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Old June 7th, 2011, 04:12 PM   #16
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Re: Age vs Experience

You all make such excellent and wise remarks. Just goes to show that in this business there are so many different ways that work and none of them are necessarily wrong.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 06:06 PM   #17
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Re: Age vs Experience

I"m 28, been shooting wedding videos (dvds, films, wedding cinema; whatever you want to call it) for 8 years (part time for the 1st 3 while I was at uni, studying film n tv)

I had a pretty steep learning curve for the 1st few years, more of a steady one since then i'd say.

As far as I know, my age / experience has never been an issue, I consider myself (relatively) young, yet (relatively) experienced.

In the past few wedding shows ive had a few new young guys come up to me for advice, I found it very strange, as I never thought of mysself in that position, but then I thought about it (8 years in after all) and I had one of those ôlife / career appreciation " moments :)

So i consider myseslf young, but experienced. I like my job, i lke to shoot, i like to edit, i LOVE being my own boss and being a one man band. I love new technologies, new cameras, new toys, learning new techniques (from both the young upstarts and the seasoned vets)

At 28 an in relatively good shape, I still ache after a long 12 hour wedding, and this will only get worse with age! Comfy shoes are thee most essential bi of kit!

Will I still feel the same when im 65? I'll let you know ;)

(i'm pretty sure I will)


James

(sorry for the grammar and spelling, getting used to one the new toys, iPad)
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Old June 7th, 2011, 08:47 PM   #18
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Re: Age vs Experience

James, thanks for expressing the view of the younger worker in what was in danger of becoming a retirement home thread.

I'm sure that spelling and grammar aren't judged in forums etc amongst friends but you raise a serious point that everyone in business of any type should be aware of. When we're communicating with our public, spelling and grammar do matter.

In a technical and legal sense bad punctuation and grammar can change the fundamental meaning of a contract.

In basic communications many people will be concerned that a letter or brochure badly spelled and incorrectly punctuated may be evidence of the same lack of care in the product.

Probably the most common failing is not checking for errors - or more probably typos - in the titling and what makes this potentially the most serious is that they're errors which will be presented every time the programme is shown.

None of us who were never taught to type can be immune from typos yet they can leave the most damaging and possibly false impression about us. Ironically most word processors incorporate spell- and grammar-checkers yet they often seem to be the least-used features, not least amongst newspapers. In fact here in Britain one otherwise highly regarded daily newspaper earned such a notorious reputation for typos when technology did away with typesetters (traditionally the correctors of spelling and grammar) and put the journalists' writing directly on to the page, that it became known in some circles as The Graunaid, an anagram of its real name.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 09:04 PM   #19
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Re: Age vs Experience

James doesn't make me feel so bad now!! Aching all over at 28 means that we are indeed doing a pretty physical job!!!

Yes Philip regardless of age, correct spelling and grammar is critical to portray a professional business image ... I had a brief encounter with a 2nd shooter (not your 19 year old sort of bride!!!) who had absolutely no idea of spelling, grammar and also dress sense!!! She was basically a slob and how she got clients as a photog beats me!!

I was actually quite pleased a few weeks ago when a member of the band said to me "You are the first videographer I've seen who dresses correctly" "Most arrive at a formal wedding in torn jeans, a t-shirt and sneakers" .... Professional business also extends to your own personal presentation not only your communication and sadly a lot of new entries to the market seem to think that because they are "artists" they can dress as they feel!!

Chris
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Old June 7th, 2011, 10:06 PM   #20
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Re: Age vs Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren Kawamoto View Post
I've tried talking to young guys. I find them impatient, and they expect instant results. If they come across an obstacle, they google it, find a solution on forums like these, then proclaim to be an "expert" in their field. I tell them that what they think they know and what they actually know are two different things. I tell them that a great majority of their knowledge will come with lots of practice over time. Sadly, they think that owning a Canon 5DII, steadicam, and slider will automatically make them a professional videographer. An analogy I give them is if I gave them a Stradivarius violin, they could watch all the youtube videos on how to play it, and read all the forums about proper technique, but there is a world of difference between playing notes and MAKING MUSIC. Anyone can play notes, but only through practice and experience can you make music.
Some of these guys are what the words arrogance and hubris were invented to describe. Because they are new at it, they feel the need to put on a show to cover their lack of experience which can be really, really hard to be around.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 03:12 AM   #21
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Re: Age vs Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Howells View Post
James, thanks for expressing the view of the younger worker in what was in danger of becoming a retirement home thread.
Oh Philip, it wasn't getting that bad...was it? :-)

I went through the dissertation I did because for 29 of my 42 years on my day job, I got to work side by side with one of the best of "the old guys", my Dad. I saw how he approached things and how we would often differ on which way would be more correct. Along with working with my Dad, I would daily have other opportunities to interact with others of his generation and stature in the industry. All of that was rolled into my other work related experiences to formulate what knowledge of my industry that I have.

As we have seen here from the three posters I was thinking of when I wrote my post, one trait I have often found the "old guys" all seem to have is they are most often "ever the gentleman".

When it comes to video, heck I'm still wet behind the ears. I have been lucky enough to get to know Chris who has given me volumes of advice and the benefit of his experiences. I have one other "mentor", Gary happens to be half my age.

But from what I have seen that is severely lacking in this video industry, is a large local contingent of "the old guys" for the "young bucks" to talk to, learn from and experience. It really is an industry in its infancy that sure looks to have many more involved who are under 40 than over.

John's OP stated he has 3 years in the field at 23 and as we know, three years filming, creating and getting paid for it, is nothing to sneeze at !!! James has 8 years experience to draw on, again, very admirable to say the least. Aaron also chimed in about how he is using his and his wife age and experience to relate well to their clients. My guess is, anyone one of the three of these could "clean my clock" when it came to knowing anything about weddings. So they have the right to think "their experience" might be to a point of "beyond reproach".

I say this because, again I will guess, none of them has a Chris, Don or Philip they can hang with locally on a regular basis and pick up on some of the vast wealth of experiences. During my earlier years on my day job, I pretty much felt the same way. I KNEW lots of things about my job, but it was only later on that I realized there is "knowledge and experience"......and then there is "wisdom".

In my day job, when I hit that point, only then could I really see how much I really knew and how much I still had to learn !!!
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Old June 8th, 2011, 05:26 PM   #22
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Re: Age vs Experience

Dress code is something that suprises me a lot!

I wear a suit ( no tie ) and while that might be at the upper end of the dress code, but it routinely suprises me how (a'hem) a LOT of other wedding suppliers just role up in jeans and trainers

I'm guilty of letting grammar and spelling slip on here ( is there a spell check on ipad?) but when corresponding with clients, its all a ok proper English!

I would have loved to have had a mentor (s) when I started, but the reality is, that didn't even come close to happening (to be fair, i never sought out such a thing)

When I started, my local scene just seemed very 'closed' off, existing shooters were more interested in literally stealing a copy of my demo dvd at wedding shows rather than starting a conversation (ironically I would have gladly given them one of my dvds in exchange for one of theirs

It's only in the last year or two that i've started to develop relationships with other local shooters ( both in their mid 30s - I think) one who I think started the year before me, and another who just started a year and a half ago.

Its been great, we have different styles, but respect each other and each ohers work, we refer potential clients if we are already booked, we share stories (bitch) about troublesome weddings, talk about gear etc , I was in the unusual position foffering advice to the new shooter when he started (it did feel a bit odd given he is older than me) but that's the reality of the situation, he's older, but I'm more experienced.

Creating and building these relationships with other shooters has been nothing but good, I wish I'd done it sooner.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 07:40 PM   #23
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Re: Age vs Experience

Ah, the dreaded dress code! Like James, we've seen our fair share of photographers dressed for a day at the golf course, totally out of keeping with the rest of the guests let alone the wedding party, but the best of them are, like their work, smart.

Our objective is to merge into the background and to do that we find the best way is to look as much as possible like the wedding party whom we'll be around for most of the day. That means morning dress if they're wearing morning dress or black suits if they're less formal. For the benefit of US colleagues we don't have many dinner jacket weddings in the UK.

But it's all a matter of degree and to a certain extent personal style; I'm not critical of those cameramen who only wear dark suits. Recently we recorded a wedding at which the men all wore white tie and tails - again unusual in the UK if you're not a concert pianist. And at our next wedding the entire male party are wearing kilts - and the groom reminded me at our last meeting that they were "real" Scotsmen. That's a second reason why I'm happy to discover that there's no Scots tartan for Welshmen or Lancastrians so the men of the video crew will be in black suits.

In general, if there's any doubt, we'd err on the side of formality, for example I would never shoot a wedding without some sort of neck tie. I've never felt uncomfortable being "over-dressed" but it's very difficult fitting in if one's too informal.

The other consideration is cost. An ex-rental morning dress is considerably less expensive than a good quality black suit and, like all "uniforms" it means there's less wear and tear on the regular suit.

Finally, we've dropped out of the trend of recent years of wearing "scrunch" cravats. Taking our leave from the recent Royal wedding at which, oddly, the only notable wearer of a scrunch was David Beckham, my third shooter and I wear matching ties - my second shooter's my wife and she isn't into ties at all.

Could I add a note to Chip's posting? In think wisdom" is what we hope we call on when "knowledge and experience" aren't enough!
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Old June 8th, 2011, 08:01 PM   #24
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Re: Age vs Experience

I shot my first wedding when I was 17 -- on an SVHS camera as a favor for a relative whose photography business was expanding to include video. I've been shooting in one form or another since then (that was half a lifetime ago), and not once was my age/experience in question. I was shooting and doing 3D-animated accident recreations for the DA when I was 20, on top of TV, commercials, weddings, events, etc. . . .

I guess I've always delivered, and have always been able to give people the impression that I know exactly what I'm doing (even if I don't).
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Old June 10th, 2011, 03:01 PM   #25
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Re: Age vs Experience

There is no substitute for experience, but more importantly, there is no substitute for skill, tools, and taste, none of which is guaranteed with age.

(Ten minutes later...)

Hi John. I neglected to answer any of your questions directly! I did once have my age and experience come into play. I was told outright by a client that they went with someone else for a project because "he has more experience and the rates were close". Short story, short: the project was never finished.
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Old June 11th, 2011, 11:29 PM   #26
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Re: Age vs Experience

I shot my first wedding as a high school junior at the age of 16. While taking tv classes (we had a very advanced tv program at my hs) I was recommended by one of the hosts of a live weekly show in our town to work with a photography company. My second wedding I shot the client wanted to inspect my gear, check my tapes and ask me a million questions before I was allowed to continue shooting. I guess being only 16 he didn't trust that I had quality gear but I was lucky enough to have had enough money at the time to buy an XL2 and some nice accessories... from that point on nobody has ever questions my experience or age even though I'm still much younger than the average wedding shooter in my area (I'm still only 22) but having 6 years of wedding experience and 8 years of media creation experience, if my age and experience would ever come up I think I have enough to still secure the job.
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Old June 12th, 2011, 11:04 AM   #27
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Re: Age vs Experience

I think a lot of it has to do with a persons attitude. I have seen it both ways for both young and old.

I have seen younger people that have incredible knowledge, are humble and always willing to learn and then the ones that think they know it all and that other people have nothing to teach them.

I have also seen older people that are just going through the paces and unwilling to try anything new. Then the ones that are a wealth of knowledge that they love to share and yet are still open to new ideas and ways of doing things.

It is unfortunate that a growing majority of younger people these days (at least it seems to me) seem to not be willing to learn and when they do learn it is just on the surface and they don't really dig deep to really see how and why things work the way that they do.

I am in the young group, but I feel (I am a little biased...) I am different from a lot of other people my age. I am 27 and have been working full time since I was 14. I think that because I was young and worked mostly with adults that my ability to relate to older people was cultivated early and quickly. I had to learn how to interact in such a way as to not be "written off" as just being young.

I also am always trying to learn new things. I joke that when other boys were looking at porno I was reading manuals :) I have always loved sitting and talking to people who are more knowledgeable than I am. I try to glean as much as I can and to not only know the surface but to follow it up with my own research and learn the whole picture.

I also have had the benefit of working on a large variety of projects from early on and learning the "right" way to do things in real world situations from very smart and talented people.

I don't have people that think I am to young or inexperienced in fact I regularly have people think that I am older than I am. I think a lot of that comes from the way I present myself and interact with people and also the fact that for my age I have a lot of experience.

I think it really depends on the individual person, young or old, and how they carry themselves. I think most people can recognize a motivated, talented, confident, and knowledgeable person from one that does not have those traits, no mater how old (or young) they are.
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Old June 13th, 2011, 02:49 PM   #28
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Re: Age vs Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren Kawamoto View Post
... An analogy I give them is if I gave them a Stradivarius violin, they could watch all the youtube videos on how to play it, and read all the forums about proper technique, but there is a world of difference between playing notes and MAKING MUSIC. Anyone can play notes, but only through practice and experience can you make music.
Hi Warren,

That is a great line. May I quote you?
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Old June 15th, 2011, 03:09 PM   #29
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Re: Age vs Experience

Neither age nor experience guarantee professionalism,
my clients never ask me how old I am, and just a few geeks asked me how long I've been shooting,
90% of my clients make their decision based on my demo reels, highlights and full wedding videos;
and of course the price :)
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