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Old April 4th, 2014, 02:55 PM   #1
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Worst mistake you made while shooting?

I just wondered if any of you would like to share your D'oh moments... did you ever lose a memory card, forget to press record, drop your camera in the cake...? Anything that taught you a valuable lesson?

I made a few n00b mistakes early on... when single shooting with multiple cameras I had 2 occasions when I forgot to press record on one camera (thankfully it was only the backup camera) so had to save with some creative editing. Another time I DID press record but didnt tighten the tripod enough and so a few minutes into the service the camera tilted back and filmed the ceiling for the rest of the ceremony. D'oh!

I also once set up my camera at a perfect angle to capture the brides entrance, only to have the officiant say "let us stand for the bride..." and everyone got in my way. So I had to scramble and move like a mad thing to catch the very last minute. Serves me right for not checking. Now I always check if there are any special instuctions like that!
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Old April 4th, 2014, 04:16 PM   #2
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Re: Worst mistake you made while shooting?

Thinking I could do it all myself.

As always, YMMV.
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Old April 4th, 2014, 05:15 PM   #3
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Re: Worst mistake you made while shooting?

At one gig, my A-cam was pointed at the B&G's asses for the first 8 minutes of the (fortunately long) ceremony. I managed to edit my way through it, somehow.

Newbie mistake.
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Old April 4th, 2014, 05:28 PM   #4
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Re: Worst mistake you made while shooting?

The worst mistake I've ever made? Hmmmm, probably taking this one particular job in the first place.

Pressing the red button on my B camera 2X without realizing it.

Asking the president of a fortune 100 to please hold for a minute while I changed batteries in the mic pak because I had forgotten to do that before the job. He was not a patient man. BTW, I never did get to work for that company again. :-(

For the life of me I couldn't remember the B&Gs names. I just blanked. I looked at the paperwork and still forgot their names. I wrote them in ink on the palm of my hand so I wouldn't look like a total idiot.

Shall I go on?
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Old April 4th, 2014, 05:30 PM   #5
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Re: Worst mistake you made while shooting?

James, I think anything I write is going to come back to bite me. But anyway...

To any bride reading this, let me just say -- (1) I haven't made a mistake in a long time; I've learned from all the stuff ups I've experienced, thankfully; (2) the horror stories you're about to read are why you don't hire inexperienced people...

Where to start...

-- The double-tap, on a single-camera shoot, before speeches at reception. Thankfully, it was a low expectations job, with no suing by couple involved (for free, for a friend, and speeches were entirely impromptu, unplanned, unexpected -- barely had time to grab the camera and go).
-- Not being ready for reception to turn all the lights off for first waltz. Not a good situation at all...
-- Using inexperienced second shooter. The problem is that, at some part of the day, you're going to be relying on their shots.
-- Assuming second shooter had the shot during a first dance, so it was safe for me to move around and change lenses. As it happened, he'd double tapped. Lesson: when it's go time, even if you're not quite ready, just shoot it as best you can with what you've got, and as if you're the only camera in the room.
-- Not switching out cards before ceremony/reception, and missing the ending part of entrances. Happened to me twice. Remember -- on DSLRs, there's no indicator, at least while you're recording, to tell you how much recording time you've got left.
-- Recording a groom's speech out of focus. Another joy of DSLRs.
-- Missed the boat the reception was held on. To try to explain, bride didn't request that we follow her to photoshoot; she wanted us to stay with guests at the pub. Reception would be on a boat that would pick up the guests, and then sail to a different location to collect the bride. We figured the guests weren't doing anything interesting. So we decided there was enough time to get some footage of the photoshoot before we were due back again. What we didn't account for was Friday peak hour traffic. Plan nearly worked, but literally missed the boat by 30 seconds; it sailed away as we pulled in. Thank God for smartphones -- I googled the boat company, called their office, which in turn called the captain, and he turned the boat around. However, bride was very not happy.
-- Forgot to switch groom's wireless mic on.
-- Forgot to switch audio recorder on. (For people not using DSLRs, who run the sound into their camera, this wouldn't be an issue.)
-- Car ran out of petrol (second shooter's fault).
-- Car broke down (photographer's fault).
-- Recorded at 360p (thankfully, on a safety net camera that didn't need to be used; I'd loaned the camera out to someone a few days before, and didn't check settings when they returned it).
-- Never used a 70-200 lens before; pulling my hair at trying to make the camera level. Took a shot of cake-cutting that had to be rotated in post. Didn't realise there was a screw on the lens that allows you to rotate it...
-- Forgetting to bring quick release plate; unable to use monopod for the rest of the day.
-- Forgetting to bring XLR cable (non-wedding shoot); had to use dirty on-camera sound.
-- Zoom H4N taking 30 minutes to boot up. Happened to me twice, and that's why I don't use them anymore.

I'm sure there's plenty of other mistakes I've made...
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Old April 4th, 2014, 06:09 PM   #6
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Re: Worst mistake you made while shooting?

The last thing that terribly went wrong happened just a few days back, I arrived at the wedding, opened my camerabag and to my horror saw I forgot my camera, next thing that happened was me waking up in my bed bathing in sweat.

The wedding season is starting very soon and every year I get a few nightmares at the very beginning of the season about everything going wrong at a wedding, I guess my brain subconsciously is saying me to start preparing and stay focussed :D
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Old April 4th, 2014, 09:42 PM   #7
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Re: Worst mistake you made while shooting?

Back when I was shooting tape, my Sony Z1 decided to brick itself minutes before the bride came down to the chapel.

First thought was to go to the backup HF100, however the zoom rocker switch on it was stuck, so it would constantly zoom in.

I had a Canon 60D with me for shooting stills (at the time I had very little experience shooting video with it), but the battery was down to half.

When the photographers arrived, I thought of asking them to borrow a battery, but they were using all Nikon gear (of course).

Ended up gaff taping the rocker switch on the HF100 to keep it wide open for the cover shot, and did all the main shots with 60D (which miraculously survived the rest of the wedding on 1/2 battery power). First time I ever shot a wedding with an HDSLR.
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Old April 4th, 2014, 11:39 PM   #8
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Re: Worst mistake you made while shooting?

Holding my camera in hand, I bent down to fix the bride's train. RRRRIIIPPPPP my pants split from front to back. I ran to the bathroom and gaff taped the inside seams. Everything seemed fine for the rest of the night, but the next day my inner thighs were chaffed from the sticky tape.
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Old April 5th, 2014, 01:22 AM   #9
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Re: Worst mistake you made while shooting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
Remember -- on DSLRs, there's no indicator, at least while you're recording, to tell you how much recording time you've got left.

-- Zoom H4N taking 30 minutes to boot up. Happened to me twice, and that's why I don't use them anymore.
Panasonic "DSLR's" have a recording time indicator.

Yes, a big pain. I now only use the Zoom as a backup to my Roland R-44.
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Old April 5th, 2014, 03:05 AM   #10
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Re: Worst mistake you made while shooting?

Adrians list sums it up nicely :) However, not all dslr's don't show how much is left while recording, on my gh3 I can see it counting down during record, you just use the wrong brand of camera's ;)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
Where to start...
-- Not switching out cards before ceremony/reception, and missing the ending part of entrances. Happened to me twice. Remember -- on DSLRs, there's no indicator, at least while you're recording, to tell you how much recording time you've got left.
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Old April 5th, 2014, 09:03 AM   #11
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Re: Worst mistake you made while shooting?

In the middle of "nowhere" in rural Kentucky the GPS on my phone stopped working on the way to the wedding ceremony...but not to worry! I saw the signs for the wedding and followed them for twenty miles.

So happy to arrive! Wedding was on a horse ranch, it had been raining all day, walking through very deep mud with equipment, but alas the wedding was already over! People leaving!

Finally figured out I was at the wrong wedding.
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Old April 5th, 2014, 03:04 PM   #12
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Re: Worst mistake you made while shooting?

Jeff - I literally have nightmares about that scenario.
(Reoccurring stress dream: driving endlessly while being endlessly lost while knowing I'm already missing the wedding I'm supposed to be filming ... Often the dream is about a wedding I've actually already filmed.)
The only remedy for this one: waking up from the dream.
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Old April 5th, 2014, 10:39 PM   #13
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Re: Worst mistake you made while shooting?

Apart from minor issues (yep the double press of the record button comes to mind and after 1 few minutes you glance into the EVF and the screen says "standby" ...that feeling in your gut cannot be described!

My recent "bummer" was on Friday .. I did the photoshoot at a big park and then jumped in and drove to the reception and half way there glanced at the passenger side floor. My entire Nikon stills bag plus my video light bag was gone!! I wondered why the driver window was down a tiny bit!! Some scumbag had grabbed both bags while I was just 100 yards away. Thank goodness they never forced the rear with the video cameras inside!! You are now at a reception at 6pm with no video lighting and no stills camera and no fast lenses....nice situation!!!!

Sure I have insurance but that doesn't help you at 6pm in the evening ...Luckily my Sony's have 16mp stills mode so I reshot the DVD cover shots ... I still had my CFL lighting kit so I ended up persuading the venue to keep the house lights up a bit for bridal entry and then during dancing I ended up using my CFL lighting bounced off the ceiling ..Not a nice feeling when that happens and you KNOW there is nothing you can do about it!! Maybe it's better to leave backup kit at home so if the worst happens you still have gear !

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Old April 6th, 2014, 01:55 AM   #14
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Re: Worst mistake you made while shooting?

Yesterday - accidentally turned off my main cam during the service - fortunately it was during a hymn and was covered by 2 locked off cameras! Funny on the Sony EA50 the handlt top power button has a lock but the main button on thr grip hasn't

I haven't double tapped however in a long time - on my b cams I ensure I see the counter moving before walking away and in my main cam I make a concious point of making sure the timecode is going round every now and then - I'm paranoid about it!
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Old April 7th, 2014, 03:03 AM   #15
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Re: Worst mistake you made while shooting?

I have experienced about 80% of Adrian's. Never had the H4n problem but using mine more than ever - hope that never happens.

Twice now I have had the annoying problem of switching the camera off at the worst moment - once when the bride was coming down the aisle and once as the limo was pulling up. Both single camera shoots.

It was on my old Sony Z5 which has the stupid camera/off/VTR switch surrounding the record button. Each time it was as I whizzed around my thumb somehow slid the power switch off.

As a result missed 8 seconds of bride & dad walking past me (saved by editing in a CU of the groom from earlier).
Limo shot was easy - just asked the limo driver to turn around and drive in again after the ceremony. Tinted windows and low angle camera so you couldn't tell the limo had the entire bridal party inside!

I don't get much sleep the night before a wedding as all sorts of scenarios drift through my head.

Cheers,
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