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Old October 28th, 2006, 11:37 PM   #1
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Camera Placement with One Camera

Hi,

If using one camera for a wedding, where are you placing your camera?

I have JVC HD100. What mic are you using?


Best,
Lisa
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Old October 28th, 2006, 11:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa Bennett
Hi,

If using one camera for a wedding, where are you placing your camera?

I have JVC HD100. What mic are you using?


Best,
Lisa

I don't like this position but if it's a SINGLE cam: Center Aisle, right down the middle.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 03:09 AM   #3
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I wouldn't do this unless you have good access at the ceremony and have shot a lot of weddings:

I shoot starting behind the couple so I can see their faces with their families behind them in the frame. After the vows and before the rings I move to the aisle to about the third row so I don't block the familie's view. I shoot there from a monopod and crouch down when possible to keep my butt out of the way and to let the photographers shoot over me.

You must have perfect timing and do run a risk of moving at the wrong time and missing the beginning of the ring exchange!
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Old October 29th, 2006, 08:22 AM   #4
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Hi Guys,

Thank you for the info. I used to shoot weddings but it's been awhile and was curious to see what others are doing.

I recall one wedding where a little girl ran out right at the moment that I needed the shot. Perfect timing on her part. Luckily, that time was a 2 camera shoot.

What cameras are you using, wireless mic and editing system?

Thank you,
Lisa
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Old October 29th, 2006, 10:13 AM   #5
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When I first started shooting weddings I only had one camera. Because I also had an audio visual rental business my wireless mic systems (3) were desktop models. They were better suited for business meetings than wedding work, but all I had. I also came from a work environment which had my mind set on the premise that the more microphones used the better, which meant an audio mixer was necessary to feed all of the mic signals (sometimes a many as six) into my camera. All this equipment demanded the camera be locked on a tripod during the entire ceremony.

The only viable position was half to two-thirds down the aisle as close to one side as possible. This allowed me to follow the procession from entrance to altar and have an unobstructed view of the ceremony. It also meant having to make some fast pans (later edited out) to capture all members of the processional on tape. Later on during the ceremony I would carefully pan the wedding party and try some careful slow zooming in and out to add some visual interest during the more ponderous moments. I had to be assured Bride and Groom would face each other during the entire ceremony which was acceptable most of the time.

I feel I got rather good working within these limitations as I couldn't justify the purchase of another camera for a few years.

I no longer do single camera shoots, but I continue to rely on the same equipment array (down to only four mics now). There is only one venue I regularly work at where the center aisle approach continues to make sense. Most of the weddings I shoot are either outside or at country clubs, so camera positions vary. Of the churches I occasionally work in two that have architectural considerations where the center aisle position is necessary. The third not only has similar architectural considerations but absolutely forbids anything other than tripod mounted cameras (especially for photographers).
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Old October 29th, 2006, 10:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Elliott
I don't like this position but if it's a SINGLE cam: Center Aisle, right down the middle.
What he said.
Its a surefire way to get all the money shots

Be aware that it is advisabel to advise the clients to FACE EACH OTHER and not the priest when saying their vows/ring exchange.

I use a monopod if i do shoot from the aisle as i can fly around if need be.

I usually use 2 cameras though.. as i always carry a backup, i may as well put it to use..
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Old October 29th, 2006, 07:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa Bennett
If using one camera for a wedding, where are you placing your camera?
Back in my 1-camera days, for the ceremony, I preferred being up front, camera on a tripod, positioned on the groom's side. From there, I could get a full view of the bride during the ceremony and also with little camera movement, get shots of both sets of parents. For the entrance & exit, I'd move around w/a monopod, usually center aisle forward.

Of course, a lot depends on the layout of the church or where ever the wedding is taking place. With 1 cam, I always attended the rehearsal, especially if I had never been at that location, and also to see how the wedding party planned to be positioned, and where the officiant intended to stand. I think that's all important to know ahead of time, because if you walk in cold on the day of the wedding, you might set up in what seems to be the perfect location, only to find your view blocked at some point because the wedding planner or bride dreamed up some bizarre maneuver or the minister does something unique.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 07:40 PM   #8
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If I was shooting with one cam I'de go with the center aisle near the back exit. That way you can slip outside during the ceremony so nobody recognizes you when they see the finished product. Best of luck, thats a tough shoot.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 08:10 PM   #9
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It's funny because 20 years ago thats how everthing was shot. One camera rear center IF you were lucky. In my area there is nothing wrong with shooting the ceremony from the rear center. WHY? Because around here in probably 80% of the churches you can not get up on the altar the best you could hope for is to set an unmanned camera there which is a crapshoot as far as what you might get. People move from where they were going to be to a spot 3 feet over, it gets blocked whatever and as far as standing up front in front of the altar not around here not to mention that every B&G face each other to do the vows and rings OR they face the congregation and the officiant stands off to the side (enev better) I can not speak for other parts of the country or world nor every church or hotel in the greater Chicagoland area but at least in the ones I've been in in the last 23 years your shot is no worse from the rear center than from the front center. Do I like it? No , do I live with it? Yes at least as long as I continue to do weddings.
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Old October 30th, 2006, 03:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Don Bloom
It's funny because 20 years ago thats how everthing was shot. One camera rear center IF you were lucky. In my area there is nothing wrong with shooting the ceremony from the rear center. WHY? Because around here in probably 80% of the churches you can not get up on the altar the best you could hope for is to set an unmanned camera there which is a crapshoot as far as what you might get. People move from where they were going to be to a spot 3 feet over, it gets blocked whatever and as far as standing up front in front of the altar not around here not to mention that every B&G face each other to do the vows and rings OR they face the congregation and the officiant stands off to the side (enev better) I can not speak for other parts of the country or world nor every church or hotel in the greater Chicagoland area but at least in the ones I've been in in the last 23 years your shot is no worse from the rear center than from the front center. Do I like it? No , do I live with it? Yes at least as long as I continue to do weddings.
Don
That's interesting....how do you get any interesting footage at a Catholic wedding (where the couple sits or kneels with their backs to the audience 90% of the ceremony)?
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Old October 30th, 2006, 03:40 PM   #11
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"That's interesting....how do you get any interesting footage at a Catholic wedding (where the couple sits or kneels with their backs to the audience 90% of the ceremony)?"

You don't.

That's why everyone was so pumped up about affordable, small cameras. Finally you could cover several angles at a reasonable cost.

One camera only: Anywhere located down the center aisle will cover the most important items. Be steady and don't tense up because every movment will be seen when you roll with just one camera.

Ben
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Old October 30th, 2006, 04:10 PM   #12
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what Ben said. Plus you've got to remember that many churches and officiants just aren't with it today and feel (rightfully so I suppose) that a wedding is still a religious ceremnoy so they don't let anything detract from that. More and more though they are beginning to understand and shift their thoughts as to what you can and can't do and the more you shoot in 1 chirch the more they know you the more they let you do. I could site some examples but suffice it to say that you do the best you can under the circumstances and thats all you can do. It's gotten better over the years but it ain't hollywood ;-)

Don
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Old October 30th, 2006, 07:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa Bennett
Hi Guys,

Thank you for the info. ....
What cameras are you using, wireless mic and editing system?

Thank you,
Lisa
Cameras: Canon XL1s, GL1, and whatever other camera I can access (prefer Sonys, because they are easier to color correct than Panasonics.

Wireless Mic systems: NADY...two UHF, five VHF, (all all have matched Lav and Hand Held transmitters or XLR transmitters). Azden...two VHF. If one does their homework, inexpensive mics work as well as expensive ones. One really has to do the homework, however.

Seven Shure SM58 Hard wire mics: a bunch of other odd hand helds. Probably 10 lav mics of various manufacture.

Audio Systems: Samson & Behringer Mixers...3 mic ch, 4 mic ch, and 8 mic ch. Behringer 1/3 octave EQ, 3 PA systems.

NLE: FCP 5

An esoteric collection of gear. Comes from a lifetime of staging events. Would like to get rid of a bunch.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 06:39 AM   #14
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I really appreciate all of the responses. Lots of great information.

I've been thinking about shooting weddings again. I've been busy with non-video work for awhile and now have the JVC HD100U. In between some personal projects, I thought I could perhaps go back into shooting weddings. It's not my favorite thing to do but it would be video related work.

In the past I had always placed the camera at the back. It certainly helped when I had a 2nd camera available placed upfront to catch the faces of the wedding party as they entered. If I can find a good videographer in the area to work with that has a miniDV camera that will be a great help and can match the footage. The guy I used to work with has since moved out of state so for now it's one camera.

I am looking for a good wireless mic to use with the HD100. Actually, I'd need 2 , one for the groom and one for the Pastor for when not feeding through the church sound system. Plus, I can then use them for an interview project I am working on.

If using 2 cameras ie one at the back , one at the front, it would be best to hook-up the wirless mics on the camera at the front, correct?

Once again, I appreciate all of the input. It's been very helpful while getting myself back into gear.

Best,
Lisa
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Old October 31st, 2006, 09:51 AM   #15
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In answer to where to set up the wireless, I set the lectern or #2 mic to the 2nd camera and run a sound check to set the levels but the grooms mic goes to my #1 camera so I can monitor the audio at all times. This mic will also get most of what the officiant is saying-of course if the officiant is more than about a few feet away the level drops but for me it doesn't matter due to the fact that I edit short form and alot of what is said isn't used. Regardless, I like to hear everything so I monitor under a set of Sony headphones and adjust on the fly as and if needed.

Don
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