Everyone wants to earn a profit with their video gear, yet success is not easy. I cringe as I type this word: weddings. Well, of course wedding videos are the first thing that everyone thinks about when pondering profits from camcorders, perhaps because back in the 80s, they were the first type of video through which one could make an income using consumer gear. There are probably too many people trying to earn a profit from shooting weddings now. Some companies have been doing this for a long time (decades), and they are really good at it. Several video creators shoot maybe one wedding video per year and manage to earn a little extra cash. In any event (no pun intended) becoming a commercial success in the wedding video business is very difficult, and now may not be the best time to start. There are some good ideas surrounding the wedding video business that you may find interesting.
Wedding showers and bachelor parties could present opportunities to produce a video to sell to the attendees. These are memorable events that some people may want to permanently record. I will resist the urge to make a joke about those men who would never dream of recording their bachelor party.
There is also an opportunity to produce videos about the chapter of the life of an engaged couple while they are planning a wedding. The process of planning a wedding has become intense, expensive and may be mildly entertaining when viewed 20 years after the wedding.
One last idea about weddings is to shoot the making of a wedding video. It is quite doubtful that anyone could make a profit doing this, but it sure would be fun to make a documentary about the production of someone’s wedding video.
There are opportunities to generate micro profits by shooting video. Basically, the idea is to charge a small fee after an impromptu video shoot.
I have seen people shooting videos at nightclubs or where ever people are dancing. The next morning, these videos are posted on a video-sharing site, along with an offer to purchase a high-resolution version. This process is not necessarily easy to do without violating someone’s privacy. People often use mobile phone cameras to capture images on the dance floor without the owner’s permission, but this is really not the best way to go about shooting dance videos. In the 1930s and 40s, you would often see someone with a large clunky camera touring the nightclubs offering to take photos of party groups.
Another impromptu video shoot involves people in the act of working in their occupation. This is a very easy thing to do if you are shooting a lineman working on a telephone pole. It is much harder to shoot video of an attorney in action. This concept of vocation-in-action videos is attractive, because many people are really proud of what they do in their work life and they want to share that with people in their social life. Like all videos, these videos will be wonderful to view 20 or 50 years in the future.
These two examples have a common thread, shooting people while they are doing something that they are proud of, yet few get a chance to see them in action. You should get the subject’s verbal permission on tape or have them sign a model release form before shooting. Immediately before or after shooting the video you can tell the person where they can watch it by giving them an easy web address to remember (a YouTube channel) or hand them a business card. Just a couple more ways to make your video equipment work for you.
Matthew York is Videomaker‘s Publisher/Editor.