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


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Old September 4th, 2014, 05:07 PM   #31
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Re: I said i would not put him in the video but?

Interesting comments above... I'm a cameraman, but not one who does weddings.

Writing more from a potential customers viewpoint, if the client I would want "pristine" stills. "Perfect" moments of time frozen to be looked at in an album on frame.

But a video I'd paid for would be different - I'd expect it to capture a flavour of the event - capture the events that were happening. As such, the photographer is part of it, the taking of photographs is part of it. I wouldn't want perfect group images - that's what the stills are for - more important is those little moments that only moving pictures can capture.

Yes, maybe the walk up the aisle would be nicer if clean, and walking immediately in front of the couple the whole length is rather thoughtless. But (if I was client) if that was necessary to get that perfect moment " frozen in time" for our album or frame, then so be it. I'll accept him in the video, accept it for part of what was happening on the day.

As for the photographer who falls in the water. Little sympathy. In any photographic or video job, it's essential to always be aware of your surroundings, and that always applies to walking backwards - it's why in some cases if it's known to be likely, a producer or whoever should be given the job of minding the cameramans back. Even less excuse when you're shooting stills, not video.
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Old September 5th, 2014, 07:56 PM   #32
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Re: I said i would not put him in the video but?

I would really like to see these "machine--gunning" photogs in the time of film, shoot over 2000 shots per wedding costing them well over $1500 just for the film and printed proofs. They would change their shooting ways faster than their flash can recycle. Just because digital is on the cheap doesn't mean one has to rely on bracketing shots to obtain the ideal exposure or capturing that elusive once in a lifetime shot. A real pro shoots RAW and shoots less. He knows what the camera can do and what the lighting situation calls for. He also knows exactly when to push the button. No guessing here, just acquired experience honed to perfection. Anyone know Mr. Henri Cartier Bresson ?? Read his book "The Decisive Moment". I would have loved to see him shoot a wedding.
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Old September 5th, 2014, 08:22 PM   #33
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Re: I said i would not put him in the video but?

Hey Arthur

In the old days when I was only doing stills (video cameras were still impractical for weddings) My Mamiya RB67's did a mere 16 exposures on a 220 roll of film and yes it was pricey too! On the big format I doubt whether I ever shot more than 4 rolls of film and then maybe 2 rolls of preloaded 35mm neg film so I could squeeze a maximum of 80 exposures at the reception for the more "happy snaps"

I worked with a guy a few years ago who shot 3000 exposures and that was just ceremony, groups and bridal shoot ... He attitude was if he shot 3000 surely he would get at least 300 from that batch.

Hmmm maybe I should shoot 20 hours of video at weddings on 4 cameras to make sure I get enough footage? No thanks ..My total of shot for editing footage at a full wedding rarely exceeds 2 hours on each camera .. makes life a lot easier in post! Imagine trolling thru a few thousand digital shots and having to decide to keep or discard!! When we do still we still work the old way but with groups I'll still do a bunch of shots just in case someone had their eyes closed but certainly not thousands!!

Chris
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Old September 6th, 2014, 04:28 AM   #34
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Re: I said i would not put him in the video but?

Sorry Arthur that you just don't "get it".

In the mainstream market you cannot get away with delivering the equivalent numbers of images that was the norm years ago. Clients expectation have changed. So has their appreciation of what is good and what is not so good.

Again, the length and depth of coverage has changed. Whereas years ago there was a series of setpiece photos - bride posing with parents and bridesmaids before departing for the ceremony, bride posed with car on arrival, couple signing register accompanied by witnesses and celebrant, couple posed kissing at exit of church, various stiff group and single portraits in the church yard. That was pretty much it. No getting ready, no ceremony in progress (I was a choir boy, I never ever saw a camera in the church), no reportage, no speeches, no dancing in the evening. If thats all that had to be covered today no-one would shoot 10,000 or even 1,000!

Posing was much more ponderous. An assistant would watch for participants blinking at the moment the shutter was fired, and the pose repeated if that was a "fail". Photographers would fuss over the clothing to make sure everything was - as they perceived it - just right. Clients don't tolerate that sort of nonsense any more nor should they. Should the couple pose with the grooms sword arm free or with his buttonhole away from the bride (as you can't have both) ........ dear G-d thank goodness those days are over.

And the quality delivered was often appalling compared to today. Just look at some old family albums of your own.

As for resurrecting some of the supposed old masters. Emperors new clothes and all that. For example this famous photo would have been deleted nowdays as the point of focus is plain wrong:

Dorothea Lange - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Anyone know Mr. Henri Cartier Bresson ?? Read his book "The Decisive Moment". I would have loved to see him shoot a wedding.

About 8 years ago a respected master from New York now sadly passed away did just that of a wedding in Paris. Words can't describe how bad it was. It clearly was not his genre at all but he was sooooo proud of it. Even Facebook fans would have hesitated heap their usual superlatives on it.

You cannot guess the ideal camera settings reliably, no matter how experienced you are. The more so in a fast-moving unrepeatable scenario. The old guard relied on the wide latitude of film - particularly black and white, the skills of their developing lab, and the fact that imperfections were hidden by the extremely small size most photos were printed at, to hide their bodies so to speak.

Videographers need to now accept that there is a reason many experienced and indemand photographers shoot as they do, and adapt to it if necessary. Likewise photographers need a greater understanding of how ponderous is shooting video compared to stills, and why you need more than just a few seconds per take, and why they need to pay more attention to video camera placements.

Meanwhile please lets not hanker after an era that never existed. Have a browse through some of these sites and then tell us that it was better in the good old days!

http://www.fearlessphotographers.com...509/england-uk

http://www.weddzilla.com/articles/th...ographers.html

http://mvphotographers.co.uk/members/

Pete
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Old September 6th, 2014, 04:51 AM   #35
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Re: I said i would not put him in the video but?

My experience in what a good experienced photog compared to a bad insecure one is that the good one does what he has to do to get the shot but while doing so always looks where the videoguy is standing, because he knows you are usually on a tripod not being able to move and if the videoguy shoots handheld they are not likely to move around while continuously shooting. The photog might block you for a short while because he just needs to have that shot from that particular angle but then quickly moves out of the way and if it's a crucial shot, like when they put on the rings, he will shoot around you instead of jumping right in front of you making you miss that shot (has happened to me before more then once)

The insecure ones don"t care about that at all, they just want to get their shot, they don't look where your camera's are positioned, they just go in for the kill. Worst thing that can happen to me during a wedding is when I have to deal with 2 insecure photogs, happened once to me this year with a father/son photog team.
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Old September 6th, 2014, 10:59 AM   #36
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Re: I said i would not put him in the video but?

I also shoot photos on occasion and when I do, I still deliver to the clients no more than 400 hi res JPG's from the RAW's that I shoot about 500 of. It is not far from my Hasselblad days when I would only carry 20 rolls of 220 size film for a total of 480 shots. In those days, the client gets only around 400 proofs at most which came in 5" X 5" size and put in a small proof album. The client only had to choose around 40 to 60 those to complete the album. How many shots does the client choose now to produce a so called "digital album" from thousands of photos ? 80 to 100 perhaps ? not much difference is it ? I saw many changes over the years as to shooting styles and trends, but the basic posing is still there let aside some fancy bokeh and impromptu style that has always been there since film. My real question is, does one have to shoot thousand (s) of pictures to produce an album that contains less than 100 ? Even a blind squirrel will eventually stumble upon a nut in the darkness of night, if there are enough nuts on the ground. Shoot more..Why not , pixels are free, memory cards are cheap, the more the better, no ? Like the bride that says " gee, the other guy will shoot at least 2000 from his quote, can you do better and shoot more ? "
Today we have the luxury to look at the camera LCD and have the option of deleting some so-so shots on the fly as we shoot, many rarely do that now because the just delete later. With a 64GB card they shoot till the camera starts to smoke with bullets to spare. Many "wasted" shots or shots that do not go in the album are requests either by the guests " hey Mr. photographer, can you take a picture of me/us" or the group "table shots" that never, ever, get chosen to be in the album. How about the myriad of shots that are taken of the cake, before the cake cutting, or the crowd dancing candids, or guests seated at tables ? These never, ever get to go in the album. The bride has thousands of cake and guest shots at her disposal by the guests participation with them smart phones and tablets, need the photog add more ? No wonder the numbers add up.
And of course there are the photos that just feel they have to shoot something out of habit or that they desire to look busy and professional.
I am not saying a photog has to shoot way less, no, that is just me. From the average I see , the client now usually gets anywhere from 800 to 900 shots from whatever the lensman captured. And the more he/she shoots the more the possibility they get in the way. And of course the photos look better today, thanks to Photoshop. That doesn't mean one has to shoot thousands. For that just hire a paparazzi on the side, I am sure there are many without wedding experience that for a paltry sum will add to the confusion, hire a couple more and now it looks like an attention grabber red carpet glitz and glamour. Perhaps that is what the bride wanted in the first place...
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Old September 6th, 2014, 04:30 PM   #37
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Re: I said i would not put him in the video but?

Arthur, in your haste to belittle any photographer who chooses not to shoot as you do you are totally missing the point. And the point is:

THE ALBUM IS NO LONGER THE PRODUCT

Got that :- )

The number of clients purchasing albums has fallen off a cliff whilst at the same time almost every photographer supplies the high resolution files. Gone are the days when you could decline to supply them or supply them at a premium price. They are built into almost all packages now, and the most you can do to restrict their use / protect your sales is to decline to supply the files until despatch of the album (if there is one at all).

Thats how it is out there.

So what is the product in 2014? How do clients now prefer to consume their images? On their tablets, on their smartphones, on their TVs by playing from discs or USB sticks. Yes they want to see images fill the screen on their 50" flatscreen if they have one. And lots of them. Yes they want the cake, and a couple of closeups of the cake decorations, and a few action shots of themselves giggling and kissing as they cut it. What they do NOT want is a single posed perfect lit shot of themselves pretending to cut it a la album version. If they slideshow just one image per 6 seconds including transitions they will chomp through 100 images in only 10 minutes. They want and expect a lot more than that. Many photographers use shorter durations to match high tempo music. So getting through 500-600 images is no biggie for these clients.

The photographers shooting 10k plus are very few and they in turn supply 1200-1500 images. They tend to have staff doing the post processing and no doubt find it more efficient that those staff choose keepers based on the best of a sequence and none requiring cropping, head swapping, eye opening etc. So its actually more efficient for them to "overshoot" on the day.

Why would you delete images on the job rather than after fully backing up back at base? Crazy risk. I jus t gave myself a shock editing a video today in which I appeared to have deleted 30 minutes of a long ceremony - the most important 30 minutes as well. Fortunately I was able to retrieve the original files from one of two backups. Then I found the "missing" stuff anyway - dohhhh! But it was a valuable experience.

I've always shot RAW. Years ago it really mattered because of the extra range that could be extracted especially in emergencies. Not quite so important now with the improvements in design and dynamic range etc but its my workflow. I don't fa*t around with Photoshop and Lightroom with RAW, I use the one real convertor Capture One Pro :- )

Noa how come you are convinced that insecurity is at the heart. Where is your actual evidence for that? Just asking, not criticising.

Pete
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Old September 6th, 2014, 04:48 PM   #38
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Re: I said i would not put him in the video but?

I know they are insecure when it regards younger photogs who just started a business or it can be professionals with years of experience who mainly do other type of photography like architecture, fashion or company shoots and who do a wedding now and then or it can be friends of the family which are the worst.

Insecurity equals lack of experience in the wedding business, very experienced weddingphotogs know exactly what they want and when to be ready, they have a routine and they know they have to consider the videoguy as wel, unless they have a big ego, insecure photogs don't, they just keep on firing away hoping at least one photo will come out alright, they also jump right in front of you on a crucial moment.
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Old September 6th, 2014, 06:00 PM   #39
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Re: I said i would not put him in the video but?

In my area digital design albums are very very popular, so much so that many photographers and photo studios have the design layout outsourced as far away as India where not only is it cheaply done but well done indeed. Most clients I know that I have photographed as only files delivered got around to picking and ordering their album with sizes ranging from 10 X 10 to as large as 16 X 16. There are many companies worldwide that are in business only to print or/and bind albums for the wedding industry. Sure. digital file delivery to the client is popular here also and is presently being delivered on BluRay discs or flash memory.
In either case any photog that shoots over 2K in images and even delivers 1K is overshooting. Can the client look at 1K of images even at 2 seconds each for 2000 seconds for a full 33 minutes ? What do the bulk of those 1K images contain as content ? mostly bride and groom or the guest shots, or perhaps boring family formals ?
I am not belittling any photographer but only those that still have a lot to learn in this field. Those that go to the camera store, buy a camera, shoot a few weddings here and there as 2nd shooters and proclaim themselves as pros whilst advertising their "great shots" on Craigslist and killing the market with their lowball pricing just to get as many contracts as possible and at the same time getting in the way of videographers while shooting their massive amounts of photos and eventually falling into the water. Give us a break. Either lead, follow, or get out of the way.
The album is no longer the product ???
I can agree with that to a certain point but here the album is the traditional representation of the wedding captured on paper. We have here many wedding photo contracts that are paid in full by the bride's parents
that want their daughter and themselves to have an album. My best customers are the Italians and Greeks along with the Portuguese community that comprise well over 75% of my clients, and they all want an album and sometimes 3 of them ( a large one for the couple and smaller one for each family parents) . I love when that happens as I upsell the extras for well over $1500 in profits. Try doing that when they are just content with pixels on files.
Again, digitally designed albums in general do not contain more than 100 pictures in them, regardless how many million photos the photog takes. A pro knows what and how many to shot. An amateur just shoots away at anything that moves.
Ask any studio here, I don't know about there, about extras and upgrades and they will all tell you that is how they make the extra cash-flow to keep the studio afloat.
I don't shoot as many photos as I used to because video is keeping me busy with that but I feel that in the near future with the advent of large 4K displays, if the printed album goes with the extinct dodo then a slide presentation done on a pro level with effects and sound may be the medium of presentation to come.
Sure, any bride will accept as many photos you give her with a smile but at some point they really do get redundant. And often boring.
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Old September 6th, 2014, 06:02 PM   #40
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Re: I said i would not put him in the video but?

Just wanted to add that I found the links Peter's given really helpful -- in particular, interesting discussion at that Fred Miranda forum about overshooting.

The consensus there seemed to be that overshooting can be a conscious, non-insecure choice, with pros as well as cons, that no one method of shooting is the "best" method, that it's not for one photographer to tell another photographer how to shoot, that, from the clients' point of view, they care about the result, not the method, and that there's a difference between "overshooting" and "spray and pray". The last is an important point -- assuming greater quantity but same quality of footage to produce same number of delivered photos, then maybe the odds are you are going to deliver a better set of photos.

Bringing this round to video, I think I'd similarly argue that overshooting, in the sense of "keep working", is a good thing -- from a quality-of-product point of view.

One argument is: you don't know when a better shot will come along. Even if you have a keen sense of when you've got enough footage to edit two minutes set to music to cover bride prep, or whatever, maybe something more interesting than what you've filmed might happen, or maybe, if you keep shooting, you'll be struck with inspiration for a more creative shot.

Even during the quiet times at receptions, when all that's happening is people eating, I'd rather see my second and third camera operators working the room and looking for shot opportunities than sitting on their butts chatting up the photographer. I want them to be as working as hard as I am; I'm paying them more than enough. I'm never going to tell them, "You're shooting too much. I don't want to bother looking through all that footage in post."
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Old September 7th, 2014, 07:01 AM   #41
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Re: I said i would not put him in the video but?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post

Anyone know Mr. Henri Cartier Bresson ?? Read his book "The Decisive Moment". I would have loved to see him shoot a wedding.

Pete
Hi Pete!

Can you tell me if it's worth buying this book for 80? A new edition is due for publishing at the end of the month and the original is close to 700 used.

Is it worth it for a videographer? Which books do you think are essential for videographers (if any)?

Thanks,

Craig
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