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

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Old March 27th, 2005, 04:47 PM   #1
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Shooting style

Hello all-

Just wanted to ask wedding videographers (especially Glen) on how they would describe their individual shooting style. I have seen a lot of videographers who claims that they are "unobstrusive"...and that they won't direct the B/G. Looking at samples I've seen.....I see alot of good videos/great shots but I am sure that there's gotta be some sort of direction from videographer to get some dramatic shots.

Glen- for you...hope you don't mind :-). You had a sample where B/G kissed, separated and you see the sunlight in between. That would be a set shot, right? By the way...I really admire you're work plus your posting regarding, they are great. Just wish that I can shoot like you guys.

I shoot Indian weddings which I have to be infront of B/G most of the time due all the B/G's relatives seems to be always in front of my camera. Plus you don't really get any drama since it just seems that bride is very lonely (won't even crack a smile) and groom is just there. Like it is wrong for them to be happy on their wedding day. just my 2cents.

Regards to all!!!!
To be.....or not to be
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Old March 27th, 2005, 07:46 PM   #2
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Hi Joven,

We describe our style as Cinematic. We kind of fell into that category almost by accident. About 4 years ago we noticed most brides said our videos looked more like a movie than a video, so we decided use terms like Cinematic, Cinematography and Movie to describe our style. The common thread in our videos is the moving camera look. Of course we pay close attention to audio, and editing, but our shooting style is one of the things that makes a huge difference.

It all starts with the images you capture. If you capture great moments it makes it easier to make a masterpiece. If you capture average to poor images, a good edit can solve some problems, but the edit is limited from the start.

We taylor our interaction with the B&G based on their desire. If they want us to stay in the background and only get what happens naturally, that's what we do. However, many want us to do at least a few setup shots. Mainly because they see how beautiful those shots can be at key points in the video.

When setting up shots it is very important for the couple to be comfortable with what you are asking them to do. It is even more important that you are comfortable in directing them because you can put them at ease or put them on the edge by your approach.

All My Best,
Mark Von Lanken
Picture This Productions, Inc
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Old March 27th, 2005, 08:58 PM   #3
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well.. what can one say.. theres lots to choose from so we choose them all... and with some fine tuned editing we can fit the whole lot in together without feeling like a mush of images...
its all about the flow.. if u can set up a nice flow/tempo of events, the piece will progress naturally..

persoanlly i like ot shoot naturaly as well as setting up afew key shots. Usualy the photogrpaher will set up afew as well as i'll elaborate on that as this way teh couple are already halfway there so i jsut keep them there and get them to do afew other things to bring in more of that motion.

theres no right or wrong way to do it, its what works for u, but im clear to them that if they want good material, they have to give us creative freedom, and at this point in time, im yet to come across a client who hasnt given that.

Cinematic look and feel to waht we do is paramount to our product as here in aus, there all still a lil behind in their styles. SO i try to be original with the pieces and move as far away from ur typical wedding video as humanly possible.
I cant stand soft focus and all that other typical wedding crap (i say this to my clients as well ) and most of my clients agree with me. I havent had a complaint yet..

Im eccentric and they love it.. lol
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Old March 28th, 2005, 07:17 AM   #4
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Hey Joven. Yeah Mark is right- once brides see examples of peices that include shots that were posed/directed they tend to want them in thier video as well. I just make it a point to explain that some of these shots require a little bit of posing and direction. Once the bride has seen these shots she'll be more understanding and comfortable when your setting her up for a shot or two. If they have an understanding of what your actually doing and an idea of the finished result they'll be more inclined to WANT to take the time to do a few posed shots, and tend to be more comfortable while doing so. I'm sure, however, it might look a bit odd to others seeing me pose the bride and me shooting from a distance leaning out from behind shrubs or flowers. lol

As valuable as I think the posed shots are I think the true photojournalistic shots are essential as well. Nothing beats a real smile or laugh as the bride is talking to family or her maids. It's actually one area I feel I need to improve upon- on shoots I've become one track minded in a sense- where I'm ALWAYS looking for an artistic shot rather than taking time to let the camera roll on the bride and look to capture her expressions and emotions. I feel it's important to have a balance of both.

So I do believe you can get some excellent footage shooting ONLY non-obtrusively however I feel a scattering of posed shots compliment them a bit- and if they are done well enough and the bride is comfortable (not glancing over at the camera, etc) they'll still have a photojournalistic feel about them.
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Old March 28th, 2005, 08:16 AM   #5
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I like the way you described it Glen. I usually do it more in a journalist format, since that is a large part of my background. I just do a few weddings on the side, so most of the time I get people that have thought about video as the last thing. I did have a nice compliment recently. I had a young girl at the University that I work at that go married last fall. Being an exchange student from Poland, she didn't have a big budget. So she got a fellow student, who is just starting her photog bussiness to shoot pics and came by the TV center to see if I would shoot or recommend someone to shoot. Her husband is in the Air Force, so I gave her military discount and shot it for her. She loved the video and told me that most of the pictures where too dark and didn't turn out that good. That suprised me since it's usually the other way around. Anyway, if I can get a couple of directed shots I will, but I don't push it. I think the couple is pushed around enough by family and photographer. Again, I don't advertise a cinematic style, which can demand more direction of shots.
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Old March 28th, 2005, 11:50 AM   #6
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Great comments!!!!!!! Very interesting.

Anybody else??
To be.....or not to be
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Old October 18th, 2005, 07:00 PM   #7
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Just stumbled upon this thread searching for something else.

I'd describe my wedding style as basically the merging of a wedding and The Office (BBC season 1... or maybe Fox's Arrested Development minus all the real estate deals and blackmail :-) ).

I don't really include any of the more traditional staples of wedding videography (slow mo, beauty shots, Love Stories, etc etc).. it's really a quasi-reality/docudrama focusing on the practicality and intensity of the whole affair - makes great drama. We shoot a lot of footage (cameras roll almost the whole time) and it's a lot of editing after the fact, but inspite of being constantly around the action we are fairly unobtrusive - you'll see us, but we're never in the way of what's going on (or in the guests way) and nothing is ever staged or directed.
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