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


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Old October 3rd, 2012, 08:48 AM   #1
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Break Down Your Days Shooting Setup

Bride Prep : Monopod, Tripod, Slider
Church : 'Steadicam', Two Tripods, Slider
Photo Shoot : Monopod
Speeches : Two Tripods
Dances : Tripod , 'Steadicam'


During the photoshoot, most likely in gardens or estate, I can't take all gear with me. I have to pick just one. I've recently got fed up with the slight shakiness of monopod shots. I managed to carry around my tripod recently and to be honest, I found the effort to be worth it for the steady pans and tilts during what is probably the prettiest part of the day.

What about you guys? What does your days setup look like? And what elements do you find trickiest?
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 10:24 AM   #2
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Re: Break Down Your Days Shooting Setup

Bride Prep : Monopod, Tripod, Slider
Church : Three Tripods
Photo Shoot : Monopod or tripod (depends where it is)
Speeches : Tripod, monopod (or shoulder mount)
Dances : Tripod , Monopod (or shoulder mount), slider

I find a lot of the little movements from the monopod can be smoothed out in post if needed.
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 04:45 PM   #3
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Re: Break Down Your Days Shooting Setup

Bride Prep: Handheld (NX70)
Church: Two Tripods (NX70 + Z7)
Photo Shoot: Handheld (NX70)
Speeches: Two Tripods (NX70 + Z7)
Dances: Handheld (NX70)

You DSLR kids do it hard! :)
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 07:35 PM   #4
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Re: Break Down Your Days Shooting Setup

I'm much the same.
I just use one tripod at the ceremony but I do also have a GoPro on a light stand as well as the two HMC cameras..one on tripod and one on my shoulder. Much the same at the reception.

Preps are all handheld (shouldermount actually) but I use just a single camera on my stedicam for the photoshoot.

Chris
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 11:35 PM   #5
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Re: Break Down Your Days Shooting Setup

Bride Prep: 1 monopod, 1 slider, 1 glidecam
Church: 3 tripods, 1 slider, 1 glidecam
Photoshoot: 1 monopod, 1 slider, 1 glidecam
Speeches: 2 tripods, 1 monopod
Dances, 1 tripod, 1 monopod, 1 slider, 1 glidecam
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Old October 4th, 2012, 01:38 AM   #6
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Re: Break Down Your Days Shooting Setup

As I am one person for all I only use the excellent Fluid Video Monopod with head on all venues except during the time where all the guest congratulate and give the couple money (it can take up to 3 hours as the custom here is to invite as many as they can from 1000-4000) I use a tripod.

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Old October 4th, 2012, 02:25 AM   #7
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Re: Break Down Your Days Shooting Setup

Hi Stelios

Everything on one camera??? I shoot with two so one has to be on a tripod for ceremony and speeches.

I know the feeling about congratulations ..ours sometimes run for 15 minutes and the camera gets heavy but seriously up to 4000???? The most I have ever had was 450 and that nearly killed me!!!

With solo shoots we have to go light on the gear..the only time I have an assistant is when the groom and bride preps are filmed at the same time at different locations and then I just cannot be in two places at once!

Chris
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Old October 4th, 2012, 02:45 AM   #8
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Re: Break Down Your Days Shooting Setup

I can't see how people can do second shooters and keep it economically viable. It baffles me. Besides, Its only really crucial in the ceremony IMO.

I generally have one manned camera and one or two statics.

Even then, I've had instances when all my cameras have been blocked at exact same time. Nightmare!

I'm getting a Konova slider. I'm contemplating keeping it on the tripod 100% of the time with the carriage locked, and then allowing slider shots super pronto when i see the opportunity.

It will be interesting to see if this will actually be possible, or if it will be too cumbersome as a unit.
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Old October 4th, 2012, 04:03 AM   #9
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Re: Break Down Your Days Shooting Setup

Hi Clive

I only do it when I have to and it just for the prep! I also am curious how people can have two or even three shooters at a wedding and still keep it viable... Then again if you have a wife/girlfriend who goes with you as a partner/shoot and unpaid it works but actually paying two extras for the whole gig must push up the price dramatically.

I always have a camera at least 8' up in the air and it has got me out of trouble many, many times!! Just a high wide shoot so when the photog/mob sticks her ample behind against your lens hood you are covered by the high camera. More often than not I'll put a GoPro on a lighting stand about halfway down the aisle and that covers the whole event and is a unique butt saver!! I have plenty of footage where even if the photog is kneeling down in front of my main camera they forget they have a flash sticking up in the air higher than their head.

Are you using a full blown stedicam in the Church??? I don't find enough space to use/ get into a vest, double arm and be able to move around without injuring someone so my rig is used only on my videoshoot that I do just before the photog takes them away for pics!

Chris
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Old October 4th, 2012, 04:33 AM   #10
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Re: Break Down Your Days Shooting Setup

Sorry Chris, my bad, not Steadicam the brand, just a steadicam-type device. No Vest etc. I try to use it to follow/lead up or down the aisle.

I like your idea of the GoPro up high. I bought one and sold it again in a week afters eeing the shocking low light quality. I bought a Nikon Coolpix P310, which has decent enough HD footage for backup-backup purposes. But then i found it has a 30minute clip limit! So I'm still looking a relatively cheap and small option. Light Stand sounds like a good trick!
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Old October 4th, 2012, 06:57 AM   #11
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Re: Break Down Your Days Shooting Setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
During the photoshoot, most likely in gardens or estate, I can't take all gear with me. I have to pick just one. I've recently got fed up with the slight shakiness of monopod shots. I managed to carry around my tripod recently and to be honest, I found the effort to be worth it for the steady pans and tilts during what is probably the prettiest part of the day.
We used to use a monopod all the time but like you I gradually became more & more intolerant of the wobble & weave that is impossible to eradicate when using a monopod. We now use very lightweight carbon fibre tripods from Giottos with a very basic video head. We still use monopods but only where space is at a premium & where each shot is no longer than a few seconds any prolonged shots & the camera is on a tripod. So while it's OK to snipe guests at the drinks reception or grab reaction shots at the speeches on a monopod the actual speaker needs to be shot on a tripod.
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Old October 4th, 2012, 07:06 AM   #12
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Re: Break Down Your Days Shooting Setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
I can't see how people can do second shooters and keep it economically viable. It baffles me. Besides, Its only really crucial in the ceremony IMO.
Two options 1) Don't pay the second shooter much 2) Charge the clients enough to cover paying the second shooter decently. Photographers often use an assistant but they mostly opt for option 1) & people are glad of it just for the experience so consider getting yourself a videography intern. Personally I think that while you can get away with a single shooter operating multiple cameras you will always get better footage if you have a second shooter e.g. You get a shot of the bridal party entering the church coming towards you while your assistant gets the shot of them from the rear. Besides it's someone to chat with when you get some downtime & they can help carry all the equipment to/from the car. There is a lot less pressure when there are two of you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
I'm getting a Konova slider. I'm contemplating keeping it on the tripod 100% of the time with the carriage locked, and then allowing slider shots super pronto when i see the opportunity.

It will be interesting to see if this will actually be possible, or if it will be too cumbersome as a unit.
The Konova slider. is pretty heavy. You will need a very substantial tripod or it will all overbalance & topple when at either end of the slider. You are better off just using the slider on the ground or on a table or other available object rather than lugging it round on a tripod.
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Old October 4th, 2012, 07:56 AM   #13
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Re: Break Down Your Days Shooting Setup

Hi Nigel

I do agree about the 2nd shooter when it comes to having someone to chat with and also ease the pressure...my shooter (when I use her) never stays longer than the ceremony end so I still have no-one to keep me company at the reception and normally that's where the quiet periods arise.

The answer is to make sure when you get married, your wife to be is a comptent videographer ..I can just see a typical ad in a lonely hearts forum.. "Wedding videographer requires a beautiful and young lady with a view to matrimony. Must have video skills and gear. Personal photo not necessary but rather post a few photos of your camera and accessories"

That should work??? Seriously over here we have photogs galore and plenty often advertise wanting to work for free at weddings to build a portfolio, BUT it's only photogs..never a videographer!!

Earlier this year I advertised for a 2nd shooter and received zero replies!!! My current lady is good but is getting into a relationship now so that will be the end...Not many husbands/boyfriends or wives/girlfriends and too happy with their partner disappearing for 12 hours every Saturday until the wee hours.

Chris
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Old October 4th, 2012, 10:19 AM   #14
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Re: Break Down Your Days Shooting Setup

Chris, the problem is that for weddings you don't need two full time videographers all the time (same is also true of photographers) but there are times when one isn't enough. If you have someone who will be there just for the ceremony then that could work well.
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Old October 4th, 2012, 10:38 AM   #15
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Re: Break Down Your Days Shooting Setup

Bride Prep : Monopod
Church : Two Tripods
Photo Shoot : One tripod
Ceremony: Tripod and steadicam
Speeches : One tripod, one cam handheld
Dances : Steadicam

Bride prep is often less space and a lot of people moving in and out, that's why one monopod with a DSLR with a 35mm f1.4 lens (no stabilisation, I fix that in post if necessary) is easiest to move quickly.
Here the Groom sees his bride at her house the first time in the morning, then I go handheld with my sony cx730, that's always a wide shot as I have to get it right teh first time.
Church is two sony cx730's locked on a tripod, maybe a 3rd sony xr520 if I got the time. I also set 4 external recorders for sound, no fancy stuff here, just a decent recording of the event.
Photoshoot I take my dslr with a 85mm f1.4 on a tripod, just for those very shallow dof pretty shots of the couple, I might use my cx730 as well handheld when it's the family shoot, often theres more going on, people laughing, having fun and so on and then I need to be able to film wide, zoom in fast or whatever, and the cx730 allows me to quickly capture those "fun" moments.
Ceremony, from there the steadicam is used as well, I use a dslr with a 14mm on the steadicam and a dslr with the 85mm on a tripod.
Speeches: 1 tripod with a cx730 for th eperson giving the speech and one cx730 handheld to quickly grab reactions, the person giving the speech often addresses people and I try to see who they are talking to and try to get them in frame, the very good OIS of the cx730 allows me to film handheld and make it almost look like it was on a tripod.
Dances, mainly steadicam.

I do have a slider but don't use it too much, again only if I have the time for it but that tool often feels like the 5th wheel.
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