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

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Old October 21st, 2006, 03:18 AM   #1
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What I hate when filming a wedding!

1. When I arrive to film the bride getting ready and she’s still at the hairdresser/ makeup artist. When she does arrive, I have 10 minutes to perform a miracle.

2. When I get to the Church/Chapel, I greet the priest/pastor and all he does is tell me where I can go and where I can’t go without saying hello back. (Plain rude!)

3. When filming the putting on the rings and first kiss the priest/pastor decides to walk in front of the camera. (Do I look invisible to him?)

4. When the B&G are smokers and can’t go without a smoke for more then 2 minutes and they don’t want you to film them having a smoke. So you got to put down your camera every 2 minutes and wait for them to finish.

5. When I get to the reception and there’s no seating for you, even after you explain this to them, when they signed the contract. They simply tell you, that they forgot and take another 30 minutes to arrange a seating place for you and your assistant.

6. When I go around filming guests at their table, there will always be an idiot that points at the camera and says: “Look its Candid Camera”. If it was “Candid Camera” you wouldn’t see me, would you?

7. When I am filming speeches, the parents allow their little brats to run and make a noise, as if it was kinder garden. No respect whatsoever.

8. When I am busy filming, someone decides that they want to go past right in front of me, because they are too lazy to go around me. The worst is, when they do come past, they buck down half-way and all I get is the top of their head. If you are going to buck down, make some effort!

These are just some of the things I hate and get irritated with, when I film a wedding.

What gets to you?


Last edited by Marco Dias; October 21st, 2006 at 05:39 AM.
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Old October 21st, 2006, 04:12 AM   #2
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wow you hit it right on the nail bro! I dont know how many times
ive had an idiot walk in front of the camera like that. it never ending as
fasr as how videographers are treted these days.
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Old October 21st, 2006, 06:57 AM   #3
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One thing I hate is when your at a wedding and there are some people there that know you and they come over and say hi, grabbing your arm touching your shoulder as your filming working. :( That get's me really mad

I'm yet to get a job where your 5th point is not a problem for me as well

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Old October 21st, 2006, 06:58 AM   #4
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Every word rings true.

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Old October 21st, 2006, 07:26 AM   #5
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Yes, I've had all these things happen but even so, filming a wedding day is a very happy experience I find. The guests are dressed up to the nines and looking their best, there's cameras everywhere so I fit in ok, people want to be photographed and it's even legal for me to film the happy kids without written parental permission. Wow!

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Old October 21st, 2006, 08:35 AM   #6
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mine is people walking in front of the camera and even they know you are doing video record they pretend that you are not there :}}} HOLY SHOOT
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Old October 21st, 2006, 08:54 AM   #7
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I was on a wedding planner's list, where a bunch of them were instructing other planners not to feed vendors, because they are not guests, for the exception of the DJ. I had to inform them that the DJ is there only half-day, while the video/photo people have been there an entire day, covering the event without a meal and it would look very cheap on the bride's part to have everyone eating while the rest of us twiddle our thumbs. Some of them got how rude it is not to feed us or provide a chair, but the majority of the wedding planners said if there should be food bring out a bologna sandwich and an apple in a brown bag and let them eat it. Talk about tacky?
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Old October 21st, 2006, 08:58 AM   #8
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I hate when they want the lights off during the reception, then complain when the video is too dark. And then not upgrade their package to accomodate the extra editing. I believe a lot of brides watch these shows like Platinum Weddings and Bridezillas and don't realize how much lighting it takes to get those images.
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Old October 21st, 2006, 09:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Michelle Lewis
I hate when they want the lights off during the reception, then complain when the video is too dark.
Yes, I get that too. They ask me, "But isn't Digital cameras suppose to be better at low light?"

I try to explain to them, yes they are much better now compared to the "Old" days, but with extra light your wedding will have less grain, better colours and sharper images. Some of them, just don't get it.
It's a couple of hours of discomfort, but the wedding DVD will last forever (I hope).

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Old October 21st, 2006, 03:44 PM   #10
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If they don't plan on feeding me I leave for up to an hour during the dinner portion of the reception to eat. They don't work for 12 hours without eating and neither will I, at least not at a wedding. That's part of my service agreement. Luckily I've only had to enforce a couple of times over the last 5 or so years. I don't need to eat with the guests but FEED ME! ;-)
As for the lighting issue, it's no issue at all. First when they ask me if I use lighting I tell them YES at the reception a small on camera light they when they ask why, I show them a short piece of footage taken at the same reception with the lighting unchanged. First about 15 seconds of footage with no light then about 15 seconds of footage WITH the light. That pretty well ends the discussion of "dark and romantic mood".
You want romance get a room you want GOOD video I use my light which BTW is a 35W with a softbox and honestly I've not had anyone really complain about it.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 08:54 AM   #11
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((This is where planning comes into effect.. i always tell the bride to give herself half an hour buffer time.. if she wants to be home and getting dressd by midday, i tell her to make sure shes ready by 1130.. if theyre late, theyre still within that buffer.. if they go over, tough shit.. Im only there for an hour and half at the most, so she knows the deal BEFOREHAND... another thing i do sometimes is give them a handycam to take to the boutique with them and run amok with the camera. This way they shoot their own stuff, and if its crap, its crap. But if i dont get all the shots i want, im not responsible.. ))


((Most ive dealt with have been OK, some are Nazis but im usually too busy prepping and calibrating the cams. i go up to the minister..
"Hi im pete, this is where im shooting from, and i have another camera set up over there.. when we start, i wont move from here, so u dont have to worry about me distracting anyone. Thanks cya" If you know ur stuff and u know how to compose yourself, they know youve done this oftenenough times to not have to throw the rulebook at u. Sometimes u get idiots whose only plae of power is within the walls of the church, so they take it as far as they can go. Now, with that, i tel them to speak to the couple about it, because as far as theyre and Im concerned, we were all of teh understanding that i could film freely. If this has changed "please advise teh couple, as i am under contract to shoot from THIS area. Im yet to have a problem with this procedure or "line" of sweetalking.. if u wanna call it that.. ))


((This is where re-enactment comes into play.. after the family pics and before they jump back in the cars, sneak the couple back in. Its imperitive you remember what settings u had inside (vs outside) and jsut re-enact some closeups of ring exchange and the kiss. I do this and the product is better for it, as i can get true tight closeups during the actual ring exchange and NOT worry about what theyre hands a re doing. I worry abotu that later. I tell teh clients this and 100% have gone for it.. Looks better and they dont have to say anythign. You just focus on teh hand activities, while the voiceover from ARoll keeps going.. works a treat.. and the photographer will love you for it. convey this as a deliberate "procedure" you follow, as opposed to being an issue and trying to make up for a lost shot. If u make it deliberate, there wont be any negative issues surrounding this practice. If however you tell the client.. hey look, i missed the shot, can we do it again.. then u look like a dick.. if u say.. this is what we do, coz we get the best of both shots, then they love u for it.. ))


((Dude, theres more to film than teh BG.. and smokers are more fun IMO as they are far more relaxed about other people smoking. I take it ur not a smoker.. no bad thing, but IMO this comment is silly as ive gotten some incredible candids.. also if they are smokers, I usually recomend the boys grab themselves afew cigars asthese can make for a subject piece in itself if they want a skit or what have u (even thoguh its really not my style)

((THis is why its in the contract. No seating/meal = No shooting.. oopps break time, see u in an hour and a half.. usually i speak to the MC or matre'd about seating and dont bother the couple with it. If there is no seating, i pester the staff until i have a seat. If there is no meal, i stop shooting and tell teh clients that im about to go to maccas for a burger.. usually a meal is provided within 5 minutes of tehm being advised im about to leave the premises for 90mins.. DONT EVER let it get to the point that your starving yourself while your shooting. By the time youve already hit the 10hour mark without anything touching ur stomach.. also if theyreve got limos, dont be afraid to ask for snacks and drink and chill out a bit with the drivers and bridal party... u ARE allowed to take a break you know.. ))

((Hahhaha i hate the ones that SQUINT at a 25w in a softbox.. i kid u not, the downlogights are brighter.. but these guys are just pests.. theres also the "protective" "this is my hot Girlfreind and u cant look at her" type of guys. These are the insecure morons who grab their GF's and pull them close whenever there is a camera nearby....))

7. .

((Theres also teh element of speeches during mealtimes, with the cutlery and plates clanging and banging as we try to hear whats being said.. you cant control this, just have a clause in your contract to CYA with "no liability envirnmental influences beyond your control" Another option is to mic up the lectern (which is what i do) but for a free mic, i dont bother anymore.. i jsut run off the PA.. ))


((Meh.. if that happens, so be it.. theres another clause "people blcking the cameras view" where ive had unmanned cameras blocked by weekend warrior photographers who notice teh unmanned camera is in an ideal spot, so they stand in fornt of it for 5 minutes while a reading is taking place.. they dont realise that the camera has a friggin wide lens. If it wrecks the shot, i cant do much about it, so i leave it as is (if i cant cover it up with anything else) as the couple usually know who that person is.. tehy an blame them.. im there WELL BEFORE anyone else is, so i claim the spot as my own. If someone bumps or moves the camera, i make it known that theyve pissed me off and to stay out of my way. Im a big boy and im not too pretty so usually one stuff up is all theyll ever do. Remember, your not there to make friends... ))

What gets to you?

What gets to me..

1) When people "call you" to take a "Photo" with your video camera
2) Lazy groosm who sit on their asses all day then rush at teh last minute to get dressed
3) Mothers in law who dont want to be seen out of makeup.. BUT hide throughout the video, s the only candids we see are of her actual preps..
During edit..
perfect example. during edit -
"ME- ok, ill run it in balck and white.."
THEM - sorry not good enough.. u can still se her wrinkles.. get rid of the shot altogether..
ME - ok, done..
THEM - "theres no shots of my mum in law.. can we have more"
4) Receptions that are unirganised and MC's "by a friend" who has NO IDEA wtf is going on..
5) Couples i meet abotu 3 weeks prior to filming to arrange shootign schedule with paperwork incomplete and nothign planned.. im usually organsing their friggin day.. im only there to pik up my papers, not organise ur friggin wedding... then again, when they pay big bux, id rather organise it, this way i know there wont be abny stuff ups..
6) couples who dont get back to you abotu music.. then 10 months later, as tehyre organising their 1 yr anniversary parties, they have teh audacity to complain about delivery of tehir dvd's... DURRR whats worse is when tehy harp on that its "been almost a year"
Read the friggin cntract..uwant results, i need your music, its a simple equations..
7) Photographers who get upset that your gear is better than theirs. I have a 5d kit which i whip out every now and then.. they dont like this... as it has the potential for them to lose money.. i dont care either way, im still taking the shot.. get a life or rebuild ur business model so i WONT have to do this..
8) Photogs who thik the world revolves around them. Nuff said
9) photogs who assume youve never filmed a wedding before, even though youve shot more weddings in 3 years than they have in their lifetime..
10) Guests trying to be your best friend.. "i have this camera, and i know that photographer.." same goes with fly by night shooters who just have this bizarre need to namedrop. IMO, i DONT CARE what other people do, and i dont give a toss about the industry anymore. Its killed itself to a point of unsalvagable propportions.. i do my work, i go home. I deal with no shit and im happy.
11)speeches that drag on and on and on and on.. dude.. if i wanted to know what colour the brides poo was when she was 3 months old, id ask u...
12) Indian weddings. i wont do them for less than 8grand.. nuff said..
13) what depresses me.. is when i see a GORGEOUS bride (as in in and out) with a deadbeat groom to be.. on the wedding day, she shines like a goddess, is articulate, wel spoken respectful and loves you for what youve done to help her day along.. BUT the groom is a deadbeat no hoper that, swearrrrrs, farts, burps and does stupid gestures on camera "for a laugh"
You KNOW (from expereince interacting with him) that hes got no clue and no idea how lucky he is.. but you cant say anything to her.. hes a deadbeat yobbo waste of space.. and shes a desperate girl whos had her self esteem shatt. either that or he's got a big schlong...
14) Bridemaids that do nothng for the bride.. half teh weddings ive shot, the bridesmaids were too busy fussing over themselves as opposed to helping the bride... this wastes time, and many photo opportunities..
15) photogs who insist on shooting right near ur ear.. and as the vowws are being spoken, they run a rapid shutter.. clak clak clak clak clack.. lucky the grooms wearing a wireless mic..
16) priests who think theyre god..
17) rain

thers more but i cant think of many now..

But of these negatives, i have to say that theres 5 positives for each. There is more to shooting wedding than just the negatives, else i wouldnt be doing it..
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 11:49 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Marco Dias
What gets to you?
Vendor meals.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 01:31 PM   #13
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Peeple with bad stinky breath who are close talkers......sniff sniff, yummy;)
Well, that doesn't matter if its at a wedding or anywhere else....I just don't like it when someone's breath smells like a swamp full of rotting carp.

I like weddings too much to be hatin' though.

Last edited by Joe Allen Rosenberger; October 22nd, 2006 at 08:14 PM.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 03:57 PM   #14
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"13) what depresses me.. is when i see a GORGEOUS bride (as in in and out) with a deadbeat groom to be.. on the wedding day, she shines like a goddess, is articulate, wel spoken respectful and loves you for what youve done to help her day along.. BUT the groom is a deadbeat no hoper that, swearrrrrs, farts, burps and does stupid gestures on camera "for a laugh"

I had that happen once. I guess it has happened several times, but one time the bride was a goddess inside and out and the groom was a drunk buffoon with no appreciation of her. My soul darkened another shade that day.

"Vendor meals."

I'm not too bothered by vendor meals as I am not a picky eater, but it is a tad insulting when the guests are eating lobster and I am eating a club sandwich that was made for room service at noon and I'm getting the leftovers 8 hours later. What REALLY bothered me was once the hotel staff (most ballrooms here are in hotels) seemed to be actively avoiding serving us photo/video and DJ water. FREAKIN WATER! It's free! I am always dehydrated after weddings because I am running around in the heat all day (even in winter, check my locale) and don't always have time to stop and rehydrate. I can't stand to carry a gallon of water with me due to the weight. I end up resorting to bothering the bartender who is busy pouring drinks for 100 guests. When half the wait staff is holding pitchers of ice water away from me and I am getting a dehydration headache, I start to get a bit cranky. If it happens again, I am definitely going to pout. Actually, the best revenge is to get into their turf about it. I just went in the kitchen and started rummaging around and asking where I can get a pitcher...the staff magically turn into helpful little elves.

I think if you ever have a problem, put on the nonchalant "I just work here" look and things go your way. Don't get angry about things as it is stressful and makes things more difficult for you if people are avoiding you. Perhaps it is the laid-back Hawaii way and people just flow more smoothly with relaxed people around here.

Endless speaches that suck the life out of the guests really bother me! It ruins the video and nobody dances.

I hate drunks. Combine a drunk with an endless speach and that is what I hate most. Wait, a drunk groom giving an endless speach while his angelic bride sits by patiently is the worst. It makes me want to don my armor and slay the fool so the beautiful bride and her loving family won't have to live the hell in which they are about to descend...
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 05:26 PM   #15
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lol...so this is what I have in store for me then...sounds fun, but then again it's early days for me and it's all fresh and exciting...no doubt it will be beaten out of me in a few years heh ;)
I can only relate to the 'being mistaken for the photographer' incident. I have an FX1 with a Rode Videomic sticking out of it for christs sake. Oh, and since when do you ever see a photographer swooning around doing sweeping arcs and handheld pans. The wedding registrar called me the photographer consistently, asked me to wait until after the signing before I took the photo's, stood in front of me when they were signing the bloody thing. The funny thing is, as she was talking to the groom privately just before the ceremony, I was getting some practice shots of the room etc and she turned to me and asked whether I was 'filming right now' or not...hmm...actually it didn't really annoy me that much, I was just intruigingly confused.
that's all i can say from experience since it was the first one, tho I'll raise a glass to many more ;)
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