How to make money as a videographer
All of our writers come from the production world. We got together and talked about the ways we learned our craft and paid the bills. Sure, some readers will say that these jobs are below them, and that’s fine… It just means less competition for the rest of us.
Weddings are the easiest video job you can fall into. As soon as you buy your first camera, family members are going to ask you to shoot their weddings. That said, they are a ton of work. Be sure you are getting something out of it. If you aren’t getting paid, ask the couple to buy you some memory cards or batteries in exchange for your services.
When I first started filming weddings, the wedding video was my “gift” to the couple. Then something happened. When they shared their highlight reel online, I started getting inquiries to shoot other weddings. It snowballed into starting my first company. It wasn’t an overnight success story, but after a few years of shooting weddings, I started getting more business than I could handle. I no longer had to shoot every wedding… just the weddings I wanted to. I still shoot weddings to this day, and still have a blast doing so.
2. Music Videos
If you are in the video world, you probably have friends in the music scene. If not, make some. Having a music video can help promote your band, through video sites such as YouTube, Facebook & Instagram. If you’re a filmmaker making a music video is a good way of getting exposure and experience and bands are often happy to give you free reign, creatively-speaking.
3. Live Events
Concerts, corporate events, product releases, speakers, conferences. That’s just the starting list. Aim for events that are reoccurring. If an agency wants you to film their new product release party, make a video great enough that they call you back for the next product release. Same goes for yearly events or conferences. Companies will promote their next event with a video from the previous year. Then you’re setting yourself up for a yearly gig.
Speaker series are also an awesome opportunity. Not only do you get to make videos each time a new speaker comes to town, you get to meet some incredible people. In one month I once met an astronaut, a World Series champion, a legendary comedian, and an award winning poet. Had I not filmed the series, I wouldn’t have been able to meet and talk to them.
4. High School Sports and Highlight Reels
Filming action sports has been my passion from the beginning and is the reason I am now a full-time filmmaker.
You shoot the footage and immediately turn it over. No hours of editing, just a dvd or digital copy of the footage is all they need. Come the end to the season, juniors and seniors are looking to make highlight reels to send out for potential scholarships. Their parents will gladly hire you to put together a highlight reel of their child’s best plays. The best part: you already have all the footage from the games you shot.
5. Tutorials and Monetization
People began sharing tips and tricks in forums, eventually making video tutorials on YouTube. It’s easy to forget how much this industry has changed since the days of YouTube. You now have access to any tutorial on any subject. If you make tutorials, you can set up your YouTube page for monetization. You can start making money of the knowledge you have acquired. If you aren’t an expert on a subject, you can also interview experts. Have an uncle that fixes cars? How about a mother that has an incredible garden? You can make tutorials about anything. Someone will search for it.
6. Real Estate
Build a relationship with a realtor or two and you are already on your way. Every realtor uses still photos on their website. However, photos aren’t enough when it comes to large houses or large properties. That’s when they turn to video to reach a larger clientele. Be sure to also capture the surrounding area and nearby amenities to really help push the sale of the house. Like always, if you do a great job on the video, you’ll be asked to shoot more properties.