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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old January 24th, 2006, 02:20 PM   #1
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New and getting started with this business

Hi Guys,

It's so nice to see that a lot of you here are doing well in this business. I am Toronto, Canada and brought new XL2 for a documentary I made along with some accessories. Now, I wanted to put those equipment to better use with wedding videos.

Here can get I started? I am thinking about down to a bride store to ask then to give referrals, with a $125 for every project generated thru them.

I have good knowledge on Adobe Premiere and lighting.

Anyways, any advice as to how to get started?

Many thanks,

Charles
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Old January 24th, 2006, 03:13 PM   #2
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Hello Charles welcome to the board. A very popular way of getting started is to do a few weddings for free or at a very low cost. That way you can:
1) Gain experience shooting these types of events
2) Build a possible referral base
3) Get enough footage to edit a demo to market yourself with.

This is but a few of many possible ways to get started. Once again, welcome to DVinfo, and good luck. Keep us posted.
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Old January 25th, 2006, 05:55 AM   #3
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Hi & Welcome!

I agree with Glen, do a few weddings for free or at a low cost. This way you not only get the experience and a demo reel but you can also make contacts with other suppliers. I wouldn't start off with the idea of giving $125 for a referal. Use your money to get your name out there, contact other bridal suppliers, ask to leave leaflets in their shops. Get good quality business cards and brochures (no home made stuff as it looks cheap and not professional, you can get cheap businness cards from vistaprint.com). Get a good website and register your name with as many bridal directories for free.
These things take time to build up. So don't get down if after 6 months you don't have 40 bookings down. In my first 6 months I only did 3 weddings, but by the next summer I had done close to 20.

HTH
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Old January 25th, 2006, 11:53 AM   #4
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our first wedding was for $200 and they've since brought us 4 direct referrals and the sample we made of their wedding got us clients off the street.

best $200 i ever made.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 09:14 PM   #5
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He's right, dont give up. ive done 1 wedding for $100, a sports dvd and a funeral for free. Ive had lots of leads from the free listings and two possible bookings. My problem is still no deposits in hand. Its frustrating sometimes, especialy when you have a nice website and lots of leads. with my first deposits i plan to use it on advertising. bridal show and a magazine newspaper add. I also do photogaphy so i have set myself an agressive goal of having my own studio by next year.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 07:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylvia Broeckx
Hi & Welcome!

I agree with Glen, do a few weddings for free or at a low cost. This way you not only get the experience and a demo reel but you can also make contacts with other suppliers. I wouldn't start off with the idea of giving $125 for a referal. Use your money to get your name out there, contact other bridal suppliers, ask to leave leaflets in their shops. Get good quality business cards and brochures (no home made stuff as it looks cheap and not professional, you can get cheap businness cards from vistaprint.com). Get a good website and register your name with as many bridal directories for free.
These things take time to build up. So don't get down if after 6 months you don't have 40 bookings down. In my first 6 months I only did 3 weddings, but by the next summer I had done close to 20.

HTH
I second vistaprint.com. They offer many great templates, and you can build your own if you want. Right now they're offering your first 250 cards for free, all you pay is $5-$10 shipping
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Old February 14th, 2006, 09:16 AM   #7
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Overnightprints.com is another good one as well..

Yep I second, third and 4th doing a couple low cost or free.. When we started we ended up doing 5 free weddings, well partly because it was hard to charge someone for something we love to do and do fulltime at that (well weddings we didn't do fulltime).. So from those 5 we did in early 2005. We have 43 weddings booked in 2006 based on referrals from the 5 and the website has helped bring around 8 of those in..

- Start networking with your local chamber of commerce (if you have one)
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Old February 14th, 2006, 09:33 AM   #8
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Overnightprints.com is another good one as well..

Yep I second, third and 4th doing a couple low cost or free.. When we started we ended up doing 5 free weddings, well partly because it was hard to charge someone for something we love to do and do fulltime at that (well weddings we didn't do fulltime).. So from those 5 we did in early 2005. We have 43 weddings booked in 2006 based on referrals from the 5 and the website has helped bring around 8 of those in. Some other tips:

- Start networking with your local chamber of commerce (if you have one)
- Network with local photographers sometimes preferably newer ones, since they are new also and not tied into another videographers yet
- Network with wedding planners, florists, local catering companies and/or local wedding halls or destination spots..

- MOST IMPORTANT - Remember these, I refer to them as Pat's Laws:

* Be Honest and DO NOT misrepresent your abilities.
* You will lose customers
* Customers will complain about your prices
* Customers will try to get you to do more for less
* Not all Brides and Grooms will be completely satisfied with your work
* Not all weddings will go as planned
* The photographer will be treated better than the video guy, in most cases.
* Never leave your equipment unattended, hire someone for $50 to watch it
* Weddings will be cancelled
* Some people won't pay you
* Your videotape may and could be damaged
* You may not be able to deliver a wedding due to technical problems

So basically, create a contract first and formost and alot of these problems can be avoided or solved. Even any Free or lowcost, give them a contract.

Remembering these items will avoid you stressing out later when they could or possibly could occur.

Finally. While they may be a customer or client, treating them as family works best for me. Always, Always, Always deliver on what you promise, if your not sure you can do something don't promise it. Remember your reputation is the most important asset you have. HDV, Digital, Same Day Edits don't mean jack ship if you don't have a reputation as someone who delivers on their promises.

Just my .02 cents ($US)
P.S. 2 cents doesn't pay for a spell checker
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Old February 17th, 2006, 10:57 AM   #9
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Pat,

Well said on the 'Pat's Laws'

- Albert
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Old February 18th, 2006, 10:57 AM   #10
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All of this makes for excellent advice as I, too, am seriously considering doing this to help make this hobby pay for itself. I've done a couple of weddings for free and have gained a LOT of experience just from those two. Some of these might be duplicates of what's been said, but it's worth repeating

- hire an assistant (to help watch your stuff, set up, grip, etc)
- you can NEVER have too many (charged!) batteries
- you can NEVER have too many tapes
- make a "to do" list (as much as I hate them, lists are invaluable as you get older and start forgetting little things - like turning on the external mic....grrrr)
- tripods, or at least monopods, for every camera
- unless you have an external device for capturing audio (of the ceremony), never stop your camera(s). it's easy to fill in video b-roll in your editing, but you can't make up dialogue you didn't capture.
- become one with the bride (the groom most likely could care less, but the bride is the hardest to please)
- be prepared for something to go wrong....chances are, it won't, but....
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Old February 19th, 2006, 05:05 PM   #11
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Don't give up your day job. Video production is a tough nut to crack.

Set yourself up with a five year plan and review it every quarter. Allow yourself to grow naturally. The average wedding client in my opinion doesn't understand the power of video. Most potential clients don't understand that video is an intangible product. It can't be touched and caressed like a photo album. It takes a video player and a TV to see it. One has to believe it has lasting value. Professional advertisers, on the other hand, know the power of video, but don't see it as lasting past the end of the marketing season.

Read the previous posts again.
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