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


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Old July 14th, 2006, 12:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Avedikian
Michelle... in a way you are right, but the B&G should know the restrictions of the facility when they book and would expect a videographer to respect those restrictions and provide the best video under those circumstances.

The problem with breaking the rules is that it may not only affect you, but other videographers who shoot in that location after you. They may decide not to allow video all together if no one respects their wishes. It's not up to us to decide if the rules are unreasonable.
Putting the officiant first and the bride last is not right. I won't do that. My clients saw a highlight video shot in the same church and was impressed on what I was able to do given the limitations of the small church. I wouldn't have gotten booked if I shot from the back of the church like you all would have opted to do. If given a choice, I'd rather have a bride love her wedding DVD, rather than serve the officiant's ego.
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Old July 14th, 2006, 12:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom
While I would like to agree with Michelle, I find it hard not to agree with David. I've found a number of officiants that will go out of their way to make our life hard IF we don't respect them AND the rules and regs of the church. I've walked into some venues where because of someone else NOT following those rules it's made my work day hell.
Do I bend over for them NO but I do respect them and always remember that the wedding is generally a religious ceremony and not a Hollywood set.
NOW having said that, I find that more and more of the venues and officiants in my area are more open to videographers doing what we need to do to properly capture the day WITHIN REASON. Most churchs will absolutely NOT allow you on the altar but many are now allowing an unmanned camera there. I'll take what I can get. As long as the B&G know and understand the limitations of the venue things should be fine, however I'm the guy that will probably follow the person who doesn't ask the officiant about what they can and can't do in a particular venue and tick that officiant off and then they'll make my job even harder than it already is which really ticks ME off.
I don't know about other areas of the country but here in the greater Chicagoland area if you tick off the officiant in his church the next time YOU or anyone else works there, well, I hope you get the point.
I always tell my B&Gs about rules and regs and that camera placement is at the discretion of the camera operator (me) based on the R&R of the church and officiant. As long as they know up front it's never a problem.
Oh yeah one more thing. Asking the officiant is the RIGHT thing to do. As for asking a caterer, well they have nothing to do with my doing my job so thats a moot point.

Don B.

Why is getting the best possible footage for my client equated to disrespect for the officiant? You have chosen the officiant as your priority instead of the bride. Fear of religious authority figures, so much so, that it causes a loss of perspective of who the client is, is no way to do a job correctly.

I've spoken to a lot of officiants. They're really nice people! If you treat them as if they're human, they'll understand you have a job to do. I've never ever had a problem with one. In fact, !'ve had a couple of them in my videos (for other special events.)

I guess I don't understand the obsessive fear you have of the officiants.
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Old July 14th, 2006, 01:13 PM   #18
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I feel for the officiants because so may event people are disrespectful. One of our shooters uses a light for the procesional. The last wedding I edited the officiant looked like he was going to blow a gasket when he saw her light shine on him as she turned around to capture the father giving the bride away.

My advice is get in good with the officiant by being polite and respectful. Ask to help and give out compliments about the church or whatever catches your eye.

The same goes with the DJ become his friend quick and ask questions. Build a rapport with him because it is the nice thing to do and the DJ will help you out if you are caught off guard. It is important to become a team with the people in the event industry. Then when you meet for other events and be glad to see each other.
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Old July 14th, 2006, 03:42 PM   #19
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"Why is getting the best possible footage for my client equated to disrespect for the officiant? You have chosen the officiant as your priority instead of the bride. Fear of religious authority figures, so much so, that it causes a loss of perspective of who the client is, is no way to do a job correctly.

I've spoken to a lot of officiants. They're really nice people! If you treat them as if they're human, they'll understand you have a job to do. I've never ever had a problem with one. In fact, !'ve had a couple of them in my videos (for other special events.)

I guess I don't understand the obsessive fear you have of the officiants."


First off, I'm not putting the officiant before the bride and groom. They absolutely come first, BUT, while they may be in that church once I might be there 3 or 4 or even 6 or 8 times this year so a good working relationship with the church and officiant is vital. Most of them I have worked with over the last 3 or 4 years are certainly more understanding and open to what we do than the ones I worked with 20 years ago. Simply put, most of them were bastards looking to push their "power" onto someone they felt they could AND with the threat of not being able to come back and work in their venue you had to be somewhat careful.
I am only suggesting that going to the officiant is a courtesy that any person of "power" would and does appreciate. Much the same as when I walk into a company to shoot a training video, I give the respect to the person in charge (whether I like them or not) that their position deserves, after all, they are the one signing my paycheck.
I will go back to the church in chicago where even the production company that used to do A Wedding Story was treated the same as any other videographer. Those were and are today the rules of the church and I have seen it where an officiant stopped a wedding ceremony and reprimanded the photographer, right thing to do? Not in my opinion but he (the photog) knew where he could and couldn't go and chose to break the rules therefore making it harder for the next person.
In 23 years and about 1000 weddings I have never been thrown out nor reprimanded and in fact there are certain churches where I know I have more leeway than other videographers because I shoot in them very often perhaps 6 times a year-everyone knows me, knows I do nothing to disturb the sanctity of the service and am still able to get top quality footage and over the years, because they know those things, they afford me a bit more leeway than others.
All I'm saying is the church is the officiants domain and it's only right that when you go to someones house you show respect for the rules of the house, if they say NO SHOES IN THE HOUSE, then it's NO SHOES IN THE HOUSE. I have no fear of officiants, actually I have no fear of anyone-at my age it doesn't pay and you are right most of them today are quite nice and understand you have a job to do BUT ... They have their rules of the house.
BTW, NEVER did I say that getting the best possible footage for your client showed disrespect towards the officiant all I said was that IMO while you do work for the B&G, you are still in the officiants house. You shoud at least obey the house rules, just in case you ever have to go back there again.
I also agree about the DJ or band leader. At the reception they are your very best friend.

I guess we can agree to disagree about how to handle church rules and officiants. Everyone has their own way of doing things and if it works for you, keep working it. Mine works for me and has for a very long time so I'll keep working it my way.

Don B.
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Old July 14th, 2006, 08:19 PM   #20
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Don, I get what you're saying, I just don't agree with it. When I shoot that wedding (with the officiant I mentioned earlier), I'll give you feedback on how I was treated the second time around. You may be right. He might be standoffish, and completely relegate me to the very back of the church. Who knows? I just have a feeling he won't hold grudges and we'll get along swimmingly. I'll keep you posted on the results.
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Old July 15th, 2006, 02:12 AM   #21
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"So during the ceremony, the photographer and I sat out back of the church, praticing our speeches to the bride as to why her ceremony coverage sucks."

But u found this all out at the rehearsal, why didnt u say wnything then to the client? They would then be obliged to pipe up and say something.
Put it this way, by doing it this way, the onus is on teh client to ensure permission to film.
For me, all tis is on my contract and the first clause of the contract covers permission and locations. I dont do rehearsals anymore coz i dont get paid enough to do them, but if i rock on up to a venue ans some schmuck (religious or not) decides to tell me how to do my job, then i'll throw the contract in their face and tell them to talk to the client.
The CLIENT is my boss. As far as im concerned, they have already researched permission and restrictions and the fact i havent been told otherwise IN WRITING, I can only assume that permission has been granted.
Ive had some stupid restrictions put on me, but to be honest, one guys "discomfort" level of being filmed for 45minutes isnt my concern. My concern is with the couple and the job i am paid to do for them.

Dont get me wrong, i respect those who respect me, but its a 2 way street. If a phtoographer can roam around willy nilly and do whatever he wants while flashing and popping away, i can stand static in the aisle 5 pews down and shoot the vows from there.
Put it this way, if i have a client who misses out on their wedding video becuase of some stupid power tripping church or venue officaint, then IM the one whos affected by it, as not only do i have to expain to the client why their video is crap, but then i have to "put blame' on somoene else who cant give their side of the story, so it sounds like im making excuses.

No.. make sure u have permission in writing and if the rules change after the contract is signed, TELL THE CLIENT.

Your a professional, dont put up with this shite..
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Old July 16th, 2006, 02:38 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
But u found this all out at the rehearsal, why didnt u say wnything then to the client? They would then be obliged to pipe up and say something.
Sorry, that was kind-of a joke. The bride (my cousin) was there while we were discussing it during the reception, so she knew. And she tried to get us some leeway, at least for the processional. But it didn't fly.

Michelle: I agree with you 100% that asking for what the rules are is just asking for trouble. That's why I put my shot list together first, and present it to the officiant.

I don't see it as prioritizing the officiant over the clients, but as making sure that every part of the production runs smoothly. If any element of my shot list gets turned down, I'm going to push for less-intrusive, but still decent, shots. I'm only going to accept "sticks at the back of the church" in a dead last resort. However, if that's what I'm restricted to, that's what I'll shoot. Why? Because while I have an obligation to provide the best possible video to my clients, I also have to look at the future. If I go climbing all over, and the officiant/church officials don't like it, and decide to restrict, or ban, videography for future weddings, that does no one any good. It's bad for other videographers, my co-workers, as it were. It's bad for future Brides & Grooms, who may well be my clients.

I don't want to have to explain to a future client that the really cool, super-amazing shot they saw in my demo is the reason that THEIR wedding can only be shot from the balcony.

I agree that, in talking to the officiant, they end up being human like the rest of us. Most of them, if you explain what you're planning on doing, and that you plan on doing it with the utmost respect for the sanctity of the ceremony (Because it IS a religious event) most of them won't have a problem. On the other hand, they are human, and if you disregard their rules, or violate the sanctity of their ceremony, they will make life difficult for you in the future.
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