What type are you? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 20th, 2005, 09:38 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 53
What type are you?

This past weekend I did a wedding and was confronted by the photographer afterwards about my choice of technique. First of all, the photographer was very aggressive, actually insulting the b/g because they weren't doing what she wanted and even told them "you hired me to come do this so don't complain." So afterwards she confronts me and tells me that I just stood in the distance, not telling the b/g what to do and not even fighting her for the best shot. My response, this is how I typically shoot weddings. The bride and groom are obviously tired of cameras in their face. (they said so!) I tell the b/g ahead of time that I try to be unobtrusive, my goal is for no one to notice me and capture the day "naturally" and not making them do fake poses, etc. I was even told by the b/g that they appreciated this because the photographer was only adding stress to the day. Anyways, I was just wondering if this is the technique that many others use or if others do get more upfront, tell the bride and groom what to do, where to stand, how to pose, etc.

Last edited by Jennifer Graves; September 21st, 2005 at 02:37 PM.
Jennifer Graves is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2005, 12:57 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Aus
Posts: 3,884
well its the bane of our existance.. kinda.. bad photographers that is..

i dont usually direct a shot UNLESS i see something which cannot be missed (such as the sun and certain sillhoutted shots which will never happen again at that time and place.. ) i usually get teh shots the photograpehr misses out on..

moving on.. if a photogrpaher is giving attitude, its usually when i close into the couple and becoime "friends' with them.. im usualy already clsoe to the couple by the tmie we shoot, but this gives us mutual ground for a bonus Kudos..

to be honest, i just say to the photographer, you do your job and let me do mine. Theres a reason i was hired, and i wont detract from that.
Also in this case, if a photogrpaher asked me why i didnt vy for shots, i would hav simply said that i have no need to interrupt their work. I get my work done without the need to distract or annoy the client and to be honest too many chefs in teh kitchen spoil the broth..
Imagine how you would feel being pushed around by a phtogorpaher AND a video guy..

on top of that, by the end of it, the couple would prefer to hang out with you as opposed to a photographer whos being bitchy... so you can take it a s blessing.

In the end, just do your best.. your hired coz u know ur shit, dont let anyone put you off

Oh forgot to mention.. , the simplest way to get good "posing' shots without actually posing teh couple is to watch what theyre doing.. and before they get from A to B, catch them at that point. They were already about to do SOMETHING, but now, all u want to do is tell them to go this way instead of that way.. its alot less intrusive and your not gettin them to do anything out of character..
I cant stand seeing wedding videos where the bride is doing dodgy swirls in her dress (Unless she initiates it) or some really dodgy "drop the jackets and walk backwards" then in post i'll play the footage backwards.. or some really tacky.. "ok, now sniff the rose.. look up.. close your eyes.. , now part your lips.. ... " no need for that.. humans do this naturally.. and catching it when theyre unaware is the magic of it..

I thinik you did good.
Peter Jefferson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2005, 01:02 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 230
I'm not sure as I don't do stills, but there is one rule to follow:
Never, ever, tell the bride to pose or sit on something if it might, by any chance, damage her dress.

Seen it happen - not good.
Matt Brabender is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2005, 02:02 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hamden CT
Posts: 470
At first I didn't pose anybody but lately I'm doing it more and more. The reason is when I work with wedding companies they want me to. When I work by myself I don't. They get paid the big bucks and offer a movie style wedding. I think a compromise between the two styles is the best.
Richard Zlamany is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2005, 09:36 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
catching it when theyre unaware is the magic of it.
Exactly! This is my approach to videography. My goal is to give the couple a video that shows their day as it happened for real, not how it was portrayed in fake shots. I always have the camera running when they aren't looking because they act more natural, are more comfortable and that's when I see the best shots. You catch them laughing or goofing around and those make for a great video!!!
Jennifer Graves is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2005, 10:25 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 688
Jen-

One of the first things I will casually mention to a photographer if working with them for the first time is this... "we have an excellent reputation for working together with photographers." It ussually provokes a good vibe and puts them at ease a bit. Since I really don't have any evidence to the contrary I have no problem saying it and in a way, it puts the onis on them to not become your exception.

Also, small talk goes a long way when trying to break the ice with a photographer you haven't worked with before. Saying very little is sometimes perceived as hostility. Occassionally I'll ask them about their camera (even though I really don't give a shi+) or ask them for their business card just to spark a short conversation.

It's strange to me that a photographer would complain about a videographer being unobtrusive. She's deffinately the exception. As for me, other than ceremony coverage - "unobtrusive" is not what I do. I believe the best video is close, wide, and to a point - involved. Because upon viewing my own work, some of the best, most entertaining video I've ever shot was close, wide, and involved (not "fake"). To the contrary, I think some of the dullest video I've ever shot was unobtrusive. In fact, no offense, but I believe that "unobtrusive" is more characteristic of an absence of style. I think that fear is what dictates the actions of most unobtrusive videographers. To each his own opinion, and that is what this forum is for right? ...to exchange ideas & inforrmation.

Commments I get regularly at the end of the day are "wow, you really got some good stuff. I can't wait to see it." They appreciate my effort - they saw me working hard for them. And every once in a while I get the same comment you get about barely even noticing me! No kidding, even though I was everywhere - it blows my mind. I'm like thinking to myself... so when you guys were dancing in a circle and I was in the middle with the camera 3ft from everyone, you didn't notice me? ha ha
Craig Terott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2005, 10:32 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Posts: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Graves
the photographer was very aggressive, actually insulting the b/g because they weren't doing what she wanted
Hmmm, this guy came out of the fashion business.

Recently for a promotional brochure, I shot stills for a very upscale golf course that caters to big budget weddings. They wanted me to shoot during an actual wedding. It was covered by a photographer and his assít and a videographer. They all seemed to be good friends and had covered many weddings together. I was not trying to get the same pictures as they were so I had a chance to view their relationship from a distance.
The still shooter was the Alpha dog. A very nice man, but well organized and aggressive. He shot for 90 mins before the ceremony, did all the family and formals. A horse drawn carriage brought the bride and dad to the outdoor garden for the ceremony from the front of the country club and he had that under control. After the ceremony, more of the horse carriage and some fun formals, etec etc. Very controlling. It left the videographer very little to shot. Maybe once did I hear him ask the B/G to walk or move. The still shooter was top dog. I did not stay long for the reception, so I donít know what the videographer did after, but the pecking order seemed safe.

Is this common? I shot close to 180 weddings in the 90's when photojournalism was big, but canít seem to remember much about any of the vgraphers.
__________________
"The Light is the melody, the Motion is the lyrics..."
Michael Plunkett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2005, 10:39 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Terott
Jen-

I believe the best video is close, wide, and to a point - involved. Because upon viewing my own work, some of the best, most entertaining video I've ever shot was close, wide, and involved (not "fake"). To the contrary, I think some of the dullest video I've ever shot was unobtrusive. In fact, no offense, but I believe that "unobtrusive" is more characteristic of an absence of style.
If all a videographer does is stand back with a wide angle and watch, then yes, this is true. But, you can be just as artisitic with this style as you can with close up. It all depends on the angles you choose, the approach and the way you edit. My camera has a great zoom lens so being close can be achieved without being close. The main reason for my "unobtrusive" style, is because people act different when they know a camera is right on them. If people think no one is watching, they act natural and I prefer the natural shots then the "ok, we have a camera right here lets just stare at each other and not talk until it goes away....." hahaha
Jennifer Graves is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2005, 10:45 AM   #9
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: DFW area, TX
Posts: 6,108
Images: 1
I agree with Peter and Jennifer. I like natural shots. I rarely pose anybody. This is the approach I took in still photography, and I carried it forward into videography. That's why I like to go out with the camera and videotape various aspects of nature, because you can't get wildlife or the water, wind, and rain to pose for you. You have to catch it as it happens or the shot is lost forever.

In my hands, a camera, be it still or video, is more rewarding and challenging when I capture life as it happens.

As to Craig's comment about being unobtrusive. I have my own idea about that. Unobtrusive, as you have observed is more about blending in to the scene from 3ft. away, not necessarily staying way back out of sight in the shadows of a corner.

-gb-
Greg Boston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2005, 11:49 AM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Graves
But, you can be just as artisitic with this style as you can with close up. It all depends on the angles you choose, the approach and the way you edit. My camera has a great zoom lens so being close can be achieved without being close.
Sure, close can be acheived with zoom but at big expense. The more you zoom the less depth you can achieve in your shots. As a professional videographer, depth should be very important to you and it's always in my top 3 criterial for shot selection. Also, the closer you are the more dynamic/extreme/fun your camera angles can be - basic geometry.
Craig Terott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2005, 12:28 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Vermont, USA
Posts: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Terott
Sure, close can be acheived with zoom but at big expense. The more you zoom the less depth you can achieve in your shots. As a professional videographer, depth should be very important to you

In my opinion depth of field is important, but more is not always better. Shots with a narrow depth of field and out of focus foreground or background elements are often quite lovely. I try to vary my shots and shot style.

I think being "unobtrusive" has a lot to do with personality and the ability to read people. I can usually sense when someone's had enough and doesn't want the camera in their face, but often a quiet smile and eye contact with the subject is all it takes.
Marion Abrams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2005, 02:08 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marion Abrams
In my opinion depth of field is important, but more is not always better. Shots with a narrow depth of field and out of focus foreground or background elements are often quite lovely. I try to vary my shots and shot style.
Valid point. The blurred background is the one I have trouble with on my 1/3" cam. I've gotten the effect using zoom, but not reliably. No doubt there's room for improvement with my camera skills.

Great discussion - albeit somewhat off topic.
Craig Terott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2005, 02:34 PM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marion Abrams
I think being "unobtrusive" has a lot to do with personality and the ability to read people. I can usually sense when someone's had enough and doesn't want the camera in their face, but often a quiet smile and eye contact with the subject is all it takes.
Good point. You just have to know when to step back and give people their space. This was the trait the photographer was lacking.... then again, she knew they were completely annoyed with her, she just told them to deal with it. Sometimes people don't realize that it takes more than just good physical skills to be a professional. I really wanted to pop her bubble of "I'm the best and everybody should know it" that was floating around her head but then that wouldn't have been professional of me. :)
Jennifer Graves is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2005, 03:03 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hamden CT
Posts: 470
Isn't it true that most wedding companies offer different packages? The cheapest is just the stand back and record and the most expensive is the movie style which set up scenes such as toasts and the recessional.
Richard Zlamany is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 22nd, 2005, 08:40 AM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Aus
Posts: 3,884
this is an interesting topic.. different peopel have different styles.. whether it be considered professional is not the issue. the fact that money is being made, autoamitaclly puts it in the professional realm..

as for unobtrusiveness, theres no such thing as 100% invisible and to be honest, you DONT want to be invisible.. I say this to all my clients..
yes it is an invisible artform when the time comes, but in the end, shooting the natural stuff usually outweighs the staged shots when it comes to content value..

obviously some shots WILL need to be staged, but making them look natural is the key.. the idea that "standing back in the corner" is not professional.. well it depends on what youre wanting to achieve.. i may be staniding in the corner for 15 mintues getting wide or zoomed shots or taking a break.. does that make me unprofssional? Does it count that 10 minutes prior to this i was running 3 cameras on tripods and a 5th handheld?

The only right or wrong about this whole situatoin is how you handle any given situaiton.
To be as professional as possible and know your gear which will give u the ability to attain the shots your envisioning without gettin in peoples way or stopping them from diong what they would normally do naturally. Most of the time (for me anyway) the subjects will usually end up doing what i want them to do anyway.. all i really need to do is prompt them a lil.

at the end of the day youre there to do a job, the second priority is to make an impression to the client and potential clients who will be scrutinising how you handle the situation. These factors will ensure future work on the outset. Not forgetting editing (but not mentioning it either), but on a face value situation here, on the day of filming, people will be watching every move and factoring in the potential of what youre shooting and more importantly HOW youre shooting...
Peter Jefferson is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:21 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network