I recently posted a special offer that I’m running for early bird 2020 couples on a local Facebook group. Well, one of the vendors in our area that offers both wedding photography and video started ranting on the post about most people raising their prices over time as they offer more value, but I was cutting it by a third.
Well, today, I’m going to explain to you why I don’t charge $3,000 for a wedding video anymore and help explain why many in the business charge what they do, it’s called making a livelihood from it.
I’ve Already Made a Career from Video
First let me explain that I film today because I love it. I had another opportunity to get back into filming weddings back in 2018 after the guy that bought me out shutdown his business. I had signed a non-compete clause which forced me out entirely. Since he left and that company went away, I was able to get back into it. But over the course of about 3 years (selling my former video production company in late 2015), I had started working at Roanoke College and I love it there.
I simply had no need to get back into filming full-time as I already had a full-time job that I really enjoy. So, with that in mind, I set a limit of just 15 weddings a year, max. And even then, I decided that I no longer needed to hit my high point of $3,000 for a client since I had already paid for all the gear up front, I no longer have a studio, staff and overhead. It’s just me and occasionally my wife-to-be, Carole.
But why not keep it at $3,000 and just take less clients?
For a couple of reasons. First, I’m giving an opportunity to those couples that simply can’t afford a roughly $3,000 wedding film to acquire my pricing for half or less than half. I’m focused more on middle of the road couples, those that want a great experience at a rate thats more than fair.
I don’t need the money.
I mean I do to a point, buying and replacing gear is not cheap, covering my fuel and travel, saving a bit for a nice vacation a couple times a year, sure, but I don’t need to film to live. I’ve already done that.
Yes, traditionally, pricing increases as you get better with time and your product becomes more refined and better with the experience.
BUT I’m not competing with other vendors out there.
I’m not playing wedding politics this time (yes, they exist) and I simply want to film weddings for couples that value my work and I want to make a little fun money on the side for the things previously mentioned.
I’m Not Calling Them Out Why are They?
I really don’t know why he was doing that, maybe he saw me as a threat or thought I’m some newbie trying to make my mark. I’m not running around calling that guy out and telling him he needs to raise his prices. He’s in the mindset to make as much money as he can from the wedding industry and thats okay.
My Average Wedding Video Price
Me, I’ve already done that, I’ve made my money over the last 20 some years from being in it.
Today, I don’t have to charge what I did before, I can turn clients away if I don’t think they’re a great fit, I don’t need to fork out a massive amount of money to try and stay ahead of my competition. I’m simply not playing the game.
I film because I enjoy it - it’s a lot of fun for me today, I have much less stress, I enjoy meeting couples and working with them.
And you know what, who really cares if another vendor is worried by what I charge, they should worry about booking more brides and taking more money, after all that was the point of his comments.
Couples want a great experience at a fair rate and thats something that I offer them. I want them to be able to have a wonderful product and service at the end of the day and unlike many wedding vendors out there, making money is not at the top of my list. If it we’re, I’d be charging much more for my services.
Sure, I could make more money, charge more and do less weddings.
As I stated before, historically, the longer a wedding photographer or videographer has been in the business, the more they charge. I did that myself over the years. That comes from experience and better services over time, better gear and the like. It also comes from needing to make more money and here’s why.
If you’re a full-time wedding vendor, then you need to make a living at it. When I was in the business full-time, I was making lots of money doing about 50-60 weddings on a given year. But man the overhead was a lot, read my article about how much a typical wedding videographer makes in a year, it will surprise you!
Being that we tend to have wedding seasons in Virginia compared to a place such as Florida for example, we have a limited window each year to book couples and to make money.
Say a ‘tog or a videographer needs to make $30,000. Let’s use this ranters rates rates for video at an average of about $1,450 for a wedding video. He would have to do about roughly 20 weddings to make money for the year.
That would pay for his rent, his utilities, car payment, fuel, food, you get the idea… oh and then gear upkeep, new lenses, replacement stuff, insurance etc.
His mindset is to charge as much as he (or she) can in order to make money to live. I get it, I was there too once.
I’m not doing that, I have a full-time job. Sure, I make some money, but I don’t need it to live. My mindset is much different than his and many others apparently. Sure, I do make some money at it but I don’t need too over charge to make a living at it.
I’m no longer after the high end couple that has tons of extra money to throw away. I’ve been in that market and it’s great to be in, today however I’d rather focus on more of the everyday couple that want a great experience at a rate that they are happy with.