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-   -   A turning point in video/photo packages? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-event-videography-techniques/526592-turning-point-video-photo-packages.html)

Roger Gunkel January 25th, 2015 05:38 PM

A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
We exhibited at one of our regular big wedding shows today, one that we have been to twice a year for 10 years. For eight of those years we were the only video company as against 10 regular photographers and various numbers of other trades. The last 4 shows we have advertised our joint package and the last 3 shows there have also been two other video companies, both from well outside the area.

Today however there were still the same number of photographers most of whom we have worked with, but there were 4 other companies offering joint video/photo packages. They were all photographers who had decided to offer video as well and 3 of them only did short form highlights. 2 of those were the new companies who had previously promoted their video only, as the organisers only allowed 10 photographers. The remaining joint package company were offering a very basic unedited video shot with a handy cam alongside their main photography.

They were all youngish guys and very pleasant, but I noticed that not one offered a doc style full length video except us, so I concluded that either they were following what seems to be the current preferred trend, or that their equipment and style of working made long form difficult. All of the others had cameras and equipment as the centrepiece of their displays, which I found surprising.

What I also found fascinating was that all of our enquiries were for the joint package for the first time, and we took more reserved dates and viewing appointments than at any wedding show we have attended over 30 years. Five of the reservations were from brides who had been round the whole show and returned to us later and by the time we got home, we already had two more email reservations from people who had seen us at the show. That was also a first for us.

I have no idea what any of this means, except that much greater competition has brought us more interest, joint packages are suddenly becoming more widely offered and short form offerings are becoming the norm. I have no idea how many serious enquiries the other companies took, but I did notice that every person reserving a date with us asked how long our videos were. That is very unusual!

Roger

Chris Harding January 25th, 2015 07:15 PM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Hey Roger

For us that is good news indeed if the trend is going that way! I would say most of my brides DO ask me about video length and they do seem satisfied when they get the 60 -80 minute answer so maybe they want decent coverage. So far this year I have had just one bride who wants a highlight video but she still wants a long form. Maybe it's better value for money to them if they get a double DVD set and it costs them $2000 for the day as opposed to the same price for a 20 minute or less summary?

After you convinced me to go the photo/video route (and I convinced wifey to help out) most of our enquiries have been for the dual package! The only difference is that she likes to keep busy at the reception so we also toss in a simple "open photobooth" (just a backdrop and a bunch of props but brides love them!

Good to see the market is going in this direction but it will be tough on the DSLR people who prefer to do something more cinematic and creative and produce a shorter end product.

Chris

Robert Benda January 25th, 2015 07:28 PM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Great for you.

I suspect those newly offering highlight only video will learn quickly that, even though that's what everyone sees online, it is only part of what most clients want. I learned that our first year. Our first wedding, actually.

Chris, I squared the video length question with 3 videos. The 5'er that will get the most social media, the full length so they have the whole ceremony/speeches, and the 20 that splits the difference and is still easy for the B&G to rewatch.

I would love to be able to offer photography, too, but I have a long way to go for that.

Chris Harding January 25th, 2015 08:29 PM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Hi Rob

We have a guy here who is super popular with brides and gets piles of work simply because he is clever enough to offer a triple package with video, photos and a DJ service. His wife does the video and he does the photos then at the reception he becomes the DJ/MC and still does photos/video too. Brides love the fact that they can get an all-in-one package. He doesn't get too complicated with each service and doesn't try to provide anything too fancy but it certainly works for him! Gosh you already have a stunning DJ service so all you need is to get the wife up to speed as a photographer while you are doing video pre-reception and you would have a real winner.

I feel that in the future brides will be looking real hard at booking all-in-one packages ...let's face it, if you hire a DJ ..he has to load gear, travel, do the job all with startup costs. Then you hire a videographer and the same start up costs also are added to the budget. Already, you have eliminated any start up costs for video as you are already there as the DJ so it makes sense for a bride to look a lot harder at multiple services packages rather than hire individual operators for each service. Since Roger convinced me to do dual packages 90% of my enquiries are for video and photos and the occasional bride that wants only video only does so because she already booked someone else for photos. I have even had a bride cancel a photog after seeing our package ... she saved enough with our all-in-one to offset the photogs deposit.

Chris

Tom Sessions January 25th, 2015 09:19 PM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
And as the old saying goes..."Jack of all trades and Master at none"

Steve Burkett January 26th, 2015 02:10 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Photographers offering Video can work for single Videographers too. I got a last minute booking in mid December, where the husband and wife Photographers offered a Video service. Having hooked the couple with the idea of video, they must have been a bit peeved when I was booked instead. Still we got on well on the day, so they obviously didn't bare a grudge.
Combined packages might force the fat cows in the Photography and Video Industry to lower their prices as from a google search of companies offering both, I see prices rarely climb above 2k for both, more around the 1500 area, which seems quite low to me. A contrast to some Photographers I've worked with where a glance of their prices for Photo service alone is around 2k or even higher. Yet their website says they're not taking bookings for 2015 and have limited space for 2016. I wish I could get away with charging that for Video.

Chris Harding January 26th, 2015 02:19 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Hi Steve

My justification revolves around the fact that more often than not the bride books photos and IF there is any money left at the end she will get video. By offering both I can book photography and video and seal the deal plus I get to work with the photog of my choice and not some highly paid arrogant guy who had decided this is HIS wedding not the bride's and he is in charge!!

We have total control with a dual package and although we charge less than it would cost a bride to have us just for video and then hire a photog, the peace of mind of having the entire wedding in our hands is well worth it!!

Chris

Steve Burkett January 26th, 2015 03:04 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
I'm not knocking your service Chris, there's a place in the market for it. I don't want it necessarily to seriously knock the single service business as I feel there's a place for it too. There's a risk in putting all your eggs in one basket, a combined DJ, Video and Photo is great until the DJ falls ill or has an accident. Hell, I worry about that for me and I'm just offering video.
I admit there's a few Photographers I hate working with, but also many I do love working with. Some even become friends. It's nice meeting new people, perhaps even learning from their style of work, something I'd see less of if I did do it all. That said, I'm seriously considering of adding a photo service to my packages, but not the full deal. More Speeches to First Dance. I had several Weddings last year where the Photographer was hired only for 3 or 4 hours until the Reception and I've spoken to others who offer a similar service. Yet no Videographers to my knowledge have picked up on this as a chance for extra cash.

Noa Put January 26th, 2015 03:18 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Since last year I have seen a clear increase of video and photocompanies starting to offer both, it's just a way to secure more bookings and income, what I read on weddingforums is that some brides do prefer it that way because they find it easy booking both at once and they think the cooperation between both won't be a issue.

I"m watching a ray roman course now and someone did ask if Ray was not afraid of those companies that start to offer both and if it was something he would consider offering as well, his starting price is 9K so you would think that with his kind of clientele he would be able to easily double that price.

He was very clear about that, he would never think about doing photography as well, "you can't be equally good at both things at the same time" he said and he would prefer to be the best at one thing only and being able to charge accordingly.

What I do see is that all photogs that have a website (where I can see their demo's) and start delivering video as well still focus most on photography and deliver video as a simple add-on, mostly with no attention to sound, vintage look, very shallow dof kind of thing. To me it looks more like a moving slideshow, they usually charge at least 20-30% more for their photopackages

I think for most brides would consider photography as most important and expect good quality and they choose video as add-on just because it's easy but will not be expecting the same level so they won't be paying more for it.

So I think that if you want to add photography to your videopackages you might have to consider that brides expect a good photocoverage. A photocompany will be able to deliver a simple videocoverage which to our standards would be just above uncle bob level but I think that doesn't work the other way round.

Roger Gunkel January 26th, 2015 05:18 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Some interesting points of view on this subject and I have no idea whether it is just a novelty at the moment or whether the market is changing.

Chris- you seem to be finding the same response and interest that I get and that would suggest a change in client attitudes. One thing that was very obvious yesterday was that the enquiries were for much further ahead than we would usually expect for video only. One of the dates reserved is for September 2018 and several for 2017, which seems to be consistent with photographer's enquiries. that would also explain why we are currently getting almost exclusively joint package enquiries as last year many couples would have booked their photographer before we were offering the package.

There is no doubt that I am finding that all the younger companies are promoting short form and cinematic, with two companies yesterday advertising themselves as Cinematographers and Film Makers. They were also filming with DSLRs and some were showing cameras, sliders and steadycams. Analysing the comments of many visitors to our stand who had looked at other companies exhibiting, there were several mentions of 'Out of focus video', which I would assume was how they saw shallow DOF. I was also surprised to have comments about 'Arty Farty Video' and 'Clever Fiddly Stuff', with two couples also completely bemused by a video that started at the vows, then went to the preps, then the first dance, then various different moments. I tried to explain time shifting but they weren't impressed. Gave us two more reservations though :-).

Of course I have no idea what visitors were saying to the other companies about our style, and I went to great pains to tell people that there are different types of video product available and to be aware of what companies were offering.

Noa- Because Ray Roman is a heavyweight in wedding video production, he commands a lot of respect, however just because he says you can't be top quality at both, doesn't mean he is right, it just means that he couldn't do both. There is also the definition of top quality, as there is a huge difference in the quality and style of different photographers. I always ask potential joint package clients to look very carefully at our photos and videos to make sure that they are getting the quality they want from both, before booking. The unsolicited comments we received yesterday about our photography and video work leads me to think that we are doing both jobs to a generally accepted standard of quality. I do concede though that certain photographers and videographers lift their work to an art form that a few clients may be prepared to pay a premium for. Some people can throw two balls in the air and catch them reasonably comfortably, while others can juggle 3,4,5,6 with consummate ease, it's a skill that takes time to learn.

I also agree with Steve that there will always be a market for separate video and photography and many would not feel comfortable trying to do both and perhaps offering a sub standard product. I also have a number of photographers that recommend us because they have been asked about video and feel comfortable with us, just as we recommend photographers when a separate photographer is preferred.

Roger

Roger Gunkel January 26th, 2015 05:33 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
I did feel yesterday, that some, not all, photographers offering video, were doing so partly out of panic at losing a potential client to a joint package company, and some of the video was poor to say the least.

I don't see that a new joint package trend needs to be of concern to those that can't manage both, as it would be very simple for video and photo companies to team up with companies they have worked well with to offer a combined package, whilst keeping their businesses separate. The client would see one contract, and the payment would be split by agreement between the companies, without the client even thinking about it. It would also mean that both photographer and videographer would work in their own comfort zone, but also, importantly, be aware of each other's requirements. In essence the client would see very much the same as they would if Chris or I were doing a joint shoot with our wives.

Roger

Noa Put January 26th, 2015 05:34 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Quote:

Because Ray Roman is a heavyweight in wedding video production, he commands a lot of respect, however just because he says you can't be top quality at both, doesn't mean he is right
What he actually was saying that for him there s no way he could put the same attention doing both simultaneously and still deliver something exceptional as both require a different skill set and way of handling, it's just his opinion on these matters which I actually share. It's not that it is not possible to do both, you can, but I think we have had this discussion before. You could include being DJ as well as that would just be a matter of autoplaying a playlist, but that will not make you a top DJ, you only will be providing for music and as long as your client understands the limitations then you can combine whatever you are capable of doing yourself.

Roger Gunkel January 26th, 2015 06:01 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Noa Put (Post 1874751)
What he actually was saying that for him there s no way he could put the same attention doing both simultaneously and still deliver something exceptional as both require a different skill set and way of handling, it's just his opinion on these matters which I actually share. It's not that it is not possible to do both, you can, but I think we have had this discussion before. You could include being DJ as well as that would just be a matter of autoplaying a playlist, but that will not make you a top DJ, you only will be providing for music and as long as your client understands the limitations then you can combine whatever you are capable of doing yourself.

I understand what you and Ray are saying Noa, but in my experience, most couples do not want the best that is possible to achieve, otherwise I would be using jibs, cranes, dolly tracks, audio technicians etc etc, probably how Ray works. That of course would make it totally impossible to do while you are also taking stills using reflectors, heavy duty lighting, several cameras, flashes, lenses. I wouldn't want to work to that level because I wouldn't enjoy it, and there wouldn't be the customer base here that can afford it.

What I can and always have offered is competent, good quality doc style video. I have also been a competent photographer for many years, and have brought the two together. If I felt that I was unable to meet the expectations of my clients in either, then I would not offer both. If I felt I was compromising my own ability to offer my normal standard in either then I also would not offer both. If I walk around any wedding show that I attend, I see a lot of good video and photography on display (and some not so good) but I never feel that the quality that is on show, is something that I can't match. I also am aware that my potential clients are also judging my work by others that they see at the shows, so ultimately they have the opportunity to compare and choose the options that they feel give them the quality they want.

Roger

Kyle Root January 26th, 2015 06:37 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
I had my first official website inquiry last week and the MOB said she wanted to hire us so she could have a single POC for photo and video.

My team and I are moving forward down this path of offering both photo and video as a combo.

We'll see how it goes.

Steve Burkett January 26th, 2015 07:13 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
I was a passionate Photographer before a Videographer. My folks are still bemused at the change and can't understand how I can come back from Holiday or a visit to London with Video rather than Photos. But if I'm standing on top of the Shard, I see everyone snapping away with cameras, whereas my video is capturing the view somewhat differently to them. I see Weddings in the same way. I can certainly do both if I put my mind to it. I've done Wedding Video, Marryoke, Guest Messages and Same Day Edit as a one man band in a day, so it's doable.
It's my attitude to Photography that's the issue rather than my ability. A Wedding is full of people snapping away, even the kids as young as 3 are in on the action. In most cases I'm alone in capturing the day via Video, making for me that work more unique and special than should I be adding to the multitude of Photos. I also find formal photos to be an exercise in tedium and a tradition long past its sell by date: a hark back when photos of family members were rare due to the cost of film. I left my old job as it was shifting me away from what I loved doing to something I didn't and I'd be damned if I let my Business go the same way.

That said, personal opinions count for little if they prevent me from making money. If this idea of combining both becomes less the flavour of the month and more the way forward, I can't be silly and just ignore it. Which is why the idea of doing Speeches to 1st Dance has some appeal as an extra. It avoids those blasted formals for a start. Whether I then join forces with a Photographer or 2 is something to consider further ahead.

Can't see this new trend as a positive one though. Photographers charging 300 to add Video; that's even undercutting the weekend warriors let alone me. The only consolation is that many will be rubbish and swiftly grow tired of the extra work.

Chris Harding January 26th, 2015 07:25 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Hi Roger

You neglected to mention that, like us, you don't try to shoot video and photos as a solo operator. The comments here seem to be targeted towards solo operators trying to shoot video and photos at the same time and although I have done it, it isn't easy.

Just to set the record straight guys, both Roger and myself work with a husband and wife team, one doing photos and one doing video so my photog just concentrates on the stills leaving me to concentrate on the video which is a far cry from one poor soul with a video camera on a tripod, 2nd video camera in one hand and then two DSLR's around his waist. I do agree that a set up like that would result in either poor stills, poor video or both.

The advantage is that we can offer dual packages and we are using the photog of our choice too. There is no extra costs either as we travel together and work together which is a saving for the bride compared to hiring a photog from one side of town and the videographer from the other. It works for us and works for the bride with no compromise in quality.

Chris

Steve Burkett January 26th, 2015 07:58 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Chris, I'm not knocking either you or Roger. You're both experienced Videographers and are offering an additional service. Makes great sense. However this thread opened with the idea that others are catching on and whilst competition is healthy, I'm not sure a future of combined packages is going to be as good for the Industry as perhaps you and Roger feel it would be.
How long before weekend warriors are charging 600-700 for a combined Photography / Video package, or worse, even less. It's hard enough convincing Brides as it is that a Wedding Video has value; most only really see it's worth after they've watched their own. When Photographers start trying to convince couples that a 300 Video upgrade is worth as much as a Videographer charging for example 1000, you can hardly expect me to embrace this development with a whoop and a cheer.

Roger Gunkel January 26th, 2015 09:13 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Steve- I think you are worrying unnecessarily as the market will find it's own level fairly quickly. there is absolutely nothing to stop anyone going into a shop, buying a cheap handycam and offering a really cheap video service, which will undercut your own by miles. It won't be any good, but do you worry about it? No not really because you have to credit potential clients with a certain amount of intelligence over what they expect and also have confidence in your own product. I don't see Rolls Royce worrying about Kia taking their market, it's just another product that will sell if people want it and will die if they don't

A 300 video add on to a photographic package may not be very good as the cost wouldn't cover the editing time that would be required to bring it to a reasonable standard. One that I saw yesterday at that sort of price, was very poor and a number of potential clients who visited my stand said exactly that. The making of the video in my opinion is very much related to the time put into the editing and synching cameras and sound. The camera work still has to be competent of course, but I feel that with photography, the framing and the pose or the moment is the deciding factor, with the processing far less time consuming than a video. I would consider a 300 add on to a video package to do stills delivered on a USB drive, a much better solution than the other way round. Having said that, if I was offering a photo only package, then the buying of my time for the day, travelling and any other costs would bring that sort of price up to the average typical photography price. The advantage with the joint package is that the time on the day is only paid once and that the extra cost is really just the processing time.

Chris- sorry to disagree with you for once and correct you, but I frequently work solo for photos and video and absolutely love it:-) If we only have one video on, then we both attend as it lightens the work load, but Claire also does solo video and photo. One of her clients from last year for the joint package, turned up at the show yesterday with a friend just to thank her for fantastic stills and video and even told a visiting couple how delighted she was. They reserved their date :-)

Roger

Steve Burkett January 26th, 2015 09:43 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Roger, I would be more concerned with 1 established Photographer offering Video than half a dozen weekend warriors starting up in my area. The weekend warrior who has bought a handycam has no established business, no capital unless he/she has savings, no website that ranks highly, no previous clients to speak of and no experience or understanding of Wedding work. A well established Photographer is likely to be blessed with all of these; they know the game, having played it for several years.

With Videographers that do try their hand at Weddings, many will give up quickly because they find the work too demanding, not creative enough or just lack basic business sense. Those that do survive are my competition, but at least they'll be playing by the same rules, at prices I can compete with.
A Photographer though, already having enough income from his Photography business, assuming of course it is successful can charge at a considerably reduced rate and are in a position to meet couples well before I get a look in. Whilst I like to think Brides will still check out Videographers before committing, I'm not sure a considerable number will think, 'why not, it keeps things simple and cheaper' and sign the dotted line. I've been guilty of not researching enough when hiring in professionals, so I can't expect others to be any different.

Basically anyone new starting up doing both, I'm not concerned about. However if enough well established Photographers began to offer Video, then yes it is of concern to me. That is not lack of confidence in my product. I'm sure Tescos were equally confident in their product until Lidl and Aldi became established.
I can't say I'm seriously concerned at the moment, but certainly am watchful of this new trend as any Business should be if it wants to remain viable in the years ahead.

Noa Put January 26th, 2015 10:23 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Quote:

However if enough well established Photographers began to offer Video, then yes it is of concern to me. That is not lack of confidence in my product.
To be honest, I think it is, if you are good at what you do you don't need to worry about photographers starting to offer videography, unless they make it a full time thing with a dedicated talented videographer that just like us spend years to learn how to capture great images AND clear sound and how to edit that all together to a compelling piece. Every photog I see offering video around these parts does just a half decent job when it concerns video and they attract clients that will never choose for me anyway. They do great photography but video is just an afterthought.

Steve Burkett January 26th, 2015 10:51 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Noa Put (Post 1874795)
To be honest, I think it is, if you are good at what you do you don't need to worry about photographers starting to offer videography, unless they make it a full time thing with a dedicated videographer that just like us spend years to learn how to capture great images AND clear sound and how to edit that all together to a compelling piece. Every photog I see offering video around these parts does just a half decent job when it concerns video and they attract clients that will never choose for me anyway. They do great photography but video is just an afterthought.

I take it you've seen Peter Riding's work here on this forum. Established Photographer offering Video. I know some Video guys have issues with his work and yes I would rate my own work higher if being honest; however it's far from bad work and frankly I've seen worse by Videographers offering video alone. For many Bride's, a video such as Peter provides, would be more than acceptable. As many do so often remind, our clients aren't looking for a blockbuster.
On an equal front, if Roger and Chris can do photos to a quality they feel is acceptable to them and their clients, it's no great stretch that Photographers can do the same re Video. That Roger and Chris are offering both Photos and Video mean they are in effect taking away business from a Photographer that would have otherwise snapped up the work. Why can't it swing the other way? Do you think Bride's really know good work when they see it? Depth of field is a cinematic technique designed to give the illusion of depth to a 2d image, but to a Bride it's an out of focus shot. With that kind of example that Roger quoted, it seems most Videographers are wasting their talents.

As I said, I'm not yet seriously concerned. A lot more would have to happen for that. However keeping an eye on a growing trend and considering the potential impact on my own business is not a waste of time for me nor an indication that I'm not confident with my own work. I just don't feel the need to dismiss it so lightly.

Noa Put January 26th, 2015 11:50 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
I have seen Peter's work, he is the only one I know that manages to juggle video and photo effectively getting good images from multiple fixed camera's and good sound all by himself, but from all of his work I have seen, it's completely different from what I deliver and we do have different clients with different expectations. Even if there would live 10 photogs like him in my own street I still would not be worried :)

There is a big difference between one photog, like Peter, doing video and photo simultaneously or a man/wife team where one concentrates on photography and the other on videography, in this last case each can concentrate fully on one job only being able to provide a more versatile product.

If I look at Peter's videowork, I mainly see fixed camera's, almost cctv wide angle like recording of ceremonies and speeches, but done right considering he does 2 things at the same time which is something I would not be able to replicate. I only don't see any creative artsy fartsy camerawork, no story building or special editing, just basic, no-nonsense recording of longer events. There is nothing wrong with that and there certainly are enough brides that are more then happy with such a memory, but those are the kind of brides that never will end up with me anyway which is why I never would worry about that.

The photogs I was referring to operate just the other way round, they concentrate almost exclusively on the artsy fartsy videocamera work which is why it looks a moving photoshoot, nice to look at but completely hollow inside.

Steve Burkett January 26th, 2015 12:13 PM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Noa, my clients are quite diverse in their requirements; probably more so than most other Videographers here. I would say that 15% of my clients would not mind if I filmed single camera during the day. In fact 40% of my clients would be more than happy with what Peter provided, assuming of course there was items filmed inbetween the Ceremony and Speeches. There's a hardcore of 30% that are more demanding, meetings, list of shots, high expectations, but this diverse range does mean I did get one former client informing me he suggested me to his sister but the Photographer she hired did Video. So I can't ignore this potential competition, but neither am I sitting here fretting over it. For me it's worth monitoring.
I'm doing a Wedding Fayre next month, so I'll be keeping an eye on the Photographers too. As you say, Peter's work may not reflect on what others are doing, so that'll be nice to see; as for now, Peter's work is really my only reference.

5 years into my Business and only a year into it fulltime, I'm more on the threshold in deciding how I want to take my Business further - do I proceed down more Cinematic, stay the same or look to create a team that offers both Video and Photo. So this issue is perhaps of greater interest to me than someone more established in what they're offering.

Noa Put January 26th, 2015 12:29 PM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
As long as you deliver a product that is not that different from what the photogs deliver you are referring to, then you are right it is something to be slightly worried about, that's why you need to set yourself apart with something they don't offer and stop delivering what they do offer. That's the reason I don't need to worry about any photog that decides to include video as none I have seen so far does what I do and what I deliver attracts a totally different clientele then those choosing for photo/video combination.

Steve Burkett January 26th, 2015 12:52 PM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Well it's not just my product, more the differences in my clients needs. I offer as standard, a full length video, 30 minute video, Trailer and Highlights, far more than any Photographer would I'd wager. However as I offer 4 packages of different levels of service, this creates a broad range in what my clients may come to me for. So I have a client whose Wedding I'm filming in March who is Director of a Production Company that does work for TV and where I'm expected to deliver a certain standard of shots for and then a month later I'm filming a Wedding for a couple who frankly just want a nice little video of their day and couldn't care less how I film it.
Clients of lower expectations will still come to me, but can easily drift to a Photographer who is offering something they may find acceptable; if a basic record of their day is all they're after. Now if I was offering more Shortform with uncut Ceremony and Speeches, my situation would be quite different and my competition would reflect that.

Noa Put January 26th, 2015 01:12 PM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
The fact that you also attract the client that has lower expectations means that you offer a product that meets their expectations. That's what I"m trying to say all along, it's all about the product, market and price it right and the "right' clients will follow.

My father always worked for people that just wanted a simple video, the venues he worked in where what we call in dutch a "parochiezaal" (google it and you know what I mean) and those where only used by people that have small budgets (my first wedding 30 years ago was in such a place!) The main reason they choose my dad because he was cheap and what he shot was decent, also straight forward no-nonse video. That's great if you are ok with that, plenty of work in those circles but you won't be making enough money to make a living out of it.

Steve Burkett January 26th, 2015 01:39 PM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
I think within all the issues that are being banded here is that for me, not all my clients come to me with what I'm offering in mind. They just want someone to film their Wedding, that's all. When my clients receive their video, a typical response is, it was better than what they were expecting. This is good, but it does suggest that yes, my marketing of my product probably needs work on.

However even with that, some couples just don't rate video high enough in their planning of a Wedding. I'm the last call if they have money left over. I get good business from it, but if they could get it cheaper from someone else... Your video service clearly does not suffer from that. However whilst delivering a documentary edit is a good business strategy for Weddings as many want that style of video, it's also the hardest to individualise to me in the minds of clients who can't tell SD from HD and depth of field from out of focus. Some do pick up on my unique style and comment on it, many just like it cos it flows in the right order and has a bit of music in it. However their money is as good as anyone elses and one I'd like to keep. Photographers get enough already. :)

Roger Gunkel January 26th, 2015 02:24 PM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Burkett (Post 1874798)
Do you think Bride's really know good work when they see it? Depth of field is a cinematic technique designed to give the illusion of depth to a 2d image, but to a Bride it's an out of focus shot. With that kind of example that Roger quoted, it seems most Videographers are wasting their talents.

This is a very interesting point Steve and one that is not easy to answer. A lot of new young videographers and many that have been around a while enjoy using the cinematic skills that they have learned and perfected in their wedding videos. Techniques such as shallow DOF, slider shots, reveals, time shifting, particular looks are all widely used in big budget movies, to emphasise a moment add emotion or drama etc.

They are techniques and skills that we are all used to seeing in short form and trailer or cinematic wedding productions. There is no doubt that they require mastery of those skills and are things that we take for granted in blockbuster movies, but the question you asked is 'Are (wedding) videographers wasting their talents?' I have to say honestly that I believe in many cases yes they are! The cinematic short form is a totally different artistic glossy product, that appeals to a particular type of client who wants the gloss and instant appeal that that type of video gives. There is nothing wrong at all with that, but my own experience from the regular wedding shows and enquiries that we get, is that that style of video is a minority section of the wedding video market.

As the short form producers become more common, I find that more and more enquiries are about video length and style. Many of those that I visit are finding it more difficult to find documentary style producers. I don't think that potential clients are unaware of what cinematic style means, they just want to see the full scene rather than selected parts. I had a direct comment yesterday that the bride wanted to see the reaction behind her during the vows and not a fuzzy vague impression of her friends and family. It is a side of the wedding video industry that is perhaps often trying to squeeze a carefully honed square plug into a round hole.

The area of the market that I supply and it also enables me to not have to concentrate on DOF and focus or set up sliders etc when I could be taking some great still shots. I work very quickly with minimal setup time and am able to swap very quickly and effectively between stills and video without spoiling the creative side of the video or the stills. If you are using and selling great cinematic skills, then you are unlikely to be able to accommodate stills work with that effectively.

Roger

Robert Benda January 26th, 2015 05:21 PM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Burkett (Post 1874798)
Do you think Bride's really know good work when they see it? Depth of field is a cinematic technique designed to give the illusion of depth to a 2d image, but to a Bride it's an out of focus shot.

we've talked about this before, but often the best shots, the best cinematography, has an effect on the viewer that they're not even conscious of.

A tight shot of the bride's face over the groom's shoulder with some shallow depth of field will create intimacy that a wide aisle shot can't. Used correctly, technique can make a much better wedding video.

Steve Burkett January 26th, 2015 06:21 PM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Roger, what I want to know is, where do you meet these people who have such strong views on depth of field. Now I get it's not your thing nor is it some other Videographers here, but time and again those who object to depth of field in Wedding Videos seem to find like minded clients. I've yet to meet a single person whose expressed such an opinion. I attend Wedding Fayres, meet with clients and yet despite also having shallow depth of field in close ups and deep depth of field in wide shots, not a single comment has been made asking for more wide shots over the close ups. I can't even blame Brides being kind, because some are really not.

I agree that depth of field is over used though, but equally I find it over critiqued too. Do the majority of the Brides care about it, no of course not. Nor do they care about the vast majority of good camera techniques such as careful zooming into the rings, camera pans and reveal shots or even close ups but we all use some form of camera technique. Most of which should be invisible anyway if done well, yet within each of our styles of work there are these little touches we enjoy doing and which probably go over the heads of many of our clients.
However my business is as much about fulfilling my creative style as giving my clients something they'll enjoy. It's worth it for my clients in the end as it's amazing how much extra effort I'll put in when I'm happy with how I'm filming.

Oddly though, despite a strong liking for cinematic techniques, I do favour documentary in my delivery. Even my highlights are very linear; I've tried mixing it all up, but never took to it. So I'm sort of a cross between 2 styles, which is frankly me all over.

Steve Burkett January 26th, 2015 06:29 PM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Robert Benda (Post 1874869)
we've talked about this before, but often the best shots, the best cinematography, has an effect on the viewer that they're not even conscious of.

A tight shot of the bride's face over the groom's shoulder with some shallow depth of field will create intimacy that a wide aisle shot can't. Used correctly, technique can make a much better wedding video.

To be honest, I was being more ironic rather than expressing a genuine opinion on depth of field. I love close ups for that very reason you give and will often in the hymns focus just on the couple if they're having a special moment; the sort of shot that makes what I do worthwhile. I've read interviews from guys in special effects who say their best compliments come when no one notices their work. It's the same for me with cinematic techniques. If they notice, I've used it wrong or the content isn't strong enough.

Roger Gunkel January 27th, 2015 05:18 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Burkett (Post 1874876)
Roger, what I want to know is, where do you meet these people who have such strong views on depth of field. Now I get it's not your thing nor is it some other Videographers here, but time and again those who object to depth of field in Wedding Videos seem to find like minded clients. I've yet to meet a single person whose expressed such an opinion. I attend Wedding Fayres, meet with clients and yet despite also having shallow depth of field in close ups and deep depth of field in wide shots, not a single comment has been made asking for more wide shots over the close ups. I can't even blame Brides being kind, because some are really not.

Good morning Steve,

I think you are misinterpreting my point to some extent as I am not against shallow DOF when appropriate, indeed I sometimes use it myself. What I do find really irritating is the constant use of it on close ups, together with focus pulling, and using both techniques continuously. It seems to be used often to replace an understanding of flow, subtlety and variation in shots. I love close ups particularly during the vows and use them all the time, but when the groom is saying his vows to his bride, I want then both in full focus close up to get every piece of emotion and reaction from both of them, rather than pulling focus from one to the other.

There does seem to be a bit of a feeling here that if you don't do shallow dof then you don't do closeups! That of course is totally wrong and my videos use a lot of close up shots throughout the day both with and without shallow dof. I do suspect though that some people may be using cameras/lenses that make the shooting of a closeup of two people from a few feet away at a slight angle, impossible without losing focus on one, the assumption then being that anyone not getting a shallow dof is not doing closeup shots. That would often then make a focus pull or shallow dof a necessity rather than a creative choice on many closeups.

I don't find or look for clients to support my views, and I have never yet met a client who has mentioned dof or even understood it, but when more than one visitor to my show stand tells me about out of focus or fuzzy shots they have seen at important moments, I know what they are referring to. I would say that this has been a recent observation from the last few wedding shows and not something I have found in previous years. I may be noticing it more than you simply because I exhibit at a lot of wedding shows, the one last Sunday for instance, according to their recorded figures, had 592 brides and over 4000 people attending, so Claire and I were talking to people approaching our stand continuously for 5 hours. sometimes up to 3 different brides at the same time with a number of other companies for them to see.

My views are observations on information coming to me from potential clients, based on questions we are being asked, not on trying to force any particular opinion on anyone. these are also questions coming from people at an open show, rather than a personal visit to a client when they have basically made their choice. There is room for everyone to promote their work and film their videos and or stills in whatever way they wish, but I am noticing a shift in the type of things people are asking. Perhaps people are becoming more aware of wedding video and noticing things that maybe they wouldn't have a few years ago. Cheap cameras and videoing with smart phones is probably contributing to their views. Whether it is a good or bad thing I have no idea.

Roger

Steve Burkett January 27th, 2015 07:23 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Good Afternoon Roger, :)

I understand why some will feel that depth of field objectors don't do close ups. Common arguments being made is that Brides want to see behind them, suggesting a preference for wide angles. To be honest I can see your point here. Those that feel such techniques are transferable from TV and Movies forget that what works for TV doesn't necessarily work for Wedding Videos. In TV shows, the audience is more likely to be led by the camera, but watching a Wedding video, a Bride and Groom being in the video themselves will find their eyes drawn to what they couldn't see on the day, namely what was behind them when they were standing at the alter, Now if in the video what is behind them is out of focus, this must be very frustrating for the couple.

My depth of field is more close ups, blurring a dull background such as a wall. In cases where there are in shot, a number of guests out of focus, either by design or by virtue of my equipment choice and lens, in the edit I must ensure the shot doesn't last long enough to make that a problem for the couple. I have a camera on wide with me to cut to at regular intervals. Like you, I prefer variety in my shots.

Aside that some Videographers almost explain away not having depth of field in their own videos by attacking it, another common complaint is that it shouldn't be used as the Bride won't notice it. I disagree on this argument. Whilst I don't expect my clients to notice or heaven forbid even comment on individual techniques, I do want them to come away feeling my video is professional. Now when I first started, my choice of camera didn't lend well to shallow depth of field, so I didn't use it. I did though use the zoom and smooth pan that 50i could give as creatively as possible for reveal shots such as the pull back and pan from a hotel sign to reveal the Wedding car driving along the hotel approach road. A shot that took some skill to pull off but went uncommented on by the couple. However the general standard and quality of the video was noticed and appreciated.
Now my GH4 can't handle that shot so easily, but it has its strengths too and I play to them rather than its weaknesses. Depth of field is one of its strengths, albeit limited compared to a fullframe, so naturally I'm going to make the most of it, just as I do it's 4K and 96fps feature. I hope it's not an over used technique, but really that's down to the person viewing the video as their opinion will no doubt differ to mine.

Be wary of judging a company too much from Wedding Fayre videos; mine tend to be silent, a 15 minute piece that highlights a variety of locations, styles and techniques. But hardly a good representation of a 90 minute final video I provide. This the potential client will watch in the comfort of their living room after I hooked them with the Highlight reel. Maybe you work differently at Wedding Fayres. How do you demonstrate to clients at Fayres your video style and work, Highlights, example Audio of the Vows; do they watch the first 10 minutes of a Wedding Video. I'd be intrigued to know.

Roger Gunkel January 27th, 2015 08:52 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Hi Steve,

An interesting and thoughtful reply and one with which I am just about in complete agreement.

I do most of my shallow dof as you do, when there are things that are irrelevant in the background, or that I don't want to detract from the main subject. Absolutely right on tv and film production where the director is using a variety of techniques to draw the viewer into what he wants them to see, whereas with a wedding, the couple have their own requirements on what they chose to view in a scene.

I use a variety of shots in scene setting and general activity to keep it visually interesting and to explore my own creativity and of course closeups to emphasise particular moments. If I didn't I would never have been able to remain enthusiastic about filming weddings for 30 years. The client will never understand the work that goes into it but hopefully will love the product.

With regards to wedding shows, I don't allow myself to judge a company by their show demos, the exception being when it is blatantly poor, as was one company at the weekend. When I say poor, I don't mean in content, I mean in picture quality, flow and very unstable filming, horrific jump cuts during the ceremony on one camera and barely audible sound- Poor. I do enjoy seeing what others are showing and I always talk to other exhibitors to get a feel for them and their take on business.

On our own stand, we show a complete doc wedding and engage people in conversation to find out what they want and jump to different sections at their request to see ceremony, reception, dance etc. If there are venue exhibitors there, we will try to show a wedding from one of the venues and the management will then direct visitors to us to see their venue, which is a great opening for us and them. we don't have a demo wedding reel as I feel we would want to show the most attractive couples at the best venues on the sunniest days. Unfortunately that can easily backfire when the average bride and groom are very ordinary looking and might be holding their reception in a village hall. We like to show something that people can relate to. We also have many different weddings with us and always ask a couple where they are getting married as we may be able to show them a wedding filmed there. We try to keep them interested in a couple of minutes and skip through sections to illustrate different aspects of the video.

We also have a display of photo books and a rolling display on a smaller monitor to show our photography work, and a canvas. We are also able to photograph and film in 3d, so our tv display can be switched to show a 3d video or stills on the rare occasion that anybody asks. We have got a 3d video and photography package booked for February and had one on Concorde in Manchester last July.

Roger

Leon Bailey January 29th, 2015 12:12 PM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
There are a lot more wedding photographers in Orlando offering video to their package now. It doesn't bother me because there are plenty of people getting married here. I just wish people would put forth full effort to own their craft instead of just doing it because their DSLR can shoot video.

As far as those shooting photos and video solo....Boy! More power to you! That is some work! If you can pull that off, that is wonderful. I couldn't do that lol.

Chris Harding January 29th, 2015 07:03 PM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Hi Leon

What is of more concern than the fact that photogs are offering video is whether they are offering a videographer as well. As already said it's pretty hard (if not impossible) to shoot photos and give decent video coverage all on your own so I would think that a photog who rigs a camcorder on a tripod running while he/she shoots stills can hardly be considered a dual package. I can shoot video a provide a decent wedding video but if I happen to pop off a few stills with the camera (mine actually shoot decent 16mp stills) I certainly couldn't classify that as photography and video. We do have two operators ..one doing video and one doing stills so we can provide correct coverage with two dedicated operators which is a whole lot different to a solo person trying to do both ! There is no way you can do video of the bride exiting the limo on your own and do stills as well unless you re-stage the entire event, once for video and once for photos and I don't think brides would want to do that!!

The only reason we do dual packages is that brides always book the photog first so we get looked at earlier which means there is a better chance of being booked and secondly we always know we have our own photog at the venue not some arrogant guy who thinks the entire wedding shoot is about him!!

Chris

Roger Gunkel January 30th, 2015 09:57 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Hi Chris,

What's going on, I am in disagreement with you again, that makes twice:-( In fact you can take solo video and stills of the bride getting out of the limo very easily without compromising both, as long as you think a bit laterally and your setup is geared for solo work. I don\'t find it any more difficult than when I work with a photographer, whether it is Claire or a separate photographer. It can actually be easier solo as the photographer usually takes the best position anyway, so when solo I always have the best position.

I take stills of the bride and father in the car, then video as he gets out, stills of the bride on the edge of the seat preparing to get out and posing plus a bit of video, then video as she gets out followed by poses with Dad, Bridesmaids etc, both video and stills at my speed, then both on the walk in. I take stills and video at the door, a quick dash down to the end of the aisle while they talk with the officiant and I\'m ready for the entrance.

Never have a problem and all quite laid back.

Roger

Noa Put January 30th, 2015 11:44 AM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
I have yet to see a trailer from someone that does both by themselves that captures the raw emotion from throughout the day in a compelling way, that\'s just not possible when you need to do both simultaneously, there often will be moments where you will be forced to choose to either take a picture or shoot video from a unexpected moment that won\'t repeat itself and which can make the difference in getting that killer photo or videorecording. It always will be a compromise, ofcourse it is possible but it will never be of the same standard compared to someone that dedicated his time to one thing only. I think this much we should be able to agree upon.

Chris Harding January 30th, 2015 06:42 PM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
Hey Roger

I guess you are right there! I have done it that way too. The point I was trying to make was that shooting on your own with two DSLR\'s dangling around your waist and holding a video camera when the limo arrives still means you can miss a few still shots If I\'m filming the limo coming down the driveway I cannot take any stills until I have stopped the camera. Yes, anything is possible on your own but can be tricky!

I did a wedding a year or so ago all on my own from bridal prep right thru to the reception juggling two Sony EA-50\'s and two Nikon still cameras ....I would definitely agree with Noa here ...yes it is physically possible but I don\'t think when you are continuously switching from still mode to video mode and back again you are getting the best out of yourself ... I\'d much rather have a dedicated photog so I can concentrate on video and then shoot stills when video is not needed on the 2nd DSLR

Chris

Ron McKinney January 30th, 2015 10:27 PM

Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?
 
First, I think those photographers offering short form video are probably doing it at low price point in an effort to get clients who are thinking about getting video and now find a feasible price to have both. They can do all they want, I don\'t compete with them and my clients are not their clients. I think that\'s why the OP had such a good response at his bridal show.

One thing I\'m hearing over and over, which really surprises me, is single operator for photo, single operator for video. I started in wedding videos in Phoenix, AZ, about 12 years ago, got out of the biz for awhile and when I got back into it, it was as a wedding photographer. I met with one client and we hit it off really well but she went with another company. When I asked her why, she said it was because they offered both photo and video and they didn\'t want to deal with two companies. I just thought, this is stupid, given my wedding video experience, so I immediately began offering both.

It has been tough to find videographers willing to shoot in my style. I\'m just not a tripod lock \'em down and take a nap sort of videographer. And I hate using just one videographer. It\'s hard to get artsy, cinematic shots when one person is shooting with another locked-down camera getting a master shot.

As a photographer, about 90% of my weddings are shot with two shooters, that\'s what my clients want. So when I do photo plus video, there\'s four of us working together. My main comment here is just surprise that you guys are doing all this solo.


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