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


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Old February 2nd, 2006, 11:25 AM   #1
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The Billing Timeline

I've been giving my time away too much in the past and now I'm trying to fine tune my packages. I think now I want to charge time from the time I first start rolling video at the ceremony straight through until the package time the client chose eats up including travel time. So basically if they choose a 5 hour package, the time would be charged something like this:

show up (no charge)
setup at ceremony (no charge)
start filming at ceremony (time starts now)
tear down equipment (time still charging)
traveling to reception (time still charging)
setup at reception (time still charging)
5 hours later (done with event - clock stops)

Does anyone take this approach?

*EDIT*
Also, one more thing came to mind. What do you guys do in case of Quinceanera for instance? For example, most Quinceanera's have a mass from let's say 12-1p, then their reception starts at 6p? How do you charge for that?

And another example... What if their Quinceanera starts at 12-1p, then they have park photo session that they want you to film for a half hour or so, and then the reception starts at 6p. How would you charge for this and what about TRAVEL TIME?

Thanks,
Eric
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 01:17 PM   #2
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A flat fee is the way to go.
Check out my price structure: http://www.dvtvproductions.com/packages.htm
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 01:46 PM   #3
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hey doug, why don't you post your rates on your website??? i personally get frustrated when a business does that, but thats me....i am curious to why you do that? i understand you want the bride/groom...to call so you can have a better chance of "selling" them/explaing the services better than reading on the webpage......but like i said, to me...it turns me off, and i would most likely not buy anything from a business that does that.

thanks-




Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Villalba
A flat fee is the way to go.
Check out my price structure: http://www.dvtvproductions.com/packages.htm
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 05:28 PM   #4
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I start billing time the moment I start running my camera and stop billing time when I stop my camera. All other costs of transportation, setup, etc are just built into my rate.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 07:02 PM   #5
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Eric:

I use a flat-rate all-inclusive package specifically because I don't want the headache of counting hours and half-hours and quarter-hours and most clients don't want that either.


Joe:

Hah!!! I knew we would agree on something eventually! I post my rates on my website, but my wife, who is a photographer, doesn't. It frustrates the crap out of me when I have to call or fill out a form for pricing (like at B&H half of the time). Not everyone minds as much as me I'm sure, though.
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 09:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Allen Rosenberger
hey doug, why don't you post your rates on your website??? i personally get frustrated when a business does that, but thats me....i am curious to why you do that? i understand you want the bride/groom...to call so you can have a better chance of "selling" them/explaing the services better than reading on the webpage......but like i said, to me...it turns me off, and i would most likely not buy anything from a business that does that.

thanks-
I want the kind of customers that if they like what they see and like me, price is secondary.
I've had clients that have cut expenses on other things to hire me. If they had seen my prices without meeting me and being able to see and hear what I do they would have gone with a $700.00 videographer instead. After they see the value they are willing to pay more.
If your prices are below your market's average, that is your selling point. Go ahead and publish it. I just post my package structure so the customer has an idea of what their needs are as related to my services.
I don't even give prices over the phone. My answer on the phone is not "I don't give prices over the phone" I just tell them that is hard to know their needs without them coming in seeing and hearing my work and meeting me in person. Believe it or not your biggest selling tool is your personality. If people like you they associate that with good work. We all know that is not true but that is how it goes.
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 11:51 AM   #7
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I can't believe you get clients that way Doug.....it's like youre holding them hostage. Our prices are actually more expensive than most...and that is for los angeles and orange county......I just disagree with your type of sales tactic 100%, it irritates me. We sell clients mainly on our personalities too, but we never try to "persude" them into meetings, etc. We are upfront and honest......it works. I still cant believe you do not give prices over the phone.....I mean, the webpage is one thing but even when they call you still don't....come on man.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Villalba
I want the kind of customers that if they like what they see and like me, price is secondary.
I've had clients that have cut expenses on other things to hire me. If they had seen my prices without meeting me and being able to see and hear what I do they would have gone with a $700.00 videographer instead. After they see the value they are willing to pay more.
If your prices are below your market's average, that is your selling point. Go ahead and publish it. I just post my package structure so the customer has an idea of what their needs are as related to my services.
I don't even give prices over the phone. My answer on the phone is not "I don't give prices over the phone" I just tell them that is hard to know their needs without them coming in seeing and hearing my work and meeting me in person. Believe it or not your biggest selling tool is your personality. If people like you they associate that with good work. We all know that is not true but that is how it goes.
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 12:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Allen Rosenberger
I can't believe you get clients that way Doug.....it's like youre holding them hostage. Our prices are actually more expensive than most...and that is for los angeles and orange county......I just disagree with your type of sales tactic 100%, it irritates me. We sell clients mainly on our personalities too, but we never try to "persude" them into meetings, etc. We are upfront and honest......it works. I still cant believe you do not give prices over the phone.....I mean, the webpage is one thing but even when they call you still don't....come on man.
I have to agree with that. I think that people want an idea of your pricing so that they can begin to make decisions. If they like you, they like you. But if they don't like or can't afford your price does it really matter how much they like you? That's just my two cents on it.
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 12:27 PM   #9
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Can we get back on track with my original post in this thread? I don't really want to know about peoples pricing and websites. I just want to know when people start the billing clock and when it stops.

Thank You.
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 01:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Holloway
show up (no charge)
setup at ceremony (no charge)
start filming at ceremony (time starts now)
tear down equipment (time still charging)
traveling to reception (time still charging)
setup at reception (time still charging)
5 hours later (done with event - clock stops)


Eric
To start you can make packages like:

2 hours contineous coverage 1 camera 1 location with 2 DVDs $ xxx.xx
4 hours contineous coverage 2 cameras 2 loctions with 3 DVDs $ xxx.xx

Make sure that include in the contract the time that the clock starts running and what happens if time runs out and they still want you there.

Same thing with Quinceañeras you won't be able to do anything in between so agree to an amount that is profitable to you.
Make sure that you include a retainer fee. I get 1/3 of the agreed balance. Also include when you get the balance. Here in Miami is customary to get the balance 15 days before the event. Most of my wedding clients pay me the balance months in advance without me even asking.

The lower the package price the slowest customer are to pay (off topic but in my experience)

BY THE WAY, MY PRICES ARE FROM $500 to OVER $5000 AS IT SAYS ON MY WEB PAGE RIGHT OVER MY FIRST DEMO (Joe couldn't find them) http://www.dvtvproductions.com/weddings.htm
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Last edited by Douglas Villalba; February 3rd, 2006 at 04:41 PM.
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Old February 4th, 2006, 02:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Holloway
Can we get back on track with my original post in this thread? I don't really want to know about peoples pricing and websites. I just want to know when people start the billing clock and when it stops.
Thank You.
Eric,

Our basic packages include a certain amount of coverage at the reception, the preparations, as well as full coverage of the ceremony. We allowa reasonable amount of time in between sections, 1 hour from preps to ceremony and 2.5 from ceremony to reception and if it goes beyond that, they need to look at a different package. I find this is the easiest way to get a consistent amount of coverage, and as most of our time is spent in editing, that allows for more consistent packages. If you make a five hour package that does not allow for breaks, you could end up coveraing the ceremony and introductions only or the ceremony, introductions, first dance, speeches and so on. As the amount of time involved in each is completely different, there is a valid reason not to have those included under the same package. If you base your packages on a certain amount of events being covered, you can get much closer to have an equal amount of work for each wedding. Overall, I would rather have +/- 2 hours on the day, with an equal amount of shooting time, as opposed to +/- 15 hours of editing based on varying events being covered if you over continuous chunks with no breaks.

For our larger packages, we offer continuous timespans up to 15 hours, in that case those 3 hour breaks in between do come off the total. Again, we get a fairly consistent level amount of coverage, which translates into a fairly consistent amount of editing and something solid for us ot base our prices on.

For those weddings with an early ceremony and late reception in which they only want a smaller package we either have a rather minimal additional charge or tell them that there day doesn't fit into that package. I think the bottom line is that you won't be able to have everything equal across the board, some speeches may be five minutes and some may be 3 hours, that all translates into varying amount of post-production and I think the key is to try and minimize the inconsistencies.
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Old February 5th, 2006, 12:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Villalba
To start you can make packages like:

2 hours contineous coverage 1 camera 1 location with 2 DVDs $ xxx.xx
4 hours contineous coverage 2 cameras 2 loctions with 3 DVDs $ xxx.xx

Make sure that include in the contract the time that the clock starts running and what happens if time runs out and they still want you there.

Same thing with Quinceañeras you won't be able to do anything in between so agree to an amount that is profitable to you.
Make sure that you include a retainer fee. I get 1/3 of the agreed balance. Also include when you get the balance. Here in Miami is customary to get the balance 15 days before the event. Most of my wedding clients pay me the balance months in advance without me even asking.

The lower the package price the slowest customer are to pay (off topic but in my experience)

BY THE WAY, MY PRICES ARE FROM $500 to OVER $5000 AS IT SAYS ON MY WEB PAGE RIGHT OVER MY FIRST DEMO (Joe couldn't find them) http://www.dvtvproductions.com/weddings.htm
i don't get it. why hide them from the package page when they are on the demo page? just curious.
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Old February 5th, 2006, 09:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.J. Briones
i don't get it. why hide them from the package page when they are on the demo page? just curious.
No hidden agenda, it is me making my own web page with front page. It all used to be one page and about a week or two ago I changed some of my demos to add new ones. Everytime that I go into my page I mess something up and I have to start from scratch. When I splited the page that had the DEMOS and the Package structure I just copied the bottom of that page were it had the price structure to a new page.
My web page is for people to see my demos I am not in any paid service for people to find my page. Most of the people that visit my page are the family of the future bride that didn't make it to presentation to see a litle of what I do.
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