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


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Old May 29th, 2008, 09:21 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taky Cheung View Post
$8 an hour for someone in school is not a bad deal. Of course you can't expect a whole lot from the person. hey, that's free food and chances to meet guys or girls in those parties :)
Its funny, when people post on buy sell ads like craigslist and say they are looking for people to shoot or produce something for next to free because it is 'excellent demo material' or 'great experience' we all scoff at them, yet we can pay an assistant $8 an hour and rationalize it in the exact same way they do. I'm not saying I agree with one or the other, but there certainly is an inconsistency.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 09:25 AM   #17
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Monday - been doing well, thanks again for the camera. She's working out just fine.
I know the pain of paying someone who supposedly knows what they're doing only to be very very disappointed when I reviewed the footage. In cases like that I'd much prefer to have paid a high school kid half the price I paid the other person. It's not like they could have done worse.
My wife is shooting with me less and less these days so using a high school kid who can point the camera in the right direction might not be a bad idea. Guess the 30 year old guy staking out the local schools wouldn't be a good way to go about finding someone. How did you guys find your helpers?
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Old May 29th, 2008, 09:33 AM   #18
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I found my helper at a party I did. He showed an incredible interest in learning so I took him on to do so. You can also go to high schools and talk to the TV productions teacher and ask for recommendations.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 09:47 AM   #19
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I have found that issues with second shooters are hard to avoid. I mostly work alone and have found that mostly if I point a camera at a nice wide shot and place it properly, I can count on that. I have been a second shooter and screwed up, so I know how bad it can be. We have hired an assistant through the yearbook committee at the local High School to help carry stuff and breakdown equipment after the shoot, but I'm too anal to allow anyone the opportunity to screw up my shot. Also when you do find a good 2nd shooter, what you are doing in most cases is training and funding your competition. I run alot at weddings, but at least I have control.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 11:06 AM   #20
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I've been a mostly solo shooter for about 25 years and frankly I prefer it. When I need a 2nd I know who to go to and can count on the footage.

I use 2 cams but shoot like the 2nd isn't there. Too many times it can be blocked, what if the battery craps out or something else happens to the camera.

I learned on 1 camera (couldn't afford 2 at the time) so I HAD to get it right in the viewfinder. Slow pans, zooms, good framing etc. While there are times I wish I had another shooter on some jobs (just to make sure about certain shots) I enjoy working solo and probably will until I retire. Hopefully that'll be sooner than later.

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Old May 29th, 2008, 12:58 PM   #21
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Panny GS320

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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
How DID that shoot go anyways? I wasn't sure if you'd gotten to the footage yet.
Well after having the wonderful GL2 "eject tape" problem, and getting the cam shipped off to canon factory service, and getting it back, then waiting to decide on a cam to use as a deck, etc etc. It just took a while to get rolling.

I just picked up a Pannasonic GS320 for my "tape deck / emergency balcony" camera. So over the weekend and every evening I've been trying to get to all 11 tapes. What a backlog. And I filmed a high school graduation this weekend (first time using the GS320 with the GL2) so I have another 4 tapes to record. I only caught some glimpses of the footage from your cam of the ceremony but what I saw looked great.

(Side note, the GS320 is pretty good. 3CCD system with minimal zoom 10x but pretty good IS and some manual controls / WB. Just don't expect much compared to a GL2 and it works fine. I have not had a chance to look at the footage side by side yet though.)
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Old May 29th, 2008, 01:36 PM   #22
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Cool. Glad to hear it. Sorry to the OP for slightly hijacking the thread. I should have sent a PM to Jason. My bad.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #23
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just by chance

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Originally Posted by Ethan Cooper View Post
Monday - been doing well, thanks again for the camera. She's working out just fine.
I know the pain of paying someone who supposedly knows what they're doing only to be very very disappointed when I reviewed the footage. In cases like that I'd much prefer to have paid a high school kid half the price I paid the other person. It's not like they could have done worse.
My wife is shooting with me less and less these days so using a high school kid who can point the camera in the right direction might not be a bad idea. Guess the 30 year old guy staking out the local schools wouldn't be a good way to go about finding someone. How did you guys find your helpers?
One potential helper goes to the same church and I found out she went to community college for TV production. At least that is in the right direction. Another potential shooter has her own GL2 and shoots a lot for our church missions group, so high end cam + lots of time behind it = good potential cam op.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 01:53 PM   #24
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And he does SDEs

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Originally Posted by Waldemar Winkler View Post
Look up Joel Peregrine. He works alone. Always has. Uses something like five or six cameras.
But not everyone is superman. :-)

Last edited by Jason Robinson; May 29th, 2008 at 01:53 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old May 29th, 2008, 03:09 PM   #25
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Well I haven't been doing this long, 4 weddings now with 2 approaching. The first 2 I had my wife help a bit with lugging gear about and she operated a second camera on the 3rd (plus she has this great ability to strike up good conversation with the wedding party, which always helps on the business side of things). I'm not long after just shooting my first completely solo wedding, but it needed to be done. It broke the ice in a way and now I know I can do it.
It's certainly nerve-wrecking though and mentally and physically tiring.
Plus there is so much information you have to keep track of in your head, anticipating what's next, audio, batteries, tape, small-talk you can't get away from with cousin Bernard who's had more than a few whiskies by 3pm, little logistical problems such as when you can grab a free minute to drop everything and go back and pick up the backup audio recorder before it gets...misplaced.
Then of course actually dedicating whatever's left of your brain to actually getting good shots. Or maybe that's just me.
I was hanging around for ages waiting on the first dance, the last thing I had to shoot. So I took literally 2 minutes out to move my car a little closer to the venue (ok, ok...and to have a quick cigarette). Walked back in to the first dance just finishing! Arrghhh!
But I'm sure we have all missed something and the one consolation is that I have learned from it and I know it won't happen again.
It's a fairly lonely, long old day and I find it quite easy to feel like a prize pillick as I'm carrying out practiced camera movements...you see people know what to expect from a photographer and how to act in front of a stills camera, but they not as familiar with what we do, how we go about it, or the type and quantity of footage we need.
I've also made a small discovery...people seem pretty impressed by the end of the day when they see that I am STILL there doing my thing, they do start to realise what is involved and I feel a certain respect has been achieved, especially when they learn I still have to drive for 90 minutes to get home.
Some even said I should be charging more...that made me laugh. If only everyone could see this worth BEFORE the wedding when they are searching for videographers and scoffing at the prices. Perhaps I'll bring a jar for tips next time ;-)
Sorry for rambling a bit, although coincidentally I've just looked up 'Joel Peregrine' before submitting this and found an article about our industry being undervalued due to lack of understanding. It's also pretty jaw-dropping that the guy pulls off operating that many cameras. My brain would go into meltdown...
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Old May 29th, 2008, 04:46 PM   #26
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Shooting solo can be mind melting but after you've done it for a while (a while depends on each person) you find that things at weddings all pretty much run the same at the ceremony and for the most part at receptions.

I always grab a program at the ceremony (if they have one) to use as a guide but a perfect example of things NOT going to schedule was the wedding I did last Saturday. According to the program right after communion the B&G were supposed to go to the Holy Family to place flowers. I was looking thru the VF watching and waiting for it and even saw the priest looking at the program. Guess what. He came down off the altar did the final blessing and pronounced them man and wife. He completely blew it. Luckily I was in a position to get the kiss and walk off but my mind was waiting for the flowers. Point being no matter how well planned things are things go awry. As for missing the first dance, OUCH! That's kind of important BUT in fairness the DJ or band leader COULD have and should have said to the B&G 'hey hold on 1 minute let me get the video guy, he went to the bathroom' or something like that so shame on him. I guess I'm fortunate that I know just about every DJ I work with for a long time so we kind of watch out for one another and they always keep me informed of whats going to happen next. You need to introduce yourself to them and ask them to give you a heads up BEFORE doing things like the 1st dance or whatever.
Ah well, lesson learned. You'll get better the more you do.
Frankly at this point I could probably DO the ceremony and run the DJ booth (maybe better than some I've worked with over the years) ;-)
Don
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Old May 29th, 2008, 05:22 PM   #27
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I was talking to the photographer at a different wedding and he said that what makes you a great photographer/videoographer etc. is your ability to adapt and cope with the unforseen. I guess thinking on your feet and saving a shot that was about to hit the fan counts!
There's obviously a lot more than that but I got what he was saying.
Oh, and all was not lost, I took the bride and groom aside, explained what had happened and offered to do the 'first' dance again. The groom was cool about it and even bought me a drink for my trouble ;-) Even the bride lightened up a bit, I just told her not many couples get to do their first dance twice!
Actually, one of the guys who worked at the venue very gratiously came over and apologised to the bride and groom also for not giving me a heads up, so we both put our heads on the block! I think he just felt sorry for me lol.
At the end of the day it was my responsibility, but boy will I be beating a path straight to the DJ next time!

....My lesson of the day?: Smoking really will kill you, but only cos the bride will choke you with her garter if she finds out your having a crafty cig instead of her first dance!
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