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


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Old September 30th, 2013, 06:18 PM   #1
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Smart Phones & Weddings

A co-worker of mine, Sabrina Rodriguez, does a weekly segment called "Don't be that guy" in which she talks about a specific social pet peeve. In this case it was wedding guests sticking their phones in front of my camera!!!!! Most of you can agree, this is getting worse by the year and hopefully this can help raise awareness a little..... I honestly don't know if it will but I'll take a 1% change if that:)
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Old September 30th, 2013, 07:42 PM   #2
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Re: Smart Phones & Weddings

Hi Alex

That was great. It would be really cool if couples and especially guests all saw that before the wedding day!
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Old September 30th, 2013, 07:50 PM   #3
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Re: Smart Phones & Weddings

It could be a disclaimer included with the contract! LOL
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Old September 30th, 2013, 08:45 PM   #4
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Re: Smart Phones & Weddings

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Originally Posted by Alexandru Cristescu View Post
It could be a disclaimer included with the contract! LOL
I address it at consultation, I give them the verbage for their wedding program and highly advise that they put it in their program and/or make an announcement before the ceremony. I also went down the isle this weekend and told a lady to put her ipad away.

Enough with it. We can't be silent anymore! We have to take back the wedding!!. lol

Great segment, hope it goes viral!
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Old September 30th, 2013, 10:26 PM   #5
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Re: Smart Phones & Weddings

Over the last few years I've had to "move" a few people and honestly, I'm not all that nice about it. I whisper in their ear to move out of my way as I take them by the elbow and direct them out of my shot. I've had people at receptions do it as well. Them I just stand in front of them or at 180 degrees from them and blast them with my on camera light.
I'm standing there with a pretty big camera on my shoulder, with a light on it and I'm pretty hard to miss so folks, get outta my way!
I no longer have enough tolerance to deal with these people.
I guess there is just no cure for stupid!
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Old September 30th, 2013, 10:59 PM   #6
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Re: Smart Phones & Weddings

This situation is exactly why God invented squirt guns.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 03:01 AM   #7
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Re: Smart Phones & Weddings

Glad this has been brought up as it is becoming ridiculous, couple weeks ago I organised the groom for the brides entrance then the grooms mother decides to go into the isle full on blocking everything, to make it worse, during the ceremony her phone rang a couple of times and not turning her phone off she answered and had a conversation with the person who rang her. I left it all in and when they rang me to see if I could get her out... Sorry I cannot and left them all arguing, so leave the idiots in and let them all sort it out because I have had enough of priests vicars clergy iPhones toastmasters, venue directors, DJs... Rant over...
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Old October 1st, 2013, 03:03 AM   #8
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Re: Smart Phones & Weddings

'Unplugged Wedding' - what a good idea! Seriously though it happens a lot to me - more and more are using huge tablets as well! Only a few weeks ago I filmed a first dance with my camera held aloft at arm's length to get over the heads of the guests who had crowded to only a few feet from the couple - It was a small dancefloor and my 'safety' camera was also being crowded and despite being on a heavy lightstand and weighed down with a sandbag swayed like a ship at sea throughout.

It is what it is though, and in my terms and conditions I'm covered if the guests ruin my shots so don't sweat it any more - It's a shame as I always want the best for my couples and shots are compromised by guests then it pains me but I can't do anything about it!

Pete
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Old October 1st, 2013, 03:07 AM   #9
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Re: Smart Phones & Weddings

I have a clause in my terms and condtions about environmental audio such as ringing phones/crying children/passing emergency vehicles/coughs and sneezes!

I had one unhappy bride who wanted me to take out all of her husbands sniffles as he had hayfever that day and sniffed into his mic constantly - I've also had requests to take out passing siren noises and crying children - recently in a venue that had been flooded I was asked if I could remove the sound of the de-humidifiers in the next room - I had asked the manager that they be turned off for the ceremony but he refused as he had a wedding in that room later in the day and it needed drying out!
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Old October 1st, 2013, 03:23 AM   #10
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Re: Smart Phones & Weddings

Done a Kurdish wedding a year ago and imagine having to push your way true all guests that are holding their camera/smartphone to capture a part of a ceremony, or walking backward with your steadicam capturing the first entrance of the couple and having 50 people leaning on your back following every footstep you take while you walk backwards and sticking their arms out with their camera's. The examples in the video above is nothing compared to what I had to experience then to get my shots.

Best is if a priest tells at the start of the ceremony to everyone not to take any pictures and let the pro's do their work, if that' is not being told, well, too bad and you just need to work around that. If there is a guest right in front of me blocking my shot I politely tell them but usually I shoot unpredictable parts handheld so I can easily move.

I was in Bruges centre covering a wedding this year and they have these tourist boats and each time one past where we where shooting the wedding couple people started yelling and EVERYBODY had a smartphone/ipad stretching their arms out taking images. We were also surrounded in the city by tourists taking pictures all the time, you can't stop technology and behaviour and I predict it will only get worse.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 06:19 AM   #11
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Re: Smart Phones & Weddings

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Originally Posted by Peter Rush View Post
I have a clause in my terms and condtions about environmental audio such as ringing phones/crying children/passing emergency vehicles/coughs and sneezes!

I had one unhappy bride who wanted me to take out all of her husbands sniffles as he had hayfever that day and sniffed into his mic constantly - I've also had requests to take out passing siren noises and crying children - recently in a venue that had been flooded I was asked if I could remove the sound of the de-humidifiers in the next room - I had asked the manager that they be turned off for the ceremony but he refused as he had a wedding in that room later in the day and it needed drying out!
Thanks Pete, you have given me the additions to add to my terms and conditions cheers mate
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Old October 1st, 2013, 07:24 AM   #12
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Re: Smart Phones & Weddings

Hi Pete

I also had a sniffer too ..well I figured that was what the big groom was doing as he was a good 6'3" and twice as wide as me and played footage for his local team. After looking carefully at the image thru the camera (the ceremony hadn't started yet so I zoomed up a bit) it was only then I saw the tears on his cheek.

Luckily I left the audio as it was and included a little bit as the bride walked towards him and it was GOLD!!

Yeah I must admit I cannot understand why Mum's bring over tired and badly behaved kids to a wedding and then cause havoc when they start screaming during the ceremony. Also in the old days Dad would have given us as kids an almighty slap across the head if we had done that and we would have sat in absolute silence (and terror!) Nowdays that cannot happen of course as kids rule the parents. Might be worth putting distractions in all our terms and conditions!

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Old October 1st, 2013, 07:36 AM   #13
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Re: Smart Phones & Weddings

We've had good success talking to the bride and groom about this. Get them on board, and they and you ask the pastor to make an announcement before the start. It helps A LOT, though you still get the clueless.

It's one reason we use four cameras now. Got sick of not having a view, so as we've upgraded, we've kept the older cameras and set them up as safety shots. When things aren't a problem, it gives us a camera whose only job is faces and reactions.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 08:46 AM   #14
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Re: Smart Phones & Weddings

A lot of great ideas guys! I can't believe you were asked to take out all that ambient sound Peter!!! Looks like communication with the couples and using a lot of extra cameras are your best bet... Otherwise good luck!!!!
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Old October 1st, 2013, 10:40 AM   #15
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Re: Smart Phones & Weddings

I was in Bruges centre covering a wedding this year and they have these tourist boats and each time one past where we where shooting the wedding couple people started yelling and EVERYBODY had a smartphone/ipad stretching their arms out taking images. We were also surrounded in the city by tourists taking pictures all the time, you can't stop technology and behaviour and I predict it will only get worse.

Its also like that in the major tourist magnets in the UK such as Oxford and Windsor centres and has been for years. You even get coaches stopping and folks piling off, then posing the couple. Impossible to get clean shots. But some couples make a virtue of it and deliberately walk through the main drag collecting good wishes on the way. It works in reverse as well; when on Thames river boats near here in Berkshire all the guests will take shots of the celebs who are trying to relax in their riverside gardens. Some celebs are very good natured about it, Rolf Harris comes to mind.

I find with many "ethnic" cultures though there is absolutely no tradition of solemnity during ceremonies and its quite normal for the couple to be surrounded by a rugby scrum much of the time. You just have to live with it and weave it into the coverage in a visually appealing way.

I'm standing there with a pretty big camera on my shoulder, with a light on it and I'm pretty hard to miss

That pretty much sums up why they see you as the problem! And restricting guests use of their own cameras plays very badly with the guests. The contemporary attitude among many guests is that they are doing the couple a favour just being there, they do not take kindly to their ..... errr ..... civil rights being violated as they see it.

Pete
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