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Old September 5th, 2016, 03:19 PM   #31
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

I am still going strong this year with over 50 weddings done ( edited and delivered) and another 15 or so left before Santa shows up. Reading over these threads and many other similar ones and seeing many new videographers/cinematographers getting into this business lately, I see the many different ways of going about it in terms of what the final product delivered kind of looks like. My approach, and I am sure is not like many others, was to offer an affordable one-camera shoot that would be edited and ready for pick up within 7-10 days after the event. I understand there are many that do a 2-3 or 4 camera job with fantastic editing and cinema look ( with a price to match). I understand that there were/are many that scoffed at my utter simplicity of my technique ( mostly in cam editing like being very selective), delivery, editing etc. But I believe that on the long run ( in my case) I have managed year after year to : have no backlog of editing, minimal new equipment costs as well as repair maintenance, no new editing software purchases, no assistant or extra salaries to pay, no re-editing ( it's in the contract directly on top of where they sign). As a comparison to a few of my competitors ( I have none actually as they do the big ticket jobs), They charge 3-4 X my rates, have backlogs of editing left ( goes even back to last year or two) have fewer events per year that I do, pay salaries ( those 2nd and 3rd shooters aren't cheap), have clients always calling and not to mention all that huge inventory of sliders, cranes, lenses, dollys, robocop steady cams, equipment rentals etc. The bottom line is the year's end PROFIT. Guess who makes more profit year after year ? Granted there are many that do extremely well and I envy their work and dedication in those cinematic results but the few that I know are either struggling or are contemplating lowering their prices and going back to basics, like me. I am not saying my way is best but was good for me allowing plenty of leisure time not being chained to the editing desk.
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Old September 5th, 2016, 03:37 PM   #32
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

It might depend how you look at it, someone charging 4 times your rate would only have to do 16 weddings a year vs your 65 to make the same kind of money and if they spend twice as long per wedding to edit compared to you they still will be ready 2 times faster then you. :)

I personally find weddingvideography not a good choice if you have to make a living out of it, that very likely would be very different between countries but if I had to choose between weddingvideo or photo tomorrow and if that would be my main source of income I'd choose photography without much thought, the good ones where I live can charge more then a videographer and they can finish the image processing in 2 days, a lot of times couples don't choose a weddingalbum anymore and they just take the digital photos. Wedding photographers also get a lot more requests for photography compared to videographers + they have it much easier the day of the wedding carrying only 2 camera bodies and a few lenses.
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Old September 5th, 2016, 04:25 PM   #33
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

There's more "demand" for photography, but there's also more photographers & competition. Oddly I've found alot are also friends/acquantances. Alot of people 'know someone' who does wedding photography. Or at least just photography, and their willing to attempt a wedding for some cash.

As for not wanting 'albums' and just the digital files, a photographer told me she won't offer that, because they end up going to Walmart or Target for 'Instant prints'' and says their printers are terribly calibrated, and the pictures and color just look terrible. Sortof like giving away raw footage (300 clips) of video. She'd rather print them using her home printer.
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Old September 5th, 2016, 05:14 PM   #34
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

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As for not wanting 'albums' and just the digital files, a photographer told me she won't offer that, because they end up going to Walmart or Target for 'Instant prints'' and says their printers are terribly calibrated, and the pictures and color just look terrible. Sortof like giving away raw footage (300 clips) of video. She'd rather print them using her home printer.
Here it's just the other way round, they don't offer the wedding album as standard but as expensive add on, all photogs I have worked with the past 2 years are already expensive and from what they told me almost no couple takes the album, only the digital photos on a usb stick and they also get a online password protected viewing gallery. Most photogs tell me they like to deliver digital files only as they can finish a job in 2 days and move on to the next, some also do corporate, advertising or other kind of shoots during the weekdays. Based on the cars they drive when they show up at a wedding I can say they make good money :)
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Old September 5th, 2016, 07:24 PM   #35
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

Hi Arthur

I think I would also prefer the variety of doing multiple weddings like yours rather than a highly complex multi-camera work of art as they are harder to sell and a lot more post production work too. However 65 weddings is a bit much as far as I'm concerned as our typical season is September to May down here and it means you are doing 2 weddings each and every weekend ..that's a huge amount of effort as you technically only have 5 days after each weekend to edit maybe 2 weddings from the weekend just past so you don't get a backlog. Our main basic weddings we now do as a live broadcast and edit/mix the footage with a second wide angle cam and titles etc etc on site as it happens. That way our week is essentially free and we at least have a break. I see Noa was doing some calculations based on 16 higher end weddings versus your annual 65 single cam ones ..what base price do you charge for one of your weddings??
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Old September 6th, 2016, 01:49 AM   #36
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

From a business point of view, from a better balance of work and leisure time and from general ease of minimum equipment to transport on the day, Arthur's approach has merit.

That said, whilst there are customers who are just looking for a plain Wedding video at a cheap price, there are other customers who expect a lot more. Time and again I have had brides noting how the modern Wedding video is a far cry from the cheesy and poor quality Wedding video their parents had. Single camera is just old fashion these days and all my clients appreciate the value of multi camera. So many venues can be very restrictive to film in from old churches to small rooms for civil ceremonies. Multi camera has worked wonders where I've been forced by the vicar into a small corner with minimum view.

Now for a 20 min highlights videos a single camera can work, but when you deliver a 90 min to 2 hour video, multi camera really plays it's part in keeping the video visually interesting. It's part of delivering a quality product. Couples have this video for the rest of their lives, assuming the marriage last that long. Why rush to deliver something so quickly, when with a bit more time, the quality can be so much better.

Perhaps Arthur is in an area where there are an abundance of high priced Wedding Videographers but few working at budget prices. Where I am, I have competition that is more fiercely priced but still offering multi camera, and graded footage. If I was to downgrade to 1 camera, I would fare much worst I'd expect. Plus there is satisfaction knowing I'm delivering the best product I can.

Maybe Arthur takes no pleasure working with gear like sliders, jibs, gimbals and the like, but it's part of why I love doing the job I do. Even if it can put a strain on the arms carrying this gear to and fro. Seeing the footage at the end of the day is reward enough.
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Old September 6th, 2016, 09:00 AM   #37
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

Hi Steve

You have to remember that us "old buggers" grew up with single cameras and VHS tapes that lost a good 20% of the original quality if you copied them ... With the best resolution being "400 line broadcast" you had to learn to shoot so a minimum edited was required so we probably feel more comfortable the way we shoot which doesn't lend itself to stedicams, sliders and jibs. As stunning as today's wedding films are, there still are a lot of brides who want just a record of their day without (what they call all the fancy stuff)

I think there is room for the budget shooters still, along with the creative film makers ..it all comes down to what the bride wants and how much she is prepared to pay for it. Sadly video is still a LONG way down the list of what she wants compared to photography so budgets for those sort of brides are tiny to say the least People like Arthur are filling that gap in the market very nicely!!
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Old September 6th, 2016, 04:50 PM   #38
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

Having never done wedding video by myself, I'm fairly new to the game and don't have a frame of reference to know how far wedding videos have come. I mostly do photography at weddings, but the videographers that I've worked with and the videographer I've worked for all seem to be following this trend of bringing an increasing amount of equipment to the wedding.

My opinion is this - if something is worth doing, then do it well. Even if the results of your extra efforts have diminishing returns. That may mean shooting with two cameras instead of one if you're a solo shooter. Or it may mean spending extra time before and after the ceremony to set up and break down. I don't think that great video necessarily requires jibs, sliders and steadicams. However, some weddings that I've shot don't have much action, so having some shots with camera movements adds value to the final product.

Having said that, I try to minimize the equipment that I bring along. Thus far for wedding video jobs, I've packed two cameras, two lenses, two mics, two LED lights, a tripod, a monopod, an audio recorder and headphones. I would bring even more if I were shooting solo (to ensure that I have backups of everything), but even then it would be manageable. Especially if I hired an assistant for the day. Perhaps I'd sing a different tune if I shot with bigger camcorders instead of the diminutive DSLRs that I use.

The trick, of course, is to know how to sell this higher value product to your clients.
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Old September 7th, 2016, 12:02 PM   #39
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post

I think there is room for the budget shooters still, along with the creative film makers ..it all comes down to what the bride wants and how much she is prepared to pay for it. Sadly video is still a LONG way down the list of what she wants compared to photography so budgets for those sort of brides are tiny to say the least People like Arthur are filling that gap in the market very nicely!!
The problem is Chris is that there is no consistency over low budget and low expectation. Some of my hardest customers have booked my lowest priced packages and my easiest customers have booked my more expensive packages; the reverse is also true but I'd say less so than the former. Those who pay less don't always have the expectations of service to match. They want it all, but just don't want to pay for it. In fact, I've gotten away with reduced number of cameras for top packages that I've never been able to enjoy with my low package option. I've since taken to brand my low price package as basic filming and editing and this has helped to see some upgrades being made to the next package.

The simple truth is, adding an extra camera or two to the Ceremony and Speeches can pay enormous dividends without compromising a simpler edit. It can help when the Vicar confines you to the back and you can arrange for an unmanned camera at front, helps where views are restrictive and also take care of those moments the Photographer or Priest stands right in front of you at a crucial moment. It also removes the need to grab flower arrangements, windows and statues footage just to cover moments when you have to move your camera. It allows for a timeline that is more true to the running order of the event, without including time shifted moments to compensate for a 1 camera shoot.

Multi camera is a skill and some old timers just can't adjust. Then again not just old timers; one of the first Videographers I employed was younger than I, but could not get his head around multi camera setup and found it stressful. It was his loss as I let him go as my clients demanded multi camera and he couldn't deliver.

I would say that Arthur is lucky in that his low prices helps his single camera service to flourish, but he'd enjoy less luck where I live. Competition and prices are more fierce and couples expect a lot more for the minimum amount they expect to pay. When I get undercut by a Videographer charging 400 for full days coverage, editing and a Marryoke as well, my service and what I offer for my price counts for a whole lot more.
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Old September 7th, 2016, 07:00 PM   #40
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

Hey Steve

I certainly can't argue with that point of view ...I too have had over demanding clients who also expected the lowest of low prices and the reverse too, so if they are going to hassle me I would rather they pay me handsomely to do so rather than miserably! We still shoot 3 cam at the ceremony and 2 cam during speeches but apart from those everything else is single cam. I really cannot see where there is very much extra work involved by adding a 2nd camera for ceremony and speeches (apart from post being trickier)

I still take my hat off to Arthur though! 65 shoots in a season would kill me, regardless of how easy they were. My target has always been around half that figure which for me working solo is quite manageable but to keep ahead with 65 weddings one would have to have a very slick operation indeed. WE often forget that we are running a business so the bottom line still has to be "Am I making a decent profit" ..not "I'm scraping by and usually end up giving the client more than they paid for ..but look at my stunning work" I seriously doubt if the "fancy" wedding videographers actually cost a wedding correctly from a business POV .. A little while back I issued a challenge to those here to actually do an honest costing and not one replied. With Arthur's straight forward style he has a way better chance of making a healthy profit than the fancy guy who spends 3 weeks on editing to achieve the perfect wedding film. Sure his product is outstanding BUT did he make any money?? I doubt it!!
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Old September 8th, 2016, 04:06 AM   #41
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

Hi Chris,
Thats a good point about making a profit and it's easy to delude yourself into thinking you are. I had another big wedding show last week and spoke to another couple of videographers there. One of them said that he was part time as he couldn't make enough to give up his full time job and the other said that he was a full time professional. His work was very competent and he obviously enjoyed using lots of gear. He listed a small crane, steadycam, drone and various cameras and lenses, sliders etc, much of it on display, and spent a couple of weeks editing each video. He'd given up his day job about 18 months earlier but did say that his wife was a senior NHS manager and that her income certainly helped pay the bills.

Therein lies the difference as far as I am concerned between calling yourself professional because you have no other work and actually earning enough to really support a home and family as it is the main income.The guy clearly enjoyed what he was doing, but was fortunate in having a wife with an income to support them and probably wasn't aware what if any real profit he actually made.

Roger
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Old September 8th, 2016, 06:44 AM   #42
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

Hi Roger

That only makes sense ... Most self employed people around here cost out at $100 an hour (so around GBP50 an hour in the UK) The way I see the guy you are talking about doing a couple of weeks editing means he has his shoot (with travel lets say 10 hours of his time) Now the editing ... Taking just say 3 hours a day for 10 days (we must assume he either does weddings on the weekend or takes time off) makes another 30 hours of his time. So I wonder if he actually charges at least GBP2000 for a wedding?? and that's no taking his other time for bride consultation, delivery. media, transport costs, insurance ..and the list goes on. For his time spent it's probably closer to 3000 !! If he doesn't charge at least GBP3000 per wedding then he is only fooling himself and doing, as you say, a hobby while his wife pays the bills!
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Old September 8th, 2016, 07:45 AM   #43
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

I should add that I have plenty of gear, sliders, jib, lots of lenses, gimbal and the like and my Business does not rely on a wife to support me. Okay I've no kids either but I have been supporting my Brother through difficult times these past 5 years. So my business has paid for his living as well as my own.

I think for a Video Business to thrive, you have to be as good at business as you are with your video work. Wedding fayres aren't the best place to evaluate the effectiveness of the local competition. I've stopped doing Wedding fayres now; useful I think if starting out or if offering Photography, but not worthwhile for Video. If others are the same, the only people you meet at fayres doing video are those starting out and they're making all the mistakes I made when I started. Showing off your gear to potential clients, spending too long on each edit and not managing the workload. They'll either adapt or go under.
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Old September 9th, 2016, 09:49 AM   #44
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

I'm not really sure why many here seem to be opposed to wedding shows, but I find them the only way to be able to talk to large numbers of brides in one day. The particular wedding show I mentioned has already given us 8 confirmed weddings in just under a week which I consider a very good return. I will continue to get enquiries from it for months, sometimes longer. Apart from the videographers I mentioned, there were two others there, one who I have seen regularly at wedding shows over the last 15 years, another who I hadn't seen befor but had been filming weddings for 20 years and me exhibiting at shows for over 30 years.

I also get a steady flow of new bookers form Facebook and of course recommendations, but for a maximum of 200 for the shows we attend, I think they are good value. Last Sunday had about 400 brides, but you have to work them correctly or you are just another videographer.

Roger
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Old September 9th, 2016, 11:41 AM   #45
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Re: Have we taken Wedding Fims a step too far?

To be honest Roger, working the fayres takes a whole new level of skill. The ability to chat to couples comfortably about their Wedding without really bringing up Business. Its the salesperson technique; the ability to quickly bond with a customer face to face. I alas do not have such a skill. My social skills not being all they are cracked up to be. This makes securing bookings via face to face more difficult. Others I think may have the same affliction. If I was to invest heavily in Wedding Fayres, I'd ask a female friend to do the idle chat and leave me to close the deal.

However more than that. I'm doing rather well with getting bookings just by working Google and that at least requires no day from my busy schedule to attend a fayre, travel time and effort. I think if I was offering Photography, I'd have to reconsider. However given that this year alone, I grabbed 35 Bookings for this years Weddings since February, shows how much dividends there is in being patient and waiting on the last minute enquires via Google. I haven't missed those Wedding fayres.
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