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🌻

Forever Wedding Favors

Looking for fun and memorable gifts to give your guests? Something that they will actually enjoy keeping? Forever Wedding Favors has your back. These timeless pieces are sold at a low price compared to other competing companies.

I personally love the little polar bear salt n’ pepper shakers. They are no bigger than your thumb, but they make for a cute little addition to dinner. Warning: they are breakable, I broke mine the very next day (my luck). 😭

The wine bottle cork remover is also another one I like. It hides itself as a mini wine bottle which can be doubled for decoration, and you always have it nearby for when you feel like getting your Riesling on! I have a classy heart bottle stopper and I just love it. It adds just a little bit of personality to my favorite bottle of wine!

Now if your with your friends at a bachelorette or a bachelor party these wedding playing cards are the way to go. They get you hyped for the special day and of course bond over a nice game of cards.

If you’re like me, then you are into anything romance. I use these little L-O-V-E magnets that actually look like typewriter keys. I love to see them every time I hang up a picture on fridge! So guys seriously, take a gander, there’s some awesome finds; more than 300 to be exact!

Questions not to ask your wedding photographer

Choosing the right wedding photographer is important because these will be the lasting memories you have in print. Wedding photography is an art form, and most photographers take great pride in what they do. Because this is your special day, where you are together with your family and close friends, you will want every photo to be the best possible shot taken. The search for a wedding photographer can start with a list, which you will gradually narrow down to a list of people you will want to consider hiring and booking for your big day. Thering.org can help you with locating the best possible vendors and give you a place to start with your search. Eventually, your search will come down to one person, and this will be the photographer you will entrust with all your photos. Once you hire the photographer you want, you will always have more questions to ask, and much of this is ensuring that everything will go right when the day comes. It is important to understand that there are no bad questions to ask, because essentially you are paying for a service, and will want the best possible service. However, that being said, (for fun) let’s name a few things that are not necessary to ask your wedding photographer.
 
Every photographer does operate differently from the next, with how they will organize people for formal pictures; however, the candid picture does say more. Typically, you should not need to ask ‘where do you want us to stand’, because this is your wedding day, and it is the photographer’s job to capture the moment.

Capturing every moment does require the photographer to take hundreds of photos, and one thing you do not need to ask is ‘can we have the raw files for every photo taken’. Most photographers will not necessarily entertain this, because it is part of their process to take as many photos as they can to capture the best ones. Essentially, these photos are un-edited and only hold a part of the photographer’s vision, and may not represent the photographer’s true work.

Getting that perfect picture, does, however, require a great eye, and not always a certain type of camera, so it is not always needed to ask ‘what camera do you use?’. What the photographer advertises on their website is what is being delivered, but it is the photographer’s ability to capture the moment, which really sets them apart.  
 
When it does come the time to receive your photos, it can be difficult to estimate how many you will get, and it can be impossible to establish an exact number. However, photographers can give you estimates based on other weddings, but it is not always necessary to ask ‘how many pictures will I receive’.

Do not let any of this discourage you from asking questions, because good photographers will know there is no such thing as an inappropriate question. Everything you will need to know will be outlined within the contract. This will be the exact details with what you are paying for and what you will be receiving. Every honest question is often welcomed, and if it is something that is not outlined in the contract, you can most certainly ask about it. A photographer is there to do a job you are hiring them for, and the best thing you can do is trust their creative process. These are the professionals, and this is what they do for a living, and you have chosen your photographer because it is who you feel will best capture every moment at your wedding. 

A unique gift for your unique man

Happy New Year – we are currently in engagement season! In fact, according to WeddingWire, New Years Day is one of the top 10 most popular days to get engaged. This means, ladies, if your man left you a nice shiny rock on your finger during the holidays, maybe you can leave him a little something for the big day? This wallet is the perfect gift for your soon to be husband or even a thoughtful thank you for your groomsmen! Each wallet is perfectly personalized by the engraving of the recipient’s name delicately onto the wooden case it comes in as well as the wallet. The smooth cool leather makes for a sleek sophisticated look for any occasion. No need to worry if a billfold is not what your man desires. Groovy Guy Gifts has a large selection of personalized items to fit your prince charming’s personality like cufflinks, flasks, blades and more. This company shipped my billfold in quickly and the quality was like no other. They strive to make each experience intimate, original, and ever-lasting. So for any wedding, Groovy Guy Gifts is a must! Visit other great gifts here.

And let’s not forget the ladies! If you’re looking for unique bridesmaid gifts, take a look at Bridesmaid Gifts Boutique.

 

10 Reasons to Hire a Wedding Videographer

Every time I visit a wedding Facebook page or group, I always see the same question. Is a wedding videographer necessary? And the answer to that question is an easy “YES!” You may think that because you are hiring a photographer you don’t need a videographer, but they are two very different forms of art and one does not cover the other, and I can tell you 10 reasons why you need a videographer.

1. Some Moments Cannot Be PhotographedGood photography is powerful; it’s one of, if not the most important thing you should budget for. Investing in a good photographer is a must, but even the best photographer in the world cannot capture sounds and movement. The sounds from your video could be the vows you and your soon-to-be spouse speak to one another, a word of wisdom from the father of the Bride, or the Best Man sharing a funny and unforgettable story about the Groom. Movement could be the Groom seeing his Bride for the first time, a mother holding her “little boy” during the mother-son dance or watching the couple smash cake into each other’s faces.

2. The Emotional Impact – The emotional impact that videos can bring basically go hand-in-hand with sounds and movements, but also added music that go with the couple’s taste and carefully selected clips to bring everything together. It can leave you crying one minute and laughing the next. For example, my husband assisted me with a ceremony and he managed to capture such a tender moment: The officiant along with everyone else had their heads bowed and eyes closed. As the officiant prayed, the Groom opened up one eye and peeked at his Bride. She just so happened to peek up at him at the same time. She shot him a quick smile and closed her eyes again. You better believe you’ll see this clip in the highlights!

3. Easily Shareable – It’s unfortunate when a family member or friend cannot make your wedding due to distance, sickness or other reasons. Nowadays, videos can easily be uploaded through YouTube or Vimeo and can be shared within a click of a button. Having video will allow those who were unable to attend your big day in person a front row seat of your ceremony, digitally.

4. You’ll Get To See Moments You Might Have Missed – On the day of your wedding, you will want to take everything in, but in reality, this cannot happen; you won’t be able to see everything. You could be talking with a guest and thanking them and miss your parents dancing cheek to cheek with one another. You won’t be able to see, behind closed doors, your adorable little flower girl struggle to carry her pail of flower petals down the aisle. There’s nothing else like seeing your mother tear up while you read your vows. With video – you will see priceless moments you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

5. Play Celebrity for the Day – You are the Bride and Groom, King and Queen; it is your day after all! You walking down the aisle comes to life in video – just imagine the doors opening along with the music revealing you. It is one of the few days where you get to be the focus and are surrounded by all the family and friends who love you. Your wedding is a day where you have worked hard to create an atmosphere that reflects you, your spouse, and your life together. All eyes and lenses will be on the two of you as we adore the charmingly dressed Groom and his Bride’s beautiful white dress sweeping across the floor. You’ll forget those little things, but your videographer will help you remember!

6. A Professional VS Uncle Larry – With the new iPhone specs being better than ever and cameras being more affordable everyday – it may seem like a good idea to pass the videography job to a friend or family member – don’t do it! There have been too many incidents about the lack of quality, missed moments and even worse, lost footage. You want Uncle Larry to attend your wedding, not work it; let him celebrate with the rest of the family. He may not be able to handle low light settings (causing grainy footage) and capture clear audio from the ceremony or toasts during the reception. Professionals come in 100% invested and excited about your wedding day. They know the toll the job can bring and they come prepared for the unexpected. You may witness the work they do on the day of, but the pros are still thinking of your wedding, weeks after going through all your footage and piecing everything together to tell your story cinematically. Professionals are worth the price they charge – which brings us to Reason 7.

7. May Not Be As Costly As You Think – If you didn’t add a videographer to the list of must-haves because you might think having a video would cost too much then be sure to re-consider your list. Do your research, compare prices with the amount of quality and quantity you will receive, and know about how long you need them there for; you might not need them there as long as you need your photographer. Once you’ve done this, meet up or speak with any videographers to see if they match you and your love’s personality and style. You may be pleasantly surprised!

8. A Keepsake – So your wedding day has come and gone, but you still have your video. While you can’t physically touch your video as you can with photos, you can still watch your day over and over again. You can make it a tradition to watch your video every anniversary; it’ll bring back memories and be a reminder of why you chose each other. This will be the closest thing you have to re-living your wedding day.

9. Remembering Loved Ones – Not only is having a video a keepsake, but it’s also a way to remember our loved ones as well. The people we love come and go, but your wedding video will bring back happy thoughts of when they were still with us. Like when they walked down the aisle, danced in the competition of who’s been married the longest, or gave a word of advice. All those emotions and memories from your day will come flooding back in.

10. No Regrets – This might be the reason that breaks my heart the most. Along with the question of “is a wedding videographer worth it?”, I also see this post around a lot – “What is your biggest wedding regret?”. 9/10 you will always see someone comment “not going with a videographer”. You won’t want to go through your wedding day and realize that you should have hired a professional; by then, it’s too late. There are just some moments in life that cannot be a re-take.

If you are getting married and have any questions about hiring a videographer for your big day, you can always visit our contact page and send your questions over. Remember, shop smart and happy wedding planning!

– Sarah, Skys the Limit Production

Other related blogs:

Video and photographers working together – Shoot together, not at each other

Wedding blogs – Lauren & Sean |The Barn at Four Pines Ranch in Crosby, Texas

Proud moments for video and photography – Bragging Rights