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


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Old April 20th, 2009, 03:13 PM   #1
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Do weddings get easier?

I am wondering if like photography when you get enough of them under your belt its much easier each year.

When I do photography only, its almost like a half day of work, nice pace, fun, lots of creativity etc. Not saying its on auto piolet, still lots of attention to detail but do them so many weeks a year that its much easier than a few years ago. I am not the kind of photographer who puts a flash on a camera and takes pictures. Actually at a reception, I use almost all off camera ligting, but even the more complex lighting situations seem to just flow through the day.

Hopeing video work will also get easier each year, although I have just been in it a year little things like adding a 302 mixer has made the audio portion much easier.
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Old April 20th, 2009, 03:17 PM   #2
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Yes and no. It does get to a point where you are more confident and relaxed, but even after a few short years it can be stressful, but I've learned to manage the stress much better.
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Old April 20th, 2009, 03:50 PM   #3
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I think through the years, you'll be more relaxed a Jeff posted earlier and if I may add more intuiative, you'll develop a 3rd eye, you can read what's going to happen next, you know if the best man will give a long speech, you will know if the bride will fake a boquet throw, etc, etc.
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Old April 20th, 2009, 03:51 PM   #4
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Easier? not really. We're talking live television here and there is always the opportunity for something to 'go wrong'. So if you're the kind that thrives on quick-thinking and works well under pressure, then it shouldn't be a big issue. If you're looking for stress-free work situations, then consider petting puppies all day.
What should make it easier for you is knowing your equipment backwards and forwards, trusting in your equipment to work under any conditions, and having backups handy.
One aspect that has made my job 'easier' is using multiple sources of backup (for audio and video). Now, when a tape runs out during a too-long toast, I know I've got it covered elsewhere.
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Old April 20th, 2009, 03:59 PM   #5
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Easier? No but a bit more relaxed during the day for me. I still run during the event and am on hyperdrive, eyes moving all the time, ears open, mind in high gear and I'm still totalled at the end of the night BUT I AM more relaxed if that makes any sense.
I've done enough weddings and worked in the same places so many times over the years that I've not only got a really good idea of what's going to happen next but I have a particular shot list in mind that I don't even think about anymore. I know most of the vendors I work with from photogs to djs to banquet venues and officiants so that does make the day go "easier". One example, last year of 62 weddingss I did, I worked at the same banquet hall 12 times, with the same DJ 11 and the same photog 15. That to me really makes the work easier.
I guess maybe it depends on how you look at it.
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Old April 20th, 2009, 05:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oren Arieli View Post
If you're looking for stress-free work situations, then consider petting puppies all day.
I'm sitting here having my Jack Daniels, chilling out after a stressful shoot this past weekend and thinking about the out - of - towner this coming weekend and nearly spit out my drink when I read the above.

Really, I had to go grab my puppie just now....man, that sure does make it better!
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Old April 21st, 2009, 01:16 AM   #7
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I don't believe that filming wedding videos will ever become as "easy" for one person to do as one person doing wedding photography. Your own video techniques will become easier the more you do them, but that does not mean that the whole process of making a video will ever be as easy (in terms of extra people and equipment needed) as photography.

There will never be such a thing as an external flash for video as one main example, people outside or in a room would not be able to see if there was that powerful of a constant light source being on. Even the best dslr cameras still need external flashes for many things (in live event photography), so I forsee video technology no matter how good low light capability is achieved in future video cameras will still always be needing to be lit with a large amount of lighting equipment setup by people who know what they are doing as well in order to achieve similar effects that an external flash and a good photographer can do by himself alone without all the extra gear a videographer would need to have similar results with.

There are too many elements involved in making a good video/film compared to making a good photograph.

The expectations of even the best photography can be usually be done for a wedding only with one person and a maximum of a few assistants. In video the list of assistants can theoretically almost never end depending on what one wants to achieve. Just take even a small film's credit roll to get the idea of all the extra elements which can always be added to a video production compared to a photographic production. You will never see photographers with hundreds of assistants, but you can easily see that in video if the person producing it has the money for the assistants in various areas.

Technology has not really reduced the number of credits in modern films. Also video is never just video, it is video+audio and always will be for most things, then you have the editing side which will always be much more complicated in video productions compared to photography.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 01:29 AM   #8
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You will never see photographers with hundreds of assistants
Except Annie Leibovitz :)
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Old April 21st, 2009, 01:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny Kyser View Post
I am wondering if like photography when you get enough of them under your belt its much easier each year.

When I do photography only, its almost like a half day of work, nice pace, fun, lots of creativity etc. Not saying its on auto piolet, still lots of attention to detail but do them so many weeks a year that its much easier than a few years ago. I am not the kind of photographer who puts a flash on a camera and takes pictures. Actually at a reception, I use almost all off camera ligting, but even the more complex lighting situations seem to just flow through the day.

Hopeing video work will also get easier each year, although I have just been in it a year little things like adding a 302 mixer has made the audio portion much easier.
denny,

ive shot 5 weddings as a photographer and A LOT as a videographer. i am sure you are already ahead of the game with video from your wedding photography background....meaning you have an awareness for whats going on and what going to happen unlike someone who is completely green of weddings in general.

audio is always the biggest pita imo with video. i think life will get easier for you shooting weddings with time. not easy like its no big deal but you will have your style developed, your camera moves, etc. this is what i mean by it will get easier.

the more awareness you have and the more current you are with all your video and audio gear....it will feel better. for me, prior to getting into weddings, ive had a camera in my hand for 10 years straight....never a week went by that i was shooting something professionally so when I moved to weddings i was already pretty comfortable.

keep on trucking, you'll do great.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 06:29 AM   #10
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Thanks for the replys and although I was not drinking JD, about spit my coffee out when I read that. :)

I agree that Video will NEVER be as easy as photography, nor will it ever be easy. I think the things that will get better is knowing my video cameras like I do my DSLR, and also having the right gear for the job which includes back ups for backups.

One of the things I love about video is the fact that it is hard and challenging, and I enjoy watching others on the day of the wedding hand holding their cameras, or trying some moving camera shots.
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Old April 26th, 2009, 04:06 PM   #11
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- agreed -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oren Arieli View Post
Easier? not really. We're talking live television here and there is always the opportunity for something to 'go wrong'. So if you're the kind that thrives on quick-thinking and works well under pressure, then it shouldn't be a big issue. If you're looking for stress-free work situations, then consider petting puppies all day.
What should make it easier for you is knowing your equipment backwards and forwards, trusting in your equipment to work under any conditions, and having backups handy.
One aspect that has made my job 'easier' is using multiple sources of backup (for audio and video). Now, when a tape runs out during a too-long toast, I know I've got it covered elsewhere.
As was mentioned above - "it's a live broadcast". You have to expect the unexpected. I just shot my 4th wedding yesterday and it looks like I'll be getting a crash course in audio in the coming days due in part to an unhappy flower girl. I had 4 mics set up throughout the church and with the acoustics in there, her highly audible tantrum was carried and picked up by all 4 mics...clearly.
Even though I've only done 4 weddings total, I quickly learned after the 1st that I should never expect for a wedding to go really smoothly. In a way though I'm grateful because it helps you develop that "third eye" and develop creative ways to make someone who walked directly the down the center of your shot - towards the camera so they could ask where the bathroom is, during a crucial moment disappear.
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Old April 26th, 2009, 05:06 PM   #12
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Denny,
Let me share with you a few things that have helped to reduce my stress. At this point , I don't get stressed hardly at all on wedding days. Here are the things that have changed.

#1 I have stopped comparing my work to people on here. I have my own built in limitations and comparing my work to the work I see here only served to frustrate me and hold me back. I also would try to copy every cool thing I saw here, and I would drive myself nuts with the certain "required" shots that I was pressuring myself to get.
#2 I have reduced my coverage time, and prices. I now have 2 ways of doing things. One is still stressful a bit, but I'm about to raise the price on that to the point that no one will buy it. But, the other is my esssential package. Up to 6hrs coverage in strait doc style. No highlight, no montages, no fluff. Now, I do have to make sure to have other work like promos and other event coverage because the essentail package by itself does not pay enough to live on. But, as an add on to photography or as an additional service to other coporate of event coverage it is perfect.
#3 I triple up my audio backup. I mic up everything. I mic the groom, the minister, the podium, the singers, the DJ, the band. Everything but the father(which I never understood) this backup helps quite a bit.

You will find a way after a while, but for me the pressure to live up to those international legends like Jmag or Still motion was too much for me to be comforatble. My talents lie other wise but I will never be those guys, and that realization has helped me to relieve stress more than anything else. Good luck.
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Old April 26th, 2009, 10:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Grant View Post
Denny,
Let me share with you a few things that have helped to reduce my stress. At this point , I don't get stressed hardly at all on wedding days. Here are the things that have changed.

#1 I have stopped comparing my work to people on here. I have my own built in limitations and comparing my work to the work I see here only served to frustrate me and hold me back. I also would try to copy every cool thing I saw here, and I would drive myself nuts with the certain "required" shots that I was pressuring myself to get.
#2 I have reduced my coverage time, and prices. I now have 2 ways of doing things. One is still stressful a bit, but I'm about to raise the price on that to the point that no one will buy it. But, the other is my esssential package. Up to 6hrs coverage in strait doc style. No highlight, no montages, no fluff. Now, I do have to make sure to have other work like promos and other event coverage because the essentail package by itself does not pay enough to live on. But, as an add on to photography or as an additional service to other coporate of event coverage it is perfect.
#3 I triple up my audio backup. I mic up everything. I mic the groom, the minister, the podium, the singers, the DJ, the band. Everything but the father(which I never understood) this backup helps quite a bit.

You will find a way after a while, but for me the pressure to live up to those international legends like Jmag or Still motion was too much for me to be comforatble. My talents lie other wise but I will never be those guys, and that realization has helped me to relieve stress more than anything else. Good luck.
Bill
Thank you, this is very helpful.
I do under promise and over deliver, I show what I can comfortably do, then just surprise them with the funner stuff.

The reason I got into this is the only video offered in this area was one cam, on a walmart tripod and just horrible, I knew I could offer better, then I started loving this and started really pushing myself.

We have took the stand that when we do both video and photography, we state single camera coverage, and just add the other cams for our bennefit. We show them a straight edit type coverage, they do get groom mic, and nice audio.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 11:16 AM   #14
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Don't get too uncomfortable

I would say stress is good. My brother told me a story about how he thought he was rolling and getting a perfect shot of the brides walk when he realized just after the hand off he wasn't rolling!!!!!! OMG.

Of course this was a one cam super budget shoot a few years ago. I thought, well there's NO way that's going to happen to me I'm way too aware for that to happen...

HMM famous last thoughts. I am one of those roll cam and don't hit that dam button until after the hugs and handshakes. Twice I had made a move and hit the "button" missed a few crucial moments and that was recently. I got complacent about checking and double checking the little red dot.

I don't get stress as much after about 1000 weddings but still know it's the real deal and need to be tuned into everything.

I'm going the other way and into photo. Video has taken a super hard hit here as people tighten up. Good luck and remember stress ( to a degree ) is your friend:)
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