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Old April 15th, 2014, 03:48 PM   #16
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Re: Hybrid shooting -- good/bad idea?

There is an awful lot of theorising going on in this thread to justify the status quo and a complete absence of actual experience or even willingness to try! Where there's a will there's a way.

An old colleague John M used to say to new trainees "You don't know how far you can go till you've been there". John achieved worldwide fame when he became a reluctant TV star mucking around on balconies:
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/...45_468x309.jpg

Push yourself. You might surprise yourself. You might even enjoy it :- )

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Old April 15th, 2014, 04:44 PM   #17
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Re: Hybrid shooting -- good/bad idea?

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Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
There is an awful lot of theorising going on in this thread to justify the status quo and a complete absence of actual experience or even willingness to try! Where there's a will there's a way.

An old colleague John M used to say to new trainees "You don't know how far you can go till you've been there". John achieved worldwide fame when he became a reluctant TV star mucking around on balconies:
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/...45_468x309.jpg

Push yourself. You might surprise yourself. You might even enjoy it :- )

Pete
You are so right Peter!!!

I have spent the last 30 years producing wedding video and the last 15 months producing joint video and photo packages, usually solo. Most people expressing an opinion on this thread are just theorising based on their own current practice.

When I visit a new potential client, I take examples of my videos and my photographs and their decision to book is based entirely on what they see and what they think of the quality, compared with what others are offering.. If they like the video but not the photos, they don't have to book both, but I can tell you that 80% of my bookings for 2014 are for the joint package.

Roger

Last edited by Roger Gunkel; April 15th, 2014 at 04:46 PM. Reason: finger trouble
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Old April 15th, 2014, 05:58 PM   #18
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Re: Hybrid shooting -- good/bad idea?

How do you deal then with situations that does require your full attention while shooting video, do you just let a camera roll unattended, setting it wide enough with a very deep dof so you do have time to run around to take pictures? What if your subject walks out of the videocamera frame, do you run back to your videocamera to reframe it? But what do you do when there is a important photomoment at that same moment, what do you choose, have a videoframe with no subject but a decent photo or no photo but someone in the videoframe? or do you just hope for the best while trying to do 2 jobs at the same time? Not trying to be smart here, just curious how you decide what is more important in which situation? :)
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Old April 16th, 2014, 12:24 AM   #19
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Re: Hybrid shooting -- good/bad idea?

Well, I'm not "theorizing"... thus my suggestions to TRY it in a non-critical environment, and see whether it works for the OP... It's obvious to me from the responses who HAS tried it... some have deemed it a "success", others not so much... I think some of this has to do with the expectations and budgets of the particular local markets and clients.

Offering a "package deal" of photo and video is actually a VERY good business model - fewer vendors to deal with and less hassle for the client, and easier/less stressful to have a "team" on shooting day.

I took the OP's query as a single shooter scenario - CAN you do both, or pull stills off of video with success? To that the answer is "yes", but with qualifications. I WOULD NOT, from experience, simply because it's more stressful, and you WILL miss things. That's "single shooter"... now add in a second shooter, both doing double duty, but with the understanding of who shoots what and when... add a static cam (or a couple of 'em) for the ceremony, and perhaps the reception, now you have a more valuable "package" deal for the client!


Then there IS the issue of what camera(s) could you pull this off with... most cameras shooting 1080/60p would probably be "OK" for frame grabs, within reason. But you'll be limited on "portrait" orientation shots.

As the new 4K gear hits the market, IMO it's a whole new ballgame, although you still lose some flexibility over a dedicated "still" camera, at least in theory. As described above, you CAN scrub through your 24/30/50/60 frames per second and pick and choose the "perfect" one (you'll get similar results from a still camera shooting bursts), and there's a fair amount of room to crop and pan before your resolution becomes so degraded that it won't pass muster for something under an 8x10 - how many stills are actually going to be printed/viewed at even that size?

And as previously stated, LIGHTING is part of this equation - if the lighting is GOOD for video, you'll probably be able to get some nice stills... but how often do we REALLY have "good lighting"?? Now you've got the problem of how to light... fill lights... fill flash... a combination... Just things that one needs to consider, and not from a theoretical standpoint.

I've fiddled with "Hybrid" cameras for quite a while, the Sony RX10 is about as close as I've seen in something that's affordable (that Canon looks awesome, but not in most budgets if you need two, plus lenses and accessories) - most other cameras have compromised the "secondary" function enough that I'd be reluctant to try to double up with them, though I've "fiddled" with it.


I'm all for LESS equipment, lower "footprint", stealth shooting style... within reason. Just be sure it fits your disposition (well covered in other posts), your shooting style, and that your equipment is up for the challenge... AND that what you offer will be satisfactory for your local market/client, as well as something YOU can deliver with quality you're happy with. We've recently had a long discussion here about quality of deliverables in a multitasking scenario that is illustrative of the potential pitfalls and issues!
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Old April 16th, 2014, 12:46 AM   #20
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Re: Hybrid shooting -- good/bad idea?

Hi Pete and Roger

Right on but some are missing the point here. Adrian's original post was contemplating using a Canon 1D to take a series of bursts and then use that as stills which is a far cry from using a still camera to take posed stills!!

Yep it's quite practical to you and we do it all the time. I've even done it solo but that does restrict the number of stills you can do during the ceremony and also rules out stills when the guests are congratulating the couple ... Let's face it, while the photog is doing family groups we are often sitting on our backsides so it's really easy to do that part. At the reception, even solo, I used to do a dummy cake cut for stills and then just use video on the real cutting.

I still wouldn't try to use a hybrid ..I use my video cameras for video (actually the Sony EA-50's are called hybrids as they are a DSLR inside a camcorder body) and my Nikons for stills and it works. Like Roger, my wife joins me as a 2nd photog so that allows me to concentrate on the ceremony and she also does all the congrats too. While I do a stedicam video shoot with the B&G she does stills of the rest of the wedding party. It works well and the HUGE advantage is that there is no obnoxious photog getting in your way which for me is the greatest asset of all.

Chris
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Old April 16th, 2014, 04:09 AM   #21
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Re: Hybrid shooting -- good/bad idea?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
How do you deal then with situations that does require your full attention while shooting video, do you just let a camera roll unattended, setting it wide enough with a very deep dof so you do have time to run around to take pictures? What if your subject walks out of the videocamera frame, do you run back to your videocamera to reframe it? But what do you do when there is a important photomoment at that same moment, what do you choose, have a videoframe with no subject but a decent photo or no photo but someone in the videoframe? or do you just hope for the best while trying to do 2 jobs at the same time? Not trying to be smart here, just curious how you decide what is more important in which situation? :)
There are about a million ways to achieve the coverage you need at almost all stages of the day :- ) Likewise I'm not trying to be smart here, the real gamechanger - apart from when the cams became able to deliver acceptable results in low light such as in most ceremonies - was when cams became small, easily affordable, and with some complex auto functions that could be relied upon. This facilitated genuine multicam coverage without multiple operators having to nursemaid their equipment. Then position your cams where preferably they have an excellent composition and also where you can access as many of them as possible during long events such as the ceremony and speeches to enable you to change your compositions during said event. Use discreet mounting options such as brackets and suckers so that equipment does not show in the clips - you don't want it looking like a dentists surgery :- )

I routinely use 4 cams and sometimes 5 in big elaborate churches.

I disagree that this will necessarily mean you can only shoot a few stills. Again I routinely deliver around 500-600 stills from the 1400-1800 that I shoot on an all day booking. You would aim to move around where possible in ceremonies when shooting your stills to increase your variety so whats the big deal about having video cams already in the positions you intend to move to and taking the few seconds needed to recompose them as well. You don't need to be recomposing your main video cam every few seconds as you have the other cams which provide just as much interest value, arguably more. Don't just see them as an insurance policy covering any bloopers with your main cam. You have more than enough time to shoot your stills including multiple versions to allow for blinks etc (hence my delivery of 500-600 from 1400-1800).

If you cannot move around either due to celebrant rules or due to the physical limitations of the space your single cam video-only coverage is going to be severely restricted even with the best will in the world. In the ceremony you can compose to the couple, crop to their hands, crop to their faces, go wide to the couple and celebrant, recompose to the front row of guests. Yeah great :- ( But add a 2nd cam on the other side and straight away you've got more interest value even if you cannot access it to change the composition. Add a third at the back and likewise. And so on. AND: if your movement is restricted then the chances are that you will also be fighting the photographer for the space you need to work in the best shooting location. That inevitably will compromise your results.

Take the recessional as an example. Someone said how on earth would you shoot that. Well a cam on either side at the front will get the presentation of the marriage certificate, the front rows of guests etc, while one at the back will get the couple making their exit. That 3-cam sequence will easily compete in interest value with a single steadycam clip shot by a videographer walking backwards a few feet in front of the couple - and of course ruining it for the guests.

If you leave that cam at the back running you will often get golden footage of the bridal party and guests smiling and chatting as they also walk past it.

Also be aware that there are multiple cheap Chinese radio triggers available which can fire stills cams at will. So you can shoot stills from an unattended stills cam :- ) You are not going to be able to adjust focus exposure etc unless you pay a lot and can also budget for the setup time so you do need to set the cam up on full manual at the outset; shoot RAW so that you have maximum headroom in post.

Probably the biggest change in mindset needs to be to use the best tools for the job rather than trying to force proverbial square pegs into round holes. Then, don't use certain equipment or techniques just because you can, use them when appropriate. Using inappropriate stuff might be like me designing wedding photo albums in the style of Deviant Art members. It would appeal to some but on the whole it would be plain silly :- )

As for using multiple operators, I don't believe its desirable. You may have two photographers and two videographers all knowing their stuff and acting totally professionally. And easy to justify to clients at the enquiry stage. But to me thats like a Formula One racing pitstop; change the tyres, refuel, all very efficient. But at a wedding? Nah! Apart from which two-operator teams do not work as hard as single shooters - members must have observed this to be the case for themselves with photographers many times.

Pete
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Old April 16th, 2014, 04:39 AM   #22
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Re: Hybrid shooting -- good/bad idea?

Maybe I"m old school but for me there would be too many factors to consider doing 2 things simultaneously, eventually one will go wrong and that's a risk I never want to take, there is a difference ofcourse if you shoot video and distill frames from that, you can give your full attention to the videoshooting and get some usable stills out here and there. For people on a budget that want to have both video/photo offering both I could see them choosing a soloshooter to provide that for them but I can't imagine people paying the regular rates if they know you are a one man band offering 2 things simultaneously.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 07:13 AM   #23
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Re: Hybrid shooting -- good/bad idea?

Hi Noa

Brides couldn't care less what you shoot with and how you shoot ..all they want is decent video and photos .. I have never had a bride ask me technical questions and the only reason they want to know how many of you is to organise the right number of meals. I still cannot fathom however how videographers can shoot with 2 or even 3 "assistants" and make a decent profit. With high end weddings where price is no object and the budget is "Budget? what budget ..I don't care how much it costs!" then I can see that one could charge enough to justify 3 or 4 videographers but with the average wedding ...I know I would have to charge a heap more to justify just one extra shooter!!

Doing what Roger does (and me) which is photo/video as a hubby and wife team is not only cost effective for the bride but brilliant for me too. She keeps out of my shots cos she has seen me rant and rave about photogs that are not only blocking me but also the entire congregation too!! That alone is worth it!!

Admittedly, even solo I don't fie off 300 still frames whilst watching my main camera and shooting cutaways with the other but being able to change modes from videographer to photographer is not a difficult task at all. The change is actually nice!!

Chris
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Old April 16th, 2014, 08:04 AM   #24
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Re: Hybrid shooting -- good/bad idea?

I think you misunderstood me, I was refering to a one man band doing photograpy and videography at the same time at a wedding, I don't question it might not be possible, that's why I said you could even be a DJ as well, so shooting video, photo and playing music at the same time, if you limit yourself to the very basics letting camera's run on auto, letting a music playlist run and shout something on the mike occasionally and run around with a photocamera around your neck taking pictures on the go.

How ridiculous it might sound, it could be done, but I expect no client to pay you the right amount for your work, they are not that stupid and ignorant to know that you can't do 2 to 3 jobs simultaneously and get excellent results. They will also know that there is a possibility that you might miss important moments in either photo or video and they know your work will be at best average but they are probably ok with that as that will reflect in your prizes.

I know of one person in my country that is working solo doing both, he offers a combo package at a big discount, if you hire him for photo only or video only the prizes separately are much higher and he knows he can"t charge those same rates when offering both at the same time. He will make more money in general at that day if he is doing both but if I look at his videosamples I can see that's where he is making the sacrifices in quality, his photos look ok though.

At the end most of us are in it for the money and getting out bills paid but from the moment I would start cutting corners to make more money and producing average results I would rather just get a 9-5 job.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 08:25 AM   #25
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Re: Hybrid shooting -- good/bad idea?

Hi Noa

I see where you are going and yes you would have an issue trying to handle two cameras and popping off stills all at the same time.

However it's quite feasible, even solo, as long as you shoot each in turn. I have done a couple of combo shoots but restricted the stills to what I could manage. As an example.

Bridal prep : Shoot some video and stills in turn (yes, put the video camera down and pick up the stills camera and then switch them.
Bridal Arrival : I restricted these to shots inside the limo and then shot video of them getting out and then stills of them posing next to the limo.

Ceremony (outdoor) - No bridal entry stills or ceremony stills, just video and then video of the signing and then stills of them posing.

Photoshoot : I did all the group and family stills and then did a stedicam video shoot. Then a stills only shoot with the bridal party.

Doing it that way you are not ever shooting video and stills at the same time but the bride loses out on the ceremony stills while you are filming. I now let my wife do all the stills while I'm doing video but I do most of the stills while not filming (or both of us) She normally does stills of the bridal party while I sneak the B&G away for a quick video shoot.

I know Pete somehow does both but I think he is mainly a photog and then runs locked down cameras during stuff like the ceremony.

Chris
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Old April 16th, 2014, 09:34 AM   #26
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Re: Hybrid shooting -- good/bad idea?

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Ceremony (outdoor) - No bridal entry stills or ceremony stills, just video and then video of the signing and then stills of them posing.
This is the gotcha for a singlehanded stills & video shoot. What about the ring shot? What about the first kiss? You can shoot stills or you can shoot video. You can't do both at once. For some parts of the day that's fine you can shoot stills then video sequentially or vice versa but for certain set pieces (ceremony, first dance, cake cutting, bouquet toss etc) you can only concentrate on one or the other.

You can do multicam CCTV with locked off cameras while you concentrate on taking stills or operate the video camera while taking stills automatically or remotely or something but it's impossible to do justice to both.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 10:08 AM   #27
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Re: Hybrid shooting -- good/bad idea?

I can see only one reason clients would chose such a product - to save money.
I can see only one reason someone would offer to do it - to make more money.
If you are in the budget market they'll be many couples who'll be eager to pay one price for one person to do both. I would think that it could lead to disappointment for the couples and frustration for the videographer/photographer when neither task can be completely fulfilled. I know that there are well respected and experienced operators who offer such packages and they say successfully but I can only believe it would be two lesser products. But there must be a market out there for this product which if acceptable to the clients is a money spinner for both parties.

I may be one of the closed minded but I always found video and stills to be very different skills requiring a completely different mind set. I did try it a couple of times but never found it to be a satisfactory way to work to be continually switch from director to observer and back. - "Look this way; now ignore me".

This of course is referring to shooting hybrid solo, not as a team with a tame photographer, I'd consider that to be a video/photo package where both disciplines are covered by a person dedicated to the specific task, not a video/photo hybrid which is one person juggling both which is what the OP is proposing.

Last edited by George Kilroy; April 16th, 2014 at 11:58 PM.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 06:45 PM   #28
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Re: Hybrid shooting -- good/bad idea?

Hi Nigel

That's the main reason why I don't shoot dual packages solo any more .. too many stills that cannot be achieved practically unless you just lock down the video and hope it all pans out OK. I still would much rather work with a photog that knows me and we can stay out of each other's way (I'm sure you and your wife work well at a wedding too!) I have had nightmare photogs who have absolutely no consideration for others ..the one I worked with last Friday almost featured as much in the video as the bride!! When politely questioned about blocking me continuously he simple said "Am I?" ..Dunno about the guys here but that alone is plenty of incentive for me to shoot with my own photog and get decent video without the guy's spiky hair showing up in 60% of my footage.

Ok, I will admit that doing both solo has to be some sort of compromise and one of the other will suffer a bit. Please correct me if I'm wrong but I think Pete does offer a photography package with free video (or used to anyway) so wouldn't the bride expect the best of the best as he is a photog and accept the video for what it is as it's a freebie???

Chris
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Old April 18th, 2014, 05:11 PM   #29
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Re: Hybrid shooting -- good/bad idea?

Just to add another thought to this discussion: there's a lot of people out there (okay, mainly photographers) making videos that incorporate both video footage and slideshows of photos. (Some good, some bad -- just Google for the word "fusion".)

This might be another way to make the process of hybrid shooting easier (if you don't have enough video content to fill out a highlights video).

Is it only budget couples who might be interested in this sort of package? Well, not necessarily. Just depends how you spin it. For instance, are you primarily an amazing photographer, and the video is a further bonus that gives you a unique selling proposition (a la Peter Riding)? In this case, you wouldn't need to charge budget prices.

Personally, I'm inclined to try it from the opposite direction, but maybe that's a pointless uphill battle -- that you're primarily there to make an amazing short highlights, and it's the photos that are the bonus and USP.
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Old April 19th, 2014, 06:48 PM   #30
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Re: Hybrid shooting -- good/bad idea?

I shoot combined video and photo packages both solo and with my wife sharing the load if we only have one wedding on. My wife also shoots photo/video packages solo.

Most weddings have plenty of time to alternate between video and photography and of course when doing both, you are able to structure the use of time to suit yourself much more than when working with a photographer.

There are certain times during the day when you are working very quickly and need have a working system that is comfortable and straight forward. In addition to having one or two locked off cameras for the ceremony, I have a stills camera and video camera on my main tripod head. I keep both centered on the main subject and in addition to following the action equally with both cameras, I can take instant stills with both with a remote control for each, so for the ring shot for instance, I will zoom in on the ring when it is picked up by the groom, knowing that the stills camera is already following the move. I can then shift attention to reframe the stills camera to grab some stills as the ring is put on.

Apart from occasional instant CUs like the rings, I generally keep a slightly wider angle on the video cameras and rely quite heavily on the video camera auto focus which is very reliable and accurate. Because both cameras are aligned on the same subject, I find no difficulty taking very varied stills and video. During the main part of the ceremony, there is plenty of time to reframe both video and stills as required.

For high stress times, like the final walk down the aisle, again both cameras are pointed at the action on the same head, so the video is left running, while I stop the couple for some still shots in the aisle. The same when they come out of the church door. Groups are very straight forward, as the video camera is reframed for a full length shot and put on record while the group is posed. The stills are then shot and the video camera reframed for a CU before I release the group. there is a lot more wasted footage on the video as I don't do the tight shot lengths that I would if just shooting video, but that is just a matter of discarding more at the editing stage. In fact I often get more interesting video footage during the stills as I pick up more of the funny comments and general merriment during the setting up of the poses.

Apart from a handful of high action moments such as processional and recessional moments, and the rings, there is very little else that is not under my control for pacing, much more so than when working with a separate photographer. I can even find time to take casual stills and video of guests in between group shots, while I use enlisted ushers, best men or other family members to round people up, which they seem to enjoy.

If you know your equipment well and are well organised, it really isn't a problem, but it is essential to be in control. I also make it absolutely clear at the booking stage, that I don't do flashy vogue style and magazine cover photography, but a mixture of reportage/casual, formal groups and romantic couple only shots. If they want a heavy duty fashion style shoot, I always suggest booking a dedicated photographer as well.

Roger
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