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Old January 26th, 2015, 06:29 PM   #31
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

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Originally Posted by Robert Benda View Post
we've talked about this before, but often the best shots, the best cinematography, has an effect on the viewer that they're not even conscious of.

A tight shot of the bride's face over the groom's shoulder with some shallow depth of field will create intimacy that a wide aisle shot can't. Used correctly, technique can make a much better wedding video.
To be honest, I was being more ironic rather than expressing a genuine opinion on depth of field. I love close ups for that very reason you give and will often in the hymns focus just on the couple if they're having a special moment; the sort of shot that makes what I do worthwhile. I've read interviews from guys in special effects who say their best compliments come when no one notices their work. It's the same for me with cinematic techniques. If they notice, I've used it wrong or the content isn't strong enough.
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Old January 27th, 2015, 05:18 AM   #32
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

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Roger, what I want to know is, where do you meet these people who have such strong views on depth of field. Now I get it's not your thing nor is it some other Videographers here, but time and again those who object to depth of field in Wedding Videos seem to find like minded clients. I've yet to meet a single person whose expressed such an opinion. I attend Wedding Fayres, meet with clients and yet despite also having shallow depth of field in close ups and deep depth of field in wide shots, not a single comment has been made asking for more wide shots over the close ups. I can't even blame Brides being kind, because some are really not.
Good morning Steve,

I think you are misinterpreting my point to some extent as I am not against shallow DOF when appropriate, indeed I sometimes use it myself. What I do find really irritating is the constant use of it on close ups, together with focus pulling, and using both techniques continuously. It seems to be used often to replace an understanding of flow, subtlety and variation in shots. I love close ups particularly during the vows and use them all the time, but when the groom is saying his vows to his bride, I want then both in full focus close up to get every piece of emotion and reaction from both of them, rather than pulling focus from one to the other.

There does seem to be a bit of a feeling here that if you don't do shallow dof then you don't do closeups! That of course is totally wrong and my videos use a lot of close up shots throughout the day both with and without shallow dof. I do suspect though that some people may be using cameras/lenses that make the shooting of a closeup of two people from a few feet away at a slight angle, impossible without losing focus on one, the assumption then being that anyone not getting a shallow dof is not doing closeup shots. That would often then make a focus pull or shallow dof a necessity rather than a creative choice on many closeups.

I don't find or look for clients to support my views, and I have never yet met a client who has mentioned dof or even understood it, but when more than one visitor to my show stand tells me about out of focus or fuzzy shots they have seen at important moments, I know what they are referring to. I would say that this has been a recent observation from the last few wedding shows and not something I have found in previous years. I may be noticing it more than you simply because I exhibit at a lot of wedding shows, the one last Sunday for instance, according to their recorded figures, had 592 brides and over 4000 people attending, so Claire and I were talking to people approaching our stand continuously for 5 hours. sometimes up to 3 different brides at the same time with a number of other companies for them to see.

My views are observations on information coming to me from potential clients, based on questions we are being asked, not on trying to force any particular opinion on anyone. these are also questions coming from people at an open show, rather than a personal visit to a client when they have basically made their choice. There is room for everyone to promote their work and film their videos and or stills in whatever way they wish, but I am noticing a shift in the type of things people are asking. Perhaps people are becoming more aware of wedding video and noticing things that maybe they wouldn't have a few years ago. Cheap cameras and videoing with smart phones is probably contributing to their views. Whether it is a good or bad thing I have no idea.

Roger
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Old January 27th, 2015, 07:23 AM   #33
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

Good Afternoon Roger, :)

I understand why some will feel that depth of field objectors don't do close ups. Common arguments being made is that Brides want to see behind them, suggesting a preference for wide angles. To be honest I can see your point here. Those that feel such techniques are transferable from TV and Movies forget that what works for TV doesn't necessarily work for Wedding Videos. In TV shows, the audience is more likely to be led by the camera, but watching a Wedding video, a Bride and Groom being in the video themselves will find their eyes drawn to what they couldn't see on the day, namely what was behind them when they were standing at the alter, Now if in the video what is behind them is out of focus, this must be very frustrating for the couple.

My depth of field is more close ups, blurring a dull background such as a wall. In cases where there are in shot, a number of guests out of focus, either by design or by virtue of my equipment choice and lens, in the edit I must ensure the shot doesn't last long enough to make that a problem for the couple. I have a camera on wide with me to cut to at regular intervals. Like you, I prefer variety in my shots.

Aside that some Videographers almost explain away not having depth of field in their own videos by attacking it, another common complaint is that it shouldn't be used as the Bride won't notice it. I disagree on this argument. Whilst I don't expect my clients to notice or heaven forbid even comment on individual techniques, I do want them to come away feeling my video is professional. Now when I first started, my choice of camera didn't lend well to shallow depth of field, so I didn't use it. I did though use the zoom and smooth pan that 50i could give as creatively as possible for reveal shots such as the pull back and pan from a hotel sign to reveal the Wedding car driving along the hotel approach road. A shot that took some skill to pull off but went uncommented on by the couple. However the general standard and quality of the video was noticed and appreciated.
Now my GH4 can't handle that shot so easily, but it has its strengths too and I play to them rather than its weaknesses. Depth of field is one of its strengths, albeit limited compared to a fullframe, so naturally I'm going to make the most of it, just as I do it's 4K and 96fps feature. I hope it's not an over used technique, but really that's down to the person viewing the video as their opinion will no doubt differ to mine.

Be wary of judging a company too much from Wedding Fayre videos; mine tend to be silent, a 15 minute piece that highlights a variety of locations, styles and techniques. But hardly a good representation of a 90 minute final video I provide. This the potential client will watch in the comfort of their living room after I hooked them with the Highlight reel. Maybe you work differently at Wedding Fayres. How do you demonstrate to clients at Fayres your video style and work, Highlights, example Audio of the Vows; do they watch the first 10 minutes of a Wedding Video. I'd be intrigued to know.

Last edited by Steve Burkett; January 27th, 2015 at 08:25 AM.
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Old January 27th, 2015, 08:52 AM   #34
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

Hi Steve,

An interesting and thoughtful reply and one with which I am just about in complete agreement.

I do most of my shallow dof as you do, when there are things that are irrelevant in the background, or that I don't want to detract from the main subject. Absolutely right on tv and film production where the director is using a variety of techniques to draw the viewer into what he wants them to see, whereas with a wedding, the couple have their own requirements on what they chose to view in a scene.

I use a variety of shots in scene setting and general activity to keep it visually interesting and to explore my own creativity and of course closeups to emphasise particular moments. If I didn't I would never have been able to remain enthusiastic about filming weddings for 30 years. The client will never understand the work that goes into it but hopefully will love the product.

With regards to wedding shows, I don't allow myself to judge a company by their show demos, the exception being when it is blatantly poor, as was one company at the weekend. When I say poor, I don't mean in content, I mean in picture quality, flow and very unstable filming, horrific jump cuts during the ceremony on one camera and barely audible sound- Poor. I do enjoy seeing what others are showing and I always talk to other exhibitors to get a feel for them and their take on business.

On our own stand, we show a complete doc wedding and engage people in conversation to find out what they want and jump to different sections at their request to see ceremony, reception, dance etc. If there are venue exhibitors there, we will try to show a wedding from one of the venues and the management will then direct visitors to us to see their venue, which is a great opening for us and them. we don't have a demo wedding reel as I feel we would want to show the most attractive couples at the best venues on the sunniest days. Unfortunately that can easily backfire when the average bride and groom are very ordinary looking and might be holding their reception in a village hall. We like to show something that people can relate to. We also have many different weddings with us and always ask a couple where they are getting married as we may be able to show them a wedding filmed there. We try to keep them interested in a couple of minutes and skip through sections to illustrate different aspects of the video.

We also have a display of photo books and a rolling display on a smaller monitor to show our photography work, and a canvas. We are also able to photograph and film in 3d, so our tv display can be switched to show a 3d video or stills on the rare occasion that anybody asks. We have got a 3d video and photography package booked for February and had one on Concorde in Manchester last July.

Roger
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Old January 29th, 2015, 12:12 PM   #35
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

There are a lot more wedding photographers in Orlando offering video to their package now. It doesn't bother me because there are plenty of people getting married here. I just wish people would put forth full effort to own their craft instead of just doing it because their DSLR can shoot video.

As far as those shooting photos and video solo....Boy! More power to you! That is some work! If you can pull that off, that is wonderful. I couldn't do that lol.
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Old January 29th, 2015, 07:03 PM   #36
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

Hi Leon

What is of more concern than the fact that photogs are offering video is whether they are offering a videographer as well. As already said it's pretty hard (if not impossible) to shoot photos and give decent video coverage all on your own so I would think that a photog who rigs a camcorder on a tripod running while he/she shoots stills can hardly be considered a dual package. I can shoot video a provide a decent wedding video but if I happen to pop off a few stills with the camera (mine actually shoot decent 16mp stills) I certainly couldn't classify that as photography and video. We do have two operators ..one doing video and one doing stills so we can provide correct coverage with two dedicated operators which is a whole lot different to a solo person trying to do both ! There is no way you can do video of the bride exiting the limo on your own and do stills as well unless you re-stage the entire event, once for video and once for photos and I don't think brides would want to do that!!

The only reason we do dual packages is that brides always book the photog first so we get looked at earlier which means there is a better chance of being booked and secondly we always know we have our own photog at the venue not some arrogant guy who thinks the entire wedding shoot is about him!!

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Old January 30th, 2015, 09:57 AM   #37
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

Hi Chris,

What's going on, I am in disagreement with you again, that makes twice:-( In fact you can take solo video and stills of the bride getting out of the limo very easily without compromising both, as long as you think a bit laterally and your setup is geared for solo work. I don't find it any more difficult than when I work with a photographer, whether it is Claire or a separate photographer. It can actually be easier solo as the photographer usually takes the best position anyway, so when solo I always have the best position.

I take stills of the bride and father in the car, then video as he gets out, stills of the bride on the edge of the seat preparing to get out and posing plus a bit of video, then video as she gets out followed by poses with Dad, Bridesmaids etc, both video and stills at my speed, then both on the walk in. I take stills and video at the door, a quick dash down to the end of the aisle while they talk with the officiant and I'm ready for the entrance.

Never have a problem and all quite laid back.

Roger
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Old January 30th, 2015, 11:44 AM   #38
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

I have yet to see a trailer from someone that does both by themselves that captures the raw emotion from throughout the day in a compelling way, that's just not possible when you need to do both simultaneously, there often will be moments where you will be forced to choose to either take a picture or shoot video from a unexpected moment that won't repeat itself and which can make the difference in getting that killer photo or videorecording. It always will be a compromise, ofcourse it is possible but it will never be of the same standard compared to someone that dedicated his time to one thing only. I think this much we should be able to agree upon.
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Old January 30th, 2015, 06:42 PM   #39
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

Hey Roger

I guess you are right there! I have done it that way too. The point I was trying to make was that shooting on your own with two DSLR's dangling around your waist and holding a video camera when the limo arrives still means you can miss a few still shots If I'm filming the limo coming down the driveway I cannot take any stills until I have stopped the camera. Yes, anything is possible on your own but can be tricky!

I did a wedding a year or so ago all on my own from bridal prep right thru to the reception juggling two Sony EA-50's and two Nikon still cameras ....I would definitely agree with Noa here ...yes it is physically possible but I don't think when you are continuously switching from still mode to video mode and back again you are getting the best out of yourself ... I'd much rather have a dedicated photog so I can concentrate on video and then shoot stills when video is not needed on the 2nd DSLR

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Old January 30th, 2015, 10:27 PM   #40
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

First, I think those photographers offering short form video are probably doing it at low price point in an effort to get clients who are thinking about getting video and now find a feasible price to have both. They can do all they want, I don't compete with them and my clients are not their clients. I think that's why the OP had such a good response at his bridal show.

One thing I'm hearing over and over, which really surprises me, is single operator for photo, single operator for video. I started in wedding videos in Phoenix, AZ, about 12 years ago, got out of the biz for awhile and when I got back into it, it was as a wedding photographer. I met with one client and we hit it off really well but she went with another company. When I asked her why, she said it was because they offered both photo and video and they didn't want to deal with two companies. I just thought, this is stupid, given my wedding video experience, so I immediately began offering both.

It has been tough to find videographers willing to shoot in my style. I'm just not a tripod lock 'em down and take a nap sort of videographer. And I hate using just one videographer. It's hard to get artsy, cinematic shots when one person is shooting with another locked-down camera getting a master shot.

As a photographer, about 90% of my weddings are shot with two shooters, that's what my clients want. So when I do photo plus video, there's four of us working together. My main comment here is just surprise that you guys are doing all this solo.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 03:12 AM   #41
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

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When I asked her why, she said it was because they offered both photo and video and they didn't want to deal with two companies
I think there are 2 different clients, you have the ones that want "a" video and "a" photocoverage of their day, they don"t care who shoots it and they just want it to be easy on themselves and they hope by getting a combined package they can get a discount as well, they don't want to take the time to visit 2 different people while one just can offer both. They also often look for someone close to their homes so they don't have to travel that far and wast time when they visit.

Then you have the ones that want video and photo but they want person "x" to shoot video and person "y" to do the photo's and no-one else, so they will go to the photo and videoguy separately, even if it means traveling across the country. They don't care how much time it takes to be sure they pick someone that can capture their "once in a lifetime experience" in a way they have seen from that persons work on his site or maybe from a friends wedding.

If your client picks another company because they offer both it can mean that your work is not better then the other company and/or the other one is cheaper.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 06:04 AM   #42
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

I still feel that booking a dual package from one company brides figure they are getting a better deal as they don't have to book each service (with the associated setup or minimum cost involvement)

We offer video, photography or a combo of both ... most packages (apart from the short video shoots) have two of us so it's more profitable for us to book combo shoots. In fact probably 90% of brides will book us for photo and video and the ones that don't either have already booked a photog or a friend is doing the stills

I haven't had any brides yet who have enquired and talked to us about a combo package and then changed their mind and booked just the one .... the exception might be a bride who has "fallen in love with a photogs work" and also wants video but most be always enquire on the combo package.

I'm pretty sure that Roger has the same sort of booking rate
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Old January 31st, 2015, 07:15 AM   #43
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

Brides will always seek a dual package. Saves a lot of hassle booking services from two different people.

With that said, I also think the photog and videog service providers need to build a tight nit network where we can share clients with each other rather than be stingy, it's the only way to ensure sustainability in this industry and will also help many quit any 2nd jobs they have (like myself) to supplement income.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 02:08 PM   #44
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

There are a lot of negative comments about dual packages from those that have never offered it for many different reasons. There are also assumptions being made which are not based on facts, so consider this point. A potential client looks at our videos, looks at our still photos, then goes away. They then look at other dedicated photographer's and videographer's work, so that they can get a pretty good idea of what is available and how it fulfils their expectations. they then book us because they love our video and photography and our way of working. Does that mean that we are offering something inferior or to a poorer standard? If that were the case we just would not get the work for the joint package, end of story.

Just because many here say that it will be poorer, just means that they don't understand how I work and what standard I achieve. I totally agree that there are certain types of unlimited video and photography that I would be unable to match with a joint package or separate shoot for that matter, just as many others here would find. How many here can match what people like Ray Roman produce, so are we saying that their product is sub standard unless they meet that level, no of course not. It is up to the client to make a choice based on the quality of work that they have seen and not for forum members to pre judge what that standard would or should be be.

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Old January 31st, 2015, 02:32 PM   #45
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Re: A turning point in video/photo packages?

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Originally Posted by James Manford View Post
Brides will always seek a dual package. Saves a lot of hassle booking services from two different people.

With that said, I also think the photog and videog service providers need to build a tight nit network where we can share clients with each other rather than be stingy, it's the only way to ensure sustainability in this industry and will also help many quit any 2nd jobs they have (like myself) to supplement income.
Brides won't always look for a dual package, as many will want a photographer and/or a videographer whose work they admire or have been recommended to.

I also don't see that there is any requirement from photographers to build a tight nit network to benefit them and videographers. In fact many seem to consider that videographers are intruding into their traditional territory. Given that photographers already have over 90% of the wedding market compared with about 10% in the UK for videographers, why should they want to help us? I see quite the opposite with a growing number of photographers offering video to reduce our share even further.

As regards stability of employment, what about all those people who used to be employed in companies developing films, offering enprints and all the other pre digital camera jobs that were lost. Let alone those making tape for video cameras and working in tape rental shops etc. Technology and the world moves on and people's requirements change. Those of us in the wedding video business need to be developing ways of expanding our lowly 10% rather than ways to help the poor photographer.

Everyone with a reasonable stills camera wants to be a photographer and escape the conventional work drudgery and the easiest way to do that they think, is to start shooting weddings. At the last wedding show I was at, there were 10 photographers, and 4 more who were offering video aswell. According to the organisers they have an ongoing waiting list of 27 other photographers who want to get in to the show.

Roger
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