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

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Old January 28th, 2011, 09:18 PM   #1
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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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questions for potential second shooter?

Hello Everyone,
I have an appointment on Monday to talk to a guy about becoming a second shooter on larger weddings. I know a bit about his background, his camera, his lenses and I've seen clips of his work. I've never worked with a second shooter before so I want to ask those of you who have, what issues should I definitely raise with him?

Also, how much do you pay a second shooter? Do you pay by the hour?

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Old January 29th, 2011, 02:23 AM   #2
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Location: Green Bay Wisconsin
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Maybe it was a year or more ago I was looking for a second shooter and placed an ad and got a fair number of responses. A real common theme running through them was they were eager to learn especially so they could go out and become my next newest competition! I'm in a much smaller market than you, so that to me was "the kiss of death" to each one who sounded that way.

So regardless of who you pick, I would keep them as far away from your business, marketing, clients, contacts etc as possible. Don't confide in how you are going to fix anything or deal with any situation, just have them shoot and go home !!!

The one I hired I paid by the hour as I furnished all gear, editing etc. All she had to do was show up and aim and hit record.
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Old January 29th, 2011, 08:22 AM   #3
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Keaton, I would certainly ask him what his availability for the next year is like. You don't want to put a bunch of time and energy into training someone only to find out they were planning to move all along. Also, make sure he is really willing to work weekends.

I would also ask him what he thinks his biggest strengths and weaknesses are. It's such a simple question but you would be amazed how much you can learn about someone.

I would also show him your work and explain what you're looking for him to do. Gauge his response and see if he's comfortable with that or not. Some people want to second shoot and be the star and shoot all the creative stuff. For me, I generally need a second shooter that just covers the basics so that I can do the creative stuff. Not everyone is okay with that.

As far as payment, that's a loaded question. How much we pay a shooter totally depends on their experience and skill and how long they have shot for us and what kind of footage they deliver. You could pay anywhere from $10/hr to $200/hr. It's a really difficult question to answer to be honest.
Black Label Films
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Old January 29th, 2011, 08:50 AM   #4
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One question I asked interviewees was simply "Why do they want to shoot wedding video?" My main intentions behind this is because a lot of people are simply looking to pickup a camera, but once they actually get into shooting wedding video don't realize how they have little to no control over the situation. You want to make sure they are aware of what they are accepting as a wedding videographer, otherwise they may just flake on you or provide poor footage.

Another thing I do is make sure they realize there are no retakes to wedding video. They have to think on their toes and if they miss certain moments, then you are SOL. Of course having two shooters helps eliminate this possibility, but it's nice to know that you can count on your 2nd shooter to cover something.

Hope this helps, it has proved pretty successful as my 2nd shooter is really reliable and fully understands what wedding video is all about.
MediaBrewer Films
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Old January 31st, 2011, 10:24 AM   #5
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I met with a videographer last weekend for a second shooter job. I brought raw footage from a previous wedding that I think went a long way to show him what I'm thinking when I'm working before editing and improving the footage in post.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 02:20 PM   #6
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If I was looking for a second shooter I'd want to see the camera footage rather than edited.
George Kilroy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 31st, 2011, 02:55 PM   #7
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As long as he stays back and to the left... back and to the left...

Sorry, couldn't resist.
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