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


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Old April 10th, 2014, 03:17 PM   #31
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Re: Bride and Groom entrance

Hey Clive, no implication of quote incompetence intended :- ) Just making observations and you will have gathered that I do wish operators would make more use of clamps lightstands and even photographic boompoles (attached to fixtures with manfrotto superclamps) instead of plonking tripods around like - as I would see it - so many daleks.

In this particular instance the tog may have on being aware that you had three camera angles running simultaneously thought to herself "whats the point in trying to keep out of shot, its impossible". It is hard to appreciate the video side of things until you actually do it for real for paying clients and then of course you understand why you need all that alternative material if you're going to supply a complete documentary film. Again she may have assumed that you had the focal length as close cropped on the couple, not realising that you needed it wide for sitting and standing as its a completely unattended cam. Chances are there was no malice intended and she would have been no more aware of her presence than the multitudes of guests who regularly block viewpoints.

if you are a b&g, what do you want more - a photo without 'robocop' of the entry, or a video from behind/in front of the b&g on steadycam with the full experience of the excitement, and the audible roar.

You're preaching to the converted in that case though. The existing market for video is miniscule compared to that for stills and this is partly down to clients perceptions of how intrusive video is. Rightly or wrongly. I think I've seen you briefly in one of your own evening videos and you seemed to be moving a lot with the main cam but keeping very stealthy and with minimal equipment. Which is good in my book :- ) Imagine how many prospective clients might recoil in horror at the sight of a fully tricked-up video guy.

Pete
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Old April 10th, 2014, 06:15 PM   #32
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Re: Bride and Groom entrance

Re Robocop, I think it can actually go both ways.

Example: videographer at ceremony, with a vest and steadicam, happily doing 360 laps of the couple.

I'm thinking: "Dude, that's way, way more intrusive than I'd be."

What he tells me: "It was a great idea to buy this new vest. It looks so cool. I've already had a bunch of guests compliment me on my gear and two people ask me for my business card."

I've also seen videographers use this sort of stuff as a selling point at their websites -- "We have fantastic gear. We often get compliments." Pictures of them posing with their Steadicam Pilots and jibs, etc.

I think it's partly a cultural thing. Pardon the stereotyping, but I think there are some cultures where showiness is a good thing, where you may get hired on the basis of professional-looking gear (maybe Arabic weddings), or where they just want a mind-blowing video, not matter what it takes (maybe Filipino weddings or even Asian weddings in general), or where people tend to be quite camera friendly, and even play up to cameras (maybe Indian weddings).
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Old April 11th, 2014, 02:18 AM   #33
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Re: Bride and Groom entrance

Quote:
I'm a bit fed up of having to dance around the togs. What we do is just as important if not more so.
It happens that I get to see the photos that where made the wedding day and I hate it when I"m in them, not that I don't like seeing myself, for me it looks like not done, can't imagine the couple using such a photo to enlarge and hang on their wall. If it's a really good photo the couple might even ask if it's possible to remove me before it's being put in their album.

Otoh I don't mind having the photog in my footage, I shoot docu style anyway, that's why on important moments I discuss with the photog how I will be shooting so we won't get in eachothers way.
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Old April 11th, 2014, 05:16 AM   #34
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Re: Bride and Groom entrance

I'm with Noa on this, the videographer is never going to be wanted in any photo, whereas the photographer is a traditional and expected part of every wedding. I often go out of my way to include a photographer going about his work, making the guests laugh etc.

Roger
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Old April 11th, 2014, 05:58 AM   #35
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Re: Bride and Groom entrance

Adrian, what I'm saying is that the sort of prospective clients you describe are already sold on the idea of wedding video - you are pushing at an open door. But they are a tiny proportion of the total numbers getting married.

What you're seeing and hearing is the ones who know for sure that they want it, never the ones who have already decided - for right or for inaccurate reasons - that they don't want it. All comes down to then is do they like and trust you and what do they get for the money compared to Jo B down the road who has also promoted himself to cinematographer (yes wannabee artists it really is that simple!).

When do you ever get an enquiry that starts with "We're thinking of having video but ..... ". Other than for reasons of extra cost probably so rare that you can recall all the times it may have occurred.

You're never going to charm the silent majority with cranes jibs steadycams etc. But you stand a good chance of getting them on board if they can appreciate how easy on them shooting a documentary style record of their day could be.

The number of pro videographers I came across when I simply offered stills was tiny - probably a lot less than 1 in 10 weddings. However virtually all weddings had a friend or relation bravely nursing a single handycam:

Ref 297-3736-01_nep Ashton Lamont Photography, Copyright

Look to the top left of the fireplace in this photo; yes that IS a laptop running a webcam. And that was a well to do couple, USA groom and UK bride:

Ref 105-1941-03_lrl Ashton Lamont Photography, Copyright

So the desire is there. You just need to figure out how to monetise it :- )

Yep the fees attainable for video are lower than for stills. But the former is more straightforward plus the acceptable quality threshold is currently very low so the amount of work involved from a purely running a business point of view is not huge.

Pete
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Old April 11th, 2014, 06:43 AM   #36
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Re: Bride and Groom entrance

Peter,

I assumed the web cam was for live streaming, not necessarily recording it, though UStream saves everything, so you do end up with a record of it.
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Old April 11th, 2014, 07:45 AM   #37
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Re: Bride and Groom entrance

Robert, that 2nd photo is from 5 years ago, live streaming was barely feasible especially in a countryside location such as that hotel even if it was known of :- ) The webcam gave them a nice wide field of view. They didn't bother with it for the speeches though as the next room was far too dark for it.

Plenty more instances like those in my archives!

On the subject of streaming I've never ever had anyone ask about that. I've only come across it in some central London churches when shooting christenings and the parents want relations abroad to be able to watch live. For that the churches have their own equipment in place. Reminds me of the subject of online delivery; I've done that for a few months now but no-one downloads, ever. They seem to be content just to wait for the physical media to turn up. They do though often wax lyrical about being able to play DVDs to infirm elderly relations who could not attend.

Pete
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Old April 11th, 2014, 08:05 AM   #38
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Re: Bride and Groom entrance

I love it when the couple, just before booking and leaving a deposit says " but you will be very unobtrusive, will you ?" I say " absolutely, all I carry is just this teenie weenie camera without any tripods or robocop vests and without any 2nd or 3rd shooters" and then at their wedding day, there are 2 photographers that buzz around like bees the entire day. Oh, I get them in the shot all right, I make sure of that.
Which also reminds me about these videographers in my area that shoot only ethnic weddings, they use 3 shooters with huge ENG type cameras on huge tripods with umbrella bounced lighting, cables all over the place, tons of batteries etc. They charge $4000 BUT when after paying the shooters and the equipment depreciation costs ( $75K worth new) and battery replacements, they end up making LESS than I make PER YEAR. They average 40 wedding a year, I do 60 minimum.Their clients love BIG cameras, lots of them and
the more crew gear showing, the better. Wait till they upgrade to 4K. All their present gear will go on eBay.
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Old April 11th, 2014, 09:55 AM   #39
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Re: Bride and Groom entrance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post

Do I just have bad luck with photographers?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post

I'm a bit fed up of having to dance around the togs. What we do is just as important if not more so.
Maybe these two are related. A part of covering the day is accepting that you are part of a team and not in competition. The video and photog' have different requirements and approaches to achieve their results and to that end the video is always going to play second fiddle to the photog' who of necessity will be concentrating on their job, why should they have to keep checking themselves to see if they are interfering with your job or trying to second guess what you are trying to achieve or whether or not an unmanned camera is running or just parked there . Despite the fact that the photographer appears to have complete command of the day, they are probably just as stressed as the videographer is, just as concerned about getting perfect coverage, the difficulty they have is that they must capture it in one frame. To continue the musical analogy if you are the drummer it's no good complaining when the soloist takes the lead, that's what they are there for, no good placing your drum kit in the place they expect to be. If both are trying to grab the spotlight the result will be poorer for all.

My experience has been always make the first move towards liaising with the photographer; it's rare that they ever will speak first. Make it clear that you're there to do your job and not spoil theirs, tell them what your key moments and positions will be and expect them to instantly forget everything you've just said. Maybe after a few time of working together they might just remember your name.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 09:50 AM   #40
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Re: Bride and Groom entrance

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Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
it really is a bit of a joke that a photographer doesn't see a problem standing in front of one of the video guys cameras, let alone sit in front of it for the whole service.
A couple of times I have come across a spiteful & malicious photographer who has done that kind of thing deliberately but mainly it's just stupidity & ignorance. I even had a gig where the photographer had hired me to shoot the video as he had sold a combo package & he then stood in front of one of my locked off cameras all though the ceremony after we had talked beforehand about where he was going to stand (not in front of the camera!). He even turned round & looked directly into the lens a couple of times.
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