Wedding Equipment Rental

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    • #47182

      Currently I do shot weddings, but I am getting calls all the time, “Will you tape my wedding for $200?”

      I was thinking that maybe I am missing an opportunity for these brides on a budget and was mulling over renting out a camera, wireless mic and tripod, offering a straight conversion to DVD for around $250-300. I was wondering if anyone had any experience in rentals and/or any other thoughts or suggestions?


    • #194269

      Personally, I wouldn’t rent out anything for that little (ok – maybe a cheap consumer camera). I would require a cash deposit of the MSRP of my camera as well.

      In fact, for $250, all I would do is take their raw video (already captured on a portable hard drive), add a royalty free soundtrack (Sonic Fire Pro – one song of exact length), one intro title and burn to standard def DVD.

      Seriously, if it took me more than two hours of my life, it just wouldn’t be worth the trouble or time.

      Just MHO.

    • #194270

      I wasn’t even going to add music. I was just going to transfer everything as is to a DVD. No edits, titles etc…I could do it for more dollars though.

      Good thoughts on the deposit. I thought $250 was kind of inexpensive but it seems like that’s what others are doing..not locally but in other states.

    • #194271

      There have been businesses on the forums talking about such a business model, even offering some tech support and more, saying that having equipment on hand that is paid for justifies the plan. One such model I remember had a person on-site during the event as well, and if I remember correctly I got into a discussion about doubting the potential for making money even at $500 – especially if service beyond lending the camera, dj equipment or whatever included a person on-site, or further services following the gig.

      I try to base ALL my work on a minimum of $70 per hour, even though some of my work is priced turnkey, or packaged. I have still honed whatever production requirements any given project may call for to the point that I can average $70 (often more) per hour, satisfying my hourly rate needs for a viable ongoing profitable business.

      Most equipment rentals are going to run in the range you are considering, and that negates ANYTHING else done that takes time or money. TIME being money, you need to realize that just because you’re busy, and doing something for pay, doesn’t mean you are making money, much less a profit.

      The ONLY way to ensure that your efforts are paying your way is to honestly add up EVERY possible expense your business operation incurs – gas, pencils, tapes, equipment, upkeep, insurance, meetings, and the ACTUAL and REAL time it takes to output any given project – add, subtract, multiply and divide and come up with what your hours of work require to cover ALL expenses and money invested. Most of us are operating at a loss in spite of our best efforts when the realities are taken into consideration. That doesn’t mean we’re stupid or not educated, it just means there are other “emotional” or “personal” factors that come into play.

      In the end, however, if anything you do consistently means you are operating at a loss you will need to find alternate financial resources to keep your video business going. Otherwise, you are throwing away your money and your life where both could be better spent improving the way you live by pursuing another course of action.

      Somebody once told me that being a journalist or being a video producer is like getting married – you’d better be in LOVE and take particular notice of that part about for better or worse. 😉

      ON THE OTHER HAND – having a low priced leader that brings clients in so you can up-sell services, enhanced projects etc. is a GOOD business plan provided you DO find ways to increase the income for the time spent. Good luck. If you stick with looking at practical but profitable ways to produce and make money at a reasonable rate you will come out on TOP.

    • #194272

      I agree with EarlC and he sums it up very well. Financially speaking, the fact that a piece of equipment is paid for has no bearing on the situation. It represents money that has not been spent on something else. The fact that you own a $20 bill doesn’t mean that you are more likely to give it away. I think of equipment in the same way. Lending (renting) a piece of equipment to a one-time unskilled user sounds to me like throwing it away.

      The low-end leader has always baffled me. I do some low end weddings ($700-$1000) and put too much time into them with the thought that others will see the videos and buy a more expensive product. This has worked, but it has also resulted in getting new customers that want the same product at the same low price – not quite what I had in mind.

      My current solution is to occasionally do a wedding for a friend for free making it clear it’s my wedding present to them. That way others who see it and like it don’t expect it for free, too. The downside is that’s usually more than I would spend on a present.

      Any ideas?


    • #194273

      You’re right Jaimie i cannot imagine anyone giving $700-$1000 for a friend’s wedding..wetry to avoid doing this since itcould be construedas cheapening your services by givingit forfree ;unless of course it is for a bro/sis wedding…We’ve graduated from hoping that by doing a few cheap ones we could attract did alright , but they always expect the same price..

      Decide on a market,stick with your regular prices, churn outdecent videos and pay close attention to your clients since they will be your spokepersons..of the 50+ weddings we’ve done ..95 % are referrals…people will always see the effort and quality that you put forth..the way i see it , the low end videogs is a great filter for us, we don’t have to deal with the $500 all day coverage clients..Might be different though if you aredoing this full time compared to part time like us…Best regards.


    • #194274
      Grinner Hester

      for 250, I’d make a lable for their DVD.

      I guess I am saying you can’t rent anything when there is no budget, man. I did my share of weddings back in the day but I didn’t offer any packages for less than 3 grand. Heck, the freakin still photograpgher is getting 2 grand and he doesn’t have to edit a video.

    • #194275

      Thanks for everyone’s insight. I really like the thought from Grinner that yes Photographers are getting $2000 but somehow videography isn’t perceived as important/difficult? Not sure. I read somewhere that 98% of brides hire a professional photographer but only 29% hire a videographer.

      I have talked to a friend of my who rents out projectors. He said you need to assume people are dumb when it comes to equipment. He sends someone out to set it up, make sure it’s going and tears it down. To me that defeats the purpose..I might as well just tape it then. But he did give me a lot to think about.

      I think renting may be a bad idea.

    • #194276

      Tired of reading and complaining about how photographers get paid more for obviously less work than videographers. Given that photography is essentially part of the wedding institution, they get a lot more priority than videography… However more people are beginning to notice the importance of having a wedding video..also that 29% is a bit skewed as some of it is cultural.. Chinese, East Indian and Filipino weddings place great importance in both photography and videography..


    • #194277

      Sorry, I should have specified that is 29% of American weddings.

    • #194278
      Grinner Hester

      34.5 percent of statistics are made up on the fly.

    • #194279
      HJB Productions

      I have rented my Sony VX2100 to a co-worker for $250 twice now but I don’t see myself taping a wedding for $200. There is too muchphysicaland mental work involved.

    • #194280

      I’m the one Earl mentioned earlier with the equipment rentals.

      At $500.00 we are in effect offering a loss leader on the actual service (pretty much breaking even with a little gain, depends..), but are gaining two other benefits .

      One being taking customers away from the “I’ll shoot your wedding for $3-500.00” competitors, who were hurting our $3000.00 + regular business. This is a small market here… every sale we make is one less for our competition.

      Two being that we print and hand out hundreds of promo cards at each event.

      End result:

      We are no worse of in the sense that we are marketing.

      We are seeing a percentage of “Budget” clients coming back for video/photo editing that pay my $60.00 /hr rates…

      We are seeing more traffic/inquiries into our “Full Service” regular priced packages from guests at these budget events , and if we’re successful at turning those inquiries into sales for next year, or the year after, I’d say the experiment is a success….

    • #215466

      I wasn’t even progressing to add music. i used to be simply progressing to transfer everything as is to a DVD. No edits, titles etc…I might love for a lot of bucks tho’.

    • #215479

      If you edit, even essential top and tail and title material shot by idiots, do people seeing the rubbish end product see your name attached to it and think that it’s your fault.

      I dry hire plenty of kit and often hear my equipment being described negatively – because the people who hired it were clueless. I can be risky. I now hire to people I know only. Never the public.

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