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


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Old September 9th, 2010, 06:25 AM   #1
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the family photographer

So I had an experience last weekend, I was doing a wide angle shot of a bridal party, set them up on a gazebo etc. etc. went to grab my DSLR to grab a few stills (bride wanted stills incorporated). When I turn around, I witness great Aunt Sally with her shiny new canon rebel standing directly in front of my HM700. Not only did she block my entire shot, she was using my setup, lighting etc. etc.
This really bothered me, and of course I very politely asked her if she could take a few steps over as to not block the camera, and her response.. "You're not the only one with a camera here" How would everyone here deal with a guest like this?
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Old September 9th, 2010, 08:08 AM   #2
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Stephen, this a fine line to thread. Do you lambast Auntie? Maybe she is the Bride's beloved relative. You will sound rude if you do that.

A technique we have employed is assign an elderly relative of the couple to man the traffic. They can tell people to put down their cameras until the official videographer/photog has done their job. Sometimes we ask the Best Man to do it for us. They seem to obey them more than they obey us.

My 2 cents.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 09:07 AM   #3
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While not wishing to appear unsympathetic I'd say that if you leave a camera un-manned then it would be easy for guests to assume that it's not recording, how are they supposed to guess what you are doing.

I always work on the basis that no one else on the day is going to work around or for me. If someone gets in the way I'll move, unless of course it's during the vows or speeches, but as I'm always with the camera (also an HM700) I am pretty noticeable and most people do not stand in front of me. In fact it always amuses me to see people clock the camera and then duck down as they walk by.

The guests and especially family are there on the day to join in and celebrate the wedding and part of that is taking their own photos. My experience watching photographers that have the "hands off (or cameras away ) it's my shoot" approach, rarely get co-operation from the guests. There are of course tactful ways to ask for guests co-operation but if it ain't coming you have to roll with it.

I've seen photographers make children cry and grown men get close to punching with their overbearing attitude.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 12:04 PM   #4
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Well I would beat her within an inch of her life then jump on her yelling "YEAH, but I'm getting paid you @#$%^&" ;-)

Not really but I sure would like to do that sometime. I have to agree, with no one standing there at the camera they assume it's not recording but frankly what she said might have set me off but I would smile and say something to the effect of "yes I know but I am doing what the bride and groom have asked me to do so if you wouldn't mind I need to finish then you can get all the shots you want". OR I would just leave it alone and wait until she was done the do what I needed to do and believe me, I've done both. Some people expect you to just wait until they are finished but honestly sometimes you just can't so there are times when you have to stand your ground and other times discretion is the better part of valor.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 08:16 PM   #5
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I occasionally work with a freelance photog and yes, of course the family want pics and video. What we usually do is get up on the soap box and explain carefully that "we need to do the "official" shots first so could everyone step back a few feet. Then you can come and take as many photos as you want to"

Usually always works well and the amateurs can also take advantage of snapping (or filming) the bridal party in their posed positions. A little diplomacy usually goes a long way to solving problems. Yelling at the guests certainly doesn't help the situation and once they know how it works, the subsequent shoots flow easily cos they now know that "let the pros get their shots before we move in for ours"

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Old September 9th, 2010, 08:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noel Lising View Post
A technique we have employed is assign an elderly relative of the couple to man the traffic. They can tell people to put down their cameras until the official videographer/photog has done their job. Sometimes we ask the Best Man to do it for us. They seem to obey them more than they obey us.

My 2 cents.
That often works very well. I just shot a large wedding where the groom was the son of a major public figure. There were a large number of guests. After the photo shoot in the church after the ceremony, I positioned myself outside to shoot the couple as they got into a limo to take them to the reception. There was a large crowd gathered around and I could see there was a big chance that I was going to be blocked. I made friends with an elderly lady who was a friend of the grooms family and asked her if she could help keep people clear so I could get the shot that the groom asked me to get. She was a real trooper and did a great job of keeping people clear, Because of her age and association with the family, she was able to do a much better job of keeping my shot clear than I could have.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 11:08 PM   #7
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OH believe me I will always kill my guests with kindness =], But the reason this stands out to me is because of the way she said it, "You're not the only one with a camera here" as if she was entitled to using everything that I had worked hard to set up.. The issue was solved by the Bride who was not happy to wait for amateur hour photography to end, she really wanted her poses done, and done fast. It still bothers me, I guess I just a tougher skin!
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