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


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Old December 30th, 2009, 03:41 PM   #1
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it's so small...

A few weeks back I walked into a bride's home to begin shooting the prep stuff and the first words out of her mouth were, "wow, your camera is so small". My main camera is an FX7 that had a stedicam Merlin strapped to the bottom of it. It's not HUGE but it's not that small.

The second words out of her mouth, "I really thought your camera would be bigger".

This is the second time in the last year a client commented on the size of my cameras. Does size really matter? I mean they booked me based on the quality of my work, or at least that's what I like to tell myself. Anyone else get these kinda comments? I know some of you are showing up with HV20 sized cams, do you guys ever get that?

I tried to diffuse the situation by saying something to the effect of, there's no way I'd ever show up with a full size camera due to the cramped conditions we often have to deal with. That's all I could think to say.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 03:53 PM   #2
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A long time ago as a teenager I learned "it's not the size of the boat, but the motion in the ocean." Tell her it might look small, but it delivers a big picture. Then explain how much more comfortable and at ease the wedding guests will be in front of such an unobtrusive little camera.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 03:59 PM   #3
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I guess it's similar impression with photo cameras. Ppl tend to think that newer, better, bigger model will result in better images. We all know that's very misleading thinking.

You could always say: "My skills will guarantee the final results you paid for, not the equipment." or make improper joke: "I don't need to compensate for my size." j/k
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Old December 30th, 2009, 04:19 PM   #4
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I've run into this from time to time, I try to play it off as no big deal, but as the same time I try to get my point across with something like, "yeah, modern technology is great. My old standard def camera was huge, but these new High Def cameras are much smaller, and produce a much better picture."
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Old December 30th, 2009, 04:20 PM   #5
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As men who have been challenged in certain departments will like to tell you "its not the size, its how you use it"

I mean I use a 5D Mark II, which is smaller than your camera, but maybe the accessories make it seem larger.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 06:10 PM   #6
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Ethan,

Thanks for the laugh... seriously though, I do feel inadequate if I just use my HV30 for something. In fact I usually pre-empt any comments with a proviso about using it in tight spaces. I shoot a fair bit of real estate and refer to it as my bathroom camera.

Maybe you should just buy some old shoulder mount clunker on ebay to drag around with you for show. Or pimp it out your FX7 with a dead cat and a matte-box, or a big lens hood and stuff. Duct tape some cables hanging off of it - throw on a big viewfinder shade.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 07:16 PM   #7
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Hi Guys

I have never had a problem as I'm a shoulder mount camera fan!! However yes, client's DO look at size ... when I was still using SD 4:3 cams I had my little DVC20 on my shoulder (worth all of $1500) and the groom came to me and said "Wow! that must cost at least $40,000"
I think we are automatically compared to the TV station ENG cameramen so people are disappointed when they see a smaller than ENG camera!! In the very old days I shot weddings on a Panasonic MS4 SVHS camera and yes, people were impressed with the size!!

Of course it's the results that counts not the size so just ignore comments and have witty comments to hand for any size questions!

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Old December 30th, 2009, 07:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Diewert View Post
pimp out your FX7 with a dead cat and a matte-box, or a big lens hood and stuff. Duct tape some cables hanging off of it - throw on a big viewfinder shade.
Somehow the mental image of that made me laugh. Maybe someone could start a company that makes fake "stuff" to hang on cameras to give them the "pro look". How about a name like "The Faux Pro"? Small cameras like the HV-30 and 5D MKII really need a wad of stuff to give them that impressive "look."
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Old December 30th, 2009, 07:54 PM   #9
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Years ago a buddy told me to buy a big camera because clients don't take you that seriously if you show up with something very small or something they could buy at Circuit City.

That's because people are fairly ignorant.

I would have quipped back with all women say size doesn't matter... but apparently it does!
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Old December 30th, 2009, 11:48 PM   #10
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A Realty Agent I do work for has a sticker on the back of her 4x4 saying "I lied!! Size does matter!"

I guess you could always carry an old ENG camera with you when you meet the bride and then on the actual shoot (when they are too flustered/nervous to worry) shoot with the real thing.

I have a friend with an old 35mm SLR and it has (his description) "a honking great lense on it so people always ask me if I'm a professional" His view is that if your gear doesn't have "respect" some client's won't hire you so he always carries the big SLR but never uses it!!

I guess eyebrows just might be raised if you shoot a wedding with a palmcorder that is smaller than the handycam's that the guests are using but unfortunately people DO seem to still work on assumption that bigger is better. A tiny HV20 swamped in accessories will not only look silly but will probably hamper your efforts anyway.

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Old December 31st, 2009, 12:28 AM   #11
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Here's a couple of pimped out hv series from another site. The one looks like a plastic meat container matte box.
Attached Thumbnails
it's so small...-hv20_big1.jpg   it's so small...-hv20-hh.jpg  

it's so small...-hv30-deli-matte-box.jpg  
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Old December 31st, 2009, 08:48 AM   #12
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Ok that plastic meat package mattebox is the best.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 01:25 PM   #13
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for us its the opposite, we use 2 Sony HD1000u's and always get compliments about professional looks; however in my head i'm thinking ,wish we could afford the 5D.....
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Old December 31st, 2009, 01:55 PM   #14
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Meat package matte box!

That is the most awesome thing I have seen today!
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Old December 31st, 2009, 03:11 PM   #15
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I do believe that a professional appearance does matter. That's probably the number one reason I decided not to shoot with an HV30. I think many smaller cameras still look very professional, like the Sony FX7 or the JVC HM100, but cameras like the Canon HV20/30/40 or JVC HD7/HM400 while having a great image, look like a consumer camcorder you picked up Best Buy.

Nothing changes. Back when I was a wedding dance DJ, I used a Bose 801 speaker system. If you've never seen or heard them, they are fairly small, very efficient speakers. I'd always get comments like "where are the rest of your speakers?" and "oh man, we wanted loud music!" After the music started, the only comments I would get are "wow, those are amazing!"

Unfortunately, the B&G don't get to see the end results until weeks or months later, so for the duration of the wedding day they're just wondering why your stuff is so small.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
A long time ago as a teenager I learned "it's not the size of the boat, but the motion in the ocean."
Ain't no fool going out to sea in a canoe! ;)
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