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


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Old August 30th, 2010, 10:28 PM   #31
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As I often communicate with Philip outside this forum I happen to know his very strong feelings about this and respect them. I guess it's also what area you are working in too. I have actually had 3 weddings where I was NOT fed or even offered anything. With two of them I just shot to the end and went and got take-out. The other one of the kitchen staff actually approached us and fixed us up without asking. In fact I was working with a photog who brought his own "dinner" and the bride spend a long time convincing him that having to eat sandwitches alone just wasn't right..she was only happy once he agreed to partake of the buffet. Sometimes we do get what they call a "service meal" which is a cut down main course only but then again some brides go the whole nine yards and even provide a special table...we had one Italian wedding where we basically ate from 7pm to 10pm ...there was no shooting to do as the guests were eating too and I never like to film someone with their mouth full!!!

Nope, it's not part of my terms and conditions but apart from the 3 instances, I have always been approached by the bride prior to having to say we will have to go out for a meal so I in fact have never had to use strong-arm tactics.

If you make a point to the bride that you don't want to be fed, does it give you an edge over your competitors?????

Chris
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Old August 31st, 2010, 04:20 AM   #32
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It's not a business model - it's human nature. We are not robots. We deal with people and emotions.

If you come home from a wedding after being treated like dirt, are you saying you would put just as much time and effort into the edit, as compared to a wedding where you were treated like royalty? Be honest
.
Firstly I wouldn't think that the fact that clients had not provided food for me (unless it is a part of the agreed contact) was being treated like dirt.
But no matter what I though of the day it wouldn't cause me to do a lesser job. I both pride myself and rely on doing the best I can for all my clients as that is what brings new clients to me. Okay so I might enjoy doing some better than others for all sorts of reasons but I wouldn't go out to do some thing more or less for them depending on whether or not they'd paid for my food.

As I said before my relationship is as a professional service provider not a semi guest.

One thing that this forum does reveal is that there is no definitive approach to providing wedding services, what works for some doesn't for others. Vive la différence.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 10:27 AM   #33
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My contract stated that we would leave the event for an hour to eat. But living here in the midst of "Minnesota Nice", we were always asked to share the meal with the wedding guests. Only once did we ever actually leave, and that was at a fancy reception which was probably a $25 per plate meal. We were glad to leave and go to Burger King.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 10:58 AM   #34
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My contract stated that we would leave the event for an hour to eat. But living here in the midst of "Minnesota Nice", we were always asked to share the meal with the wedding guests. Only once did we ever actually leave, and that was at a fancy reception which was probably a $25 per plate meal. We were glad to leave and go to Burger King.
OK this is a perfect example of the differences in weddings that take place in the different areas of the country and world.

$25 per plate in the greater Chicagoland area won't get you anything except maybe a Monday thru Thursday luncheon. Even Fridays in most NICE venues around here start at $45.00 and go up from there. When my daughter got married 14 years ago we did a Sunday night reception and even then it was $48.00 per plate and I made a deal with the owner since I knew him from shooting there quite often.
There are venues I've worked in where it's well in excess of $100 per plate and I've done some that were around $200. Of course I didn't get the filet and lobster (darn it) but the vendors were well taken care of by the staff.

Of course they spend so much on the dinner they don't have enough left to hire the videographer or they go for the smallest package. Oh well, one does have to eat and regardless of what you do to satisfy your hunger, if it works for you, then keep on doing it. No reason to change.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 11:23 AM   #35
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Never any problems here, I also don't have it in my contract and when I meet up with th ecouple it's not discussed and I always get fed. Eventhough I don't expect to get a meal I bring my own food to eat the first part of the day. The second part in the evening if it's a buffet I wait a bit and sit on a chair were the couple can see me, 70% of the time they come up to me and tell me I am more then welcome to eat too, if they don't come up I just mingle with the guests and take one plate of food (I never go a second or third time to a buffet) and sit separately from the guests. If the dinner is served at the table and if the couple doesn't ask I first ask the maitre if there has been provided food for me to, if not and if the couple doesn't ask me anything I go up to them and ask if it's ok if I ask for food, never had any problems with that, I even ask kitchen personal to just trow some leftovers on a plate.

I have seen the comparison made here with workmen at your house and that you don't feed them either, think there is a major difference, at a wedding there is already food provided for at least 100 people, why would they not provide one extra plate for the only person that works 14+ hours that day?

If I ever would come in a situation were I don't get any food I will just tell the couple that I will leave for about an hour during their meal to eat out. If something important would happen during that time which was not planned, bad luck...If you have a regular 8 hour job you have to bring your own food as well but if your boss expects you to work 14 to 16 hours its common here your boss must give you the possibility to get some extra food, I don't see any difference when it comes to weddings.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 02:24 PM   #36
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re

Nope never had a problem here, clients always ask if i want to eat, if its a 3 course, yummy. Ill eat on my own or with the photogs and chill out. If not ill get a burger at the bar and a juice. Usually though they say stick it on the tab, if they didnt no big deal.

luke
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Old August 31st, 2010, 03:54 PM   #37
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It's difficult to compare a videographer to most jobs. We don't start at 8am, take a coffee break at 10am, lunch for an hour at 12 then finish at 5pm. We may work 10 straight hours before finally getting a break, then work another 3 straight hours after that. So please don't compare a videographer to someone doing work on your house.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 04:08 PM   #38
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Just goes to show what different worlds we live in. I was just closing a booking with a bride and her mother one time when the bride's father arrived and started to try to re-negotiate the price. When I told him I had already agreed the price with his daughter he said "we will provide food on the day so you can deduct the cost of that from your price". I left without taking the job.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 07:18 PM   #39
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Just goes to show what different worlds we live in. I was just closing a booking with a bride and her mother one time when the bride's father arrived and started to try to re-negotiate the price. When I told him I had already agreed the price with his daughter he said "we will provide food on the day so you can deduct the cost of that from your price". I left without taking the job.
I know a photographer that if he doesn't get fed, he charges the bride $150 and another 150 for his assistant.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 09:36 PM   #40
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It's difficult to compare a videographer to most jobs. We don't start at 8am, take a coffee break at 10am, lunch for an hour at 12 then finish at 5pm. We may work 10 straight hours before finally getting a break, then work another 3 straight hours after that. So please don't compare a videographer to someone doing work on your house.
The comparison was only made to illustrate a simple fact. Treat others kindly and with respect - it will not go un-noticed.

BTW if the average videographer had to work as hard as a tradesman or builder does in a day, they would be admitted to hospital. Videography is a dream job - some of you with all this "10 hours without a break" sob stories make me laugh... :)
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Old August 31st, 2010, 09:52 PM   #41
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John while I understand what you're saying I'm afraid I have to take umbrage with what you are saying. I've been in this business for 27+ years and beside weddings I've done TV, news, seminars training vids and just about every other kind of work there is in the business and frankly I have worked just as hard as any trademan around. I have many many friends in the trades and they constantly ask me how I do what I do, it seems so much harder than what they do. So it's all relative. BTW I've worked 20 hour days without eating and it's not only not healthy but frankly you also lose concentration so that's not good either. Also I don't know any trademan that doesn't at least get a lunch break after about 4 to 5 hours. There have been time in the past when I'd go 10 before getting a break then suck a sandwich and do another 10.
Point is it's all relative and I don't anyone is telling a sob story, at least I know I'm not. It just a human consideration. After I've worked for you for about 6 to 8 hours how about feeding me it the least you can do.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 10:13 PM   #42
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Imagine you're watching everyone getting fed at a reception, and you're deciding what to do. Should you run off to grab something? Suddenly the wedding coordinator taps you on the shoulder and says "hey, help yourself to the buffet, there's a vendor's table for you guys there in that corner. Rollup napkins and forks are coming out now. What do you want to drink?"

How would you feel? Well, this is how we get treated for 95% of the weddings we do here in Hawaii. For the other 5% where we don't get fed, the brides are usually not from here. It's all about aloha!
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Old August 31st, 2010, 11:00 PM   #43
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John while I understand what you're saying I'm afraid I have to take umbrage with what you are saying. (snipped)
Don, I admit my hackles rose a little when I read John's comment though I'm not sure it went as far as umbrage.

Like Don I've done over 30 non-unionised years in this game and loved every minute - it was much better than working and certainly better than painting houses.

And it included tours of just post-Soviet Russia, a BVW507 over my shoulder and a Vinten 10 under the other arm, sitting in the aisle on a box of batteries each of which weighed the same as a fully kitted Z1 for a three hour flight in an old Aeroflot plane, with just a sound man carrying the SQN mixer and mics in one hand and and my colour monitor in the other.

But that's not a complaint John, just a description of the job I was, and am, privileged to do. I've seen the world including some pretty grim bits, and was paid for doing it. If people at a wedding I'm covering offer food or a drink, great; but expecting it or building it into the retail contract is where I draw the line.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 10:02 AM   #44
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It's not a business model - it's human nature. We are not robots. We deal with people and emotions.
I have to agree with John on this. I also think that we are taking the painter comparison too literally. John's main point is " people tend to feel better doing his/her job when treated properly". I guess this encompasses all people wheter as Videographer, Painter, Waiter, etc. See what a tip to a waiter did to one of our videographers here, they were taken care off better than the guest.

We all have different business models, some thinks asking a courtesy meal is a big no. no. Some videographers like myself feel it is okay. At the end of the day, whatever works and whatever makes us happy.

My 2 cents.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 10:54 AM   #45
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The comparison was only made to illustrate a simple fact. Treat others kindly and with respect - it will not go un-noticed.

BTW if the average videographer had to work as hard as a tradesman or builder does in a day, they would be admitted to hospital. Videography is a dream job - some of you with all this "10 hours without a break" sob stories make me laugh... :)
As a videographer, I work much harder than a builder does in a day. Not even close. I'm actually having a 1,000 sq ft studio built on my property as we speak, the builder didn't show up today. Imagine if I didn't show up for work?
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