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


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Old December 8th, 2014, 03:51 PM   #76
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

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Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
I remember on that showed in my multicam window that the two operators were standing about 4 feet apart, filming the same subject

Paul that is just par for the course whether it be videographers or photographers. Multi-operator crews often make a big thing to clients about how they can provide much greater variety but in practice that doesn't happen. They just get tangled up with each other and degrade the enjoyment of guests. If you are planning to work as a sole operator its worth building up a portfolio of images and clips to illustrate this to prospective clients. Once they realise what really happens then the apparent attractiveness of getting "2 for 1" evaporates.

Pete
I think this a huge generalization. Obviously there are teams of 2 or more that don't work well together, but there are also well organized teams of multiple people who really do add extra coverage, different perspectives or different angles because they can be in multiple places.
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Old December 8th, 2014, 04:13 PM   #77
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

Yes it's true that not all two man teams create cool footage, but I've also edited a number of weddings where two operators have created some stunning shots that really compliment each other and the unmanned cameras.

It's swings and roundabouts. Personally my gut feeling is one person attempting two different skill sets at the same time is never going to be as good as two people focusing on one of those disciplines.

But that's me speaking as an editor, a filmmaker and a photographer, it maybe that a bride won't see the difference in quality, only price.

Again that's just my personal viewpoint. I'm not putting it in the frame of a fact.
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Old December 8th, 2014, 04:21 PM   #78
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

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I think this a huge generalization. Obviously there are teams of 2 or more that don't work well together, but there are also well organized teams of multiple people who really do add extra coverage, different perspectives or different angles because they can be in multiple places.
I've seen both types in Photographers too; some are almost competing with each other or else scared that one of them won't get the shot, they have the other as back up. Others though work very well as a well oiled team, mostly separate throughout the day. I've worked in teams and in all cases, I've hardly had much contact with the other Videographers, we're each assigned a different duty during the day. It couldn't be more opposite to providing a Photo/Video service; from almost total control, to just being a cog in a larger machine.
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Old December 8th, 2014, 05:23 PM   #79
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

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Multi-operator crews often make a big thing to clients about how they can provide much greater variety but in practice that doesn't happen. They just get tangled up with each other and degrade the enjoyment of guests.
My impression at all weddings I have done over the years is that it is often the photog who is very present throughout the day and can degrade the enjoyment of guests, at a ceremony they are the ones being very visible and often intrusive and in more then one occasion have caused the priest to stop talking to ask if they pls can sit down. Now I don't want to generalize as not all are like that but the majority of who I worked with are.

Good videographers often don't move around and shoot from fixed locations, I always hear my clients say that they didn't even notice me throughout the day which they can't say about their photog. If 2 videographers are involved it depends how professional they are and how experienced they are as a team and if they are good the couple and the guests will still notice them less then one photog.

Sometimes I have clients visiting me where the bride or groom asks if I"m not going to be too intrusive and I always tell them it's not me they have to worry about :)
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Old December 8th, 2014, 05:24 PM   #80
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

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Originally Posted by Paul Ekert View Post

It's swings and roundabouts. Personally my gut feeling is one person attempting two different skill sets at the same time is never going to be as good as two people focusing on one of those disciplines.
I see your point Paul, but then I don't see it as two different skill sets. I see it as one extended skill set that covers the main elements of video and photography. I don't see it as something that everyone would or could do, but remember that I have filmed so many weddings over 30 years that I am totally comfortable and very fast with every type wedding that I take. I have also been a photographer for my own interest for over 20 years, so combining the two seems completely natural to me.

Surprisingly, I find doing both to be quite relaxing, with no photographer/s to worry about, working at my own pace and a closer relationship with the family and guests. Then there is my choice of poses, no trying to keep out of the way of the photographers shot, or them walking through mine. Wherever I want to be in the speeches and first dance- Heaven :-) Then of course when we only have one wedding on and my wife works with me, it's almost like a social day out.

It's also good that prior to posting this, I have just signed and enveloped another five contracts for next year, four joint packages and one video only, so we're having no trouble marketing it.

Roger

Last edited by Roger Gunkel; December 8th, 2014 at 05:25 PM. Reason: typos
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Old December 9th, 2014, 01:04 AM   #81
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
I see your point Paul, but then I don't see it as two different skill sets. I see it as one extended skill set that covers the main elements of video and photography.
I agree with Roger. While many like to think of this as two separate skill sets, often justifying to themselves that photographers can't do video, I've come to realise it's just a single skill set extended and applied in slightly different ways.

Both are based on the same technicals of composition, lighting, shutter speeds, apertures etc.

Photography adds the need to interact with the couples more, be able to pose them, get the right fraction of a moment in time and post process accordingly.

Video adds the need for audio, movement, continuity, thinking in 3D space not just for additional angles to cut to, but because focus and exposure needs to be maintained continually rather then momentarily as people move around.

Changing light conditions also make video trickier than stills, though low light can make stills a challenge when trying to keep the shutter speed up to freeze motion.

Video has the occasional need for constant lighting. Photography can add the need for (good) flash photography, which many people totally fail to master.

These are complimentary rather than mutually exclusive skill sets.

Having said that, if one person is multi-tasking between them both then I would agree there has to be some dumbing down.
If you're shooting stills you can't be shooting that smooth cinematic move at the same time, and if you're executing that cinematic move you can't be high res taking stills with any accuracy. However, if that's not the style you sold to the custom then actually it doesn't matter.
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Old December 9th, 2014, 03:00 AM   #82
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

Browsing some of the companies offering a combined service, I see a wide range of prices from an incredibly cheap 899 charged by one company somewhere up north plus a 40% discount on that price if you book this month, to other companies charging close to around 2k. There's clearly a market for it and at the end of the day we're running a Business and need to market a product that clients want. As Dave said, we're not shooting movies. This has been a fascinating thread and certainly one that has led me to think of adding a Photo option to my services in 2016 that covers from the Speeches to 10pm when I usually finish. I've worked several Weddings this year where the Photographer was booked only up to the Reception arrival and some argue that photos are less important after the formals; at least for some couples. So I think there'd be a market for such a service.
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Old December 9th, 2014, 03:38 AM   #83
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

Yes the latter part of the day is usually speeches, evening guest arrivals and first dance, none of which are important parts of the photography when they are being comprehensively covered by video. I take stills at those times, but the main emphasis is video.

Regarding slider and other cinematic style shots, I would consider them less important during the formats, perhaps some during the romantics, but these only take a short time. When you are controlling the pace, they are not difficult to do.

Roger
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Old December 9th, 2014, 05:03 AM   #84
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

This has been a fascinating thread and certainly one that has led me to think of adding a Photo option to my services

Ah, we're getting there at last!

There is an awkward gap at the moment in that 1) there aren't suitable colleagues to refer bookings to 2) there aren't multi-tasking colleagues who could step in in the event of emergencies. I cover that in my contract and in how the joint package is actually marketed.

As others have said there aren't really new skills involved in the main part, more just a case of learning where the different knobs and dials are. Even the story telling aspect is more similar than it may appear - the same principles apply where you design a wedding photo album.

Even mastering flash is not that big a deal. There are just three things to keep in mind in a wedding scenario 1) bounce it whenever possible to give even flattering light 2) use exposure adjustment on the actual gun so that the output ranges from no more than a kiss of fill to full-on main light source with maybe a couple of stops extra dialled in; gun may be on ETTL or full manual 3) VERY IMPORTANT learn what high speed sync is.

In a nutshell, your cam body has a maximum shutter speed of e.g. 1/200th. If you use a gun and the max shutter speed is being exceeded because e.g. you are outside and using aperture priority to control your depth of field, your gun will massively over-expose the scene. But if you set the gun to high speed sync it will fire a series of short bursts instead of one big blast and you will get correct exposure. The downside is that the guns range goes down a lot but typically you don't need a long range when using fill-flash for outdoor daytime portraiture. Most modern guns will switch to using HSS if you dial it in in the first place n.b. you might be shooting a recessional at 1/100th f4 and HSS is not required so the cam will not actually use it even though you've activated it. But as soon as you step outside your cam wants 1/2000th at f4. Now it most certainly DOES need hss and it will automatically switch to that so long as you have enabled it on the gun.

This is the single biggest flash factor that trips event photographers up. They never grasp this principle and use workarounds like going to shutter priority instead.

In reality you could go an entire career without knowing the first thing about off-cam flash. But its nice to master - so long as your shots don't all then start looking professionally lit and over fussy. It needs to be subtle unless your specific purpose is to be edgy.

Hey Steve I'm sorry you're not seeing the relevance of the examples I posted. But that may be more to do with how far wedding videography has removed itself from the mainstream principles of good film-making. I cringe when I look at some of the special effects us stillers churned out a few years ago. I already feel the same about the current state of video.

I looked out again last night for what was happening behind the scenes in a couple of shows. A TV comedy "Toast Of London", camera movement was almost non-existent as was anything closer than whole of upper body. Static all the way and just cutting from one speaking character to another other than a few special effects that were put in as part of the actual storyline - a wink towards The Exorcist.

Then Goodfellas. Well the movement was relentless virtually all the way through including this famous steadycam scene of over 3 minutes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJEEVtqXdK8#t=20

Apparently it needed 8 takes and they were of course pro actors. And the director had all the resources he could wish for. But we are not making movies as you say.

Pete
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Old December 9th, 2014, 06:36 AM   #85
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

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[b]

Hey Steve I'm sorry you're not seeing the relevance of the examples I posted. But that may be more to do with how far wedding videography has removed itself from the mainstream principles of good film-making. I cringe when I look at some of the special effects us stillers churned out a few years ago. I already feel the same about the current state of video.

Pete
On the contrary Peter, I see a great deal of relevance in your video. They along with your photos demonstrate that you juggle the demands of video and photo very well, producing work I'm sure pleases both yourself and the couples who receive your work. Roger and you are adapting to a corner of the market that is asking for a single operator doing both and although I along with others may disagree with the assumption that it doesn't in any way compromise the work when compared to two people doing the job very well, the fact that you are both making a go for it and succeeding is an inspiration.
Moving aside this, you seem reluctant to admit that Film Making when done well Professionally is not a simple case of plonking 3 cameras at prime position in a room, set on wide and then adjusting the focal length occasionally in between taking Photos. It's a good way to offer a joint service yes, but not necessarily good film making. Now some may argue very well that certain techniques of good film making have little place in the Wedding Industry. Others of course can make very good arguments why they do have a place. In the end we should be allowed to work the way we do and as long as our clients are happy and our Business is successful, any criticisms of the techniques we employ in our work from the wider Video community are largely irrelevant. And in that, I also include criticisms of techniques like depth of field, sliders and camera movement.
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Old December 9th, 2014, 01:06 PM   #86
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Re: Photo + Video - One Man

I totally agree with you Steve that film making and indeed wedding video making is not about plonking down 3 cameras at prime positions with the occasional reframing. I don't work that way and never have. For me, the main camera is about constantly changing shots and visual interest. The locked off cams are to allow me to quickly change to something that catches my attention on the main cam, and for an overview. I really doubt that you would be able to tell much difference between my joint package video and the video only package. The only real difference that springs to mind, is that you would hear my voice talking to groups from time to time, rather than that of another photographer.

Roger
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