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


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Old June 23rd, 2006, 07:48 PM   #1
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I shot a friend's Wedding -HATE IT!

Last May I shot my friend's wedding for free. It was my third wedding and my first two weddings were paid weddings. I need to get a demo when starting out in this business so I asked them first but not expecting that I would gain paying clients before my friend's wedding. I was also working with a photographer who was working for free-a friend of theirs

A few months ago I also made them an engagement video which they showed in the reception.

anyways, I got really dissapointed during the speeches. The groom thanked me and his friend photographer in his speech. Okay I appreciate that. But unfortunately when the bride started her speech, instead of thanking me of even mentioning my company name she rather said "..we had great help from everyone and Im so happy...eben our videographers and photographers good thing they are all free otherwise we can't afford it"..and everyone started laughing.

I got a bit ticked off for some reason! I worked my ass off. I told them to pay my assistant 150 dollars instead they paid $140. I never got a single dime as a gratuity. The least she can say was thank you as well for the video and the work I have done. I thought that this was a good chance for them to help me promote my business but never mentioned my name or gave any referrals. All my referrals came from my first two paid weddings. They deserve the free wedding instead of my friends

This just shows how videographers are just sometimes unappreciated even if was friends of yours. Anyways, their video is finish but won't be giving it to them till 6 month...let them f...ing wait!
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 08:09 PM   #2
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You said you would do it for free, because they were friends. Why did you expect them to give you a gratuity.

I did four weddings for one family, my sisters, and nothing was ever done in the way of gratuity though some at least gave a card or note of thanks. I considered it a wedding gift, and leave it at that. Finish the job and get on with your life.
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 08:24 PM   #3
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Well, you offered to shoot your friend's wedding for free, so you shouldn't expect any compensation....not a dime.

As for the speeches, I doubt the bride meant to make you feel bad by saying they wouldnt have been able to afford video and photo unless it was free.....oh well, and it's the truth.

Some people are not the best "public" speakers so I wouldnt take it too much to heart, what she said.

If they are just rude folks.....why are you friends with people like that, you must have known prior to doing the wedding shoot?
I would think they will thank you once you finish their video.....and if they didn;t, they are simple unappreciative people.

I don't think it's cool of you to prolong editing their video, you offered to do it.....so I think it's only fair if you complete it when youre not doing paid jobs.

You shouldnt have "expected" them to thank you during their speeches....remember, it is "their" day and let them have it how they wish....speeches and all.

Based on what you wrote in your post...I disagree with a lot of what you stated.
If you were doing the video for more demo footage for yourself.....then you should not expect your friends to give you referrals.....they come in time, and sometimes a long time is what it takes.

If these are your friend's.....you should hold to what you agreed to do, thats what a friend would do.

I have shot a couple friend's weddings and got no speeches about what I was doing for them...who cares-not me! I did it because i cared for my friend's and was more than happy to bust my butt like i would for any paying client.....
bodda bing-bodda boom
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 08:43 PM   #4
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don't get me wrong..they are still my friends and I don't really expect the gratuity. ...I guess what I'm pissed about this whole thing is announcing to 230 people that we were free. I guess what I would like her to say was just a mere thank you or not even mention we were free.

The thing is shooting weddings whether video or photo is hard work. It is not easy. Most of my muscles hurt during the shoot, sweat like a pig, and even lost some of my equipment.

If it was my wedding I would say."Thank you uncle bob for doing our video and we really appreciate it...etc".

I personally dont think it is nice to say.." by the way..our photographers and videographers..they are all free! (laugh out loud)"..that's basically what happened. It was disappointing to hear that from friends of yours.

It is just that some people (particulary some of the guest) think that just because people work for free..thay are amatures or wannabes..or amatures don't do a good job. I don't want people to think of it that way as well.
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 08:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Allen Rosenberger
Some people are not the best "public" speakers so I wouldnt take it too much to heart, what she said.
Hey Joe..you are not probably right. I guess they were not the best public speakers...oh well. Anyways the video is done...perhaps I'll just give it next month. I still have to prioritize some paid weddings anyway.

THANKS GUYS!!!!
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 09:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Mallari
don't get me wrong..they are still my friends and I don't really expect the gratuity. ...I guess what I'm pissed about this whole thing is announcing to 230 people that we were free. I guess what I would like her to say was just a mere thank you or not even mention we were free.

The thing is shooting weddings whether video or photo is hard work. It is not easy. Most of my muscles hurt during the shoot, sweat like a pig, and even lost some of my equipment.

If it was my wedding I would say."Thank you uncle bob for doing our video and we really appreciate it...etc".

I personally dont think it is nice to say.." by the way..our photographers and videographers..they are all free! (laugh out loud)"..that's basically what happened. It was disappointing to hear that from friends of yours.

It is just that some people (particulary some of the guest) think that just because people work for free..thay are amatures or wannabes..or amatures don't do a good job. I don't want people to think of it that way as well.
Billy,

I know I wasn't there to hear the inflection and see the body mannerisms at the point the bride made that statement but....she was essentially saying thanks to you and the photog for her 'free' gift of your talent and skills. Saying they couldn't afford it otherwise actually plays in your favor should any referral come out of it. They will know that 'your' services and that of the photog are expensive. You wouldn't be expected to give the other guests a free video of their wedding. You could show just how 'generous' you are to any prospective clients who heard the bride's speech.

Cut her some slack cause brides and their mothers are usually physically and emotional spent by the time they get through a wedding and reception of that size. They want everything to go perfectly on her big day and it usually doesn't.

As you deliver the video, include some extra business cards so they have a chance to refer you to someone else who may be looking.

Best of luck,

-gb-
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Old June 24th, 2006, 08:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston
Billy,

Cut her some slack cause brides and their mothers are usually physically and emotional spent by the time they get through a wedding and reception of that size. They want everything to go perfectly on her big day and it usually doesn't.

As you deliver the video, include some extra business cards so they have a chance to refer you to someone else who may be looking.

Best of luck,

-gb-
Ditto that, and Good idea about the business cards..

Was alcohol being served? It's also possible the b&g were already in the early stages of being affected by that.

I think you have to chalk-up any apparent slights to the excitement of the moment. From the description, it seems your long-time friends simply suffered some absent-mindedness.

BTW, did you put business cards around the reception area, i.e. at the bar, near the seating-card table, etc?

Denis
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Old June 24th, 2006, 09:26 AM   #8
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"You shouldnt have "expected" them to thank you during their speeches....remember, it is "their" day and let them have it how they wish....speeches and all."

Of the jobs i do, being a paid professional (paid or not), one should NEVER expect a public thank you (believe me, youre last on the list unless you make an issue of "the service or favour" your giving..
Although, as i know many reception venues (and MC's) they usually throw on a "big thanks to... " and on the odd occasion (maybe one in 5) i'd get someone actually acknowledging the work we do.. moreso for us than the photog, coz by the time the speech comes, they really werent expecting THIS kind of service on the day from a video company. So the thank yous are more of an afterthouth (much like the service itself)

Either way, dont take things too persoanlly, if u get THIS stressed at 3 weddings under your belt, id hate to imagine your demeaner after 40 weddings... keep a check on ur emotions..
trust me, u dont need them getting in the way. Theres enough emotion to go around without a professional adding to the tension.

IMO, take it as an opportunity to build and create your folio. What they didnt pay you in $$ will come back to you as experience and skill and an actual piece of work which has the potential to bring in much more business.
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Old June 24th, 2006, 10:20 AM   #9
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Hey Billy, favors are free. Be patient and follow previous advise given about making a name for yourself. Word of mouth is priceless.
If you don't want to do anymore favors then when friends and relatives ask you to do their events double your prices for them so they won't bother you again.
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Old June 24th, 2006, 10:33 AM   #10
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I can understand Billy's feelings i think. If somone tells people your doing it for free, it means your probably going to get more and more requests to do it for free, and the money for any pay jobs you do reduced.
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Old June 24th, 2006, 11:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Johnson
I can understand Billy's feelings i think. If somone tells people your doing it for free, it means your probably going to get more and more requests to do it for free, and the money for any pay jobs you do reduced.
Which is why I explained in my post above how he can then show prospective clients just how 'generous' he was being for his good friends as they embark on a new life together.

No other person in that room where the speech was made has any legitimate reason for expecting low or no pay to have their wedding done.

-gb-
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Old June 24th, 2006, 11:58 AM   #12
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Billy,

Sorry you didn't get what you wanted from the bride but I don't think you can ask a person to act perfectly tword you on perhaps the most stressful day of her life. I think by what you have said in your post this is mainly your problem. I would not let it effect your relationship with these people in any way and be content that you have given them a very nice gift for their wedding and be good with that.

Mike
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Old June 26th, 2006, 09:31 PM   #13
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I've come to the conclusion that most people (customers/family/friends) think its easy. They have no idea what is involved with the shooting and editing. All they can do is compare it to their own experience. Everyone has aimed a camera and pushed record. They just think yours looks better because you have a more expensive camera and a microphone. And its not really a job you know (sarcasm). Hey it doesn't look like work and working 12 hours a day can't be real work if you're doing it at home.

Good friends are hard to find. Sometimes its easier to live with the ones you already have and tweak them a bit.
-Scott
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Old June 26th, 2006, 11:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Routt
I've come to the conclusion that most people (customers/family/friends) think its easy. They have no idea what is involved with the shooting and editing. All they can do is compare it to their own experience. Everyone has aimed a camera and pushed record. They just think yours looks better because you have a more expensive camera and a microphone. And its not really a job you know (sarcasm). Hey it doesn't look like work and working 12 hours a day can't be real work if you're doing it at home.

Good friends are hard to find. Sometimes its easier to live with the ones you already have and tweak them a bit.
-Scott

Most people do think its easy and they can probably do it. That's the way things are and will get worse as more consumers will have access to good gear and powerful computers.

The way I see it... what sets you apart from them, is that you are a professional. You have to act the part and present a professional attititude. It sucks in the beginning, and we all probably feel like we got taken advantage of at some point, but use that as an experience, get these notches on your belt, and save every experience for future reference. One of the harder things is drawing the line and make people realize that this business is what puts food on your table. People don't haggle about prices at a super market... why do they expect us to give them a break when we invest time and money into this. Most people are cheap skates, the only reason I would do weddings is to gain exposure and meet hot single girls! If you are married then go for the food and contacts!
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Old June 27th, 2006, 03:53 AM   #15
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"I've come to the conclusion that most people (customers/family/friends) think its easy. They have no idea what is involved with the shooting and editing. "

this is where screengrabs can play a vital role in conveying how intricate the work we do really is..

I always include one screen grab of the edit at stupidly high resolution (so they can zoom in) and usually it gives tehm some insight how much actual work is required
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