Why Does My Videographer Cost an Arm and a Leg?

I’m going to be completely honest. I’m the type to go to a Texas state fair and check all available food booths for the cheapest batch of fried Oreo’s to purchase. What can I say? I don’t want to get ripped off; I work hard for my money. If I make an investment on something, I want to know why it costs the amount it does, especially if it’s more than I budgeted for. This is why I can see where couples can feel alarmed whenever they hear the cost of video and photography (or any service) for their wedding day. I feel like I’m very transparent with my business, so I’d like to share a bit of behind-the-scenes on how videographers come up with their quotes. I cannot speak for all videographers, but I can at least speak for my own and maybe this will give you some insight for other business as well!

Every season is not wedding season. According to the Knot, in Texas, fall is the most popular time to tie the knot and winter is the least (pretty sure it’s because of the weather, but that’s my guess). That being said, I have to prepare financially for those slow seasons. The amount videographers charge is spread throughout the year as an average income. If I don’t save enough for those slow months, I’m in trouble.

Before I can pay myself, this list needs to be taken care of first:

  • Camera, drone, mics and other equipment like lighting, stabilizers, and batteries.
  • Assistance, Insurance, and Contracts **Do not use a videographer who doesn’t have insurance or a contract! Big No-No!**
  • Advertising and Website – so you can find me!
  • Adobe software and song licenses – gotta have Ed Sheeran!
  • Travel expenses – gas, hotels, etc
  • Education – continuous
  • Desktop/Laptop
  • USB flash drives/subscription to Dropbox
  • Taxes and other random day-to-day costs

Once equipment is paid for, that’s not the end either. They need to be upgraded every 5-6 years because we all know just like our phones and computers, times are always changing and you gotta keep up! So as I figure out how much I need to charge my client, I have to make sure all these expenses are in the equation as well. I wish the list wasn’t so long, but I want to make sure my business stays trustworthy and I give my absolute best.

Time is very valuable and since I have my own business, I can work twice a week right? No way. If I worked that little a week, I would have some angry clients wondering where their video was. The hours are longer now (at least 75 hours/week) than when I actually worked for another company, but the benefit is I can plan out months in advance the days I want off to go on vacation or holiday. As much as I would love to provide $500 videos for my clients, I simply can’t afford the time to take care of the things listed above. I would have to work double to keep my business running and worse than that, spend less time with my husband and 10 month-old.

$500 videography is possible, but there are some risks. Of course everyone knows you risk your video quality, but there are other precautions to keep in mind like insurance and contracts. You want to make sure if a drone is flown into your venue or a guest trips over camera equipment, there’s insurance to pay for damages. It doesn’t matter if your videographer costs $100 or $10,000, they need to have insurance and a contract. You want to be sure they do show up on your wedding day and you will receive a video after everything is over with. I’ve heard horror stories of vendors not showing up or running off with couple’s money; it’s the worst and it breaks my heart every time. So when searching for a videographer (and this goes for all) here are some tips on what to ask:

  • For examples – highlights, teasers, drone footage, etc.
  • How music is chosen – do they choose or do you and do they have a license to those songs?
  • What their insurance covers as well as a contract.
  • What all video you are actually given – do you receive your whole ceremony, dances etc?
  • To meet in person (at least a phone call) – make sure they are a legit person and that you mesh well with them.
  • If the owner will be filming your wedding – it can sometimes be conflicting if you like the owner, but they send someone else to your wedding.
  • About any hidden fees or expenses.

I hope this relieved a sense of curiosity some may have when they receive a quote from me or any other wedding professional! Preparation, expenses, time and personal earnings are everything a wedding professional or any small business needs to put into consideration when setting up their prices. With that being said, I absolutely love what I do! It’s a lot of work, but you are all worth it! Everyone has a story; not just the fame and fortune on television. You are my inspiration and it’s why I love doing what I do.

– Sarah🌻

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Nicole and Nate Wood| Private Residence in Double Oak, TX

Nicole and Nate were wed outside in the back of a private residence in Double Oak, Texas May 4, 2019. It was an intimate and glamorous wedding full of good food, friends and fancy dance moves. I had the privilege of taking photos of the special occasion.

Cheers Koozies at a wedding reception | Skys the Limit Production | Lewisville Photographer
Photo by Skys the Limit Production

Nicole and her girls got ready at a different location, a friend’s house, and there was such an exciting vibe. All the girls in the wedding party wore matching robes with their names across their backs. Later Nicole wore her blush colored wedding dress, and looked so incredible. After her mother helped her button up her dress, Nicole’s mother presented her with a special gift; her grandmother’s ring.

Flower Mound, Texas | Groom tying his tie | Skys the Limit Production | Lewisville Wedding Photographer

Nate got ready at the ceremony location in Flower Mound with his boys. He wore a grey suit with a dark navy blue tie, and looked really dapper.

The ceremony was held in the backyard of the beautiful home next to a gorgeous swimming pool and garden. The ceremony area was simple, natural, and beautiful underneath the bright sunny skies. The ceremony was full of smiles, giggles and excited hand squeezes.

Backyard wedding in Flower Mound, Texas | Skys the Limit Production
Small intimate wedding in Double Oak, Texas
Newly weds' first kiss | Double Oak Wedding Photographer | Skys the Limit Production

After the ceremony, we stayed at the ceremony area for portrait photos, which is such a great time for the newly married couple to have some time to let it sink in. Then the couple mingled with their guests, which was the perfect time for me to get candid photos. I got some really fun guest photos as everyone was so much fun and loved having their photo taken – especially after a few gins! The weather was all sunshine and blue skies, it was a beautiful day.

Nicole and Nate chose to have their wedding reception underneath a rental tent outside to fit all their guests and keep the atmosphere fun and relaxed. The couple had music and cocktails for their guests, and everyone had so much fun taking turns with the photo camper!

Wedding Cake fail in Texas | Skys the Limit Production | Dallas Photographer

The newly weds had heartfelt and occasionally hilarious speeches after dinner made by the best man and maid of honor; the father of the bride shared a word or two as well. The cake was so good the couple decided to let each other try the cake with their nose, chin and forehead as well!

Guests young and mature danced and sang all night long – it was a night to remember for sure! One of the guests even insisted on taking a photo of me – that was definitely a first for me! I would say Nicole and Nate’s glamorous backyard wedding was a success and I’m so honored to have captured their special day.

Wedding Reception in Texas photographer
They tried their best haha (it’s the thought that counts)

Video footage of Nate and Nicole’s Wedding

Vendors

Coordinator/Planning | Lasting Memory Events
DJ | MyDjtagman LLC
Cake | The Flour Shop Bakery
Florist | Details Dallas Floral & Event Company
Catering | Marty B’s
Photobooth | Picture This
HMU | Cloud 9 Salon, Spa, and Boutique
Rental | 5 Star Rental
Valet | Elite Valet

Alicia & James Bowles | River Road Chateau in Anna, Texas

On March 21st, during a sunny Thursday afternoon, Alicia and James got married at the lovely River Road Chateau, which is a Texas chic venue in Anna. Skys the Limit Production captured the couple’s perfect day on video.

The ceremony was a beautiful service under the venue’s iconic chandelier, and the reception was held in the rustic ballroom, and it was a plum and spring inspired wedding. Mr. & Mrs. Bowles had lots of cake in the afternoon, and an intimate family dinner in the evening, and they finished off the night with lots of dancing.

If you’re throwing a week day wedding as well, get in touch!

Vendors:
Planner | Daydream Events by Jess
DJ | Arbūtus Entertainment
Catering | D Squared Catering
Photographer | Desiree Chapman Photography
Linens | Lena’s Fine Linen Rentals
Flowers | Blue Sapphire Weddings & Events
Baker | SamsClub

Katie and Bryston Schafer | The SPRINGS Event Venue in Terrell, Texas

Katie and Bryston were wed March 9, 2019 at the SPRINGS Poetry Hall in Rockwall, Texas. They had their ceremony outside of the venue, and the sun was bright and beautiful that day. Skys the Limit Production had the honor of capturing this special occasion through video.

Photo Cred: Gray Door Photography

The couple met at Texas State University in a study room. On the day Bryston proposed, he took Katie to her favorite spot on the river in San Marcos with their new puppy. She was skipping rocks when she saw that he got down on one knee.

On their wedding day, Katie wore a white strapless dress with a modest length train paired with a veil that laid past her back and she held a beautiful arrangement of white and blue flowers. Bryston wore a simple white shirt underneath his light grey suit with a classy blue floral bow-tie and brown dress shoes.

Before the ceremony began, Katie decided to have special moments with those closest to her. Her mother helped her dress while she had her bridesmaids wait to see her when she was fully ready to be married. After greeting with her girls (and touching up makeup), she met with her father who couldn’t stop telling his little girl how beautiful she was. Lastly, Katie shared a first touch with her groom to be.

Their ceremony was held under a giant wooden arbor; the decor was natural and simple, but also elegant. Bryston was as nervous as he could be, but kept his cool in front of family and friends. One by one each couple from the wedding party made their way down the aisle smiling from ear to ear. When Bryston turned to see his bride, for the first time on their wedding day, you could see on his face that this was one of, if not the best decision he’s ever made.

They exchanged their own written vows to one another and gave each other a special ring to wear for the rest of their days together. Guests cheered and applauded the couple after they shared their first kiss.

The cheers continued when the newlyweds made their grand entrance down the wooden staircase inside the elegant stoned hall. The couple immediately had their first dance underneath the chandelier followed by the traditional dances with their parents. Katie’s cake was a delicate and pretty bridal cake and Bryston’s was a mouthwatering stack of chocolate cookies. The DJ kept everyone young and mature on their feet all night long to songs both new and classic. When the night came to an end, the couple saved the last dance for each other.

After a tender moment alone, the love birds met their friends and family outside. Guests tossed flower petals in the air while the couple rushed through and made their way to the green vintage truck with a just married sign attached.

Photo Cred: Gray Door Photography

Vendors:
Officiant | Josh Acut
Planner | Daydream Events by Jess
HMU | Styles by Vero
Wedding Dress | Providence Place Bridal Boutique
Photographer | Gray Door Photography
Baker | Sweet By Design
DJ and Photobooth | Arbūtus Entertainment
Florist | Blue Sapphire Weddings & Events
Bartender | HD Liquid Catering
Caterer | D Squared Catering
Rentals | Marquee Event Rentals – Dallas
Transportation | Premier Transportation Services
Stationary | Basic Invite

Bragging Rights

The last few months have been such a rush and so busy, but right now I would like to take the time to share and reflect on some of the places my work has been featured this year. Skys the Limit Production is involved with the Iman Project by providing videos of the wonderful workshops they have been setting up in Dallas, Texas. Bree Clarke created these workshops and designed them as a way to bring – as she would say – “Family, Friends & Community together one Farmhouse Table, Design & Workshop at a time.” During March – also known as Women’s History Month – the CW33 featured Bree in an interview talking about her growth as an entrepreneur in Dallas. I was honored to have Skys the Limit Production’s video displayed during the CW interview and create a video that properly represented the hard work Bree has done.

If you would like to know more about Bree’s project and view Skys the Limit Production’s, video visit the CW33 site here.

In addition to having big news on Skys the Limit Production’s videography side, there was also some news for photography, as well! Skys the Limit was also featured twice in VoyageDallas. If you haven’t checked out VoyageDallas before, you definitely need to if you live in the area or taking a visit to the Big D! This site gives you a guide of everything big and small happening in Dallas and last month one of the Editorial Staff contacted me. They asked questions about me and Skys the Limit Production and published the interview soon after. Seeing the article online was very exciting and encouraging, and I definitely owe it to all my past and new clients, so thank you! You can find that article here. The second time getting featured on the magazine was because of a photo I took on April 21, 2018 of one of my brides. I posted to Instagram and the post got featured in an article called “An Artistic Voyage: exploring local creative and artistic works”. If you would love to see the post you can find it here.

This year has already been amazing, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of this year has in store for Skys the Limit Production.

Couple featured on VoyageDallas