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Old August 7th, 2011, 03:03 PM   #16
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Re: Wedding Videography Decorum

There are really TWO separate issues here - the first as raised by the OP is that of less than professional "media" types that got a camera and jump into the business with little sense and a little gear... I think we've all agreed about those sorts of "vendors" of the opposite camp that don't know what a long lens and discretion are!

A true professional should be able to achieve near invisibility to the other event attendants - I don't think I saw one camera in the royal wedding, but they certainly covered the event! It's possible to get footage without being in the middle of it! There are ways to either use small discrete cameras remotely set to capture a predetermined area, or to use your lenses to advantage, either will get perfectly acceptable results for the "pro".


The second issue, as duly noted, is when the "pro" has to fight for position among the amateur papparazzi relatives... been there as well... had an uncle walk up to the groom to shake his hand right as the processional was beginning! Sometimes the guests aren't too aware of what "decorum" is either!! In the end, the professional may have little choice but to jump into the scrum and hope!

I've seen some photogs specify that NO other cameras are to be allowed, and think that's a tad extreme (not to mention unenforceable in the 8Mpixel camera phone era!), but I think we all sympathize...


Makes me wonder about having some shirts printed up (saw this in another thread here, so it's not "my" idea) that have those nice big bold block letters in white/red/yellow/black depending on the shirt color (probably white or black shirt) that say "VIDEO" or "PHOTOG".... it would be easy enough to stick one in the camera kit, and if one finds themselves at a "rough" wedding, toss it on to ID yourself to the rabble, so maybe you get a bit more consideration!


It's tough, what with every idiot and their dog wanting to be famous on Yootoob and fairly adequate cameras being in virtually every mobile device, not to mention actual cameras capable of good quality becoming rather cheap - it's harder to differentiate the "pro" aspect of the service. I dare say though that vendors who make themselves so painfully obvious make it hard on the rest of us - I've experienced officiants coming up after the service and being eternally grateful for how "invisible" we were while shooting - they clearly had had other less than pleasant experiences!

Part of being a pro is being able to shoot discreetly when needed, but get into the pack if needed to "get the shot", and the sense to know the difference!!
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Old August 7th, 2011, 06:55 PM   #17
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Re: Wedding Videography Decorum

I just can't help but point out that any comparisons between how the royal wedding was filmed and how an 'ordinary' wedding can be filmed needs to be taken with a huge grain of salt.

The filming plan for the royal wedding was likely planned out for weeks and months to the finest detail, and likely rehearsed dozens of times as well. This simply isn't ever going to happen with an 'ordinary' wedding. So let's not compare the two as if it were apples to apples.

As for the original post, I would say this was mostly a case of unprofessionalism. I won't deny that we do block the view of some guests at some point at every wedding. We do everything we can to minimize it, but it's not possible to completely avoid at the average wedding. Why?

Simple. You, the original poster. You were shooting video at the wedding. Without a doubt if we set up our cameras on the backside of all the guests, we will end up with guests blocking our shots because THEY are shooting photos and video. I even saw a guy 2 weeks ago shooting video during the ceremony with an iPad. An iPad! The bride is walking up the aisle and he's holding it out in the aisle like a TV or something.

So while it's our job to minimize our visibility the best we can (even wearing all black in the dead of summer), it's also our job to get the proper coverage, and sometimes that means being front and center.
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Old August 7th, 2011, 07:53 PM   #18
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Re: Wedding Videography Decorum

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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel
As for the original post, I would say this was mostly a case of unprofessionalism. I won't deny that we do block the view of some guests at some point at every wedding. We do everything we can to minimize it, but it's not possible to completely avoid at the average wedding. Why?

Simple. You, the original poster. You were shooting video at the wedding. Without a doubt if we set up our cameras on the backside of all the guests, we will end up with guests blocking our shots because THEY are shooting photos and video.
Who said anything about setting up on the backside of all the guests? Even I can see that is a bad idea.

Even though it sounds like you are singling me out as if _I_ caused anything I described, I'm going to assume you're just using me to illustrate a generic type - the amateur video shooter who gets in the way of the pro. For the the record, when it was possible to get in the way of the pros (such as outside before the wedding and in a limited way at the reception) I took pains to avoid it. I'm probably not in some of the video of the guests outside on the grounds that I was supposed to be in because I generally stayed outside their field of view.
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Old August 7th, 2011, 08:52 PM   #19
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Re: Wedding Videography Decorum

Alen, I apologize if I offended you. I didn't intend to. I simply meant to point out that, like yourself, there are a multitude of guests at every wedding shooting photos and video now. And the bottom line is that they are mostly unpredictable and mostly unaware of the fact they need to stay out of our way. I'm not saying that YOU specifically are unpredictable and unaware, but that IS the case with the average guest photographer or videographer.

And I know you didn't suggest setting up behind the guests, but that IS what you would need to do to avoid blocking their view generally. On top of that, we have to also worry about the 'professional' photographer, who will also often block our shots even after we've discussed a shooting plan with them. And if there are two of them shooting? It doubles the odds.

I commend you for thinking about your actions at the wedding and I wish more guests were like you, but unfortunately they are not. So that, combined with never knowing exactly what the photographer(s) is going to do, requires that we err on the side of caution and make sure we get the shot.

I mentioned that we do everything we can to minimize our visibility, and we do. We clump our camera setups tightly together for example, whereas I've seen other guys who spread out 3 cameras to cover a cake cutting, thus blocking everyone's view. We also shoot from side angles whenever possible to avoid being visible. We have a wide cam that always goes 10-13 feet in the air so it's out of sight but still never getting blocked. And so on. But at the end of the day, we also are getting paid to get the shots and sometimes that means we have to be visible to get them.

Please keep in mind I agreed with you that the guys you witnessed sounded unprofessional to me. There's no reason to be running around getting the shots. This is part of the problem with the craze on prime lenses right now, because they require you to move every time you want to change your composition. The same goes for steadicam usage when people have to fly figure-8's during the entire first dance. So, I feel your pain, but I just wanted to give perspective from the other side as well. d;-)
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Old August 8th, 2011, 02:44 AM   #20
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Re: Wedding Videography Decorum

In the Hindu weddings I have attended, the purpose of pouring oil on fires, doing strange things with string and so forth is not to provide entertainment for an audience, but to ensure the necessary spiritual blessings, knowledge and favor needed for the couple to enjoy a good marriage. Since these religious rituals involve only the couple, the priest and a few relatives, it is no big deal if the videographer blocks the view so others can't see. This is noticeably different than the Liturgy at a Christian wedding which by its inclusive nature seeks the participation of all people present. In a Christian wedding it is a big deal if people can't see.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 10:26 AM   #21
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Re: Wedding Videography Decorum

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Originally Posted by Eric Olsen
In the Hindu weddings I have attended, the purpose of pouring oil on fires, doing strange things with string and so forth is not to provide entertainment for an audience, but to ensure the necessary spiritual blessings, knowledge and favor needed for the couple to enjoy a good marriage. Since these religious rituals involve only the couple, the priest and a few relatives, it is no big deal if the videographer blocks the view so others can't see. This is noticeably different than the Liturgy at a Christian wedding which by its inclusive nature seeks the participation of all people present. In a Christian wedding it is a big deal if people can't see.
Well of course it's not done to provide "entertainment." There is always a spiritual purpose to any ceremony based on religion, regardless of faith. But if it's not important that people see it why invite guests to watch it in the first place? If the ceremony is not inclusive why are they even there in the room (or tent or outside in a park or on the beach or whatever the case may be)? For that matter, why have video or pictures taken? It's not like recording the event or watching it later will change the blessing of the deities invoked (AFAIK). On logical grounds alone what you say doesn't entirely make sense to me.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 02:45 PM   #22
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Re: Wedding Videography Decorum

The point is that some portions of any event are better portrayed with a CLOSE UP shot, as I mentioned earlier, this can be achieved with proper positioning and use of lenses... OR you could shoot a prime and move your sorry butt right into the middle of the action...

You must remember that not every guest (or every vendor for that matter) will observe "decorum", and all it takes is ONE clueless lunkhead to block the shot... or as you've observed, several clueless lunkheads calling themselves "pros"....

I think the "royal wedding" analogy is best taken as a "best case" scenario of how a wedding SHOULD be conducted... planned well in advance (check), professional "crew" and participants carefully chosen (check), rehearsals done so that everyone knows how things will unfold (check), and a well behaved, polilte and appropriately well behaved "audience" invited to observe the event (check). Unfortunately, in the "real world" one or more of these elements may be missing or "flawed"... that's when we get "interesting tales" to tell, or a whole show like "Bridezillas"!
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Old August 9th, 2011, 12:40 AM   #23
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Re: Wedding Videography Decorum

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Originally Posted by Alen Koebel View Post
But if it's not important that people see it why invite guests to watch it in the first place?
I don't know. Maybe to help eat the prasad?

I'm glad we are in agreement that the religious rituals are not to entertain the guests. I think some of the confusion about needing to see everything comes from the way Hindu weddings have been picturized by the Indian film industry. To make matters worse, some videographers (but not the ones on this forum) seem to have forgotten it's a real wedding and act as if they were hired to make some sort of training video.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 09:05 AM   #24
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Re: Wedding Videography Decorum

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
You must remember that not every guest (or every vendor for that matter) will observe "decorum", and all it takes is ONE clueless lunkhead to block the shot... or as you've observed, several clueless lunkheads calling themselves "pros"....
!
Yep
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Old August 9th, 2011, 09:43 AM   #25
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Re: Wedding Videography Decorum

When we meet the couple, the first thing we ask is how many guests you have. If they say 300 + we recommend they book Screens/Projector for live feed. That normally takes care of a lot of people who are unable to see but that still leaves people with cameras in their hands. Like many here, we always get the MCs to make an announcement is that professional crew is here and let them do their thing and that cuts down another %. But in the end there will always be some who won't get it.

We normally don't have any intense incidents but our first wedding of the year, the bride and groom had given us full permission like any other couple to do what it takes to get the right shots. If people come in your way, deal with them as you like. This bride's dad cousin or someone had a camcorder running at all times during everyone ceremony. Mind you it was sony dslr that never seemed to have run out of cards:) I asked the older gentleman 1, 2, 3-at least 6 times to film from his seat. Around the 7th time which was during bride's entrance, he pushed it too much. I simply went up to him and said, Sir, here is my camera. Would you like to take over our job. After that, I never saw the guy.

The point is that you have to tell people in professional but firm way. You can't control everyone. You just have to handle them.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 09:45 AM   #26
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Re: Wedding Videography Decorum

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Originally Posted by Paul Mailath View Post
Within 2 seconds of the photographer in the shot, I would have put my hand on her shoulder and gently pushed and asked her at the same time to move. Some photographers don't care while some just don't think and some have no clue. You gotta ask them to move but in this case I think she knew she was in your shot.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 09:56 AM   #27
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Re: Wedding Videography Decorum

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Originally Posted by Jawad Mir View Post
We normally don't have any intense incidents but our first wedding of the year, the bride and groom had given us full permission like any other couple to do what it takes to get the right shots.
I'm having visions of a scene from SLAP SHOT here. Or any WWE match, take your pick. :)
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Old August 9th, 2011, 11:23 AM   #28
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Re: Wedding Videography Decorum

Alen,
Nice one :)

At the end of day, whether Company A packages are higher than Company B, it's important that cinematographer, director, videographer set the tone right from the get go. When people know that you are professional, small % will try to do what a lot of people do. I am not saying all guests are like that.There are some great ones who know what to do when. Simple approach is communicating with guests/photographers and setting your tone.

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