How Much Should I Charge for Event Videography?
So, you’ve decided to take your cinematography skills to the next level? It’s natural for hobbyists to have a desire to start a freelance videography business of their own and start making money by doing work they already have a passion for. When your goals shift from taking videos for sheer fun, to producing for pay it’s important to consider all underlying fees and costs associated with it. Consider the production as well as your desired or necessary hourly salary before you define the freelance cameraman rates that you’ll charge your customers. When a client is looking to hire a videographer, they usually have a budget in mind, so you’ll want to have one in mind as well.
Breakdown the cost
When you ask, “How much should I charge for event videography?” It’s important to carefully consider more than just the type of event or the hours filming. You’ll also need to cover more than just your desired hourly wage. Taking the time to carefully breakdown the costs associated with the business as well as each individual element that will ultimately cost you additional money while you work may make the difference between whether you work for minimum wage or you turn your freelance videography business into a well-paying career.
How Much for Sports and Weddings?
Before you can accurately determine video rates for weddings or sports you must consider all of the actual and potential costs of doing business in these situations. If you’re shooting a wedding, you will likely need fewer cameras than if you’re shooting a high school sporting event, but additional camera equipment and additional supplies are just the beginning. You must also determine a total cost per hour of video production in order to accurately price your services as a freelance cameraman.
- Equipment that you may own or still be paying for.
- Vehicle and related travel expenses.
- Insurance for your business, office, vehicle and business equipment.
- License fees and taxes.
- Parking fees.
- Utilities including phone, internet, and office expenses.
- Supplies such as batteries, bulbs and hard drives.
- Equipment depreciation over time.
- Cost for repairs, maintenance, services, and equipment upgrades.
To determine the actual camera hire prices that you charge for sports events or weddings you will need to accurately figure in all of the above costs associated with running your business as well as an actual hourly wage above and beyond that which you will provide yourself with as a salary. If you’re doing all of the work, you can pretty easily figure out what video rates to charge. However, if you plan on hiring others to do some of the work, you’ll also need to figure those costs into your rate as well.
Be sure to charge enough for weddings
The average wedding will be at least 12 hours of filming plus an additional 10 to 40 hours of editing to ensure the finished project is top-notch. So, you’ll likely need to charge enough to make up for a full work-week in terms of hours. Most wedding clients spend between $2,500 – and $3900 for their projects according to Wedding Wire. So be sure to charge based on market value.
Hourly Rate or Day Rate?
Once you have defined the actual costs associated with running an event videography business you must determine whether you will charge your customers an hourly rate or date rate. Keep in mind that if you choose an hourly rate, you cannot only charge for the number of hours you spend on-location filming the event. You must also charge for the hours spent editing, traveling and otherwise working in some capacity on the project. If more than one person will work on the project, you must also factor in any associated hourly rates for the additional help too.
Charging a flat fee
Many independent freelance videographers choose to charge a flat rate for events to cover a set of services that are generally expected for the event and then add additional charges for additional work on top of that flat fee. For instance, a wedding cameraman may charge a base fee of $1500 for coverage and editing which would include 12 hours of filming on location. They would then offer additional services on an hourly basis or price each additional service individually al la carte.
Knowing what you need to make upfront makes a world of difference in ensuring that the work you do is profitable and that your business does not turn into a lackluster hobby.
Editing Fees and Shooting Fees
Editing fees can be difficult to understand for the customer because they cannot see you edit the film so they really won’t know how much time is spent editing. However, you can’t just write those hours off. So what should you do to properly define both the editing fees and shooting fees that you will charge?
Hourly rate for shooting and editing
Some videographers choose to charge the same hourly rate for shooting and editing. This keeps the pricing of the project simple as you can provide an upfront basic estimate of the number of hours to be spent editing and any additional time can be agreed upon between you and the customer prior to the work being completed. Likewise, some freelance cameramen choose to charge significantly more for time spent on location shooting than they do editing. This structure also makes logical sense because there are significantly more costs associated with shooting the event than there are associated with the subsequent editing of the shots.
Know your business
Depending on your competition, your clients’ budgets, and your overall business costs, either options is potentially valuable as long as you appropriately plan upfront for all costs that you will incur both in the shoot and in editing the footage. Regardless of what cost structure you choose to present to your clients, bear in mind that the success of your business is contingent on your ability to properly define your costs, and your rates, in a way that makes you a profit.