November 24, 2007 at 1:56 AM #46644airjamvanzantenParticipant
I filmed my ex-girlfriend’s roomate’s mom’s wedding. That was my first wedding. I got an offer from a friend of mine saying that his friends may be interested in me taping their wedding. How much should I charge for taping their wedding if I get the job? What’s a fair price?
November 24, 2007 at 5:13 AM #192153brandon0409Participant
I would recommend that if you want to get into this field then do some for free for some experience.
I would also recommend finishing the editing on the wedding you have just filmed of your best friend’s father’s brother-in-law’s sister’s ex-boyfriends former college roommate’s mother-in-law’s wedding. 🙂
Show your work around to some people and ask how much they think the would pay for it. Then go to your friend and quote a price to them.
Personally I charge $1100 for a wedding and reception. But there are some that charge much more. Of course I am fairly new in the business and will eventually price accordingly.
Hope this helps
November 27, 2007 at 10:42 PM #192154AnonymousInactive
If this is only your second wedding, I would only charge them for tape. Or, no more than $400.00. What kind of camera will you be using? What do you edit on?
November 28, 2007 at 6:09 PM #192155tombarreraParticipant
Congratulations on wanting to go pro for money. There are a thousand wedding videographers out there that warn brides about inexperienced wanna bes.
My 2nd wedding. I shot a short ceremony from right of the alter area, the best spot for this 1 camera shoot from a tripod (fluid head) I hit the start button, recorded the 10 minute ceremony and hit pause. I walked across the room to preview the tape. To my horror, all that was recorded was some great floor shots as I walked across the room to preview the footage. It seemed at the start of the ceremony, I had put the camera in pause, not record.
Making mistakes is inevitable when learning. There are literally 100s of things that can go wrong. You only have one chance to get it right. How much to charge? Charge based on the # of mistakes youve made. The more mistakes, the more money you charge. I get $3 to $4000 a wedding. I have made a lot of mistakes. So before you do #2, do your homework, anticipate potential problems, attend rehearsals and think of the bride.
I assume you are going to use 1 camera. Beware. If so, you cant be in all the right spots at the right moments. Are you working from a tripod or handheld? Both have advantages and disadvantages. I would recommend that you get a Quad Pod Pro video camera support system. With it you will have the versatility mobility and stability you will need to avoid typical amateur mistakes and earn more money.
PS The Ceremony I did in pause! On there way out the door I said, “Waite a minute folks, we have to do it again. They took it well and we did it over, but what if that had been a 1 hour Ceremony.
November 29, 2007 at 1:02 AM #192156AnonymousInactive
Great advice from Tom B. (voice of experience)
all the above are good advice,,,I’m no expert in fact you’re about two projects ahead of me but am investing in the time it takes to read and learn as much as posible.The is the best place toask.
Free work or work for the cost of operating your equipment is the best thing to do right now. As part of payment you need to keep ownership of as much footage as you can to practice and refine your skills. Don’t get rid of the bad and the ugly, you’ll want to eventually teach yourself how to do some repair work. Bad footage canbe used in vignettes and slideshows, plus color correction skills builder. Eventually you will have greet material for a show reel with something for everyone..
Anyhow, Your prices will become pretty clear soon. There is the ‘going rate ofother shooters’ and the variables ( graphics take time and or cost money,,, rayalty free music clips very expensive but sometimes needed for the task,,, manhours needed to edit and encode to completion,,, and yada yada yada )
Good luck to you !!
post your stuff when you can…
November 29, 2007 at 1:17 AM #192157AnonymousInactive
BTW that story of the pause/record at the ceremony,,, since reading the story I keep getting visuals of Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now ( “The HORROR,,,, The HORROR” )
December 2, 2007 at 2:15 AM #192158airjamvanzantenParticipant
I’d like to thank you all for you advice. To answer the question of gonz67; I will be using a sony handycam. As of right now I’d be using computers at the computer lab at a TV station I volunteer for. I’m just experimenting with numbers right now. I’ve been in the field for 6 years. So as of right now I’d use a price range between $400-$1,100. How does that sound? I know I should price accordingly.
February 18, 2008 at 1:37 AM #192159apciprianoParticipant
I, too, am an amateur videographer who has shot friends’ weddings for practice, only to now being approached by their friends to tape their weddings for a fee. I agree with the others in that, for now, while you are getting the experience, you charge only for your supplies (tapes, blank dvds) and not your time which as we know in post production, is seemingly endless. Like yourself, I’m a one-camera operation using an FX-1 and VX2100. It’s hectic, nerve wracking and exciting, all at the same time. One blogger advised the rest of us in a video forum, “If you want to live, don’t tape weddings!” I guess most of us out there are still willing to take the chance on life and keep doing what we love best of all. Good luck!
Hey Tom Berrera, can you suggest the best places to be situated in in the church when taping a wedding, including bridal party entrance, bride entrance and ceremony? I usually have my camera on a tripod positioned on a side pew nearest the groom but, when the audience rises as the bride goes down the aisle, so much for that shot! You mentioned a camera control system for the cams operated by one person. What make is it and what is the cost? Thanks for your input!
February 29, 2008 at 5:58 AM #192160faqvideoParticipant
The price varies from market to market. You have to figure out your local market and use it as a reference.
When I started in this business, I did not hesitate to charge for the first wedding I shot. And for the second one, and for all consecutive hundreds of them. Of course you get better as you keep working on your skills and acquire more experience. So you adjust your price accordingly.
Keep in mind, even if you charge half the market price, you’ll be blamed for all the mistakes you make as if you were charging double. You are worth exactly as much as the customers are willing to pay.
Last advice, make sure you have the right to use the footage for promotional purposes: public plays, mail distribution, everything and everywhere in the Universe in the infinite future.
May 27, 2008 at 11:28 PM #192161AnonymousInactive
I am just a few projects ahead of you in my venture into wedding videography. I’ve taped and edited three weddings for free, one wedding for a GREATLY reduced price, and now have my first “full-price” wedding to shoot coming up in a couple weeks.
I have a Sony HDR HC1 videocamera. One of the first HD videocameras, but believe it or not, it still today scores in some rankings higher than many models just coming out. I’m a one-man show but do set up two other cameras that right before the ceremony I run around pressing record on them. 🙂 If at all possible use the same model of camera (or at least the same manuafacturer) for all cameras on the shoot, because the color and general “look” of the footage is different for each manufacturer.
But back to what to charge. I divided mine into three levels: Ceremony Only (Silver), Ceremony and Reception (Gold), Pre-ceremony and Ceremony and Reception (Platinum). For the wedding coming up next month, I’m charging only $489 for Platinum. Silver is 299. Yes, these are VERY cheap, but my goal here was to get my demo reel looking good, cover my costs, and make a little money. I am making a new price list and demo reel, and will most likely almost double all prices.
So my advice to use is make a price list and go cheap starting out. (Put “effective dates” on your price list, in case they’re ever passedto a newclients after you’ve raised your prices). And yes, like tombarrerasaid, base your future prices on the number of mistakes you’ve made in the past. My first semi-paid wedding, I experimented with white balance, manual focus, all these fancy new things I had just learned, to get ready for the bride to come down the aisle. I got in position (I had already learned previously about the audience rising that blocks your view!Learned the hard way…), and then later realized I had forgotten to press record! Ugh.
Good luck to you. I’ve just joined this forum and plan on being an active participant to keep learning and sharing. John
May 28, 2008 at 9:58 AM #192162AnonymousInactive
In most cases, yes, it’s best to keep the costs minimal, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t exceptions to the rules. Do what feels right, be fair and reasonable and pay attention to your market and what others charge. That’s going to give you the best feel for market threshold.
July 13, 2008 at 10:20 PM #192163AnonymousInactive
The best way I know to grow the business was getting to know some of the other venders. Passing out business cards to DJ’s and Photographers,even the caterers. These people often will refer other venders that they have worked with when the bride and groom ask who they recommend. Which leads me to the most important people who need to get to know better then your clients. The Wedding Planner or Cordinator. Often these are the first people that your future clients start to talk to about their special day and many of them don’t know where to begin looking for a good florist or …or videographer. Today I get 90% of all my jobs from the half a dozen cordinators that I know. They call me and very little do I have to sell myself to the bride or groom because the cordinator has already considered me the choice videographer. I’ve never spent a dime on advertising but I have given referral fees to the cordinators. They scratch my back; I scratch theirs. This has been the best advise that I stumbled on and have not read it any where.
September 29, 2008 at 4:20 PM #192164AnonymousInactive
Wow…great advice from previous posts.
I’ve been doing this for years and have filmed countless weddings. I started off filming friends and families weddings too and made some funny mistakes (funny now, stressful then). I would start off cheap or free with the mindset that you will raise your prices after a few months or after a few wedding videos you’ve done. I would also do what feels right. Some people don’t mind charging right off the bat and probably have a lot of confidence and some people that aren’t as confindent and film several weddings for free.
If it were me…I would do 5 weddings for free and tell them you are learning your craft (instill confidence but let them know you are still learning). You can build your demo from there and master how to work with the couple from start to finish. After that, you can charge whatever you want. Feel free to do some research of other wedding video companies in your area to see what they charge and how their packages are set up. Again, the more experience you get, the more you can get paid. But if you have a niche you can find (ethnic weddings, beach weddings, etc), than you can charge more off the bat since you “specialize”.
Best of luck. Check out my website for more helpful tips. http://www.ImproveMyVideo.com
September 29, 2008 at 4:59 PM #192165D0nParticipant
I’d recommend two ways to start out:
1) apprentice. find a pro, volunteer to help out a couple times, to gain some experience, and see if you can land a job for a season or two, then head out on your own, if they can’t pay you what you’re worth.
2) Don’t get a reputation as a bargian basement pro. You start off dirt cheap in an industry where most jobs come word of mouth, you’ll find that word of mouth works against you when you try to jack up your prices. “But you shot my cousins Jenny’s Wedding for half that much…forget it we’ll find somebody else…” Charge what the job would be worth if you get it right (don’t even bother if you aren’t confident you can do it right), and be prepaired to offer a full refund if something goes wrong. “My cousin Jenny says you’re honest….that’s why we called you…”
December 31, 2012 at 5:46 AM #205446marcofreeParticipant
Don't sell yourself short when pricing the wedding. Just because this is only your second time filming a wedding, doesn't mean it's only your second time picking up a camera. Chances are, you have significant background experience filming events, even if only for personal reasons. Take your entire videography history into account (such as how many years experience you have filming events, not just weddings), when setting a price. That way you will establish respect with potential clients. Otherwise, you will only attract discount seekers, who will never be happy with the quality of your work, no matter how hard you work.
March 7, 2013 at 4:48 PM #206378faqvideoParticipant
I would say – don't do it for free unles you are sure producing trash. If your footage is half decent – charge half price. Find out your local running rate and adjust it to what you can offer.
It's not an easy gig, but lots of fun and very rewarding. Good luck!
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