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


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Old February 2nd, 2009, 10:15 AM   #1
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Photo/Video Wars

I posted this on a photography forum, might be useful to post it here as well. I use the term "professionals" loosely as a reference for both photographer and videographer.

This might be a sensitive topic to address, as a videographer I meet many photographers at weddings some a pleasure to work with other are a nightmare. Coming from a photography background I am aware of a few videographers that don't have much respect for the photographer however as a videographer now this applies both ways. There has to be mutual respect between both professions, personally I give the photographer best position to capture images, working from vantage point around the photographer as I can easily adjust my angles into fluid motion. When delivering a "cinematic" product my quality has to be to international film standards and the home made look is not acceptable to me.

The problem with some professionals is that when they assume they are the only paid professional, they act as they please and everything become problematic. There is a perception with some professionals that they are doing the bride a groom a favor and their attitudes sometimes ruin the atmosphere at weddings. I really am fed-up with this unprofessional behavior. If another professional steps in front of one of my important takes again, acts like they own the wedding, makes general remarks about the couple, spoils the day, becomes over baring, I will take them to the side and curse them till I need acid to wash out my mouth, I've had it to here with this kind of behavior!

My Guidelines for working together:

* It's not your wedding, get off your high horse! The couple has been planning this day, she has dreamed about it since she was a little girl, it's all about them not your big ego!
* "Never ever" step infront of any lens unless you have to and apologize for doing so! Your butt is huge on camera.
* "Ask" the other professional if they would like to do something, you are not the only one working!
* Keep your remarks to yourself.
* You don't need two photographers to take 50 photos from the same angle in a confined space! Learn how to take photos for crying out load.
* Quality over Quantity, join the army if you want to be a machine gunner.
* Be polite.
* Respect goes a long way.
* When you set-up many studio lights on light sensative slaves that trigger for any flash during the ceremony, what the hell are you thinking? It's not a rock concert!
* For the videos guys, you don't need to light up the place like a football field! Atmosphere can be maintained with clever lighting.
* They don't want to remember you, you are not on the guest list, be discreet, flow with the wedding, hunt for that good one.
* Know what your limits are, if the bride gets edgy, back-off a little within reason, I hear all the complaints when I deliver the DVD about pushy photographers.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 11:00 AM   #2
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Wow Nicholas.....I'm assuming that you've had quite a few run ins with not so pleasant photographers. I've been shooting stills for quite sometime and have yet to have a negative reaction from anyone of the many vendors I've had the pleasure to work with.I have however had quite a few video guys step right into my shots...:).We do as you had mentioned in your post and work around any obstacle.We'll usually get a million apologies and we say"no problem we got the shot" even if we didn't. After all we ARE pros...right? I really go out of my way when it comes to other working professionals at the event.It benefits everyone working that day. There are always a few snobs that you run across,but you take it with a grain of salt and move on.I have enough to worry about during that day without some crazed video guys trying to take over. Now that I'm a video guy I have the pleasure of working with an amazing photographer everyday.....ME:) . And be careful who you curse out in a corner....you just might get an equal response.

Ryan
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 11:19 AM   #3
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I've been very fortunate with the photographers I've worked with, they've all been very pleasant and easy to work with. With the exception of one. We typically will shadow the photographer to get some of the shots we want, staying out of the way.
This one photographer gave us crap stating that her poses were copyrighted and that we couldn't shoot any of the poses she put the bride and groom in. So I politely told thats, if you don't want us shooting this part than I will pull the b&g away right now for about 30min. and get the shots I need and you can have them back when I'm done. She didn't like that idea and let us shoot the footage we need.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 12:21 PM   #4
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Hey Adam,

Well if she was gong on about copyrighted poses (bullcrap by the way) that would probably suggest that she uses the same exact poses over and over.Hence her irrational that someone might steel her two money shots.I have videographers shooting along side us all of the time and I don't mind at all.

Ryan
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 12:35 PM   #5
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This weekend, I had a photographer knowingly step right in front of my camera for the isle shot, continued to have his head and whole body in front of my lens taking stills with flash, and moved out of the way when the bride reached the groom.

I could have screamed and torn the place down and disrupt the service....

Did not even get an apology and I had been extremely nice to him prior to that with respect, so why did he do this?

He was looking out for no1, did not care that I would not get my shot. I could not move as their was nowhere to move to. Extremely unproffesional from his part at such a crucial moment.

Did I get an apology, no, he continued the rest of the day continuing to walk over my shots.

I'm furious, but I have the evidence.

Now some advice. The photographer was a friend of the b+g. Do I include this footage in the final edit. Remove completely and tell b+g they don't have an isle shot?

Extremely annoyed!
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 01:04 PM   #6
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john,
i just can't bring myself to post some framegrabs of a similar situation online, so i'll email them to you....2 secs
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 01:05 PM   #7
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Include it, of course. You had no control over the behaviour of the photographer. What they see is, unfortunately, what they get.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; February 3rd, 2009 at 12:23 AM.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 01:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Morey View Post
Hey Adam,

Well if she was gong on about copyrighted poses (bullcrap by the way) that would probably suggest that she uses the same exact poses over and over.Hence her irrational that someone might steel her two money shots.I have videographers shooting along side us all of the time and I don't mind at all.

Ryan
Hmmmm 'copyright poses'... some years back I worked with a young gun hotshot photog. He started running off about that subject and thathe would sue me for infringment. Frankly I really didn't pay much attention pretty much just kept doing my thing. Needless to say the night wasn't a pleasant one as he kept running off at the mouth. When I go home that night I pulled out my old case that had proofs from wedding I did back in the 70s as a still photographer. Poses looked mighty familar. Oh yeah, pretty much the same. So I asked my lawyer to draft a letter telling the hotshot I would sue him for copyright infringment ifhe didn't stop using those poses as the proof I sent him were marked very clearly with a big red stamp stating that the shot had a copyright on it.
Well I never did hear from him or his lawyer and BTW you can copyright a picture but not the poseat least according to my lawyer, then and now.
I can honestly say that in the last 25 years I've only had 2 photogs that were difficult to workwith all the rest, well, we worked together as professionals. A little respect, an understanding that we are both there to do a job for the B&G and working together.
Don
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 01:11 PM   #9
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Ryan generally I have a very pleasant relationship with most photographers and sometimes even make good friends however the odd ball does fall into the picture every now and then. Last weekend pushed me to my limits, I was very polite and helpful however the photographer had an attitude and knowingly stepped into my shot, I was furious after that the gloves was off, I kept my cool though.

Same scenario as with John, was a family friend of the B+G. I know that many videographers are asses and hated by many photographers, it's for this reason I go out of my way to help the photographer understand I won't ruin any of their shots.

John I would tell them what happened to isle shot, I had this happen to me once and I got the photos from the photographer and put slow pan/zooms on them instead of video, came out nicely.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 01:19 PM   #10
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Its funny this same photog will bring 3 or 4 other people and they all stand next to each other and get the same shot.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 01:39 PM   #11
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The same shot? Yes...well, technically no. Some people, such as myself, are very meticulous about shots, and even though they are next to each other, the shot will be slightly different. Is this neccessary? Nah, not if you know how to compose a shot. After all its not a press event.

About working with other 'professionals.' One thing that must be considered is that "experience does not make you a professional" (quote from my book). Also not all professionals act the part. One example is the guy walking into the isle shot. He may be a professional, but that was NOT a professional thing to do. Besides, with the field of view on high-end DSLRs the photographer should easily be able to stand right next to the videographer, or maybe right below, and get the same "shot." Besides, they can take 4-10 pictures per burst. I'm sure if they are experienced they won't have to have the camera directly in front of their face to get a good picture...though that is debatable, especially without a tripod. Hello Photoshop!

As far as personal experience, the most any photographer has irritated me was by yelling "get that cameraman out the shot." Not polite at all but we did speak before the reception and he turned out to be a nice guy.

Whenever possible try to verbally interact with the others before the event starts, this usually negates any unneccessary tension.

JS
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 02:31 PM   #12
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had one of these interesting situations a couple weekends ago while filming a friend's band. Just so happened my ex-girlfriend, who thinks she is a "photog" ahah, was in attendence. Anyways, guess she saw me there with all my gear doing my thing and never to be outdone, comandeered a DSLR from her friend and decided to make it an extra-awkward night for me.

So I'm center stage, shooting handheld, getting some close-ups and she proceeds to get all up in my sh!t, so frustrating. I'd have a shot lined up and all of the sudden I'd see her head/camera lense hove into my viewfinder..this happened multiple times before I spoke up to her about it. I asked her to please try to stay out of my shot if possible...no more than two minutes later, she walked directly in front of me and snapped a picture and sat there for what felt like a minute..I almost jump kicked her..haha..I don't know if she's really that clueless, or if it was blatant, but it really pissed me off and was extremely unprofessional behavior. especially since I was hired to film by the band and she had no involvement in it, just someone in the crowd with a borrowed camera..freakin Busch League. hell, even the drunk girls dancing in the audience had enough sense to duck down if they were walking in front of the camera.

The way I see it, when you are shooting event video with a single video camera, ur documenting an ongoing unrepeatable event in a live situation taking x amt. of photos per second, interrupting this can essentially ruin a segment and it looks bad if you are whipping a video camera around trying to avoid someone blocking your shot. With a still camera, you can get from point a to point b very easily and then get the shots you need, you don't have to constantly monitor your viewfinder and hold the camera steady between shots right? It's so much less of a hassle to get around with a still camera, so I feel photogs should be more mindful of where a videographer is at any given time and what they are doing. Obviously, it is a mutual thing and everyone should respect each others space and shots, and I feel that most know this.

unfortunately, in my case last weekend, there was already some bad blood there, so I can't help but think that the shot disruptions were blatant, and that's just rediculous, hopefully I'll never be in a situation like that again
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 02:51 PM   #13
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Hey Nicholas.....yup there is always the oddball to deal with.I'm hoping this season is just as much fun as last.I have my first wedding of 50 Feb. 14th but I won't be the videographer there.They had already hired someone before they found me.So I'll be sure to try and trip him every now and again.....I'm kidding of course:) The videographer is usually the first pro I see the day of an event,So we always make sure to go over each others plans and find a happy median.We are also constantly looking for each other to make sure we are not in each others shots during the entire day.Sometimes @#%# happens and we both understand.But like you said...you'll always run into the occasional <insert expletive>"pro" during your career.

Ryan:)
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 03:09 PM   #14
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When I first got onto the wedding video forums here, I read a LOT. After hearing about photogs, I went out into the industry starting my business with my 'dukes up' ready for the inconsiderate photographers.

My experience has been just the opposite. The photographers here in Northern California have been great to work with and I have also gotten referrals from photographers. OK, yeah I did have one photographer that was a jerk, but who knows, maybe he was having a bad day.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 03:36 PM   #15
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Do you think the reason many photographers have little respect for videographers is because most wedding videographers are crappy and do very poor work?

I'm not saying any videographers here do produce lousy work. I haven't seen your work. But I've seen a great deal of the work (via their sample DVD's) produced by wedding videographers in my area. Their work is pretty bad, not much better than Uncle Bob with his little camcorder and Windows Movie Maker.

It seems like everyone who owns a video camera thinks they can start a business and shoot weddings. I've scouted many bridal shows and more times than not, the "videographers" have been mom and pop or some DJ that has a video camera too. They all play cut throat and offer cheap packages. It cracks me up when I see their demos playing or their silly little DVD samples with the sticky label and paper sleeve.

I've done a few weddings before. And I've had photographers get in front of me. I'll admit, it takes a very talented person to do a professional job on a wedding video. I certainly respect the work done by those who are truly professional wedding videographers.

But I think the majority of people who claim to be wedding videographers are hacks. The professional photographers know that and, unless they know you are a quality-oriented producer, they consider you to be a hack as well and will not give you the respect you may deserve.

Sorry if I ruffled any feathers. I'm not saying all wedding videographers are hacks but many are. And it's those hacks that have ruined it for the quality producers and made it hard to charge and get the prices photographers get.

Jeff
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