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


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Old May 29th, 2009, 09:42 AM   #16
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There is some validity to that. When something else is going on, the distraction makes it more difficult for the photographer to work. I also find a video of people posing for photographs to be not very interesting.
Since my style is artistic documentary, I get a few shots of the photos session as part of the day. The photgrapher is part of the story. I usually grab an over the shoulder of the photog, laughter as B&G get into a few poses pose, a pan from the photog to the photo subject ... then I use that time to get other shots I need.

I do always introduce myself the the photog and explain what I'm doing. I watch them for non verbal cues and try to grab shots in moments when they are occupied.

It's fun for the couple to remember that as part of their experience, and creates good PR shots for the photog.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 10:14 AM   #17
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Working with photographers is a hazard of the job. I hear one guy lost an arm to a particularly vicious one.

If you note that the photographer is foaming at the mouth, notify the authorities and have it put down immediately, it's really for the betterment of all involved. If no help can be reached it's advised that you lay down bear traps near the front of the center aisle AFTER the processional has passed. In such case that bear traps are not available, a large caliber rifle is permitted, but only at extreme close range.

Good luck out there.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 07:03 PM   #18
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Few years back (before HD) I did a wedding and the photographer was so bad he kept blocking me all night long, but I had two cameras with a second operator so he could not keep up with us. But It was very hard to edit him out in all the shots.

So I put together a deleted scenes on the B&G DVD of some of the photographer in my way.
When you watch this just keep an eye on the photographer where he kept looking right at my camera.
Untitled Document
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Old May 29th, 2009, 10:00 PM   #19
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Few years back (before HD) I did a wedding and the photographer was so bad he kept blocking me all night long, but I had two cameras with a second operator so he could not keep up with us. But It was very hard to edit him out in all the shots.

So I put together a deleted scenes on the B&G DVD of some of the photographer in my way.
When you watch this just keep an eye on the photographer where he kept looking right at my camera.
Untitled Document

That is so rude, did you guys started out on the wrong foot? What is his problem, thank God I never had to work with an a*hole like that.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 10:47 PM   #20
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That is so rude, did you guys started out on the wrong foot? What is his problem, thank God I never had to work with an a*hole like that.
Noel, we introduced ourself to them and tried to be nice, but right away they looked at us like we are from another planet.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 09:03 AM   #21
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the photographer looks like a giant that says "what're you looking at??"

he's scary.. I don't know how the B&G could book him....

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Old May 30th, 2009, 06:59 PM   #22
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Few years back (before HD) I did a wedding and the photographer was so bad he kept blocking me all night long,
I need to count to 10, breathe deeply and have a cup of tea. That would have been soooo frustrating. Can I hit him? just once, please?

I really hope I NEVER come up against something like that - I don't know what I'd do.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 07:57 PM   #23
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Hi David,

Welcome to the forum :)

It's funny that you've brought this topic up as it's something that we've been thinking about recently. I guess there are so many factors in play - the purpose of what & why you shoot for us is something that we've been giving more thought to as time goes by.

Who are you shooting for?
what do they want?
what do you want to achieve?
Then, how are you going to do it?

I agree that including what the bridal party is doing will add to your production. I do also feel that there is only so much of this you can film and that you will also need to shoot the formals/posed shots. We've decided to shoot less of the family photos and focus on the immediate family - in saying that, sometimes there is little of anything interesting that is created by the photog and the style of this segment therfore changes.

I've been trying to look at the different angles from what a photographer shoots - eg, generally they are front on, so I go to the side, try & use a building to do a reveal, shoot behind and over the shoulders of the bridal party or photog.

We work regularly with a photog but that also has the downside of their routine becoming predictable & familiar. We too try different things and then after awhile, our feeling is that we have our own routine of predictability. The challenge is to be comfortable with what you are doing and then move on - break the sterotype...it's far more difficult than saying it.

To answer your question, be confident and continue to ask for some time to do some things (5 mins of their time). But first, make sure you know what you are wanting to do. Even if what you are going to do might only take a minute, it will show the photog that you are different than everyone else and have initiative - this was a great piece of advice given to us & now I'm much more confident when speaking with photogs.

Cheers

Last edited by Dean Morris; May 30th, 2009 at 11:01 PM.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 07:28 AM   #24
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here we are talking about the bad guys. Michael I think I saw that clip when you first posted it after it happened I seem to remember thinking "there will be blood" but yesterday I worked with a guy I had never worked with before and by the end of the night I shook his hand and told him I would work with him anytime, anyplace again. He's a big guy but not intimadating, funny, fast and very open to me doing what I had to even to the degree of says hey lets get this one for Don and stuff like that. He's one that has been doing still work about the sametime as I've been doing video so it was just 2 old timers doing their job.
Now while this guy was in my mind an exception I think the guy Michael had on that clip was also an exception most photogs fall somewhere in the middle.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 10:21 AM   #25
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Don, I don't have a problem with photographers they have a job to do just like us, and I worked with very nice and professional photographers, but sometimes you get someone like that guy in the clip that makes you wonder how can someone like him be in this business.

He completely ruin the wedding, blocking everyone during the ceremony, turning the B&G first dance into a photo shoot they just posed not danced, it is like everyone came to the wedding for a photo shoot not the photographer came to shoot the wedding.

I do have another clip just like that one but different photographer, it must be me, I think I look invisible to photographers they just can't see me.

I don't shoot a lot of wedding but I think next time I will put on a bright red/orange shirt so they can see me. NO more black shirt :):)
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Old May 31st, 2009, 11:05 AM   #26
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I am not a photographer but I understand a little about photography. I can't understand why the photographer would want to get as close as he did in Michael's clip in the first dance for example. When you get that close, you have to shoot at a somewhat wide angle setting. That is very unflattering to facial features. You start to get the "big nose" look and other distortions. That's why portrait photographers use 105mm lens or even a bit more (assuming a 35mm camera). It makes people look better and more natural.

The other problem when a photographer gets that close is that he gets inside their "space" and they become too "posey" and unnatural. So all the photographer gets for his little "performance" is distorted facial features and posed pictures.

There are a few photographers (very few fortunately) that have the mindset that they "own" all imagery when they shoot a wedding. If they think that strongly, perhaps they feel "duty bound" to deliberately block your shots to protect their turf.

Last edited by Jim Snow; May 31st, 2009 at 11:42 AM.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 08:13 PM   #27
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Thanks for sharing this close-to -worst case scenario, Michael. Whatever I may experience, I will judge it less worse than that one. I have read a little about professional photography, there is a need to be selective in your shots to avoid wasting your time, and making yourself less intrusive. You have a repertoire of standard shots that people want to buy and that's enough! Then stand back! This person's technique seems more appropriate for a crime scene photographer.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 09:27 PM   #28
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This person's technique seems more appropriate for a crime scene photographer.
Galen, That was the perfect description, love that one :):):)
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 09:46 PM   #29
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Good wedding photographers

Although it's a favorite past-time to post our frustrations with photogs on this forum, I'd like to point out the guys that are considered the masters of their field in photography. If you haven't checked out the Masters of Wedding Photography video series, I suggest you take a look.

Masters of Wedding Photography 2

The guys that are really good don't have to set things up during the event. Sure, they have their portrait session, but they don't have to be in everyone's face during the wedding. One guy talks about how he's like a sniper, hiding and waiting for the right shot.

Recently I worked with a photog who ruined all kinds of special moments by saying, "Stop! Hold it right there for a minute... let me get my exposure right..." and then the shot was ruined for both him and me. I think the best wedding photos during the event are candid shots. Don't stop the action, don't script it, don't set it up. Do that during portrait time. Don't ruin the moment for the B&G, don't ruin your photograph, and don't ruin my video.

Just my two cents.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 06:47 AM   #30
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We always write to the photographer as soon as we know who he/she is and tell them how we like to work, and ask them to call us and discuss any areas in which they think we might be in each other's way. That rarely goes wrong but it's always fair to bear in mind that they are working in the smal artistic area as you and you're competing for the best shot.

Recently we've started including a CD with 100+ stills (with full copyright release) from the HDV master - for free. That way the client understand that we're really giving value. A few clients are even realising that we do "reportage" better than any still photog and are booking a portrait photog to just to the portrait. At the end of the day photography is 19th century art, video is 21st. (That should provoke a bit of discussion!)
Philip - great idea to write to the photographer as soon as possible to establish a relationship. I would say however that you're not doing yourself any favours when it comes to working well with photographers by including a CD of stills ... for free! To me, that's close to stealing food from a photographers table. By giving a couple that CD of free images you will be decreasing the photographers album and print sales for sure. If you did that on any gig with us you can guarantee yourself no future referrals - and many photographers would feel the same way.

We should be adding value through the quality of our work, not by being wannabe photographers - IMHO.

Even though it's good for a laugh ... the photo vs video mindset that is rife in our industry does nothing to improve relationships with photographers, or the perception that brides and the general public have of us and our work. I've attended photography conferences in which speakers have actively railed against 'video tossers' - even to the extent that they recommend to their clients not to get a videographer at all.

It's important to remind ourselves that every single wedding vendor should be on the same team and should have a common goal in mind - i.e. to capture or make the couple's day as amazing as possible. Unfortunately not every vendor keeps that in mind, but as videographers we would be well served by taking the high road as often as possible. Our industry lacks credibility as it is, the photo vs video mindset only makes that worse.

David - welcome to dvinfo, great to have you here! If you ever need advice from a fellow Aussie don't hesitate to get in touch!

Cheers,

Matthew.
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