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

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Old June 9th, 2009, 09:12 AM   #46
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA
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I had a bride who I was shooting in about two weeks call and cancel. The wedding is still on, they are just canceling video. They booked our cheapest package ($1295). No recap, no highlights, just the ceremony and reception. They are getting married at a very nice church and the reception is at a mansion on St. Charles street (fancy street in New Orleans). One of my best friends is the photographer and he starts at $3,000.
The mother asked me what we could do about the deposit and I kindly told her that it was non-refundable, especially with the wedding being less than a month away. Now, will she bad mouth me to other mothers/brides and cost me business? Should I have just given her the $400 deposit back and sucked it up. I was torn between both.
BTW....Ethan, I referred a bride to you yesterday. Peace.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 09:15 AM   #47
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Location: Chicago, IL
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I agree wwith you. Hell I can't even remember my own wedding but then that was 40 years ago-you know back in the stone age ;-)

We've all had times during the reception that while getting some dance footage the drunk uncle gets into the veiwfinder, so when editing you cut him out while he's making an a** of himself BUT keeping in mind that MAYBE he's always like that. (I would hope not). Anyway, using common sense when doing the edit and keeping the best footage is a starting point but you also keep in mind that some of the older folks (and I fall into that catagory) might not be around in a few years and the couple would probably want to see them and maybe even hear them having fun at their wedding, so while I agree that photo does have a higher priority than video (in most cases) a well crafted video, solid stabile footage with excellant audio will live on for the ages and while most couples may not watch it as often as they look at the photos it is to me as important and not just because I do it. I wish I had more video of my mother at my kids weddings, my grandkids love to watch and hear their great grandmother whenever they can.

Chad, IF your service agreement reads non refundable then that's what it is-I had one recently that cancelled and according to my agreement I refunded 1/2 of the retainer-she called and bit**ed about it but when I told her to re-read the agreement that SHE signed she let it go. IF she bad mouths me, while I wouldn't like it, that's business and I am running a business not a charity. BTW, she cancelled because she ran out of money-not because she isn't getting married.
Just my opinion-stick to your agreement. Like my lawyer says, 'if it ain't in writing, it ain't'.
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.

Last edited by Don Bloom; June 9th, 2009 at 09:19 AM. Reason: forgot to add
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Old June 9th, 2009, 10:03 AM   #48
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Location: Miami, FL
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I completely agree with Don. If your contract states the deposit is non-refundable (which it should), then do NOT refund it. Be confident and stand by your contract. This is another one of those areas where I think our professionalism sometimes suffers. I know too many 'video guys' that just do whatever the B&G want even if it breaches the contract ... and I know some that don't even have a contract.

I know you're concerned about the MoB bad-mouthing you, but had you given them a refund then you're hurting yourself by setting a precedent there as well; better to set the precedent that your contract is the real deal.
Black Label Films
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Old June 9th, 2009, 10:06 AM   #49
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Houma, La.
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Originally Posted by Jeff Kellam View Post

If you are producing videos showing people in ANY obviously drunk or compromised manner, you are doing a huge dis-service to the client. I think anyone would agree that type of activity should be 100% edited out (except in 4X4 mudbog stlye weddings).
You guys crack me up sometimes, I was using that as an extreme example to buttress my argument that the individual viewer assigns their own meaning to the photos and that the beauty of photos for purposes of memories is that they can be taken out of context.

-Ethan Cooper
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