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Shooting Weddings

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by adanac, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. adanac

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    Does anyone here shoot weddings and, if so, what is the going rate? I have been asked to give a quote to a high end wedding photography/videography company and have no idea what I should be asking. I was thinking $600-$800-$1000 for 10 hours. I want to charge enough to be worth it but not too much that they wouldn't call me again. Thoughts on rates?
     
  2. HarryT

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    Do you have a licence from the FAA to operate commercially? You'll be breaking the law otherwise.
     
  3. OI Photography

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    You won't want to be working at any wedding for 10 hours, flying or otherwise, believe me. Weddings are the one thing I absolutely refuse to shoot.

    I'm curious what kinds of aerial footage they want, especially over that span of time.

    But, if you're really going to be there (and be working) that long, the prices you're thinking of is the range I would start with. Also might be good to do some local research to find what non-aerial wedding photogs in your area are charging.
     
  4. dragonash

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    adanac - you set your own rates and rules.

    If there is already a photography company shooting it and they are the ones contracting you out, you need to explain to them that the bird only stays in the air for approx 20 min at a clip (depending on how many batteries you have).

    1080p HD video unedited (assuming the company will edit it into their own video) should be charged at a rate of per battery or as long as they need you (whichever comes first)

    I would say anywhere between $400 - $600 per battery. Think about it, thats 20+ minutes of full HD footage... from the sky!
    These wedding photography companies charge in the thousands and dont for one minute think they arent passing along the cost to the wedding couple.

    A way to sell that price to the company is to simply state that this type of footage is the hot item right now which can definitely increase their clientele. Especially if they post examples on their website.

    edit:

    and there is no set "going rate" for this yet. It's way too new and not much competition. Hell, I'm maybe the only one on craigslist advertising in the tristate area! lol That says something! And I dont post my rates. I let them come to me :twisted:
     
  5. PhantomHost

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    They can buy there own Phantom and let there little nephew fly it for these rates :)
     
  6. dragonash

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    Except they cant. Because they dont know how.
    I deal with it all the time for computer repair.

    "oh, thats all? For how much?"

    yeah, "thats all". But did you know what to do? Nope, thats why I got paid :)

    Plumbers get $50 just for walking in the door. Even if nothing is done!
    See how easy it is to change a tumbler on a door? Know how much it is here in NY? HAH! 10 min job, almost $100!
    That's business my friend :)

    And if he does a good job, they will call him back and his pricing becomes the standard (for now)

    besides, his setup is better than just a V+
    Two P2(v.1), H3-3D, GoPro3, IRC600mW, mini iOSD, Futaba R2008SB/T8J

    gopro has much better quality that the V+ camera. And everyday people wont custom build a phantom.
     
  7. PhantomHost

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    It was a joke off course, but the rates seem high. But you're right, it surprises me what people can and can't do. When I was in college I had a computer repair business with some friends. We also created internet pages for SMB (in the days it wasn't that easy). We couldn't believe the money we could ask for it!
     
  8. adanac

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    I chose that rate and time because it's generally what I charge as a film/tv camera operator. The 10 hour time was brought up by me, not them, and I do doubt they'd need me for that long.

    I know wedding photographers/videographers charge a lot. Moreover, the company that has contacted me is definitely a high end concern who have expressed an interest in adding aerials to their videos.

    I don't think I can get $400/battery nor am I inclined to ask that much. I think $600/day is reasonable so I may ask $800.



     
  9. OI Photography

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    I think you're in the right range, and you definitely want to price with the idea of building a relationship with them, not just what's fair for X number of hours of your time. Subbing to a prime contractor like that is always smart, esp when it comes to weddings...they absorb the risk and a lot of the other headaches that can make them such a pain. And you'll always make whatever rate you set with them, regardless of how much they have to discount their rates to get a gig. Partnerships like that can be worth their weight in gold, and some Photographers work hard to get to the point where all they do is handle subcontracted work. That's not for everybody of course, but it makes a lot of sense from a purely business standpoint.
     
  10. adanac

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    To answer your earlier question, I don't know what kind of footage they want apart from an aerial perspective. Most of the questions I fielded today were about safety and control of the craft.


     
  11. DownunderPhantom

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    The first thing I would be asking is for a timeline of the wedding and what they would be looking for. They may require video of before the bride and groom going to the cerimony, arial views of the wedding cars, views of the bride arriving at the place of the ceremony. The ceremony itself if being held outside.

    You have to know what the Weddding photography company are expecting, what they want and you are physically able to do may be totally different things.

    You also have to let the company know the limitations of what the phantoms camera can do, they may want close ups which is not a very good thing to do. The noise that it produces and if videoing the ceremony will that noise interfer/be a distraction. As mentioned by others, the time limitation.

    A big one, do you have public liability insurance.

    As also mentioned previously, this part of the industry is in its infancy so you do not want to under value your services, you also do not want to over value your services.

    Maybe starting out charging $75 - $100 per hour and for that explain exactly what they will receive, however you may also want to put In a disclaimer saying that that amount may vary depending on the complexity of the shoot, IE, flying around obstacles etc...

    Make up a check list for your customers to fill out which includes timings, locations, expectations etc. visit the locations before hand so you appreciate how complex the flight will be, this will also give you an indication of what angles may be shot and may increase the amount you are wanting to charge.

    Don't forget to have spares, sd cards, batteries, props, even a spare vision plus, you never know when you will need them. You will also need a means of transferring and viewing the video that has been taken.
     
  12. OI Photography

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    Understood, I'm know those steps are necessary with a lot of potential clients these days.

    Downunder's points above are all excellent advice, and I want to underscore the importance of getting a clear definition from them on what you're expected to shoot/provide. You have the responsibility of whatever it takes to capture that, but you need to have a better idea than just "some aerial footage." If this is as established of a wedding photographer as you say, then I guarantee they already have a tight game plan mapped out for the ceremony, or they will once they know the full schedule from the family. Find out the exact times, locations, and events you're needed for, and exactly where you fit in to their schedule. They'll probably be looking to you for advice on that, but be sure that it's all defined before you even go to the event.

    And don't even get me started on the importance of backup equipment whenever possible. Have ready spares (at least one if not two) for every single piece of equipment you can afford. And a good contingency plan for when any of the others fail on you.
     
  13. adanac

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    I'm a "normal" film/tv camera operator/DP so I already practice most of Downunder's excellent points. Moreover, I have asked them for video examples (shot by others) of the type of thing they want.

    I have a redundant P23D and GoPro as back up. The only thing I don't have another of are goggles and a radio, although I'm thinking of switching to a 14SG (as I think it's called) and perhaps using the T8J as back up.


     
  14. OI Photography

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    ok cool, sounds like you know what you're doing when it comes to the equipment side :)

    I'd still like to see (or hear about) what kinds of shots they'll be looking for. Do you get the impression this is a larger/fancier event than average? Sounds like it might be.
     
  15. adanac

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    It does seem like a high end company handling fancy NY weddings, but I have no idea about this one. I need to get back to them about a price and whether or not I have liability insurance. I have asked Transport Risk for an estimate.


     
  16. adanac

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    I ended up asking $600, which they accepted.
     
  17. chapsrlz

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    600 per battery or per event?
     
  18. audioscience

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    I recently asked a pro who shoots aerial and he said for weddings he charges $250 an hour with a 3 hour minimum.

    That sound right for me because you don't really need to be shooting more than that. And if they want you to hang around for longer, they can pay for it.
     
  19. witold

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    You can also try working backwards. Figure out what they charge. It is NYC. And it's not just photos, but also video. Very good chance that they're charging 10K+ for photos and videos, 2 shooters, and make more money on the backend selling prints and albums.

    Although the price you can get away with depends on competition and their margins, I think you're right in simply making sure it is worth your while at the very least. You can keep raising rates if your schedule gets too busy.
     
  20. adanac

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    As a professional camera operator I have not worked in a market where camera operating pays $600 every 15 minutes. I generally make $600/12 but at $600 for every 15 minutes that would be a rate of $28,800 for a normal shoot day. If you know of a production that pays that I'd love to hear about it.