A couple of posts ago, I talked about the Wedding and Event Videographers Association (WEVA) Expo that I attended two weeks ago in Orlando. One of the highlights was meeting with members of the Video University forum. VU as we call it is a forum devoted to professional wedding and event videography. While I have met some of the attendees, most were people who I only knew online. It really was a pleasure to put faces to names. What is most important though is the wealth of knowledge in this group. Some of the top videographers in the world are regulars on the forum. And no one looks down on a newcomer. When I started out VU was an invaluable resource and now as an experienced professional I am still learning. As a group we are very willing to share techniques and business methods. There are few “trade secrets”. This makes us all better.
Video University is not the only online forum devoted to wedding videography. There is also WedFact, a forum that concentrates on artistic wedding filmmaking. While I spend more time on VU, I enjoy WedFact too.
Then there are the local videographer associations. Here is the Philadelphia area it is the Greater Philadelphia Videographers Association (GPVA). As a group GPVA has a lot of talent. Almost every year there are members winning national awards such a the WEVA Creative Excellence Award or being named to the EventDV 25 list of top videographers worldwide. And like VU, GPVA members share and benefit as a result.
I never want to stop learning and improving my craft. Online forums and professional videographers associations are a wonderful way to keep on top.
I was asked to make a short presentation on indoor wedding videography techniques at the November meeting of the Greater Philadelphia Videographers Association. I chose as my subject, reception audio tips. The presentation was well received and numerous question were asked by the members. I have posted my notes (more extensive then the talk) here. Also included are tips for ceremony audio. While these will be most beneficial to videographers, they are also informative to clients who would like a good understanding of how we work with audio.
The June Greater Philadelphia Videographers Association meeting was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in King of Prussia, PA. Featured was a panel discussion on freelancing, how to be a freelance videographer, and how to hire freelancers.
Steve Newbert of All Occasion Video showed a portion of his new documentary about the American flag called The Color Bearers, The Story of America’s Flag Passion.
Joe Bradley received a well-deserved award for his service as GPVA treasurer.
After the meeting everyone went to Champps for dinner and discussion.
The April meeting of the Greater Philadelphia Videographers Association was all about business. George Alford of Pro Video and Photography in New Castle Delaware gave an excellent presentation on making a profit. It certainly made me think about keeping track of all my expenses, and adjusting our rates to maximize profit, while still being affordable. George also had some excellent tips on how to make a videography business stand out from the crowd.
Henry Franz moderated a forum on contracts. There were a number of excellent ideas passed around on how to write a better contract.
To cap of the evening, there was an online chat with John Zale of WEVA. John was in Las Vegas attending the NAB show and updated everyone on some of the new products being introduced there.
After the meeting everyone went to Chili’s for dinner and talk.
This week’s GPVA meeting featured I Do Stream, a company that markets a live video feed to the Internet. It is an interesting concept, You connect a camera via Firewire to a computer hooked to a broadband Internet connection. I Do Stream provides a way of allowing people anywhere to watch the feed live (or almost live). I don’t know how many wedding videographers will use it. We have enough trouble trying to get audio hookups at churches and reception halls to work without adding Internet connections, but at other more controlled venues live streaming video could be a reliable source of extra income.
GPVA member Joe Donato presented a very informative presentation entitled “How Ballroom Dancing Save My Videography Career”. Besides being a videographer, Joe also teaches ballroom dancing. He showed the audience how to apply dance concepts as a way of getting smoother handheld footage.
To cap of the evening, we had a surprise guest. Ron Dawson of Cinematic Studios in Cupertino CA, spoke via iChat from Las Vegas, where he is attending the WPPI Expo. WPPI is the organization of wedding photographers. Ron explained how he made a shift from wedding videography to corporate by producing videos for professional photographers. Ron is also well known in the blogging community and his talk at the WEVA Expo last summer on blogging is what got me going on this blog.
At the conclusion of the evening many of us headed up the street to Champps where a lively discussion of things video continued until past midnight.
The Next GPVA meeting will be held April 15, 2008 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in King Of Prussia, PA. Go to the GPVA website for more information.