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

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Old December 20th, 2016, 09:41 AM   #16
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Re: Do My Wedding Packages Make Sense?

The fact some of you don't mention the number of cameras may explain why some clients come to me and say they picked me because I offer multiple cameras and others do not. I assumed it was because there were loads of single camera operators still out there, but perhaps they just didn't see it listed on a website. Do you even say you film with multiple cameras. I do and if they delve further into my Service Pack, they see I have it detailed as 3-4 cameras are used for Ceremony and Speeches. For those who don't care they'll ignore this one detail and focus on the features listed that would appeal to them, but for those who do, its a selling point.
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Old December 20th, 2016, 12:53 PM   #17
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Re: Do My Wedding Packages Make Sense?

I think the most important purpose of the web site is to show the potential client the style and quality of your work through the use of video samples. Secondary to that is a frame work of pricing. The two largest cost factors is hours of coverage and camera operators.
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Old December 20th, 2016, 02:32 PM   #18
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Re: Do My Wedding Packages Make Sense?

Eventhough I mention I use more then one camera during a ceremony on my website I never had a client asking about it, they just don't care what and how many gear I use, they contact me because they liked the trailers they saw on my website, like Pete says hours of coverage and cameraoperators would be the main factors that can have a significant impact on price and that is something I would mention because if I don't then they won't ask either.
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Old December 20th, 2016, 02:50 PM   #19
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Re: Do My Wedding Packages Make Sense?

I would say that over 75% of my bookings this year were the result of offering only one package, one price, one camera. The brides don't care for technical jargon or 4k. 1080p frame rates etc. No, they want coverage of themselves and having fun with their guests/friends but mostly focusing on her and hubby. It has worked good for me netting on average 70 weddings a year over the past 10 years or so. Offer too much on the menu gets them confused and worse yet the " oh, those are all nice packages but let me think and talk it over with my fiancee". When that happens there is a 56% chance she will tell her fiancee but they will also look to see what others have on their menu and eventually get booked by factors like personality/soft sell/BS/young attitude etc. There is also a 27% chance they will get nabbed and booked by someone else offering them more stuff/coverage/bells/whistles/effects than you while matching or lowering your price. A 12% chance they will call you back saying to hold the date BUT...they still have to decide ( that's because they have to juggle some offers around and need time to decide). Which leaves a 5% chance that they will come and see you with the deposit moola within a week.
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Old December 20th, 2016, 07:13 PM   #20
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Re: Do My Wedding Packages Make Sense?

I am WAY WAY too complicated I think and it simply puts brides off!! I have 3 packages ..(ceremony only, ceremony + reception and prep, ceremony + reception) BUT I offer each of these as traditional video with DVD + USB, then again doing the same but Live Broadcast (edit on site) and finally as a combined package with photography too so that's 9 options on the website in all. If I was a bride I would be totally confused too!!

I really think the simpler the better ...as Arthur says ..one package, one price, one camera
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Old December 20th, 2016, 07:30 PM   #21
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Re: Do My Wedding Packages Make Sense?

I concur simpler is better.

One thing that comes to mind when you offer solo shooter to multiple cameras and operators is if they see a trailer they like (from a high end wedding) and they order a low end package they might not be happy if they didn't get what they were expecting.

I can see the benefits of shooting one way but providing different amounts of coverage to insure a uniform standard of quality.
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Old December 20th, 2016, 08:44 PM   #22
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Re: Do My Wedding Packages Make Sense?

I try to take the middle ground Pete I shoot with two cameras during the ceremony and speeches and then it's just a single camera for the rest. That way, I can do guest cutaways and wide shots on my B-Cam while the main camera covers the couple on a tripod (same with speeches) Doing a wedding ceremony with one camera is tricky when the bride walks down the aisle so doing that on the B-Cam is much easier so I can cut between the girls walking down and the reaction shots of the groom. That way I can "claim" a multi-camera shoot but stay as a solo operator. The moment you start hiring second and third shooters your costs sky rocket (if you have a decent experienced shooter) so your price HAS to increase substantially!!

Our brides here are pretty budget orientated and if I have to pay an extra $500 to have a second shooter it could be the loss of a booking when competing against a solo shooter.
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Old December 20th, 2016, 09:34 PM   #23
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Re: Do My Wedding Packages Make Sense?

Chris, that's exactly why I shoot solo and single camera. Keeping costs down to not chop off my profits and at the same time keeping my package cost attractive enough to be affordable. A very thin line that marks the sweet spot of making a nice tidy profit while providing a great day's coverage that any bride can afford. Yes, I know it's not that multi cam/steadyshot/slider look that produces that wow factor, but then again, can I cope with the extra edit time and effort to make those extra few hundred bucks ? To make say, 20% more in profits
on a multicam wow shoot mean that I may have to spend more than 20% extra time at the desk. Also to consider is 2nd or 3rd shooter fees which do a fine job in minimizing the bottom line. Not to mention that the higher the package price, the more picky and demanding the client tends to be. But that's another story for another time. Re-edits...you know what I mean.
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Old December 20th, 2016, 11:30 PM   #24
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Re: Do My Wedding Packages Make Sense?

Very sensible Arthur!! That's why you do so well! The other second shooter issue is if you get a cheap operator you get results to match so I'd rather stay solo!!!!

I still do a slomo shoot but without any stedicam or gimbal which saves me heaps!! The newer cameras have such good 5 axis stabilisers you don't need the extra gear!

Yep, I'll stick to solo shoots too ...way more profitable!!!
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Old December 20th, 2016, 11:48 PM   #25
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Re: Do My Wedding Packages Make Sense?

I think some of you lot of perpetuating myths to justify your style and methods of work. I have 62 confirmed bookings next year and from doing everything that Arthur is not. I find it's the couples that select my cheapest package to be my most picky of clients as opposed to those who book my highest are by far my most easiest to please customers.

Part of my business style is that I'm adaptable, so appeal to a wide variety of needs. I can be cinematic to those who want it, a fun Marryoke for those who favour that and a pure documentary with natural audio throughout to those who prefer this style. I've done all types this year from 3 hour videos to 20 min cinematic videos. I like variety in my work.

I would have to say that having edited a single camera shoot a couple of times, I found it a very frustrating experience trying to cover up camera operator movement and blocked shots with B footage of flowers and other decorations inserted in to fill the gap. It looks ridiculous and seems like a cheat. Besides I can edit a 40 min church Ceremony video with 4 cameras in 90 mins. I've edited Speeches that were an hour long in a similar time. So I don't hold that adding extra cameras adds an equivalent in extra work.

Oh and to touch on Pete's view that a low package could mean a low quality Trailer; I never lower the quality of my Trailers / Highlights videos for each package as they're my marketing tools. A client booking my smallest package may have friends who could after seeing that Trailer end up booking my highest package. Never cut corners on your online videos. It's the full length video for me that varies from package to package, the higher ones benefitting from colour grading and more attention in editing. However my sample disk has the middle package version, so only a minor step up from the lowest package.

Last edited by Steve Burkett; December 21st, 2016 at 06:53 AM.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 09:12 AM   #26
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Re: Do My Wedding Packages Make Sense?

@Steve - Admittedly I would love to do a single camera shoot. Notsomuch to save on editing, but just to only lug around 1 camera bag & 1 tripod. Unfortunately like you said, it would likely just lead to too many coverups & a bad video. If it were a budget budget, or a friend of a friend/coworker just accepted a 'do your best', I might do it, but I agree I doubt it. 2 cams is just so much better and also less pressure in a way, but in a way more to concentrate on & worry about (setup, angles, cards, Recording, battery).


As to the OP, one thing I don't think was mentioned, personally I find $1000 for a ceremony only to be a bit high. I've received an email from someone looking to have it shot, and I find those customers are typically on a veery tight/no budget, who just want it covered for documention purposes, like a deposition. However, like Steve said, often cheapskates are the pickiest ones. And if you give them a Ceremony only, with no intro/music/highlights, they might be a bit disappointed (Same thing with couples who ask for raw footage/no editing, they'll come back & say its not set to any music). Anyway it was a Friday wedding, and I think they offered $150?! I guess I can see that if they want a novice, but it was a bit in advance to where I could still book the date, plus it was on a Friday & I work M-F, so it was hardly worth taking a vacation day over. Going back to my point I think $1000 can get alot more than just a ceremony, and as others have said they wouldn't care or want it to be 4 cameras, and they wouldn't need 4 DVDs/BluRays. Personally I think BluRays becoming worthless & USB is where its going, so that way they still have a raw file of whatever formats next to convert it to. Also they won't need to contact me years down the road for another copy or the copy in a newer format.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 09:59 AM   #27
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Re: Do My Wedding Packages Make Sense?

David, I've done a couple of 'ceremony only' doc-edits for $500 and been happy. I usually have the edit done by the end of the same day, which is its own kind of bonus. Mostly, though, I think its because I've only done 2-3 a year that I'm OK with it.

I'm kind of with Steve Burkett about flexibility and such, though, mostly, you just have to believe in what you're selling. If you really only want to shoot single camera, then stick with it. I mention on my website how my packages aren't the only choice, and clients can ask me to make changes, but, mostly, I offer what I offer because its what I would want.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 10:44 AM   #28
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Re: Do My Wedding Packages Make Sense?

Well, I wouldn't not do a 'ceremony only', but I think the price point is the factor. $500 sounds about like the sweet spot to me. <$300 it just isn't worth it. >$700 I would do it, but I don't think many couples would want to spend that. And if they did I'd be a bit skeptical of their expectations as to final product.

I don't shoot single camera, always use a 2nd, a 3rd on occasion, either A6000 or Gopro. I'm mostly flexible on rates (drop a certain %) or hours (adding in an extra hour or two). I don't usually cut out the highlights, or add a marryoke or give a shorter edit. I find that more decisionmaking anyway & possibility of coming back with they wanted whatevers edited out.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 07:17 PM   #29
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Re: Do My Wedding Packages Make Sense?

There is a huge difference between what most of us use to cover a wedding and the so called "team" that has a second and third shooters, stedicam, slider and crane. I'm not condoning the use of 5 cameras Steve but rather the extra funds you have to come up with to pay your two assistants (and I even saw a guy that had a gopher as well!) You simply cannot compete with the solo shooter if you need a mini bus to transport your staff price wise so when we are comparing the two we are comparing people not cameras ...It doesn't cost you anything to run a few extra cameras unless you are hiring people to stand and watch over them. That's what we were comparing ..adding extra people to your package not extra cameras.
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Old December 21st, 2016, 11:18 PM   #30
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Re: Do My Wedding Packages Make Sense?

That maybe what you were comparing. I think Arthur was talking about multicamera and using anything more than a tripod and a single camera to film a Wedding, and I'm only guessing on the tripod. :)

Despite being a solo shooter, I can manage the slider and gimbal in nearly every shoot and I even employ the jib when I've got a shot that's worth it. I also have a 2nd shooter option which I get 1 or 2 a year. It pays for itself and is a useful addition to those clients who want it. I think what is and isn't possible as a solo shooter varies from person to person. Some Videographers feel strongly you can't film a Wedding without having at least 2 people, though I think they say that to justify their business decision rather than because it's true.
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