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


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Old August 14th, 2009, 09:13 AM   #16
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Hi Walt

I'm glad that it isn't only me who goes to rehearsals!! I often get the "I don't bother story" and more often than not the photographer is never there. Yes, I also make sure I stay for the complete rehearsal. That way you know what to expect and when to expect it!! I had a wedding a couple of weeks ago where the couple were doing "dummy vows" .. I suggested to the priest that if they turned just a fraction outwards not only would the guests see their faces but the camera would too!! He was more than willing to help and we got some great shots!!! It's also imperitive to get a copy of the ceremony so you know when Aunt Jane will get up and do a 60 second reading on the other side of the Church!!

I also take just one cam with me, just to look at possible lighting hazards and best angles!!

The rehearsal is also a dummy run for the videographer and it would be very foolish not to take advantage of it!!! I always remind myself that there are no second takes at weddings!!!

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Old August 14th, 2009, 09:31 AM   #17
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You do not need to remove a single camera from your packages! You simply explain explain explain that your single camera package is meant for people who CANNOT afford more. You have a disclaimer in your paperwork that warns that there are risks in missing coverage and there are further risks in video/audio continuity.

You find out about the venue and the layout, and you warn that you will get only the back of the bride as she walks down the aisle. (I long ago stopped shooting single cams from front. I do not and will not take my camera and move up the aisle after the hand off. That footage is going to look handheld at best and I do not want my ass showing as I walk backward up the aisle.)

You shoot from the back, and you never move except after the bride goes down the aisle, you move to the center of the aisle and stay there until the ceremony is over. If people stand during the service, you are blocked, but your customer KNOWS about this in advance, because you have EXPLAINED this to them.

I very rarely do not sell a second camera as an add on a single camera package. Almost every time I take a second camera anyway, and when I edit the wedding I easily sell them the second camera then. By the time the honeymoon is over they REALLY want to see the video, and are happy then to spend whatever to make it the best.
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Old August 14th, 2009, 10:31 AM   #18
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Jeff lays out the risks involved in shooting a single camera ceremony, it's those risks that keep me from ever wanting to shoot single camera. To each his own.
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Old August 14th, 2009, 10:36 AM   #19
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I always shoot with 2 cameras. Single cam is really risky as you can't ask for second take. 2 cameras save lifes dealing with, bad audio, tape dropouts, scene missing during changing tape, cut-aways-> less boring for long scene... it's just overall good wedding videographer should do.

There're some customers can't afford my package (young couples, just out of college...), I offer two types of editing style packages. I have this package called Director-Cut packge which is cheaper. I did everything the same on the wedding day but a lot less editing effort (backgorund music, fancy title, single menu...) in post. It's a good move in general.
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Old August 14th, 2009, 02:12 PM   #20
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Not to get off topic... but I've seen plenty of videos that were done with only one camera and the video was stunning.

The issue isn't having just one camera rolling. Often times families will opt for the '1 camera' deal because they can't afford 2 or 3 cameras... or aren't willing to pay more for it.

As long as the families/couples know what they're getting with a one camera deal, that's on them. They can't come back and say they wished they had seen more of x, y or z because they knew the limitations beforehand.

Well, they could... but they opted for one camera.

It's like buying a new car and going back to the dealership a week later and saying you wanted that sunroof. Sorry, no dice.

I always tell couples that if something is truly important to them, DON'T SKIMP!
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Old August 14th, 2009, 03:12 PM   #21
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Blake, you are correct. I can't think of any of their names right now, but there are more than a few NYC video guys who shoot single came and get relatively big bucks. I remember one who charges around $3k.

I offer single camera packages as a sales tool; its a way to get them in the door. I then upsell the additional cameras. In the past year I sold around 10 single cam packages, and I took a second camera to every event but one, a day when I was heavily booked. Each of the other 9 clients paid for the second camera by editing time, and they all thanked me for it.

It's called salesmannship based on a sincere desire to help the client, even when they do not know what is in their own best interest. You sell a single cam, you take two cams, and then you tell them you had a backup camera and ask if they'd like the footage included in their video. They have never told me no. In advance of the wedding they will often resist and say no, but afterwards they are much more agreeable and they can think more clearly.
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Old August 14th, 2009, 04:42 PM   #22
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I'm not a full time wedding videographer and only use one camera, recorded on tape and cf card at the same time for insurance. Get a lot of cutaways before the ceremony starts. I do offer 2 cameras but most if not all of my customers are on a budget so one camera is ok for them.

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Old August 14th, 2009, 05:01 PM   #23
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Jun, your post is a good example of how different markets will bear different prices and packages. Smaller markets are often more price conscious. I know my sales techniques (as I discussed above) wouldn't work as reliably in a some markets as they do here.
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Old August 14th, 2009, 07:52 PM   #24
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I have to admit after reading all the posts it's been quite entertaining. I can understand if you prefer to shoot with more than 1 camera but to say shooting with only 1 camera is suicide or not smart is ludacris. I shoot 1 camcorder jobs 95% of the time. Are there jobs where I wish I had another camcorder absolutely, but when the client doesn't choose the 2 camcorder package what are you going to do? This is still a business. I'll say this for those very uncomfortable shooting 1 camcorders, moving from 2 to 1 is very difficult to get use to. Once your use to it, it is quite easy and still fun shooting 1 camcorder. Just got to know what you need and when to get it.
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Old August 15th, 2009, 12:05 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monday Isa View Post
I have to admit after reading all the posts it's been quite entertaining. I can understand if you prefer to shoot with more than 1 camera but to say shooting with only 1 camera is suicide or not smart is ludacris. I shoot 1 camcorder jobs 95% of the time. Are there jobs where I wish I had another camcorder absolutely, but when the client doesn't choose the 2 camcorder package what are you going to do? This is still a business. I'll say this for those very uncomfortable shooting 1 camcorders, moving from 2 to 1 is very difficult to get use to. Once your use to it, it is quite easy and still fun shooting 1 camcorder. Just got to know what you need and when to get it.
Ok, I started out for the first 2 weddings shooting 1 cam (plus still photos). It is possible, but just isn't fun. I prefer to start my packages at 2 cams to provide for a more satisfied customer, than a cheaper product.
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Old August 15th, 2009, 05:27 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Robinson View Post
Ok, I started out for the first 2 weddings shooting 1 cam (plus still photos). It is possible, but just isn't fun. I prefer to start my packages at 2 cams to provide for a more satisfied customer, than a cheaper product.
Okay, shooting video with 1 camcorder and stills is suicide ^_^ .
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Old August 15th, 2009, 05:59 AM   #27
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do it all the time

I shoot weddings with one camera all the time and shoot stills. Have two other cameras running just in case of a disaster. When your in a Catholic church you can't get the angles because of the restriction. Here is a one camera shoot mini video with stills. Officials sent us to the balcony. Some times you take what you can get. The Bride Loved it, as a matter of fact she cried when she saw it. iPlayer

The other cameras have bad angles and are blocked by people heads no matter where I set them up. I put them in place and hope for the best that I will get even the littlest peek of video.

We were sent to the balcony, with stern warnings for no flash and no disruption to the ceremony permitted of any kind. Bride knew and was very happy with the outcome.
You can shoot with one camera and the stills make up for what you can't get on tape.
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Old August 15th, 2009, 06:25 AM   #28
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Hey Walt I still stand by my statement but need to clarify it. It is suicide to shoot stills and 1 camcorder at a wedding/event and be the main person for both. In your case you may have found a good system to where you can take stills at a good time.

1 Camcorder gigs aren't that tough to pull off. Just need to develop a system to where it's a viable package. Doesn't mean your stuck in 1 position the whole time. You just need to know when you can move. I must say if you miss a beat you can screw yourself pretty badly though, had it happen 8/8. Here in MD the average 2 camcorder job comes in under $1500. That's the average, I won't use 2 till they hit $2000.

Jeff if the product is done there is no need for a refund. When you met with the client did you show them what a 1 camcorder gig looks like? You may have shown a 2 camcorder and they were expecting that.
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Old August 15th, 2009, 06:35 AM   #29
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Hi Monday

Hey Monday

Another person shoots the stills, can't do both. Just have a camera for the the kiss. You are 100% right.
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Old August 15th, 2009, 06:37 AM   #30
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Hey Monday

You know Rick from Video Memories, very good friend of mine. Lives in your area.
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