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Old April 23rd, 2014, 02:40 AM   #1
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Interact with arriving guests?

Hi all - when I'm outside a church filming guests arriving I always have an urge to say 'good morning/afternoon' as they approach the camera - I shouldn't really do this as it makes them look up at the camera but sometimes saying nothing and noting their furtive glances at me (as in 'who the hell is that?) makes me feel a bit creepy!

I'm thinking of asking my couples to point out to the guests that the wedding is being filmed, so it will come as no surprise the them when the first thing they encounter is a silent dude in black with a big camera!

Pete
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 03:10 AM   #2
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Re: Interact with arriving guests?

Hey Pete

I interact even if I'm not filming so at least they know who I am (despite also being the dude in black with a big camera) This tends to break the ice early cos when they have pre-dinner drinks at the reception I need to make the bride's video guestbook and get them to say something so by then they know who I am.

When guests come in and I'm filming I don't utter a word as I'm using ambient audio from the shotgun on the camera and don't want my greeting on the footage

However it is nice to greet them and be known as the friendly video guy! then again I even strike up a conversation with strangers while shopping at the supermarket so greeting guests is not foreign to me.

It certainly cannot do any harm!!

Chris
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 03:13 AM   #3
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Re: Interact with arriving guests?

I'm the same Chris I always chat to the guests - my point is when they are arriving, say at a church, I always film them, and that would be the first time they've seen me - it just feels a little creepy to film people without being introduced somehow - is it just me?
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 03:33 AM   #4
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Re: Interact with arriving guests?

I think the saying goes " A friend is a stranger that you haven't met yet" I really see nothing wrong with a polite greeting outside the Church or just a remark about the beautiful weather etc etc.

For me weddings are all about interaction but I know other videographers are different. I remember Adrian saying that he doesn't interact much, he just films the wedding! I enjoy people and tend to interact with them so for me it's natural ... for others I guess they are simply there to do their job. It all depends whether you are a people person or not. There is certainly nothing wrong with quietly capturing footage at the doorway and not saying a word, but that's not me. Being outgoing and friendly from the start certainly helps me during the wedding and I thinks guests do like a friendly video guy.

Chris
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 03:35 AM   #5
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Re: Interact with arriving guests?

Zero interaction, it should be obvious who we are. Well, maybe not, we still get confused for the photographer but whatever :) You dont often see the venue greeting everyone, or the photographer, or any of the other vendors so your right in that its a little strange that you would.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 04:33 AM   #6
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Re: Interact with arriving guests?

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Zero interaction, it should be obvious who we are.

Same here, I only chat with guests if they come up to me and start talking, usually it's when they shoot video as hobby and have a question about my camera's or steadicam. Otherwise I just shoot and don't interact. If I can I try to shoot without them seeing me, otherwise the dslr is only a reason for them to start posing in front of the camera.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 04:49 AM   #7
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Re: Interact with arriving guests?

When doing the video only, I tend to try not to attract their attention at all, perhaps just a friendly greeting after I have filmed them. When doing the photography as well, I video them discreetly as they are getting closer, then swap to the dslr and say a friendly greeting. As they look up I take a couple of close up stills, then a brief conversation or comment.

Roger
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 06:31 AM   #8
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Re: Interact with arriving guests?

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
I think the saying goes " A friend is a stranger that you haven't met yet"
I'm hoping you meant that the other way around Chris :D
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 08:12 AM   #9
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Re: Interact with arriving guests?

Hey Dave

I looked at that comment and read it and looked again and then the penny dropped!! Yep one of my faults is getting things back to front! It should of course be " A stranger is a friend you haven't met yet" ..Cripes with what I wrote all my mates are destined to be alienated by me! That's not a good situation!!

Thanks for correcting it!! Seems like I'm the only guy at weddings who interacts .. I find that strange!!

You have all these happy people yet I am supposed to shun them? I feel I get way better video and photography if I interact with everyone ...communication and a bit of fun to me is even more essential when doing group photos!!

For those that also do photos, how do you organise the groups without interacting???

Chris
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 10:14 AM   #10
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Re: Interact with arriving guests?

Chris,
You are not alone. I tend to do the same, both at weddings and the supermarket. It is a difference in personality. I do not see a problem with a professional (videographers definitely included) doing their job without interacting with the guests. Many expect that. However, I also want to be remembered as the approachable and friendly videographer. I like to think it helps my business, though I honestly don't know if it does.

I do know I get much more genuine smiles and reactions out of the wedding party during bridal prep if I start off being friendly and interacting. I believe Chris was the one that gave me the advice to first go in and introduce myself and talk a bit before even pulling out the camera. I have tried it both ways (before and after his advice) and I have seen a huge difference in the footage I was able to capture. Before, it was obvious those being filmed felt very awkward and were not behaving as they normally might. Afterwards, a total change. I was quickly accepted as part of the group and they were then happy to go about their business like they wanted to, not minding the camera at all.

At a ceremony, I am normally not in a position to do much chatting, as I am making last minute setup changes or filming B-roll, but when I do have a moment, I smile and am friendly to those around me. I definitely put my work before socializing, but I do feel that those who have seen me work would be more likely to hire me due to the friendliness. I guess only time will tell as others from the wedding parties get engaged.

Back to the oriental post: It depends on the proximity. If a guest arriving is walking past me and I am not actually recording at the time. I do offer a friendly hello. If they are farther away, I do not walk over just to chat.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 10:37 AM   #11
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Re: Interact with arriving guests?

I am somewhat an introvert and tend to be to myself but when I work be it a corporate job or a wedding, I let my inside out. I talk to people not overly but I will say Hello how are you or something like that not to everyone but if someone is looking me right in the eye, I'll acknowledge them. Maybe just a nod of my head but if it's possible and doesn't seem forced I'll say something to that person. I don't go out of my way to be overly friendly but I don't hide in a corner either. I'm there with a camera on my shoulder and people know I'm there obviously, so why should I disappear inside myself if someone says something to me and in many cases a look is more powerful than a word.
I met one of my best ever corporate clients, did work for his organization for 16 years, traveled with them, made a whole lot of money because of them when I met the president of the organization at a wedding and said, "Hi how are you". You never know who you're saying hi to.
Just sayin'...
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 11:05 AM   #12
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Re: Interact with arriving guests?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Rush View Post
sometimes saying nothing and noting their furtive glances at me (as in 'who the hell is that?) makes me feel a bit creepy!
This sort of topic always reminds me, for some reason, of the Strongbad cartoon from 2009. Everyone here has seen it, right?

Blurb for the video: "A self-proclaimed Video Media Technologist apparently needs to hire me as 'videographer' to videotape his wedding. If I ignore the inherent creepitude that comes from putting 'videographer' in quotes *shudder*, then I'm still left with the fact that a Video Media Technologist couldn't figure out how to put a tripod in a corner and press REC. That's like King Tut asking you to mummify his cat for him, right? That analogy is solid gold!"

The video: Compy Comp

The wiki page: videography - Homestar Runner Wiki
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 12:20 PM   #13
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Re: Interact with arriving guests?

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

It all depends on the vibe I get from the people.

Some are obviously very friendly and like to chat a bit, and for those folks I always take time to say hi etc.

Then, there are those who clearly don't want to talk, so I stay away. lol

I'm certainly in the introvert category and am just fine not speaking to anyone the whole time I'm there :)
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 12:43 PM   #14
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Re: Interact with arriving guests?

The original post was about interacting with arriving guests. When guests are arriving, as I said earlier I keep contact fairly minimal otherwise it's easy to get bogged down in conversation when you need to work quickly.

Preps and group shots, romantic and personal shots are totally different. from a photography point of view, when banter and interaction is vital to get people to relax. With video only, I would expect the photographer to be more interactive than me, but I always remain friendly and approachable while maintaining a low profile.

Roger
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 01:55 PM   #15
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Re: Interact with arriving guests?

Last time i interacted with the guests i did a sort of arm/hand wave trying to get a guest to do something i wanted, he came over and nearly knocked my block of so i do like Danny say nu thin...
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