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


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Old May 22nd, 2002, 10:56 AM   #1
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Self-aligning Wedding Guests

When I was taping the reception at the last wedding, I had troubles getting the guests to pay attention to the fact that I was taping them for the record. They were too busy talking, etc.

So I flipped the LCD panel forward (the viewfinder continues to function when one does this on a PD-150) so they could see themselves. The first person to view the screen would get everyone's attention and they would all straighten up and pay attention to the camera. Worked for the folks at the tables and the folks dancing.
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Old May 22nd, 2002, 12:47 PM   #2
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Thanks for the tip, Mike. All Sony and Canon camcorders have this feature if they have flip-out LCD screens. Don't know about JVC or Panny but surely they do too. This trick also works on little kids... if you have a hard time getting their attention, just turn the LCD screen around so they can see themselves. Then you'll have a hard time getting rid of them!

;-)
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Old May 22nd, 2002, 01:46 PM   #3
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Too bad the XL1's don't have this feature. I could definately find it handy to have.
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Old August 13th, 2004, 05:50 AM   #4
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depends what kinda footage you want i guess.

i quite like filming the guests relaxed, not knowing they're being filmed. you can get some great shots this way
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Old August 16th, 2004, 01:19 AM   #5
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Chris,

I can confirm that the Panny 953 will also do this. As Mike stated, the viewfinder is not cut off just by having the LCD open, flipped or otherwise. This technique works REALLY WELL on younger children. Haven't used it on adults yet.

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Old August 17th, 2004, 05:58 AM   #6
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The Canon XM-2 (GL-2) switches off the viewfinder once you open the LCD. Any workaround, trick, idem menu?

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Arnaldo
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Old August 17th, 2004, 08:56 AM   #7
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I can confirm that this also works for doing candid footage for high school students. If videoing is boring, I can flip the screen around to get more comments and interaction.
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Old August 17th, 2004, 12:39 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Romesh Dodangoda : depends what kinda footage you want i guess.

i quite like filming the guests relaxed, not knowing they're being filmed. you can get some great shots this way -->>>

I understand what you want to do but in my experience, the principals in a wedding video want to see who attended and also want the attendees to interact with them using the camera as a surrogate. Kind of like one takes snapshots of friends.

One never sees a group photo where the photographer yells, "Ignore the camera"! That type of reaction is more of a artsy approach to photography. It is more normal for the photographer to say, "Cheese"! Why? Because the people in the photograph are required to acknowledge and be nice to the photographer for just a second or two. And that is the visual memory the photographer (or the wedding principals) want.
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Old August 17th, 2004, 01:46 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Mike Rehmus : <<<-- Originally posted by Romesh Dodangoda : depends what kinda footage you want i guess.

i quite like filming the guests relaxed, not knowing they're being filmed. you can get some great shots this way -->>>

I understand what you want to do but in my experience, the principals in a wedding video want to see who attended and also want the attendees to interact with them using the camera as a surrogate. Kind of like one takes snapshots of friends.

One never sees a group photo where the photographer yells, "Ignore the camera"! That type of reaction is more of a artsy approach to photography. It is more normal for the photographer to say, "Cheese"! Why? Because the people in the photograph are required to acknowledge and be nice to the photographer for just a second or two. And that is the visual memory the photographer (or the wedding principals) want. -->>>


Therein lies the sole difference between standard and "photojournalistic" coverage in phtotography. Everyone has their own style but I, myself, prefer to be as low key as possible. I feel footage of people who don't notice the camera is more compelling and real. The only time it is "set-up" or the subjects over directly aware the camera is present is during the candid interviews. Even then I have the DJ announce they are going on and have the people come to me. That's just the way I handle it.
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Old August 17th, 2004, 10:41 PM   #10
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<< The Canon XM-2 (GL-2) switches off the viewfinder once you open the LCD. >>

Yes, when you first open the LCD. But flip it all the way around so that it's facing forward, and the EVF comes back on automagically.
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Old August 18th, 2004, 03:11 AM   #11
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"Yes, when you first open the LCD. But flip it all the way around so that it's facing forward, and the EVF comes back on automagically."

Nice. Since I bough it a little time ago, I did'nt notice that.

A big hello to you Chris from a big fan of your (our) forum from Lisbon-Portugal.

Arnaldo
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Old August 18th, 2004, 04:56 AM   #12
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Boa tarde Arnaldo,

Muito obrigado. It is our forum -- it belongs to everyone here.

Até a vista,
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Old August 18th, 2004, 05:03 AM   #13
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Bom dia Chris (11:00 AM over here).

Just one little question off topic: Where did you learn your Portuguese?

Best regards,
Arnaldo
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Old August 22nd, 2004, 12:58 PM   #14
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yeah glenn,

thats exactly how i am aswell. i get much more real interesting shots just shooting them without knowing.

when shooting guests, im not one for making them pose or anything. i like to show what the guests were doing on the day, who they were talking to without interupting them.

each to their own!
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Old September 12th, 2004, 11:49 PM   #15
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I belong in the "fly-on-the-wall" camp on this. I slither around at receptions or parties, catching folks at being their natural selves-----some charming and others obnoxious. Of course, there's times when you do want their attention and a good mix of both approaches is best.

The low-light capabilities of my VX2100 are proving to be very useful in grabbing stealth shots indoors. Even in poor light, I can zoom on people across a big room and fill the frame with a face and still have enough brightness.

I once converted a wheelchair into a versatile video dolly. It had room for a large RV battery down below and all sorts of accessories. One feature I sometimes used was a 14-inch monitor that faced forward. This got the folks attention, alright, but usually they focused on it too much. It wasn't very interesting to watch people watching themselves and doing nothing else.

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