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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old March 9th, 2011, 09:10 AM   #1
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Your TOP advice for shooting weddings

Please share with us your top advise/advises on shooting wedding. Like small bible of "what to do , or what not to do".

I wont be giving any,as i'm a beginner.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 09:47 AM   #2
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Re: Your TOP advice for shooting weddings

Already done -- excellent advice on a wide variety of topics
is already at your fingertips. You need only to search for the
subjects that interest you, and start reading through them.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 09:51 AM   #3
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Re: Your TOP advice for shooting weddings

I'm not going to say anything technical as we all have dirfferent gear, different ideas and different ways of doing things but I will say this. Take a deep breath, relax, keep in mind that shooting a wedding is like shooting a breaking news event. It happens once, it happens fast and there's no re-dos. Can't yell cut during the vows and ask them to re-do them with more energy. I kind of compare it to my time in the army many many years ago. In combat there are hours of boredom and moments of terror. During the "boredom" you must keep your head in the game, concentrate on what your doing and do it to the very best of your ability. During those moments of terror, see the above statement. Keep your wits about you, never let on that something might have gone wong, keep a smile on your face and never let 'em see you sweat.
Be open and friendly with not only the B&G but everyone else at the event cause you never who is there that might be getting married later or who might be having some other type of event that might what to hire you.
Maybe not what your looking for but it's worked for me for going on 27 years doing weddings and other live events.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 10:00 AM   #4
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Re: Your TOP advice for shooting weddings

Andy,

Just a general piece of advice. I've shot a lot of different things/events over the years, and nothing is as difficult to shoot well as a wedding.

It's funny because people talk about 'getting into video' by shooting weddings, when really shooting talking head interviews, short films, documentaries, even sporting events, are far easier to learn the trade in. Oh, and you are often the lowest paid (per hour), professional at the event (fortunately this is changing).

The number one challenge of weddings is: you can't yell 'CUT', though I've wanted to (many times), when something goes wrong. Combine that with the length of the event, and the expectations of the client, and the general 'anything can and may happen' nature of the events, and you've got a potential recipe for disaster.

In short, my advice... be prepared for anything. Camera failure, mic failure, cameras being blocked, airplanes flying over during the vows, etc., In short, you need all kinds of redundancy.

All this being said... welcome to the club! Good luck. You're off to a good start by finding dvinfo.net. There are some great wedding shooters here who are more than happy to help.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 10:32 AM   #5
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Re: Your TOP advice for shooting weddings

One of the best pieces of advice that I can give you is to make sure that you obtain a copy of the Itinerary. This will help you understand what will be taking place and when. In addittion, I would suggest attending the rehearsal if possible. Also note that sometimes things change and the itinerary is not followed exactly. Dont stray to far from the bride, this will help you make sure that you dont miss anything to important. If you do guest interviews, I would have a second person with you to help coordinate things.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 10:54 AM   #6
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Re: Your TOP advice for shooting weddings

+1 for Kevin.. stay near the bride at most times......it is her day.......plus you need two of everything... steve
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Old March 9th, 2011, 11:16 AM   #7
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Re: Your TOP advice for shooting weddings

Andy,

my top advice is practice and practice and practice before the wedding. then after the wedding review your shots, there is always a mistake or flaws you will find out and you can learn and apply that to the next shoot and so on.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 12:00 PM   #8
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Re: Your TOP advice for shooting weddings

1. Expect the unexpected.
2. Remember you'll never have a perfect shoot...never.
3. Stay on your feet, eyes open, sharp mental focus to try and read the flow around you.
3. Don't sweat missing something that you should've gotten on film. There's nothing you can do about it now. Let it go and get the next great thing on film.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 12:09 PM   #9
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Re: Your TOP advice for shooting weddings

My best advice for shooting weddings if you're new to it would be to 2nd shoot for someone else for a few first.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 12:41 PM   #10
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Re: Your TOP advice for shooting weddings

Think before you press record.
Don't just walk around filming everything.

Details, details, details.
To you it's a table decoration, to the bride it's months of planning.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 01:02 PM   #11
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Re: Your TOP advice for shooting weddings

wow, so many great advises! thanks everyone.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 02:59 PM   #12
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Re: Your TOP advice for shooting weddings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bleasdale View Post
+1 for Kevin.. stay near the bride at most times......it is her day.......plus you need two of everything... steve
I agree..always stay with the bride. If you're going from the church to a few other locations, follow the bride. Don't listen to the photographer who knows a short cut. If the bride gets lost or stuck in traffic, you are right behind her. Do not let guests drive between you and the Limo. Make sure you are the car directly behind her limo.

Mike
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Old March 9th, 2011, 03:50 PM   #13
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Re: Your TOP advice for shooting weddings

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Originally Posted by Ken Diewert View Post
In short, my advice... be prepared for anything. Camera failure, mic failure, cameras being blocked, airplanes flying over during the vows, etc., In short, you need all kinds of redundancy.
I agree with Ken. Furthermore, don't be afraid to think outside the box when things like that go wrong. If an airplane flies overhead during the vows, I've been known to ask the bride and groom (at a quiet moment at the reception) if they'd like to go and record the audio of their vows over again so I can re-sync in post (very easy to do). I explain to them that the airplane happened, that I can leave it if they like, etc., etc., or that I can replace the audio with much clearer voice over. Then it's in their court and at least you gave them the option.

One mistake *I* made once (can't blame it on a plane), was to hit the "off" button during the bridesmaids' procession (only the bridesmaids, not the bride). This was the biggest mistake I've ever made and it happened my first year (long time ago). Without anyone else knowing, I quietly gathered the bridesmaids during receiving line, brought them back into the church, recorded them close up processing (close up enough not to see empty pews), synced it with the balcony cam's footage (which had been rolling), and no one ever knew! (Even the bridesmaids didn't exactly ever get why I was doing it!

If you think outside the box, and are willing to admit there was a small mistake you made, you can often fix things before it's too late to do so....
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Old March 9th, 2011, 03:54 PM   #14
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Re: Your TOP advice for shooting weddings

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Originally Posted by Michael Simons View Post
Do not let guests drive between you and the Limo. Make sure you are the car directly behind her limo.
No question, Mike. I've been known to run lights, cut-off cars, down that snack, and god knows what else, just in order to keep their limo in sight. I learned that one the hard way. (Followed the photo assistant who got no where near where she was supposed to go.)
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Old March 9th, 2011, 04:57 PM   #15
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Re: Your TOP advice for shooting weddings

What's up Andy..
Keep it simple. It is easy to get carried away with doing fancy shots and such that in the end might not be usable at all. Once you've gain enough experience and are comfortable with your style and gear then you can go ahead and experiment and execute those great moving/specialty shots. Good luck!

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