Lessons I've Learned
It goes without saying that anytime you try something new you are going to be faced with some tough lessons. I'm not saying these will apply to all videographers but working through some tough times have made my business what it is today.
1) It's okay to not be amazing straight away
I have several weddings and events that I filmed before building this website that I consciously chose to exclude from my portfolio. thankfully they were freebies for friends so ' no harm no fowl' but still I was rubbish. You have to put in the hours. there is no way around it. The more often I filmed the better I got. And with each wedding I do I'm learning. Whatever we do we should always be learning and trying to get better.
2) Buy cheap buy twice
When i was starting out I thought I would save some money and get the knock off version of the kit I actually wanted. It is never good enough. I wasted so much money buying cheap equipment. To do a good job, you need good tools. You don't need one of everything but piece by piece I'm building a kit list that I am really proud of, that help me deliver the quality of content I'm looking for.
3) Always have a backup plan
Microphones can sound muffled, batteries die, SD cards fail, you could drop you lens or lose a tripod plate. All of these things have happened to me so I am always thinking of back up plans. In the edit no one will know if things go wrong if you have a plan. and if things don't go wrong I can choose the best sounding audio or the most flattering shot, no the only option.
4) Drink water and eat a bit
For the first wedding I shot I was nervous I'd miss something so I never took a break. Granted, the hustle is good, but to last upwards of 16 hours, breaks are needed. I sneak the odd bite of cereal bars or bananas in down time, and I now make it a habit of staying hydrated. Usually The couple will offer me a meal (which is so lovely) but big roast dinner doesn't feel great when you've got 6 more hours of labour intensive work, so I tend to graze a bit. Literally no bride or groom would look down on their videographer for eating a bit and drinking water.
5) Know your worth
When I first started out I was doing loads of freebies. While it was good for experience, I was getting good, using expensive kit, dedicating a lot of edit time, and not seeing any money out of it. On the other side of things, some people are paying £15000 for a wedding video (which is so stupid. That's a down payment on a house). I did a wedding fair where I met another videographer who said "hey we've got similarly priced packages" and his stuff was god-awful. So I did some research, found videographers I thought I was on par with and emulated their pricing. I knew I wanted my prices to be fair, but also reflect the quality.