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

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Old November 19th, 2008, 09:53 AM   #1
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What Would you Do?

I have a possible freebie wedding that I am considering doing. The reason I am considering doing it for free is because it will be taking place on New Years Eve at a really great location and I think I can get some awesome footage from it that I can use as samples.

However there is one thing. It's New Year's Eve, so it's going to start a bit later and everything will be taking place after it has already gotten dark outside, except for the stuff at the brides home and the arrivals at church. They plan on letting off balloons outside at midnight, but I'm worried that my camera light, which is pretty good, is not going to be enough to properly light everything the entire time.

Considering the fact that it's going to be dark the entire time, do people think it's worth doing as a freebie? Maybe someone has some samples online of nights weddings they have done that can help me decide?

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Old November 19th, 2008, 11:27 AM   #2
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If you are trying to build a portfolio and gain experience then that is really a personal choice. Camera work at night is always a challenge and is dependent upon what type of camera you have and lights. If this is an indoor ceremony, it might be worth a visit to see what kind of lighting you will be dealing with. Is it just going to be candlelit with minimal lighting? You are going to have to do alot of adjusting on the fly maybe with light, shutter speed, gain, individually or in concert. Personally we have never done a wedding for free based upon a certain venue. Whatever decision you make....it will be the right call for you.
John J. Moon
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Old November 19th, 2008, 12:58 PM   #3
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I would never offer my services for free, but that's not to say you shouldn't. Even when I shot my very first wedding I still charged $500. I think it's important that your client's value you, and they won't generally do that for a service they are receiving for free. They are also going to tell others that you shot it for free.

If you're really inexperienced then it might make sense to shoot it for free, but if you have decent experience I would charge them something to shoot it. Just my opinion.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 01:29 PM   #4
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Some opinions on working for free.

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Old November 19th, 2008, 01:49 PM   #5
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working for free to build your portfolio is a personal decision but from a technical stanpoint, shooting at night outside can present some big challenges. First even if the ceremony is inside but candlelit that's a hugh challenge in itself. I've done those and frankly in most cases you don't set up some sort of additional lighting the footage can be, well, not so good. The last one I did I set up 2 lights about 12 feet from the altar up as high as I could get them with 300W bulbs and 24inch softboxes. I had discussed this with the B&G when they booked so they understood that without that there would be no footage of the ceremony that was any good at all. For the outdoor stuff later at night I used an Anton Bauer ULtralight with a 75W bulb and a softbox on it, kicked the gain to 18, shutter at 1/30th, iris wide open and went with it. I was pleasantly surprised the footage was pretty good. Of course the light was only good for about 8 to 10 feet and after that it was pretty well pitch dark. You can't cover it it, but again I discussed all of this with the B&G when we met for our 1st appointment.
I was truthful with them about what cameras could and couldn't do.
The rest is up to you.
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