You've heard of wedding videography, but have you considered event videography and all the other ways you can use a professional videographer? Event videography is available for any type of affair that you want to record. Consider how fun it will be to have live and beautifully edited high-quality video footage of milestone birthdays, wedding anniversaries, high-school and college graduation parties, the kids' soccer tournaments, a loved one's celebration of life, your community theater production, or the neighborhood block party. In addition to personal keepsakes, event videography can capture office parties, corporate events with important guests, sporting events, professional conferences, community fundraisers, trainings to share with colleagues, and more. Event videographers use lighting and shading as needed to get excellent footage of both indoor and outdoor activities, no matter the time of day or location.
The cost of a great videographer will vary based on several factors: the number of hours of raw footage, the size of the video crew required, the amount of editing and retouching, the final length of the video, and any additional services you request. In addition, your geographic location can play a role in cost. If you are booking event videography and know you want an ongoing relationship with a video pro — whether you have a series of trainings you want recorded or your kids have multiple recitals coming up — you can save by booking multiple services with the videographer.
Popular requests from clients include taking raw footage of an entire event, recording and editing a full feature film (usually 30-40 minutes), or recording the event and then creating a highlight reel or short video (often 3-4 minutes). You can easily post a personal highlight reel or event video on social media to share your event with friends and family. For professional purposes, a highlight reel can be used as a commercial or to educate viewers about your product or cause. Commonly requested additional video package services include having DVD copies, adding a musical overlay or soundtrack, adding special effects, incorporating still photos from the video shoot in a photo montage, and performing immediate day-of editing to share during the actual event.
If you are ready to capture more memories in your life, here are the factors that affect the price range and average total cost of professional event videography.
The length of time a videographer is required to be at an event affects the cost of services. The longer the event, the higher the fee. In addition, the more raw video footage the videographer records and has to edit, the higher the fee. More material means more post-production work in the editing process — and more time overall.
Some videographers act as director for your film and charge by the hour for their services. Time on the clock might include consulting with clients about goals, setting up and filming at the event, and doing post-production work such as editing, music overlay and more. Some videographers charge a standard hourly rate for all of their services, while others have different hourly rates for different services, depending on the level of expertise required. Other videographers shoot the video and then work with an outside production company to create a final edited video. If rates vary for different tasks, those details should be clearly outlined in the contract.
In an example of a consistent flat rate, Lee Editorial in North Richland Hills, Texas, charges a set $50 hourly rate for producing, shooting and editing video. In an example of variable rates for different services, a videographer in the San Francisco Bay Area may charge $95 per hour for on-site filming; $75 per hour for post-production work such as musical overlay, editing and sound effects; and $45 per hour for web uploading, video compression, rendering or burning DVDs.
A videographer's hourly rate will be affected by their geographic location as well as their education, training and experience. Wedding videographers also typically charge a bit more because of the logistics of ensuring that the entire event is captured exactly the way you want. Read through a videographer's online profile, reviews and portfolio to determine if their aesthetic fits your vision for the final product.
Complexity of project
Larger events and a more elaborate vision could require multiple cameras and multiple crew members on-site the day of the event. The more equipment needed (lighting, green screen, other filming equipment or props) and the more staff on the job, the higher the overall fee will be. For larger projects, some pros offer a set rate once they determine the client's needs and goals. The set rate would cover the projected number of hours on the project overall including pre-production work, filming and post-production work.
Firefly Productions in Covington, Kentucky, shares examples of their average event videography costs based on project complexity:
- $350-$1,000 for personal event videos for a basic package. This includes events like birthdays and anniversaries.
- $500-$1,500 for personal documentary videos. Documentaries weave together event footage with interviews, photos and more.
- $300-$1,500 for theatrical and creative artist videos.
- $250-$2,000 for nonprofit and corporate videos.
Some videographers have set rates for covering common events, such as sports games or kids' birthday parties. With experience, videographers can more confidently bid these kinds of projects because the number of filming and editing hours tends to be the same time after time. Here are some examples of established package pricing:
- Average intro sports package from My Memory Portfolio in Sparta, New Jersey: $450 Includes filming the event, travel up to 50 miles round-trip to the game, and a flash drive containing the completed video and links to photo stills from the video
- Average sweet 16 birthday party from DP Lunn Studios Event Videography in Nashville, Tennessee: $399 Includes up to three hours of filming on-site, a custom theme to match the birthday party theme, musical overlay and music video-style highlights, up to 25 pre-selected photos edited into the video, and three copies of the final DVDs in a customized case
Travel is a necessary part of event photography and videography, so most professionals have a service range outside of which they may charge an additional travel fee. My Memory Portfolio charges an additional 55 cents per mile beyond the 50-mile round trip service range. A travel fee it takes into account the cost of the pro's time as well as the cost of transportation so that they do not lose money on long-distance jobs.
Videographers typically charge more to cover holidays, such as Christmas or New Year's Eve, than a standard weekend or weekday event. Competition for video services is usually higher on holidays, which drives prices higher than for events on regular days.
The more features you want your event videography to have, the higher your total project cost will be. Pricing for add-ons will vary by company, and add-ons for wedding services may be higher than for event videography. Here are some sample average wedding add-on costs from Kurtela Video Productions in the San Francisco Bay Area:
- 3- to 5-minute trailer: $1,000
- Drone footage: $500
- Raw footage: $500
- Same-day edit: $1,750
- 3 DVDs: $300 (plus tax)
- 4k delivery: $1,500
- Extra camera person for length of wedding day: $800
- Additional shooting hours: $350 per hour
- Save-the-date video: $1,500
- Jib/crane: $600
- Instagram edit: $400
- Full edited ceremony only: $2,500
It's common practice to pay a deposit to secure your event videographer for a specific date and time. The videographer may request a percentage of the total project cost or charge a flat deposit. For example, Firefly Productions charges a flat, non-refundable deposit of $200 to secure event location services. Deposits based on percentage average 20 percent; wedding videography deposits often average 50 percent.
Deposits protect both you and the event videographer. By putting down a deposit, you are ensuring that your videographer will not take a different job on the day of your event. The videographer is protected if you find someone else or change your mind at the last minute, leaving them without other paying jobs for that day.
Not all event videographers require a deposit, but whether you pay one or not, be sure to get a clearly written contract that outlines any fees already paid, the event date and details, turnaround time for the video and expected product results.
- Read client reviews and follow up with references to make sure you're choosing the right pro for your project. For more, check out our tips for smart hiring.