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


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Old May 25th, 2010, 11:28 AM   #1
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Finally getting in the wedding business.

I have played with video off and on for a few years, something I love to do, but was not what paid the bills, photography does that.

We tried to gracefully get back out of video when we realized that you video guys are nuts, weddings are pressure cookers, add in video and its insane, oh yea then there is this little thing called AUDIO, and found out there are different kinds of mics. :)

We started booking less and less weddings when we stopped offering video, and although the stress level dropped so did our bookings. Went back to booking them but making it CRYSTAL clear we would shoot the video with one camera, no cinamatic stuff, no prep etc. We started booking weddings again. There is no video options in this rural area so they are willing to pay for base video.

I am no longer trying to juggle both now, so I will be the dedicated video, my wife will take the photography during the pre ceremony, ceremony and reception. This is working out well, we get there the same time and I get to setup while she takes pics. The only time I do the photography is for the formals, and our assistant loads the vehicle while I do those.

Working out better and I still make it clear what they get, and although I say 1 camera I shoot with an EX1r, 5dII and 1DIV and do take an occasional photo, but not many. I have an assistant on audio and one of the DSLR's.

My next step is to actually learn the audio part, I do love this so should be fun and I think as long as my clients know what they are going to get (under promise, over deliver) we may have found a way to offer a combination. I thought it could be done all as one, but for us anyways no way, We had to separate them and the assistant is 80% video 10% photography and 10% pack mule :)

As I get better may even add a second camera person and offer more but not sure if clients will be willing to pay the price for the cinematic style.

I posted this for the people who are considering doing it all, besides stress that is unbelievable chances are you will get in way over your head. Luckily we had only booked a few combinations before we realized we were not set up for that. I had to hire extra people making it less profitable than if we had done photography only.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 04:49 PM   #2
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i am doing the opposite...

i have been shooting wedding videos for 3 years and recently have decided to add photography in order to get more gigs.
i plan on offering VERY affordable photography and will strive to "under promise and over deliver" and see how it goes. i have MUCH to learn about photography but from the looks of it I think it will be more profitable than video.
offering both video and photography should be a win win IMO.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 05:16 PM   #3
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"under promise and over deliver" -JS
I think this is the key, and also let them know what your main gig is, and the other is add on.
The biggest draw back to photography is the liability and half a dozen family members being photographers.

Loose some important images or miss that kiss and you are in deep $HI7 This is why I only use cameras that write to 2 cards, if a card goes back there is the backup card.

You will find there will be guests who out gear you in photography unless your using 1d bodies and L lenses. Not that the camera makes the photographer, but its harder to take control and keep the flow going if Uncle Bob has their attention taking pictures with his 5DII and 24-105 L lens.

Video we have never had anyone ever try to compete for the spot to setup etc, different story with photography.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 05:34 PM   #4
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In the last 10 or 15 years just about every photographer I've worked with says the same thing. "Please do not take your pictures while I am. After I shoot this pose you can take yours" Plus since I know a lot of them quite well I help out during the formal shoot by 1) kinda of blocking the family photogs while I shoot my stuff and 2) I have a loud voice and am not afraid to use it. So I help a lot of the guys (gals) I work with with my vocal capability ;-)
I agree that in many cases the family photogs will certainly out gear the pro, but as what stated it's not the camera, it the person who is using it. As long a s the family folk stay out of your way then there shouldn't be too much of a problem. Of course there's always 1 in the crowd and they always seem to get more in my way than the photogs so at the reception I make sure to get in his way. Comes from shooting in news scrums and being the smallest guy in the crowds. Elbows work well.

O|O
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Old May 25th, 2010, 07:09 PM   #5
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In the last 10 or 15 years just about every photographer I've worked with says the same thing. "Please do not take your pictures while I am. After I shoot this pose you can take yours" Plus since I know a lot of them quite well I help out during the formal shoot by 1) kinda of blocking the family photogs while I shoot my stuff and 2) I have a loud voice and am not afraid to use it. So I help a lot of the guys (gals) I work with with my vocal capability ;-)
I agree that in many cases the family photogs will certainly out gear the pro, but as what stated it's not the camera, it the person who is using it. As long a s the family folk stay out of your way then there shouldn't be too much of a problem. Of course there's always 1 in the crowd and they always seem to get more in my way than the photogs so at the reception I make sure to get in his way. Comes from shooting in news scrums and being the smallest guy in the crowds. Elbows work well.

O|O
\--/
Your so right Don, and since I do 75% photography only weddings, would be a joy to work with you.
What does get your shorts in a wad is when they step in front of you to get that shot, you video guys can compare to like this, a guy with a handy cam steps in front of your A cam just as they cut the cake, regardless of how cheap his gear is, he got the shot that you were set up for. You think of a millions things to say to that person, or DO, but on the wedding day you just cant.

The rare occasion I do video only, the photogs love me, I help out and ask upfront if I can get a couple images for menus etc, rather than shoot them and everyone agrees its much easier that way. I do shoot a couple safe shots incase they do not come through but never had that happen. You can make each others job so much easier by playing nice.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 09:58 PM   #6
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I love the DJs that announce "hey everyone that wants to get a shot of them cutting the cake come on down"! NONONONONONONONO! and I tell them so. Step in front of me once and I'll say something civil. Do it again and not so much. I have uncivlily told people to move in not so nice tones and frankly I really don't care. After 27 years in video, 12 years as a still photog and over 1800 weddings under my belt, I just don't have the patience to deal with rude people anymore. When I used fullsized cameras people would kinda steer clear but with the small form factor cameras even with the light and receiver on it, some people still don't get it. Get in my way and trust me they do real quick. (vent over) ;-)
I use freeze frames for my menus work 'em in Photoshop and they look pretty good however if I see something super special that I might want for a menu I ask the photog if he can email me that shot for the menu and I'll give hime credit. So far it worked out pretty well.
If I was closer to you I'd certainly like to do some work with you but the commute from Chicago would be a killer

0|0
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Old May 25th, 2010, 10:26 PM   #7
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Thats so funny Don, we had words with a DJ last weekend, we were pretty far south for us, and we did not know him. He would move each event to a different spot after we set up, photography is not so bad, even though I use off camera lighting, but video is not so quick to move. I finally told him I would set up in the center of the dance floor if he did not keep them in one general area, the place was huge and he did first dance one area, father daughter dance another. When we left we exchanged cards, he is not only a DJ, but live band, and photographer, so it was no mistake, probably mad the B&G did not use him and they played our DVD slide show of the E session and Bridal Session the ENTIRE night.

I do not have the years of experience that you do, been doing about 20-25 weddings a year for 6 years but I could sit here and vent all night. Guess thats whats fun about these forums you can vent to friends who feel your pain. :)
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Old May 30th, 2010, 08:04 PM   #8
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Hey Denny, Great thread. My wife and I are in the process of moving out to Bradford,PA (Staying in Smethport for a bit though). We had a wedding me and my old team (2 vid, 2 photo) shot last year where the Manager at the reception hall physically assaulted my one videographer. He was also a bastard to the bride & groom throughout the night. Since I have the assault on video (He hit my camera guy with a chair - not hard) the B&G have asked me for a video of that because they're taking the guy to court for messing up their reception. I hope I don't run into too much of that out here.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 07:56 AM   #9
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I'm always amazed at photographers who do not understand that videographers have AUDIO to capture. The vows will be taking place and the photographer will ask me to move a few inches over, like I can just stop at that very moment and move the camera which is capturing the image and sound of the moment. Photographers have no concept of sound and audio.

I tell all my clients, "Sound is 50% of the job", if I don't capture good sound, I haven't done a good job.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 08:14 AM   #10
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I'm always amazed at photographers who do not understand that videographers have AUDIO to capture. The vows will be taking place and the photographer will ask me to move a few inches over, like I can just stop at that very moment and move the camera which is capturing the image and sound of the moment. Photographers have no concept of sound and audio.

I tell all my clients, "Sound is 50% of the job", if I don't capture good sound, I haven't done a good job.

Photographers and videographers should swap places for a wedding, they would both appreciate the others job so much more. I would bend over backwards to stay out of a videographers way, can not imagine asking a videographer to move like that.

I invested a lot MORE $$ in audio this year, as you stated Audio is key and that is half the battle.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 12:04 PM   #11
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You could have the greatest footage in the world but if you have lousy audio the client will notice it and probably say something about it, but if you have really good (great audio) and average footage, they'll think you're the best thing since sliced bread. Just the way it is.

A few years ago I was helping a friend of mine shoot an Indian wedding (there were 4 of us shooting the ceremony) and I was center aisle, tight shot, on a tripod with wheels. I had been in that position for quite a while when the photog sat down right in front of my tripod. I mean about 2 inches in front and bumped my tripod abbout 3 times. I whispered to him in a nice tone and asked him to move forward a few inches since he was bumping my tripod. He said, "you move, I have to shoot from here". I told him if he didn't move I would move him out the window from the 3rd floor except I wasn't as nice as that. He turned around and said "try it". There was another vid guy shooting next to me on a wide shot, and he leaned over and said to the guy, "I would move if I were you or you'll be moved in a manner you won't like". The guy moved and said something to the effect of "we'll handle this later" I said fine with me. Anyway later he came up to me and apologized, he realized he could move easier than I could not to mentio the fact I had the position first.
The point is some people have no clue and frankly are ignorant. Generally I'm a pretty nice guy on the job but this guy pushed my buttons and almost cost himself a stay in the ER. In all my years I've only had a very small number of photogs that are jerks, most are pretty decent people and I've worked with a lot of them numerous times so it's no problem but every once in a while you get the hotshot who thinks he's the gift to mankind. Sigh!
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Old June 8th, 2010, 01:28 PM   #12
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Photographers have no concept of sound and audio.
It is a different perspective. Some don't have any concept of "rolling" video either. A photographer sees the world in 1/1000 sec. clicks of his shutter. A videographer shooting continuous footage is a foreign concept,
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Old June 8th, 2010, 02:28 PM   #13
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one of my favorite sayings is "the photographer is taking 1 picture every 30 seconds. I'm taking 30 pictures a second. Movement, action and sound, people!"
Not when the photgrapher is shooting though. That could cause a bit of a problem.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 03:04 PM   #14
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So I'm relatively new to the wedding business (been doing it for almost a year). Is it just me, or does it seem that people are magnetically attracted to standing in front of your video camera (with there backs to it, of course)? I just can't over how I choose the perfect spot to catch the best shot, while doing the best I can to stay out of people's line of sight or the photogs way, and it never fails that I'll always have to ask someone to "please mover a little, because they have placed the back of their head directly in front of my camera. I did a wedding this past Saturday, and it was so bad that i thought I was in the "Twilight Zone"!

It was so bad that after everything was set up for the groom to remove the garter - someone had placed the chair in the middle of the dance floor, the chair was facing forward toward the audience, my "A" camera was off to the side on the tripod with a very good angle of the action, I grabbed my "B" cam on monopod to capture different angles/aspects. All of sudden, the bride grabs the chair, turns it around and puts her back to my "A" cam. That's how it was all night...unbelievable.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 04:22 PM   #15
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Coral, keep in mind that you are a paid professional. I get the "shot" no matter what, I don't mind if I block the presidential table's line of sight as long as I have my shot. Either they move to a better viewing angle or they can watch my back.

My 2 cents.
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