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Old May 17th, 2018, 11:16 AM   #46
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Re: Where have all the wedding videographers gone?

I know I don't do that many weddings anymore, but I price myself kind of high on purpose.
That way, if someone does want to hire me to do a wedding, it will be worth my while.
Because I do other video work, it would be pretty stupid of me to do a wedding for $800
if I could be doing a corporate video shoot for $2500 that same day. I had a wedding request
about 2 weeks ago. They wanted me to film their wedding on top of a glacier. They wanted
music set to the video. They wanted to pay $1100. It costs me $345 to get a film permit to
film on national park land and then with costs to license a song and other expenses,
this job would not leave me with much over $500. At the same time, they were literally
flying a photographer in from out of town and paying to put him up at a hotel and so on.
When I see this kind of thing, I have to think that this bride doesn't value video.
If they don't really value video much, and just use any 'leftover' money to budget to video,
I'm not going to be the person for them to hire. I can do a lot of other video work besides
weddings, that will pay a better rate, so that's what I will do. Pretty simple really.
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Old May 17th, 2018, 01:50 PM   #47
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Re: Where have all the wedding videographers gone?

Quote:
When I see this kind of thing, I have to think that this bride doesn't value video.
Ofcourse they don't, yet they won't have a issue finding a videographer who is willing to work for that price, those type of clients never bother me because they would never hire me anyway as I"m too expensive for them.

When I started out with weddings 13 years ago I charged a very low amount the first years just to build a portfolio and to secure enough bookings and enough booking I got, more then I could handle alone, it was not the quality of my work that got me booked, it was my low price.

it was clear video was an afterthought for most clients that booked me, the photog was always (much) more expensive. They where happy with the film I made for them but I never liked the feeling to come in second place after the photog, the clients put higher demands on the photogs but never bothered me because I was that guy they booked last minute with what was left over from their budget. Even many photogs treated me with not much respect as they also knew I was alot cheaper then them so usually they called the shots throughout the day without taking me into consideration.

Fast forward 13 years and I"m 5 times more expensive then back then, I get a lot less bookings now but I get the same priority and treatment as the higher end photographers who charge about the same as me. I notice a huge difference how the togs and clients treat me, they also ask my opinion and there is a much better cooperation and mutual respect, if I suggest something now people listen and I notice I have a bigger influence on the couple. As an example I have a wedding this weekend where the weddingplanner had suggested what the best way was to do their first meet, I did not like the idea and told the couple what I considered a better way to capture that moment for the film and why it was better and they agreed to do it my way, something that would not have been possible 13 years ago.

You should charge your time accordingly and also take into consideration what your market supports, doubling your price from one day to the next might result in no bookings so beside having good work to back up your higher prices you should also need to know how much you can charge before you will become too expensive. Never undercharge just to get the job, you"ll end up getting underpaid and having to compete with weekend warriors.
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Old May 17th, 2018, 11:53 PM   #48
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Re: Where have all the wedding videographers gone?

Noa, I am not sure you can totally attribute rising prices of your service to your assertiveness over the last 13 years. I too have become more assertive since first starting. It comes from experience and confidence in ones work, not a price tag on our website. Very rarely do I know the price of the Photographers work, and I dealt they know mine. I also work with a variety from family friends to top quality Professionals and yes in some cases I am sure I am being paid less, but in some cases I am being paid more.

Also the value of my work doesn't always relate to the cost being paid. If you charge higher prices, you are not necessarily targeting those who value video more, but those who are on higher income. Some of those who valued my videos the most didn't necessarily book my top packages, but rather whilst they booked well in advanced, and rated video highly, their low income prevents them from spending a fortune on their Wedding and video being no exception.

Now I do get a lot of last minute bookings I admit and I am sure my prices do help lure clients to me. But it's not the complete picture. A lot of my work comes from recommendations, just like most other Videographers out there. So I am being booked because of good work I did on a previous Wedding and not necessarily because of my prices. Which I am sure is true also of yourself.
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Old May 18th, 2018, 12:03 AM   #49
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Re: Where have all the wedding videographers gone?

Hi Steve

I tend to agree with you and raising prices significantly every year can also leave you with referrals from last years brides to this year's bride who wants to know " Why did Tracey only pay $XXX in November and you want to now charge me $XXX for exactly the same thing'? Brides do talk to each other and my main source of gigs comes from referrals too so I'd rather keep prices as consistent as practical and not raise prices purely because it's a new season..If costs have gone up, then sure, you have no option but isn't it better to cost accurately and if you want a classier higher priced bride then create a fancier package?
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Old May 18th, 2018, 01:05 AM   #50
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Re: Where have all the wedding videographers gone?

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Originally Posted by Steve Burkett View Post
Noa, I am not sure you can totally attribute rising prices of your service to your assertiveness over the last 13 years.

It's the difference how much the client values photo over video that sends out a signal how serious they take you and that has changed a lot between charging very low or much higher prices, in the past the client didn't particulary care much about my thoughts on the film because the photos would always get priority because they paid a lot more for that. Today there is an equal balance in importance between photo and video because they pay an equal higher amount for both of us which means they value both equally. Both mine and the photogs opinion matter now while in the past photo was always prioritised, even if my assertiveness hasn't changed that much.

Quote:
If you charge higher prices, you are not necessarily targeting those who value video more, but those who are on higher income.
Why would a couple with a higher income pay my price when they can book a competitor at half my price, they pay more, not only because they can afford it, but because of my work. If they just wanted to have "a video" they'd pick the cheapest they could find online and there are plenty to choose from. If they didn't value video more they would save on video so they could spend extra on a honeymoon.

In my country there is a quite large wedding forum for couples which discusses everything related to weddings, the photography section has over 6 times as much topics compared to the video section. The most asked questions in the photosections are; "what are good photolocations", "when is it best to plan in a photoshoot", "do you book a photog the entire day or is a half day sufficient", "good photographer wanted" and then you have the occasional question for a cheap photog.

The most asked question in the videosection is: "wanted; cheap videographer"...

In the past my name would pop up now and then in that forum but since I raised my prices I don't get mentioned anymore, this I don't mind because in most cases it's not a matter of not being able to afford me but it's because they spend most of their budget on their photog and I don't want to be the guy who gets booked because of what's left over in their budget.

To me that forum shows one thing which is that video is just not valued that much in my country and I don't want to contribute to that by charging very low prices just to be able to get a booking. Instead I increase the quality of my work and my price to a level where I meet couples (low or high income) who are willing to pay more because they see the difference and they consider it a investment.
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Old May 18th, 2018, 01:19 AM   #51
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Re: Where have all the wedding videographers gone?

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
I tend to agree with you and raising prices significantly every year can also leave you with referrals from last years brides to this year's bride who wants to know " Why did Tracey only pay $XXX in November and you want to now charge me $XXX for exactly the same thing'?
What is considered normal is to raise your prices a bit every year because of inflation, maybe like 2% extra every year, no client will complain about that. In my case it's different as I went from undercharging a lot to currently charging a normal hourrate and multiply that with all the hours I spend on a wedding, the price increase I made every year to get to my current level was sometimes questioned but I told them what I described before that I was slowly raising my prices to a level that not only is considered as normal rates to sustain a business but also reflected the value of my work. I charge more then most of my competitors because my work is better and I don't need to use fancy words on my website or show what gear I use to prove my point, I just need to show my work.


Today my pricing is at a level I can live with so price increases the following years will be a lot smaller.
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Old May 18th, 2018, 04:28 AM   #52
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Re: Where have all the wedding videographers gone?

I now have another source of income and have taken a step down in weddings. I charge more and just wait for the right client rather than taking on any booking now. I also do a lot more second shooting jobs now, especially second shooting on multi cultural weddings. No headache of having to directly deal with the asian / african / arab bride or grooms, but keeps me on my toes shooting something different.

What I have found by upping my price is a lot of annoyed referrals ... why did so and so pay this much and why am I charging so much now. As mentioned above brides talk to each other and certainly discuss how much they paid.
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Old May 18th, 2018, 05:17 AM   #53
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Re: Where have all the wedding videographers gone?

Annoyed couples because I raised my prices are the least of my worries and what if they talk to eachother? It's no secret that I raise my price, it's on my website so every can follow and see the changes.
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Old May 18th, 2018, 02:00 PM   #54
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Re: Where have all the wedding videographers gone?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Why would a couple with a higher income pay my price when they can book a competitor at half my price, they pay more, not only because they can afford it, but because of my work. If they just wanted to have "a video" they'd pick the cheapest they could find online and there are plenty to choose from. If they didn't value video more they would save on video so they could spend extra on a honeymoon.
Why should she take on the risk. Even if the videos on their website is as good as the other guy, doesn't guarantee the whole service will be equal to the one charging more, and most go by the maxim that the more you pay, the higher the quality, even with exceptions to that rule often occurring. Reliability and guarantee you won't let the couple down and deliver consistent work with your other videos counts for a great deal. Why referrals are often our best source of new work.

Besides you missed my point. A Bride who is well off and values video will most likely pay a top price for it. If she doesn't, she won't and be one of the worst customers. I've had a few like that.

However those on low income who do value video can't pay for a top priced Videographer. So they book me. It doesn't mean they value Video less, it's just they can't afford to spend 2000+ on video.

So my clients can range from high earners who don't value video to low earners who do and can't afford the big guns, and of course there are low earners, who don't value video, though they're more likely to get a friend to do it. I'd say the middle one is my most common for me.

Personally I get a lot of satisfaction filming Weddings by those who don't have tonnes of money to splash out on it. There's a market there and some good Weddings. Some of the rich ones I do can be quite bland. Those with less money tend to be more creative.
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Old May 18th, 2018, 06:41 PM   #55
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Re: Where have all the wedding videographers gone?

Its a weird industry and sometimes we do have wedding shoots where nothing goes right and we have to fight against lighting, technical issues and end up no being very happy about the way the shoot turned out even though we have done our best. Then the bride comes back with glowing reports about how she cries every time she watches it and gives you referrals from all her friends. I have one groom (yes groom) who's wedding we did 4 years ago and he will often refer us to new brides whenever someone asks "who can do my wedding" Their wedding was fairly run of the mill without any hassles yet he still enthuses about it ..they are having a new addition to the family soon and have already booked us for photos even though we don't advertise baby shoots! As Steve says you can have both low and high budget brides who can either enthuse about video or spend weeks picking it to pieces regardless of price. I guess it's the luck of the draw who you get??
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Old May 24th, 2018, 01:10 AM   #56
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Re: Where have all the wedding videographers gone?

Blog post is finally up.

How to get your wedding business found in google

It's a shameless post for our new SEO business which is not actually for you video folks.

But it mainly talks about wedding related search trends and their decline for the past 5 years. We also looked at the office of national statistics for the official line.

The most interesting thing is the MASSIVE decline for wedding blogs. We dont show it on the post but we also delved into each of the major UK blogs. Rock my wedding, love my dress and the american style me pretty and those trends match the massive drop for the broader term. Probably part of the reason Oauth wanted to dith SMP.
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Old May 25th, 2018, 04:49 AM   #57
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Re: Where have all the wedding videographers gone?

Actually I've just had an enquiry from a couple whose Videographer has gone into liquidation. Assuming it's true and he/she just didn't decide just to pull out. Obviously some Videographers don't make it. I think some aim too high but lack the talent for business to make it work. It's not the first time I've heard from a couple whose previous Videographer they've booked has gone out of Business. I've had several enquiries this way.
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Old May 25th, 2018, 09:21 AM   #58
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Re: Where have all the wedding videographers gone?

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Originally Posted by Steve Burkett View Post
Actually I've just had an enquiry from a couple whose Videographer has gone into liquidation. Assuming it's true and he/she just didn't decide just to pull out. Obviously some Videographers don't make it. I think some aim too high but lack the talent for business to make it work. It's not the first time I've heard from a couple whose previous Videographer they've booked has gone out of Business. I've had several enquiries this way.
We've also had a couple of enquiries this year from couples whose videographer has cancelled and one who had also lost their photographer. I think some people come into the business with little experience, get a couple of cameras and think it is an easy way to make some good money. They soon learn that to do the job well takes skill, perseverance and business acumen.

Roger
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Old May 25th, 2018, 07:01 PM   #59
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Re: Where have all the wedding videographers gone?

Hi Roger

Quite common here too. What is amazing is they close their doors sometimes just a few weeks before the wedding and the poor bride has to try and rebook someone at short notice. Sadly the industry here has no regulation so you can technically wander into a discount camera store, buy a cheap camera and wham..you are a professional wedding photographer/videographer (I've actually noticed once they discover their DSLR shoots video they offer both too!) until you find out it's all too much work so you simply disappear from the scene and sell your cameras on eBay leaving brides stranded!!
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Old May 26th, 2018, 06:02 AM   #60
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Re: Where have all the wedding videographers gone?

Something I discovered the other day reading a few posts on a facebook group .... there are many so called "pro's" who hire equipment a day before the wedding.

So all year around they don't have professional gear to play with, they just hire them before an event and just shoot on 'Auto'

I'm getting quite annoyed by manufacturers making cameras really good in the 'auto' setting. Whatever happened to shooting manually and becoming a master of your craft.
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