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


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Old June 12th, 2006, 09:19 PM   #1
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Wedding Packages

I'd like to get feedback for my wedding packages for starting out. This is what I have so far, but will eventually up the price once I get more work and a better portfolio done (I know I'm completely under selling myself and the business with these prices).

Since I haven't done ANY wedding, I'm going to use other stuff I've done as examples of my work, but I do plan on advertising a one time free wedding on my flyers. Once I get that wedding done, I'll raise the prices a little bit because then I'll have more to show that's wedding oriented.

But, as is, what do you guys think? Too much for too little or just the right amount for starters?

Basic: $350
2 camcorders at ceremony and 1 camcorder at reception
Ceremony
3 hours on-site filming
(including photo session w/photographer)
Basic slideshow of wedding day
Basic footage edit and clean-up (no music)
2 DVD copies ($25 each additional copy)

Standard: $600
2 camcorders at ceremony/1 camcorder at reception
Ceremony
Reception
Photo session
6 hours on-site filming
Slideshow of wedding day
Basic footage clean-up of ceremony and reception
Highlights edit (with music and color correction)
2 DVD copies ($25 each additional copy)

Advanced: $900
2 camcorders at ceremony and 1 camcorder at reception
Pre-ceremony coverage of bride & groom (preparations)
Ceremony
Reception
Photo session
8 hours on-site filming
Slideshow of wedding day
Fully edited pre-ceremony, ceremony and reception coverage
(with music and color correction)
Highlights edit (with music and color correction)
4 DVD copies ($25 each additional copy)

Premium: $1,500
2 camcorders at ceremony and reception
Pre-ceremony coverage of bride & groom (preparations)
Pre-ceremony messages from bride, groom, family & friends
Ceremony
Reception
Photo session
Unlimited on-site filming (all day)
Slideshow of wedding day
Slideshow of bride and groom growing up and their lives to date
Fully edited pre-ceremony, ceremony and reception coverage
Highlights edit
Love story
Raw footage of wedding day
6 DVD copies ($25 each additional copy)
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Old June 12th, 2006, 10:01 PM   #2
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Why would you offer "raw footage"?
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Old June 13th, 2006, 08:17 AM   #3
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Not going to talk about your prices. These are market dependant.

I think even your basic package is going to require a photo montage of sorts. This could be an add-on for $XXX.

Also, what is a wedding day slideshow? Do you take pics too?

What kind of audio will you use to record the vows?
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Old June 13th, 2006, 10:46 AM   #4
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Honestly, I would drop the Basic package. I mean, what are you really going to capture in just 3 hours of filming?
Does this mean, you will only be present to record 3 hours of video, or will be there the entire time, but only film 3 hours of video. If it's the later, then you are not getting paid for your time accoridngly.
Either way, you are not going to be paid for your time, shooting, and or editing (no matter how basic it is).
Also this kind of package, you will probably not use as a good demonstration of your work.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 11:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot
Honestly, I mean, what are you really going to capture in just 3 hours of filming?
The ceremony? :)

I have a similar package. It's cheap and no frills but an easy edit. Bad thing is it takes up a booking slot for a higher end package.

But yes, I think the wording should be changed to "coverage". That's what I call it.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 11:34 AM   #6
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Price = Market + Long Term ability to stay in business for X$.

I have recent experience of starting out. We quickly learned that if you get X amount of wedding gigs, and X is what is expected of you, then you'll have to invest X amount of what you earn to stay at least on par with your competition. Many people who want cheap, are willing to pay cheap, but then they want a higher quality of product.

I think of it this way, if someone has spent so many years waiting for that special someone and they are willing to cut corners, buy cheap etc for thier wedding day, then you as a vendor are really asking for it.

I believe that once you've done a few gigs, you'll quickly learn how much work it takes to film a wedding, the cost that you have to invest, and you will quickly have to raise your prices to meet the equasion that I listed in paragraph #1.

Like Rick said, prices are market driven, but they also take into account expense.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 12:56 PM   #7
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The problem with starting your prices too low is that it takes a long time to get them up to where you want to be.

I recently got started in this business, and based on advice I read on this board, I began with a higher price point (my lowest priced package was/is $995). When I started getting calls, I just explained that I was new to the business and offered significant discounts on my packages. This works.

I agree with everyone who says that "budget" weddings are a unique segment of the market. A "budget" photographer can profit by offering an inexpensive package by delivering raw JPEGS on a CD-R with maybe one or two touchups included. Anything else is extra. A "budget" videographer should keep the same thing in mind. Charge them to show up and film their wedding with one or two professional cameras (it's better than what Uncle Frank has), then deliver raw footage on DVDs. Anything else, including a basic edit, is extra.

I spend about 30 hours with the edit, and my computer (without me) spends another 15-20 hours capturing, rendering, compressing and burning. I suppose I could charge less and book more, but I prefer to charge more and book less. :o)
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Old June 13th, 2006, 02:16 PM   #8
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I'd call those prices low even for just getting started, and as someone else said you could just drop the 'basic' option. When you're targeting price-conscious customers most of them will just pick your cheapest package and hope they'll get something useful from it, plus you'll probably end up delivering more trying to make a good impression. Do yourself a favor and don't start that low: better to do a couple for free and then start charging real money based on the quality of your demos. Anything under $750 or so should be ceremony-only; your current standard package should be at least $1000. In the long run you should try to get double what you listed for the services you're offering, and it will be harder to get there if all your referrals are from people who hired you dirt cheap.

I know it's hard to believe when you're starting out because the temptation is to charge less to attract customers, but you're way underpriced. Bump it up at least a little and you'll be glad you did later.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 02:40 PM   #9
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Roger R.,

You're on the opposite side of the country from me, so doing a starter wedding out there for free won't bother me any. However, I would suggest you hold off on listing your wedding prices until you get that first wedding video done & delivered. Keep track of all the hours you spend, and I think you'll have a better idea what your rates should be.

Time adds up: Travel time, setup time, breakdown time, time between events when you can't do much but wait, editing time, tweeking time, rendering time, time spent designing the DVD label & case jacket, and on & on.

Since you've never taped a wedding, I would strongly suggest you attend the rehearsal & bring along at least one camera & your audio equipment. Tape from different positions, then review those tapes, especially the lighting & audio, when you get home. Use that to come up with a plan for the real thing. Check with the officiant at the rehearsal -- he/she might have some rules that could ruin your day if you don't find out about them until 5 minutes before the ceremony starts.

I agree that you should drop the basic package. You can still offer it as a last resort if you need some bucks & that's the only way to snag a client, but don't make it one of the listed choices.

I'm also curious about the wedding day slideshow you include. Are these "slides" video frame grabs? Unless you have a partner walking around with a photo camera, it's difficult for one person to do video & stills at the same time. This could also conflict with the commercial photographer's contract.

Will your second camera be unmanned? If you're doing this solo, it's a good idea to ask a friend or spend a few bucks to hire a responsible kid to watch your equipment when it's out of your sight, like when you're outside taping the B&G after the ceremony, and the rest of your equipment is inside growing legs. Receptions are even more hazardous for leaving equipment unattended.

One last thought. You didn't mention your equipment. If you're using a couple of consumer camcorders, el cheapo tripods or no tripods, and built-in camcorder mikes for audio, then even your basic package is probably priced too high.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 03:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tomkowiak
Roger R.,

You're on the opposite side of the country from me.
Hey Tom, where are you?
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Old June 13th, 2006, 09:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Davis
Hey Tom, where are you?
Only a couple of hundred miles south-east of Richmond, and directly in the path of one of the category 4 hurricanes scheduled to hit the east coast later this year. Near Morehead City, NC.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 09:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tomkowiak
Only a couple of hundred miles south-east of Richmond, and directly in the path of one of the category 4 hurricanes scheduled to hit the east coast later this year. Near Morehead City, NC.
Cool, I lived there for about a year when I was in my 20's..........oh so long ago.

Nice to know someone else on the forum is near by. We go to Wilmington NC a couple of times a year. Not qute Morehead, but it's still the beach.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 08:20 PM   #13
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I will never give anyone my raw footage for any amount of money ever again. When I shoot there are a lot of times I take chances if I can in an attempt to get something exceptional as long as I have the basics covered. Lots of times those shots turn out to be non usable garbage that I don't want anyone to see. In other words I don't want anyone to see anything but my polished final product.

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Old June 15th, 2006, 08:32 AM   #14
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I just started shooting last Jan. I charged my first wedding $300. People saw my work and got a few inquiries. My second wedding was more than $1200 for Bride's house , Ceremony to Reception till 10pm. I charged more than experienced videographers in my area. Don't be afraid to go head to head with big production companies as long as you produce quality work.

Never lowball weddings.

I don't know why you would like to give Raw footages. I prefer not to sell them and if the client insist, I would charge an arm and a leg.
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Old June 15th, 2006, 02:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Mallari
I don't know why you would like to give Raw footages. I prefer not to sell them and if the client insist, I would charge an arm and a leg.
You will find the occassional client that wants to edit his own wedding. I don't have a problem with selling the raw footage. Using 3 chip cams mine still looks better than Uncle Fred's and the audio is actually "audible".

I've also done "raw footage" only shoots. It's an easy day and I don't have to spend 50 hours hunkered over a computer. Film it... transfer it... done.

I really don't understand this fear of showing your raw footage to folks. If it's that bad then you *do* need to work on shooting skills and if anyone is that embarrased by it just clean it up a bit.
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