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Old March 2nd, 2019, 06:43 AM   #31
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Re: Wedding Guys, What's Happening?

Hi guys,
Yeah I haven't made this decision lightly, really it's been some time coming to the realisation that in my area, I've noticed demand is diminishing.

There's around four video companies operating where I am, I really don't know how they're fairing, they'd hardly tell me if business is not as good as it could be. But i think it's a case of diminishing returns, I live in a reasonably small population area compared to the bigger cities etc.

As for prices, one of my competitors offers 750 for his 'Bronze' Package going up to 1500 for the 'Superior' one, i just had the one price for all day, i don't know if I should have started low and have a whole bunch of add-ons? perhaps my marketing wasn't up to the mark, I really don't know! I never went on Facebook, I think it can be toxic, one poor review could ruin a business.

I searched for streaming video in my area and apart from two funeral directors! as far as I can tell nobody is doing it, I've never heard of anyone asking for it either, so I'm thinking there isn't a market for it at this point in time.

I started out 24 years ago at first doing stills - freelance for news to fashion to commercial work then took on video, mostly weddings but also editing jobs, some web content and the odd commercial job, however it's time, for me at least, to move on, I'll keep a camera or two, but will sell off all my studio equipment and extra cams and accessories.

:-)

Rob
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Old March 2nd, 2019, 07:26 AM   #32
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Re: Wedding Guys, What's Happening?

That's what I have done Rob .. Just kept enough to shoot a promo video or do a wedding ceremony !

No market for wedding video streamed live?? If there is nobody doing it then you cannot say there is no demand .. I thought so too and was surprised !! The instant video also attracts brides as they can send the link to all the other brides via phone.

You lack of business is probably because you are NOT on Facebook ...brides virtually LIVE there because they can talk to other brides and it's so simple to make a business page that doesn't have reviews!!

I'm cutting back hugely too so I have just one video camera, a tripod, a dolly and two wireless mic sets and that's it!!! I can do ceremonies live or otherwise funerals and even a bit of commercial stuff with it.

Good luck but please keep in touch and let us know what you are up to??
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Old March 3rd, 2019, 04:07 AM   #33
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Re: Wedding Guys, What's Happening?

Rob, demand is diminishing for you partly and maybe largely because you've not kept up to date to compete with webdesign trends and current requirements. Your site is not even "mobile-friendly" (the most common browser device type by far), and its not secure (needs to be https NOT http otherwise visitors will receive warnings). There is very little content and what there is or was (I think I nosed around it a year or more ago) is of now questionable technical quality compared to competitors.

You could buy a template site for peanuts which will already be mobile friendly and secure (if your host offers https which most now do for free). Low monthly charges. Search engine optimisation can be included with many hosts. Make sure its a Wordpress type and consider using Yoast for SEO. You should re-edit what 1080 files you already have and upload a bunch of attractive samples.

If you already have other means of finding decent new business without a decent website then fine. But that tends to be from recommendations from venues plus expensive wedding fairs and hard copy advertising. Otherwise you absolutely must sort out your website.

Roger has similarities up to a point - website way out of date with current "tastes" plus not mobile-friendly and not secure. But he offers unique advantages to new enquiry customers that in all probability would not work elsewhere n.b. he is in a relatively remote part of the country with slow roads. He is unlikely to receive lots of bookings based soley on his current site and he is unlikely to have lots of prospective clients drive to his location (all relative of course). In other areas such as the Thames Valley a completely different set of factors come into play e.g. many clients don't want a visit as they fear its a hard sell and would rather they make their own minds up online from the very large number of nearby competitors.

There's still a lot of negative comment here regarding "low-ball" competitors and that may be valid for standalone video. But in photography the full-time survivors now accept that there are very many cheap part-timers who can easily compete on price and certainly look the part using a sexy template site, a misleading or outright dishonest "about" page, and a bunch of portfolio shots. You are not going to compete with them if you charge a lot more and your own portfolio looks no different as far as the brides are concerned. You can see that both Roger and Steve here, both of whom are pretty active in business, are offering low rates.

Roger, Chris, could you clarify what you are suggesting as regards new business for Facebook? I think I get that you both have Business Pages on Facebook but I'm unclear as to whether you are largely using Facebook display ads or are you relying on Facebook members chatting with each other etc.

Pete
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Old March 3rd, 2019, 05:31 AM   #34
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Re: Wedding Guys, What's Happening?

Hi Pete

I have a Facebook business page but put manual posts in all the local wedding groups on a bi-weekly basis. Yes my website is mobile friendly and I do agree that most brides will need one as their entire life revolves around their phone. Dunno about the UK but here 99% of brides expect their suppliers to be on Facebook in some way or other ... I dislike it but you have to drop your bait where the fish are biting. I would much rather depend on my website but it doesn't work that way!!
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Old March 4th, 2019, 03:46 AM   #35
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Re: Wedding Guys, What's Happening?

Hi Pete,

Our website hasn't been changed for a long time, but as our hosting is changing in August, we will be completely revamping it. Our work from Facebook comes from keeping a blog of our client's weddings and updates that seem to keep brides interested. We also have a lot of really good reviews which I think is key to getting new brides interested. As Chris said, brides live on Facebook and recommendations are absolutely priceless.

Wedding shows have always been a big success for us and we exhibit at 10 shows per year. I don't consider 2000 for 10 shows over 12 months as expensive, as last year we took about 40,000 of bookings from wedding shows, and I consider that about 10% of turnover needs to be put into promotion.

Roger

Last edited by Roger Gunkel; March 4th, 2019 at 03:49 AM. Reason: accidentally posted before finishing
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Old March 4th, 2019, 04:48 AM   #36
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Re: Wedding Guys, What's Happening?

An interesting fact is that if I do a pretty much standard post with an image to attract brides it is dealt with as just another videographer peddling his wares BUT if I do a blog like Roger does on the lines of "We did a awesome wedding yesterday" ...and give details AND add half a dozen stills taken at the wedding brides love it and I get a massive interactive and enquiries too. This is the reason why I always take a still camera with me even if I'm only doing video and take at least a couple of bridal entry shots, some during the ceremony and they seem to love signing the documents shots ..I also make sure I add a photo of the couple with the celebrant and send it to her (or him) as they often get better traffic than me!!
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Old March 7th, 2019, 05:23 PM   #37
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Re: Wedding Guys, What's Happening?

Sadly it looks like the few of those people who actually replied to Roger's post here have had their say and I really wonder if the same amount of videographers are still out there and working or have they quit doing weddings for some reason. I posted here (just after Roger) 4 days ago and in previous years the post would have had a huge number of responses ..I wonder if it's the industry or the fact that people are using social media more and more ?? Has anyone used DVInfo on their mobile device and is it mobile friendly?? Maybe everyone is still out there and as busy as normal BUT do everything via phone now???
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Old March 7th, 2019, 10:49 PM   #38
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Re: Wedding Guys, What's Happening?

Hi Chris,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
I posted here (just after Roger) 4 days ago and in previous years the post would have had a huge number of responses ..I wonder if it's the industry or the fact that people are using social media more and more ??
I don't know if it is just me, but I don't seem to have any free time anymore. It isn't like it used to be and I'm wonder if others are in a similar mode.

There was a time, before computers, where one would subscribe to a few magazines and have time to read them. Or, perhaps work on a hobby. Back when I always had older used cars and had to do repairs: break jobs, overhaul the carb, tuneups, radiator or water pump replacements, heck, even engine and transmission changes, mufflers, etc. Always had house repairs, frequent visits to the parents, and the list goes one. Even time to watch TV programs. All this and still had some discretionary free time.
Lately, though, times for me at least, have changed.

Spent the past several weeks on the computer writing specs for major remodeling job on a commercial building (actually been working on this for the past year), just got the first bid in and just finished a week of construction estimating ... all this and really should b doing other things.

Got two new cams last year and have hardly used them, part of the reason was all the smoke from forest fires last summer and the top priority was to get some great sailing videos ... got a couple short ones to test out the gear then the smoke was so bad I had to stay indoors with super-fine air filters on the HVAC. There's practically no free time anymore!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Has anyone used DVInfo on their mobile device and is it mobile friendly??
Just the laptop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Maybe everyone is still out there and as busy as normal BUT do everything via phone now???
"Being busy is the new normal" (see first paragraph). Only had one short weekend cruise last year but this year I've promised myself it will be different. Or else! (or else what, I don't know).

Ed:
Disclaimer: I don't do weddings but, if you can't tell, I'm very frustrated with the lack of discretionary free time. Sympathy is welcome.

Last edited by John Nantz; March 8th, 2019 at 06:32 PM. Reason: Add a disclaimer
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Old March 7th, 2019, 11:40 PM   #39
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Re: Wedding Guys, What's Happening?

It's not just this weddings forum but sadly I think that the traffic on DVInfo is a fraction of what it was 10 years ago. Unfortunately I think it's happening to all traditional online forums which are going the way of Usenet newsgroups & VAXnotes. I don't do Faceache or Twitter as I find them such a horrible anarchic mess. I much prefer the structure of traditional forums but I'm obviously in a minority.
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Old March 8th, 2019, 05:38 PM   #40
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Re: Wedding Guys, What's Happening?

Thanks Guys

I prefer a forum like this as well! At least you can find a post easily. On social media you see something of interest and turn around to say to your partner "take a look at this" and it's gone, buried in a million more posts. However judging by people walking in the street or in shopping centres they all have mobile devices super-glued to their hand so they wouldn't have time to go to an awesome place like this when you are continuously and furiously typing into their phone about what they are doing, where they are going and other useless trivia like that.

I have got to a semi-retired state now in life so I actually have a tiny bit of extra time to myself as I have trimmed my weddings down to live broadcasts and mainly only ceremonies so my entire week is not filled up with hours and hours of editing and it's great!!
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Old March 13th, 2019, 07:52 AM   #41
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Re: Wedding Guys, What's Happening?

One thing I'll admit to, I think I made a mistake in using Vimeo as opposed to Youtube. This just hit recently, but they're a social aspect & SEO/algorithm reasons YT seems it had a better payoff in the long run, albeit moreso in the last 2 years I'd say.

Ironic, because early on brides seems more concerned to NOT have their videos put on youtube, opening it up for the world to see and 15 year olds to comment on & mock their wedding day. Now however, couples seem used to or expecting it to be on YT. I & alot of us used Vimeo for its professionalism and streamlined video hosting purpose, while doing without any social aspect. Kinda saw the trees but not the forest.

Also, just to have better mastered it as a whole. It's dashboard & interface takes some tinkering around with to figure out all the intracacies to it, including things that could be more practical to business/corporate promotions and marketing tools & videos.

I think Facebooks on its way out. Even already you're better off mastering Instagram than getting onto FB to attract the younger demo. In America at least, its basically going to become (if not already, there's jokes & memes about it) "Where old people go to argue about politics".
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Old March 14th, 2019, 06:22 PM   #42
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Re: Wedding Guys, What's Happening?

Hi David

Dunno about the claims that Facebook is on it's way out but at the moment it seems to be where the brides hang out .. over here we have a myriad of wedding groups that both suppliers and brides can join and of course you can even create a new one if you want to. Brides tend to post in these groups "I'm looking for a photographer/videographer" and it's honestly scary when she gets something like 60 odd desperate vendors saying "pick me. pick me" We certainly have a glut of vendors that have sprung up in the last 12 months all fighting for business and cutting each other's throats. If you want demo video exposure brides still expect it on Facebook here.

Honestly a year or so ago there might have been no more than 10 local videographers sharing the spoils and charging fair prices but that has just multiplied over and over including most photographers also claiming a piece of the action as video/photo experts!!
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Old March 20th, 2019, 09:43 AM   #43
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Re: Wedding Guys, What's Happening?

I can only speak on my own markets, but I find the business is thriving, and I have the opposite problem. Being pulled into it as the safest road to lucrative video production, but not really having the passion for it and wanting to do other stuff.

I've always loved the appreciation from couples, and it's a great feeling to have created something meaningful for someone.

I just find it so stressful. I've done about 100 now and it never really goes away. Not because of the couples themselves, but the circumstances. Racing around, finding parking. Setting up 2-3 cameras and audio sources by myself, shooting around guests. All the usual wedding production stuff you're all familiar with.

Doing corporate videos, other live events, hell even TV and film camera OP work is so much easier. Every other form of video production feels like a day off compared to a wedding.

I was in Vancouver, and I'm now in the DC area. Both areas are saturated with companies, but both also have a never ending stream of wealthy clients willing to pay good money. Even half assed wedding wire profiles and word of mouth is enough to get a decent amount of bookings. Might not apply for some small town in Idaho, though.

I think forums are on their way out, sadly. Not just here. DVXUSER, creative cow, all of them have way less traffic than they did 10 years ago. Most of it now is either on reddit or facebook groups. Reddit isn't bad, but facebook groups are a messy way to have conversation. Plus they both seem to skew younger, and I appreciate the perspective from older folks in the industry.

I especially liked this forum, because there was a much stronger human experience element being discussed. There's gear talk of course, but I like threads like these that discuss other people's experience in the field and how things are going for them, their thoughts on the creative direction of the industry etc. Sometimes I feel like reddit and facebook groups are %100 focused on obsessing over the latest gear, and it gets tiresome.
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Old March 20th, 2019, 01:12 PM   #44
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Re: Wedding Guys, What's Happening?

Weddings can be quite stressful and this year Claire and I made a decision to do away with the solo wedding bookings and concentrate just on those that we both do together. Last year we took on too many and the result was that we were working 7 days a week for most of the time and still falling behind with the editing. This year we will be having some of our life back and getting some 'us' time.

We did exhibit at another small wedding show last Sunday and had some serious interest that we hope will transform into some new bookings. We had a mix of new couples, some previous clients coming round with friends and some that had already booked us and just came by to say hello. We like to create a good rapport with couples and always get a buzz out of seeing them months or years after their wedding. It's also very interesting to get their views on how they feel some time down the road on their photos and video. It gives the opportunity to see how we can improve or add to what we do. The other thing I like about wedding shows is that we get a feel for how couples feel about other suppliers and their approaches to clients.

Roger
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Old March 20th, 2019, 07:07 PM   #45
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Re: Wedding Guys, What's Happening?

I can relate to the stress side guys! However what we do now is far less stressful and because there is no editing I have heaps of me time. We also have very few city based Church weddings nowdays and the ability to be able to drive into a venue with ample free parking makes life a LOT easier ...This Saturday I'm doing a ceremony at 2:00pm at a local park and I can actually choose where I want to park to minimise carrying gear to the wedding area. The second is on the beach with again with tons of parking. OK we don't make nearly as much money as we used to but we have normally the entire week free as "editing" is now comprised of copying the recorded footage onto a USB as a backup!
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