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


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Old December 26th, 2010, 05:38 PM   #31
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This sounds like a justification for having one organization provide both photo and video services.
Absolutely not, was replying to the post about why a photographer needs two photographers during the dancing.

I have not heard that comment about why have two video cameras going during the dancing.
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Old December 26th, 2010, 06:22 PM   #32
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I like to shoot with two videos cameras during the first dance as well as the father/daughter and mother/son dances for two primary reasons. The first is lighting. With two cameras each with low wattage on-camera lights, each camera is a fill light for the other. I like to position the two cameras on the side of the dance floor usually one on a back corner and the other in the other back corner or along the back side. Out of consideration for the photographer as well as the guests, neither camera moves. There are some great shots that you forgo when you don't move but just how much of a sideshow do the B&G and guests want!? Usually the photographer(s) are circling round and round and round during the entire dances. I don't want to add to this distraction. Four cameras circling round and round a dancing couple is ridiculous - frankly, so is two. It would be great to move around and get some low angle shots, some dutch angle shots and even some flying stabilizer shots but how much is too much? With two cameras as I describe, I can usually cut from one camera to the other and get rid of the circling photographer in part of the footage as well.

I really make an effort to stay out of the way of the photographer. In the above example, I (we) are on the side of the dance floor and we don't move around even at the expense of some great shots. It's less disruptive to the guests and it also minimizes getting in the way of the photographer. All to often, the reverse is not true. For example, at the last wedding I shot, I was asked to be sure to get the limo departure shot from the church. But what happened!? As soon as the couple approached the limo, the photographer positioned himself between me and the couple. Then, when they got into the limo, he jumped into the front seat and started taking pictures of them in the back seat. And if that wasn't enough, as soon as the limo started to pull out of the parking lot, he pulled his car between me and the limo. Am I supposed to like that? Is that OK? Absolutely not. If it were a single organization providing both photography and video services, that sort of stuff could be controlled much better. I'm telling you, some of the blocking of shots is deliberate.
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Old December 26th, 2010, 06:32 PM   #33
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Jim, I agree with you.

When we are doing photography we stay on the same side as the video cameras so we are not in the shot, we do not want to be in the video, we also realize how bad it looks to be blasting away with flash. I often use the video light for my lighting so I can shoot with out flash and the music keeps the camera shutter from being heard.

I feel that it very unprofessional to have an issue with other vendors at the wedding. Its always common sense, or lack of.

I also agree some intrusions are intentional, this is why regardless of doing video or photography you like having a second camera.

When doing video, and going down to one camera for just the dancing and as the night is winding down, I hate it when 1 or 2 people decide to get RIGHT in front of the camera and act like they can dance. I often turn the LCD around so they can see whats being recorded, sometimes it helps, sometimes it makes it worse. Times like this I would love a POWERFUL light and just blast them with it.
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Old December 26th, 2010, 06:35 PM   #34
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Thanks Denny. I'm sure it would be a pleasure to work with you. You wouldn't believe some of the things I see and I'm sure you have made similar observations.
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Old December 26th, 2010, 06:39 PM   #35
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Thanks Denny. I'm sure it would be a pleasure to work with you. You wouldn't believe some of the things I see and I'm sure you have made similar observations.
Oh I know, I guess being on both sides helps but I was always respectful before doing video.

I deal with Video wanabees too, trying to do flying with a tiny handicam, laying on the ground, circling the b&g on the first dance etc But after all these years have learned to expect anything and realize thats why they are never going to be professional, they just do not have a clue.
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Old December 26th, 2010, 06:41 PM   #36
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Well couldn't this be said about using 2 video cameras for the reception also?

If only one photographer and one videographer were working less people getting in the way. Wanting different cuts of the toast is no different than wanting different shots of it for the photographer.

Also, since there is no continuous shooting of stills, a second shooter is the "back up"
For me the second shooter is getting the creative shots, wide angle guests etc, while I get the "Must Have" shots.

Remember for every time you get annoyed with the photographer, there is a good chance they were feeling the same way.
Denny, I agree..no need for 2 videographers during the dancing part of the reception. After the Best Man's toast, the other videographer can leave. ( I personally shoot one videographer all day..by myself). I'm really just talking the last hour or so of the reception, where the photographer is taking "another" photo of people dancing and that photo doesn't look much different than one he took 2 hours earlier. With video, it's different because we are recording audio so you know it's a different song that people are dancing too.
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Old December 26th, 2010, 09:48 PM   #37
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Denny, I agree..no need for 2 videographers during the dancing part of the reception. After the Best Man's toast, the other videographer can leave. ( I personally shoot one videographer all day..by myself). I'm really just talking the last hour or so of the reception, where the photographer is taking "another" photo of people dancing and that photo doesn't look much different than one he took 2 hours earlier. With video, it's different because we are recording audio so you know it's a different song that people are dancing too.
Trust me do you think I want to edit more photos after a long wedding, but how do you not keep taking photos when the bride hired you for 10 hours and its only been 9. Its like killing yourself twice, having to hang around watching drunks dance, plus more files to download.

The dollar dance kills me, what a waste of time. I really have thought about putting in my contract we will stay until the dollar dance starts, at least make them do that at the end.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 08:00 AM   #38
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In my area there is a photographer that offers video with his photos for $200. He has a kid with a video camera stand in the back and shoot video. I have seen the videos and they are not worth the $200 he is charging. The problem is the bride has no idea what she is going to get and thinks it is a good deal. I was very tempted to offer photos for $200 with my video package. I can assure you my photo product would be a far better deal than what he is offering with his video. The only reason I did not do it was I got hired to shoot commercials and have not shot a wedding since.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 09:10 AM   #39
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Less is sometimes more. I've done weddings with 3 photographers, 2 videographers, and a DJ who has his own photographer and videographer. All I can say is, the dance floor gets very crowded with everyone on it. At some point, the question has to be asked, "How many different angles does the client need of the cake being cut?".
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Old December 27th, 2010, 03:37 PM   #40
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Chris highlights the issue with photographers/videographers. Too many makes everyone look bad. DSLRs compound the problem because few DSLR shooters are confident shooting live action/non repeatable footage without a back-up cam to hide the focus glitches.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 07:03 AM   #41
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Chris highlights the issue with photographers/videographers. Too many makes everyone look bad. DSLRs compound the problem because few DSLR shooters are confident shooting live action/non repeatable footage without a back-up cam to hide the focus glitches.
I"m a DSLR shooter and I have no idea what you are talking about.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 04:05 PM   #42
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I really make an effort to stay out of the way of the photographer. In the above example, I (we) are on the side of the dance floor and we don't move around even at the expense of some great shots. It's less disruptive to the guests and it also minimizes getting in the way of the photographer. All to often, the reverse is not true. For example, at the last wedding I shot, I was asked to be sure to get the limo departure shot from the church. But what happened!? As soon as the couple approached the limo, the photographer positioned himself between me and the couple. Then, when they got into the limo, he jumped into the front seat and started taking pictures of them in the back seat. And if that wasn't enough, as soon as the limo started to pull out of the parking lot, he pulled his car between me and the limo. Am I supposed to like that? Is that OK? Absolutely not. If it were a single organization providing both photography and video services, that sort of stuff could be controlled much better. I'm telling you, some of the blocking of shots is deliberate.
Jim, I'm with you all the way here. I did a wedding at a catholic church a few months ago and I swear the photographer was deliberately spoiling my shots. Like you, he managed to get himself between me,the car and B&G at every possible moment. If I moved, he moved too.

When he wasn't taking photos of the B&G he went and stood so close to them looking through his shots that it was impossible to get a shot of the B&G without him in it. In the end I had a word with him and his reaction is "I'm here to get photos, I don't give a f... about you, I don't like videos".

As others have said, communication is key - provided you have a corporative photographer! I go out of my way to introduce myself and my team to any photography team that may be shooting. Some are great people, others give you the cold shoulder and try to speak to you as little as possible.

For the first dance I like to set up cameras similar to Jim, 90 degree angles either side of the DJ so we get the benefit of their lights and our lights too. We even get to see the guests in the background watching. I even go as far as to tell the photographer I'm using lights AND what colour temperature those lights are in case they are shooting JPEG instead of RAW and can set their white balance to match.

However, I hate it when the photog runs around the dance floor to try to get a shot (which we already had ;)) only to find they are too late and the couple already moved, so they move again. Arrrrgghhh!!

The other thing that I really hate is when photographers insist in firing off bursts of shots (e.g. a Nikon D3 in fast burst mode) all the way through the vows and exchange of rings (not to mention speeches!). They don't shoot when the celebrant is talking.... nooooo.... that would be too nice to the video guy...... they shoot while the B & G are saying their vows so all I can hear is click-click-click-click-click in the audio track that I want to pull out for the highlights! What I don't understand it why they want shots of the Bride with her mouth open (i.e. while speaking) instead of a smile on her face (while the celebrant is speaking). Friggin' Crazy!

Up until now we've mainly done video for weddings (we do commercial photos). But I've now made the decision that if some one wants the full combined photo/video package I'm no longer going to turn them down like I used to. There ARE some great photographers around me, and I get along with them very well, but I'm so glad when some of the other no so nice ones bug out about 5:30pm (see they even get a shorter working day!) and we are left to capture things without interference.

In terms of cutting the cake, I do feel sorry for the (nice) photogs that end up with shots of the Bride's white dress completely covered in red (or even green!) focus assist bands from people's point & shoot cameras. OTOH I've had a couple of photogs spoil the video completely and then I don't have any sympathy at all ;)
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