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


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Old December 3rd, 2008, 10:16 AM   #1
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Deep breath...my first time sharing!

So this is my first year in business and still trying to figure this whole thing out.

The clip I'm posting is from a wedding that took place on the DARKEST, rainiest day you've ever seen! The photo shoot took place inside an equally dark house and quite honestly the photographer sucked!! Apparently the photo's turned out so bad that the couple can't even use them.

Anyway, I ended up with bad footage (mostly due to inexperience and partially due to photographer) it came out dark etc...

Anyway the couple had this song on the list of songs they wanted to see in the video so I decided to go for a sort of grunge look for the photo shoot video.

I REALLY am a novice at most of this stuff and since this is not my "usual" style of work I really need feedback.

I've been looking at this footage/video for so long that I think I've lost all perspective on it.

Be brutally honest...I'm thick skinned. Here it is: A&L Photo shoot on Vimeo

Thanks!
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 10:33 AM   #2
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So sorry Kelsey, at a job right now watching it with the sound off so can't really comment on it

but let me tell you, that is NOT dark....dark is when it is pitch black at 4pm, every day right now in the UK. At the last wedding I did (started at 3pm), photos taken outside included people standing next to car lights just to be able to see them! depressing eh! Count yourself lucky you could at least see into the distance! :)
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 10:39 AM   #3
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Hi Kelsey,

Location looks bright, I don't know why Photos would come out dark, Video came out okay. Nothing beats the Chapel at the Old Mill in terms of darkness.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 11:18 AM   #4
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Too Dark...Not really

Most of the footage you show in this highlight is pretty good. One spot under the canopy outside is backlit so the faces are black..you can fix that by controling the exposure next time (use the backlight feature or adjust the exposure up to light the faces).

Is this meant to be highlights or a photo montage? If highlights, then you should try to get more of the event in it.

For bad conditions, this wasn't bad. Thanks for sharing.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 11:54 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone!

Richard - Those sound like scary conditions!! I appreciate your comments.

Noel - Honestly I'm not sure if the photos came out too dark or what the issue was with them as I haven't actually seen them. The photographer was using film (not digital) so maybe they have someone blinking in every photo for all know.
I haven't been to the Chapel at the Old Mill yet. I'll have to make an effort to avoid that...err...I mean check that out!

Ken - Thank you. Again I'm new at this and this is the that first I've heard of "the backlight feature" so I will be looking into that! This clip is just photo shoot footage. I do also include a highlight video for the couple as well.

So overall, you don't think I took the grunge thing too far? Or made it too "rock video" cheesy? I'm so new at this and I still suffer from insecurity!

Thanks again!
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 11:57 AM   #6
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I rarely comment on other peoples work but I was intriqued by the very dark comment so I watched the peice.
Frankly if that is considered dark then I must be shooting at midnight because it looked fine to me. It might have been my monitor but it actually looked slightly (and I mean ever so slightly) over exposed. Nothing to worry about.
I agree the shot under the canopy was definately exposed incorrectly but it wasn't offensive in the grand scheme of things. Next time either use the backlight button or open up a couple of f/stops and get the skin tone-don't worry about the background.
As for the edit it self, photo shoot stuff is really hard to do becaue it's so static and as I always tell my B&Gs, 'the photogrpaher is taking 1 picture every 30 seconds, I'm taking 30 pictures a second so after he's done with his shot let's get some motion and movement'.
I think too many of the shots were zoom ins-I would have liked to see some more zoom outs and the film effects didn't really do much for me but that's personal taste. Not sure of all the colors that were there but maybe a color pass for the dominate color would have really kicked it. Very solid and steady footage and frankly IMO B&Gs are happy with solid steady footage unless it's a speciality type shot.
All in all pretty good and not dark at all.
As for too rock chessy or grunge, not in my book. You should see some of the stuff that Dave Bonner used to do. WOW! BUT it was still elegant in it's own way. ;-)
Dave, if you're still checkin' in you know I love your work. Always have!

Don

Last edited by Don Bloom; December 3rd, 2008 at 11:59 AM. Reason: forgot to add
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 12:17 PM   #7
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Thanks for commenting Don! There is so much information in there that I will have to re-read but I wanted to thank you for your comments.

I agree that some parts were over-exposed. A lot of the really dark footage I just left out which left me with slim pickin's for the clip. I guess that is tainting my overall impression of the piece.

I TOTALLY agree with the excess of "zoom". I'm trying REALLY hard to stop that. I also tend to always pan in one direction as well which is annoying!

"maybe a color pass for the dominate color would have really kicked it." - Straight-up I have NO CLUE what this means! I will investiagate but any further elaboration on your part would be appreciated! lol!

"Very solid and steady footage" "-All in all pretty good and not dark at all" - Thank you. I admire your work so I really appreciate these comments!

Thanks again.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 12:55 PM   #8
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COlor Pass is where the image is B&W with one color (dominate color usually) is visible.
For example watch the movie Pleasantville. B&W with RED only. It's also called the pleasantville look. Dependong on your NLE you can do it quite easily (or not) but again, sometimes less is more. I try never to overdo any effect I do. Sometimes 1 clip is all that's needed.
Yeah static shots make us want to get something going in it-I really hate the posed shots the photog does but I gotta cover it but what I do is shot a static shot and then play with it in post. I do some pans and zooms depending on the size of the group and shooting position as well as the location so it's not all bad.
We get into habits that can sometimes be hard to break so 1 thing I do is almost never stop the camera during the photo shoot and I try to keep it on the couple most of the time, you never know when they'll steal that kiss or just give the look. I also try to get some candid stuff of the bridal party and parents just for kicks. You never know when it'll come in handy.
Panning in 1 direction isn't so bad-when I do the first dance I use a DVMultiRig and I do a couple of roundy-rounds of the couple and I always go to the left. Maybe cause I'm left handed or maybe from all my years using a full size camera and you're pretty well blind to the right side. Sometimes I cheat in post and reverse the clip, no one notices and it changes my perspective ;-)
Anyway keep up the good work and always be critical of yourself. That's way you get better each time. Just don't be overly critical, there is no such thing a the perfect job, at least not in my opinion. I'm so critical of my work that even my wife smacks me in the head sometimes. It's a great reality check.
Don
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 01:44 PM   #9
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Hey Kelley....

I didn't have the sound turned on purposely...Just strictly viewing unbiased video...
Things that might've been helpful..
A) Add some tight closeups to contrast the shots..(ie far, then close)
B) Try and gather some insert shots of flowers, location, table settings etc...

I don't know what you mean by dark...You could've actually brought down the gamma, or bring up the black level and get away with making the blacks "more black"...

Keep up the good work....
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 02:11 PM   #10
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Thanks for explaining that Don! And for your comments.

Peter - Thanks for your advice. And I agree with a lot of what you said. Usually I focus on getting those detail shots at the church and the reception. It never occurred to me to do it during the photo shoot session.

I find Photo shoots REALLY hard to stay motivated for. I usually find that after the stress of being on my toes at the wedding and operating 2 cameras myself that I almost crash at the photoshoot. That is always the hardest part of the day for me. Thanks again.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 02:31 PM   #11
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That looked fine to me - I was expecting some noisy nasty looking stuff! Actually can't imagine how the photog could have biffed the shoot, you got some nice shots IMO, nothing to be ashamed of.

The shot out over the landscape was a bit off, but you weren't shooting the people were you? Thought it was an "OK" location establishing shot... not the best, but OK.

A couple minor shaky cam things, and the pan towards the beginning was a bit fast and "skipped/strobed" for me just a touch on playback. I'd second the zooms - you might try reversing the footage for "zoom out".

Overall, I can't imagine the couple not being thrilled, especially if the photog botched - this is the sort of video that I think scares the heck out of photographers - stills with FEELING.

I liked it.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 02:43 PM   #12
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Thanks Dave! I'm surprised by all the positive comments I'm recieveing. I will have to start taking Don's advice and lighten up on myself.

"The shot out over the landscape was a bit off, but you weren't shooting the people were you? Thought it was an "OK" location establishing shot... not the best, but OK. "

I agree not the best shot and one that normally would not have made the cut. The backstory: The Bride LOVED that view and kept telling the photog she wanted pics outside with that backdrop. Bride kept poo-poo-ing her saying we'd eventually get outside...we never did. The bride really wanted those outside shots so I quickly took a few. When I heard how disappointed they were with the photo's I decided to toss that in for the her. But I agree it wasn't filmes well.

Thanks again!
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