Standing out in a crowded Market Place
In a crowded market place I think it’s important to offer something unique, something that can help you stand out from the crowd. Granted, this is not easy these days because there are so many great wedding videographers out there all producing great work. So, you have to think a little bit more out of the box if you want to offer something unique and something that would cause a couple to choose you over some other equally good wedding film makers. Manchester has always been a demanding arena when it comes to the wedding industry, there are so many great wedding suppliers, particularly videographers operating in and around the region. Add to that, a growing trendy urban culture that wants the very best in terms of videographers.
So to succeed and grow your influence and become a sought after wedding filmmaker in the Northwest is no mean feat but certainly a worthwhile endeavour. In my opinion you have to develop a unique approach and style, one that people will immediately associate with you. What do I mean when I say, style? In a word a look. Couples should easily be able to notice a distinct look and feel to your films. To achieve this you have to have the confidence to step out of the mould. Often videographers imitate other professionals, we all do it, I have done it. We look at those who’s work we like and try and copy it.
I suppose there is a certain logic to doing that, in that if we admire another successful and sought after wedding videographer and try and emulate his or her style of videography, the thinking is, that we also will attract the same type of clients that they attract? While in theory that could work to some degree, it’s not the whole story. For example, being successful in this Industry, while yes you have to produce excellent work, that is only a small part of the success equation. When I started out in this Industry I attended workshops and courses run by some of the most successful wedding videographers not only in the UK but the World!
What stood out to me about their approach was that while yes they produced amazing wedding films they were also really switched on in terms of the marketing and running of their businesses. I observed they gave more attention to that side of things than they did to the ‘art’ of filmmaking. If you want to succeed in this industry you need to do something similar.
Yes it is important to understand how to market and run a successful business to be successful in this industry but having now said that, first you do need to develop a product that couples will want to book you for, so developing you own style is certainly important. When I first started filming weddings I was so anxious about just making sure I captured all the important bits and that I didn’t muck anything up that ‘style’ well, wasn’t really on my mind too much at first to be honest.
Being a new wedding videographer is quite a steep learning curve, a one that is fraught with anxiety but once you have calmed down a bit and are feeling bit more comfortable when filming and editing a wedding then you can’t start to give some thought to your films and making them stand out, making them something that couples would want to choose you over someone else. For me, I wanted to produce something that didn’t look like your typical wedding video- you know the sort where the film starts with a flower blowing in the breeze cut to shots of a bride having eye make up applied, cut to another shot of bridesmaids in pyjamas sat on the bed. Ok, guilty I have in the past produced those films, but as I started getting my confidence, I began looking for things that were unique to that couple rather than the cookie cutter approach.
How to develop a Unique Wedding Film
This needs to start before the wedding day, I can’t stress this enough! If you want to produce films that stand out, they need to achieve 2 things-
- ) Be about the couple
- ) Be story driven.
Videographers who feel they struggle to produce unique work and different looking wedding videos just need to start with these two basic principles- make your films about the couple, because they are unique, no two couples are the same, so straightaway you already onto producing something that will be unique and second do some pre- wedding back ground work into the couple so that you can tell their story in the film. Here is a short example: https://youtu.be/LEqrdvQh1Cw
I achieve that in a few ways. Firstly, I always arrange to meet my couples before the wedding day, ok that not difficult to do if the event is taking place near where I am based, if that the case, we can usually meet up for coffee somewhere and have a chat. However, if the wedding you are filming is further a field, even abroad, then you can still meet up but perhaps on zoom or on a video call. The important thing is to meet up and get to know something about them and their story, who they are, how they met, what they do, what is important to them etc etc.
Sometimes we may feel nervous. about asking all those types of questions, we may feel we are being too intrusive but believe me I have learned that couples actually love it when you show a personal interest in them and it also really helps them to connect with you as their videographer and feel relaxed with you on their wedding day- this is really important. Once you have got the couples back story then make sure you get those details written down because as you get busy, weddings will start to blur into weddings, therefore write everything down, with the couples permission of course ;)
If during the process of learning the couples story you hear about elements that would really help with the story telling side of things, then ask if you can use some of those ‘elements’ in the film. These could be things like, photo’s these are great for telling a story. It could be a plane ticket, a letter, a song, movie, text message etc etc. Get creative and find out stuff about the couple. The more you can do before the wedding day the better prepared you will be on the wedding day t0 capture the couples story and thus develop your style.