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


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Old June 27th, 2011, 02:25 PM   #1
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Too many videographers?

I just worked with 2 well established photographers this past weekend. One of them told me that for her previous' day wedding, there were 4 videographers with her in the bedroom for the bride's preparation. Because the room was small, they were constantly bumping into her and she grew very irritated with them. These were young guys, all equipped with 5Ds. What she couldn't understand was why they needed 4 people shooting over her shoulder for basically the same shot. Of course it would have been impossible to position any of them across the small room since it was tiny, but the scene really affected her concentration and ability to work efficiently. During the ceremony, it got worse. The same videographers were constantly scrambling around with sliders, glidecams, and who-knows-whats. In their eagerness of not wanting to miss anything, they kept repositioning themselves, making working with them extremely frustrating. For the reception, they played back an SDE, and she was disappointed at how mediocre their work was. To make a long story short, she blacklisted that company and vowed to not refer them or even accept a job with them again.

For yesterday's wedding, the photographer also complained of how many videographers are showing up at recent shoots, and how they constantly get in his way. He now has a clause in his contract that states "no videography is allowed" during the wedding prep when he's shooting! If the videographer wants to shoot, we will have to schedule our own separate time with the bride.

His biggest complaint was the lack of cooperation he's been getting with the new videographer who seems to be too focused on trying to get their shot without regard to what's happening around him/her. Multiply that by 4 or 5 or 6 people, and you get a sense of how frustrating it can be. Sadly, he too has a growing list of video companies he won't be referring in the future.

Just letting you know what's going around....
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Old June 27th, 2011, 03:32 PM   #2
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Re: Too many videographers?

That was a bit of an overkill, 4 videographers for a Bride shoot!!! I freelanced for another studio 2 weeks ago, they sent an assistant with a DSLR to shoot videos with me. Basically there were 2 of us shooting the bride prep and already I feel the room being a bit too crowded,the photog has an assitant as well. I sent him off very nicley and asked him to shoot B-rolls at the church, mic the groom, do a time lapse or whatever he thinks he need to kill time and let me do the Bride prep.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old June 27th, 2011, 04:00 PM   #3
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Re: Too many videographers?

Agreed, 4 people shooting the bride prep is absolutely ridiculous. Not only is it unnecessary, but it sounds like a disaster to edit. I don't want hours of mediocre footage of the bride getting her dress on. I want a few minutes of great footage.

I will say, however, I have been at weddings with three photographers doing the same thing. I still wake up with flash backs to the sound of three cameras firing so frequently that the sound of the shutters mix together and sound like a machine gun.
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Old June 27th, 2011, 04:36 PM   #4
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Re: Too many videographers?

Unless it's absolutely necessary, I very much prefer to work alone. Part of the reason is the unobtrusive nature I wish to uphold. I know the benefits of multiple angles, but a good videographer would be able to capture this all by himself in situations like this.
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Old June 27th, 2011, 04:47 PM   #5
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Re: Too many videographers?

Just another thing to differentiate your business. Stress that you use two videographers with unobtrusive techniques. I don't think our brides notice us most of the time and we are always working around the main photographer.

It also stresses the importance of networking with local photographers so you build trust and get referrals from people who enjoy working with you!
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Old June 27th, 2011, 05:55 PM   #6
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Re: Too many videographers?

I prefer solo most of the time, with my wife covering something else, usually stills. I cannot imagine trying to work with 4 "videographers" (if you call guys who obviously have to shoot 4 DSLRs in hopes of getting "something" in focus and usable, "videographers", to me that's a stretch). I'm pretty sure if the wedding is big enough to justify 4, there are other places they should be shooting...

As has been said, a good videographer can get the needed shots with one camera, and worst case can have a second camera on a small tripod or mount to provide "cover" or additional angles if really needed, no operator required. While I like to shoot 4 cameras for the ceremony, I don't need ops beyond myself.

It's really sad to hear that there are people who obviously are "new" ruining the reputation of the industry just because they heard about this hot new "shoot video with your DSLR" trend. No excuse for it really - the best video and photographers are ONLY "visible" during dedicated "session" times, the rest of the time they should be nearly invisible, IMO...

This is not Larry, Moe and Curlys photo and video shoot, it's someones' once in a lifetime day... don't mess it up, just capture it beautifully and discretely!
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Old June 27th, 2011, 11:51 PM   #7
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Re: Too many videographers?

Gee four videographers... what would they be charging the bride for the DVD??? It would not be worth doing here as by the time you paid four operators there be no profit in it.

I prefer to work alone and get my shots before the arrival of the photographer, as for them having a clause in their contract forbidding any filming by the videographer, I dont think that would work here as we dont have those sorts of issues...yet....
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Old June 28th, 2011, 12:40 AM   #8
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Re: Too many videographers?

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
It's really sad to hear that there are people who obviously are "new" ruining the reputation of the industry just because they heard about this hot new "shoot video with your DSLR" trend.
From what I've heard, these new companies are undercutting current videographer pricing, driving the market pricing downwards. The bad thing (for us) is that these new guys are very tech savvy, have lots of friends on facebook, and their work is viewed as "really cool" and "very fresh" because it was produced by their peers.

As a business, however, it's very difficult to undercharge a client, then split the proceeds with 4 or 5 shooters and editors. I know a couple of young people that started with guns blazing, then quickly faded when they realized how much talent and effort was required to put together a consistent, high quality product. They also had the reputation of not returning phone calls after becoming popular. Sadly for us, however, the damage was already done when they undercharged their clients and set a new baseline for wedding video producton.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 02:20 AM   #9
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Re: Too many videographers?

We always shoot the prep single camera, more is unnecessary.

I don't think we should be surprised about the effect of cheap DSLRs on both the market and the way of working - it was bound to happen.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 03:10 AM   #10
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Re: Too many videographers?

One camera morning prep before the photo guy, then out of his way, one cam for arrivals, one doing slides and such in church, two covering the ceremony, two at reception away from each other, two for speeches and two for the dance, Been undercut this week twice by new video guys got their jobs after facebook contacts. their film unknown, no demos just cheaper than me.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 04:34 AM   #11
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Re: Too many videographers?

I too only use one camera for prep and it's great!!

Did a wedding three weeks ago where the photog came to me and said 'my contract forbids the video guy to take photos' ...She was happy that the only still shots I took were for the DVD cover...aparently her last wedding found 4 videographers all with DSLR's and during the photoshoot they basically shot hundreds of frames of her poses of the couple then sold them the prints at discount rates....I also wonder what they made from the wedding having to pay 4 shooters.

We actually had a group of 4 that were advertising free wedding shoots (the bride had to pay to hire 4 cameras) ...they died a natural death very quickly!!!!


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Old June 28th, 2011, 08:49 AM   #12
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Re: Too many videographers?

I'm solo most of the time as well, I really prefer to have a second cameraman along for the ceremony, reception entrance, first dance and events like toasts, cake cutting, etc. Besides that I find it unnecessary. In response to the photographers though, I can't remember the last time I shot a bridal prep and there weren't two photographers in the room. I shot a wedding last weekend where there were two photographers and an assistant following them around with a light on a boom pole and a battery pack on his shoulder, he was in all my shots of the processional, stood 3 feet away from the bride during the ceremony so all I could do was a tight shot and followed them around during the first dance, it was so irritating!
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Old June 28th, 2011, 04:29 PM   #13
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Re: Too many videographers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren Kawamoto View Post
I just worked with 2 well established photographers this past weekend. One of them told me that for her previous' day wedding, there were 4 videographers with her in the bedroom for the bride's preparation. Because the room was small, they were constantly bumping into her and she grew very irritated with them. These were young guys, all equipped with 5Ds. What she couldn't understand was why they needed 4 people shooting over her shoulder for basically the same shot. Of course it would have been impossible to position any of them across the small room since it was tiny, but the scene really affected her concentration and ability to work efficiently. During the ceremony, it got worse. The same videographers were constantly scrambling around with sliders, glidecams, and who-knows-whats. In their eagerness of not wanting to miss anything, they kept repositioning themselves, making working with them extremely frustrating. For the reception, they played back an SDE, and she was disappointed at how mediocre their work was. To make a long story short, she blacklisted that company and vowed to not refer them or even accept a job with them again.

For yesterday's wedding, the photographer also complained of how many videographers are showing up at recent shoots, and how they constantly get in his way. He now has a clause in his contract that states "no videography is allowed" during the wedding prep when he's shooting! If the videographer wants to shoot, we will have to schedule our own separate time with the bride.

His biggest complaint was the lack of cooperation he's been getting with the new videographer who seems to be too focused on trying to get their shot without regard to what's happening around him/her. Multiply that by 4 or 5 or 6 people, and you get a sense of how frustrating it can be. Sadly, he too has a growing list of video companies he won't be referring in the future.

Just letting you know what's going around....
You could substitute the word "videographer" and insert "photographer" thoughout this post and it would totally reflect what I see every weekend as a videographer.
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Old July 3rd, 2011, 06:07 AM   #14
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Re: Too many videographers?

I shoot with a 2nd person, and have been wanting to add a 3rd, but neither is ever in the same location.
I just cant figure out why photography teams do that? I'm with the bride, my other shooter is with the groom, and when I add my 3rd, their sole mission is to shoot cool details with the slider and establishing shots of things. as far as one camera goes, still struggling with that one, 7D and lenses, or just the EX1, hahahaha.
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Old July 3rd, 2011, 10:08 AM   #15
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Re: Too many videographers?

Actually some famous video companies are shooting in team of 3-4 currently from what i know. However they do not squeeze everyone in there. Its like one doing the prep for the bride, one for the sisters prep (in our country they have the chinese gate crash prep). In the church it would be 2-3 guys shooting.

We usually cover off with the photographer at the beginning to ensure we have a common understanding what to expect of each other.
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