Video production is my hob


Video production is my hobby and part time job due to having a “regular” job that pays comfortably well. Video production doesn’t come with insurance or a retirement plan so I’ve been hesitant to risk my family’s source of income on doing what I love full time.

I’ve shot a wide variety of projects from a feature length movie to 30 second television commercials. But doing it only part time doesn’t bring in a lot of cash.

Therefore, I’ve always used my wedding video shoots to primarily fund my video production habits. 10 years ago I was doing as many weddings on my XL-1 as I had time to do and making $1,000 each, give or take.

After a several year break, I sold my XL-1 and filled my credit card full of good quality prosumer HD gear (which was ironically cheaper than my XL-1 even before accounting for inflation.) I assumed that I could dust off my shingle, hang it up, market myself like I did in the pastand the weddings would start to trickle in just as they did 10 years ago before building up enough steam that I could start turning people down. I’m even offering full HD video packages on Blu-ray at exactly the same rates I offered VHS tapes for back in the day.

And guess what? I’ve had one paid wedding video in the last 6 months. And I did that at half price.

I wish I had a magic pill I could take and share with other wedding video producers out there. But it just seems like wedding videos are the couple’s last consideration and it usually comes after they’ve blown their budget on flowers, salmon and a ride in some horse drawn carriage.

I think it wouldtake a culture change for young brides to look past a still photographer and realize that video is the real medium for capturing the emotion of a wedding. Photographs are very convenient – but when it comes to reliving that special moment, nothing does it like video.

I intend to plug away at wedding videos, and to conitue working on movies, shorts, music video and all the things I really enjoy. I’ve just become more realistic about how much I can afford to spend on free work.

Like I said, my day job pays well, so unless I’m making an average of $25 an hour on video I don’t consider it worth the time or effort. In fact, since I’m an avid still photographer and one of my cameras is a Canon T3i, I’m consideringjumping shipand taking stills!

In a way, it’s freed me from the wedding video grind. I chose the projects I enjoy instead of the projects I need. And when I get a wedding, I’ll take it, but I’m not going to count on weddings as a real source of income. They’re just a nice pick-me-up now and then.

But for those of you who are counting on weddings – try this: Stress video’s ability record the emotion of the event.Market yourself with still photographers as a package deal.Get in good with facilities, wedding planners and ministers/officients. Get your sample video online – either on your own website or use vimeo, ithas better quality than youtube, but everyone knows youtube. Get a facebook page foryour business, post your videos there and make friends. Pass out business cards everywhere you go. Ask your barista if you can put a business card or post card in their window. Attend a bridal fair but be realistic about how much it’s going to cost you to attend versus the odds of getting business from it. Join local wedding an event themed organizations and network.

Above all – deliver the best work you can possibly deliver and treat your customers like gold. Put several of your cards in the case with your finished disk. Ask for testimonials from yourhappy clients and don’t be afraid to let them brag for you.Roughly a thirdof my weddings were from word of mouth.

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