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


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Old July 16th, 2009, 08:05 PM   #1
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Tossing in the Towel.

After a year of doing some video getting back out of it pretty much. I love video but make my living doing photography (300 sessions a year) and adding video is not working out.

Because I love it, will still do a couple weddings a year (very basic edit) and graduations and fun things I like to do, but will no longer offer the combination packages video and photography and going up from $1000.00 to $1600 and using very basic edit for samples. This should cut me down to 1 or 2 a year.

I thought it could be done, but not in my case, I am the camera guy, my wife is a second shooter, but I have to make the adjustments to camera and set up the lighting, same with video, she can step in and run a camera but not set it up.

I can not be as creative doing both, and my photography suffers, I am very creative when doing just photography but weddings are too demanding for me to do both.

This video pushed me over the edge, I worked really hard and always under promise and try and over deliver. The couple wants lots of editing done on this, they want fades and transitions in not simple cuts, and the editing time is killing me when only charging $1000.00 for video.

Andrew & Darbee on Vimeo

My hats off to you video guys, its so much work, and you make it look simple but I need to stick to what pays the bills. When I do both, my lighting is very basic, when I do just photography, I carry all the lighting gear that makes for fantastic photos.

Will still do fun stuff, but going to leave the weddings to you pros.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 12:48 AM   #2
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Denny, are you saying the two of you cover both photo and video on the wedding day? I don't know anybody here that does that, without a larger crew and in that crew each individual focuses on a single medium. I would imagine if that you were both covering photo and video at the same time it would be very very difficult and you wouldn't be able to give full focus to each, like you said.

Anyhow, I'm sure you made a wise decision and good luck to you.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 01:45 AM   #3
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I've had a look at one video from someone who did both photo and video by himself.

It was horrible.

I think it is impossible to do with a normal wedding schedule.

If you have 2 hours to cover the prep, then you'll be fine. but still, ceremony will be a disaster. The video will be only one wide shot on stick from the balcony I presume.

I think you can still take video booking on closer dates which you haven't been booked for photography.

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Old July 17th, 2009, 04:23 AM   #4
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It is hard-work doing both. Especially if you attend lot's of weddings in the year, it can be quite exhausting and you do need the energy to keep up. Even when you start your editing, which is time consuming.
For those dedicated in doing both, their hearts need to be in it 100% so that neither suffers.
I started out on my own, doing videography at first, but then as brides were constantly asking for both packages, I then hired a second shooter and an assistant videographer and with my wife who assists, there is 5 in the team and it works, and is successful.
To do it on my own would be impossible. Within the hour I will be attending a church wedding that requires both photography and videographer and wedding tomorrow Sat. is video only. These summer months I have been doing 2 weddings a week, but not on the same day. It's exhausting, but fun.
So if your heart isn't in it to do both 100%, then you are making the right decision.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 06:44 AM   #5
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You guys are right, your heart has to be in it 100% and you need a larger crew.
When doing only one, you are really busting your tail during the ceremony, doing both you are letting one or both fall a little short. Reception is not so bad. I did have a 3rd person helping but again only running a camera and helping to load and unload equipment.

Also when I built a new system using Windows Vista Business 64 bit lost Red Giant Color..

What a pain that was when it comes to color correction. I just can not justify hiring more people to help with the work load, at what people are wanting to pay.

I realize its a catch 22, when you get good enough can justify your price being higher, but getting there is not an easy task.

I want to keep it fun, I love video and the challenge, I just do not want to loose my great reputation as a photographer because I am trying to do too much. Maybe when my kids get older will slowly add video back in.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 09:02 AM   #6
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Denny I agree with you 100%. I went from photography over to video a few years back, video has always really been more my thing. I did one wedding where I was both the photographer and videographer - I vowed never to put myself through that again. I had an assistant to man the second camera, my SLR over my shoulder, video cam in my other hand, didn't work. The mindset of a photographer and videographer is slightly different, you have to be in two places to cover both and even then it's not your best. When I shoot with the 5DMII I take no photos, I only shoot video, as you said focus is key to success.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 07:29 PM   #7
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I'm in the same boat.......except I figured out that video wasn't for me in 4 months.As soon as I saw it taking away from my photography I made the decision to stop booking video.I have a freind helping me shoot the last of my video weddings and then.......I'M DONE.Just pictures is soooo much easier.I can't have an a1 in one hand and my 5d in the other switching between stills and video.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 07:58 PM   #8
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Man, how do you all afford all this gear! Anyone selling some video gear? Lol. I am really doubting that it's worth it any more. I still don't get how photography can make 2 to 3x as much as video. Video is a lot more work especially in post. I am wondering if a MKII for photography isnt the way to go. Most weddings I've been to, the photography just snaps crap loads of photos. Sometimes they tell the bride or groom to strike a certain pose, but most of the time it's just really point and click with good gear. Maybe I am undermining it a bit, I am sure some of you guys do more than that... but I've been to a dozen weddings and the $2K to $4K photographer really seems to mostly just snap lots of photos, some sideways, some angled, most straight on, some zoomed in with DoF shots, etc.

I am curious, how do you get your photos bounded into a nice photo album? Is that expensive for the photographer to purchase? Maybe the post is a lot more work and I am not aware of it.

Last question, if ya'll don't mind a slightly off topic.. but I am really curious how you guys dress for these occasions. I am moving to Sacramento soon where its 100+ in the summers and I can't fathom wearing a suit or tux in that weather. Can you wear dockers, or maybe black slacks and a short sleeve collared shirt for hot days and such?
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Old July 17th, 2009, 10:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Duffey View Post
Man, how do you all afford all this gear! Anyone selling some video gear? Lol. I am really doubting that it's worth it any more. I still don't get how photography can make 2 to 3x as much as video. Video is a lot more work especially in post. I am wondering if a MKII for photography isnt the way to go. Most weddings I've been to, the photography just snaps crap loads of photos. Sometimes they tell the bride or groom to strike a certain pose, but most of the time it's just really point and click with good gear. Maybe I am undermining it a bit, I am sure some of you guys do more than that... but I've been to a dozen weddings and the $2K to $4K photographer really seems to mostly just snap lots of photos, some sideways, some angled, most straight on, some zoomed in with DoF shots, etc.

I am curious, how do you get your photos bounded into a nice photo album? Is that expensive for the photographer to purchase? Maybe the post is a lot more work and I am not aware of it.

Last question, if ya'll don't mind a slightly off topic.. but I am really curious how you guys dress for these occasions. I am moving to Sacramento soon where its 100+ in the summers and I can't fathom wearing a suit or tux in that weather. Can you wear dockers, or maybe black slacks and a short sleeve collared shirt for hot days and such?
For us its shirt and tie and black slacks.

Hard to explain the photography, kind of like you video guys, its hard to cross over and do it good enough to make a living, I see many people with gear similar to mine, but they fall way short as a photographer. There is at least as much expense but a different type of work flow.

I have 4 video weddings left, 3 this year and one for 2010, luckily I have shown basic video footage, so they are not expecting much, and I have been lucky and had all happy customers so far.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 12:08 AM   #10
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I don't blame you for trying. I think you're smart to let it go. I have access to free pro camera gear, and the skills to use it, but it's not even a temptation really. Photographers have burdens than I have no interest in taking on. I'd rather fly out of state to film than drive down the street to juggle the two.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 04:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny Kyser View Post
Because I love it, will still do a couple weddings a year (very basic edit) and graduations and fun things I like to do, but will no longer offer the combination packages video and photography and going up from $1000.00 to $1600 and using very basic edit for samples. This should cut me down to 1 or 2 a year.
Pushing up the price is the way to go. I would push the video cost even higher, and leave it as an option. At some price point, you can hire another firm to shoot and edit the video and still make money. But, I understand the relief of not being over commited.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 04:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Duffey View Post
Man, how do you all afford all this gear! Anyone selling some video gear? Lol. I am really doubting that it's worth it any more. I still don't get how photography can make 2 to 3x as much as video. Video is a lot more work especially in post. I am wondering if a MKII for photography isnt the way to go. Most weddings I've been to, the photography just snaps crap loads of photos. Sometimes they tell the bride or groom to strike a certain pose, but most of the time it's just really point and click with good gear. Maybe I am undermining it a bit, I am sure some of you guys do more than that... but I've been to a dozen weddings and the $2K to $4K photographer really seems to mostly just snap lots of photos, some sideways, some angled, most straight on, some zoomed in with DoF shots, etc.

I am curious, how do you get your photos bounded into a nice photo album? Is that expensive for the photographer to purchase? Maybe the post is a lot more work and I am not aware of it.
Kevin,

Every photographer has his or her own style.There are also some really lazy guys out there that just pull the trigger and hope for the best.It's not my fault that most brides out there put a greater value on stills instead of video.I put a lot of time and effort into my weddings and that includes lots of POSING and direction.It's tough to make things look relaxed and natural.It goes a lot further then zooming in on a couple and tilting the camera.I think you should give it a whirl sometime and see how tough it really is to tell a story with a single frame ,no motion,no audio<--(thank god...lol).
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Old July 21st, 2009, 07:14 PM   #13
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to the video guys

I love video video,more than photo, but its 3 times as hard to make a living at it, but I also got to speak the truth.

Here is why photos have more value and videos don't and never will:

Most wedding videos end up under the TV stand. We all know that.

Photos hang on the wall at your parents home, your work and in your wallet. They can be there 50 years.

I would bet that not one video guy (OLD VIDEO GUY) has his wedding video where he can reach it, with out moving the old Star Wars tapes on VHS, you know the ones you are saving just in case they are worth something some day.

My mother in law still has my wedding photo up from ten years ago, and I have my parents wedding photo from 60 years ago.

WEVA has infected many a videographer, with grand illusions.

I shoot photo and video. It's demanding but I love it and can make a living off it. If I only shot video I would have had to hold on to my full time job and be tired on Mondays.

The first thing a bride asks me after a wedding is when are the PHOTOS GOING TO BE READY.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 07:41 PM   #14
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Amen Walt!
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Old July 21st, 2009, 08:39 PM   #15
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I'm not surprised Danny that you feel down by doing both. It would be too much for anybody. I'd rather hire an extra video guy just to shoot the wedding video for you but you could do the editing and charge the customer another $400 more for such combo. As a main photog you whould have major influence on a video by directing whole event. The only and the biggest problem with such a solution is finding the right person :-(
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