Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Specialty Topics › Wedding and Event Video › I’m in in a very weird situation, advice please!! › You know, most videographe
You know, most videographers in this area have an exclusivity clause that basically says that if they show up and another videographer is there, they can keep the money and leave without even filming. It’s likely that if they hired someone, and you both showed up to do the videography, that the one they paid for might leave anyway. It sounds like you’ll get the exclusive, but if not, make sure they read the other videographer’s contract closely.
If she’s offering to pay now, she may be setting you up for a firing, because you’ll be "too expensive". Then again, she might have realized her bad taste, and is trying to be polite. I’d say, since you offered to do it for free, you should probably only ask her to pay for materials if you want to charge at all. Maybe $75 to $150 to cover the cost of your tapes, creating the DVDs/VHS tapes, and any other stuff you might need to pick up (filters, etc) for the event. Maybe charge a little more so you can rent a few extra cameras and mics.
Also, figure out what you’re worth, and let her know that your service is worth that much, and that she’s getting a teriffic bargain. (Don’t use words like "cheap" or others with negative connotations. Make it positive!)
On the west coast, a videographer can charge $3000 for a basic wedding without flinching. The west coast economy can handle that. It’s a similar story for most of the east coast. In the midwest, you’ll find that videography fluctuates a lot from region to region, but it’s always lower than the coastal areas. When I was filming in Omaha, Asking $1200-$1800 for a basic wedding was "fair" (being per capita the richest city on Earth heped with that). Up here in Central MN, home of the dirt-poor farmer, my basic package is currently on sale for $600, and none of my competitors but one charge over $1100 for the basic package (and that one has very few clients, from what I hear).
Ultimately, your cost is determined by what those in your area are willing to pay. Call the other videographers around the area and ask them how much they charge (or check their websites). That will give you a feel for local pricing.
The only other piece of advice I can give is to be totally honest with people, even if it hurts you. In the long run, even if you miss out on a client or two, people will stat to recognize you as a fair, honest individual who’s not going to hype up their product or sell them something they don’t need. Honesty is a virtue that a lot of people remove when they go into business. Admittedly, it’s hard to be honest when all of your competitors are willing to fudge on the truth. But if you do it, in the end, you’ll build the business others will trust, and your name will be the one people think of when they want a good videographer.