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


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Old November 7th, 2013, 04:14 AM   #1
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Wedding Videographer or just the wedding video guy.

Did a wedding last week, photogs completely over the top and yes three of them, in my way constantly, ( no disrespect intended ) all the equipment, lights, reflector's, two cameras each, boy! where they useless no disrespect?
The shots they where doing i seen back in the ark ages, so cheesy, don't drink wait, don't move hang on can I take that again I missed it, (isle shot? yes!!) All day three of them a b...nuisance and glued to the B&G sides.
Anyways, so a girl at the wedding rang me and said was I free for the 1st December 2013 as she liked the way I worked and had heard good things, (yes I went red blushing), I said yes, gave her three prices/packages.
She is going with the same photogs from the wedding she told me and then says to me I thought you would be half the price of them photogs?.
I said what makes you think a professional videographer should be cheaper than another professional? She says because they are brilliant and they have all the best new equipment and its just a video I want from you....Jeeez they don't get it in England. Just a video!!!
I found out the guys work full time at a camera shop and rent everything and do the weddings part time...AND found out also they all work together with the girls from the weddings in the same company.
Point is, are we just video guys? Why in England do Photgoraphers rule the roost, they get far more respect than a video guy!!!
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Old November 7th, 2013, 06:29 AM   #2
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Re: Wedding Videographer or just the wedding video guy.

Hi Steve

The real answer is to go the route of Roger, Peter and Nigel. Do the photos too. The way I looked at it was I am already there so why pay for an extra body or three? I found myself sitting on my butt after the ceremony waiting for the photog so I could do my 15 minute video shoot so I figured since I'm there do the photos.

It is a little harder work granted BUT the main photog never ever gets in your way and it makes you a bit more money plus you can also discount your time as you have already been paid for it as the video guy!

You are the boss so if you have an assistant you can kick butt or issue stern warnings about blocking the cameras and an assistant can be trained too.

In fact Nigel mentioned a few days ago that they now don't book a wedding video unless the bride takes photography as well!! It's really the way to go and if you do get in your own shots we all know who's fault it is!!

Seriously during my new season so far (we started in August here)shooting has been an absolute delight!!!

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Old November 7th, 2013, 06:43 AM   #3
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Re: Wedding Videographer or just the wedding video guy.

My last wedding video was ruined by a photographer using those cheap after market bounce flashes. It emits this PREDATOR like red dotted laser when it's trying to focus the intensity of the flash ... you know the laser i'm talking about! (if you've seen the movie).

Completely ruined so many of my close up bokehlicious headshots.
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Old November 7th, 2013, 07:02 AM   #4
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Re: Wedding Videographer or just the wedding video guy.

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Steve

The real answer is to go the route of Roger, Peter and Nigel. Do the photos too. The way I looked at it was I am already there so why pay for an extra body or three? I found myself sitting on my butt after the ceremony waiting for the photog so I could do my 15 minute video shoot so I figured since I'm there do the photos.

It is a little harder work granted BUT the main photog never ever gets in your way and it makes you a bit more money plus you can also discount your time as you have already been paid for it as the video guy!

You are the boss so if you have an assistant you can kick butt or issue stern warnings about blocking the cameras and an assistant can be trained too.

In fact Nigel mentioned a few days ago that they now don't book a wedding video unless the bride takes photography as well!! It's really the way to go and if you do get in your own shots we all know who's fault it is!!

Seriously during my new season so far (we started in August here)shooting has been an absolute delight!!!

Chris
Good shout Chris I tried a little doing it but found it that I was better at the videography and also photos but could not get anyone to do the video like me so I just went all video, but yes your right though!!
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Old November 7th, 2013, 07:02 AM   #5
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Re: Wedding Videographer or just the wedding video guy.

I fail to see why a wedding requires three photographers. I have seen large Jewish weddings with 300-400 guests covered by a single photographer (sometimes with an assistant carrying gear & holding lights but only one person taking photographs). For the average British wedding any more than one photographer is ludicrous.
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Old November 7th, 2013, 07:23 AM   #6
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Re: Wedding Videographer or just the wedding video guy.

Three or more photographers are needed so that they can look like they are a professional team on a mission
and shows the people that there is so much work involved that they cannot accomplish it with only one good qualified photographer. Also, and most importantly, they are there to bust b@#%s of the videographer, oops! Cinematographer.

Last edited by Arthur Gannis; November 7th, 2013 at 09:48 AM.
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Old November 7th, 2013, 11:58 AM   #7
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Re: Wedding Videographer or just the wedding video guy.

I've only seen three photographers twice in my 13 years of filming weddings, and that was because the third one was an apprentice to the main one at one wedding, and the other.. we'll it was a mom and her 2 daughters (in their 20's) who were helping.

I guess I've been lucky, I have never had a problem with photographers getting my way or anything. I have worked with a couple who were not very cordial or friendly, but overall I've never had any of my stuff ruined by a photographer(s).
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Old November 7th, 2013, 01:11 PM   #8
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Re: Wedding Videographer or just the wedding video guy.

Good comments guys to be fair I don't have much of a problem but can't get my head around the respect fir photogs more than a video guy... It seems in England the old days are slowly gradually fading away re long boring wedding videos. But it's taking it's time for our new breed to grasp that they are getting a feature film rather than a long boring 2 hour jail sentence..
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Old November 7th, 2013, 01:58 PM   #9
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Re: Wedding Videographer or just the wedding video guy.

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Originally Posted by Steve Bleasdale View Post
Good comments guys to be fair I don't have much of a problem but can't get my head around the respect fir photogs more than a video guy... It seems in England the old days are slowly gradually fading away re long boring wedding videos. But it's taking it's time for our new breed to grasp that they are getting a feature film rather than a long boring 2 hour jail sentence..
It's sad but true. Video is so under valued until it's too late and I'm afraid will continue to be that way while ever people can walk in to Currys and buy a 200 (or less) camcorder and advertise themselves as a wedding videographer for 200 a gig. Remember, just one gig pays for the gear then it's all gravy ;)

Far too many brides are happy just to see themselves and their friends on screen that the quality of the video comes a far distant second. They've told me as much as I've tried to compare prices vs quality.

Video often gets left until the last thing when there's no budget left, and we're the ones expected to make the steep discounts because the couple should be made to feel special and they already spent al their money on frivolous stuff that will be gone after the day, and may not even be appreciated on the day (think how much people spend on favours that get left on the table and go in the trash!).

There's no training, no official qualifications, no assessments. OTOH, do we really want that? It's why my plumber charges so much! He has to be reassessed for several different things each year of two and the courses are thousands of pounds. At what point would you say it's just not worth it?

It's also a function of demographics. It seems that, up north at least, people know the price of everything, but that doesn't mean it has value to them.

Regardless of how much we charge or how good the video is, it's likely to sit on the shelf next to the DVD they bought from Asda last week for 2.99. Think about it. Fewer and fewer people are buying albums from photographers because they just want a slide show…. a slide show some people think is a video because it's now set to music and animated, so why pay for a video as well?

< sigh >

Yes, there are lots of people who want video, some of them can actually afford it, of those who can afford it, some of them may even be able to tell the difference in quality between good and not so good. But each time we take one of those steps the number of people decreases, seemingly exponentially.

I have a feeling that one of the reasons people hold photos in higher esteem is that the photographer is interacting with them all day long whereas the poor video guy is supposed to be in the background, not getting in the way, so they don't really see or appreciate the work that goes on, because they aren't being bossed around in order to get them to do stuff. You could be any one, including uncle bob walking around and it's not until long after the wedding is over that they get to see your work.
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Old November 7th, 2013, 02:14 PM   #10
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Re: Wedding Videographer or just the wedding video guy.

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I have a feeling that one of the reasons people hold photos in higher esteem is that the photographer is interacting with them all day long whereas the poor video guy is supposed to be in the background, not getting in the way, so they don't really see or appreciate the work that goes on, because they aren't being bossed around in order to get them to do stuff. You could be any one, including uncle bob walking around and it's not until long after the wedding is over that they get to see your work.
That is a very good point.
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Old November 7th, 2013, 02:19 PM   #11
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Re: Wedding Videographer or just the wedding video guy.

Great points Dave...
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Old November 7th, 2013, 02:22 PM   #12
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Re: Wedding Videographer or just the wedding video guy.

Here in the Big Apple area, New York that is, especially in Brooklyn, a wedding event used to be and still is at times, like a film production with a film crew, boom microphones, lighting scrims, and at rare occasions a full fledged Steadycam outfit thrown in the mix. The more the better. In all of this mass confusion there was only a single photographer to be seen. And the bride would love the fanfare and attention, like she was a star on the red carpet with all the glitz and glamour that usually comes with paparazzi and champagne. Nowadays there is the bride that wants the unobtrusive, candid, photojournalistic style that can ONLY be provided by being in the stealth mode, hidden somewhere in the shadows and not be seen or heard. or at least walk with no shoes.She doesn't want that attention anymore."you're not bringing too much equipment are you ?" she would say or hmm..warn. She should really be saying to the photographers "you're not bringing in too many shooters... are you?" There were times that weddings used to have like 400+ guests and a single photographer would take care of that without showing a sweat, he/she would reload the film camera many times a day to the required 300 or less photos necessary to get the job done.The photographer back then almost never got in the way of the videographer and knew the value of space sharing. Now to get the job done one needs to shoot at least 2,000 photos ( most of them are duplicates that are trashed) because digital media is cheap and there is no lab needed to provide physical proofs. If those 2000 shots were to be done the old way, even by a single photographer, the cost of film, processing and proofing would eat up all the profits. So now we have these photographers that swarm around like bees at venues trying to "look" professional by machine-gunning everything that is within shooting range, Because it is cheap to shoot that many. I would like to see a photographer today given one 4GB card with a capacity to shoot only 300 photos WITHOUT looking at the LCD screen after each shot , working alone and successfully covering an entire wedding, without sweating or getting in the way of the video guy. That is the sign of a true professional.
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Old November 7th, 2013, 02:51 PM   #13
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Re: Wedding Videographer or just the wedding video guy.

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Originally Posted by James Manford View Post
My last wedding video was ruined by a photographer using those cheap after market bounce flashes. It emits this PREDATOR like red dotted laser when it's trying to focus the intensity of the flash ... you know the laser i'm talking about! (if you've seen the movie).

Completely ruined so many of my close up bokehlicious headshots.
James -

Just to clarify, the laser you were seeing is the auto focus assist, not the flash (some flashes have them, but most cameras do as well) That laser grid is projected so the auto focus can make a desperate stab in the dark (literally) at what it thinks the 'tog is trying to shoot. Of course if the "target" is moving, this is hit and miss.

Photographers have to fight the dark just like we do, except that they can "light 'er up" momentarily using a flash. Some are actually starting to use the small LED lights to assist the camera (and the 'tog) in actually being able to see and compose.

I'd suggest if you find this in the future to either fire up a small light (the 'tog will likely be grateful), and/or ask him to turn AF assist OFF. Now you know what to ask for. Usually the focus assist is on by default, and the 'tog won't notice it, in most cases if you're shadowing with even a little extra light, they won't need it and can turn it off - I'm thinking you couldn't have had that much better low light capability than they did?


Also the comment about the photographer "interacting" is an interesting one - since they don't record AUDIO, they are free to do that, but if you're trying to capture ambient audio, you probably don't want to have to listen to yourself barking commands! Still perhaps this is probably an opportunity to "get your director on" and suggest good ideas to get some "cinematic" footage at the proper times?
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Old November 7th, 2013, 03:06 PM   #14
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Re: Wedding Videographer or just the wedding video guy.

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Also the comment about the photographer "interacting" is an interesting one - since they don't record AUDIO, they are free to do that, but if you're trying to capture ambient audio, you probably don't want to have to listen to yourself barking commands! Still perhaps this is probably an opportunity to "get your director on" and suggest good ideas to get some "cinematic" footage at the proper times?
Absolutely agree, although I would say 7 out of 10 times the photographer is running late (what weddings don't run late?) and the couple seem more interested in getting through the group shots than allowing time for the great video shots, even if you've discussed it at length prior. Sometimes it works, other times you just can't win, so you're left trying to grab footage as best you can while the photographer walks back and forth seemingly intentionally getting in your shot!

Some photographers are awesome to work with and actually welcome you slowing them down so they have a little time to think. It helps lift the pressure off them. Others, as I'm sure we've all experienced have loathing for video and will do anything they can to hinder your every move. There are even a couple I refuse to work with again (and yes, I've been asked and declined the job).
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Old November 7th, 2013, 06:06 PM   #15
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Re: Wedding Videographer or just the wedding video guy.

I've always admired the way you guys & gals work in the industry. I've shot News & Lifestyle shows for 30 years and I reckon thats a walk in the park compared to what you do. I've only shot a few weddings for relatives, never again!
My son is getting married next year and has just booked a photographer. Asked him what about a video and he replied they weren't too fussed! I couldn't believe it. Some of the most important memories of the day is the audio - vows, message from Pastor / Minister, speeches etc. The 'video' should be a priority over anything else. But he doesn't see it that way.
Perhaps in could be in the term 'videographer'. Video has sometimes been conceived as a poor alternative to film - despite the amazing advancements in the last few years - and anyway, hardly any one shoots video tape these days.
Time for a new title? Wedding Production Co-ordinator, Memories Manager??
Keep up the great work, always blown away by the creativity shown.
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