Utah wedding prices... confused at DVinfo.net

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Old February 7th, 2006, 06:03 PM   #1
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Utah wedding prices... confused

Hi everyone,

I'm about to start advertising my prices for videography and i'm really confused about Utah prices.

I read in a Utah Weddings booklet that prices range from $1000 - $3000. So when i got online to look for actual videographers' packages, i was surprised to find that ALL of the ones i've found start at around $500! In fact, as soon as you hit $1000, most are already talking about 2 cameras...

My situation:

I have 1 camera, no extra equipment except for the basics (filters and a tripod), i can't yet justify more expenses (like wireless mics, jibs, etc) since i'm not getting payed for those first two and i have no experience as of yet... but i can certainly practice on my own time.

So the question is: should i just start out at $500? I haven't found anything on DVinfo about prices in Utah. In fact, the last thread i read was a 5 page thread about someone getting lowballed by a guy charging $1000... so i'm a little concerned that people here are starting at $500.

Also, i'd appreciate a link to a site that describes clearly what they offer in their packages... I haven't found much consistency in any of the sites i've researched with Google.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated

Thanks

Raji
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Old February 7th, 2006, 08:03 PM   #2
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I'd suggest waiting until you have a wireless microphone or iRiver-type recorder before charging anything, since it's difficult to produce a professional wedding video without clear sound. A backup camera would also be a good idea so you don't get stuck if one breaks at an event. Once you have that handled, a starting price around $500-1000 is probably suitable until you have more experience and can charge more based on your previous work.

There's no right or wrong price for video work, just what you think your time and talent is worth and what people are willing to pay you. Low prices will likely bring you more customers with minimal profit; high prices will require careful marketing and good customer service.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 09:09 PM   #3
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Totally agree with Kevin.

There is a kick point wher you equipment meets the basic standard for professional production values.
But that has nothing to do with street pricing. You need experience.

Once that happens and you show the world that you have a creative eye and great editing skills then the referrals will start to happen.

Then you get really good and you can hand pick your brides. Figuratively speaking.

Those who demand low prices can then be ignored and you can build a very successful business creating high end productions that people will seek you out for at a respectible price. Unfortuneately, at the outset, you will have to build your portfolio at the low end of the scale and work up. Just be sure you are ready to deliver the minimum standard from the outset otherwise you will have to wait for the next one for referral work.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 09:56 PM   #4
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You MUST count wireless mics and a proper tripod as STANDARD equipment and IT/THEY are NOT an OPTION....EVER!!!!!!

Also, I used to live in Utah.....I loved that place by the way:)
THere are plenty of people with money living there.....meaning high income bracket, but your skills, equipment, "portfolio", etc. may not allow you to market yourself to those clients, then you will end up targeting the "budgeted type" bride at first....and thats ok to get started.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 10:09 PM   #5
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Raji,

Welcome to the Utah wedding video market, one of the most confusing and different wedding video arenas on earth!!! Guaranteed. :D The reason you are finding different information online (here at DVinfo.net and elsewhere) is because our wedding video market is vastly different from the standard market discussed online. Why? Two words. Temple weddings. That is why you are seeing prices in the $500's and upwards. For an explanation to those not familiar with Utah weddings, please let me fill in a little background. Many people here in Utah are LDS (or Mormon) and are married in temples. As these temples are off limits to any sort of recording, the wedding ceremony is not taped. This greatly reduces the time and effort involved in a typical Utah wedding video. Our wedding videos here, for a temple wedding that is, are more like a photo-shoot, highlights type of clip, generally ranging from 5-10 minutes in length. Add to that the photo slideshows of the bride and groom growing up, plus a slideshow of them together, and you've got a video bordering on 20-30 minutes, more if you film the reception. So we have much less effort involved and much less to charge for. That is why videos are lower here and some things you read may or may not apply to you.

One bit of advice that was offered here was to get a good wireless mic system. While I agree with my colleagues that this is an absolutely critical piece of equipment for traditional weddings, it is generally not needed in Utah. Why? No audio for the most part. Check out my samples. These are typical of the type of videos I and many of my local colleagues shoot. There is no audio from the ceremony as there is no recording of the ceremony. I don't mean to disrespect the advice given here, as you WILL need a good wireless system if you film a traditional wedding. But you need to realize that this is a different market here in Salt Lake. You can find great advice online here, but most of it is geared toward a traditional wedding, not a temple wedding.

Unfortunately, most of the local videographers do not frequent boards like this (or if they do they keep quiet). I'm glad I found your question and I hope I can help you get started. I started out last summer and my current low package goes for $400. I created that based on an average of the local prices (ranging anywhere from $250 on up to $650 for a beginning price). Let me know if you have any questions. It's a cool market here, but not a whole lot of online interaction between videographers. Good to see another local here on the board. =) Good luck with everything.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 10:38 PM   #6
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Utah is definately the prime spot to start a wedding video business. I live in provo and I see several people getting married every week..it's insane!

My friend and I decided to take advantage of this and we started a wedding video business about 6 months ago. Since that initial "forming of the company" we have shot well over 30 weddings (mostly "Temple" weddings, and a few traditional ones).

We started with two GL2s, a couple tripods, and the Glidecam 2000...so now, 6 months later we have 2 glidecam 2000s, a 4000, steadycam equipment, an 8 foot crane, an XL H1, and a DVX100a. We do anywhere from 1-3 weddings..a week.(Except this month we'll only have 4).

When we first started we kept prices relatively low...just under our competitions', but as we put more weddings under our belt we began to raise our prices, put money toward bridal shows and other methods of advertising. And now we're doing very well..(for a couple of guys who still have full time jobs and go to school)

Anyway..sorry to ramble on..I just thought I'd give a little background. We have a site that allows the potential 'client' to customize their own package..which has been a really great way for us to increase sales...you can check it out at www.ehansenproductions.com/, go to 'packages' then choose the 'customize' option to see how our prices break down..we've got fairly high prices now, but people here are more than willing to pay it.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 10:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowell Oswald
We have a site that allows the potential 'client' to customize their own package..which has been a really great way for us to increase sales...you can check it out at www.ehansenproductions.com/, go to 'packages' then choose the 'customize' option to see how our prices break down...
That's very cool.
-J.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 11:51 PM   #8
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so, whos right...the one utah guy says no taping is allowed in temples and you say you do this often, im just curious???? i miss riding at snowbird!!!!!!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowell Oswald
Utah is definately the prime spot to start a wedding video business. I live in provo and I see several people getting married every week..it's insane!

My friend and I decided to take advantage of this and we started a wedding video business about 6 months ago. Since that initial "forming of the company" we have shot well over 30 weddings (mostly "Temple" weddings, and a few traditional ones).

We started with two GL2s, a couple tripods, and the Glidecam 2000...so now, 6 months later we have 2 glidecam 2000s, a 4000, steadycam equipment, an 8 foot crane, an XL H1, and a DVX100a. We do anywhere from 1-3 weddings..a week.(Except this month we'll only have 4).

When we first started we kept prices relatively low...just under our competitions', but as we put more weddings under our belt we began to raise our prices, put money toward bridal shows and other methods of advertising. And now we're doing very well..(for a couple of guys who still have full time jobs and go to school)

Anyway..sorry to ramble on..I just thought I'd give a little background. We have a site that allows the potential 'client' to customize their own package..which has been a really great way for us to increase sales...you can check it out at www.ehansenproductions.com/, go to 'packages' then choose the 'customize' option to see how our prices break down..we've got fairly high prices now, but people here are more than willing to pay it.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 12:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Allen Rosenberger
so, whos right...the one utah guy says no taping is allowed in temples and you say you do this often, im just curious???? i miss riding at snowbird!!!!!!
We both are. Even though we can't tape inside the temple, we still refer to them as temple weddings. It's just a matter of getting familiar with the terminology. Lowell, it's excellent to see other Utahns on here. That's reassuring to here the success of your business. I'm sure Provo provides you plenty of volume. I think it's a bit more competitive north of Happy Valley, but there's still plenty of work to go around. Thanks for chiming in. I hope to be getting an 8-foot Kessler Crane soon as I like the shot possibilities it opens up. I haven't looked at your site yet but I will soon. Again, nice to see other locals here on such a great forum.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 12:13 AM   #10
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Sorry I should have clarified, when I say I film "temple" weddings, i mean I stand outside the temple doors, wait for the bride and groom to exit, then I film them meeting up with family and friends and take them around and get shots of them in various places doing various poses(outside of the temple)...many of them may look similar because we get requests from people to create the "classic mormon wedding" look and feel. Which tends to stunt some creativity, but they still turn out pretty good and make us the money we need.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 04:15 AM   #11
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Lowell,

I just had to comment that your website is one of the nicest I've seen for a wedding videographer. Very well designed. Did you do it yourself or hire it out?


Raji,

The first wedding I ever videotaped was an LDS wedding here in Boise. I used a single GL2 and a tripod. I didn't even have a monopod. I charged $250 for the job. The next job I used all 3 of my GL2's (non LDS wedding) and paid for a pair of operators. I charged the client $500 for what I now bill more than $2,000 for.

The moral of my rambling? Find out what other videographers are charging for a 1 camera shoot, and then their price and cut it in half or more for your first few clients. When you are first starting out, and you don't have anything to show, you probably won't get clients to pay you what they would pay someone who has videos to show. So don't be afraid to start small and get some experience under your belt. But don't be too agressive with your pricing until you have the experience and equipment to warrant it. Hope that helps. It's 3am here as I write this, so who knows what I wrote.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 10:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raji Barbir
Hi everyone,

I'm about to start advertising my prices for videography and i'm really confused about Utah prices.

I read in a Utah Weddings booklet that prices range from $1000 - $3000. So when i got online to look for actual videographers' packages, i was surprised to find that ALL of the ones i've found start at around $500! In fact, as soon as you hit $1000, most are already talking about 2 cameras...

My situation:

I have 1 camera, no extra equipment except for the basics (filters and a tripod), i can't yet justify more expenses (like wireless mics, jibs, etc) since i'm not getting payed for those first two and i have no experience as of yet... but i can certainly practice on my own time.

So the question is: should i just start out at $500? I haven't found anything on DVinfo about prices in Utah. In fact, the last thread i read was a 5 page thread about someone getting lowballed by a guy charging $1000... so i'm a little concerned that people here are starting at $500.

Also, i'd appreciate a link to a site that describes clearly what they offer in their packages... I haven't found much consistency in any of the sites i've researched with Google.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated

Thanks

Raji
hello raji,

i don't do weddings, because i do not edit at the time, but some people here have opened my eye's in regards to what i have to charge. (chris or craig? have a nice formular, thanks to other board members)
no matter what, we have to make a living, get our equipment investment back, pay helpers, media, etc..etc under bitting is the beginning of the end.

i am using now a program to quote, labor, ot, ml, equipment rental (searched 100ml around me), material. what an eye opener. (at least for me)
this program seperates every single item, needed for the project.
i bit on a lot of projects, most of them i don't get (why? may be the pricing, may be i don't edit, may be my expirience, who knows) but, i feel good, protecting my investment, and making shure i get paid right.

i learned that one of the reasons my latest customer shoose me, was a detailed quote.
( 2 hour shoot,calculatet as 10 hour day, unedited, light kit, no audio, camera man+ 1 helper, $ 1600)

2 camera team incl editing goes from about $ 3000 and up. (weddings)

greetings

(bay area, ca)
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Old February 8th, 2006, 11:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Heiner
hello raji,

i don't do weddings, -snip-

( 2 hour shoot,calculatet as 10 hour day, unedited, light kit, no audio, camera man+ 1 helper, $ 1600)

2 camera team incl -snip-

(bay area, ca)
Hi Karl, For reference purposes, what camera do you charge out at 1600 bucks per day including assistant?
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Old February 8th, 2006, 11:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy McKenzie
Hi Karl, For reference purposes, what camera do you charge out at 1600 bucks per day including assistant?
hello jimmy,

i am sorry

labor package $ 710, (10 hr. day, camera man + 1 helper)
camera package $ 760 (xl1-s, field monitor, tri pt, light kit, etc)
(xl1-s, incl lense $ 350)

greetings
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Old February 8th, 2006, 01:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Cossel
Lowell,
Did you do it yourself or hire it out?
Thanks for the compliment! I actually designed it myself..I work full time as a web designer and commercial videographer in Salt Lake, doing wedding videos is just a side business that pays the extra bills.
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