Free Startup Idea

Here is a free startup idea that you can have. I don’t feel like running with this one but it seems like it would be pretty simple to put together. And while you’re reading, listen to Lissie absolutely DESTROYING a Kid Cudi song.

So people go to weddings. And most of them hire photographers of some sort. (As a side note, only 30% of weddings use a videographer despite the fact that filming and editing things is cheaper now then its ever been. So I’ve got another free business idea below this one).

Anyway, people go to weddings and there are photographers. In many cases, the photog brings an assistant to shoot in black and white or to shoot “candid” shots. Most wedding albums I’ve ever seen feature nearly as many of these candid shots as the ‘professional’ type. Guests at weddings bring cameras too. They take pictures too. And occasionally the pictures end up shared with the bride and groom or other guests. Usually this sharing takes place through Facebook, Flickr, or email. That’s all well and good I suppose but most of those photos end up as digital artifacts when people are actually still very much accustomed to physical photos in albums and frames. You argue and you are right – most people don’t have much to do with regular photos anymore. EXCEPT WHEN IT COMES TO WEDDINGS. Mothers, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, etc. Wedding photos still end up on photo paper all over the place.

So, here’s the business idea: set up a server/site that generates a unique email address for each wedding/event. So, Josh and Francine are getting married and they sign up (for free) to the service and are assigned the address joshandfrancine@weddingphotothingy.com. At the reception they have little cards on tables saying “Please email your photos to joshandfranc…” Wedding ends, people email their photos of the big day.

Then, everyone interested in the photos can go to the site and enter “joshandfrancine” under a “view photos” tab. Boom, you’re in the gallery looking at all the photos people have sent in. How to make money? Set up an affiliate account with Shutterfly or Zazzle or one of the zillions of online photo processors. People browse the photos and if they order any, you get a cut. You could even make it more appealing by splitting your cut with the person who took the photo. That makes it even more enticing for people to participate and email in their photos of the big day.

Ok, now you can watch Lissie do “Little Lovin” as we go to the next idea…

This isn’t actually a business idea any more then its an observation on the inefficiency of a current industry.

Only 30% of weddings feature videographers. That’s probably because videographers are expensive. They are expensive because…well, actually, there is no reason for a videographer to be expensive. The cost comes from the time spent filming (let’s say a one hour wedding and a three hour reception = 4 hours invested in the event) and the time spent editing (let’s say twice as long as the event itself). So that’s 12 hours of time…at $50 an hour you’re looking at $600 to get a wedding video at the low price range. Yeah, that’s kind of costly.

Thankfully, the power of the internet has made time much more affordable. Actually, it’s made other people’s time more affordable. For example, there are LOTS of people in India and Kurzikstan and Indonesia that rock MacBook Pros and the same Final Cut software that you might use to edit a wedding video. Instead of charging $600 for a wedding video, why not charge $300? show up and video the thing. Keep $200. Post a project on oDesk/eLance for video editing. Send them one of your earlier videos and say “THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WANT IT TO LOOK LIKE”. Send them the raw footage of the wedding that needs editing. Let them re-create a prior masterpiece using the new footage. Send them $100. Get the video back, double checking the quality, resinsert/edit any parts that aren’t to your obviously high wedding video production standards. Total time invested: 4 hours at the wedding, ten minutes for the editing management, an hour to watch it and make sure you like the final product.

And so you don’t feel ripped off by this free article offering a free idea, here is The Gaslight Anthem playing “We Came to Dance” at Bonnaroo a couple years ago.

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