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


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Old June 11th, 2005, 10:46 PM   #16
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Now I know why so many Clergy have negative preconcieved notions about photo/video professionals.

Imagine the nerve of a priest who is called (not just paid the going rate) as a steward of a worship building, to want to have some control over what happens during a sacremental ceremony! I mean, If I want to drill holes in the ceiling to mount my boom mic, screw him if he doesn't understand my professional standards! ROTFL!

Seriously. Its true that its the B&G's problem. That's why I stipulate that this stuff has to be hammered out beforehand. I'll make it clear to them that if the officiant says I shoot from the back, then that's what they are getting.

Now if the B&G don't like it, they can have their wedding in a park, or an old Castle, or a bowling alley...

So many people want to have their wedding in a church, but they have no idea why. They just want it "in a church" woohoo! Yippidey-dooo!.

Some folks actually have weddings in churches because they view the ceremony as a covenant between 2 people and God. In that case, all the other stuff; the cake, the flowers, the invitations, etc., is just nice fluff--even (gasp!) the all-important photo/video professionals.

Guess which philosophy the clergy person subscribes to? He's got a job to do to, and that's to maintain the integrity of the ceremony. Its like a checks & balances thing. If he gets any sort of stipend for the ceremony (not all do, mind you), its a lot less than we are getting. The trade off is we get to take more crap.
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Old June 11th, 2005, 11:08 PM   #17
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Just an idle thought here......could the negative attitude towards videographers be caused by this sort of attitude by videographers? While a highly confrontational approach makes one persons job easier, think about what that does to the next guy.

Like I said, just an idle thought.....

Mike
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Old June 12th, 2005, 02:29 AM   #18
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Original Poster- THE END RESULT

The event was covered today. (Don't I feel special starting this interesting post in the first place!)

I went into the ceremony thinking that I was going to be roughly 80% compliant, and take on a 20% "see what happens" mentality. I knew there would be a photographer, so I let my actions be led by how daring she was going to be. When I saw her move into position to catch the procession head-on, I was right with her. She even had pole mounted flashes held by an assistant- talk about obtrusive! I remained in my little corner as instructed for the most part. This priest was a scary old fashioned guy. He seemed the type who'd stop the ceremony and make a scene just to tell someone off- so I didn't push things. My goal was a head-on procession, and beyond that, to follow the rules- and I did.

One somewhat amusing thing I did do, however... Despite the regulation against "foreign objects" on the altar or on the podium, I put my Iriver inside an old glasses case with the lav. poking out discreetly. No one (in theory)ever moves glasses- for all they know they may belong to one of the readers coming up. So, I crossed my fingers hoping no one would move the case or report it to "the Catholic authorities", but I'm pretty sure (did not review it yet) I got a perfect recording of the readings directly from podium (free of reverb). Thanks, Mr. Runyan and other Iriver users here... I adopted the Iriver + Giant Squid microphone into my sound plan. (Also used it later at reception with simple RCA jacks off DJ mixer split to 1/8" for backup sound there- it's becoming quite a versatlie tool in my kit)

Thanks for all the replies and responses. I am not sure if I will continue to introduce myself at rehearsals. I am starting to see how it can invite restrictions. I am on the fence about the whole compliance issue. I do believe we are guests at the churches and should behave in that manner, on the other hand, if I see a photographer bend the rules- I will most likely do the same.
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Old June 12th, 2005, 11:21 AM   #19
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Good Job Freddie!!! Nice idea about hiding the iRiver in a glasses case, I never would have thought of that. Isn't the GS/iRiver a great combo??
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Old June 12th, 2005, 12:05 PM   #20
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Awesome! You should call your business Spymaster Wedding Videos! Yeah, I'm a bit on the fence about permission vs forgiveness too....its a hard call. I think what I'm going to do is flow with The Living Force. I suppose that if youre truly in synch with the flow of The Universe, then all of your decisions will have the momentum of all existence supporting you and you cant go wrong. So, rather than have a solid dogma for myself, I will just move with each moment and let my targeting device down....just trust in The Force.

Yessir, GS/iRiver combo, or really GS anything combo, does indeed rock!
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Old June 13th, 2005, 12:41 AM   #21
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Maybe I've been lucky, but I've had no church problems - and I'm very mobile during rehearsal/ceremony as well (ceremony has two ops (sometimes 3), both with custom handheld rigs or stabilizers - very little tripod use).

I tape at the rehearsal and I don't formally introduce myself to officiants until after the rehearsal is over. In my mind, I don't give them the chance to put restrictions on my work until they've already seen that I'm not going to be in their way. When I do talk to them, I try to convey an attitude of being respectful of where I am, but that I'm also the professional who knows a lot more about what I'm doing someone other than me (ie: clergy - but I never say that ;-)).
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Last edited by Patrick Jenkins; June 13th, 2005 at 01:10 AM.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 11:24 AM   #22
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lol
i dont think some people understood my point. its happened quite often here where i have to be a little more literal and i guess its a cultural thing :)

there is a line between what you should provide your client within a presentation, and what you should accept as a location "rule"

if those 2 clash, something must be done about it..
Being a professional, you must use a mixture of discretion, respect, the right words, and above all, honesty.

wether it be to discuss it with the minister or to go over their heads, it really doesnt matter, as the fact that youre doing a job and making money from its only fair to at least make an effort to get it right.

When someone is paying me $4k to shoot their wedding, i will tell them "this is whats required" afer that, its entirely up to them.
IF and i mean IF someone tries to tell me what to do, i will politely tell them in lamens terms what the ramifications may be if i was to agree to what they tell me.

When people are paying this much money, there is no room for forgiveness...
I dont see a couple whove forked out 4k say, "oh its ok that you missed the vows because our priest wouldnt let u mic up the groom"
If that has ever happened, theyre lying.. NOTHING is ok if its missed...

Like i said, some people are a little more religious than i am, and will accept anything and everything the priest commands.
But like i said, like him, we have a job to do..

I am yet to find a priest to get upset with my actions within a church (even if i do ignore their requests.. at least i dont do it rudely.. fact is, hes not going to stop the ceremony to tell me where to go.. ) and i am yet to have a complaint made about the material i shoot or my dememeaner to anyone (be it clergy, bridal party or whatever.. )

My whole point about responding to this post was to bring an air of assertiveness to what we do. Photographers do it..(as was perfectly demonstrated in Freddi's case) and i dont see why we dont do the same..

And if people believe that being assertive is far fetched, good luck in the future, as you WILL come across someone who will try to step on you (be it a priest or photographer or whoever)

Scoff all you like, and comment about this attitude as you wish, but in the end at least my customer is happy..
This Presentation is the only real memory they will retain from that day.. the rest is what they PERCIEVED to have occured.. what i offer is what REALLY occured.. theres a difference.. and if i get that Reality messed up to satisfy one persons whim, im not doing my job properly..

From Kevin
"Peter: you've made your point abundantly clear, and much of what you say makes sense, but it's still the case that when you're in a house of worship they do have a right to try to dictate what goes on in there...and then it's up to us to decide how to respond to that. I agree with your main point that we need to do our jobs to the best of our ability, and that may include having to break some rules, but the way you describe that seems a bit over the top.

I prefer the more simple sentiment, "it's easier to get forgiveness than permission." On that basis I can understand why you don't go to rehearsals."

Of course they have a rigth to TRY to dictate, but i fail to see them dictate this same attitude to photographers.. Our response to this is to advise tehm the ramifications of their directive. It seems over the top due to my tone, in reality, its not a conflict. its actually beneficial if they are advised of this.. theyre attitude DO change once the bigger picture is explained to them.. I am yet to have a problem with talking to a priest..
As for me goin to rehearsals, there are actually many reasons why i dont.. its not just to avoid dealing with a priest.. lol my workload is so full on, its not funny.. i dont have the luxury of ducking out afew hours at a time to join in the fun, on top of that, many of my clients are in areas which are not close to my own location..

From Adam
"Now I know why so many Clergy have negative preconcieved notions about photo/video professionals."

Maybe becuase theyre over the "papparazi" attitudes and the constant flashing of cameras?? Maybe for the total zero communication some professionals have?? Maybe for the obtrusive nature of some professionals in an attempt to get the shot? Maybe for the fact that were prolly making more money than they are? Maybe for the fact that they may be of a different race to me??
There are many factors, but honest communcation is not a reason to have an attitude against someone. Also a kind thanks after the ceremony helps, as well as a dvd of the actual wedding, which they can see which portrays their church for what it is.. it also helps for when the church itself refers couples to us, as they can see a representation of what a ceremony actually looks like within that particular church..

"Imagine the nerve of a priest who is called (not just paid the going rate) as a steward of a worship building, to want to have some control over what happens during a sacremental ceremony! I mean, If I want to drill holes in the ceiling to mount my boom mic, screw him if he doesn't understand my professional standards! ROTFL!"

LOL good call, i'll pay that... but i think u miss my point..
Im not sayin they have no control.. i dont think anyone here is...

"Seriously. Its true that its the B&G's problem. That's why I stipulate that this stuff has to be hammered out beforehand. I'll make it clear to them that if the officiant says I shoot from the back, then that's what they are getting.

Now if the B&G don't like it, they can have their wedding in a park, or an old Castle, or a bowling alley..."

I totally agree, BUT if the officiant says to shoot from the back, why not try to negotiate that request?? Isnt that what professionalism is all about? The freedom to question?? The ability to advise and predict consequences? The courtesy to advise and educate someone who does not understand what we do, or moreso, the IMPORTANCE of what we do??
I dont know about you, but if im getting paid, i want the client to KNOW that i have done all i could to do the job properly...

"So many people want to have their wedding in a church, but they have no idea why. They just want it "in a church" woohoo! Yippidey-dooo!.

Some folks actually have weddings in churches because they view the ceremony as a covenant between 2 people and God. In that case, all the other stuff; the cake, the flowers, the invitations, etc., is just nice fluff--even (gasp!) the all-important photo/video professionals.

Guess which philosophy the clergy person subscribes to? He's got a job to do to, and that's to maintain the integrity of the ceremony. Its like a checks & balances thing. If he gets any sort of stipend for the ceremony (not all do, mind you), its a lot less than we are getting. The trade off is we get to take more crap"

I hear ya, and yes, it IS FLUFF... so many couples jsut want to "see themselves" and so many really dont see the ceremony for what it is.. while others are total opposites..
Either way, WE DONT HAVE TO TAKE MORE CRAP.. Video Professionals have been taking it for years and its time that attitude changed.. the fact tha we as a group have not stood up for ourselves or our professional is what keeps that "give them crap" attitude alive..


From Mike
"Just an idle thought here......could the negative attitude towards videographers be caused by this sort of attitude by videographers? While a highly confrontational approach makes one persons job easier, think about what that does to the next guy.

Like I said, just an idle thought....."

I agree... this is why its so hard to get respect to begin with.. hell, being realtively new in the wedding game (2 yrs shooting 4 yrs editing) most of teh locations i go to already have that preconception. Bad experiences in teh past.. So in turn they throw that flack back on us... but it doesnt mean im going to be like the guy before me.. its the fact that im NOT like the guy before me which makes a difference.. we cant continue to work under the onus that we will behave in a certain manner. we need to educate these people to what we do and we cant do that if the guy before us jsut does whatever he feels like..
Despite my post and the tone, some people have failed to understand the whole point..

We are seen as substandard service providers within the wedding industry. In reality, what we offer will probably last longer than any other trinket or gift they may have recieved..

Patrick has really nailed it on the head though.. and im glad someone has been able to convey his thoughts similar to my own, AND in a less rambling manner.. LOL
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Old June 13th, 2005, 02:38 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
I totally agree, BUT if the officiant says to shoot from the back, why not try to negotiate that request?? Isnt that what professionalism is all about? The freedom to question?? The ability to advise and predict consequences? The courtesy to advise and educate someone who does not understand what we do, or moreso, the IMPORTANCE of what we do??
I dont know about you, but if im getting paid, i want the client to KNOW that i have done all i could to do the job properly...
No disagreement there. You have to try, and there's nothing wrong with negotiating.

I do however think it crosses the line of professionalism when you have talked it out, the officiant still says, "No", and you break the rules anyway.

Just to clear up my position.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 03:09 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
My whole point about responding to this post was to bring an air of assertiveness to what we do. Photographers do it..(as was perfectly demonstrated in Freddi's case) and i dont see why we dont do the same..
That first sentence sums it up pretty well. I like to 'politely' tap someone on the shoulder if they block my shot. They turn around, see a 72mm lens opening and they pretty much all say something like, "sorry","excuse me","wow", etc. I just convey an air of 'I'm being paid to make sure I get this viewpoint' and it works.

Polite, but assertive.

My .02,

=gb=
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Old June 14th, 2005, 09:47 AM   #25
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Thanks Peter (and others) for "keepin' it REAL." Too easy to take the high road on this subject. "oh, I go up to the priest and ask him if I can convert to Catholicism before every shoot" ...plzzzzzzzz.

If someone takes the time to approach me and speak to me I'm polite, I give them my attention and I convey respect. But at this one shoot I really got the sense that "RULES" where being made up on the spot. Yes, on the spot. I was too nice and I was being patronized. "you must have just taken it personally - no one of the cloth would ever patronize someone" -possibly you have this opinion but I was there. I got the sense that the treatment was not fair and equitable and I pushed back enough to get the job done.

So anyway, here's me keepin' it REAL... it's a house of God - not the house of father Davis. Father Davis is a guest. And I believe God would want Kristin & Paul to see their wedding in all it's glory - not some compromised backshots only version. If Kristin was teary when Dad handed her off, I will do my best to get it so they both can re-live it... etc. even if I have to break a rule. That is what I owe to MY GOD and to Kristin and Paul. If in the Priests eyes that puts me in the church of Satin - then I forgive him for he does not know.

Last edited by Craig Terott; June 14th, 2005 at 10:03 AM.
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Old June 14th, 2005, 03:54 PM   #26
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Quote:
So anyway, here's me keepin' it REAL... it's a house of God - not the house of father Davis. Father Davis is a guest. And I believe God would want Kristin & Paul to see their wedding in all it's glory - not some compromised backshots only version. If Kristin was teary when Dad handed her off, I will do my best to get it so they both can re-live it... etc. even if I have to break a rule. That is what I owe to MY GOD and to Kristin and Paul. If in the Priests eyes that puts me in the church of Satin - then I forgive him for he does not know.
That's sort of my perspective on the whole thing as well - and why I work the way I do (see above).

I don't want to get into a whole religious tangent, but ultimately, while the church is the public house of God and should be respected, that's all it is. It's just a building created by man in man's view of what is necessary to be mindful. Ultimately what you get out of being in that location comes down to your religious views - but your spirituality is ultimately much more important to your relationship with God than your religious upbringing (burn me at the stake for being a heretic :)) - and doesn't come from being in a building built by man.

I'm always professional and respectful, but ultimately I'm there to do a job.

$.02
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Old June 14th, 2005, 07:38 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Cook
Just an idle thought here......could the negative attitude towards videographers be caused by this sort of attitude by videographers? While a highly confrontational approach makes one persons job easier, think about what that does to the next guy.

Like I said, just an idle thought.....

Mike
hello mike,

you're right on. no matter what, the videographer is just a guest...
greetings
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Old June 14th, 2005, 10:15 PM   #28
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I realised long time ago, that priests are people like every body else - some are good and some have ego issues. Also some churches, function like churches while some like business.
Therefore i treat them as they treat me. I have discovered that sometimes acting kind, is dangerous with people and with priests as well.

Anthony
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Old June 14th, 2005, 11:16 PM   #29
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"the videographer is just a guest"

no offense, but its that attitude that helps bring down the profession a notch or two.

Reason i say that is that you are paid to be there. No on or offs about it, you are paid to document their day. I dont see any other guest carrying 20k worth of camera gear and shooting a wedding..

In my view, a videographer is NOT a guest, but hes one of the few people who has already spent countless hours with the couple working out how their day will unfold. The service requires a level on intimacy with the couple that noone else would understand let alone contemplate.
Sure behaving with respect is paramount in a church, but thats just basic common courtesy and shouldnt even ned to be discussed as its a given..

Theres too many factors in the equation to only have one frame of mind when doing a job like this. Adaptability is the key, and an attitude of professionalism is what makes the difference between
"THE video guy" and
"JUST the video guy"...
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Old June 14th, 2005, 11:51 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
"the videographer is just a guest"

no offense, but its that attitude that helps bring down the profession a notch or two.

Reason i say that is that you are paid to be there. No on or offs about it, you are paid to document their day. I dont see any other guest carrying 20k worth of camera gear and shooting a wedding..

In my view, a videographer is NOT a guest, but hes one of the few people who has already spent countless hours with the couple working out how their day will unfold. The service requires a level on intimacy with the couple that noone else would understand let alone contemplate.
Sure behaving with respect is paramount in a church, but thats just basic common courtesy and shouldnt even ned to be discussed as its a given..

Theres too many factors in the equation to only have one frame of mind when doing a job like this. Adaptability is the key, and an attitude of professionalism is what makes the difference between
"THE video guy" and
"JUST the video guy"...
hello peter,

none taken...
your still a guest, and you're paid by your customer and not the church/ priest. but it sounds a bit funny that you expect the priests understanding for the countless hours you have spend with your customer, why would, or should he care how much your set up is?
i guess the issue is that your customers needs to be the one who talks to the priest for their/ your special needs. professionalism to me is, to know when not to run across the altar..

greetings
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