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Old May 14th, 2013, 07:08 PM   #1
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dum-dum question about audio for wedding

Okay, so I want to do some fusion between my photography and video, but not sure I thought this through thoroughly. I used to be a wedding videographer, but now focus on wedding photography, and thought I could bring the two together a bit for those clients who can't afford a $3k video package. So I capture the wedding on my XL-H1, along with the first dance and toasts. Do a little highlights fusion with video and photos.

I'd shoot the wedding with my XL-H1 simply locked down as a master, and my two lav mics on the minister and groom. But then I realized... how am I going to capture the ambient audio? If I use both lav mics inputting into the XL-H1, I can't use my on-camera mic, right? I suppose I could use a different type of mic that will capture more surrounding audio, and then use one lav mic on the minister. Hate to think the audio won't be great on the groom/bride, though, if the minister is not right on them.

Do you guys have any other suggestions?

Ron
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Old May 14th, 2013, 08:13 PM   #2
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Re: dum-dum question about audio for wedding

Is your camera able to mix inputs 1 & 2?? You could set Input 1 to the wireless, and keep Input 2 on the In camera mic. The the two signals mix together, otherwise they probably stay Left & Right & your would not want that, though you can probably easily fix that in post.

Personally I only mic the groom. Not much desire for ambient audio, unless its a speaker at the podium. Sometimes I switch it to the in camera mic.

All that said, are you sure you really want to try this? Seems just like an awful lot of work that may be end in a train wreck. For the ceremony you might be ok, but it'll just end up a static wide shot the whole time. Otherwise how will you follow the couple as they get up, sit down, walk onto the aisle etc.. And I would NEVER leave my video camera on tripod unattended at the wedding. To many people rushing up to watch, take photos, talk to the people around them, be tipsy etc.. Next thing you know your cameras tipping over, or someone trips over it, and your SOL. Maybe its just my paranoia. Once again though, your camera shot will stay an unattended wide shot.

I guess what I'm saying is don't you feel your video will suffer, and the brides will be disappointed or complain. I'm sure they feel they are paying for the package deal, and not getting the video as an added value/bonus, even though thats what it sounds like you are doing.
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Old May 14th, 2013, 09:13 PM   #3
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Re: dum-dum question about audio for wedding

Hi Ron

I too often get tempted when the bride tells me she wants a video/photo package and my photog is already booked and I start thinking hard about whether I could actually pull this off all on my own...I have yet to try it but I don't really think it's very practical at all ..the money would be great BUT I'm sure if I did do it I would slip up somewhere and runin a wedding ...I have done a dual but with my video assistant so we shared tasks doing photos and video with two video cameras and two still cameras ...and that was tough work with two of us.

I also don't mic the priest/officiant but in Churches I have a second lav and transmitter on the readings lectern which gives me good enough ambient audio (the groom's lav tends to pick up little whispers between the two of them) However since you only want ambient ..a simple voice recorder would work really well here surely??

Chris
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Old May 14th, 2013, 09:15 PM   #4
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Re: dum-dum question about audio for wedding

Ron, I run 2 wireless and kill my on board mic my main camera but have my B cam running for ambient. I'm guessing you're not running a second camera so there are 2 ways to solve it. 1) Don't mic the officiant only mic the groom and unless you're at 4th Pres or Old St. Pats the officiants are usually close enough to get pretty good audio from the groms mic. that will leave a channel open for ambient sound. The other way is to keep doing what you're doing and use a Tascam or Zoom or some other voice recorder for the ambient sound in the church. Heck I've used one when I needed just to get ambient noise at seminars. I throw my AT897 shotgun or AKG Blueline Hypercaroid on it and it works really well.
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Old May 15th, 2013, 02:42 AM   #5
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Re: dum-dum question about audio for wedding

I could describe a few train wrecks I have had, trying to do what you are proposing to do. I won't bore you with those details. Suffice it to say, no one was happy about any of them, including me.

First off, get a second shooter to run the camera(s). You concentrate on your images and let him or her concentrate on the video capture.

Second, get a second camera, need not be high end, to give you a second view (close up or B Roll). Mount a decent mic to it and use that for your ambient audio.

If you are thinking you can pull this off by yourself, stop for a minute and ask yourself "how relaxed am I when I am shooting a wedding?" If you are like any of us shooting video, you are so focused at the job at hand, you don't have to time consider almost anything else.

Good luck with your new adventure !!!
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Old May 15th, 2013, 04:07 AM   #6
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Re: dum-dum question about audio for wedding

I think if your just doing 'a little fusion with video and photos' highlights you dont need ambient in the church. You would only need it if you were producing a long form edit of the ceremony surely? If you do want the ambient the best bet is use a seperate recorder as suggested, we use an edirol which is great.

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Old May 15th, 2013, 09:40 AM   #7
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Re: dum-dum question about audio for wedding

You can safely ignore the naysayers who claim you will not be able to offer stills and video coverage, or that if you do so you will need an assistant etc. It is possible ….. but many photographers and videographers have not yet worked out how and on numerous forums seem to be more interested in justifying why it should not be attempted rather than in finding ways to do it.

I've been doing it for the past three seasons. Probably shot in excess of 100 weddings to date where I've done stills and video.

But you do need to rethink your strategy. One cam will not cut it. No way. Even if you are lucky enough to be able to position it where it can capture a good composition throughout the ceremony / speeches etc and lucky enough not to get it blocked by guests, the result would make for a very boring show. You need at least two, preferably three, and adding a gopro to that would be even better. You need some models that are compact enough not to be intrusive and light enough to be supportable on friction arms etc rather than tripods, and which have some reliable auto functions for when the need arises.

The audio is a synch. Use the onboard cam audio just for syncing and record the real audio into several standalone digital audio recorders. Use Pluraleyes to sync – it does all that for you in the time it takes to boil a kettle :- )

But the results must be compromised if you're trying to do stills and video right? You cannot have your video head on at the same time as your photographer head right? Wrong and Wrong! Or at least thats what the clients think.

Here are a few random comments from some of mine in no particular order. First a link to the stills gallery and then a copy of what they had to say:

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“everyone loves the video, family and friends have commented on the music and the pictures etc as just making it that extra special, It really is a wonderful memento. We love it”

That clients sister has now booked me.

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“Great footage of the day, absolutely amazing, thank you so much”

That grooms cousin has now booked me.

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“Thank you very much for the video, and for taking the time to send copies to my Nanny and Byron's parents, it is very much appreciated by all of us. We have watched the video and it is absolutely brilliant! I really cannot express my thanks to you for it. It brought back all the memories of the day, most of which were very funny and we laughed a lot throughout it. It was particularly nice to be able to see out guests faces during the service, particularly at some of the points were the music stopped early, or we went to sit down to early, which we obviously didn't get to see on the day. As with the photos our guests hardly noticed the cameras and you managed to capture people in natural poses just enjoying the day.
I just wanted to let you know how grateful we are for everything you did for us in the build up to the wedding, on the day, and after. The photos look amazing, the video is an absolute delight and more than we could've wished for.”

That one was a joint wedding as well – two brides and two grooms; something else that is supposed to be difficult to impossible to shoot :- )

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We needed the weekend to sit down and enjoy the wonderful pictures you took. We are very pleased with all of them and what an added bonus with the Video.
Thank you again for a wonderful job, it was a special day and added with beautifully taken photos to cherish

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/stirru...-714-bjcg.html

Love the video. So glad you captured our day!

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Video is amazing, we are really really pleased with it, you've done a great job, thank you SO much.

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Thank you for the DVD. It was a great reminder and we thoroughly enjoyed watching it.

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Fab - thanks. We watched the DVD again yesterday and it is something we will treasure.

That client ordered an extra 15 copies of their video after seeing their own copy :- )

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I just wanted to say THANK YOU sooooooo much for our photos and video, we had a lovely Saturday morning looking at them and shedding a few tears!
We recently saw a friend’s wedding pictures and the quality really is nowhere as good as yours, ( ours!!) you have really captured the moments and given us memories that will last years!
I cannot recommend you highly enough.....
Many Thanks once again

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We've received the photos and they're great. We also also loved the video :-)

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As well as taking hundreds of beautiful photographs, Peter captured the most special moments of our day on video (ceremony and speeches). He did this in such a way that we were unaware of his presence and the results are entirely natural and captured the magical atmosphere in a way that photographs do not always. The video also includes many stills so that it catalogues the whole day. We have watched the video over and over again and we are sure our children and grandchildren will love doing the same. Thank you for everything Peter, 10/10!

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Fantastic,we're just looking through again and again!

Thank you for taking such great pictures and we really enjoyed the narratives, especially the haircut comment -lots of fun with that!

Thanks also for your great sense of humour throughout the day, especially with our comprehensive list. Finally, we're looking through now and we didn't even realise you were there for most of them, all signs of a true pro.

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How are you? Ive been meaning to send you an email for a while now, but im sure you understand how busy life becomes! I would like to thankyou again for the wedding photo's and DVD, we were so pleased with them

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This is a very quick and spontenous email as I've been lucky enough to see the photos this morning even before Lance . THANKYOU SO MUCH !!!! The photos are amazing , beautiful , fantastic .There is no adjective to describe the remarkable work you have done for Lance and myself which reflects so well the atmosphere of the wedding . I had to call Lance straight away to tell him how I felt when I saw the photos .

Thank you , thank you so much your quirky eye and camera have been able to capture amazing moments and smiles of parents and friends, just at the right time . Unforgeable memories of our wedding! Thank you . If only we knew ,we would have bought you a ticket to go to Australia to come for our official wedding! We were so disappointed by the job that the photographer did here . But C' est la Vie !

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Thanks Peter, We have been having fun (and a few tears) watching them. Thanks for doing such a great job. We are still receiving complements about the lovely photos you sent. With best wishes.

Thats 15. I'm bored now but plenty more where they came from.

And to those forum members bristling at my earlier comments ….. you know who you are :- ) Isn't it time to climb out of your comfort zone and embrace the new possibilities? Hey you may even like it!!!

Pete
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Old May 15th, 2013, 11:37 AM   #8
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Re: dum-dum question about audio for wedding

I agree with Peter, as I have also been combining video and photos for the last 2 years. I would add that you need to be feel comfortable and confident with your abilities and I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner in the field.

I also agree with Peter that too many are stuck in their ways and blinkered with their thinking and feel that if they can't do it, it can't be done successfully! With so few weddings taking up the video option, anything that can pull in more work has got to be a bonus.

Definitely use one or more sound recorders, as they are quick and easy, and more than one camera if you are not confident that you can capture with one.

I had a text from my last photo and video wedding today, which we delivered yesterday, it simply said 'WOW!'

Roger
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Old May 15th, 2013, 01:23 PM   #9
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Re: dum-dum question about audio for wedding

Wow! Lots of responses/feedback -- Thanks! I really appreciate it. This weekend, I was planning on trying this out as a free upgrade to the clients just to see how it will work. I'd been doing wedding videos a lot longer than photography, and I'm now pretty comfortable with my photography so it seemed a good time to try something new.

I always have an assistant, so they can be checking the camera and most importantly, I just want snippets of things -- but I need the audio -- to create a 5-minute highlight video featuring both video and photography, and incorporating audio (wedding vows, reception speeches, etc).

I've really been going back and forth on this. I'm not really excited about the quality of the footage shot by the XL-H1 in dark churches, and this will be an outdoor wedding, so looking forward to seeing how it performs outdoors.

I'm still on the fence. Worst case scenario, I try it, it doesn't really work -- there's no loss as the clients are well aware. If I feel confident I can pull it off without any hitches, I think I'll do it. The benefit is that ceremony and reception are at the same country club, so no hauling a bunch of equipment around. Since there is no plan for a second camera, I may need to come up with another idea for capturing audio at the ceremony.

It is interesting to me how many of you don't mic up the minister. I was really surprised by that.

Ron
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Old May 15th, 2013, 02:22 PM   #10
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Re: dum-dum question about audio for wedding

The reason a lot of don't mic the officiants up especially here in the Chicago area is because at most churches they just simply don't want it. They feel they're already mic'd to the PA system so they don't want another mic on themselves. Frankly I stopped asking probably 20+ years ago. IF the wedding isn't in a church I might ask them to wear my Tascam but even that's a toss up. For the most part with 2 wireless running, one on the groom and one on the pulpit (in a church) plus my B cam running to get the music and ambient sound in the church, I find that that is generally more than enough.
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Old May 15th, 2013, 06:54 PM   #11
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Re: dum-dum question about audio for wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
The reason a lot of don't mic the officiants up especially here in the Chicago area is because at most churches they just simply don't want it. They feel they're already mic'd to the PA system so they don't want another mic on themselves. Frankly I stopped asking probably 20+ years ago. IF the wedding isn't in a church I might ask them to wear my Tascam but even that's a toss up. For the most part with 2 wireless running, one on the groom and one on the pulpit (in a church) plus my B cam running to get the music and ambient sound in the church, I find that that is generally more than enough.
Don, I'm surprised you don't then record the audio through the church's board. (not questioning what you do.) I like the idea of putting a mic on the pulpit.
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Old May 15th, 2013, 07:16 PM   #12
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Re: dum-dum question about audio for wedding

Ron,
there are a few reasons I don't do that, just like there are a few reasons I don't take an out thru the board at the reception.
First, in many cases the board is somewhere where accessibility is a bit limited
Second when there is a sound guy there in many cases they basically just baby sit the board and really have no clue
Third, some simply don't want you plugging in
Fourth, I've been using this technique for at least 12 years and I get good audio which requires very little post production work
Fifth, I'm an old dog and you know what they say about old dogs! ;-)
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Old May 15th, 2013, 08:57 PM   #13
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Re: dum-dum question about audio for wedding

Hi Pete

I'm impressed with your organisational talents and do agree it can be done ..yep I have done it but found it a bit tricky ... Some quick questions for the ceremony?? During the bridal prep I can easily shoot some video and then put the camera on the counter and then grab my Nikon and shoot some stills ..no problem with that at all!!! My issue seemed to be the ceremony ...For bridal arrival you need to film the limo arriving and the bride stepping out of it ... What do you do for stills at that stage? Put the bride back in the limo or film the arrival on video and then put the camera down and keep the bride inside while you take some inside limo stills and then an outside pose then back to video??

The ceremony with my setup is two fixed cams and then I use one on my shoulder for cutaways of guests and suchlike ... I do the bridal party coming down the aisle on video with the shoulder mounted camera so I found taking stills of that is tricky as you really need a fuild video shot from entrance right up to Dad giving his daughter away .... Are there any of these shots you can get away with missing at the ceremony start?

I must admit that the rest id pretty straight forward ..just plain hard work BUT the huge advantage (apart from the extra funds, is that you are always working with a photog that you really like ..yourself and he doesn't block video shots either.

Hmmm you have me thinking about offering dual packages again ..they certainly have their advantages!!

Chris
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Old May 15th, 2013, 10:53 PM   #14
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Re: dum-dum question about audio for wedding

Actually, the part about never blocking the video isn't really true, Chris -- for me, anyway. Last year, a guy asked me to run video from a camera locked down shooting up the aisle. On several occasions, once during the wedding, and once during the first dance, I stood right there in front of the camera, just blocking the whole damned shot. My shot!

Wait a minute, should I be admitting this in public?!!! :-)
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Old May 16th, 2013, 05:45 AM   #15
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Re: dum-dum question about audio for wedding

Don't worry Ron

I have also done the dirty deed! A priest decided to have the couple facing the altar at the last minute and said to me to come behind the altar and to side side so I could get the couple's faces ..that footage was great by my aisle camera had me in the shot all the time!

Chris
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