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Wedding Videography in the Digital Age- by bnmbgtrtr52

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									?What's the state of the wedding videography industry today? To find out, we talked
with working wedding videographers, found industry statistics and fleshed out what is
undoubtedly a flourishing business in a growing market. Although some might
wonder if amateurs are moving in on the pros because of lower-cost gear and
easier-to-use software, our consensus of wedding shooters and editors say that isn't so.
We also took a look at the tools wedding videographers are using, and found out how
the best wedding videographers are using the Web to open up new avenues of
business for their bustling enterprises.

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




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Looking at those stats, wedding videography appears to be a growth industry. Let's do
the math for a moment. Consider an experienced videographer , charging $2500 for
an average wedding, shooting one wedding per week. In a year, that person has earned
$130,000. But that would be a very hard-working videographer -- most of the
videographers we talked to said they spent up to 40 hours editing each wedding video,
meaning a weekly shoot would constitute nearly-constant travail with hardly any time
off.

One great success story would be that of high-end videographer Kris Malandruccolo,
whose company Elegant Videos by Kris has been operating in the Chicago area for
the past 16 years. Her business can command as much as $5000 for a wedding video
package, and regularly signs contracts for $3000 weddings. But the mother of three
doesn't want to work all the time, so she limits herself. "Someone else could shoot
four or five per month. But I average two or three weddings a month," she told Digital
Media Net.

According to Luisa Winters, an award-winning videographer and editor who has her
own wedding videography business, Unforgettable Events, most wedding
videographers charge under $2000 for their services -- with higher-end wedding video
companies charging as much as $15,000-$20,000. "I do not consider anyone a true
professional unless they are able to make enough money to support themselves with
this business," Winters told Digital Media Net. "Anything else is a side business.
Supporting a family means different things depending on what part of the country you
are located. If you are in a less expensive location, then less income will suffice -- and
you are still professional," Winters added.

At prices of $2000-$5000 and up, it seems like amateurs would be interested in
shooting their own wedding videos, or getting a friend or relative to take the controls
of the family camcorder . But Internet message boards for wedding videographers are
rife with stories of first-time videographers shooting an entire wedding ceremony with
the camcorder on pause, only to find they began rolling after all was said and done,
ending up with lots of artistic shots of the floor and nothing else. According to
videographer /editor Luisa Winters, "The amateurs are taking a bite out of the
wedding videographer business, but that is true only for the lower-end
videographers." She thinks the lower-end shooters make things better for the higher
end, increasing the quality gap between the two. "More-educated brides will expect to
pay a lot more for a video that looks professional than they were willing to pay before
the advent of such inexpensive equipment. The difference between an amateur
wedding video and a professional one is huge, and people are willing to pay Top
Dollar for the latter." Sometimes quality considerations can be quite basic, such as,
can you hear what the bride and groom are saying? "You really have to worry about
the audio part of it, you know. There's a lot involved," said Kris Malandruccolo, who
in addition to being a successful wedding videographer is president of the Illinois
Videographers Association.

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

Then there's the editing, which is a process many newlyweds aren't equipped to
handle. "As you know, anyone in the business who edits knows it's a time-consuming
process," said Malandruccolo. "I take tons of family videos but none of my personal
stuff is edited, because there's no time. So if I wasn't getting paid, then I would not be
editing, because it's so time-consuming, especially if you don't do it all the time. I
think a lot of people, especially if they have the money, just want to say 'do it for
me.'" Malandruccolo added that it's not just the time element that is a barrier to entry,
but it's the professionalism required to create a polished production. "The end result is
that you have a better quality video. Like I emphasize to my clients, this is a family
heirloom. You only get one shot to do it right, and you can't do it over, so being that
this is a family heirloom, if you look at it that way, then they're willing to invest the
money into it. And I've never had a client say that they're sorry that they spent the
money on video. Clients just don't say that," added Malandruccolo.




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