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Old March 20th, 2011, 09:25 AM   #1
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Potential issues letting brides cousin film too?

A bride just asked us if her cousin could film as well... "he doesn't do it professionally, just as a hobby."

What are some of the potential issues we could expect if we let him film?

Him gaining intellectual property (our shooting techniques and what not)?

If you have been here, please let me know your thoughts.

Thanks!
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Old March 20th, 2011, 10:26 AM   #2
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Re: Potential issues letting brides cousin film too?

I'm not sure about intellectual property rights etc, but my first thought was that you have to set clear ground rules that YOU are the professional, and therefore you get the best positions. The last thing you need is someone else either following you, or blocking you when you're trying to do your job!

Maybe ask them to stay in the congregation and just stay out of your way while you're filming. And let them do all the boring (more boring!!!) stuff!

Of course, while saying all of this, you need to be as polite as possible as not to offend either, but still be firm!
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Old March 20th, 2011, 10:40 AM   #3
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Re: Potential issues letting brides cousin film too?

No be firm, i had that last year and he tried to take over doing cheesy shots that you dont need that he has looked up on the internet???? Tell the bride he can do his own workflow but not to disrupt your workflow and he can not choose location areas? steve
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Old March 20th, 2011, 10:49 AM   #4
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Re: Potential issues letting brides cousin film too?

If you are considering it, I would fully embrace it on your terms. Sell the idea that he should shoot the family since this is what "he knows better than you". He can get family reactions in the audience during the ceremony while you are shooting the b&g. He can get congrats & funny stories from family that you may not be able to. Use him to your advantage. And if it doesn't turn out, nothing lost, leave the footage on the floor.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 11:42 AM   #5
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Re: Potential issues letting brides cousin film too?

First and foremost I wouldn't worry to much about him gaining anything from you by shooting. He could just as easily watch what you're doing from his seat if he wasn't filming.

So what ARE the potential issues? He could get in your way and cross your shots and make life generally more difficult for you on the wedding day. He could try and get involved by voicing his 'opinion' on things. He could be mistaken by guests or other vendors (like church staff) as being part of your crew, which could be negative depending on how he handles himself.

To be honest, I would find out from the bride how important it is to HER that he be allowed to film. Most likely she could really care less and is just asking on his behalf. If this is the case I would politely ask that her cousin not film the wedding. After all, she has invited him as a guest so shouldn't he act like a guest. If he wants to pursue a wedding filming hobby there are plenty of brides on Craigslist he can shoot for free.

If, on the other hand, she feels pretty strongly about allowing him to film ... well, I would ask her for the cousin's phone number so you can call him and lay out some boundaries. Then just treat him as part of the story of the day and incorporate him into it.

Personally though, I think he should be in his seat. The bride invited him as a guest and has a seat rented for him. He should use it and let the professionals do the job.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 02:36 PM   #6
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Re: Potential issues letting brides cousin film too?

IMO as long as you know and can discuss it ahead of time, you have nothing to lose and if crap happens, the cousin's footage might save your bacon. Chances are he will have a consumer camcorder with a bazillionX zoom so he doesn't need to be "right there". Stake out your territory ahead of time, explain why another camera is never seen in video or movies, and let him know you will also try to stay out of his shots, if at all possible.

IMO I see lots more negatives than positives in telling the bride NO he can't shoot this.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 06:12 PM   #7
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Re: Potential issues letting brides cousin film too?

I have never had this happen while doing video since I don't do wedding video, but I do shoot wedding stills, and this never is a good situation.

I would avoid it as best as possible.

Good luck.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 06:49 PM   #8
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Re: Potential issues letting brides cousin film too?

I often see guests with camcorders so having the guests film the wedding is really nothing new and you really shouldn't have to offend the bride by saying no!! If the cousin wants to film as a guest then that's nothing new BUT if the cousin expects to be able to take up the aisle with his/her tripod and handycam then you will need to discuss the matter with the bride.

Has the bride given you more details about the cousin's involvement??? I think it's important to find out exactly what the cousin wants to do on the day and whether it will upset your workflow. Personally I would be happy as long as the budding amateur was out of my way and out of all my shots but if the bride wanted him/her to be up-front and right in the action then it will need further discussion.

A mate of mine had an amateur filming front and centre at a wedding and it saved him from disgrace when he "double-pushed" the record button and had the camera in standby for the entire ceremony!!!

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Old March 20th, 2011, 11:44 PM   #9
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Re: Potential issues letting brides cousin film too?

It's a mixed bag... I've seen some high end sorts specify that there should be no other cameras at the event... that's the extreme, and I'd say silly given almost every piece of consumer electronics has a camera (sometimes even a decent one!) in it nowdays.

If she is insistent, I'd contact the cousin, find out what gear he's got and what he'd be contemplating doing - perhaps you get a free second op out of the deal, if he's a decent fellow with decent gear. If he's a problem, better to make contact and find it out in advance so you can politely work it out with the bride before the day. Odds are he is OK, from my experiences.

We've had requests of a similar nature, and it's always worked out fine - another lens and set of eyes gives you more coverage - if you can get a data dump at day's end, it's just more possible coverage (I concur with the earlier comment about you can always dump it if it trash). It's usually been photogs, but now they will increasingly have a video capable cam. As long as it's kept professional, it'd probably be an asset rather than a pain in the asset.

You can suggest to the bride that it's easier on the guests to not have a "job" to do, and that's why she's paying you as a professional, but I know we've done a few as "guests" while also providing the coverage... that's when it's particularly nice to have a couple other family members/friends who also share the expensive "hobby"!!
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Old March 21st, 2011, 08:58 AM   #10
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Re: Potential issues letting brides cousin film too?

IMO, it's no big deal, with the advent of consumer HD cameras, very affordable DSLRs, 100% of the time you'll have an Uncle or a guest shooting video or photos anyway. I would say yes as long as the cousin doesn't interfere with your work and just shoot from the sidelines.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 09:19 AM   #11
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Re: Potential issues letting brides cousin film too?

From my experience relatives are not 'dangerous', you tell them: "please don't" and they don't, make him part of your frame (not every single one) and your bride will be very happy with some nice shots of her cousin filming bride and groom and bridal party;
as always, I would be more concerned about photographer, you tell them : 'please don't' , and they do :)
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 11:40 PM   #12
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Re: Potential issues letting brides cousin film too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cody Dulock View Post
Him gaining intellectual property (our shooting techniques and what not)?
I remember when I was getting started I contacted several wedding videographers and offered to shoot b-roll for them, I would give them all footage, obviously asked for no compensation other than a little experience and they all said no. If anyone asks me for ANY advice or tips, I offer it. I assure you you have no secret shooting methods that no one else knows about. To each his own I suppose.

As everyone else said make it clear that you are the paid professional. I did a wedding once, stills, and I did not make it clear before hand that others are welcome to take pictures, but only if they can get them on the fly. When we did the post ceremony photo shoot, every photo we did, family, glam, you name it, after arranging and composing the people, I had to wait for the friend who had a canon g11 and thought he was a pro to take a second shot. Considering this was done for every shot it simply got out of hand. I wanted to sarcastically offer the guy with the G11 the job to the bride and groom but obviously that wouldn't work on a professional level. So now I make it clear that during formal photos, I'm the one getting paid, not everyone else with a nikon d40 who took a photography class in high school.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 10:09 AM   #13
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Re: Potential issues letting brides cousin film too?

Who cares? Relatives shooting video or stills never bothered me....they usually don't know what they are doing, have no idea what or how to shoot anything, and usually stop shooting after a short time.

It's usually easy for me to get them out of my way....I wouldn't hassle the client by bringing it up.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 01:59 PM   #14
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Re: Potential issues letting brides cousin film too?

I agree with Eliot, weddings are about family & friends sharing in a celebration. Photographers & videographers should get off their high horse - let the cousin do his thing if you're threatened that someone will steal your work you're in the wrong business. Something could happen to you, accident or theft, at least the couple will have some video. Lets face it the cousin knows the family and will get some really good stuff of the guests interacting and having fun, as strangers at a wedding we sometimes miss a lot of the guests interaction. Relax, enjoy & give them an awesome video, I'm sure that's why they hired you and not the cousin.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 02:32 PM   #15
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Re: Potential issues letting brides cousin film too?

Kick his tripod out from under him .. what's that you say? he doesn't have one but he drinks? Oh that's Ok then.

Cheers.
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