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


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Old June 11th, 2015, 02:48 AM   #16
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Re: Question for the cinematographers

I feel that I've already upped my game considerably in terms of asking what I want. But still feel the top dogs out there are getting allocated time with full directorial control.

A regular wedding for me would include communications like...
"Can I just step in for a few quick close ups of that pose?"
"Can I just do a walking shot quickly - if you just make sure you stay behind me "
"Can I just grab a quick kiss shot?"

And to me I feel I'm maxing out. Most photographers are fine with the alive but always feel any more and I may come off as a nuisance.

As for the aisle shot. In multiple aisle locations I used to walk backwards for a few meters before skipping up the side allowing clear shots of the bride by others.
now though I've scrapped that and just film over grooms shoulder.

When the b&g leave I do a shirt follow and crane shot on steadycam. Buy with togs up the aisle I always worry that my steadycam/arm/head are in the background of their shot.

Maybe I just need to care less. But then again I feel my rapport with togs is really good fur business.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 03:03 AM   #17
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Re: Question for the cinematographers

Quote:
"Can I just step in for a few quick close ups of that pose?"
"Can I just do a walking shot quickly - if you just make sure you stay behind me "
"Can I just grab a quick kiss shot?"
When you ask next time leave out the word "quick", you have just as much right as the photog to get good shots, that is at least if you want control. You can have good communication and understanding with the photog with mutual respect if you let them know what you need, not by asking like "pls, can I jump in quick" but just tell them you need some time now for your own shots with them out of your frame, if you give them their time to get their shots and get out of their way that should work, unless you are dealing with a big ego. When I saw Ray Romans workshop during the brideprep the way he directed the bride was the same as the photog would do it, there was no photog around at that workshop but I could imagine them stepping out of the way when he took control and if not he certainly would ask.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 06:14 AM   #18
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Re: Question for the cinematographers

... and that's the main reason I offer dual packages with my own photographer!! Some photogs are downright arrogant so I'm more than happy to supply my own at a discount price. Sometimes I used to want to ask them "Whose wedding is this yours or the bride's?" That doesn't happen any more and we both work together perfectly and I never have an issue.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 12:21 PM   #19
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Re: Question for the cinematographers

As the photographer is the one who has to direct the shots to get his poses, it is easy for a videographer to defer to him. The trouble is, as soon as you start saying 'do you mind...' 'Can I just....' etc, you are subconsciously giving him the leading role and he will then expect you to defer to him. It is not the photographer's wedding, it is the B&G and you have as much right to fulfil your role as he has.

It is all about being confident and asking the B&G for a particular shot, not asking the photographer's permisision. By all means discuss in a friendly way what your needs are, but if you want a particular shot go for it and he will have to fit round you just as you fit round him. Too many photographers adopt a superior and dismissive attitude to the videographer, but that is only because they are usually allowed to. I rarely need to set anything up, but if I do, I tell the photographer not ask him.

Like Chris, working the dual video/photography package with my wife is by far the most satisfying option.

Roger
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Old June 11th, 2015, 01:27 PM   #20
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Re: Question for the cinematographers

One time I had my assistant step in and take a photo of the bride and groom for our DVD cover, and as she was walking away, the photographer starting mocking my assistant saying that better be the last time he hears her ask anything, he did this in front of the entire wedding party.

Needless to say, as mentioned earlier, photography rules the day in many localities. Which is why we do both now. As for 'getting' your shot, you need to remember, you work for the bride and groom, that's it. So as mentioned, plan your shots of what you need, let the coordinator, bride and groom know that you need certain shots. As for the photog, that's a crap shoot, you can often tell from their talent and style if they are a control freak or if they also realize they work for the wedding couple. I have no problem working in tandem with photographers, most of them are very talented and know how to do teamwork, then you have those who haven't a clue.

You have to take care of you, because taking care of you is taking care of your client. Also mentioned before, if they are paying you 10k or so to take their film, the bride and groom probably won't have a problem giving you your shots, but sometimes video is an afterthought and your client may not be too concerned about it. Those are the toughest weddings.

As a side note, since we do both photography and video, it's much easier to stay out of each other's shots because we have a plan to do just that.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 01:46 PM   #21
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Re: Question for the cinematographers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Davis View Post
...but sometimes video is an afterthought and your client may not be too concerned about it. Those are the toughest weddings.
I disagree - they're the easiest for me. I've worked several Weddings where I'm told that the Photography is more important than the video and I must defer to the Photographers. Yes my pride can be hurt having my work dismissed in such a way, but money is money and if I'm free that's a holiday paid for. As for filming, when expectations are low, it's easy to produce something better than expected. It's when I have clients with very high expectations that I find my stress levels at their greatest.

Many here ascribe to the notion that offering a Photography service in addition to Video is the solution to problem Photographers; to me that's not the answer. Getting great shots despite an awkward Photographer is part of why I'm hired as a Professional. I've had many shots ruined by a Photographer, but because I know what I'm doing and plan for such eventualities, I've never had to apologise to a couple over missed shots due to a Photographer.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 03:01 PM   #22
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Re: Question for the cinematographers

If the photographer is one of those who takes no notice of you and constantly gets in your shot, I really don't worry about it. I have been booked to shoot the wedding, so if the photographer is constantly in the shot, then that is the way it happened on the day. I get the flowers in the shot, I get the photographer in the shot, they are both part of the day. If I need a shot without him, I will tell him.

Roger
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Old June 11th, 2015, 04:48 PM   #23
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Re: Question for the cinematographers

Yea but your highlights film featuring 4 minutes of the trio of B&G and tog is hardly going to win any awards is it.

That's the point.

Everyone here has been very good with the advice - thankyou. But are any of you actually in the category mentioned - high end mouth watering cinematography?

To be honest I have to disagree on the idea the notion you have to look after number one.

To me that makes us as bad as them.

Business is really thriving for me in my first full time year and that is in part due to the reputation I've built with photographers.

Photographers get the fame a bit more here. Its much easier to see a photo as you scroll through your social media. So many less people are interested in giving 4 minutes to a video.

If you are being referred by the good photographers, thats half the battle in my locality.

I havn't put myself in the position of recieving referrals by taking up the B&G time as if the photographer doesn't mind.

I know my place, and I push the boundareis to the limit I feel is suitable.

I guess what it comes down to is I'm not sure how to balance the easy going politeness with the ability to have more control.

Perhaps put it in the package? Tell the B&G you need 20minutes full control time? Ask them to inform the photographer? Maybe even ring the tog yourself in advance?

I guess worth noting is that I do benefit from the photographer as he poses the couple and picks out spots and backdrops. I feel he/she has deserved the driver seat they are in. I snipe off their poses. And I appreciate it.

Being amicable though really has helped me. Many photographers have become good friends, and are an encouragement and send referrals. Getting to know and having a relationship with photographers actually make the job a lot easier as they are much more willing to work as a team.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 05:05 PM   #24
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Re: Question for the cinematographers

Providing I get the shots that I want of the couple, it really doesn't matter if the photographer is in some of the shots. After all he is a traditional part of the day and he needs to set up poses and instruct the couple and will often take up most of the day doing it. For the videographer it is much more about the atmosphere and the emotion. Of course you don't want the photographer in every shot and with good anticipation he doesn't really need to appear in any, it's your choice.

I always maintain a very good relationship with photographers and a number of the ones that I work with regularly recommend me. The balance is to not be subservient, and to build up mutual respect for each other's requirements and space. It is also worth remembering that only a small percentage of weddings have a video, so often the photographer is not that used to working with or understanding the requirements of video. Sometimes a quiet word and discussion goes a long way to help the day go smoothly, but sometimes you can be met with indifference and need to assert yourself if necessary.

Roger
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Old June 11th, 2015, 05:41 PM   #25
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Re: Question for the cinematographers

I guess this varies based on your location. Over here, the key thing is to build good repertoire with other vendors (mainly photographers). This is helpful both because I get recommendations from some of the top photographers and because we both know how each other work and make sure that on the day we support each other (not get in each other's way, leave space if venue is small, make sure to both get coverage during preps and shoot, etc.). Rather than thinking about stuff from our side of things only, each side thinks about the other side too both in terms of work as well as in general (e.g. lending a helping hand when necessary). I can't tell you how helpful this is and how smooth the day goes by.

As always, communication is key. When working with a photographer you've worked with before, do let him/her know what you're planning on doing and let them in on your decision process as much as possible. Needless to say, I do get a small number of weddings were I haven't worked with the photographer before (e.g. if he/she is a foreigner coming over for a destination wedding). In this case I will usually ask the bride for the photographer's details and make sure to introduce myself before the day of the wedding and also check out some of his work to get a better idea of his/her style of shooting.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 06:55 PM   #26
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Re: Question for the cinematographers

I used to stress big time about the photog in my shot but soon realised that leaving them in was no issue ...if the bride doesn't like it then let her whine to the photographer ..Our situation here is often doubled as most South East Asian photogs will not work alone (no idea why) and have to have at least one or two assistants so you will always have a photog in the shot!!
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Old June 12th, 2015, 09:11 AM   #27
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Re: Question for the cinematographers

I think there's a difference between a photographer getting in your shot, versus blocking your shot. I tend to work with photogs, and use them as an asset. They're usually really good, and better than me an positioning, organizing family shots etc. Which is where I go for candids &cutaways of the couple & bridal party laughing & goofing around. As for high end cinematography, well admittedly I'm not there yet, so I just do what I can. If ever I have a great idea in mind (slider shot), I'll setup my gear & ask the tog & B&G for a shot, never have a problem although one guy, who was skilled, did tell me during a shot of the dress ''Ok but hurry up because we gotta get it back inside"?? This was after about 5-10 minutes of him taking shots? Otherwise I've worked with only 2 or 3 who I really did not get along with, 1 or 2 who seemed pretty inexperienced, and 1 who was very sick that day, which wasn't the only part he also showed up 40 minutes late without calling the bride & just casually strolled in. I noticed the bride was extremely upset over it but he never seemed to catch on. I def stepped up my game on that shoot as I noticed I was on the brides good side & she really thanked me much afterwards & after sending the footage.

So I do think to sum it up, just keep it in context. If you feel confident you can nail a sweeping glidecam shot of the B&G, ask for it. If you feel your on the togs good side ask them for a shot, try to do it subliminally like while they're waiting for the group to be organized or while walking to the photo location. I think that's better than asking out loud in front of the B&G & putting them on the spot imho. But it isn't time for practicing. I use a glidecam occasionally but I'm not all that skilled with it as of yet so it's mostly just reception & dance floor shots of the crowd. I'll bring it & my slider & use it on occasion, but only if I'm able to set it up quick & be ready to go. No making them wait. And I can't use these much in Center City weddings, can't carry around all that gear & can't run back in forth to my car 3 blocks away.

Baby steps. I'll get there eventually, just not there yet.
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Old June 15th, 2015, 10:53 AM   #28
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Re: Question for the cinematographers

Taking on board what has been said on this thread, I've shared a short sequence of clips I took of a B&G at the weekend. I'd appreciate feedback!

Asking more from the couple - Cinematic shots
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