“How to Gouge the Bride”? What are we doing to our

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    • #42739

      Just read this response to an article in a recent event DV magazine and it kind of disturbs me that the already tainted image of wedding videographers is being worsened. Can’t we do something to improve the image of a wedding videographer? We already have every "Uncle Bob" with a camcorder calling themselves professionals and charging brides for amateur work, now we have to deal with professionals squeezing brides for every penny they can? Aarrgghh!

      Original article is called "Sell it In Post" from the July issue of Event DV magazine.

      Response is here:

    • #179094

      Yeah, seems like there are some dirty tactics going on there. However, it IS important to try to upsell clients but in an honest and ethical way.

      A major key to being successful long term in any business is to figure out how to sell more to current customers. You should ALWAYS ask customers for referrals and ALWAYS offer them new opportunities to purchase from you. Again, it’s important to do this in an ethical manner.

    • #179095

      I agree completely. I also make mention to brides that they are welcome to purchase additional items at any time and of course I will suggest things afterward like a honeymoon photo montage that I offer.

      Apparently there was an article by the same author in the previous issue leading up to this article that advises you to spell out things like the number of "toasts, speeches and live performances" in the contract. Maybe it’s just me but this seems like a good way to set the client up to bill her an additional 50-100% more than she originally bargained for when she estimates wrong.

      "Oh, looks like the contract says 2 toasts. We got great footage of your brothers emotional, tear filled toast but it’ll cost ya".

      And what is the deal with having a coverage time limit if you are charging by the item? I’m baffled.

      I mean, maybe I’m overreacting but in what other business can you get away with this kind of tactics?

    • #179093

      I have only one package:
      5 dvd’s
      2 hard cover photo books and 6 soft cover gift books.
      podcast and web page package
      photo and video package
      150 thankyou cards with your wedding portraits on them at reception (with our logo).
      slideshow at reception
      10 8×10 prints.
      an apple tv (or optional Ipod video) for content delivery and showing the work off.

      we charge for full day event coverage, supply two photographers.
      one fee upfront with a price list of reprints, and optionals.

      leather bound professional wedding album, and assembly is optional.

      we have a gift registry and gift certificate program to help couples that struggle with our price.

      how more upfront can you get? they know how much for everything, and how much money they have in the registry to spend on the optional album. If they don’t want the album, they can apply the gift certificates towards family/child portraits in the future.

    • #179096

      I just recently changed from having only one package to offering 3 different ones but they are each designed to be complete packages so that no "necessary" items are left out of any of them. My contract is straight forward and if a bride wants to add something extra later they may. I don’t try to hold anything back in order to sell it later for a higher price. I’ve seen videographers charge for things that are essential parts to any video in my opinion and that just seems ridiculous.

    • #179097

      I agree. I just finished reading Hank’s review of this guy’s article.

      Essentially, I have only one package as well. I do full wedding coverage from start to finish then the full reception for a flat fee… All for one flat fee.

      I have additional items that they can choose to add on if they want but are not absolutely necessary for a beautiful video. I have listed them below.

      Bridal preparations – This consists of filming the photo sessions before and after the wedding, video of the bride and groom preparing before.

      Rehearsal coverage – While I attend the rehearsal, I am not filming it. The couple have the option to purchase this coverage if they want.

      Rehearsal Dinner – I shoot this just as I would the reception, except with this, I mainly only capture the speeches as some of the goings on and atmosphere.

      Extra event related to wedding – I provide a flat fee for an event such as a bridal shower. If they want me to film a 2nd extra event, then it is the same fee for the second event.

      Kiosk at the reception – I have built a beautiful kiosk type environment with the camera inside (kinda like the photo booths at the mall). They are enclosed and provide a private setting for the guests to make comments to the camera with no on-lookers. (although if they don’t purchase this extra, I ask if they would like me to attempt to get comments from guests).

      Photo montage – I include the base price, price per picture for 1st 25 photos, the price per photo after the 25 (different price for digital vs hard copy that I have to scan). THis will be included on the final DVD. I also add an extra charge if they want it presented at the reception or rehearsal dinner.[/b][/u]


      I have an 8 page contract. At the end of each page I have a place for them to initial that I have reviewed the page and a place to initial that I have answered any question regarding that page’s content.

      2 full pages are dedicated to the refund policy.

      When I get to the section about cost, everything is spelled out. The bride pays me a deposit (equal to 1/3 the total cost) then I set a date for them to have the remainder of the cost paid by. These dates are all included in the contract as well as the total agreed upon cost of all of the services.

      The bride pays me the total cost of services before the event date (by the agreed date) and that is that. She never has to take out her checkbook out again (actually I only take cash or Cashier’s check/money order. No personal checks or credit card– been burned to many times with that–)… Unless she wants extra copies of the video past the original 10 copies that are included in the package price.

      But the price of the additional copies is also clearly stated in the contract.

      At the end we all sign as well as any other witnesses that attended the meeting.


      Regarding the crack on WEVA.

      Personally, I agree with everything you guys have said about some of the shady things they try to promote to their members.

      I only joined because it offers good afordable insurace to its members (Loydds of London, etc.). Honestly, that is one of the only reasons.

    • #179098

      The reason I never joined WEVA is that I noticed alot of my competitors who I had no respect for (talent wise or business wise) were members and I didn’t want to associate myself with them. I don’t know if it would really affect me negatively to be a member but it just didn’t feel right to join an organization that I don’t respect.

      That doesn’t mean I have a problem with all members of WEVA. I just don’t want to be lumped together with some of it’s members.

      P.S. There may be some benefits to joining WEVA. I personally don’t feel that the good outweighs the bad in this case, just my opinion.

    • #179099

      Does WEVA include the insurance coverage -WITH- Membership or is the Insurance Coverage Purchase cost altogether SEPARATE from the initial WEVA Membership fee?

      Wasn’t clear on if by signing onto WEVA, do you automatically also get Insurance Coverage…. or if it’s offered SEPARATELY aside from Membership??

    • #179100

      The insurance is an extra cost. The cost of the insurance is the benefit. They offer a group rate to it’s members.

    • #179102

      As I noted in the discussion of this topic on Hank’s forums, I think he may be over-reacting to the article in question. That article does describe some practices which sound questionable without knowing more about how they’re handled, but the basic concept of trying to sell additional video services after a wedding isn’t inherently a bad one.

      As far as WEVA is concerned, I’ve never seen anything improper promoted by it as an organization, and they offer a variety of services which may be useful to some videographers. If you think you’re more capable than current WEVA members, the organization welcomes those willing to help other members improve their skills – that’s a big part of what the organization does.

    • #179101

      If you think you’re more capable than current WEVA members, the organization welcomes those willing to help other members improve their skills – that’s a big part of what the organization does.

      I don’t need to pay money to an organization in order to help other videographers. I can do it from anywhere for free. And as anyone who has ever asked for my help or advice will tell you, I am happy to offer it for free.

    • #179103

      Endeavor Wrote:

      I don’t need to pay money to an organization in order to help other videographers. I can do it from anywhere for free.

      Fair enough, but then what would you want from an organization like WEVA in order to justify the cost of membership for you?

    • #179104

      I would want the name to say something positive about my company. Right now, all it says is that the members belong to a videographers organization.

    • #179105

      Endeavor Wrote:

      I would want the name to say something positive about my company. Right now, all it says is that the members belong to a videographers organization.

      True enough, and some people will undoubtedly benefit from that more than others. The main reason I rejoined recently is because I see evidence that having a link to your web site from WEVA holds significant weight with search engines, more so than most other referral links. Their forums can also be useful sometimes, but not necessarily more so than free ones like this.

    • #179106

      True enough, and some people will undoubtedly benefit from that more than others.

      Absolutely! I think there are alot of folks who can benefit from it. I don’t deny that. I just don’t see enough benefit for myself to justify the cost, that’s all.

    • #179107

      Another question worth asking is whether potential customers think belonging to an organization like WEVA means something, and I would say that many do. Whether that’s an accurate perception on their part is up to members of an organization to prove, but the perception is there as far as many customers are concerned.

    • #179108

      Actually you’re probably right about that. Seeing the WEVA logo on a videographers site would probably give potential clients a bit of confidence in that videographer. On the other hand, is the WEVA logo going to tip the scales of a decision for, or against, the videographer? What if a bride has checked out a handful of videographers and several of them had the WEVA logo but had problems with their work/pricing? Then would the bride be inclined to select the next videographer with a WEVA logo or would they assume it means that videographer is just like the others? That may depend on your particular market. The reason I initially decided against WEVA was because, as I browsed my competitors websites and found that many of them who were WEVA members did not do quality work (and in some cases, downright terrible work), I decided that having the WEVA logo on my website would only lump me into the same category as the others. I don’t necessarily think that it would hurt any particular videographer but I wanted to be sure that I had control of the aspects that would attract potential clients to me rather than leave my reputation up to another organization. Does that make sense?

      By the way, I don’t mean to include my entire market area in my comments. There are a handful of really great videographers in my area who I respect very much. Unfortunately they are far outnumbered by "amateur professionals".

    • #179109

      Ultimately I don’t think most video clients give a hoot about any formal qualifications or association memberships: they just want to see quality they can accept at a price they’re willing to pay from someone they feel comfortable dealing with. But if they find more than one likely prospect in their price range and one is a WEVA member while the other isn’t, that might be a minor tipping point in the WEVA member’s favor (for some customers). I would be surprised if customers are getting a negative impression of WEVA just because some WEVA members are better than others – smart consumers know that’s the case for any professional organization.

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