February 9, 2008

"The Off Season"

For those brides and grooms to be who are somewhat unfamiliar with the wedding industry and how everything works, at least photographers and videographers, most of us go through a slooooow period, from around November to March. *Most* of my bookings are throughout April to October, as my brides and grooms generally enjoy the spring feel, summer warmth, and fall colors, rather than the harsh, bitter cold and sloppy slush. But to each his or her own, right? During the off season, I do my *research* on my competition (will touch on that later, wink wink), meet with and book new clients, update my website, explore new and interesting ways to advertise, and constantly think of ways to improve on my work. While the subject of keeping up with technology is a blog all to itself, we can all respect and understand that the more expensive and sophisticated equipment is, the more expensive the packages may be. I'm recently exploring the era of high definition cameras. Not one you can buy at Best Buy for $700, but a professional camcorder costing upwards of $7000! For a small business like my own, this is a very large investment. Currently, if a bride and groom want high definition coverage, all I do is rent an HD camera, and transfer the additional cost to the package. A rental for one day is only about $250 from Vistek, so it's not that much. However, the editing is a little more intense and the processing time is a little longer, so that also affects the price. However, I do recommend at least exploring the option of HD coverage for your wedding as it does look much better than standard definition (6 times the resolution!). If you don't know what I mean, go to Futureshop and have a seat at one of their cookie-cutter living rooms with the leather couches and surround sound, and I'm sure a salesperson will be along in no time to try to take your money =) Have a look at the quality of the video and compare it to a standard definition TV that is conveniently, deliberatly and strategicly hidden in one of the aisles away from the customer's main traffic routes. You'll see the difference. High Def has it's pros and cons, I'll be candid (just like my style of videography!). While I've already pointed out that the resolution is much higher hence looks much better than it's predecessor, SD, it also may reveal those small bodily imperfections we all (or at least most of us think we) have. If the videographer's style of shooting is close-up, you'll see every little pore and blemish on your skin, if of course the filming is in a well lit area. If you're filming HD in a low-lit area, you're likely to experience lesser quality video, perhaps more "grainy" and less vibrant color saturation. Please forgive me, I don't want to get too techy here, as some of you readers are more tech-savvy than others, but to say it in short, good quality SD cameras react much better in low light than moderate quality HD cameras, according to their Lux rating (won't get into that too much here, but basically a Lux rating is the manufacturer's measurement of how sensitive the camera is to light - the lower the number the better).

As I mentioned before, I'm in the market for a new HD camera. During the last 6 months, there has been a lot of buzz from all the major manufacturers, Sony, Panasonic, Canon mostly. And we all know what happens when this happens - prices tend to fall. So I'm going to wait till the dust settles to make my selection. I'm sure it will be worth the wait!