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


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Old May 28th, 2009, 01:40 AM   #1
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Working With Photographers

Hi Guys,

I shoot weddings and am in my 2nd Year of doing so. To date I've done about 45 Weddings. One thing I notice regardless of who I'm working with is that Photographers rarely consider there is someone else tryinig to get shots as well.

This is usually during the photoshoot, obviously for me anyway, its their domain being a photoshoot. When is asking the bride and groom to hold a shot being too much of a hinderance. How about the moving shots where you walk through the shot? Or when you are trying to get a shot to continuously find the phtotographer walking into yours to show the bride & groom how wonderful each photo looks, hmmm.

My approach has been to politely introduce myself and advise them that I will work with them and occasionally ask to grab a shot, but otherwise the photoshoot is theirs.

Are you guys passive in your approach to the whole day acting as an observer or are you asking the b/g to perform for you.

I'd like to know how others approach this?

BTW this is my first post.

Cheers, David Edwards Drumroll Productions - Sydney Wedding Video Sydney - Drumroll Productions Corporate and Wedding Video Sutherland Shire Sydney
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Old May 28th, 2009, 03:50 AM   #2
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Or when you are trying to get a shot to continuously find the phtotographer walking into yours to show the bride & groom how wonderful each photo looks, hmmm.
haha, that made me laugh. that was so true of my last wedding. i'd be filming the B+G and the Tog would keep running up to them and say 'Look how amazing this photo is that i just took of you!'. The funny thing is, they honestly didn't even look that impressed each time :)

there are a couple of tried and tested solutions:
- really try and get on with the tog from the word go, and try to explain your way of shooting in the hope that they have a bit more consideration
- work/partner up with togs that you know
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Old May 28th, 2009, 04:46 AM   #3
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Age old problem, buddy up with the photographer, some of your best work will come from working with photographers. Last wedding I did the photographer was great, he's done video work himself and was very considerate, occasionally he would come over to me glance at my LCD to see how wide my zoom was and work within those limits. I try to be as interactive during a wedding as possible, most people feel uncomfortable in front of a video camera, I try to take the focus away from the camera and help them relax by stirring up small talk or giving guidance.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 05:48 AM   #4
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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!)
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Old May 28th, 2009, 06:33 AM   #5
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It does make me laugh to see the photogs running to show the couple their shot. When I started in still photog biz in the 70s you either knew you got the shot or you knew you didn't and the B&G trusted you enough not to worry. Of course we were shooting film so it wasn't like we could go to the couple and show them what we shot at that moment.

Anyway, I work a lot with the same people but when I do work with some I haven't worked with before I introduce myself, make small talk and tell them politely what I plan to do and how I plan to do it. If they have a problem with it we either talk it out or as happened 2X in the last 5 or so years we have a "discussion" and in 1 of those case there was a threat of physical harm but it was truely an extreme situation.

I have found that most of them are pretty decent to work with but if not, I go to the B&G and tell them I need 10 or 15 minutes with them without the photog to get what I need or them. That'll generally work. If the photog doesn't like it, too bad.
But thats just me.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 04:48 PM   #6
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If you think it is a nightmare, 2 years ago we did an 18th Birthday shoot (Photography/Video), parents hired us to do the shoot. Godparents decided to hire a 2nd set as a gift. The venue has also included a 3rd set since they booked the entire Ballroom they have throw it in for free. So basically there were 3 Studios doing the shoot. The celebrant was stressed from the tug of war, 3 Photogs and videographers having different visions.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 04:50 PM   #7
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Noel, I can just imagine what that must have been like. It sounds like a a press gaggle at a press conference ;-)
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Old May 28th, 2009, 07:09 PM   #8
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There are some photographers that will insist that the photo shoot is totally their time. The solution? Make your own time with the couple, without the photographer being around. Work out the schedule far in advance. Believe it or not, we've had lots of brides get ready twice...once for video, and once for photography. They didn't seem to mind, knowing that their final product would be much better than having 2 sets of cameras trying to fight for the same shots in a crowded space. Find out what the photographer's schedule is, then book something an hour or two before him. Also have the bride schedule her hair and makeup accordingly.

Many photographers today don't work alone. They have assistants shooting 2nd camera or even 3rd camera which can make matters worse, especially when working in tight places. The inexperienced assistants are usually high on adrenaline to do a good job and will constantly get in your shot whether they know it or not.

On the flipside, there are photographers that are constantly aware of where you are and may even ask you if you're wide or zoomed in before he makes a move. Working with such professionals is such a blessing....

Get to know how each photographer works and adjust your plans accordingly!
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Old May 28th, 2009, 07:26 PM   #9
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There are some photographers that will insist that the photo shoot is totally their time.
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. If you set up a separate shooting session, you can do more things to make it look more like a video production instead of "video photographs".
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Old May 28th, 2009, 07:59 PM   #10
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I have to side with Jim on this one. Leave the stills to the photographer, and concentrate on something 'more interesting' than the b/g posing for their stills. In 21 years, I have had exactly 0 complaints on not covering the photo session. The key here is to manage expectations. If your clients want the photo session covered, then read the above postings and take your chances. I tell my clients up-front that I am the 'eyes in the back of their head', which means I can show them things they can't see during their posing session. If there is absolutely nothing else to cover, then I try to spend time with those family members waiting for their turn in front of the lens. I'll try to get some good stories from them...depending on their comfort level with the camera.

As for ceremony coverage and blocking, I'll do my best to coordinate in advance and warn the photog about any unmanned cameras I have. Then I crack a joke about the darts I keep in my pocket for when they stand in front of my camera. If you really want to make an impression, whip out a case with darts from your pocket. I promise they will remember that.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 08:11 PM   #11
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If you really want to make an impression, whip out a case with darts from your pocket. I promise they will remember that.
Haha - love it.

P.S. Congrats on your 1st post David and welcome to dvinfo - it's a great place to be.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 08:15 PM   #12
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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. If you set up a separate shooting session, you can do more things to make it look more like a video production instead of "video photographs".

I understand that they have a job to do, and I do my best to stay out of their way. But they also have to understand that you are both there for the couple, that they are paying good money for both the photos and the video. In the end, they want good products from both of you. I'm still new to the field, but I've been blessed with very helpful photog's so far. Most photo sessions that I've seen shot with video are more of a keepsake of the photo session itself, not necessarily for "photos put to video". It occupies maybe 1 1/2-2 minutes of each the videos I've done so far. I stay out of his/her way and video the session as it unfolds. I occasionally ask for the bridesmaids to raise the bouquets again, etc, and it hasn't caused a problem. The last photographer I worked with even had the subjects hold their pose long enough to ask me if I got what I needed. I wish they were all like that.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 08:22 PM   #13
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If you really want to make an impression, whip out a case with darts from your pocket. I promise they will remember that.
hahahaha!!! I can imagine the guy is sweating and everything turns black and white and slow motion with scrary score when you say that with an echoey voice

Ok that was too much.. sorry...
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Old May 28th, 2009, 09:24 PM   #14
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For the formal photo session, instead of shooting what the photographer is shooting, this is what I would suggest: aim the camera the other way! Yes, shoot candids of the people waiting around, holding the flowers, or doing something other than posing for the camera. You can get some very interesting and real-life shots. Also, if the bride and groom is being photographed, be ready to roll as soon as the photographer says "ok, I'm done for now." As soon as he says that, you'll see the couple break out of their fake smiles and do real ones once they can relax. A closeup of that precise moment makes great video, especially if they joke and laugh with each other.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 11:58 PM   #15
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Good idea Warren, what I do I tell the B&G that I want 15 minutes with them alone after the photog does their thing about a month before the wedding, I also remind them about it every time I talk to them after that. This way there is no surprise on the day of.

Also I think there is no point in shooting the formals, filming them posed all weird and fake like that is kinda creepy... during the formals or whatever I always film the crowd or I film the photog shooting them. I also tell them I don't really shoot the formals ahead of time, this way there can be no surprises afterwords.
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