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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old August 29th, 2009, 12:49 PM   #1
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Does anyone do stills and video?

I don't mean two full service jobs - which frankly is lunatic unless you have enough staff to do both jobs properly.

No, what I'm thinking about is this. Most UK still clients ask their photographer for reportage style or part reportage still photography ie informals.. It's my considered view that video done properly can fulfill the reportage requirement much better than stills simply because we can capture pictures, sound and movement - and because genuine reportage results in a lot of strange facial shapes as people talk, laugh drink and nibble at the same time.

What we're considering is adding to our roster a still photographer simply to do the formal/portrait pictures which video simply cannot do. The man we have in mind isn't a pro but a very experienced amateur portraitist who is keen eough to own a Leica M8 and some decent flash kit. He's done some publicity stills for us and we're very impressed.

I haven't even put the idea to him yet (see my regard for the members of this group!) but I wonder what your views might be and/or if you've tried such an idea yourself. I recognise that some still photographers would see us as competing but a) only a couple ever refer us and b) they won't do just portraits so we could argue we're comparing chalk and cheese.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 07:39 PM   #2
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I've got a wedding coming up where they're only using a photog for some formal shots and relying on video for majority of the day.

I'd really like to offer something like that on a regular basis (I'm working on it) I think offering a photography service might get us to the bride earlier and offering less photo / more video as a package might appeal to them.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 08:27 PM   #3
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We do both all the time

We do both and love it. We only have one package where we do both or we don't do do the wedding.

We find that if we control all the media we can offer a better product all in one packages and we don't have work with a photo guys.

We are book up and for this year and 1/2 for next year already.
We wear radio head sets so we know where each other is at at all times or if we get in each others way.

Go for you can do it.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 10:47 PM   #4
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We do both and love it. We only have one package where we do both or we don't do do the wedding.

We find that if we control all the media we can offer a better product all in one packages and we don't have work with a photo guys.

We are book up and for this year and 1/2 for next year already.
We wear radio head sets so we know where each other is at at all times or if we get in each others way.

Go for you can do it.
What type/kind of radio sets do you use? Do they work well? Would you buy them again?
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Old August 29th, 2009, 11:08 PM   #5
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We use these

We use Kenwwod Pro XLS with discreet head sets like the secret service wears. We purchased them at

Buy Two Way Radios - Lowest 2 Way Radio Prices Anywhere!

Yes I would buy them again
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Old August 30th, 2009, 04:44 AM   #6
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Walt, this is very interesting, may I ask some more questions?

Did you buy in an experienced wedding photographer or persuade one to join you? Does your location affect the amount of work offering? Being able to turn down just video or just photography sounds like a luxury. Did you start out like this or begin with one and add the other? How do you price? Apart from an extra pair of hands are their any other synergies in the operation? How many in your total crew?
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Old August 30th, 2009, 05:39 AM   #7
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Walt, this is very interesting, may I ask some more questions?

Did you buy in an experienced wedding photographer or persuade one to join you? Does your location affect the amount of work offering? Being able to turn down just video or just photography sounds like a luxury. Did you start out like this or begin with one and add the other? How do you price? Apart from an extra pair of hands are their any other synergies in the operation? How many in your total crew?
Use my wife to shoot photos . We are in demand because we know how to treat people and they respect that. I guess we got lucky because many others are slow.

One price and one price only. No options of any kind, all or nothing price structure that the brides love. Multiple pricing structures confuses brides and there moms who carry the check book. We don't use bait and switch techniques and then jack up the price with all the options.

Started out just shooting video and was starving. Went to photo and video and business took off and we have never looked back. We also do ALL of the wedding Trade shows, which gets us allot of work. Alone this year we have turned down 25 weddings if we could not do both. Will not work with other companies, do not want to and do not have to.

Have basic website we find FLASH websites to be useless . We want to control the content on a daily basis. We have many brides tell us they go to our website all the time and I have stats to prove it.

We also post the majority of the photos we shoot to the web the very next day and the brides love this also and we offer them for free to their guests. YES I SAID FOR FREE.
We don't want to sell 5 photos one at a time we would rather book another wedding. Most brides tell us that their friends photo guys have them wait sometimes 3 months to see there photos. This is and instant gratification world and everybody has cameras we beat them to the punch because most people wont take the images off the cameras as quickly as we do.

We also have the BEST equipment and cameras you can buy. When we make a few extra bucks we ALWAYS put it back into our business. We even give them the video on Blu-Ray FOR FREE even if they don't have a Blu-Ray Player we all know they will someday and the first thing that will go in the shiny new player will be the wedding I shot for them.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 05:54 AM   #8
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Fascinating and very instructive.

Are the radios just between you and your wife or do you have other people as well?

I completely agree about quality gear. I know it's sometimes difficult but whenever I read of people using cheap mics or tripods, it saddens me. If the difference was huge it'd be a different proposition but it's worth saving up for good gear.

Last edited by Philip Howells; August 30th, 2009 at 05:54 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old August 31st, 2009, 07:48 AM   #9
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We do both but have to say its very demanding, we look forward to weddings that we do only photography.

We add an extra camera when doing both, I call it a safe shot, our 17 year old daughter mans that camera and pretty much just asks people who step in front of it to please move.

We make sure the bride and groom see a basic edit video as a sample, its easier to under promise and over deliver than the opposite.
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Old August 31st, 2009, 08:37 AM   #10
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I'm debating to start offering photo+video pkg starting next season. But first have to upgrade my photo equipment to be able to handle more work. So I have new dilema - more video equipment or even more photo equipment. My wife is also more into photo, so she feels like doing it, and I'll handle the video along with my father as 2nd cam-man.

Question: If you could offer video pkg seperate form photo, what kind of the price difference there would be? I.e. 50% cheaper then vid+photo? What do you price more?
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Old September 8th, 2009, 08:34 PM   #11
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Lukas

In your position I'd price your combined package exactly as what it is, two separate services. The fact that both come from the same company is irrelevant. Only if one of your ops did two jobs would I consider reducing it but in my view if you're doing both jobs you need dedicated crews for each.

What you could and probably should do (assuming you're sharing transportation etc) is to reduce the element of transport and overheads but again that's being realistic.

If you do this and you're ever tempted to offer only one part of your combined package, you won't lose out in the process.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 05:52 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Walt Paluch View Post
We also have the BEST equipment and cameras you can buy.
Walt, just curious what equipment & cameras you use for video & stills?

I am assuming the OP means shooting both the video and the stills yourself?

I have done a few video + stills jobs. This can be rewarding but you have to really be upfront with the B&G about what they can expect to get.

It usually ends up being video before & of the ceremony, formal stills then video and some stills at the reception.

One man band days can really wear you out so bring gatorade and make sure you have a meal in the mix.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 06:05 PM   #13
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I am assuming the OP means shooting both the video and the stills yourself?
No, the OP meant combining with or employing a still photographer to do either the full service job or at least the formals and the portrait. I think I understood that Walt's wife does one part and he does the other.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 06:11 PM   #14
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Sorry Philip, I mis-read your post, or did not read it closely enough!

You were very clear about hiring a separate photog.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 06:54 PM   #15
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My wife and I will be sharing a booth at two major Wedding shows in our market this off-season with the aim of offering both Photo and Video. We did one job together last year and it really worked out well. We actually got along better on the job than we normally do.

I did attend two Wedding shows this past off-season and (sort of) promoted the combo deal. The main resistance I found was that the couples very often book the photog first thing, so you do have to get them early to get them both. So it may take a year or two to get going on this concept.

Having said that, I think that if you can offer both, this is an ideal scenario. For one obvious reason you will be working with the same photog regularly, and secondly, couples who don't seem to flinch at paying 3k for photos, will say they can't afford $1200.00 for a video.

If you offer a good package around 3k-4k for both - it is much more palatable for the couple and reasonably worthwhile for us.

If you can work together with a photog you trust (and who trusts you) on a regular basis, imagine the quality creative work you could do. A melding of the minds... this shot would work really well in this light, etc... As well as being able to share an assistant, studio space, and a website, etc...
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