How to Start a Wedding Video Business

Key things videographers should consider in order to succeed in the wedding video business.

Video Transcript

One of the more commonly known businesses that deals with video is wedding videography.

With the growing popularity of wedding videography and the affordability of professional video equipment, running a wedding video production business is very attainable and can be very lucrative. For years, the mention of the words wedding video brought flashbacks of Uncle Steve's shaky camera work at the family wedding. But in recent years as videographers have raised the standard, the wedding video is being seen in a new light. Though wedding videography is gaining much popularity, it's still a wide open field.

Choosing your equipment is a vital part of starting your business. There's no need to go overboard, but high definition is a must. You don't have to go all out, but you definitely want a broadcast quality camera. Some qualities to look for are a three chip camcorder. This will improve the sharpness and color performance which is very beneficial to outdoor shooting. Good low light performance. Most weddings are dimly lit and sometimes even downright dark. You want your clients to see what's going on and night vision is never an option. Audio capturing capabilities. You're going to want to make sure that the camera has the capabilities to plug in a mic, which can come in the form of a mic input jack or XLR inputs. This way, when the guests are interviewed, the audio will come through much cleaner than with the onboard built in mic. Another consideration is whether to use a shoulder mounted camera or a handheld camera. Both have advantages and disadvantages. A shoulder mounted camera is very handy for getting stable shots. It'll also save your back after a long day of shooting by distributing the weight. But a handheld camera is less obtrusive and more portable. It really comes down to personal preference. As far as equipment, a tripod is a necessity for a cover shot and a reflector should always be present for outdoor shooting. It can clean up the areas under the eyes and is more flattering to the attendee.

Every reputable business has a business license. They generally don't cost that much and are easy to get. It will make your clients feel more comfortable knowing that they are dealing with a licensed professional. Another must for every professional videographer is a legitimate sales contract. You don't need to hire an attorney to make up a contract. A simple statement of the services you are providing and a list of instances that you won't be held responsible for is sufficient. If you need help figuring out what to say, you can find contracts, invoices, and other forms for sale on the video maker Web site. Here are a few policies you may want to put into place. Always collect the money upfront. You should always collect a non-refundable deposit when the contract is signed to hold the wedding date. The remaining balance should be collected on or before the day of the wedding. The clients have to book the day way in advance and so do you. Be very clear of your intentions. Let the client know in advance exactly how long you plan on staying and what events will be covered. Let them know that the extra footage you happen to capture will be a bonus, but offer no guarantees. Have several price plan packages. Having multiple packages to choose from for your clientele creates a better understanding of what is and is not expected in the video. They can include a pre wedding video, reception coverage, or even a photo montage. A good example of this would be to offer a gold, silver, and bronze package with each one offering different levels of coverage and a clear cut definition of what the shooting day entails.

The last thing you want is to miss something important because you weren't familiar with the schedule. Make contact with the wedding planner early on and get familiar with the day's events. At the reception, make contact with the DJ and ask to be informed just before anything important happens. Stay hidden. You are being paid to capture the wedding day, not to stick a camera in the faces of each guest. If you need to conduct interviews, set up a camera on a tripod away from the main event. This puts you in an environment where you have control of the lighting, the sound, and everything else. It also gets people away from their peers where they tend to feel more comfortable and sentimental.

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