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


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Old August 4th, 2006, 06:35 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Posts: 11
How did you start out?

How did you start out your wedding business and clientele? Obviously, after choosing a business name and getting your business license, do you create your website, spend on advertising, etc? Just starting out, should I market myself first, or try to do some cheap weddings for some experience?

Just curious to see what others did when they first started out and how they eventually got their first clients. Thanks.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 07:26 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Durango, Colorado, USA
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I started my business because I knew I was going to "retire" from one career and needed to find something else to do.

I would advise against doing anything for "free", but that idea must be balanced against what kind of video content you have that you have the legal right to use to promote yourself. A cheap introductory price is much easier to deal with when you balance the checkbook. However, do not hold onto the intro pricing any longer than necessary.

Above all, invest the time of several months learning and designing a BUSINESS PLAN. I put that in CAPS because I believe it is of the greatest importance. You must know how your dreams match up to reality. Here, do not let go of the dreams. Find a way to make reality allow the dreams happen. It is much easier said than done, but DO NOT LET GO OF THE DREAM! Enlist the aid of a financial planner, bookkeeper, or whatever, but always place your dreams at the top of the list. It is the responisbility of you, your financial assistants, and whomever else to make your dreams a reality. Make no mistake, this process is neither easy nor quick. On the other hand, the rewards are both realistic and satisfying. Be prepared to spend more time developing and maintaining your business dreams than actually shooting.
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Old August 5th, 2006, 06:43 PM   #3
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Ditto all that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldemar Winkler
I started my business because I knew I was going to "retire" from one career and needed to find something else to do.

I would advise against doing anything for "free", but that idea must be balanced against what kind of video content you have that you have the legal right to use to promote yourself. A cheap introductory price is much easier to deal with when you balance the checkbook. However, do not hold onto the intro pricing any longer than necessary.

Above all, invest the time of several months learning and designing a BUSINESS PLAN. I put that in CAPS because I believe it is of the greatest importance. You must know how your dreams match up to reality. Here, do not let go of the dreams. Find a way to make reality allow the dreams happen. It is much easier said than done, but DO NOT LET GO OF THE DREAM! Enlist the aid of a financial planner, bookkeeper, or whatever, but always place your dreams at the top of the list. It is the responisbility of you, your financial assistants, and whomever else to make your dreams a reality. Make no mistake, this process is neither easy nor quick. On the other hand, the rewards are both realistic and satisfying. Be prepared to spend more time developing and maintaining your business dreams than actually shooting.
I, too, have decided on video as a 2nd career. I hope to "retire into it" and if I'm lucky, I'll never have to leave.

I'm starting out small and relatively simple, concentrating on legal video. Even before that, though, as I was researching that field, I called a local producer to get input and do research. As we talked, he was willing to offer me work as his gopher, occassional sound man, boom operator, and set dresser. Those gigs don't pay much, but they're usually short hours. I didn't even buy a camera until I'd been working with him on/off for almost a year. So far, I've worked one shoot for him behind my camera, as 3rd cam, but that was more a test for him to see how I worked with a camera. Luckily, he liked it, though no other paying work has surfaced yet.

On my own, I'll still be concentrating on legal to start with, and that was what my business plan involves. Once I've garnered some clients, I hope to expand, though I don't have a big network yet (outside of this forum), so I don't expect to take on weddings for quite a while, if ever.

As for the business plan, I agree with its' importance. Create one, then read it over a few times to make sure you're not diving in deeper than you can realistically handle. (My state offers web pages that helped me do that, and I bought some software from NOLO to help with the LLC operating agreement).

Besides buying equipment, I feel I've taken only baby steps thus far, but hope to start marketing myself soon.

Good luck.
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