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Career Story: Wedding Videographer

Wedding Videographer

Job Title: Event Videographer

Type of Company: I provide event videography services such as documentation of weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, recording of speeches and shows, coverage of high school or other group reunions, creation of recruitment videos for athletes wanting to play in college or looking for scholarships, etc. I can also provide transfer of videos and pictures from film, videotape, and slides to DVD.

Education: BA, Chemistry, George Washington University •• MS, Organic Chemistry, Ohio State University •• MS, Polymeric Materials, Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn

Previous Experience: I began part-time as an assistant to a friend who had a photography business and wanted to expand into video. He knew I had dabbled with Super-8 mm film and asked me to be his video cameraman.

Job Tasks: An event videographer is often a one-person business operation. As a sole proprietor, I record events in a manner that doesn't intrude and edit the footage into a video that completely tells the story, hopefully in an entertaining manner that holds the viewer's attention. For a wedding ceremony, I will use one stationary camera on a tripod, locked on "Run," for an overall shot, and then operate the main camera myself. If the customer desires better coverage at a higher fee, I will hire a second operator with another camera. Typically, I will end up with from five to 12 hours of tapes for a wedding including coverage of bridal prep, the ceremony and the entire reception. I spend from 6-12 hours that day, and another 50-80 hours in the editing and creation of DVDs and their packaging.

In addition, I must do everything else necessary to maintain a business. Marketing is done on my website, at bridal or other shows, and talking with prospective customers and showing them sample videos in my home studio. Learning about coming technologies and equipment and training in new techniques and more effective work processes takes an average of 10 hours per week, mostly through conferences and online forums. I spent nearly a year determining what High Definition cameras and support equipment and software would be best for the products I want to deliver. Another three to five hours per week are spent networking with other videographers and wedding/event vendors such as photographers.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is the satisfaction of seeing a happy customer and knowing you have given them a family treasure whose value will increase with time, or hearing that the soccer player's video got her into the college of her choice.

The worst parts of the job are the aggravation of equipment and software problems, and the frustration of convincing people that they need to pay more than $1000 to get my product.

Job Tips: You must be artistic and creative, have good people skills, and be a nerd who understands technology. You can do some videos for friends for free to get samples for marketing. If you are already booked for a date, refer the person to one or more other videographers from your network. They will appreciate it, and return the favor.

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