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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old October 9th, 2007, 02:16 AM   #1
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Expanding to Photography

I have been doing Wedding Videography since 2003 and, over the last year, have expanded to Photography. How many people here offer both services? Do you have any advice on making a successful move?

You can see a sample on my blog: http://losangelesweddings.blogspot.com/

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Old October 9th, 2007, 03:20 AM   #2
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I'm waiting for the holy grail: A video camera that is able to capture video, and is also capable of printing out any and every video frame in high enough resolution that it would rival traditional still cameras.

Then I would be a videographer and photographer rolled in 1!

Did you know that such a camera almost exists and might be released next month?
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Old October 9th, 2007, 09:25 AM   #3
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My 2 cents...

This is probably the most discussed topic I have seen recently (besides Sony vs. Canon HDV). Anyway here are my thoughts, take them for what they are worth. BEING A PHOTOGRAPHER IS NOT EASY MONEY. There is some type of wonderous myth that buying a Nikon D70s or a Canon 30D is magically going to make you a mint because it just so easy. My company does both, but only because I am married to a photographer. The only way I can see this working is if there are 2 people that can concentrate on their own discipline, and become great at it. Being a photographer at a wedding takes a completely different set of skills than a videographer. I don't find it very interesting myself, but you have to concentrate on it to become good. The photographer becomes a key element to the day, and has to do serious crowd control after the ceremony. You have to organize, get the pictures they request, and do it all quickly. It is tough work. There is no job in the world where you can sustain a high rate of pay with a little work. This phenomenon alone is going to ruin photography. Photographers in our area are already feeling the burn as any cousin or uncle with a Digital Rebel can show up with a kit lens and onboard flash and pretend to be a photographer just like you can. What is going to make or break photographers in the future is the work is going to have to be consistently amazing. Anything else will be swept under. My 2 cents...
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Old October 9th, 2007, 10:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fulbert Fajardo View Post
I have been doing Wedding Videography since 2003 and, over the last year, have expanded to Photography. How many people here offer both services? Do you have any advice on making a successful move?

You can see a sample on my blog: http://losangelesweddings.blogspot.com/

Fulbie
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I had trouble opening the url for your los angeles wedding photography site but when I add the www, it worked fine.
I used www.losangelesweddings.blogspot.com
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Old October 9th, 2007, 10:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Warren Kawamoto View Post
I'm waiting for the holy grail: A video camera that is able to capture video, and is also capable of printing out any and every video frame in high enough resolution that it would rival traditional still cameras.

Then I would be a videographer and photographer rolled in 1!

Did you know that such a camera almost exists and might be released next month?
This sort of thing is surely only applicable towards the bargain market. Why work twice as hard doing photo and video for bargain clients? A good video camera will never offer the same quality that a good dSLR with a full set of primes can. I would suggest focus on doing one thing well- I would think it would be much more rewarding personally and financially.
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Old October 9th, 2007, 10:43 PM   #6
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We offer both services, but we have dedicated teams of 3 for each department. Our goal is to offer high-end products in both mediums, as opposed to doing well in one with the 'bargain add-on' for the other.

Moving to photo can be very rewarding if the investment is there and you have the eye. Your biggest advantage is that their is a market out there that only want photo and video in the same place. I don't think you will get past the mid-range market with those, so it depends on who you want your clients to be.

Looking at your blog and website, I have a couple comments:
- the website looks very very industrial. I would invest in a much more contemporary wedding site- this is so important these days.
- the photos look pretty good. Looks like there are some above average shots there with some pretty good processing as well as some more average shots with, more or less, flat conversions.
-biggest thing I noticed was the lack of depth overall. We shoot in the 1.4-1.6 range all the time and it really adds a lot to the images. All of our zooms are a constant 2.8. If your shooting with a kit lens- that is the first thing that needs to go. A 50 f1.4 is a cheap investment and can do some unbelievable things for the cost. A full frame camera offers great options for low light as well as better depth. You will also get more out of your wide or fisheye lenses.
-Biggest suggestion (besides the website) dump at least $10k into bodies, and good lenses. Shoot well with those and you can double your photo prices within 6 months. Learn how to use one or more flashes well (such as never pointing them at your subject). Post-production is just as important these days as the shooting can be.

Theres the crash course in adding photo.

Hope that helps. Feel free to check out some of our samples at www.still-motion.ca to get an idea of what I mean by shooting wide open, using primes, using multiple flashes etc.

Patrick
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Old October 9th, 2007, 11:49 PM   #7
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I think adding photography to my skillset has really helped my video work.

I now think a lot more about composition, creative lighting, and depth of field from using my still cameras.

Depth of field in video often equals expensive cameras, so a lot of us never have to think about it, just about exposure.

So often we are payed to run and gun with video that it becomes less artistic as well.

Dealing with motion and anticipation is a real skill needed for video, almost more than the knowledge of lenses and depth of field.

Having said that, still photography is a different set of skills.

Coming from video you will have a clue, but it is not easy.

And as was stated, the bar is pretty high to get noticed.

So I would give it a shot, but allow yourself enough time to become a pro at it before charging!
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Old October 10th, 2007, 07:11 PM   #8
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I've never shot a wedding video, but I've done wedding photography in the past, and can tell you that I'd never personally try to handle still pics and video at the same time. It takes an entirely different mindset for each medium. With video, it's capturing a process that is unfolding in front of you in a continuous fashion. With still photography, you're lifting instants from time and letting the others simply fade away.

This is my personal take (and remember I've never done a wedding video): a videographer does at least two to three times as much work covering a wedding than the photographer. You have to be totally conscious of what's going on around you for good video. No one wants to end up with a bunch of two or six second shots, or jerky pans and zooms as you try to grab what's going on around you. You end up shooting almost constantly. There is no time to relax. Video is a continuous medium, and you have to work it that way. Throw in audio considerations (heck, whenever did the photographer have to worry about a noisy air conditioner or a reverend that mumbles?) and your workload and stressload goes right through the roof.

As a wedding photographer, I'd usually experience maybe a total of a half-hours' actual composing and shooting during a four hour wedding. Most of the time, it was waiting for something to happen, then grab some good frames and then wait for the next opportunity. The customer never saw the bad shots. Once the "formals" were out of the way, I'd just wander the reception and grab whatever shots looked good.

I don't think one person could do a decent job at a wedding doing both still and video, even if the camera could deliver both. Given the differences in the final product, it's unreasonable.

Just my $.02 worth.

Martin
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Old October 10th, 2007, 11:23 PM   #9
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I think the idea is that perhaps not too far in the future the resolution of video will be good enough to pull frame grabs and get EVERY moment - you still have to have the skills of a photographer, but you'd gain "cushion" on the stills...

I've pulled frame grabs off my video cameras to cover missed still shots (wrong angle or blocked shot). No one has noticed yet. Wouldn't venture to blow one up to 8x10 or poster size, but for smaller size stills, we are already almost there...

I use stills my wife shoots for DVD art, and a couple of times for covering a shot I missed...

Different disciplines, different mechanics, but ultimately it's "the EYE" that makes the shot count - you either got that or you don't. The rest is learning your equipment so you could operate it blindfolded, then you can focus on getting the money shots!

And the comment on "one person" is appropriate - while I may sling a still cam around my neck for some shots of the guys while my wife shoots the bridal party getting ready, it's awkward to "cover" both still and video. two shooters ARE far better than one... even if they double

Last edited by Dave Blackhurst; October 11th, 2007 at 12:02 AM.
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Old October 11th, 2007, 02:26 PM   #10
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Fulbert, I'm in the same boat as you were.. I started videos part time in 2003. I've always enjoyed photography and now it's at a point where I feel I can create quality photographic products. I've always felt that videography products are unfairly devalued compared to photography products.

How's your photography business going?
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Old October 11th, 2007, 03:32 PM   #11
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I, too, have been bitten by the photo bug for the same reasons as most videographers.

1) Video products are undervalued.
2) Cheaper equipment (A few photographers bit my head off about this statement but I still think you can get set up for wedding photos for $10,000 while for video it takes much more)
3) Shorter post time (again, photographers have bit my head off about this and I'm sure you can take 40 hours doing wedding photo post, but at least it doesn't take seven or eight hours of capture time until you can BEGIN working)
4) I like the idea of not working with audio.

My plan was to shoot shoot shoot for five or six months, and if I still enjoyed taking photographs then I would look a bit deeper into the possibility. But after doing a bit of research there are two things that I like about sticking with wedding videography and they made up my mind for me.

1) Wedding photography is a highly oversaturated market.
2) Wedding videography is still a growing business.

Most engaged couples I've come across in my personal life have not even thought of videography as an option. As far as I see it there is a whole untapped market. We just have to figure out a way to let them know that we are out here.

How do we do that? Constantly produce quality work. In my opinion the general quality of work that comes from wedding videographers these days has improved over the past decade (I just watched a wedding video from the early 90s: yikes!) As long as this trend continues there will be a time where videographers are valued as much as photographers, and I'd rather spend the time until this happens getting better at videography than trying my hand at something new.

This is why it's the duty (in my humble opinion) of everyone here to produce quality work. Both for their own benefit, and the benefit of the entire industry.

I hope I'm making sense, so if I'm not just think of it this way: I think there will be a time where videographers are paid equal to, and valued the same as, photographers. And that`s why I`m sticking to videography.

Just my two cents that I hope makes sense.
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Old October 11th, 2007, 03:40 PM   #12
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Matthew:

Another point that I want to make is I feel it is much more difficult to achieve the highest quality result in the videography domain, especially if you're working by yourself. A successful video is the combination of lighting, camera work, audio, and editing.

There are only such much camera work one person can do alone. Crane shots, Steadycam.. they're very effective and doable, but not so if you're working by youself in a run n' gun situation.

I've seen some AMAZING videography work out there and their package prices which include MULTIPLE videographers pales in comparison to what comparable photographers charge for.
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Old October 11th, 2007, 03:48 PM   #13
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That is very true. And I think we`re getting to a point where it`s going to be necessary to provide a second videographer for this reason. It`s tough for one person to lug all the gear around, cover two simultaneous locations like when the client wants a bride and groom prep but they are happening at the same time, and get cutaways during speeches.
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Old October 11th, 2007, 06:02 PM   #14
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I use a 2nd videographer at almost every wedding and they make more per hour in the end than I do. It's sad but true. My wife is a photographer and she works very hard and produces amazing work, but I still to the day tell her that photography is 10x easier than videography (and I can say that because I've shot weddings as a photographer - doing one this weekend in fact as my wife's 2nd shooter).

Still, I truly believe that one day videography will be more important to brides than pictures. I hope I'm still alive then.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 01:00 PM   #15
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Thanks for the great advice everyone! Patrick, your work is awesome! I will refer back to your site for ideas and inspiration. I totally agree with you that I need to update my website. It hasn't been updated in 5 years!

I've since updated my blog URL and I've added new pictures: http://dotdv.blogspot.com/

I have also shot 2 weddings the last 2 weekends and will have those posted soon.
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