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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old April 10th, 2006, 05:44 PM   #1
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Do you get TIPPED?

Saw this mentioned in another post, but I didn't want to derail the post. My question is whether or not couples are tipping you after you provide your videography services on their wedding day.

I've never been tipped, but all of my couples have loved my work. I actually filmed the bride counting out money to tip people like the DJ and caterer at one wedding (thought maybe I'd have one coming as well - nope). So, the caterer showed up an hour late and got a tip while I busted my butt and did a perfect job for around 11-12 hours (including 6 hours the previous night for rehearsal and rehearsal dinner) and got no tip.

So, do you the rest of you receive tips?
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Old April 10th, 2006, 06:09 PM   #2
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Personally, I think the number of jobs where it's now "appropriate" to leave/give a tip has gotten out of hand. DJs? No way.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 06:19 PM   #3
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I couldn't agree more. So I take it you've never gotten a tip either?
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Old April 10th, 2006, 07:08 PM   #4
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Tips

Three times in five years. Once for $45, once for $100, and once with a restaurant gift certificate for $75. It's welcome, but unexpected. We charge at the upper end of our local market, so they probably believe we're well compensated already. Also, it seems to me those that get tipped regularly(caterer, dj, limo), are those who deliver all their services the day of the wedding, and they're tipped on the day of the event. Our final product is delivered later, so the thought is probably just not there.

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Old April 10th, 2006, 07:08 PM   #5
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I do not solicit or expect tips; I consider them to be a nice surprise bonus. This is true whether I'm working as a videographer or a DJ. I always thank them for their generosity, and I never look in the envelope until I'm out of there.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 07:09 PM   #6
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I do not in any way profess to be an expert in this matter at all, however on a cursory review of some wedding resource info, it appears to me that in the area of tipping, gratuities often seem to be dispensed based upon general conceptions of two primary vendor areas:
1.) service
2.) products
3.) specialities

Service personnel usually include chauffers, food servers, and chef, and housekeeper if such is used.

Although not always accurate, photographers and videographers are often perceived as providing a product (ie: photo albums or wedding videos) usually for a specific set package fee not determined by the size and scope of the wedding. Quite often, DJs and musicians also fall into this category, but are known to recieve tips in some cases, especially if they are condusive to fulfilling song requests.

The third category, 'specialties', may include the minister as well as beauty artists if used, such things as sacred dancers or bag pipers who may be secured to provide special 'sacred' elements to a ceremony, and sometimes 'same-day' coordinators, if used. Typically, this category will include tipping prompted either by the sense of providing a service or the more intimate relational component of contributing to the wedding.

So in basic answer to your question, I think that generally, you will find that videographers are probably not tipped.

Personally, I think this is just fine with me. I charge my fee, I work hard for my money, and I get paid what I expect. Although I have had a decent time taping many of my events, in a few cases, the last thing I would want to do with a few previous clients would feign a sense of gracious servitude after having spent 7 hours filming their obnoxious drunken antics. Sure, I wouldn't mind be paid a little extra for spending all day working for a bunch of jackasses, but I really hate the idea of uttering the words "Thank you sir" after getting a tip.

Maybe that's just me.
-Jon
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Old April 10th, 2006, 09:59 PM   #7
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Interesting.

I had a father of the bride once telling me he was going to tip me (me and my assistant work really hard). He was telling me this all day and all night. He even called himself a "generous" tipper. When the final bill and the videos were given to them . . . no tip. I think they forgot.

I'm not pushing for tips. I just wanted to know if other videographers were getting them. It does seem odd to me to tip only some of the people/businesses that were a part of your wedding day, though.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 10:43 PM   #8
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Never had a tip, but my 3rd ever client ive ever had who waited 8 months for her video sent me a gift voucher as a thank you for the wonderful work kinda thing.. mind u we drove 4.5hrs to get to her... it was actually one of the better jobs coz it was OUT of the city.. lol

one thing that gets my goat is that i do ALOT of euro style weddings.. mainly Macedonian and Serb, and its customary for the guests to show how "generous" they are and how far "theyve come" since the days of poverty in their own countries.. so they do this by literally slapping money on the band...
Now for me, ive been working since 830am shooting NON STOP (as the guests arrive to the houses PRIOR to the wedding) and the work is friggin intense.. usually 15hours raw footage at the end of the day..

anyways, they slap money.. lots of money onto the band. were talking 50's 100's and this goes on for most of teh reception.. usually for teh 5 hours of teh party, the band is having money thrown at them.. they usually end up with about 10k, on top of their usuall fees, which is prolly less than most.
most bands i know <u DO get to know people> tell me that they dont make much, but ive seen them counting out cash and its in the thousands,... usually MUCH more than what me or the Photog has made.
Ive shot weddings where the couple has recieved over 30k in cash on the night of the weding and its usually these clients who make life difficult for me PRIOR to the wedding trying to score a discount.
Thing here, is that THEY KNOW theyre going to make this cash.. reason is that theyre chooosing to have a full traditional wedding. If they didnt want all that cash, theyd jsut save the hassle and go to a church like everyone else, but no, they go the ol skool method to make money and thats no lie...
Its funny though coz were on our feet all day with the photogs and we dont make all that much $$ from it. Mind you i certainly get my times worth in pay... im not free and im not the cheapest.. lol

We make what we make, but thats about it..

Last edited by Peter Jefferson; April 10th, 2006 at 11:20 PM.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 10:50 PM   #9
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Funny Story

We have gotten tipped maybe 4 times in the 5 years we have been doing this, but our last tip was a check from the bride, made out from the fathers checking account. We deposit the check on Monday after the wedding and it bounced! So we ended up paying a $10 fee on a $100 tip! Yeah, and we haven't heard from them about it at all...still makes me smile...

Don't expect tips at all, but nice when we get them...the biggest tip we can get is a referral or our name passed along...
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Old April 10th, 2006, 11:17 PM   #10
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I hear you Peter. We work full days for weddings (usually 10-12 hours). We also cover rehearsal and rehearsal dinners. I've even covered brunches the day AFTER the wedding. Never gotten a tip. Maybe its my market.

The worst was when that bride tipped the catering company like $200-300 even though they showed up an hour late. She gave the DJ about as much, and had more money for other vendors but I didn't catch who all was in the lucky boat. All I know is that I was pretty surprised to not get a tip, especially since when the limo didn't show up to take them to their hotel I was the only one (including family) that offered them a ride . . . and they took it, and had their first all-out married fight in my backseat the whole way there. All of that, combined with 6 hours of filming the day before and around 12 hours of filming that day, and no tip. But sure, give the lazy a** caterering an extra couple hundred $$$.

That sucks about paying on a bounced tip! That would drive me nuts!
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Old April 10th, 2006, 11:33 PM   #11
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a little off topic here, but last season, november in fact, i did 7 weddings for that month.. prolly the most ive done in one month as a whole.. anyways most of these weddings had me at locations where parking was paid.. i have a free parking pass for council areas and the like, but most of these places didnt even cater for that..
So at teh end of the month, i did a total of how much i paid in parking..
One paticular job i paid $78 in parking, another came to 53, another came to 25... mostly tese are hotels, but some hotels which i do regualr work with let me park for free

in total, i think it came to somethng like 580 in parking.. and that was one month...

Now for most, thats one third of one job.. so for me to be paying for this parking, id be busting my nuts for at least 6 hours... just so i can park my car.. think about it, would u work 6 hours to pay to park your car??
As for being claimable on tax, well here in aus our tax ssytem is a joke.. so ..
Anyways, since november ive started charging clients for parking, i send them the invoice within a week of the shoot and i send them scans of the receipt..
Hell that 500 odd dollars is ALOT of money to lose on just doing your job...
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Old April 11th, 2006, 12:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
Now for most, thats one third of one job.. so for me to be paying for this parking, id be busting my nuts for at least 6 hours... just so i can park my car.. think about it, would u work 6 hours to pay to park your car??

Don't forget to add in the parking fees for the theoretical 6 hours you would have to work to pay for parking your car...2 steps forward, 1 step back.
-Jon
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Old April 11th, 2006, 01:42 PM   #13
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Yeah, I didn't used to charge for mileage to travel to a wedding, but now I do for any wedding that is an hour or more away. It just adds up too quick.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 02:06 PM   #14
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As for whether you might reasonably expect a tip, that would depend on whether you are the vendor or an employee of the vendor. The catering staff, for example, are employees of the caterer. It would be reaasonable for them to expect a tip while the caterer himself would not, him being paid through the bill he presents to the clients. Same for a videographer or photographer - if you're an employee of a videography company being paid a wage, a tip might be in order but if you're a contractor billing the client yourself, a tip (though maybe a nice surprise) wouldn't generally be expected to be a part of the deal. You'd be expected to base your fees on what you must charge to cover your costs of doing business plus what you feel is a fair income. (And that includes travel costs, parking, the whole smear)
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Old April 11th, 2006, 03:37 PM   #15
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I owned a wedding DJ service for 12 years. I can probably count the number of tips I received on one hand. I don't think the upper Midwest is a big tipping area.

I think Jonathan is onto something. People generally tip for services, not products. They perceive a video as a product, while the DJ, caterer, etc. deliver services. I'm not saying it's right, but that's the perception.
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