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


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Old December 11th, 2013, 10:59 AM   #16
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Re: Did it really need two?

I shoot a high volume of weddings as a photographer and I supply quite a few albums, mainly from the high-end Italian manufacturer Graphistudio.

I let clients use guest images in their album if they wish.

Anyway, my point is that the technical quality of many supplied files is way below what you really need. I always ask for the original unedited files but more often than not they are beyond reasonable rescue other than as very small images because they simply weren't shot using appropriate settings in the first place.

So I would not encourage the submission of guests footage and I would keep clients expectations very low. The obvious elephant traps with video would be guests inattention to audio and to cam stabilisation. Oh and not using cams that can perform well in low light and not making simple essential adjustments such as exposure compensation.

Content does always trump technical quality for clients of course, but never underestimate how irredeemable guest stuff can be no matter how high-spec their gear may be. The insulting but true phrase "all the gear no idea" often applies. You only have to look at some of the samples of the sites of businesses that hire out video cams direct to couples and then undertake to do the editing for them to get a feel for it. If the samples are the best gawd knows what the average are like!

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Old December 11th, 2013, 03:36 PM   #17
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Re: Did it really need two?

I've never used guest footage in a wedding, but there was one time I was editing for another company and I saw in the video footage of a guest using a professional camcorder that was as good or better than the ones the company I was editing for used, and it was all shot from a locked down tripod, so if the guy had the basics right (exposure, focus, composition) then it was probably usable footage which would have helped the edit. I asked the guy I was editing for about it and if I remember rightly he said he'd tried to get the footage from the guest, but the guest didn't speak English, or something to that effect, and he wasn't able to get the footage.

Sure, in most cases guest footage isn't going to be up to par with the footage that a professional is filming, or the angles may not coincide with what you'd want, etc., but in rare cases it could be, such as if the guest is a professional who not only has pro gear but pro skills to go with it. I mean, if I was shooting a wedding with a couple C100s and a guest who was a professional showed up with a C300 and got a different angle that I thought would be useful, I doubt what would be on my mind would be, "I hope the bride and groom don't think it unprofessional that I'm using quality footage from a skilled guest's $14,000 camera."

I've certainly bumped into guests who are pros at weddings before. One who was taking photos ran a high end wedding video company, and another shot national TV shows (such as House Hunters) with an Arri Alexa among other high end cameras.
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Old December 11th, 2013, 05:04 PM   #18
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Re: Did it really need two?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Cantwell View Post
last wedding I was a guest at, I didn't even have a phone with me not to mention a camera! leave it to the hired help I say.
kicked back and had a great day

:-)
amen
amen
amen
amen
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Old December 12th, 2013, 06:35 AM   #19
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Re: Did it really need two?

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Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
I've certainly bumped into guests who are pros at weddings before. One who was taking photos ran a high end wedding video company, and another shot national TV shows (such as House Hunters) with an Arri Alexa among other high end cameras.
and I think that;s the point - they are there as guests not as anything else - if you were a celebrant would you hop up and help the officiant on the day do his job? if you were a chef would you knock up a quick salad for the guests?.

I can't think of anything more unprofessional than getting in the way of the paid professional doing his job - and the more you know about the craft, the more likely you are to be in the way - you are looking for the same things that the professional is looking for, framing, composition, light & shadow. rank amateurs get in the way because they don't know what they're doing and 'experienced' amateurs are just as bad because they do (or think they do).

Sorry if I'm ranting but it's getting more and more difficult to shoot good footage without being in the couple's face - there is a new 'thing' here called the 'unplugged' wedding - no cameras, no phones, no facebook - I go to sleep dreaming about it.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 07:52 AM   #20
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Re: Did it really need two?

Everybody add a clause similar to this in to your contracts if you haven't already:

Company name is not responsible for missed footage if there is interference from guest's, family or vendor on the day of shooting.

Can't stress the above enough ... there is absolutely no way that guests/family will stop filming at weddings and intefering with the pro's. Why? because believe it or not, some people feel comfortable fiddling around with their phones / cameras at social gatherings, rather than standing/sitting there doing nothing. It makes them feel comfortable.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 09:49 AM   #21
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Re: Did it really need two?

I recently did a job, where the clients had booked two separate photogs, and one them came with an additional video guy. The first photographer and myself where outside the venue after visiting the groom, when a second photog and video guy showed up. They had been to see the bride. This was the first time we had been informed that there would be another crew!!!

The clients had booked my top package with a crew of 3. So in all there where 5 camera people and 6 cameras pointed at them.

To cut the story short it was chaos. The other video guy got the hint he was not needed and left after the speeches.

To many cooks defiantly spoil the broth.

Last edited by Matt Brady; December 12th, 2013 at 09:52 AM. Reason: typo
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Old December 12th, 2013, 10:36 AM   #22
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Re: Did it really need two?

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Originally Posted by James Manford View Post
Can't stress the above enough ... there is absolutely no way that guests/family will stop filming at weddings and intefering with the pro's. Why? because believe it or not, some people feel comfortable fiddling around with their phones / cameras at social gatherings, rather than standing/sitting there doing nothing. It makes them feel comfortable.
I'd say a second reason guest take photos is to make sure they have them, and fast. We live in a fast paced world, and people like to post photos from the wedding they just went to on their Facebook that night, not at an unforeseen date in the future when they may or may not get ahold of the professional pictures taken that day. In my experience of being a guest at weddings, I hardly ever get to see the professional pictures from the wedding; maybe just a few on Facebook, but nothing much.

In a world where everyone has a camera, and people like to take pictures with their friends, at parties, and different social events, but then to suddenly tell them when they're at a wedding, an event they'll surely want photos of, that they can't or shouldn't use their cameras, and will have to wait, again, for an unforeseen date in the future when they may or may not get ahold of the professional pictures, I think is asking a bit much in this culture.

And why is that really necessary? I guess different people have different filming styles so to some it may be more important to have no guests with cameras in your shots. Personally, I haven't had any issues with guests getting in my way. A common shot during preps I'll try to capture is a rack focus from a bridesmaid with her phone taking a picture of the bride, and shots like that then make the participants of the weddings and their cameras, part of the story. Of course I don't want any of my cameramen or equipment in the shots, and don't want the photographer in my shots, but generally showing guests with cameras in my shots is not an issue because they're part of the wedding. So it doesn't typically bother me, just as long as they don't stand directly in front of my camera during a shot I need.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 12:09 PM   #23
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Re: Did it really need two?

This tread has so much going on. I am a videographer that began my career in still photography a long time ago. I quit shooting stills for a living years ago but am still quite capable at it. I am one of those video guys that considers myself a photographer regardless of what type of camera I have in my hands. For a long time I did not understand why so many videographers are so opposed to being referred to as a photographer. In my commercial world that is what we are. For some time now I have followed the posts of the wedding guys here and now I get it! At least within your specialty.

What bothers me most about the photo in the OP is the female photogs attire. She is going to grace everybody there with the gift of sticking her bare armpits in their face all day! Are you kidding me, have some class lady! Cameras attract a lot of attention. Look at all of the finely dressed guests staring at her pits, disgusting.

Pro vs. amateur, guest vs. pro:

Over the years I have had calls from so called friends inviting me to their special event. Be it a party, kids graduation, wedding, or whatever. Then the invitation ends with ďoh by the way, would you mind bringing your cameras and snapping a few pictures for us?Ē That is when I realize I am not being invited to attend as a guest. I got the call because I can shoot. My real friends and family know me better than that. I not only do not bring a camera to those events, I donít attend. People donít understand that what we do is work. Magic does not happen because it is one of us pushing the button. It happens because we have worked hard at our careers. Those people don't want a "few snapshots". They want your work.

When a true friend or family member is getting married and I get the call it is different. I gladly shoot it for them for free. I do however, explain that I will not be there as a guest, I will be working, and my craft will be their gift. I refuse to take money from family or friends. I say, take the money Iím saving you and put it in your honeymoon budget. That makes me happy.

My only exception to my all or nothing rule is I will sometimes bring a still camera (as someone said, video is more work) to a reception to shoot candids for them. I stay out of the professionals way. My candids are good enough to be cherished and a great addition to the set up shots. Maybe there good because I am drinking and relaxing like a guest, no pressure on ;)

Only one time have I ever had a problem with the professionals at the event. I donít have problems because I talk to them early and let them know I will not interfere with their work or shoot over their shoulder. Iím doing candids. Otherwise, if I pull an EOS 1D and a couple of 2.8 zooms out of a bag and set them on my table what I see is fear. That is the bottom line, that is why I talk to them Pro to Pro and put them at ease. Even Uncle Bob does not have the kind of gear I have. You guys all know you would pick me out of the crowd in a heartbeat. And the truth is, NO ONE (including me) wants to be out shot when you are the one collecting the check. So could I out shoot some of them? I will never know because I dot put them in that situation. I am a pro ;)

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Old August 6th, 2014, 07:44 AM   #24
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Re: Did it really need two?

i know its an old thread but i thought this was somewhat entertaining :-)

Video | MasterGlass 55: Wedding | Toronto Star
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Old August 6th, 2014, 08:41 AM   #25
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Re: Did it really need two?

2 weeks ago I had a guest turn up with a 5D MK3 with a 70-200mm F2.8 L lens and bounce flash on it ... it's a hobby apparently.

This same joker will probably have a website by the end of the year showing off the photos he took at his friends wedding.
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Old August 6th, 2014, 09:56 AM   #26
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Re: Did it really need two?

I had a guest turn up with a 5D MK3 with a 70-200mm F2.8 L lens and bounce flash on it

Like this one :- ) He had an external battery pack as well! (look bottom right)

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/939-c/...nghamshire.jpg

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Old August 6th, 2014, 10:53 AM   #27
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Re: Did it really need two?

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Originally Posted by Matt Brady View Post
I recently did a job, where the clients had booked two separate photogs, and one them came with an additional video guy. .
Wow. I would have guessed they (the photogs) were trying to add videography to their business, and were trying to get footage for their website and samples.

As for the OP, my first assumption, if he IS with the professional, is that he isn't actually a 2nd shooter. He's really an inexperienced photog trying to build their portfolio. That's why the duplicate shots. Though maybe, just maybe, they are shooting two very different focal lengths, but that's also silly.
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Old August 6th, 2014, 11:53 AM   #28
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Re: Did it really need two?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
I had a guest turn up with a 5D MK3 with a 70-200mm F2.8 L lens and bounce flash on it

Like this one :- ) He had an external battery pack as well! (look bottom right)

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/939-c/...nghamshire.jpg

Pete
Dear o dear ... it's more common than I thought.

If I was the paid tog and he started snapping away I would ask him to jog the f*** on ... if not, i'd be having a word with the bride and groom.

Thank god I do video.
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Old August 6th, 2014, 12:51 PM   #29
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Re: Did it really need two?

Even as the video guy, I still bring along my Nikon D90 and 70-200 F2.8 VR2 and 17-55 F2.8 and do try to snap some pictures during the day, to post to social media. Not a ton, but a few.

Back to the original posting - one of the guys I work with shot a wedding in Washington DC last week and there were 5 - FIVE! hired photographers taking pictures at.

He was telling me that there were 3 of them up near the front and on stage, always getting in his video shots.

I've seen up to 3 photographers before, but never five. Wow!
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Old August 6th, 2014, 08:08 PM   #30
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Re: Did it really need two?

I had an photog a few years ago that had an assistant who carried around a Sony FS100! He told me he was doing a promo for the photog but then proceeded to film the wedding in great detail never once getting his intended subject in the shot but always the couple. It was blatantly obvious that he wanted a demo video for future brides. Luckily this was one instance where I had a second shooter so I carefully instructed her to block the guy whenever she could, which she did very well. Whenever he moved, she did the same so hopefully he got some poor shots.

I'm not a mean person but I don't like liars! If he had talked to me before the wedding and explained he was struggling to get into wedding video, I probably would have helped him rather than hinder him!!

I occasionally see a wedding guest with a DSLR and a honking great (what looks like) a 600mm tele lens..obviously to impress his mates no doubt ??? I still think I would rather have one enthusiastic amateur stepping into the aisle for shots than 20 guests all struggling to get a clear shot with their phones.

I'm still struggling with the concept of multiple photogs! Apart from crowding the Church why do you need so many or are they so poor that they need to backup each other. I wonder what the poor bride paid to have all those photogs??

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