Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Wedding Videos - Higher Quality or Longer Video?

In order to maintain any sort of steady business, you must keep things simple. Why do you think that Costco is so popular? They are bare bones, no frills. If you want a Pizza, you can choose between Pepperoni, Combination, and Cheese. Simplicity sells, people buy what they see. 
When I first graduated the "mommy photographer" phase in my career, and I decided on a price that I was willing to accept for my work I had to consider how much work I would do for that price. Full Article on different types of Photographers here. 
For the last couple of years, I have had 3 main "standard" packages. Each included a set number of minutes that the finished product would be. I have never included the exact length of the video in my contracts, as my clients leave it up to my judgment with regard to every aspect of the finished product. I find it interesting that only now that I have included an expected length of video in the description of each package, I am now getting asked if I can lengthen the video for certain clients. I set my prices based on the amount of time that I know I will spend on each project. 90% of the work for any given video project is done in the editing. You're not just paying for a camera guy for the day of, I spend dozens of hours working on each project. Being asked to double the length of the video without further compensation is a question that I get asked often. 
There are 2 different types of editing, and I think that often people don't recognize the amount of work that goes into certain types of video productions. There is a Cinematic style of editing, which you see in most of the wedding videos that you watch, and in any movie that you see. The video clips are pieced together to tell a compelling story, and invoke emotion. This type of editing is what I specialize in, making sure that each client feels as though they are in THAT moment, even 20 years down the road. I also edit with future clients in mind, making sure that they can also feel that they were in the very moment. 
Documentary editing is much more simple, (unless you are making a movie). In fact, most videographers do documentary style editing because it is more simple. It takes less time, less creativity, and because of this you can end up with more finished product than compared to a Cinematic edit. Some videographers simply drag and drop every video clip into the timeline of their editor, in order of when the event happened, no editing, and just burn the DVD that way. While this sounds appealing in some cases, because you do end up getting MORE video, there is a LOT of "dead space". Waiting for the Bride to walk down the aisle, panning across the room. With a cinematic edit, I will take every clip individually and watch it frame by frame (24 frames per second) and pick out the BEST parts to include. Documentary editing would just include the full clip, and leave the jittering before and after the "shot". In fact, this type of editing is so easy that you could actually ask your videographer for a DVD copy of the day immediately! No editing, just drag and drop, there ya go!
I apologize if this sounds a little one sided, I am happy to deliver what my clients want, I just don't love delivering stuff that I am not happy with. 
I didn't write this article to gripe, I wrote it to get honest feedback. I recently adjusted my video packages to include SOME documentary style editing IF the client chooses so. 
The way my packages were until now, was for each "Event" you would get a finished edited product which would end up being the length of ONE song, which is about 2-4 minutes. So, if you are having a Ceremony & Reception recorded, your finished product would be 4-8 minutes, not including the "best wishes" portion of the video that is a "surprise" to most clients. After it's all said and done, the finished product would be about 7-10 minutes (give or take) and at the editors complete discretion. 
With the new packages, you'd now have the choice. The video to the right is NOT mine, but is available for you to view the differences in editing. 
1 Event Package - 2-4 minutes Cinematic Edit OR (up to) 20-30 minute documentary edit. 
2 Event Package - 7-10 minute Cinematic Edit OR 2-4 minute Cinematic Edit PLUS (up to) 30-40 minute documentary edit.
3 Event Package - 9-12 minute Cinematic Edit OR 2-4 minute Cinematic Edit PLUS (up to) 40-50 minute documentary edit.
I am curious what you think. I really do want to deliver what my clients want, and each client is different so by offering these options I should theoretically be able to please more clients, right? 
Another thing to think about is the audio. Most videographers don't use ANY of the audio from your event, unless you are paying top dollar. I do include audio in my videos, because I think it really adds to the overall quality. Check out the video below to see what I mean. 
Whether you're using me to film your day, or someone else, just make sure you know what you're getting. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

What Do You Think Of My New Logo?

I got my first paid video work shooting weddings. I was excited at the time about shooting weddings, and saw tons of potential in building a business solely around shooting wedding videos. At the time, I decided to have a logo created for me with weddings in mind. It worked at the time, right? 

As business owners started to see the value in the wedding videos I was creating, corporate work started coming in. I now have about as much corporate work as I do wedding work, so I guess it's time to change my logo! I reached out to my logo guy and this is what he came up with. What do you think? I wanted to step back away from weddings a bit, so we lost the rings, and I changed the tagline which originally read "Creating Affordable Memories", and now it reads "Creating Affordable Masterpieces". Thoughts? Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


When most people think of a "videographer" they think of a guy with a camera. While this is somewhat true, a professional Videographer has skill far and above someone standing in a corner holding a camera. When I first got started doing videos, long before I did anything for hire, my understanding of a Videographer was the same as most others, "anyone can do that". 

As a professional, I keep up with the latest advancements in equipment and software, as well as techniques that enables me to complete every project I take on. Sometimes hard drives crash, or files get corrupted. I've got that handled! Maintgaining backups of all files is critical to my day to day, just in case something happens (because the unexpected always happens). Every time I pick up the phone and have a consultation with a prospective client, I feel like I won the lottery. I love taking on new challenges. I enjoy taking a client's idea and expanding on it with my skills to make it a one of a kind piece. 

When a client comes to me with an idea, it's because they want the project done better than they could do it themselves. I really love shooting wedding videos because the raw emotion is awesome, its inspiring to take the emotion that is present on a wedding day, and build in a cinematic quality that a Bride and Groom will watch again and again over the years. That being said, wedding videos are a breed all their own. On a wedding day, nothing ever goes to plan, and everything only happens once, that presents many challenges. If I miss a moment, it's gone forever. 

Corporate work, such as promotional videos, real estate, and other types of video work are exciting! They offer the ability for me to use my creativity, and run as many takes as we need to get the job done right. I get calls all the time asking if I do a certain type of video "YES" I do! If I can visualize it, let's do it!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Making Memories with Bristol Wedding Photographer, Jamie Dodd

Sometimes all the preparations needed for the perfect wedding can bury the whole purpose of the day. For some the day becomes more of a military exercise than the ultimate declaration of true love. No matter how carefully you prepare and organise everything, the nerves of the day are a combination of the main event and the desperate hope that everything goes according to plan.
For some, sadly, this means the day becomes a blur of ticking boxes as each element falls into place, the responsibility for most of the arrangements falling on the broadening shoulders of the bride and her family. It is bad enough hoping all your bridesmaids will turn up, that the flowers will be in the church and that the car won’t break down on the way to church. You pace back and forth nervously waiting for the hair stylist and make-up artist to appear and you struggle to eat a piece of toast with your usual morning coffee as there are so many butterflies whirling around in your stomach.
Come the big moment, the ceremony itself, and it is almost the first time you have had to relax all day as you stand before your loved one, ready to give yourself to the person you love for the rest of your life. All thoughts of plans and preparations fade into the background while, for a few fleeting moments, you get the chance to concentrate on what is truly important. Then, in a flash, the whole party starts and celebrations begin before you have had chance to draw breath. For so many the day passes by in such a blur that it is difficult to remember anything in specific, only everything in general.

That’s when choosing to have a professional Bristol wedding photographer record your special day becomes a godsend. Long gone are the days of the photographer taking a few photos of the happy couple after the wedding, some family gathering images and the bride and groom cutting the cake. Today a clever Bristol wedding photographer remains discreet, almost imperceptible in the background, yet managing to capture so many moments from the special day. A specialist Bristol wedding photographer like Jamie Dodd is able to create a storybook of your day that you and your newly betrothed can look through when all the dust has settled and you have the chance to finally enjoy all the little things you didn’t get the chance to see or notice on your special day. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Importance of Video to Promote your Brand

Companies, organizations and even personalities rely on the power of virality on social media. Virality is one of the main indicators whether their brand is effective or not. To become viral – to be shared, liked and commented on – the content published on a social platform must have a certain quality to catch on like wildfire. Video marketing has become one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to promote a brand.

Why Videos?
And why not? Artists and musicians realize what video does for their music (the birth of MTV) and how it created a stronger and more immediate impact for the consumers. Take a look at “Gangnam Style”. This music video garnered more than a billion views which resulted to Psy’s eventual global fame.

Source: http://technorati.com/social-media/article/5-rules-to-online-video-marketing/

Media theorist John Berger says that “seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak.” Videos allow a complete visual communication and help build emotional connections with people. Compared to image and text, video is a completely different method of engaging audiences since the amount of information it can display in a second outweighs the amount of information that is read.

The nifty infographic from Bubobox below enumerates three great reasons why videos have become important to online promotion:

    •    Online video is cost-effective to produce for the value it generates.

    •    Video increases brand recognition.

    •    Online videos are inherently viral.

It also highlights why videos are gaining greater value online compared to textual-based content.

    •    More people prefer watching videos.

    •    Videos induce people to stay longer on websites.

    •    People remember videos.

YouTube is the hub of video marketing. This is the platform for unknowns to become household names and obscure companies turn into corporate success stories. Dollar Shave Club makes a perfect case on how a YouTube video served as a launching pad for this start up business. In two days time after they debuted their video and had everyone’s funny bone tickled, more or less than 12,000 people signed up for their service. After that genius video, it now stands a chance against Gillette and Schick – titans in the men’s razor market.

Source: http://www.blogher.com/dollar-shave-club-how-launch-startup-creativity-style-and-sense-humor

A month ago, Volvo Trucks released a video ad of the legendary Jean Claude Van Damme to execute his signature split which is now considered the most epic of splits of the 21st century. To date, the viral video has garnered over 55 million views and still counting.  A video can get all eyes are on your brand. In the case of Volvo, millions of pairs of eyes have seen and have become aware of their product and their brand. Variety.com noted that this ad, in a span of 9 days reached, reached 40 million views.

Video marketing encourages people to visit, buy and support your brand. It’s an accessible way to reach the audience through video presentation via many social platforms to promote your website or product. In short, videos drive sales. 

Source: http://www.marketingtechblog.com/why-video-drives-sales/

In conclusion

To say the business world is highly competitive is an understatement. Getting an edge over other business competitors relies on the success of branding. Each company wants their brand to be the customer’s “first choice” in their respective market. Videos for advertising, marketing and promotion can give them the edge they need.

Traditional advertising is still very much a part of the marketing strategies businesses employ to promote their brand. But the internet has revolutionized advertising and proved how online advertising through videos is effective.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

We Must Be Crazy!

So we decided to adopt 3 kids about 5 years ago, many of you already know the story so I won't bore you with the details. The kids came into our lives all at once, so we had no choice but to squeeze 5 of us in a 1,000 sq/ft house. The very house that we moved into with the expectation that we'd probably end up moving out of after about 5 years, and hopefully a kid or two. Well, heaven had a different plan for us.
My wife and I of course have one bedroom, and I have used one of the bedrooms as an "office" for years now, leaving the third bedroom for all 3 boys. it didn't take long for us to figure out that we had already grown out of our home, not even a year after moving into it. When the realization first set in, it was too late for us to do anything to do about it. We had no ability to move since our home value plummeted in response to the Housing market in Utah at the time. We even checked about a year ago to see if our home value had increased enough to sell and move into something more suitable for a growing family, and an at home business. After having some friends in the neighborhood sell within a couple weeks, then more friends sold within 24 hours we knew we had to look into it again. 
After some careful consideration, we decided to put our house on the market, for more than what our realtor suggested we do, and within 24 hours we had a bidding war on our hands. Pretty cool huh! In some ways yes, in others, not so much. This time around, we are being much more careful as to the house we pick so it's not like we can just pick a house and move right in as our home sells. Where does that leave us? In-Law bound! Yup, we're moving in with my in-laws. Not into a cozy apartment like we did the first year we were married while we saved for a down payment, this time we are going upstairs in the two spare bedrooms. Now instead of squeezing 5 people, and 2 office spaces into 3 bedrooms, we get to squeeze into 2 bedrooms! We really must be CRAZY!
At least at the end of all of this we will hopefully have a house that will fit us better! When I started making YouTube videos and wedding videos for fun, I never thought that I would end up with a studio in my house, but that is the plan. 
When I first started in Video, I was doing it for fun, for me. That's it. unboxing videos, tutorials, and more. Now that my business is growing, the needs of my clients, as well as myself are growing. I've got plans for area to do head shots and other portraiture work, as well as green screen, white screen, black screen, and other back drops. I also have my heart set on making the area somewhat sound proof for better audio recording as well. I started doing video for me, and now that my passion is making me money, I really want to do more videos for things that I want to see. I'll be ramping up my YouTube presence with ongoing tech news, how to videos, and more. 
The end result of our moving into a small space for a few months will ultimately let me do more of what I love, so I guess it's ok. 


Tuesday, March 3, 2015



For years I made videos for things that I wanted to most of the time. There was a turning point when people started seeing the value in the videos that I made, and started asking me to do paid gigs. All along the way, I have made a commitment to do work that I love to do. I occasionally get asked to do work that I can't visualize myself being involved with. If I can't be proud to show my works to my family and friends, why would I bother taking on the project right? 

While shooting Wedding videos and Real Estate pays my bills, I always love shooting videos for fun. The other day I was over at my in laws house for a gathering of youth, and leaders that recently participated in a retreat to help the youth decide if they wanted to go on a mission or not. I brought my camera along and captured thoughts of many of the participants, and afterwards  I put together a video. 

We just sold our house, and rather than be trying to find a house right off the bat, we are moving into my in law's house for a while so that we can find the perfect house. I am so anxious to have a room that I can use as a studio to record some videos like I used to. Green screen room with some sound proofing, portrait studio. I LOVE electronics, gadgets, and keeping up with the news. I plan on significantly increasing my YouTube presence once I have a dedicated place to shoot videos weekly. or even daily. 

Shooting weddings, I run into a lot of Photographers who hate what they do. I have worked with photographers who can't stop complaining about the Bride, or the mother. For me, I refuse to do what I don't like! That being said, last year I shot 2-3 weddings per week for most of the year, that was a bit crazy! The thing about a wedding video is that everything in a wedding day happens once, and there is no stopping. It's like a roller coaster that has reached the top of the tracks. Once it goes, it keeps going until the grand exit. In order for any story to be effective, and with Weddings, the emotion is real, and IN YOUR FACE. With a promotional film, the emotion has to be scripted, the delivery has to be precise, and the camera angle/movement have to help carry the story. I love doing every type of video so that I have a wide variety of work.