Guide To Starting Your Own Wedding Videography Company
Wedding Video Business | Getting Started
First off, let me start by saying this post is geared toward those making their start in wedding videography. It is not an ultra competitive field like photography in most cities, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an awful lot of work to do. The following ideas are really aimed at the entrepreneur who doesn’t have what he/she needs yet to become a professional wedding videographer. Maybe some video editing skills from school and a computer, but I’m assuming that’s about it. That’s all I had when I graduated, so it’s possible. I think there is something in this post for anyone just getting started in the wedding video business. Many of the ideas and tips in this post are exactly how I got started and slowly built up Obviouschild Productions. There are a few things to think about when starting a wedding videography business. First of all, you have to realize that you are going to have to film some weddings for cheap or even free in order to build a credible portfolio. You really only need 1-2 wedding videos to prove to future clients that you are talented and have the ability to film for them. This might mean filming some family members or friends. What friend wouldn’t want a free wedding video; it can make a great gift–far more valuable than the 50 or 100 bucks you might have given and it doesn’t cost you anything except for time to do (this may not be true given some of the forthcoming ideas). For the more advanced videographer, check out our wedding video recording tips.
Wedding Video Software and Hardware
First you have to decide if you are a MAC or a PC. Personally I am a PC. I don’t need Final Cut and I sure don’t need to spend 3 times as much for the same hardware. It’s not that I dislike Apple so much as I can’t justify wasting money. To each their own. If you are on a MAC you are probably going to want to edit with Final Cut. As I said, I am a PC and I use Sony Vegas. Sony makes a Pro and a Studio version of their software. The Studio version is just fine for those reading this post. In fact, it’s fantastic. It’s easy to learn and easy to use. Sony Vegas supports just about every file type you could hope for and clocks in at about 50 dollars. For the sake of this post I am going to assume the only thing you have is a computer. Albeit a laptop or desktop. It doesn’t have to be incredibly fancy, but I should think a quad core Intel i5 or some such machine. So, our first investment would be Sony Vegas Movie Studio. This fifty dollars is our only initial investment-unless you need a new computer. Now we are ready to film some weddings right? Yes, let’s go get some video equipment.
Video Camera Equipment to Film Your First Wedding
I am a Canon guy, but it really doesn’t matter if you go Nikon or Canon, but again, for the sake of this post I will give my opinion. Canon is superior in the DSLR Video realm and since we are talking about filming weddings and not photographing weddings, Canon wins. I suppose to film a wedding, you only need one camera and one person, but I can’t stress enough how much better it is to have two cameras and two people. So, since we are getting started and have a very limited budget, here is my suggestion; rent your cameras and lenses for the first couple of weddings. Here’s the reality, after you film a couple freebies for your family and friends you should be able to find a client, family member, or friend willing to pay you about 500-750 dollars for your video services. Granted, that’s not a great deal of money, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. The first wedding I filmed for money back in 2007 I was paid $750. I am going to assume you are serious enough to recognize that two videographers and two cameras is far superior and that’s how I am going to do my estimating to help you get started. When renting cameras for a wedding, I suggest using a site like borrowlenses.com. I have had great luck with them and been very pleased with their services. So, time to do some renting; we only need the camera’s for three days. And it looks like (at the time of this post) that the T3i is our best bet. I love this camera and it is one I use regularly. To rent the T3i for 3 days costs $39. We need two of them. So we are in for eighty dollars. Because the T3i has a crop sensor, we really only need one lense – make that two, one for each camera. Having the same lens on both will be ideal for consistent shots and colors and white balance ect. My suggestion here is got get a zoom lens–a fast zoom lens so you can see in that low light at the reception. That’s another great thing about these Canon DSLR’s – they perform wonderfully even in low light and high ISO situations. I suggest grabbing two Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 : This should be a great all around performer to rent for your first couple of weddings. For even better low light quality, you might also grab two Canon 50mm f/1.8‘s because they are only $8.00 each. So, let’s use that as our number. Two Canon T3i’s, two Canon 50mm f/1.8′s, and two Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8′s totaling = $154.00. Not bad, you now have this stuff for three days. You can get it on a Friday and have time to experiment with the gear and make sure you are comfortable using it before the big wedding day. Even after spending 150 bucks, you likely still have a lot of room for initial profit; whether you are charging $500 or $750. Let’s say you have to pay another person 150 bucks to help you film and use the other camera. If you found someone to pay you 750, then you still stand to make over 400 dollars. You can see pretty quickly that if you do this a few times, you will be in a position to quickly start charging more; maybe $1000 or even $1500.
Once you decide to move forward with a camera of a particular model, such as the t3i or the t4i or some other camera not even out yet–I get the question, should I buy the kit lens? My immediate answer is yes; there is a place for it. I’ve written a blog post dedicated to this question. For the photo enthusiast who is not interested in weddings, but other types of photography, you might check out our post about tilt shift camera lenses.
Need Help Getting Started? Send me a shout-out, I’d be happy to help you get going or answer any questions you might have; or leave a question or suggestion below in the comments.