Please critique my wedding/event videography marketing and image techniques, and give advice...?
Hello, I have found wedding videography to be a solid way for me to gain income. Some background... I am the owner of Caridiography Video (http://www.caridiography.com), and I do all of my shoots alone. I've done 8 or 9 weddings alone with a Canon 5DmII and some portable equipment... sound is all done from a Rode VideoMic attached to the camera, which has worked just well for my purposes. Most of my wedding/event gigs were found by people responding to my Craigslist ads (Sample: http://cnj.craigslist.org/crs/4038345560.html).
Now, first of all, I would welcome any critique of my website and ad. I think I am very genuine and honest about myself and my work process, but do not really target any specific niche.
I charge $500 for a half-day shoot (5 or less hours of shooting, a 30-40 minute edit, DVD creation) and $800 for a full day shoot (same thing, but for more than 5 hours, of course). I was recently told that since my prices are low, I may actually get less business. A photographer I worked with at my last wedding said that she was a part of, hm, the Wedding Photojournalist Association, paid a yearly fee, and her $1700 charge was the cheapest in her area on the site! Which sounded absurd to me! I don't have the money to go on The Knot, or be a part of WEVA, etc.
So, what are ways I can shift (part of) my "image" to get wedding video clients, and what are ways to do that outside of Craigslist? Should I make a separate website solely for weddings, and charge extra and have detailed packages on that one?
Thanks so much for any advice!! I have been doing freelance videography for 3 years now professionally, and these days, if I DO get work, it's commercial. I put much of my mental energy towards both my films and personal life while trudging financially, and I really need to do something to step up. I network a lot... but yes, I am straying from the question, I am asking about wedding video business tips!
You asked for comments re your website etc etc.
I too make wedding DVD programmes but here in the UK.
I think for weddings you REALLY should create a new brand and website separate from other genres. The current "vibe" is not right for brides in my opinion.
Look at your site from a brides perspective, and ask yourself this.
"What is there here to make me feel that this person understands and can deliver a beautiful wedding DVD that is everything Id love it to be, for the most special day of my life."
Do these words or feelings appear anywhere:-
Beautiful, elegant, Love, stunning, fabulous, stylish, emotional, memorable, outstanding. etc etc
Brides don't care what camera you have, wether you edit on FCP premiere or AVID, what your filmic motivations are. They want BEAUTIFUL. They want to cry they're so happy.
Id seriously consider doing these things
1) make a new website JUST for weddings and consider a new name.
2) Remove all the techy stuff. No need to show cameras everywhere and edit systems. Ok that might interest you but you're not the customer. The customer can PRESUME you know what you're doing with a camera and edit system. That's why you are there. They want to see the emotion.!!!
3) Make brides fall in love with your product by showing them fabulous imagery that shows you UNDERSTAND the feminine requirements of a wedding film.
4) Get GIRLS to look at your site and critique it from their perspective as a bride to be (even if they're not) Don't get a biker babe or a goth to do it. Get girly girls who are looking for love and will spot all the male influences. Remove them, you don't need them in this product. Only their opinion matters here.
5) Choose fonts carefully . look at what girls choose for their wedding stationary.
6) Go to wedding fayres and look at your competitions reels and offerings, websites, paperwork etc etc.
7) Id strongly suggest you remove ALL the video content from the wedding section. Overall it doesn't show you or your skill set in a great light.
8) No need for pages of "my background" stuff and how you're trying to eek a living. That doesn't present you as a brilliant film maker who loves to deliver fab dvds for brides across the USA. Look at everything from the brides perspective and say "would i hire this guy?"
I hope you don't find my thoughts too uncomfortable, but you have asked for advice and I think you can generate better sales if you at least consider them.
Ill watch one of your wedding samples and critique it for you, cross referencing it to how we work for a TECHNICAL position, but will email you this direct.
Is there any you would say is your finest wedding work?
Post Production Dubbing Mixer