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Old October 16th, 2011, 08:33 PM   #16
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Re: Tips for solo shooters

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Originally Posted by Ben Creighton View Post
There are so many good tips and thoughts here, now I have a question which merits starting another thread, rather than go off topic here!

As far as using a DSLR on a tripod; I believe the 7D is limited to 12 minutes of continuous recording so you certainly can't use that camera as a lock down.

Of course every church is different, but most have an upstairs seating area or choir loft. Do you guys like the footage you get from a locked down camera at that high angle? Do you zoom in to just get, say, the wedding party, as opposed to a full wide view? Am I annoying the crap out of you with all these questions? ;)

I plan to run 3 cameras, 1 or 2 lav mics and at least 1 zoom h4. Remind me to make a checklist so I don't leave anything behind!
Ben, keep in mind the people giving you advice here have lots of experience. I've been shooting weddings for 19 years and when I first started, I wasn't running 3 cameras at once. I'd shoot the ceremony with one camera, center aisle. It was only after a lot of years and experience that I could operate 3 cams during the ceremony.
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Old October 16th, 2011, 09:51 PM   #17
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Re: Tips for solo shooters

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Originally Posted by Waldemar Winkler
I hope this information is useful
Wow, all these tips are very useful. Waldemar, I found your post to be especially helpful in that it seems to mirror my train of thought a great deal, in terms of how I envision going about setting up a ceremony shoot. It proves I am not just being overcautious by planning to use 4 or more audio sources! I also enjoyed your explanation of your 4 phase post workflow. Very helpful indeed.

Lance, how do you get past the 12 minute limit with your 7D's on a tripod during the ceremony? Do you move around and monitor each camera during the service?


Again, ALL of these tips are extremely helpful - not the least of which, the one previous to this one, from Michael. Don't worry, your point is well taken. I'll crawl before I walk, and before I run. I'll probably start with 2 cameras, and grow from there as I gain experience. You guys are definitely making it easier for me!
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Old October 17th, 2011, 06:06 AM   #18
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Re: Tips for solo shooters

Ben,
you've gotten some great advice from some very experienced wedding shooters here so let me add one last bit of "experience" which is this. Shoot as if there is only 1 camera running. Why? You never know what camera 2 or 3 has. they might be blocked, you might have a battery die, you might have forgotten to turn it on, bad card (used to be bad tape but now...) It has happened to me, it has probably happened to everyone and if it hasn't it will if you do this long enough. Not saying not to be creative but pretend all you
ve got is the camera that's in your hands. How would you shoot the job? Back when I started that's all you had because you couldn't afford another one, not to mention the size of the cameras and recorders then. Anyway have fun in your venture into the wacky world of weddings!
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Old October 17th, 2011, 06:50 AM   #19
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Re: Tips for solo shooters

Lance, how do you get past the 12 minute limit with your 7D's on a tripod during the ceremony? Do you move around and monitor each camera during the service?



Ben, I'll jump in. The 12 minute limit is really a non-issue when it comes to church weddings. There are so many moments where nothing is happening during a Catholic mass that it's easy to stop/start the camera. It's the outdoor/indoor 15 minute ceremonies where everthing is continuous that can make it a little more difficult but overall it's still not a problem.
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Old October 17th, 2011, 06:53 AM   #20
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Re: Tips for solo shooters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Creighton View Post
Wow, all these tips are very useful. Waldemar, I found your post to be especially helpful in that it seems to mirror my train of thought a great deal, in terms of how I envision going about setting up a ceremony shoot. It proves I am not just being overcautious by planning to use 4 or more audio sources! I also enjoyed your explanation of your 4 phase post workflow. Very helpful indeed.

Lance, how do you get past the 12 minute limit with your 7D's on a tripod during the ceremony? Do you move around and monitor each camera during the service?


Again, ALL of these tips are extremely helpful - not the least of which, the one previous to this one, from Michael. Don't worry, your point is well taken. I'll crawl before I walk, and before I run. I'll probably start with 2 cameras, and grow from there as I gain experience. You guys are definitely making it easier for me!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Simons View Post
Lance, how do you get past the 12 minute limit with your 7D's on a tripod during the ceremony? Do you move around and monitor each camera during the service?



Ben, I'll jump in. The 12 minute limit is really a non-issue when it comes to church weddings. There are so many moments where nothing is happening during a Catholic mass that it's easy to stop/start the camera. It's the outdoor/indoor 15 minute ceremonies where everthing is continuous that can make it a little more difficult but overall it's still not a problem.
Ha...as I said that my priest from this past weekend spoke for 18 minutes straight and I had to start/stop the camera around 12 minutes. I had another camera rolling so it wasn't a problem. I doubt the Bride will watch his 18 minute sermon anyway. He rambled and rambled.
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Old October 17th, 2011, 08:10 AM   #21
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Re: Tips for solo shooters

Hey Don

I think these guys are shooting on DSLR's only so they HAVE to rely on 2 cameras at least so when one is reset, the other covers the shot. I would say with DSLR's the guys tend to shoot multicamera ..I know Jeff used to run 4 x GH2's at weddings.

However for us "others" yes, I always refer to my two cameras as my "main camera" (it runs all the audio as well) and my "B Cam" just shoots cutaways and wides...I always concentrate on the main camera and shoot the ceremony as if a second camera doesn't exist....if I miss a few cutaways I still have a good wedding!! I'm also watching the main cam tally lights all the time and monitoring audio...only then will I walk around a bit and shoot cutaways for a minute but then it's back to the main camera again to make sure the important bits are being recorded and all is well. That's actually very wise advice and it comes from someone with a huge number of shoots under his belt too!!

Chris
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Old October 20th, 2011, 08:23 AM   #22
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Re: Tips for solo shooters

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hey Don

I think these guys are shooting on DSLR's only so they HAVE to rely on 2 cameras at least so when one is reset, the other covers the shot. I would say with DSLR's the guys tend to shoot multicamera ..I know Jeff used to run 4 x GH2's at weddings.

However for us "others" yes, I always refer to my two cameras as my "main camera" (it runs all the audio as well) and my "B Cam" just shoots cutaways and wides...I always concentrate on the main camera and shoot the ceremony as if a second camera doesn't exist....if I miss a few cutaways I still have a good wedding!! I'm also watching the main cam tally lights all the time and monitoring audio...only then will I walk around a bit and shoot cutaways for a minute but then it's back to the main camera again to make sure the important bits are being recorded and all is well. That's actually very wise advice and it comes from someone with a huge number of shoots under his belt too!!

Chris
Chris, I don't feel DSLR users HAVE to rely on 2 camera's as I mentioned the 12 minute limit is really a non-issue. I shoot a church ceremony the same with with DSLRs as I did with my conventional video camera's. I have one on a tripod and the other roaming for cutaway/creative shots. I only use 3 cams for the vows/rings exchange.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 06:46 PM   #23
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Re: Tips for solo shooters

Thanks for the info Michael!

I thought because of the record limit you might have to have a camera to "cover" the other while you reset it and continue but I guess you can simply do that with a cutaway. I think unless it was a balcony camera just running wide all the time and unattended, I would stress too much with more than two cameras running. I take my hat off to you guys that run multiple cameras like 3 and 4 and do it all on your own.

However I do remember talking to a a guy in St Augustine in Florida who (in those days) ran 6 x Canon Video Camera in the Church .... he has no assistants and was getting on in years too (like Don and myself) but the results were always excellent!!

Chris
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Old October 21st, 2011, 06:42 PM   #24
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Re: Tips for solo shooters

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Thanks for the info Michael!

I thought because of the record limit you might have to have a camera to "cover" the other while you reset it and continue but I guess you can simply do that with a cutaway. I think unless it was a balcony camera just running wide all the time and unattended, I would stress too much with more than two cameras running. I take my hat off to you guys that run multiple cameras like 3 and 4 and do it all on your own.

However I do remember talking to a a guy in St Augustine in Florida who (in those days) ran 6 x Canon Video Camera in the Church .... he has no assistants and was getting on in years too (like Don and myself) but the results were always excellent!!

Chris
Chris, the 12 limit record time is really a non-issue because there are so many moments where you can start/stop a camera during a ceremony. Nothing really happens that's longer than 12 minutes.
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 02:17 AM   #25
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Re: Tips for solo shooters

Hey Michael

Very true!! With long-winded ceremonies even though I have the main cam running for 45 minutes the bride doesn't want every prayer ...as long as you get the readings, vows, and rings that's all you really need and I doubt whether any of those would be 12 minutes +++

I did have a speech at last nights wedding that was getting close!! The MOG did an 8 minute 45 second one!!! I assume that you could also easily do a reset when the speaker says something and everyone claps and cheers for 15 seconds at least!!

I still think you guys are good!!! Running 3 DSLR's and managing them means you have to be really on the ball!!!

Chris
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Old October 25th, 2011, 06:09 AM   #26
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Re: Tips for solo shooters

This is a great thread for me as well. Sorry to hijack Ben but keen to get some feedback on my situation if you dont mind?

My wife is a wedding photographer and I'm starting to shoot weddings with her for some of her clients soon. My issue is camera numbers!

I have a Canon XF100 and there is a Canon 5D MK2 on the way...but for now I just have a simple Gopro as a second camera, which is a great camera but obviously limited.So after reading all these comments about 3 and 4 camera shoots I'm starting to get worried that I should go and get myself a half decent B camera? Or with some careful planning will I be able to get away with what I have?

My intention is to create an end product that is a short 15-20 min films, not a detailed doco of the day but a good reflection of the day from getting ready to first dance...so I plan to be selective with my shots anyway...

Cheers
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Old October 25th, 2011, 12:00 PM   #27
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Re: Tips for solo shooters

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Originally Posted by Ryan Wallis View Post
I have a Canon XF100 and there is a Canon 5D MK2 on the way...but for now I just have a simple Gopro as a second camera, which is a great camera but obviously limited.So after reading all these comments about 3 and 4 camera shoots I'm starting to get worried that I should go and get myself a half decent B camera? Or with some careful planning will I be able to get away with what I have?
A locked off XF100 plus a roaming 5DII for the beauty shots is a good combination. Shooting with a DSLR with a short form edit as the finished product encourages a different style of shooting. You cannot emulate a multi-camera documentary style so don't bother with considering more cameras.
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Old October 30th, 2011, 10:30 PM   #28
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Re: Tips for solo shooters

Wow, you guys scare me! I must be doing something wrong!

I've been doing weddings solo for 15 years now, and used to do over 100 per year, but I'm over 61 now so I just take recommendations and do about 30.

I have always used one camera on a monopod for ceremonies and end of reception circles, and tripod for reception, and heldheld for bride and groom homes and photoshoot.

I reckon my brides would have killed me off by now if I hadn't filmed their family photos, or all their congratulations! (I often get asked for photos off my videos as I often captured them being kissed by their grandparents etc. which the photographers rarely seem to capture).

I use a Panasonic HMC 150 (it's the lightest camera I have), and use a Senheiser shotgun and lapel mic. for the groom.

In the past I have used a H2 for the Church readings, and had so much trouble with wobbling lecturnes and noise, it really wasn't worth the trouble, the captured sound from the Senheiser and a bit of computer work can cover the general church feel, and the lapel mic for the vows.

We seem to have so much trouble with roving photgraphers in Australia that to me half the time, other cameras wouldn't get a shot from the sides, and for me, it is a lot less stressful just concentrating on my job with one camera.

Even though I always try to get to the church at least twenty minutes before the ceremony, there are the odd times when I don't even get the lapel on the groom before the bride rolls up, and I have missed her arrival! Setting up two or three other cameras would seem to be a nightmare.

All my brides get my unedited footage, and have the option of adding to that with a 10 minute edit, 1/2hour edit, or full edit of the footage as well. Although here in Aus, with the average mortgage now over $300,000, Basic no-edit jobs are far more popular, or the 10 minute highlight package.

I sent out my latest wedding last Thursday, and this morning the bride rang me to thank me and said how fantastic the footage was, she'd watched the long version 10 times so far, and her husband kept watching their bridal waltz over and over again!

Seems MY way is out of vogue these days, but I guess at my age, I'll just keep doing what works for me!

Cheers all,

Vaughan
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Old October 30th, 2011, 11:10 PM   #29
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Re: Tips for solo shooters

Hi Vaughan

Nope!! you are doing it RIGHT!!! I use the same method except I have a cam spare only at the ceremony and speeches to shoot a few cutaways during the proceedings ...other than that I only use one camera!! Like you my brides are always delighted and why??? I would say that we more than likely tend to shoot more for content than anything else as we have the experience!! (I'm 65!!)
The bride really couldn't care less whether you have one, two or ten cameras and she also doesn't care whether it's Panasonic, Sony, JVC or Canon...in fact you could get away with a handicam IF you give her what she wants....clean footage, in focus with accurate colour.

Alas, most videographers tend to get way too technical with multi-camera shoots and fancy techniques most, if not all go totally un-appreciated by the bride anyway who simply wants to see how pretty her bridal party looked and hear her vows again!!!

I'm a great believer in the KISS method so I use just enough gear to keep things simple and end up with footage the bride loves....easier on me and quicker to edit too!! Nope I'm not into DVR's hidden in the flowers either...I stick a radio lav on the groom and in Churches a second one on the readings lectern!! During speeches I use just one tiny AKG boundary mic on the lectern and they all work well!!

Keep doing what you are doing ...I certainly will!!

Chris
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Old October 31st, 2011, 01:12 AM   #30
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Re: Tips for solo shooters

Hi Chris,

Good to hear you use a similar method.

Maybe we should start a new trend.!!!!

THE OLD FOGY'S WEDDING METHOD CLUB.

Put up a new website! AVAILABLE IN AUSTRALIAN STATE!

ONE CAMERA WEDDINGS! GOOD! SIMPLE! CLEAR and (hopefull) IN FOCUS!

Ah well, had my fun for the day!

Now if only you could tell me the winner of the Melbourne Cup!

(Which is tomorrow, for all you others, it's the horse race that stops the nation!)

Cheers,

Vaughan
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