Wedding Videography in the Digital Age

What is the status of the recording industry of weddings today? To find out, we talked to the wedding photographers work, found industry statistics and meat which is undoubtedly a flourishing business in a growing market. Although some might wonder if amateurs are moving in the pros because of their lower cost gear and easier to use software, our consensus of wedding shooters and editors say they do not. We also take a look at the tools wedding videographers are using, and learned how best wedding photographers are using the web to open new lines of business for their firms encouraged.

To get an idea of ​​the size of the market for recording weddings, first let's take a look at the statistics that reveal the enormous amount of money spent on weddings in the United States. According to the American Wedding Study by Conde Nast Bridal Infobank, in the last ten years an average wedding spending has soared by 50% to an average of $ 22,360 for the wedding of the year, compared with $ 15,208 in 1994. And, according to Richard Markel, President of the Association of Wedding Professionals International, the $ 65 billion spent on weddings every year, "6% of the budget would be for the video." Markel added, "But with 6% of the estimated $ 65 billion spent will equal $ 390 million." This indicates a wide open market for professional recording weddings. Markel continued: "We just had a show here in Sacramento and several of our videographers booked business with an average price of $ 2,500 bill."

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In terms of statistics, recording weddings seems to be a growth industry. Let's do the math for a moment. Consider an experienced videographer, charging $ 2500 for an average wedding, shooting a wedding a week. In one year, that person has earned $ 130,000. But that would be a hard-working videographer - most videographers we talked to said they spent 40 hours editing each wedding video, that is, a weekly which are almost constant travail with hardly any free time.

A great story of success would be high-end videographer Kris Malandruccolo, whose company Elegant Videos by Kris has been operating in the Chicago area over the past 16 years. Your business can send up to $ 5000 for a package of wedding video, and regularly signs contracts for $ 3000 weddings. However, the mother of three will not work all the time so limited. "Someone could shoot four or five months. But an average of two or three weddings a month," he told Digital Media Net.

According to Luisa Winters, an award-winning cameraman and editor who has his own business recording weddings, memorable events, most wedding videographers charge under $ 2000 for their services - with higher-end wedding business load video up to $ 15,000 - $ 20,000. "I do not consider anyone a true professional, unless they are able to earn enough money to support themselves with this business," said Winters, Digital Media Network. "Everything else is a side business to support a family means different things depending on what part of the country where you are in. If you are in a less expensive, then less income will suffice -.. And yet professional," added Winters.

A price of $ 2000 - $ 5000 onwards, it seems that the fans would be interested in filming their wedding video, or ask a friend or relative to take the controls of the family camcorder. But Internet message boards for wedding videographers are filled with stories of the first photographers to shoot a complete wedding ceremony with the camcorder on pause, only to find they began rolling, after all was said and done, for end up with a lot of artistic photos of the plant and nothing else. According to Winters, videographer / editor Luisa, "The fans are taking a bite of wedding videographer company, but that is true only for the lower end videographers." She believes that lower-end shooters make things better for the top level, increasing the quality gap between the two. "Brides more educated are expected to pay much more for a video that looks professional than they were willing to pay before the arrival of such inexpensive equipment. The difference between an amateur wedding video and a professional is enormous and the People are willing to pay top dollar for the latter. "Sometimes quality considerations can be very basic, such as, can you hear what the bride and groom are saying?" You really have to worry about the audio the same, you know. There is much at stake, "said Kris Malandruccolo, in addition to being a wedding videographer successfully is the president of the Illinois Videographers Association.

Is the field that are made by the profusion of low-cost, high quality equipment? According to Winters, "The image quality and editing capability has become less important is the fact that now you have to be a better storyteller, you must be a better artist ... after all, we all have access to pen and paper, but not everyone can write the great American novel, right? Shakespeare and Mozart only had pen and paper to work with, and yet gave us masterpieces that transcend time. Not everything is determined by the team. "

Then there is the issue, which is a process many newlyweds are not prepared to handle. "As you know, nobody in the business who edits knows it is a time consuming process," said Malandruccolo. "I take tons of family videos, but none of my personal items to be amended because there is no time. So if you were paying, then it is not the issue, because it is very slow, especially if they do it every time . I think that many people, especially if you have the money, just want to say 'do it for me.' "Malandruccolo said it's not just the time element is a barrier to entry, but the professionalism required to create a polished production. "The bottom line is that you have a better video quality. As I stress to my clients, this is a family heirloom. You only have one chance to do well, and can not do more, so this is a relic family, if you look that way, then they are willing to invest the money in it. And I've never had a client say that we feel that money spent on video. Customers simply do not say that, "said Malandruccolo .

Recording of weddings has changed significantly over the past 20 years, where digital video recording and editing has been very sophisticated techniques for a type of video production that was once quite basic. In those days, it was typical to spend about $ 1000 in a video that was a simple point and shoot production, with all the editing that takes place in the chamber. But now, with the power of digital technology, photographers are taking advantage of 3-chip DV camcorders and sophisticated editing setups, resulting in extraordinary productions, many of which are true works of art.

For tasks running, most wedding videographers use DV camcorders in the league of Sony PD150 or VX 2000, Canon XL1 and GL2 or Panasonic 3-chip camcorders like the AG-DVX100. Said Winters, "Most wedding videographers will use DV for acquisition of (3-CCD), which is logical, because the cost is low, the quality is high and, especially, the weight of the camera is so low now, that videographers are able to be more creative with smaller units than they were capable of being, say, five or six years ago, when the cameras where huge. You do not have to have a video camera professional looking for a good money filming weddings. In fact, many customers prefer the smaller units to larger ones, because they are more comfortable. "

Another staple of wedding coverage are wireless microphones, usually attached to the preparation and strategically placed elsewhere, assuring that the most important words that many people never speaks is clearly audible in the final product.

The biggest technological leap has been in publishing, where even sophisticated computers can create presentations that have been possible only in a multi-edition package 20 years ago. Apple Final Cut Pro is the most popular application for Mac editing using Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 to the head on the Windows side. Other wedding videographers use Sony Vegas, Pinnacle Liquid Edition, Avid Xpress, NewTek Video Toaster, Canopus Edius and others. Some videographers opt for real-time DV acceleration cards, like Matrox or DVStorm2 RT.X100 of Canopus. A constant is evident throughout the field of computer decision - people are strongly committed to the choices we have made. Winters said, "They are loyal, strong arguments about the superiority of one operating system or capture card of the inferiority of competing products. My personal opinion is less partisan. For me, an editing system is a tool and nothing else - what works and I make money is what I use - and in this case I chose Premiere Pro 1.5 and Matrox RT.X100 capture. I have both real-time card Matrox and plain generic FireWire cards. "

Another popular technique of wedding videography production today is multi. In its most rudimentary level, a cameraman operating a video camera, while an unmanned video camera second set on a tripod, recording the event from a different angle. For the reception, most times a single camera does all the filming, with the other as backup. At its most sophisticated, multi-configuration works the same way it would be a remote production network configured with multiple cameras connected to a switch located in a separate room away from headquarters. A director is in constant contact with each of the three, four or more camera operators via headsets, coordinating their shots while the direct exchange of a camera as you roll the tape in each camera for isolated footage can be added in post.

Advanced technology also makes the final product delivered to customers much better, which is now a high quality DVD commonly delivered to the customer when all the filming and editing is done. Previously an option at additional cost to customers of wedding video, DVDs have been working their way into the mainstream especially in recent years. Malandruccolo said, "When I first started offering DVDs about three years ago, they were very expensive. I had it as an add-on does not. Everyone took it because not everyone had a DVD player. It's amazing how quickly it has changed, because now many couples are not even interested in a VHS copy except for the grandmother. "No wonder that DVDs have taken over as far as results are concerned. With prices DVD player now dipping below $ 50, and many teams as DVD recorders and players as standard equipment, DVDs have become ubiquitous distribution medium for videographers of all kinds. Perhaps the greatest benefit of this is the fact that, ultimately, customers can see the true quality of the video, almost the same as the quality of the camcorder where he was killed. That is a big difference in quality of VHS tapes that were the norm only A few years ago. "Many times, I was shooting with a 3-chip camera, and I'd have this beautiful miniDV master, but then the couple walking out the door with VHS and I'll put the original tape in a box in my studio. All that quality is going to lose, "said Malandruccolo.

Each wedding videographer is intensely concerned with marketing and high technology has been a blessing for all involved. The biggest advantage is the Web, with its ability to raise an enormous amount of information to anyone with a computer. By far the most important innovation for wedding videography marketing is streaming video. Some told us that customers are not considered a cameraman, unless you can see a streaming video demonstration of the shooter work on the Web. Where in recent years, a client would have to personally visit numerous videographers to see examples of his work, now a bride-to-be can visit twenty websites in one night, picking a photographer whose style and pricing matches her taste and budget. Streaming video is also important after the wedding is shot as well. According to Richard Markel, President of the Association of Wedding Professionals International, streaming video enables customers to show their wedding in the world. "The ability to email or add video to a website is impressive - and viewers who could not attend the wedding of the world - friends and family - you can see the wedding wherever they are," said Markel.

The Web has become so important in the marketing of wedding photographers report that some 50% of your business is drawn across the Web. Customers can view demonstration videos, get a quote, and negotiate the entire shoot without ever seeing the cameraman. "A lot of brides complement my Web site," said Malandruccolo, because the instant gratification of seeing the samples immediately. "The majority have broadband connections so they can see sample videos of past projects. I've booked brides without even meeting with them, only for them to find my site by clicking on the video, he called me, talking prices, and I say, 'Okay. Send me a contract. "I feel that if you are a photographer, if you want to get more business, you need to offer video streaming."

However, the Web is not the only way to improve the business. As always has been, another important tool is the reference age that kind of mouth advertising age-of-mouth, where customers satisfied with their report positive (or negative) results of the wedding video of others seeking the same service. Videographers as Luisa Winters of Unforgettable Events see the Web as a reinforcement tool for referrals from one end of everything. "The web is great, but it is only a means to reinforce what they have heard and through referral, or are just surfing the net," he said. According to Winters, "At the moment, most of the clientele comes to us as a result of references from brides and other vendors - in fact, do not advertise at all." Surprisingly, she sees other wedding vendors as allies, even if they are competing wedding videographers. "Many times my referrals come from other photographers can not do the job for whatever reason - mostly because they are busy References, references, references -. That is the way to go!"

Attending a bridal show is another way of cameramen to get the word about their services. Bride-to-be attend these shows to see new trends and gather ideas, and the number of videographers showing their products at these events has increased in recent years. According to Markel, "I've had in my wedding videographers show consumption over the past 15 years, however, was only one or two at most to prove, but that is changing rapidly -. Last week we had 11 in our program . " There are also exhibitions that are held specifically for wedding videographers, the larger the annual event held by WEVA, Wedding and Event Videographers Association.

Another effective way to attract the attention of a videography business is by advertising in bridal publications. That's why Illinois Videographers Association president Kris Malandruccolo said to be a great advantage of being part of an organization where videographers can join. "We ran an ad co-op in Chicago Wedding Pages magazine and Wedding Guide Chicago, and in order to be in that announcement of the cooperative, which has to be a member of VAT. Therefore we are able to lower cost advertising in magazines, because we are all in the ads. "But even though Luisa Winters thinks ads are important, adds that there is more than that. "He or she who markets best, wins," said Winters. "And look that marketing is not just placing ads, is to build these relationships in the business of weddings that take referrals - that's the marketing that counts."

All wedding videographers interviewed were certain that the fans are not invading their business significantly, although there are numerous examples of "newbies" who made valiant efforts, but learned - often too late - that no professional videography is as easy as it sounds. Although the prices of equipment and easy to use video editing software has brought into the mainstream choices, talent and experience as well as hard work and clever marketing remain rare qualities that make video professionals Wedding a valuable resource to the billion dollar wedding industry.