Skip to main content

Pricing Q&A

Lesson 33 from: Wedding Cinematography

Ray Roman

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

33. Pricing Q&A

Lesson Info

Pricing Q&A

be perkin who asked do you payout percentages two referrals or planners that book you and also a little addendum how do you work with you're the other vendors at the wedding do they ever do you ever provide the videos for them as well it was a two parter okay how many of us paid commissions anything under the table no would you consider paying commission yes and no you say no I love picking on you yeah tyler you're gonna be easy okay what if you had a vendor that brought you at least ten weddings a year at least ten thousand dollars apiece would you pay a ten percent commission what I'm asking you is so I could be more clear would you pay ten thousand dollars to make ninety thousand dollars yes or no it's a yes or no question you're on the stand I would happily pay in marketing or advertising but buying lists has never sat well with me not by a less than paying paying a planner to send it to me instead of to some one else I'd rather earn it out on my merit on my work all right let me r...

ephrase the question would you pay ten thousand dollars no matter if it was to advertisement costs commission to a venue would you pay ten thousand dollars to make ninety thousand dollars in return yes so you're changing your answer right you would and that's and that's the key here because I don't like I don't like to pay commissions and most of the planners that I deal with they don't charge commissions thes planners they just want you to do do the best job possible for their clients period but now you have a couple of planners that say we charge ten percent commission okay what now you have to think what type of clients are they bringing me are they going to bring me one hundred thousand dollars in business a year am I going to pay ten thousand dollars and potentially make ninety thousand return or more ten thousand just average they could be paying twenty thousand dollars per client so wanna pay out twenty thousand to make a hundred eighty thousand probably I thought about it like that and and I said you know what that's ninety thousand dollars in business that I would have never had if that planner wouldn't have brought me those clients but guess what I do on my end with that ten percent I'm not losing ten thousand dollars I'm making one hundred percent of one hundred thousand dollars because I'm building that ten percent commission right into the price period I'm not losing any money whatever the commission rate is I'm just building it into my price fifteen percent no problem twenty percent no problem if a bride comes to me and says why am I paying twenty percent more than my brought my my best friend who had the same exact wedding I said well and I'll tell them flat out I said listen you know the planner that I dealt with charged fifteen to twenty percent and I just built that into the price it's not my problem it's the planners problem to deal with you know I'm not in the business of losing money I'm in the business of making money so I'm not going to lose fifteen or twenty per cent off my base price that base price is non negotiable you want to charge commission fine I'm gonna build it into the price and a lot of crimes that I deal with that charge commission they tell you flat out just build it into the price they're going to send over period so once you get into the high end arena I'm gonna tell you right now you're going to deal with you going to start finding out that this is a very shady business sometimes now with everybody but there's some you know as you could imagine there's some shading this out there okay there's a lot of under the table transactions going on there's a lot of commission things going on I have a very straightforward style if you haven't noticed off presenting things but I don't live in fantasy land I want to present things that the way that they are and I don't want you guys to think that this is a fantasy land because it's really not you know this is real life situations you know real life commissions real life under the table situations on real life business but that of the day you want to be losing money so find ways to where you don't have to lose money at and you can still get your bottom line which is whatever your proposal prices that's what I'm trying to accomplish so that's how that that's how I have approached commissions because I think even two three years ago I was dead set against paying commissions I said no way nohow I just I was of the mind set you know what maybe this planner just needs to charge more money for her services and not rely on my money as part of her income you know I was kind of like that stubborn mindset but that was like hey wait a minute you know cutting out these potentially high profile planners just because I'm not willing to pay this commission and then I did it mathematical estas my gosh if I pay ten you know ten thousand dollars like potentially make ninety thousand and just recently just started building the percentages into my packages period and I just deal with it like that so that's how I handle commissions couple questions had come up with regards to teo the love story option you know if you want to talk about this confucius jones said the love story concept film for forty five hundred that you offer at the reception how does he have that put together and edited and also want asked if that was jessica and then that's the one thing she's not doing okay change thankfully I do that okay jason one thing I do still okay jason m also ask if you talk about the love story option okay the love story option is it's a concept film this is actually a new extra that we've come up with and we've done this because of our because of our russian clients and I'm sure you guys can relate a lot of the russian weddings they love doing these montages that they display at the wedding reception and basically the montages what it's kind of like a love story of the couple kind of spending time together and you're creating this whole love story type of film and maybe even documenting some interviews and things like that that I'm not really into the whole interview kind of love story thing so you notice on the extras package I had a slash concept film which is what it is so what I do is I actually have a script writer who I asked a couple for their story I basically you want to do a concert film love story fine email me whatever your story is how you met how you got engaged how he proposed like the whole bit tell me every bit about how it went down and what I do is I give their story to a script writer who actually turns it into a short hollywood film which is based on the true story but with a beginning a middle and an ending but now it's has some structure like a film you know because a lot of times they might just give you some notes of how they met how they proposed and so on and so forth but it's not really structured in a way too where you can go out and shoot for a short film the problem is you know the script writer cost money you know there's some expenses involved and it takes a lot more than just two or three hours to shoot this concept so sometimes it takes a day maybe two days to shoot this concept film but now it's very popular and now it's a forty five hundred dollars option so imagine now they add you know certainly the film you know for wedding like that's ninety five hundred dollars and they're adding forty five hundred hours from montage and they're reading a full version a rough footage and trailers and rehearsal dinners and all this stuff by the time you know what you're making over twenty thousand dollars with one plan just because you've been able to establish all these ala carte items and you've built some profit in there now the concept film I would tell you is a lot of work and there's no room for negotiation on the price off the concept film because that is it's a lot of work you know you're you're basically producing an actual short film for display that you gotta have ready for the wedding reception ready to be ready to be displayed at the wedding reception so it's just one of the things that I've been able to come up with anything that I could come up with that I can sell I'm always looking for you like I just introduced us bees I didn't use offer those before and now I'm offering the usb delivery things like that so anything that you can think of that you can sell as an extra do it all right well quite a few people including jd liam and also confucius jones asked asked about payment up front when you get one hundred percent fifty percent and what do you require to hold the date full payment it's fifty percent to hold the date it's one hundred percent before the wedding ever happens period and there's no negotiating that because what happens there's there's some people out there that have the mindset we're almost like photography where they do like a third a third a third a third to book the date ah third just before the wedding and a third when they deliver the album this is totally different but we're talking about here with the film because an album you can't make copies ofthe right dvd you can make copies off so what happens if I take a third to reserve the date ah third just before the wedding and a third when I deliver the dvd what are the chances that they receive the dvd make a copy of the dvd and then call me and say you know what this film is horrible I want all my money back and they cancel the check what do you do and they were charging your dvd they've returned your dvd but they've made a copy of your work what do you do now what can you do they've returned your product they don't want it it was horrible but now they're in possession of a copy so it just doesn't work the same way as photography what about this what about um they paid you half and now they're now they're going to pay you the other half once they receive the final product what if they get divorced right after the wedding and it happens they split up a couple months after the wedding and now you deliver the dvd and what do they say we're not even together I don't even want this I don't want it anymore so now you've lost half right so one hundred percent one hundred percent of the time before you step foot at the wedding period there's no negotiating that okay uh sort of almost a dent into that from phoenix west um do you sell all the extras up front or you ever add extras after the wedding for somebody that I want more I don't even sell the extras up front and like I said before I don't even mention them they only see the extras as they're getting the contract because it's attached to the contract but this is a good question because one of my tactics that I do I don't want the price to be overwhelming I don't want them to be sitting there staring at this price that's fifteen thousand dollars right and being like oh my god this is just too expensive and then actually just wake up and realize that they're paying this videographer way too much money to cover this event so I tell them this if they're interested in a trailer if they're interested in raw footage full version blue ray usb delivery all these things that can be added later I tell my son listen you don't even have to add these things now you can always add them after the wedding okay because now they just pay on the minimum but eventually I'm still going to get all that money because there's still going to order all this stuff and I'm still going to be able to produce all that stuff after the wedding but there's there's not the sticker shock as there is right now fifteen thousand dollars you know I mean maybe on the back end there just going oh me you know seven thousand dollars for three thousand dollars whatever they order so just be careful with that you know you don't want to send them ah sticker price of eighteen thousand dollars and they're just like oh my god this is just too much but they're not realizing that your base price is not eighteen or nineteen thousand dollars it's just that they're wanted to add all these extras to your price that's inflating that final price you know but it's not anything that you're doing you know they just want to add kind of like all the bells and whistles to the package so you know just keep these in perspective don't don't scare them with a price and if you can just make the recommendation and I make a suggestion a lot I said listen you don't have to get that stuff now or even this side on that stuff now just decide on it after the wedding it's fine because once the wedding day passes guess what you're full control of everything you know there's no need to negotiate anything after the wedding because you're already in position off all this footage on the entire wedding so at that point trust me you're in full control at that point they if they wanted they have no choice but to pay so and that's a great that's a beautiful position of being okay great well we are coming too close to the end so yes but why don't we take two final questions from the studio audience so you guys decide and then I know somebody's got one uh do you before you deliver the final product do you have the customers sign a release on it as far as once you hand it to them they signed that they accept it so that just in case they do watch it say I hate it coffee it and then ask for their money back how do you do something like that no because there's no refunds and that's specified in the contract there's there's absolutely no refunds I've been paid one hundred percent before the wedding and and that deal's done yeah we started doing couple indie weddings this year can you talk about more value priced them or can I deal with them uh n d ays which non disclosure is usually either high profile clients or clients that just want to maintain their privacy and they don't want you teo put anything online or use anything for marketing they really just want to maintain their privacy and keep that video private it's not something that I charge more for but a lot of times there's nba's involved in things like that you can almost assume this is like a high profile situation so like I said before I don't raise my price for a high profile person or celebrity or anything like that you just kind of know like hey maybe there's a great chance that you know they're going to add some of this ala carte stuff to my base price and things like that now one thing that I would tell you is if it is a high profile event and after you sign off on the india and they tell you about this wedding there's gonna be a lot of things going on at this wedding and you really need to price yourself accordingly because I'm telling you right now guys these weddings there a headache there are headaches do yes they look beautiful there's a lot of money involved and things like that but there is tons of work involved on urine so just make sure that whatever your price is that you price yourself your priced fairly for this month's model work that you have to do in the wedding I've really appreciated how you've uh you've you see yourself as a peer you see yourself as as one among neighbors one among many you've worked hard to build your business you're learning all the time I'm curious ray roman what do you want to do when you grow up as you learn and grow and where were you headed to retire me I honestly don't want to work anymore I want to do this for a few more years and really just ah enjoy my family for the remainder and uh and really just I look forward to retirement honestly speaking I'm not I'm not twenty unfortunately not in my twenties anymore or even my thirties um so I'm really just looking forward to enjoying this for a few more years and uh sailing off into the sunset yeah ok one last one from the internet okay alright fantastic so this is from one of her regulars confuses jones have you ever been surprised by how many add ons a couple has decided to go with come on what's the biggest package you've ever booked well pirate and dea on one of them but I could tell you it was a lot more than thirty thousand dollars a lot more wow yeah huge yeah so I will tell you this I used to be one of those guys when people told me numbers of what people were charging for wedding videography I thought they were flat outline I just said there's there's no way they're going to pay that much for a wedding video and I can tell you I'm in shock at some of the money that's being thrown around out there not just for the weddings but for wedding cinematography and it's not it's not a big group of individuals that's making that kind of money it's very small that's why I tell you just put all these pieces together because everything's possible trust me if I'm doing it and I came from the field that I came from because I never expected in a million years to transition from you know fighting crime to filming wedding videos if I can do this each and every person here and online can do this I promise you you work hard believe in yourself and your product and it's gonna happen it's gonna happen for you just stay the course don't listen to the negativity don't listen to the naysayers online that say it cannot be done I'm living proof that this could be done

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Ceremony Camera Set-Up and Coverage.pdf
Ala Carte Sample.pdf
Proposal Sample.pdf

bonus material with enrollment

Ray Roman - Gear List.pdf

Ratings and Reviews


The content provided here is great for videographers starting out in the wedding industry and also for pros/semi-pros fine tuning their video skills. In fact this is the only course in wedding videography that I can find on Creative Live. There are a couple other for corporate or film making video course, not dealing with wedding video. Also an HDDSLR course is available. That said Creative Live needs to put out a couple more updated wedding video courses, as this one is a several years old now and many pros are now using Dual-Pixel autofocus or fast sensor auto-focusing in Canon, Sony, Panasonic, and now Nikon also in Z cameras with great stabilization in many cameras (which should be discussed affecting the shots and video coverage). Although the rest of the course is great on how to plan out video coverage at your wedding, with the advent of great autofocusing systems today in DSLRs and mirrorless that could make some difference to how video is shot. I still give this course a thumbs up, as it is the best course (and only course) currently on CreativeLive for wedding video/cinematography, however I would encourage CL to create a new course being developed and recorded as much as happened in the last 5 years in video DSLRs and mirrorless, which makes a difference to shooting video. How wedding video coverage is done and planning the shots and angles of view, and equipment is still useful information to buy this course. The presenter Ray Roman is also an excellent teacher. So get this course now, and another one once an update is made. CL has lots of photo courses on wedding, not many for wedding video.

a Creativelive Student

A couple of years ago, I made a bold and somewhat wreckless choice to take out a home equity loan in order to help finance my son's dream to start a wedding cinematography business. Together, we embarked on a journey to learn everything we could about the business. The most important choice we made was to purchase the Ray Roman Wedding Cinematography course. This class saved us so much money as it helped us understand our camera, audio and essential and non-essential gear. We were inspired by the artistry in Ray's work and have implemented many of his techniques in order to Improve the quality and production value of our films. In under three years, we have filmed over 50 weddings and our company is well established in our area. Buying Ray's class was easily the best investment I made for my son's business, One Night Only Films. Thank you Creativelive and Ray Roman for helping us start a successful and profitable business.

a Creativelive Student

WOW!!! What an amazing experience. I had the opportunity to be there in studio with the creative live team and Ray and all I have to say is it was amazing! The creative live team was FIRST class and this course was jammed packed with information!!! Forgive me if I asked to many questions but I wanted just to pull all the info I could of out of Ray. From being there in person and owning the course itself I have to say that this is a MUST have for all cinematographers of any level! Buy it and watch it again and again! Thank you creative live for this amazing opportunity! -Aaron

Student Work