camera during the day. In fact 40% of my clients would be more than happy with what Peter provided, assuming of course there was items filmed inbetween the Ceremony and Speeches. There's a hardcore of 30% that are more demanding, meetings, list of shots, high expectations, but this diverse range does mean I did get one former client informing me he suggested me to his sister but the Photographer she hired did Video. So I can't ignore this potential competition, but neither am I sitting here fretting over it. For me it's worth monitoring.
I'm doing a Wedding Fayre next month, so I'll be keeping an eye on the Photographers too. As you say, Peter's work may not reflect on what others are doing, so that'll be nice to see; as for now, Peter's work is really my only reference.

5 years into my Business and only a year into it fulltime, I'm more on the threshold in deciding how I want to take my Business further - do I proceed down more Cinematic, stay the same or look to create a team that offers both Video and Photo. So this issue is perhaps of greater interest to me than someone more established in what they're offering.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 12:29 PM   #24
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

As long as you deliver a product that is not that different from what the photogs deliver you are referring to, then you are right it is something to be slightly worried about, that's why you need to set yourself apart with something they don't offer and stop delivering what they do offer. That's the reason I don't need to worry about any photog that decides to include video as none I have seen so far does what I do and what I deliver attracts a totally different clientele then those choosing for photo/video combination.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 12:52 PM   #25
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

Well it's not just my product, more the differences in my clients needs. I offer as standard, a full length video, 30 minute video, Trailer and Highlights, far more than any Photographer would I'd wager. However as I offer 4 packages of different levels of service, this creates a broad range in what my clients may come to me for. So I have a client whose Wedding I'm filming in March who is Director of a Production Company that does work for TV and where I'm expected to deliver a certain standard of shots for and then a month later I'm filming a Wedding for a couple who frankly just want a nice little video of their day and couldn't care less how I film it.
Clients of lower expectations will still come to me, but can easily drift to a Photographer who is offering something they may find acceptable; if a basic record of their day is all they're after. Now if I was offering more Shortform with uncut Ceremony and Speeches, my situation would be quite different and my competition would reflect that.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 01:12 PM   #26
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

The fact that you also attract the client that has lower expectations means that you offer a product that meets their expectations. That's what I"m trying to say all along, it's all about the product, market and price it right and the "right' clients will follow.

My father always worked for people that just wanted a simple video, the venues he worked in where what we call in dutch a "parochiezaal" (google it and you know what I mean) and those where only used by people that have small budgets (my first wedding 30 years ago was in such a place!) The main reason they choose my dad because he was cheap and what he shot was decent, also straight forward no-nonse video. That's great if you are ok with that, plenty of work in those circles but you won't be making enough money to make a living out of it.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 01:39 PM   #27
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

I think within all the issues that are being banded here is that for me, not all my clients come to me with what I'm offering in mind. They just want someone to film their Wedding, that's all. When my clients receive their video, a typical response is, it was better than what they were expecting. This is good, but it does suggest that yes, my marketing of my product probably needs work on.

However even with that, some couples just don't rate video high enough in their planning of a Wedding. I'm the last call if they have money left over. I get good business from it, but if they could get it cheaper from someone else... Your video service clearly does not suffer from that. However whilst delivering a documentary edit is a good business strategy for Weddings as many want that style of video, it's also the hardest to individualise to me in the minds of clients who can't tell SD from HD and depth of field from out of focus. Some do pick up on my unique style and comment on it, many just like it cos it flows in the right order and has a bit of music in it. However their money is as good as anyone elses and one I'd like to keep. Photographers get enough already. :)
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Old January 26th, 2015, 02:24 PM   #28
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

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Originally Posted by Steve Burkett View Post
Do you think Bride's really know good work when they see it? Depth of field is a cinematic technique designed to give the illusion of depth to a 2d image, but to a Bride it's an out of focus shot. With that kind of example that Roger quoted, it seems most Videographers are wasting their talents.
This is a very interesting point Steve and one that is not easy to answer. A lot of new young videographers and many that have been around a while enjoy using the cinematic skills that they have learned and perfected in their wedding videos. Techniques such as shallow DOF, slider shots, reveals, time shifting, particular looks are all widely used in big budget movies, to emphasise a moment add emotion or drama etc.

They are techniques and skills that we are all used to seeing in short form and trailer or cinematic wedding productions. There is no doubt that they require mastery of those skills and are things that we take for granted in blockbuster movies, but the question you asked is 'Are (wedding) videographers wasting their talents?' I have to say honestly that I believe in many cases yes they are! The cinematic short form is a totally different artistic glossy product, that appeals to a particular type of client who wants the gloss and instant appeal that that type of video gives. There is nothing wrong at all with that, but my own experience from the regular wedding shows and enquiries that we get, is that that style of video is a minority section of the wedding video market.

As the short form producers become more common, I find that more and more enquiries are about video length and style. Many of those that I visit are finding it more difficult to find documentary style producers. I don't think that potential clients are unaware of what cinematic style means, they just want to see the full scene rather than selected parts. I had a direct comment yesterday that the bride wanted to see the reaction behind her during the vows and not a fuzzy vague impression of her friends and family. It is a side of the wedding video industry that is perhaps often trying to squeeze a carefully honed square plug into a round hole.

The area of the market that I supply and it also enables me to not have to concentrate on DOF and focus or set up sliders etc when I could be taking some great still shots. I work very quickly with minimal setup time and am able to swap very quickly and effectively between stills and video without spoiling the creative side of the video or the stills. If you are using and selling great cinematic skills, then you are unlikely to be able to accommodate stills work with that effectively.

Roger
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Old January 26th, 2015, 05:21 PM   #29
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

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Do you think Bride's really know good work when they see it? Depth of field is a cinematic technique designed to give the illusion of depth to a 2d image, but to a Bride it's an out of focus shot.
we've talked about this before, but often the best shots, the best cinematography, has an effect on the viewer that they're not even conscious of.

A tight shot of the bride's face over the groom's shoulder with some shallow depth of field will create intimacy that a wide aisle shot can't. Used correctly, technique can make a much better wedding video.
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Old January 26th, 2015, 06:21 PM   #30
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

Roger, what I want to know is, where do you meet these people who have such strong views on depth of field. Now I get it's not your thing nor is it some other Videographers here, but time and again those who object to depth of field in Wedding Videos seem to find like minded clients. I've yet to meet a single person whose expressed such an opinion. I attend Wedding Fayres, meet with clients and yet despite also having shallow depth of field in close ups and deep depth of field in wide shots, not a single comment has been made asking for more wide shots over the close ups. I can't even blame Brides being kind, because some are really not.

I agree that depth of field is over used though, but equally I find it over critiqued too. Do the majority of the Brides care about it, no of course not. Nor do they care about the vast majority of good camera techniques such as careful zooming into the rings, camera pans and reveal shots or even close ups but we all use some form of camera technique. Most of which should be invisible anyway if done well, yet within each of our styles of work there are these little touches we enjoy doing and which probably go over the heads of many of our clients.
However my business is as much about fulfilling my creative style as giving my clients something they'll enjoy. It's worth it for my clients in the end as it's amazing how much extra effort I'll put in when I'm happy with how I'm filming.

Oddly though, despite a strong liking for cinematic techniques, I do favour documentary in my delivery. Even my highlights are very linear; I've tried mixing it all up, but never took to it. So I'm sort of a cross between 2 styles, which is frankly me all over.
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