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Old December 12th, 2008, 03:38 PM   #1
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Setting up 'staged' shots on the day

So how many of you manage to set up 'staged' shots (usually of the B&G and close family) on the day? I treat my shoot very much as 'documenting the day' and have found that things happen very quickly and I have to think on my feet. When I look at some of your examples it seems you manage to get the B&G to take a lot of time out to work with you on some stages sequences.

I tend to play safe as it's a once in a lifetime event for everyone concerned and am usually frantically trying to set up (or think about setting up) for the next part (I work alone with 2 cameras) when maybe I could be trying out more creative shots by orchestrating some of the wedding party.

Any thoughts?
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Old December 12th, 2008, 04:34 PM   #2
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So how many of you manage to set up 'staged' shots (usually of the B&G and close family) on the day? I treat my shoot very much as 'documenting the day' and have found that things happen very quickly and I have to think on my feet. When I look at some of your examples it seems you manage to get the B&G to take a lot of time out to work with you on some stages sequences.

I tend to play safe as it's a once in a lifetime event for everyone concerned and am usually frantically trying to set up (or think about setting up) for the next part (I work alone with 2 cameras) when maybe I could be trying out more creative shots by orchestrating some of the wedding party.

Any thoughts?
I am starting to request time up front, just like the photographer does. I cannot raise their expectation of videography unless I have time to do something artistic. Otherwise, I'm mainly sitting in the back with a camera.

People don't expect the photographer to get all his/her shots passively... they expect setup portraits photography. Shy should it be any different for videography.

In my most recent shoot (nov) I was able to get 10-20 minutes with the groomsmen and we played around a little before the Photographer even arrived. I can't wait to check out the footage. I shot with my glidecam so it should be interesting. This was the first real use of the glidecam / GL2 combination.

Honestly, I get more excited about my work when I know I had some control over the shots I got.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 12:01 AM   #3
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So how many of you manage to set up 'staged' shots (usually of the B&G and close family) on the day?...
...Any thoughts?
Hi Peter,

We offer the option to our clients, which is typically shots of the B&G. We can get a handful of shots in a minute or two, or if they are really into it and are willing to allow us more time, we can get more extensive shots. It's all based on the clients wishes. Some clients do not want anything setup, which is fine as well.

You can see some examples at the link below. You won't see this in detail on the brief sample, but we have something called a "two minute drill", which shows how we get a variety of shots and looks in two minutes or less.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 08:40 AM   #4
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Any suggestions on some good staged shots. My next wedding is "balcony only" and I would like to get some to add to the highlight. I want everything to be shot forward since the church will be empty. I was thinking about the exchanging of rings, some b-roll footage of the preacher talking, the kiss, readings at the lectern, etc. Any thoughts?
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Old December 16th, 2008, 09:12 AM   #5
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Any suggestions on some good staged shots. My next wedding is "balcony only" and I would like to get some to add to the highlight. I want everything to be shot forward since the church will be empty. I was thinking about the exchanging of rings, some b-roll footage of the preacher talking, the kiss, readings at the lectern, etc. Any thoughts?
Here is a suggestion, if the church will be so empty, then fight to get a better spot! There should be no reason that you are forced to the back balcony, when the church is empty!

IF there is no reasoning with the church's management, then shoot lots of B-roll of all the ornate things in the church to use as cut away shots.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 09:29 AM   #6
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I was talking post-ceremony. I had to sign an agreement that I would not leave the balcony during the ceremony. After, i am free to do whatever.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 10:09 AM   #7
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I was talking post-ceremony. I had to sign an agreement that I would not leave the balcony during the ceremony. After, i am free to do whatever.
wow... that is harsh. Well then smile and nod and abide by the agreement. Shoot lots of shots of the church. Lots of shots of people looking happy smiling, laughing. etc
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Old December 16th, 2008, 02:00 PM   #8
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Most staged shots that I've seen look 'staged' in a bad way.
They just look like they're trying too hard and it comes across as lacking authentic emotion and ends up looking like a couple of bad actors.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 05:28 PM   #9
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If the bride and groom have some alone time before the ceremony (with the photographer), see if you can get some shots then. It can be a hassle staying out of the photographer's way, and vice versa, but it's doable. Makes for some very intimate and emotional shots. Go for mostly close-ups if you can.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 05:54 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post
Most staged shots that I've seen look 'staged' in a bad way.
They just look like they're trying too hard and it comes across as lacking authentic emotion and ends up looking like a couple of bad actors.
IMHO, that's a sign of bad direction and bad videography. A good videographer should be able to come up with imaginative, "natural looking" shots. It's the same way with still photographers, a great photographer manages to make the most staged shots look natural.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 01:21 PM   #11
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IMHO, that's a sign of bad direction and bad videography. A good videographer should be able to come up with imaginative, "natural looking" shots. It's the same way with still photographers, a great photographer manages to make the most staged shots look natural.
It's a lot easier as a still photographer getting a natural looking shot because everyone can look natural for that split second... just dump the shots that look look staged.
Rarely have I seen it pulled off in a wedding video without me thinking "hmm, the videographer obviously just told them to kiss/twirl/look into each others eyes lovingly etc". It always looks cheesy to me.
My favourite clips that I've seen on here are where the videographer has caught a 'magic moment' that was just part of what happened on the day... no direction needed.
Just my opinion of course.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 03:33 PM   #12
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Dennis,

I agree that when done poorly, staged video shots can look cheesy, but it can also look great too. There are several people who regularly post here that do a fantastic job staging shots.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 10:42 AM   #13
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What I normally do is speak to the photographer beforehand, preferably before the day of the wedding. I'll tell them what I'm going to try to shoot and come to some kind of agreement about staying out of each others' way. I can normally get plenty of "staged" shots by filming what the photog asks them to do. Usually I end up with great stuff of the BG smiling and looking happy, because they usually break out into smiles and laughter after finishing some staged look the photog had them do. That way I'm not taking any more time in an already rushed photo session. So far this has worked out, and I've only had to direct the BG a few times when the photog didn't really know what they were doing or weren't doing anything creative.
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