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Old July 10th, 2012, 11:59 AM   #31
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Re: Is converging media capture causing videographers problems

Quick thought, CreativeLive.com just did a weekend workshop on photo+video fusion, which I honestly think is kinda cool. Not a replacement for a real wedding video, but an interesting budget hybrid possibly? As a photographer as well I'd be interested in trying it.

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Old July 10th, 2012, 01:14 PM   #32
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Re: Is converging media capture causing videographers problems

I do see the future as a far more multimedia end product than is the case at present. Clients already take this for granted in their normal daily lives and before long won't accept the now artificial boundaries between stills and movies.

I also see it moving in favour of video with stills gradually being relegated to what the clients would regard as essential posed shots with relations and friends.

However that does not mean that the goal posts move in favour of current videographers. The trade and other support networks available to small business stills shooters completely dwarf those available to film-makers and once they get over trying to do with their dSLRs what is not really ever going to work they will not be slow on the uptake.

Genuine self-employed photographer business owners (rather than part-timer wannabees) are already experiencing a massive drop in interest in albums and post wedding loose print sales and are casting around for new ideas and sources of revenue. At present many are held back from realizing the potential of video by their poor experience of videographers and end products over many years; they need to get over that. And they will.

The new hybrid will be far too demanding to be offered by part-timers. They will occupy the either / or ground of stills or video and will earn next to nothing from it. They will withdraw and be replaced by others ad infinitum.

As regards the style of video I think operatives need to recognize who they are producing it for and why - even if that means saving the clients from themselves on occasions. Producing an - if I can call it Vimeo style - film may help the producer feel better about themselves because it is not "just a wedding video" and they do not therefore occupy the icky ground at the very bottom of the food chain (as they would see it). Plus that style is a much easier sell to the clients. But it is not a record of an important event in the family history and it does not take account of the appeal a longer form will have a few years later when everyone is older and fatter and dare I say deader. Each wedding filmn is only ever going to have a very small audience so get over yourselves and stop making car adverts :- )

Cinematic samples only ever seem to be shot in decent light in beautiful venues with plenty of space and compliant cooperative celebrants and guests. Try pulling that off in what might be called a bog-standard scenario of low light, iffy weather, tight timeline, indifferent celebrant, corporate decor, no space to move etc and watch it fall apart - just as stills can do.In other words the market for cinematic is very limited even if every client would budget for it and are OK with all those operatives running around everywhere working through their storyboards.

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Old July 11th, 2012, 01:41 PM   #33
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Re: Is converging media capture causing videographers problems

Professional wedding photographers have shot themselves in both foot by emphasising 'reportage' & natural photography which is basically snapshots that anyone can take with a halfway decent digital camera. What professional photographers can do that amateurs cannot is produce exceptional images by their use of flash or other artificial lighting plus skilful posing of their clients e.g. really creative & exciting fashion style photography with the use of portable studio flash units etc. Those who produce images that are beyond what Uncle Fred can produce will succeed & be able to sell the profitable albums & prints of those exceptional images.

For the same reasons to increase the market penetration of wedding video we as videographers need to produce exceptional videos that are beyond what a photographer is capable of producing as a sideline to his stills or that Uncle Fred could produce.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 03:01 PM   #34
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Re: Is converging media capture causing videographers problems

Higher end clients recognize and appreciate high-quality photography at present. Film still kills digital, IMO, and local people here still flock to the local premier film photographer, but there are so few clients that will pay for it that most have gone out of business. The clients with money are becoming rarer as the economy continues to stagnate, so this is putting the squeeze on some segments of the market.

Yes the market is changing but for the mainstream customer the photographer is still king, and I don't see that as changing this year. Good photographers here still earn double and triple or even quadruple the rates of equivalent videographers locally. The higher end video guys here earn $5k and up but the demand is relegated to a pretty small segment.

I disagree about the natural photography, Nigel. When done well it is stunning and commands a good price. There are clients who recognize quality, and locally the best "natural" shooters make really good money. I personally have a strong bias toward the style, I love it, but that is just me. There are the mediocre shooters that do it that produce flat and uninteresting images, but the pros that know what they are doing produce beautiful images. In Cincinnati it seems that higher end clients currently prefer and hire the best natural shooters, and I love their work. Even the best natural style shooter will use flash as needed, they understand you need to do what you need to do to get a good image and they are not bound by strict rules, but instead do whatever it takes to get pleasing images.

I should add that I'm not a photographer, and I think you do know a lot more about photography than many of us here, so I will bow to your opinion, I'm just basing my comments on my observations here, as uneducated as I am on the subject.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 04:20 PM   #35
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Re: Is converging media capture causing videographers problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
Professional wedding photographers have shot themselves in both foot by emphasising 'reportage' & natural photography which is basically snapshots that anyone can take with a halfway decent digital camera. What professional photographers can do that amateurs cannot is produce exceptional images by their use of flash or other artificial lighting plus skilful posing of their clients e.g. really creative & exciting fashion style photography with the use of portable studio flash units etc. Those who produce images that are beyond what Uncle Fred can produce will succeed & be able to sell the profitable albums & prints of those exceptional images.

For the same reasons to increase the market penetration of wedding video we as videographers need to produce exceptional videos that are beyond what a photographer is capable of producing as a sideline to his stills or that Uncle Fred could produce.
Well I really can't let that pass without comment :- )

Reportage or natural or storytelling style coverage is immensely more involved than "basically snapshots". If you go to any wedding where the couple have a dedicated site to which guests can upload their own efforts you immediately see how awful the guests shots really are. Where clients describe the style they want - which is usual - it is reportage that they describe. Furthermore they will usually add that they want to spend as little time as possible facing the cameras n.b. being posed. The crunch is that the clients appetite for what THEY would regard as reportage is increasingly satisfied by those guest shots of goofy goings on.

Reportage involves the use of available light. And if that available light is supplied by an available flashgun so be it :- ) It also involves a thorough understanding of the wedding day, participants interactions, and making sure you are in the right place ready for the right time - the much quoted "decisive moment". Anyone can shoot a few decent photographs during the day but it is quite another matter to record the WHOLE day to a high standard in the form of hundreds of "decisive moments". However, no matter how skilled it is and how stunning are the final results it all counts for nothing if it is not something that the mainstream market attaches sufficient monetary value to.

Fashion style is just another niche product and its been around since the year dot. Much pushed on the seminar circuit by photographers who have been unable to fill their diaries with real clients :- ) Neither is it difficult to do. A half day course gets you fluid with studio lights. Then its really just a matter of scouting your venues for suitably fashionista backdrops and reminding yourself of a few favourite poses by looking at them in the photo memory of your smartphone. It certainly is a whole lot easier than a few years ago as now not only can you review the results in the camera's screen but also shoot straight to a laptop or even to an Ipad or phone, even upload to the web as you go.

Where it becomes demanding is in the boring stuff of packing and transporting the tools for quick assembly and breakdown on site. It really can b e a sweaty physical job.

I have three mains powered studio lights plus numerous brollies, large softboxes, radio triggers etc. But my preferred equipment now is two Quantum Turbo 2x2 high powered battery packs each of which can power two flashguns so thats up to 4 guns each of which can fire at up to full power several hundred times and with no recycle time. The latest guns do compete with mains strobes. Its very liberating as there is no hunting around for mains power, trailing cable issues etc, and its much quicker to set up. I use these with Cheetah lightstands which again are easy to manage, and brollies. The radio triggers work with mains strobes and with flashguns.

But with the right equipment and the right venues and the right posing library and your skills off pat you still have to find clients who like the style plus who are willing to devote the considerable extra time it takes out of their day.

By co-incidence tonight I've booked a client BECAUSE I could bring all this equipment to bear. It is a 4pm ceremony in early December and their big concern is how to get half-decent posed group shots when clearly there will be no available light. That is when the equipment earns its keep, not because it can be used to turn a wedding day into a ladies fashion catalogue shoot.

I'm pretty sure the future for fulltime professionals is in providing a much more multimedia product, an appropriate record of the clients wedding day using the tools that best suit each part of the day. So thats big emphasis on ceremony (video) and on speeches (video) and on posed and semi-posed groups of attendees (stills).

Pete
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Old July 12th, 2012, 12:52 AM   #36
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Re: Is converging media capture causing videographers problems

Peter, looking at the work on your website & your own description of your methods confirms my point that successful photographers need to produce outstanding work that is beyond the capabilities of Uncle Fred. You have some great images there. Where we differ is that you think that the wedding video should be produced with the equivalent of snapshots from several static consumer camcorders as an adjunct to the main course i.e. the outstanding photographs.Together with most of the others on this sub-forum I believe that the wedding video needs to be just as outstanding & well crafted as the photography. That isn't achieved with static cameras. You are also I believe not charging for your video but offering it as a freebie to your clients so if you don't value it why should they? We put a price on the video that we produce for clients (quite a modest price & probably often less than you charge for photography). We also are proud enough to have samples of our wedding videos on our website.

I am very much in favour of offering a package to clients that combines photography & video but not at the expense of dumbing down & offering an inferior version of one of the elements.
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Old July 12th, 2012, 02:55 AM   #37
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Re: Is converging media capture causing videographers problems

The truth is that as far as customers are involved there will never be a definitive right way as there are so many different situations, tastes and budgets and no matter how hard we try to 'educate brides' there'll always be some that love our style, some that hate it or at least are indifferent to it.
We get buoyed up and reassured by our clients reaction to our work, the problem is when we take that endorsement to mean that we have the right product. It really means that we have a product that satisfies the people we attract.
Only this week I had unprompted feedback from two recent weddings. Both said that if they'd had to have either stills or video it would be video and they wished they'd spent less with the photographer and more with me. One had taken my least expensive service and an expensive photographer, the other had taken my top package and the same with the photographer. One couple's DVD and photos arrived on the same day, they put the DVD on straight away and spent all evening watching twice, in the last couple of weeks since they received it the bride has watched it so many times with friends, yet they still have not bothered to sort through the 400 photos to select the 100 the photographers wants to put into their book. They really love some of the portrait and stylised work that the photographer took but they see no point in having shots of them getting out of cars, walking to the church, walking down the aisle, the speeches and dancing and so on when it's all there with atmosphere on the DVD. They said it's too difficult to capture the day in 100 photo's having seen how the video captured - in their words - absolutely everything and caught the essence of the day just as they remembered it.

Now whilst that's very nice to hear, and I'm sure that you've all got similar stories you could tell, in no way do I believe that what I do is the way everyone should be doing it. For those that are interested it's a full doco style, edited to 90 minutes with an 8 minute highlights/montage call it what you will.

I think it's a matter of playing to your strengths.

Incidentally the photographer mentioned above was the one I saw videoing at the wedding, the one who prompted me to start this thread.
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