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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old September 30th, 2008, 11:31 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Noel Lising View Post
About the not hitting the record button, it has been second nature to me to check if the Rec logo is on. It takes precedence over framing, etc,etc. I also hit the quick edit search button when time permits to check if I have actually recorded something or if there are drop-outs.
Yeah it was just a rookie mistake. I don't give that op any grief about it because...... it is my wife (and I like sleeping in bed instead of on the floor). But its ok. I had a second cam rolling and things worked out OK. not great.... but ok.

That is a good idea to do the search. I'm usually too buy to do that, AND my tendancy is to record too much or to forget to push stop (and face the unexpected "out of tape" warning..... which is why I always wear a fanny pack with my WD-58, fish-eye, extra battery, lens brush, lens pen, and 3-5 spare tapes).
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Old September 30th, 2008, 12:40 PM   #17
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I would do whatever it takes to get my gear at whatever price! Even if it meant paying the ferry to dock a little longer. Mind you that won't happen to me, I carry a smallish shoulder bag that contains everything I need, batteries, tapes, lights, mics, duck tape, any type of audio converter cable imaginable. Once my fiancÚ lost my car keys at a busy venue, luckly had my bag over my shoulder since that day I've seen the importance of carrying everything I need with me - someone eventually found the keys, was a very close call, would not have fancied breaking my windows.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 01:24 PM   #18
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I split 2 cameras, mics, batts, lights into two pelican cases as individual kits. The reason is because if someone walks away with one, I still have the other as a workable backup. In addition, I have a little HD home camcorder in my fanny pack with new tape and fully charged battery which is on me at all times as a triple backup.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 02:58 AM   #19
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Checklist, at least a mental one for all your gear. Better to have an inventory for both practical and insurance purposes, especially if you regularly change your lineup...

A backpack or case with ALL your primary gear, always ready to go. Or at least take the time to pack it for the road. If you keep your gear in order, you're less likely to accidently leave things behind.

All the REST of the miscellaneous stuff reasonably well organized either in cases or some sort of equipment closet, so you can grab as needed, or hog along one big-a** case with everything imaginable... (I have a rolling cooler... after hiking in to a shoot on a brutally hot day with heavy cases trying to saw my arms off...)

Have a backup battery/tapes/memory in every bag/case... or make sure you put one in before you leave.

Having had a camera shut off randomly during a wedding (stray IR maybe?), I want 3 cameras running just in case, one in my hands and a couple strategically on tripods.

Since events may have different configurations of gear, I think taking a half hour to an hour (or more) in advance to go through and lay everything out, double check it, and pack the configuration you will be shooting should be a standard "preflight" procedure. I'm forgetful, but I hate that sinking feeling of realizing I left ANYTHING critical behind, so unless it's an extreme situation, I'd double back on my steps as I left to see if I'd spaced out...

You might re-think your bag/case situation - I've got an assortment of them for various use (including the dreaded fanny pack which actually works pretty well for a $10 swap meet item!). I can pack for everything from a casual hike or family birthday to the attempted takeover of a small South American country...

And I agree with the dual/triple redundant theme - for a one time event, can't be too prepared IMO
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Old October 1st, 2008, 05:54 AM   #20
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We have the bag that usually has all the vitals in it, but the zipper snagged on it and stuff would absolutely have fallen out of it during the trip...that bag has NEVER been forgotten...much like the "shoulder bag" that Nicholas says he has...

I went to Best (Worst) Buy and got two big Canon gear bags. One is a back pack and one over the shoulder. We were going to load all of the audio and power gear into them until we found the same bags on B&H.com and Amazon.com for nearly $60 cheaper...

So last minute, we decided not to use the Best Buy bags so we could return them and ended up packing all the vitals into a completely different bag, that, in the rigmarole of getting out the door and to the ferry, it was overlooked and the rest is history.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 11:23 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Miraj A. Berry View Post
We found a bride on Craigslist looking for someone to work her little consumer camera at her wedding on Martha's Vineyard for $350. The couple is from NYC, so we thought we could hopefully break into some Vineyard weddings as well as NYC weddings. We sent our demo and said we'd shoot it for $350 if she picked up the roundtrip ferry, rental car, and lodging. She agreed, and off we went.
So I'm almost starting to think that the bigger mistake was agreeing to film a bride's wedding day for only $350. Please understand that I totally feel for the situation you went through. That must have been terribly stressful and horrible.

But if I understand this right, you agreed to film a wedding for $350, and you had at least two people on the job, for around 7 hours or so, and you still also brought your own equipment .. and this includes editing? I know you took the job to try and break into a market, but in my opinion all you are doing is devaluing your own services. The bride is very likely to just talk to people about how cheap she got you, which means any future referrals will likely be looking for the same "deal".

I could be totally wrong in this case, but in my experience it's always been a bad idea to take on this kind of project. Either sell them on your own services or let them go .. that's my philosophy.

Glad to hear such a disaster situation sort of worked out in the end. Still makes my stomach turn to think about it.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 12:54 PM   #22
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So I'm almost starting to think that the bigger mistake was agreeing to film a bride's wedding day for only $350. Please understand that I totally feel for the situation you went through. That must have been terribly stressful and horrible.

But if I understand this right, you agreed to film a wedding for $350, and you had at least two people on the job, for around 7 hours or so, and you still also brought your own equipment .. and this includes editing? I know you took the job to try and break into a market, but in my opinion all you are doing is devaluing your own services. The bride is very likely to just talk to people about how cheap she got you, which means any future referrals will likely be looking for the same "deal".

I could be totally wrong in this case, but in my experience it's always been a bad idea to take on this kind of project. Either sell them on your own services or let them go .. that's my philosophy.

Glad to hear such a disaster situation sort of worked out in the end. Still makes my stomach turn to think about it.
Yeah, we discussed all of this and weighed the pros and cons, and still felt that it was worth a shot. We knew that going on Craigslist meant getting a bride looking for a deal...we wouldn't have taken on a couple from Boston paying $350, but the Vineyard has a ton of weddings and is a resource that no one has really tapped. We were able to network with other vendors and establish relationships while we were out there as well...so hopefully if we get nothing from the bride, we might get referrals from the band, photographer, planner and venue. Plus, again, she paid close to $800 after travel expenses.

We're really in the building clientele phase. We've been in the business for several years, but this is our second season on our own under our own name with our own vision!

Everything but the product itself is a learning experience!
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Old October 1st, 2008, 01:20 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Miraj A. Berry View Post
Plus, again, she paid close to $800 after travel expenses.
Just be careful because this is dangerous logic. You should be getting paid what your services are worth, and if it costs extra to get you there then so be it.

I'm telling you this because we made this mistake early in our business. We actually didn't charge for travel at first because we thought it would appeal to brides and the idea of traveling to do a wedding felt like we were making it big time. Big mistake.

Destination weddings are invariably more work, they cost you more money, and they also cost you extra time away from the office. We started to realize that we were doing more work for less money, and the destination weddings weren't increasing our exposure/popularity any more than the local weddings.

When we finally decided to start charging for travel we made our second mistake. We didn't charge enough .. only enough for lodging. Now we charge for lodging, gas and time. To be honest, people seem to respect us more now that we are charging realistic travel fees. Not everyone can afford them, but that leaves our weekend open to do a local wedding .. so it's not a big deal.

In your case, I think it's an even bigger mistake to charge for travel but discount your service fee. All that does is devalue your product in the eyes of the customer, and I'm pretty sure it'll end up bothering you later too. Especially when you can do a local wedding and get paid what you're worth and not have the hassle of traveling.

Anyways, that's just some advice that we learned the hard way. Take it as you will. d;-)
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Old October 1st, 2008, 01:25 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Warren Kawamoto View Post
Another nightmare: You go home and discover that during the ceremony, you had the camera on pause the entire time. You recorded everything before and after the ceremony, but there is no ceremony....
This is not so Funny I actually had a hired shooter do this one time, Thank God
For multiple camera's. funny thing is he's usually rock solid behind the camera
but thats exactaly what he did. He was telling me about all the great shot's he got during
the ceremony too. LOL, wasn't so funny at the time but IT Can happen to the best of us,
at any time. I can Say The mistake has never been repeated.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 02:30 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
Just be careful because this is dangerous logic. You should be getting paid what your services are worth, and if it costs extra to get you there then so be it...Take it as you will. d;-)
No, we definitely will heed your advice.

This was honestly a one time thing on a whim. We don't plan on making this a habit at all! We do have a mortgage! :)
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