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Old July 6th, 2014, 08:03 PM   #1
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Who do videographers get to video their weddings?

I have a long-term partner, but I'm not married, and perhaps that's a little ironic. I don't mind mentioning that to couples I meet, and they usually find it funny. I don't think they care either way.

Anyway, I was thinking to myself, "If I did get married, what video company would I choose?" And I found the thought interesting. It suddenly put me in a potential couple's position, and what they might be looking for.

So, general question -- have you been married since you started filming weddings? If so, how did you select the videographer?

Personally, my list would go like this...

First consideration would be getting one of my second shooters to do it. But I'd rule that idea out fairly quickly -- I'd rather they be there as a guest.

I'd prefer them to use DSLRs to C100s or other non-full-frame cameras, because I like the look better. :)

Money -- would be prepared to spend a bucketload and to save up before having the wedding, just so I could get a good videographer and photographer, because I'd want an awesome video and want the job done properly. Not because of any special bias towards video -- I think I'd value video even if it didn't pay my bills. And not to show off to people -- I wouldn't care if anyone else saw it or not. Mainly just to have it as a beautiful memory that I could watch whenever I wanted.

The budget wouldn't be unlimited -- say $5k-$10k, preferably closer to five. I'm on a pretty low net income each year, but video is valuable enough to me that I'd be prepared to save for it. So that's already telling me something about how my own clients and potential clients think.

I would want short form rather than long form; it would be painful to watch it through in full, and less is more. I'd want candid rather than posed or showy, and that's something that, frankly, very few photographers, and almost no video companies, do well, including the Ray Romans and Joe Simons of the world. And in terms of the content, I'd just want the location and the people captured. I wouldn't care if they filmed me putting on cufflinks or not -- it's just clothing; what does it matter. I guess my ideal style (not sure about my partner's) could kind of best be described as "creative documentary", a term from the photographer Ben Chrisman.

Other than that, the fact that I'm a videographer would make me more forgiving of the outcome, rather than having high expectations. I know what videographers go through. So it would be a case of, "Just do what you do best, mate. If anything goes wrong, don't stress. If there's anything I can do to make your job easier, just let me know. I've seen your work. I trust you."

So that's how I'd think about it anyway. Don't know if any "civilian" groom, let alone bride, would ever think about it that way. In fact, I'm pretty sure that most people don't -- not because of the DSLR comment, but because of the "prepared to save up for it" comment. Maybe some people have been planning their dream wedding since childhood, but I've got a feeling that most people find vendors to fit their budget, rather than saving up specifically so they can get the right everything.
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Old July 6th, 2014, 09:53 PM   #2
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Re: Who do videographers get to video their weddings?

This was fun to read, probably because I went through this same thought process when I started filming weddings. I actually try to film each wedding how I wish mine would have been filmed. Fourteen years ago, I was not much into video, but loved photography (I have been taking pictures since before I started gradeschool). Thus photography got more of the budget; however, I knew from experience there were things that pictures could not fully capture, so I wanted a video as well. It wasn't an expensive deal. I got a solo guy that had one wide balcony shot mixed with another balcony cam that he controled and zoomed for some midrange stuff. I did not really know what was possible then. Thinking back, I am very happy we hired him, but if I were getting married now (with what is available to see online), I would have wanted more. Adrian- I think we have some similarities, but also some differences. Here is the list of what I wish I had (and what I try to provide):

-A FULL long form of the entire day (prep to the end): I know I would only watch this every 20 years or so, but I think it would be valuable now, and increase as I age.
-A short form or highlights of the day (around 10 minutes): long enough for the memories to flood back and to see the story of the day, but not long enough to fall asleep.
-Mixture of Depth of Field: I love the huge wide shot with everything in focus as well as the extreme close up showing the emotion on the face while blurring the rest of the world away. That is how I remember my day.
-Multiple angles: I get visually bored with a one camera shot of an event. Yes the highlights can be amazing, but the long form can get dull for me. I want a constant change of angles. The more the better. Even better if they are creative.
-High Definition: why in the world would I want anything in SD if there is an HD option?
-Detail shots: this is probably the photographer in me, but I love the extreme close ups of details, whether it be decorations, the cake, clothing, everything that was unique to my wedding. I want to be able to picture the day clearly, and sometimes those details are the first things to slip our minds.
Happy faces: I want shots of family and friends. I want to remember who was there. But I also want to see them having a good time. Videographers cannot control this, but with patience and perserverence, it is possible to get a lot of them.
Both us and the party: sometimes the couple are oblivious to things happening during the day. In many cases things happen when they are not around or on the other side of the venue. I want to see us, but also what is going on with the guests that we missed.
Good audio: I want to be able to hear, and understand, what is said.

So, I am not asking for much...just everything... Adrian, I think a videographer would much rather work for you. I know I need at least two shooters to even survive the attempt.

Last edited by Byron Jones; July 6th, 2014 at 10:01 PM. Reason: Left out audio...oops...
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Old July 6th, 2014, 10:53 PM   #3
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Re: Who do videographers get to video their weddings?

I'm not married or even close to it, but if I did, I would think I'd want someone that impresses me. I couldn't settle for less. LOL!
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Old July 7th, 2014, 01:45 AM   #4
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Re: Who do videographers get to video their weddings?

Thought about this a while ago ... not married myself, but I already have a few companies short listed in my mind and I would definitely pay their price (but would still try negotiating a deal at the same time).
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Old July 7th, 2014, 02:49 AM   #5
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Re: Who do videographers get to video their weddings?

Only one answer here!! Don't have video .. I think that the average pro would never be satisfied with any video guy. "I would have framed that differently" , "That's a crappy shot" and so it goes on ... and pay $5K are you crazy Adrian???

Seriously all you need is one camera in the aisle on a big DJ lighting stand shooting wide so you get the whole ceremony...run audio with wireless lav on yourself and you have a wedding video. You could also place a few extra cameras around the venue for cutaway shots and hey presto you can edit it on your honeymoon.

Otherwise go the GoPro route ! One cam on a stand for wide angle and then a best man cam on your groomsman and let 'em run. Record your vows with a DVR in your pocket and enjoy your wedding.

I took a would-be videographer (he was a photog) on a shoot with me a few years ago to learn the ropes and he spent the entire day telling the photog was she was doing wrong ...imagine what a videographer who is the groom would be stressing about during the ceremony?

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Old July 7th, 2014, 04:08 AM   #6
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Re: Who do videographers get to video their weddings?

I actually hate being filmed and even don't like it when people take photo's of me :) I have been married twice and the second one was just with direct family only, I think we where with maybe 15 people and hired a small restaurant just to have some nice dinner and a few drinks after that, I also fell asleep later that evening in the lounge area of that place because I drank too much :D

In that case my father just shot some random stuff on a handicam and I"m glad he did so, it's shaky as all was shot handheld, has lousy audio but it has a real feel to it, the photog was a family member. Because my dad was filming there is also a fun interaction with the family and my daughters, they don't avoid the camera but look into it, make funny faces and my dad was also talking to the people he was filming, so it's a very personal film I value much more then the type of wedding films I produce now.
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Old July 7th, 2014, 04:18 AM   #7
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Re: Who do videographers get to video their weddings?

Best vacation I ever had was the one I did not take any imaging devices along. Just saw everything for what it was and left it there.
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Old July 7th, 2014, 08:27 AM   #8
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Re: Who do videographers get to video their weddings?

I'm quite a bit older than you Adrian and I reckon that means that I see things much more from the perspective of family history. I have various videos in various formats some going back decades. What I want to see in those is as much as possible. I don't really care if its shaky or blurry or less than pristine audio. I want to see how people looked, how they carried themselves, how they interacted how they sounded (up to a point). The very last thing I would want would be a short-form and that would in all probability have been thrown in the trash within a year whilst the longform would be the keeper. I understand why many videographers supply the shortform "dSLR" product that they do - its after all a much easier sell because it has immediate appeal - but for me it does not have staying power.

I'd be very keen on multiple camera angles. I wouldn't mind people hamming up for the camera - preferably not too much of it though. I can relate to noa's observation about his old films.

This question also arises in relation to what would you want for your kids weddings. Its all too easy to dismiss parents tastes as old fashioned and irrelevant, stuck in the dark ages of wedding video. But thats without appreciating the longterm value. And what will your as yet unborn kids want to watch when they are growing up and then as adults ..... you guessed it :- ) There's always the FF button on the remote.

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Old July 7th, 2014, 08:37 AM   #9
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Re: Who do videographers get to video their weddings?

I would have all the guest shoot it with their iPhones and then take my time cutting it all together.
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Old July 7th, 2014, 08:43 AM   #10
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Re: Who do videographers get to video their weddings?

The future value is one reason that, along with full-length (Zzzzzzz) and a 15 minute highlight, we offer to interview grandparents and parents (and any other VIPs they want us to). Not for the wedding video, per se, but rather, this idea: in 10, 20, and 40 years, wouldn't it be great to have your parents and grandparents on camera, telling a story or two. Something to help you remember them, or to have as part of your family remembrances.

About half our weddings ask for it, so far, and I put it on its own section in the DVD, and their own file on USB.

So far, we ask them how they met, if they have a wedding proposal, about their wedding, and try to get one other (non-wedding) story out of them.
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Old July 7th, 2014, 09:27 AM   #11
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Re: Who do videographers get to video their weddings?

I'm pretty sure I"d be one of those who'd hire a shooter to shoot it, and then I'd edit. Probably tell him to have a go at it, get creative, 'I'll fix it in post';) If I knew them (second shooter), let them use some of my equipment if needed.
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Old July 7th, 2014, 10:10 PM   #12
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Re: Who do videographers get to video their weddings?

I've always prefered to be behind the camera (bit of a shy lad), so when I got married I decided on no video (even though my industry mates offered to shoot for nix).
That was 30 years ago, have never regreted that decision.
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Old July 7th, 2014, 11:01 PM   #13
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Re: Who do videographers get to video their weddings?

Best place to be is behind the camera not in front of it!! At our wedding we were just about to start the ceremony and my brother-in-law came in with his Sony Handicam and filmed the whole thing ..very wobbly with terrible audio and it was analogue too.

I transferred the tape to digital a few years ago so I have it on a disk now, just in case!!

One thing it did do was made me realise that when brides say "The whole day was just a blur" I can now relate to it so some sort of video record, however shaky is still a good idea.

At my age however I won't need to make the decision again thank goodness. Bottom line is yes, record it as a family home movie so you can watch it but to spend $5K -$10K like Adrian suggests ...definitely that would be a no -no!!
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Old July 8th, 2014, 02:33 AM   #14
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Re: Who do videographers get to video their weddings?

It's funny - I've been an actor for over 30 years and feel right at home in front of the camera or on stage - but I hate seeing myself in a wedding video and cut around that.

there's a simple solution, a couple of strap on GoPro's - POV all the way (I'll leave the joke to someone else)
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Old July 8th, 2014, 09:31 AM   #15
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Re: Who do videographers get to video their weddings?

I've been an actor for over 30 years and feel right at home in front of the camera or on stage

I have one like that next month but ordinarily media / entertainment clients often say they don't want video because it feels like being at work. They could however be fearful of having the circus of lighting cameras mics and assistants that they are used to on set.

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