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

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Old August 7th, 2008, 09:00 AM   #16
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia (formerly Winnipeg, Manitoba) Canada
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At least in Canada, as a professional, you would need to be in contact with the Corporate Communications or Public Relations department of the hospital well in advance of the birth to assure you would even be let on the premises with pro gear. As well, the attending health care practitioners may or may not be ok with being videotaped. Would it be awesome for the couple. Absolutely. Would it be a neat professional experience? As someone who has shot 3 surgeries - YUP. Is it a kettle of worms? Probably.

Many lay-persons don't realize exactly how hard it can be to get permission to get a camera anywhere. The previous advice about having a member of the "entourage" use a high end consumer or prosumer camera is probably the best advice one could give. Buy a High Def hard drive camera so you're not caught in tape changes (batteries should last 3 - 5 hours, tapes last 1).
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster Blog:
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Old August 7th, 2008, 09:07 AM   #17
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Location: Columbus, Ohio
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I've shot about 15 births but I give them raw footage. I really don't want to edit it and I think child birth is cool but very personal. My clients wanted a high quality camera for better images than their single chip cameras and to actually enjoy the birth without having to worry about filming. I do interviews with the couple prior and post birth. If couples want it edited, I recommend that you use their dv camera and a demo copy of Vegas or movie maker or imovie to edit it on their own.

Note, child birth can take hours and hours and hours and is sometimes very early in the morning. It can be on any day, including Saturdays. So, unless you have free people to cover you if you have something else going on at that time, I wouldn't recommend filming one.

I charge by the hour($40) with a maximum fee of $400. Most of them are in the 300 to 400 range. Find out what works best for you. I market my services with doula's or birthing coaches and word of mouth.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 07:45 AM   #18
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Allentown, PA
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Just got that request too

My wife and I were approached by one of her co-workers at a recent cook out asking If I'd be interested in capturing her child's birth in approx. 7 months. The first things that came to mind were what angles would I need to utilize? Cinematic or documentary style? Once I came to my senses I explained that I had no experience with capturing child birth. I asked what she looking to have captured exactly and her response was "all of it". I asked if she wouldn't be more comfortable with her husband capturing all those "important details" and "intimate angles" and her response was "I want him next to me holding my hand and he's not really that great with the camcorder. If you record it then we can both in it and put all our attention on our baby and his or hers' birth. I know you would be professional about it." All valid points - I suggested they think about it some more and we revisit the proposal in about 6 months and they agreed. After that my wife and I excused ourselves to refill our drinks - on our way over to the beverage table my wife says under her breath "I don't care how much they offer you I'm not letting you look at some other woman's "intimate details".
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Old September 25th, 2008, 11:17 AM   #19
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Boise, Idaho
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Originally Posted by Laurence Scott View Post
on our way over to the beverage table my wife says under her breath "I don't care how much they offer you I'm not letting you look at some other woman's "intimate details".
Hehe. Why does this make me chuckle? Probably because it reminds me of what my wife would say.

I suppose the entire video could be shot in a way to avoid that sort of problem, depending on how intimate the clients wanted the shots to be.
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