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Old December 2nd, 2014, 06:28 PM   #16
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post

It wasn't long ago that photographers were complaining about digital cameras and that they didn't understand computers and the quality would never match film etc.etc. News video crews used to go out with a sound recordist, lighting guy, video recorder operator and cameraman and producer. Now it's often just a self contained ENG guy. So many people seem to be stuck with the idea that this is what photographers do and this is what videographers do, so that it how it is. Well I don't subscribe to that, technology is changing, client's expectations are changing and the ideas of professionals need to change with them. In the UK, wedding video has about 10% of the available market, photography over 90%, so offering both opens up a lot more of the available market.

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For some of my Weddings I'm juggling Marryoke, Guest Messages, a full video and occasionally a same day edit, so I know it's possible with a good work ethic to do what you do. I also know that it works better for some Weddings over others. I have my successes; I also have some where I know that either one or the other have been compromised in some way by juggling too many hats. Are the couple still happy,of course and some say that is the point. However as they never see their videos captured differently, they can't really judge what might have been.

Speaking to Photographers, some are keen to venture in Video, others are against it and they make an excellent case also. Any Profession needs to adapt, but standards shouldn't be lost as a consequence. I appreciate you have a great deal of experience Roger and can manage this dual role, but should it take off, can you say the same of any others who attempt it. For couples, there is only one main benefit they'd see in hiring one person to do both, and that is to save money. It's a great 2 for 1 offer. However many who try will just not be cut out for it, leading to terrible work and a poor reputation. If someone local to you tried to offer the same thing and really screwed it up, would it encourage couples to go to you or would they rethink the whole notion of getting one person to do both. A bad Videographer will be blamed for being a bad Videographer, whilst a bad Photo/Video guy will just as likely be blamed for trying to be a jack of all trades and mastering none.

That said, it's something to watch out for, and if I see a trend, I always give it a try. I've done some Photo work alongside my Video work and 4K makes a difference. However in my mind, I still see there's a place for a Professional Photographer and a Professional Videographer in the future. Combining the two makes good business sense, can be easier for the couple hiring and no doubt gets great feedback, but even with the best experience, no one can really work both and put in the same care and attention a separate Videographer and Photographer can do if they're at the top of their game.
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Old December 2nd, 2014, 06:29 PM   #17
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

My favorite photographer has been offering video for awhile now. His video is pretty bad. His photos are still good, but the quality has suffered. His photos run about $5K and I still don't understand why he got into video, but that's none of my business. He makes so much doing photos, and is SO popular, it just seems crazy to add to the stress of the day with video and then to end up putting out a shoddy product.

I shoot with 4 cams alone at weddings routinely. It is a lot of work, especially setting up and tearing down and moving from place to place. But I do it.

To offer photos as well? It would be a lower end product for sure, but anyone could do it. It is the quality that would be questionable in my mind. Quality is a relative concept for some people anyway, so in then end if the people pay for it and are happy that's all that matters.
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Old December 3rd, 2014, 02:59 AM   #18
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

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To offer photos as well? It would be a lower end product for sure, but anyone could do it. It is the quality that would be questionable in my mind.
Exactly my thought, I could shoot video, do photo and play dj the same time as well if I really wanted, like Peter said, just do it, but it's oversimplifying things as if video is nothing more then splashing many camera's all over the place and let them roll unattended while you go off and multitask, it almost makes it sound like a monkey can deliver a quality video.

A lot depends on what your own standards are and if the client is willing to accept and pay for that, if they are ok with that, then you have a business but don't come and tell me here that you can do both simultaneously in very uncontrolled situations and still deliver a "quality" product, it will be very average at best, you also might just put up a few dslr's randomly and have them autotake photo's every few seconds while you go of and shoot video, to me that sounds equally ridiculous but if you can get that sold, then why not?

I still believe it can be done though but the circumstances have to be exactly right, in my previous example I gave with the changing light conditions you are basically scr*wed unless you don't care about the outcome if you juggle video and photo camera's simultaneously.
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Old December 3rd, 2014, 03:20 AM   #19
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

To be fair, if a Photographer was able to tap into the people who wouldn't have considered a video and persuade them to include one in their package, this can only be a positive thing to the Wedding Video Industry, which is frequently cited as the most undervalued of all the Wedding services. Those couples that do get a video as an add on are not expecting a top quality video in the way some of my clients expect from me. Expectations are lower and its easy to deliver in those cases. For a Videographer to add on a Photo service, you would need clients who view Photography in much the same way. Some do, but I'd say it's easier for Photographers to add Video than Videographers to add Photos, given we're the last to be hired usually. I get so many comments from couples who said they never even thought of a Wedding Video until they saw their friends Trailer/Video. If Photographers branching out contribute to this, I'm all in favour.

Last edited by Steve Burkett; December 3rd, 2014 at 03:22 AM. Reason: Error in phrasing
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Old December 3rd, 2014, 12:11 PM   #20
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

This is a timely discussion, as it's related to one I've been having with my primary second shooter over the past couple weeks.

Now, I don't know about this "one-man" stuff... lol There's no way I could pull that off, nor would I want to.

But what I did do is start of offer combo packages for my upper end stuff and it'll be interesting to see if I have any takers this year. I couch it as video is primary and photos are secondary. So I'll have to have couples who are ok with that idea.

Over this past year, we shot some photos at weddings where there was a pro photographer and the comments and such were incredibly positive. We shot them for our own purposes, not trying to replace the photographer or anything. Nonetheless, based on the positive feedback from not only the couples but also their friends and family members, we figured it would be worth a shot to start offering combos.

Now, there are usually 3-4 of us on site to begin with. And my second shooter is actually a "photographer" to begin with, as he's been shooting since high school.

I think for us it would work out great, since we all work together all the time, it would be "easier" for us to pose and get shots for BOTH photo and video purposes without feeling like we are intruding or whatever.
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Old December 3rd, 2014, 03:30 PM   #21
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

A lot of the comments are really missing so many of the points that I was trying to make that I seem to be repeating myself.

Noa, you gave the scenario of lighting conditions constantly changing and that a video left running while you are taking the stills would not handle the changes on auto. I have said previously that I regularly check and adjust all camera settings, but as a professional, I work with the conditions, so if the conditions are changing that much, then still and video cameras both are being set appropriately because I will be using my twin camera rig. If the conditions remain the same, then I may let the video run longer and shorten the clips at the editing stage. We are not talking about 10 minutes of continuous video here, we are talking about clips of maybe 20 seconds rather 6 or 7 secs, It is just me controlling the situation at my own pace. the posed groups are not a great subject for video, so I will often split the groups into sections to get lots of video of other things while they are sorting themselves out, rather than an endless chain of groups that bore everybody whilst trying to also cover it all with video. There are many ways of arranging the day to make it all work well, but it does involve some lateral thinking, which I love.

Steve, you made the point that if lots of people start offering joint packages, bad results may turn clients away from the idea. I would disagree with that, as one of the reasons that we started to offer a joint package is because of some of the diabolical results that some photographers (and videographers) were getting, leading clients to ask us if we could make an album from stills from the video. The poor photographers however, haven't turned people away from photography.

Jeff, you have a friend who is a great photographer and has started offering videos that you consider bad. if his videos are indeed bad, then he shouldn't be offering them at all. Also when it comes to promotion, most of our totally new non recommendation work comes from wedding shows where we are now advertising and promoting a joint video/photography package. That attracts the majority potential photo clients in addition to the ones already interested in video. You also said that you work with up to 4 video cameras that take a while to set up and break down, but I work with 4 cameras and also audio recorders that take me a couple of minutes to set up and break down, due to using multi mount tripods and clamps.

The thing is, whatever way you work now, being photography or video, if you offer a serious joint package, you have to work differently to achieve consistently good results from both. If you aren't a competent videographer and photographer, you should NEVER consider doing both or they will both be poor. However the similarities between stills and video are many, but you have to fully understand the differences as well. It is vital to understand visual flow in video, but with photography you also need to understand the subtleties of dress arrangement, foot and hand positions, the tilt of a head and a myriad other things. A joint package is not about doing two jobs, it is about understanding all aspects and making them work as one new job.

As regards pricing, some people may consider they are paying less for a joint package, but most book us because they love our photos and our documentary video. they also love that there won't be two companies competing for the best shots and angles all day, just one company moving smoothly with emphasis on what is important at each stage.

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Old December 3rd, 2014, 03:39 PM   #22
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

Kyle I forgot to comment on your post, which I do agree with. Whether you are a joint solo shooter or working with a team as you do, the point is you are not competing or intruding on someone else all day. You know what you want to achieve, and your one team is geared to make that work smoothly and efficiently. It's no good bringing in an outside photographer who will do what he always does, your photographer must work as part of the team, properly integrated and fully aware of what everyone else's requirements are.

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Old December 3rd, 2014, 03:57 PM   #23
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

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We are not talking about 10 minutes of continuous video here, we are talking about clips of maybe 20 seconds rather 6 or 7 secs, It is just me controlling the situation at my own pace. the posed groups are not a great subject for video, so I will often split the groups into sections to get lots of video of other things while they are sorting themselves out, rather than an endless chain of groups that bore everybody whilst trying to also cover it all with video.
Not sure we are talking about the same thing, I"m talking about a ceremony coverage.
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Old December 3rd, 2014, 04:12 PM   #24
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

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Not sure we are talking about the same thing, I"m talking about a ceremony coverage.
Oops, sorry Noa, thought you were talking about poses and groups. Same solution for me though, the main still and video cameras would be side by side, always tripod mounted and I adjust both as required. Apart from the rings and the kiss, there are always a few seconds to make changes and if the light changes right as they are doing the quick moments, it would have an effect if I was just doing the video or photos only. I don't recall having ever had that sort of problem, but if I did, I would probably put the video on auto and worry about it later and reset the dslr. The thing is every wedding brings some sort of minor problem or compromise and we do whatever is necessary to sort them.

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Old December 3rd, 2014, 04:33 PM   #25
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

Well kudos to you if you can handle all that simultaneously, I have had enough multicamera ceremonies that required 100% of my attention just to be able to come home with something that I would consider good enough, I could not even imagine taking another dslr and doing the photopart as well while controlling my videocamera's, not without scr*wing up one or the other.
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Old December 3rd, 2014, 04:36 PM   #26
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post

Steve, you made the point that if lots of people start offering joint packages, bad results may turn clients away from the idea. I would disagree with that, as one of the reasons that we started to offer a joint package is because of some of the diabolical results that some photographers (and videographers) were getting, leading clients to ask us if we could make an album from stills from the video. The poor photographers however, haven't turned people away from photography.

Roger
I think you misunderstood. If a Bride gets a bad Photographer, I would expect a Facebook message like this, 'Don't use x Company, they're not very good', whereas a poor joint Photo/Video Company could lead to this sort of facebook message, 'Don't have your Photos and Video done by one person, I did and ended up with crap Photos and Video.'
I have no problem with companies offering both, in the same way I don't object to those who offer Shortform, Highlights only packages and even Shoot it Yourself companies. My only concern is if one style of business began to dominate the others. Although I started out with an interest in Digital Photography, these days I am very passionate about Videography and less passionate about Photography. Should joint Photo/Video Services take off as you feel it should, I could well be compelled to do this if only to survive in a competing market. Good Business decision, yes. Good for my Clients, I'm not so sure.

You obviously get a great deal of job satisfaction juggling both. For me, I'd feel I'd miss those precious moments that can often make a good Wedding Video into something very special. During the formal Photos, I'm primarily with the Guests. The video I'm currently editing has a lovely moment where the Page Boy and the Bridesmaids were being photographed by a Guest. The Page Boy kept shouting 'sausages' to the point where the Bridesmaids in jest tried to cover his mouth as the photo was being taken. It was a funny moment; my favourite footage I got of these particular Bridesmaids, who were all relaxed and laughing. It was not a moment the Photographer saw; he was busy with the formals. I can give you hundreds of similar examples where I've caught something special, whilst the Photographer has been busy with the couple. A static camera waits for content, a roving camera goes hunting for it. I've spoken to many Photographers who hate doing formals, the most boring and least creative part of the day they say it is for them. The idea of sacrificing good video content for that has no appeal.
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Old December 3rd, 2014, 05:15 PM   #27
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

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A static camera waits for content, a roving camera goes hunting for it.
That pretty much sums it up and it goes both ways, you need to make choices what gets priority to capture these precious raw emotions but that decision will always be at the expense of losing such a moment on either your video or photocamera. If your clients understand that you can sell it that way but for me these little details make a far greater product then just a cctv like recording, those moments won't jump in front of your unmanned camera's, you have to look and act upon it and that can only be done with the camera in your hands.
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Old December 3rd, 2014, 06:12 PM   #28
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

A lot of the comments are really missing so many of the points that I was trying to make that I seem to be repeating myself.

You can say that again :- (

In fact you probably will have to :- )

Minds are made up. Gotta say its really quite insulting for anyone to say or imply that just because they cannot figure out how to do something or because they can't see the point or the need, that somehow the results from those who are …. er ….. a little more broad-minded, must by definition be poor or lacking in some way. We claim to be creatives ..... well the "cinematic" brigade anyway. How about some creative thinking!

There are many ways to do things right. For example in a separate but related issue Roger has often explained that he meets every prospective client before booking and never accepts a booking at the time of the meeting (he'd be shot at dawn by any sales manager but thats another matter!). And he delivers the finished product in person.

I on the other hand am geared up for online. I meet less than 20% of my clients before the day. So if we both have 50 wedding bookings a year thats 50 Roger has met and 40 I haven't met. The ones I do meet often come to me rather than me travel to them. I don't hand deliver the finished product unless it is a heavy photo album and is local. Clearly there are time and cost benefits if the process can be streamlined.

Some prospective clients don't want to meet / don't see the point for them and would rather base their decision on online research. Others fear a hard sell having experienced that elsewhere. Yet more are recommendations and feel that a meeting is irrelevant.

We are reaching similar ends by different methods. Each happy with their own procedure. And crucially WE ARE DOING IT - not armchair theorising about it. I booked two decent ones for next year yesterday. Both had responded to an adwords entry believe it or not (again, another subject as to how to make it work for you). Both made an initial short phone enquiry and both made their deposit bank transfers and emailed their scanned booking paperwork straight away.

I'll answer a couple of points in the thread:

Noa I think of your product as more of a boutique product than a mainstream one and it may well be considerably more difficult to integrate it into a photo-video package. Again you aim to travel light in order to service the market in congested urban areas with minimal transport issues. It would be problematic for you to carry the extensive off-camera stills flash equipment I always have for use in shooting formals inside in poor weather or after dark.

Noa, the locked down video cams are seldom completely inaccessible unless there are very strict rules regarding movement during ceremony or if the interior architecture or lack of space preclude movement. Therefore they can be recomposed frequently. For example one at the rear may take in a wide scene setter by default then be recomposed to a lectern for a reader then later recomposed to capture the couples exit followed by all the guests. I am almost invariably next to one video cam or other throughout the ceremony and that can be recomposed at will. How many recompositions do you want in a 20 minute civil ceremony anyway without it getting thoroughly distracting for the viewer? In the vows for example: cut to the bride on the main cam, then cut to and fro with the groom as he says each line. The groom being on a distreet locked down cam pre-positioned to not show in the video or photo compositions. Recompose with the main cam from close ups as the rings are taken from the best man and so on. Mix it in post with footage from the rear cam, and possibly from other cams on the guests etc. Whats so hard about that? Whats so undesirable about that?

The small b-cams I use are in the Panasonic TM family. They cope great on the fly with changes in exposure white balance and focus subject; they do not need babysitting. For example a rear cam focused on a couple getting married in front of a large window through which variable amounts of sunshine flood as the sun goes behind clouds then out again. Often its a complete non-issue.

The video I'm currently editing has a lovely moment where the Page Boy and the Bridesmaids were being photographed by a Guest

Steve you got that because you were in the right place at the right time. You missed dozens of other moments simply because you were not in the right place at the right time and you never even knew about them. Just like the rest of us at every wedding. Its nothing to do with multitasking, its only to do with seeing.

I was in the right place at the right time for this, where the pageboy grabbed the bestman's speech and started aping him:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/907-c/...tham-Hotel.jpg

I agree that it would probably be far harder to add photo to video than video to photo. Thats because competition for photo is so cut-throat.

Prospective photo clients expect to see sample galleries like this even though its the formals that invariably make it into their album selections:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/elveth...ographers.html

Probably its not feasible just to say "yeah we can do you some photos. You need to be building a portfolio NOW.

Now, there are usually 3-4 of us on site to begin with.*

As a client that would be my idea of hell on earth. A major attraction of joint packages with solo shooters is the client perceives it will be genuinely non-intrusive rather than a circus. Thats how they see it.

Pete
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Old December 3rd, 2014, 07:43 PM   #29
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

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[b]

Steve you got that because you were in the right place at the right time. You missed dozens of other moments simply because you were not in the right place at the right time and you never even knew about them. Just like the rest of us at every wedding. Its nothing to do with multitasking, its only to do with seeing.

Pete
I've no doubt I miss many moments in a single Wedding, the point is I would have missed even more shots if I was doing the formal photos and relying on a static camera to cover the video side.

I can see many advantages to joint Photo and Video, for the supplier and for the couple hiring; I can also see disadvantages. This doesn't come from a lack of understanding how you go about achieving this combined service. I can see in my mind how I would go about it and yes I could do it. It would mean prioritising your day, good time management and a cool head. I've juggled on a single day Guest Messages, Marryokes, setting up Projectors for same day edits and a Wedding Video and all without complaint. I also man 2 video cameras for Ceremony and Speeches, adjusting both throughout. And I've already twice this year done combined video and photos, in a reduced capacity admittedly.

Purely as a personal desire not to add Photography to my service, for my sake, I hope combined Video/Photo doesn't take off. I love Video too much and I hate doing the formals. I'd rather quit the Wedding Industry than suffer that. Capturing video when they're being done is much more fun, and some of my favourite parts of the day.

Aside from that, it's comments like this...

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
The constant all day photography is really unecessary and is often the photographer justifying his time. Do the couple really want stills of the speeches or the first dance hanging on their wall?

Roger
and similar ones I'm sure I recall you've made about the Videography Professionals that stick out. I don't think either profession who work hard all day on either Photo or Video are always doing so unnecessary. It points more to attacking the profession you wish to add on, in order to justify the reduced time you can give to it compared to others.

I don't think either you or Roger are being questioned on your ability to achieve both Photo and Video and do a good job with it; it's the idea that you can do both and deliver a product that's as good or even better than those who devote their entire day to a Wedding Video that seems to me to smack more of hubris.
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Old December 3rd, 2014, 11:15 PM   #30
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

Digital Photography has completely changed weddings as now you can take 3000 exposures without batting an eyelid. I was shooting weddings as a photog back in the days when some of you guys were not born on Mamiya RB67 cameras and a 220 film roll allowed a massive 16 frames and if you carried 10 rolls of film with you then it was a BIG wedding. A few formals at the house (no getting ready shots) and then a couple of the bride in the car. During the ceremony? Not done ! You might pose a few with the priest afterwards and do dummy ring shots and then a confetti one outside the Church. The bulk of your shots were formals and then drop into the reception to do a dummy cake cutting and home often for dinner!!

Photogs are crazy now ..I have had two stand either side of me during speeches and shoot an estimated 100 - 200 exposures EACH!! Of What? Some guys with a mic stuck in his mouth???

When we do dual packages I put down the video gear and pick up my still gear for the formals so there is no need for multi-tasking. I wonder if brides really want 4 x DVD's of multiple shots to have to sift thru???
There are certainly not going to print or use much more than 100 photos at most.
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