PRICE POINT

Like many things in this industry, it is one thing to hone and learn new skills and a whole new kettle of fish to take these skills into the market place.

Generally, wedding videos carry a bad reputation and it is clear they have become less popular over the years. Most of the wedding videos we have all seen are super boring and just way too long to be enjoyed. I definitely want our films to have the  wow  factor for the modern bride and this means making the content fresh, short (maximum of 15 minutes) and personal to the bride and groom s big day. However, it also means charging the right price.

SHOW YOUR CLIENT WHAT TO BUY

From day one, it became apparent that the client buys what you present to them. Even if you have all the skills required to shoot and edit film and fantastic ideas, you cannot sell a product to a client unless you can actually show them the goods. Rik and I knew we had to have examples to show perspective clients so we approached the brides who had already booked my photography services and offered them the opportunity for our vision for a bargain price of ?250. Most of the brides were curious but dubious to start with, but once they had seen Rik s documentary style with a DSLR featuring stunning quality, they were reassured and jumped at the chance. We didnmake a profit but we got the first few weddings we needed to create a solid portfolio.

To kickstart our first year and after the success of the initial few, I contacted all my brides who had booked me for their photography and explained what we were doing. At present, 90 per cent of these brides have booked and we are now charging ?1300 plus. What can i say, Taylor I Winter Films has landed.

DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF

Wedding videographers have previously been seen as being expensive because many don t live up to the expectations of glamorous, Hollywood quality that clients are used to seeing on blockbuster films. However, photographers now have the technology at our fingertips, and it is within the photographers’reach to not only produce stunning visuals and high-quality footage, but something truly unique and original to give to a client.

It is important to remember though that just as professional photographers try to find more and more ways to differentiate themselves from bob" the video market has now saturated itself with HD cameras that produce half-way decent video and can be operated by anyone. But not everyone knows the art of editing a film, and this is the key to our success and worth considering in terms of time being money. Defining the price of photography and working out the cost remains to be largely unpredictable, imprecise and a personal process for many, but remember when teaming up with a cinematographer that there are two people s time and skills to consider.

BE REALISTIC

Photographers need to grasp that although convergence is the opportunity to set you apart from the crowd and offer an additional service, this should by no means undercut traditional film companies. We need to match their price and grow with the demand. This is not the chance to drive prices down even further for more work and little pay and do not be fooled; shooting a movie is additional hard work and the price needs to be right to reflect this. Time is money and film editing is a lot more intensive than stills photography. You have to figure out a realistic workflow and configure how long it takes you to shoot the wedding and do alL the post-production. If the work is awesome it will sell regardless of the price.

In our industry I see too many photographers who try to charge the earth without the experience to back it up. My advice is to start your prices low enough that people will book you and allow you to gain the experience required. Once the ball starts rolling gradually increase your price to match the market and demand of your target client. As an industry we can make film an essential part of every wedding again. I believe the future is what we are doing now. Work as a team, one shooting stills and the other shooting motion and have fun learning from a similar visionary person.

CLIENTS LIKE ADDED VALUE

You may wonder if convergence will mean that clients will want more for their money and have even higher expectations, but I want to reassure you that this is not the case. Every bride I have showed our films to has booked without further questions or demands. You are adding value to your brand by offering two skilled people and for the right price brides really love this collaboration. It shows them you can have the best of both worlds working in harmony, under one umbrella.

I am lucky that Crash Taylor Photography was already an established brand and I believe the service we offer is an extension to my brand identity. Rik and I share a similar style and vision. It also helps that we get along and the bride can feed off our energy because we love what we do. I personally would have loved Rik to have filmed my wedding. I really can t emphasis this enough, the clients love this service. They say to us they canbelieve how it makes the photographs come alive and it s something they are so happy they had done.

STAND OUT ONLINE

The films have also impacted on my marketing structure and now when I blog my photographs I also blog the film. This allows clients to see how much the photographs really do come alive. It also gives wedding blogs, websites and other wedding professionals something extra with an editorial edge to use, ultimately promoting your brand. Again, itall about being unique to the photographers up the road. It is up to the photographer to decide how they can use film creatively and to use their business skills to create demand in a market place.

We need to face the fact that the lines between photography and video are blurred and essentially if we can team up, we can offer a complete service. We all love what we do, so why not grow with the inevitable demand for stills and film combined?

But let s get this clear. I ve always believed in the mantra that anything worth doing is worth doing well, and I want to get paid the right price to produce something that looks top notch visually. The question is, do you?

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