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


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Old September 14th, 2013, 02:23 AM   #1
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Who does weddings right to the end?

Hi Guys

I have found that brides tend to favour what I call my budget packages which cover from bridal prep right thru to the end of the first dance and a couples of extra songs after that and that means I'm packed and ready to go home between 9:30pm and 10:00pm rather than staying right up to the bitter end when 50% of the guests have left and all you have is a bit of dancing.

Admittedly this does mean you could miss a bouquet/garter and a farewell circle if they have one but sheesh! the rest of that 2 hours is really boring and you certainly can't film 2 hours of dancing (or shouldn't)

It makes a huge difference to get home 2 hours early and you can transfer footage and still get a decent night's sleep compared to getting home at 1am!! I normal try to persuade brides to cover up to 10pm only now ...(maybe I'm just getting too old for this??)

How many here still tend to stay to the bitter end and do you feel it's worth it for the extra money??

Chris
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Old September 14th, 2013, 02:46 AM   #2
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Re: Who does weddings right to the end?

Chris my all day package stipulates that the first dance is completed by 9:00 and that's when I go - If guests get up and join in then I'll stay and film some dancing - it makes for a nice extra chapter on the DVD but officially... if they want me after 9pm then it needs to be pre-negotiated (I may well have a wedding the following day) and paid for

Pete
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Old September 14th, 2013, 04:25 AM   #3
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Re: Who does weddings right to the end?

Same here. We pack up when the has been a dance or two after the first dance. The exception is if something is staged for later on especially fireworks but then the client will pay more.

I like the statement that Lisa Beaney (an excellent wedding photographer is Sussex, UK) has on her website Wedding Photography Prices - Sussex, surrey, Hampshire, Kent

Quote:
Coverage
Our whole approach to wedding photography is about recording your day in order to tell a story, and to do that we need to be there, all day. For most weddings this means meeting up with the bride about 2 hours before the ceremony right through until the end of your first dance. Normally after that we hand over to the guests with Iphones.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 05:29 AM   #4
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Re: Who does weddings right to the end?

I've never once stayed to the end. Frankly the couple of hours between the end of speeches and first dance is pretty boring, especially if the bride disappears to power her nose and there is literally nothing happening.

I started doing everything I could to talk people out of me staying that extra couple of hours to film them nervously clinging to each other shuffling around the floor in a really embarrassed state. Frankly, it's not great video and requires other elements to break up the boredom. It may be ok on the night, but it's boring to watch afterwards, especially if they don't want to do it but picked a very long song!

I used to roll credits and guest lists over the first dance (maybe from a minute in), but as people have wanted cheaper and cheaper videos I've been taking more and more out of the standard packages, and very few people want to pay for extra time it takes to ask for and collect the credits, format them for the screen, check them, render them etc etc (they seem to think all that time should be free), so that's something else we very rarely do now ;)
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Old September 14th, 2013, 05:52 AM   #5
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Re: Who does weddings right to the end?

Chris,
Around here things are obviously a bit different but I NEVER stay to the bitter end however I have been "known" to walk around with my on cam light on, looking thru the VF like I'm shooting when I'm not. ;-) and since I have never in recent history kept my tally light on no one knows if I'm shooting or not.

Generally I stay thru the garter and bouquet, do some sort of goodbye shot and then it's "goodbye!" which around here is generally about 10:00 to 10:30 depending on when the "festivities" got started.

Man I would love to visit you in AUS just to see what you're always talking about but I've got cruises to take and golf courses to play! ;-)
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Old September 14th, 2013, 06:32 AM   #6
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Re: Who does weddings right to the end?

I am envious! Weddings where I am are 99% staged in the evening. Reception doesn't get started until 10pm sometimes and then last 5 hours. I don't usually stay until the absolute end but probably 4 hours worth. I usually get home at 2 or 3 in the morning after being on my feet for up to 12 hours. It's shame as Sunday I am dead and just to tired to spend quality time with my family.

The receptions here are practically like going to a nightclub and a lot of couples are more interested in seeing that footage than the ceremony. Having a package where you leave after the first dance or a little after would be like gold to me but not sure how many couples would be interested.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 06:34 AM   #7
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Re: Who does weddings right to the end?

Hey Don

Thanks for that and if you are ever down this way I would expect you to visit. Treat the wife to a round the world trip on the QE2 ! They dock in Fremantle for a day which is only a hop, skip and jump from us!!

It seems from the comments that I'm doing what most do and not sitting watching the clock until it hits midnight and the bride leaves in the limo ... I admit I used to do that but no longer ...it a really boring 2 hours ! I actually still offer to stay until the end BUT the extra cost is way over inflated so that keeps brides from wanting it.

Judging from what Noa in Belgium has told me, we have it easy and weddings there go on for ever and ever so working more than 10 hours just never happens, it's always a lot more!!

Chris
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Old September 14th, 2013, 06:36 AM   #8
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Re: Who does weddings right to the end?

I always shoot to the end of the first dance with maybe a couple of extra shots of dances with Dad and/or guests if they get up to dance. If fireworks are pre planned and I have been notified I will film them but that is not often. As regards bouquet tossing, not all UK Brides do it, but if the first dance has been and gone I will tell them that I am leaving in a few minutes, but if they want to do the bouquet straight away I will wait a few minutes longer.

I always add thanks and credits from a form that they are given when booking. Just the main Bridal party and any extras they have asked to include. It only takes me 5-10 minutes maximum and finishes it off nicely. I usually overlay them over stills of the appropriate people that I have already taken with the video cameras during the course of filming during the day.

Roger
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Old September 14th, 2013, 07:28 AM   #9
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Re: Who does weddings right to the end?

I nearly forgot the one exception to our leaving well before then end of the event is when filming a large Jewish wedding. These often finish at midnight or even 01:00 but they usually have an MC a live band & are strictly timetabled. They do not degenerate into a drunken party & it is worth staying till the end because there is stuff happening all the time (prayers, dancing, performances by friends & family, singing etc) that is worth filming and that the couple & especially their parents will want filmed. We stay right until the end but obviously when producing a proposal for a large Jewish wedding the extra time at the wedding & time spent on editing will be reflected in the price quoted.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 12:26 PM   #10
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Re: Who does weddings right to the end?

Hey Chris, I pretty much always stay to the end. I even accidentally used that phrase, "to the bitter end", when talking to a couple once who asked how long I'm there for. It cracked them up.

Sometimes I stay past the end if there's something interesting still happening. We've talked about this in a previous thread.

Main reason for staying: I don't want to miss bouquet, father/daughter dance, farewell arch/circle, departure shot. But I have to admit -- my second shooter and I also enjoy shooting when there's less time pressure (which is a terrible reason, I know).

It's true that there's often a point when I run out of ideas of what to shoot; and it's certainly true that I'm stuffed the day afterwards and that back-to-back weddings are an ordeal.

Whether photographers stay to the end... I think it's about 50/50.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 07:50 PM   #11
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Re: Who does weddings right to the end?

It's common here that a first dance starts between 23:30 and 01:00 at night, most of my weddings start around 09:00 in the morning and end around 01:00 at night which is usually 15 minutes after the first dance. Many of the weddings I shoot are between 14 and 17 hours long. The wedding party itself usually ends around 5 in the morning. It's almost 3 at night now and I have just returned from a wedding and I was up at 05:30 this morning so I"m 22,5 hours busy with one wedding currently and will probably go to sleep in half an hour. , that time includes travelling which is usually 1 to 2 hours single drive.... :)
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Old September 14th, 2013, 08:19 PM   #12
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Re: Who does weddings right to the end?

I think Noa wins the competition for toughest market to shoot in,
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Old September 14th, 2013, 08:25 PM   #13
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Re: Who does weddings right to the end?

Absolutely!

I used to complain about wedding hours before I knew Noa and when he told me about how long he has to work I figured that I actually have it easy!!

Times do change as I notice that photogs also stay until the first dance quite often where, in the old days, they used to do a dummy cake cutting just after 6pm and were home for dinner! Nice job!!

Chris
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Old September 15th, 2013, 04:28 AM   #14
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Re: Who does weddings right to the end?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
I think Noa wins the competition for toughest market to shoot in,
What's my prize? :)

Yeah, not always fun to have that long hours, a main part of my work situates in the Western part of Belgium while I live in the eastern part, often that's at least 1,5 hour drive, many brides start with make up at 8 in the morning so at those weddings I have to get up at 4 in the morning and get home at 3 at night.
Some weeks ago I had a wedding where the first dance started at 01:30 at night, crazy.
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Old September 15th, 2013, 06:23 AM   #15
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Re: Who does weddings right to the end?

Noa, what happens if you have two weddings in two days...you'd be lika zombie at the end of it all. I have three weddings next Friday, Saturday and Sunday and I'm tired even thinking about it.
Chris, last night I stayed till the end because so much was happening and it was worth the content but it will be a double dvd for sure. Generally, it's the first dance plus about four songs edited down to one song with lots of fast cuts so it goes out on a high. I don't charge extra for staying later unless they request for something hours after the first dance i.e. the couple leaving and that almost never happens.
I've found that a bit of give and take, everyone's happy!
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