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


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Old July 28th, 2004, 01:52 AM   #16
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Weddings are stressfull? Well yeah that IS a way to describe it. The night after a wedding I'm useless- I'll have felt like I ran a marathon without hydration. The worst part is I sometimes get really bad migraines by the time the reception is in full swing. Nothing to do with the loud music or anything. I have a feeling it has something to do with lack of fluids and food, stress, and concentration. I've learned to drink plenty of fluids, eat a hearty breakfast, and..well....relaaaaax (the best I can that is). I find if I do these I can avoid the dreaded Reception headaches.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 05:23 AM   #17
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Good advice... Thanks guys
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Old July 28th, 2004, 08:16 AM   #18
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<<<-- Originally posted by Glen Elliott : The night after a wedding I'm useless- I'll have felt like I ran a marathon without hydration -->>>

That's how I feel trying to get out of bed the next morning. Legs do NOT want to move!
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Old July 28th, 2004, 08:30 AM   #19
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<<<-- Originally posted by Glen Elliott : The night after a wedding I'm useless- I'll have felt like I ran a marathon without hydration. -->>>

Glenn, the night after your wedding you're SUPPOSED to feel like you ran a marathon! ; )

Really though, you need to consider all the things that MIGHT be causing the headache and fix the ones you can. My limited experience tells me that cigarette smoke might be a cause, hard to fix. Poor posture for extended periods while hunched over the viewfinder might be a cause, easy but expensive to fix (tripods, external monitors, etc). Drunks trying to grope your equipment, easy to fix (though a round-house kick to the temple is probably frowned upon at most modern wedding receptions). How do you handle drunks at the reception?
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Old July 28th, 2004, 09:39 AM   #20
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"...a round-house kick to the temple is probably frowned upon at most modern wedding receptions"......lol, yeah most modern ones have shifted away from that. lol Hey it might liven up the video in some cases.

But seriously I think it was mainly due to stress and/or concentration. I concentrate so hard on locking focus and getting shots- that....with the inclusion of not eating correctly that day is what seems to do it. Oddly enough I had a similar thing happen, and I'm not even prone to headaches mind you, when I visited B&H in New York for the first time. lol..It was like a sensory overload I suppose- I was in heaven! That mixed with not eating a breakfast that morning apparently spelled "migraine".

Regarding drunks and overall rowdy guests- knock on wood I really haven't had a problem thus so far. The last wedding I did I had the cam on a tripod outside after having the DJ announce that I was doing guest interviews. A drunken female guest was all rowdy and loud. She at one point started walking over to the camera looking at it, I just looked at her- and she looked up at me and said (in a very accusitory defensive tone) "I didn't touch, I didn't touch!". No big deal- in receptions in general I don't let my gear leave my site. If I have to use the rest room my assisitant is standing by it with his cam until I return. Even when/if we go to a separate room to eat- I bring my cam on tripod with me. My assistant looked at me wierd for doing so but hey it's a $4,000 investment and I feel it can't hurt to be a little paranoid when it comes to things like that.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 03:03 PM   #21
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<<<--Regarding drunks and overall rowdy guests- knock on wood I really haven't had a problem thus so far. The last wedding I did I had the cam on a tripod outside after having the DJ announce that I was doing guest interviews. A drunken female guest was all rowdy and loud. She at one point started walking over to the camera looking at it, I just looked at her- and she looked up at me and said (in a very accusitory defensive tone) "I didn't touch, I didn't touch!". No big deal- in receptions in general I don't let my gear leave my site. If I have to use the rest room my assisitant is standing by it with his cam until I return. Even when/if we go to a separate room to eat- I bring my cam on tripod with me. My assistant looked at me wierd for doing so but hey it's a $4,000 investment and I feel it can't hurt to be a little paranoid when it comes to things like that. -->>>

I usually don't have an assistant working receptions with me, so I've take my Panasonic DVC80 into the men's room with me. Insurance or not, I can't take chances because if I ever have to replace that camera, it will take a few days because no one around here keeps professional gear in stock.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 03:07 PM   #22
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"Even when/if we go to a separate room to eat- I bring my cam on tripod with me. My assistant looked at me wierd for doing so but hey it's a $4,000 investment and I feel it can't hurt to be a little paranoid when it comes to things like that."


Everytime I shoot I always leave the camera within grasp.
What's funny is, it never occurred to me that it would get stolen.
I always make sure my camera is near me because you never
know when something is going to happen at a reception.

The last thing you want to do is have to run across the room while
someone is giving an impromptu toast, or the bride decided to dance
with her grandfather, etc.

Regardless of the reasoning though, it's probably a good idea for
wedding videographers to keep their gear at arms length at
all times.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 03:32 PM   #23
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Wow great thread!

Have a backup of everything. One of things a beginner can not do is shell out another $3000 for a 3 chip cam. If possible borrow a single chip or use your own home single chip camera if you have one. Bring it! Because you never know what could happen. Electronic problems are more likely to happen the dropping the camera.

Never just hold the camera by the top handle or hand grip. Be sure to connect the shoulder strap to the camera and wrap it around your wrist or arm while you are carring and shooting. This saved my ass one time.

Try not to be suprised too much at a wedding. The bride and groom will not wait for you in the back of the room, you need to know the scedule. Get a copy of it from the couple before for you go.

I totally agree with Glenn - Do as much free work as you can. Beause the couple you do free work for are going to be one of your biggest refferals. They will be so happy you did it for free and will tell everyone about it. Also make sure your logo and website are on the video and your contact information is shown on the very end of the video. Even if it's a free job.

Every wedding video is a promotion tool, free or paid. Somtimes free videos are still cool because you can relax a little more that day and you are not so nervious, but we usally get nervious doing both free and paid jobs.

Don't tape a bunch of junk, get the shoots you need and that will mean somthing for the next 70 years. Keep your flower shots down to a miminum, don't go too crazy. Get your astablishing shot done but don't spend all day on senery. Don't be caught taping the punch bowl while there is a wedding event happening, you might miss somthing.

We all want an office but depending where you live they can be spendy and cost extra overhead if you are just starting out. Don't create more bills for your self because you will be dealing with too much as it is. Keep your house tidy because one time a client had to swing by real quick and the house was not as neat as I wanted it to be, this can be embarassing somtimes.

Keep editing in mind while shooting. Some weddings will only take me 2-3 days to edit. If you are not getting big bucks, don't spend to long on special effects and extra flair in the video. Make sure it is decent and give it to the couple.

Give the couple 1 or maybe 2 weeks to let you know if they want to change somthing. One time I had to go back and take a person out because the bride did not like them or somthing, this happens, so keep your project files handy until this period is over.

Don't keep all the project files and raw footage backed up. You will need so much HD space after a while it will drive you nuts. If the client likes the video after the 1 week period. Make 2 backups of the DVD for your self and put it in storage. This way if the client calls you back for extra copies you can burn this some more. I charge $15 for extra copies.


Good luck.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 05:33 PM   #24
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"Give the couple 1 or maybe 2 weeks to let you know if they want to change somthing."

Great point about keeping your project files handy Mark.
I tend to delete anything that can be easily recaptured, and burn
the rest of the files to a DVD for backup (project file, batch list, etc).

One of the best things I ever learned was from a videographer I
do a lot of work for. He told me, don't ever tell a client to let you
know if they want changes made, if you give someone the option
of changes they will find something to change. Simply give the
finished video to the clients, and let it speak for itself.

If someone really wants something changed, they will let you know.
But by not going out of your way to offer to make changes, you'll cut
down on the amount of clients that come back with minor tweaks.

"Try not to be suprised too much at a wedding. The bride and groom will not wait for you in the back of the room, you need to know the scedule. Get a copy of it from the couple before for you go."

The other great tip I learned from the guy is to stick with the photographer.
A bride and groom won't do anything without making sure the
photographer is present. Stick to them like glue.
Also, the band or DJ will generally have a schedule of events seeing
as they are the ones announcing everything throughout the night.
If I ever have a question as to what will happen when, I ask them
as soon as I arrive to the reception.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 05:36 PM   #25
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Once again, great stuff...

A few of you mentioned keeping your camera mounted on a tripod during the reception... Does anyone use hand held or fitted stabalizers for a more smooth meandering through the crowds at the reception? Or is it mostly tripod?

As far as guest interviews are concerned... How do you go about that? just walk up to folks and ask them questions? or as Glen eludes to, do you have DJ announce that you are doing interviews and just tape who ever walks up to you? What do you ask them to get them going?

I am glad to hear that so far no one has really had any issues with their equipment being damaged due to drunks or other careless folks having a good time. I believe my equipment will always be by my side because I agree with Luis..."The last thing you want to do is have to run across the room while
someone is giving an impromptu toast, or the bride decided to dance with her grandfather, etc"

Already got a free gig lined up... This will be my first one with a total stranger... the others have always been family or friends. Even though its a freebie, I'm nervous and want it to knock their socks off. Time wil tell. I'll let you all know how it goes... but in the mean time... Any other hints? or lessons learned?
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Old July 28th, 2004, 06:39 PM   #26
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See if you can find an assistant even if he/she is a beginner as well. It's definitly helpfull to have another manned camera at the ceremony. You never know when you might need coverage. If not see if you can bring at least 2 cams. Have one locked down in the the balcony or rear of the church. That way if you screw up you have another cam covering your a**.
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