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


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Old April 4th, 2007, 10:14 PM   #1
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Still vs. Video Imaging for Weddings

Topic inspired by some comments I saw on the "Pet Peeves in Weddings" thread.

There is so much more competition in the still photography arena than video - if you look at on-line adverts there seem to be five times as many photogs to videogs.

This is not accidental; photography has a 200 year head start on videography.

Photographers are well aware that to produce a wedding video takes more time, effort & skill because there's so much more to video than framing & composition. They also know that video commands much lower prices (not everyone can be Robins, the Von Lankens or Stubbs) while it has higher startup costs and is subject to more frequent equipment upgrades.

Most of the still photogs we work with are great, however, call it paranoid preconception, I can't help but sense that they harbour some underlying contempt toward us.

Just my uneducated & ignorant observations.
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Old April 4th, 2007, 11:42 PM   #2
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bullshit its uneducated and ignorant

your far from that mate

i agree wholeheartedly and especially here in aus, that video is, and i believe wont ever be, seen as the artform it is simply because our work is undermined by photographers who have more on their agenda than they let on.
Dont forget, our existance has taken much from them in teh form of upgrades and purchases, as couples budgets are strecthed to fit both services.

More recently, ive been getting bookings from a client circle group (referals) down in canbera where they have ditched hiring a photographer altogether and prefer the stills i provide from tape. Its about compositin exposure and how you hanle the entire job.

In doing this, it will give me the budget to shoot these jobs using an XLh1 and an A1, with canon Prime lenses. Ive also got a canon5d, so the formal family stuff, can still be done this way.. the formal "framed pic on teh wall" can also be done without much fuss...

The point here is that with the advent of these higher res cameras with better image performance and teakability of the image in post, we can do what the photographer does and more.
WE dont miss a shot if we continue to roll, we dont need to pose people

This is no mean feat, however i choose to shoot these in HDV simply because of the resolution i can get from the stock footage.

Eventually the acceptannce of this form of service will come to teh fore as people become educated and are exposed to it, but this wont ever happen as photographers will always consider video to be an afterthought or 'second best"

I cannot count how many clients have "directed" me with teh following
"we'd rather not have any contention, so please let the photographer do what they like and if it means losing some video, so be it"
I usually tell them here that we bounce ideas from each other, and if tehir photog doesnt want to play nicely, so be it, i still have a job to do. So long as he dont get in my way, i wont get n his.
Ive never had an issue with any photographers.. in fact quite the opposite, however people dont see it this way.
They believe were competing against each other on teh day, as this is the attitude of some photogs...

In the end i do what im paid to do. If a photog has an issue its his issue.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 01:29 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Paul Nguyen View Post
Most of the still photogs we work with are great, however, call it paranoid preconception, I can't help but sense that they harbour some underlying contempt toward us.
Most photographers are just trying to do their jobs and may simply be frustrated by having to share space with us while doing their best to keep us out of their pictures, just as we try to do with them. A few are openly resentful of videography and have been writing absurdly restrictive contracts and/or being intentionally difficult at events. It's best to try to ignore this and concentrate on making the best video you can without getting into a power struggle with the photographer. (But don't let them push you around.)

Some photographers are getting smart and offering video services themselves so they don't have to deal with us, which suggests we should be doing the opposite. If this trend continues it may eventually become commonplace for couples to hire one company for both photography and videography, which could save them some money and minimize a potential source of conflict at their wedding. If you don't already own some good digital still cameras, put those on your shopping list and go take some photography classes. Easy way to significantly increase your revenue per event...
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Old April 5th, 2007, 03:46 AM   #4
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I disagree that photographers know that video requires more work. My wife is a professional photographer, and we have an ongoing argument over which is more difficult. I would venture to say that many photographers, if not most, actually assume that photography requires more work.

I also disagree with the idea that videographers should start offering photography services. First, because photography IS different than videography, and you won't be a master at both. Second, videographers that offer photography services cheapen the perceived value of their videography.

It's like going to a foot surgeon and having him say "Oh, I also remove cavities, just so you know."


Our goal as videographers needs to be increasing the importance of videography in the wedding industry, not watering it down even more by throwing in photography. What's next, videographers offering photography AND tux rentals? One of the keys to successful business is specializing, not being a jack-of-all-trades.

Anywho, that's my opinion on the matter . . .
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Old April 5th, 2007, 05:10 AM   #5
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i never ever get down about this argument 'photography over video', coz at the end of the day it is us who seemingly make more profit! :)
i mean, you can pay off your studio kit over a few weddings, and then for every other wedding it's just the expenditure of a blank DVD, a case, and your time. Whereas most photographers get those expensive books made up, prints developed, etc etc - AND they have SO much competition, so they have to spend more on advertising...not my cup of tea.

And yes, I agree with Peter, it's fun to offer photos from your video, i do it too, why on earth not?! we know just as much about the composition of shots, and importance of events, and we have millions of frames to choose from. A previous wedding couple asked to buy 40 or so 'frames' from me, to accompany their main photos...tell me here who would turn that down?
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Old April 5th, 2007, 09:13 AM   #6
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i never ever get down about this argument 'photography over video', coz at the end of the day it is us who seemingly make more profit! :)
I completely disagree with this. You are considering supplies only, and treating time as if it's free. First of all, most photo packages are priced higher than video. Yes, albums, etc may take a higher bite than tapes for us, but the price difference alone probably takes care of that.

Then there's post-production time. No photographer spend 30-40 hours editing his photos from a wedding, but we routinely spend that time. And if you are paying yourself or your editor a wage, that time is money....

I would venture to say we make much less profit, and my photo friends agree with me and can't believe I do video.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 09:20 AM   #7
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yeah, fair point...from the perspective of a full-time videographer, ur right.

from my perspective it is different though - i absolutely love editing, and i edit weddings in my spare time after my fulltime job, so i don't treat it as a wage, just a bonus income.

and it certainly doesn't take me 30 to 40 hours to edit a wedding, but let's not get into that again coz everyone is quite rightly different :)
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Old April 5th, 2007, 09:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Richard Wakefield
from my perspective it is different though - i absolutely love editing, and i edit weddings in my spare time after my fulltime job, so i don't treat it as a wage, just a bonus income.
Fair enough. I love to edit as well, but need to pay my bills with video, so I track my time pretty closely.

Quote:
and it certainly doesn't take me 30 to 40 hours to edit a wedding, but let's not get into that again coz everyone is quite rightly different :)
Yeah, that's been discussed a lot. I generally take about 25 hours in total for a 1 1/2 hour video, but I've seen other guys saying 100 hours, which seems impossible to me, but what can you do? The video final format varies widely as well between studios, so that's gotta change editing requirements a lot.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 09:40 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for an interesting read. I always like to hear what others are thinking on this subject.

For what it's worth, I seem to get (and always give back) respect from 99% of the photographers I work with. Some are even curious about my equipment, technique, etc. just like other videographers. Most make an attempt to stay out of my shots, as I try to stay out of theirs.

However, (you knew there'd be a "However") sometimes there's a photog (usually male, why's that?) that has a total, shall we say "attitude on his shoulders". When that happens, I return the favor and pretend he's not even in the room. "I'm in your shot? Well move then!"

Like I said, that's VERY rare. Usually, I'm the easiest person to get along with that you'll ever come across!

Cheers,

Mark
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Old April 5th, 2007, 09:58 AM   #10
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Vito...yeah i'd say up to 25 hours too. don't get me wrong, i could easily get carried away and spend 100 hours if it was my own wedding video, LOL!

Mark: OMG, totally agree!! one photographer (out of many nice ones may i add) thought HE was GOD, and owned all the people, venues and ground we walked on. Let's just say i had words with him, and i had the whole bridal party behind me.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 09:58 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
I would venture to say that many photographers, if not most, actually assume that photography requires more work.
More specifically, there are different types of effort involved: good photography requires precision timing for action shots plus the ability to work with people to get good poses; videography requires good video and audio capture under difficult conditions, plus significant effort after an event to make the finished movie. Ultimately there should be no question that good video is more work, because it involves all the tasks which can require dozens of people for a big-screen movie. Photography is one person pointing a camera in the right direction at the right time and pushing the shutter release button: doing that well isn't easy but it's not in the same league as the effort required for video. If photographers still made their own prints in a darkroom the comparison would be more equal, but I don't know any who bother with that any more.

Quote:
It's like going to a foot surgeon and having him say "Oh, I also remove cavities, just so you know."
More like going to the dentist for a root canal and while you're there he says, "Oh, I also whiten teeth if you're interested." Photography and videography are overlapping disciplines which can be lumped together under the category of "capturing memories," and it's not hard to convince couples that they could benefit from getting both services from one company. Look around and you'll find many photographers offering video now, so draw your own conclusions about what we need to do to stay competitive. Plus you can basically double your revenue per event with maybe a 50% increase in the amount of work required, and get more respect with less hassle in the process. There is something to be said for specializing in either photography or videography, but there's a clear opportunity now to gain something by combining the two.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 10:47 AM   #12
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There is something to be said for specializing in either photography or videography, but there's a clear opportunity now to gain something by combining the two.

I have to agree. But we get many referrals from photographers and I'd hate to cut that line off.

Personally, I was a photographer many years ago, so going back wouldn't be too difficult. In recent years I've been offered (and I refused) some "fill-in" work as a wedding photographer. But it's something I'm still not ready to jump back into...yet.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 10:53 AM   #13
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I have to agree. But we get many referrals from photographers and I'd hate to cut that line off.
If that's the case then it's a tougher decision what to do, but if you see those referring photographers start offering video services you'll know it's time to take action. For those who don't count on photographers for referrals, adding photography services to your product mix is a worthwhile possibility to consider.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 11:59 AM   #14
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. . . and when you see a photographer offering video services on the side what is your first thought? Unprofessional? Amateur quality? Cheap? All of the above?

The point I want to make is that I think it's important that we videographers focus in on making videography more important and valued in the minds of brides. I think offering photo services on the side (especially in the form of in-camera stills) hurts that cause. However, I understand we all have bills to pay and you gotta do what you gotta do.


My wife and I got into the debate again this morning after I told her about this thread (knucklehead move, I know). She brought up the fact that I make more per hour per package than she does, but I reminded her that I've been in business twice as long as well. And furthermore, photographers get all sorts of additional business with their clients after the wedding (family sessions, newborn sessions, additional wedding products, etc.), whereas I don't generally see the couple again after I give them their videos. I make my money once and only once.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 01:09 PM   #15
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Hi all -
Travis, you're "lucky" - you have in house photo services... hug your photog!

For those who don't have such a luxury, doing some joint venture/referral with photogs you are familiar with might be worthwhile. If you cross refer, you both should win, with minimal investment. Just be sure you stick to QUALITY referrals/co-ops. You can offer far more as a TEAM by covering more angles and shots, so everyone wins, ESPECIALLY the client!


My wife and I shoot as a "team", myself on the vid, and her on the stills. I carry her "backup camera", and where appropriate, I shoot "second cam" and vice versa - since it's not possible to be everywhere at once, we get more coverage. If the grooms party is getting ready in one location, and the brides in another for instance...

When I get done with the video mix, I also include a slide show on the DVD (a common add on in commercial DVD's). This way the couple can look at their photos on a widescreen big TV - tell me that doesn't beat an 8x10 for initial impact... (ignoring the resolution issues). Just be sure not to goof up the WS ratio and make everyone look fat <wink>!

For the B&G, it's easier to contract with ONE vendor for both - one less party to deal with, IMO.

And too, having multiple camera angles can be a lifesaver... one wedding the groom out of nowhere spun and dipped the bride... for "the kiss". I practically launched my manned cam up in the air to catch the shot, and my two unmanned front cameras each caught a PART of the moment... my wife was completely off angle, and had no where to move (riverboat wedding...). In the end the video was usable, and I had to do some serious magic to create a usable still of the moment (still shooting SD at that time, so it wasn't a great shot IMO, but the B&G LOVED the result...).

In the end, the two "talents" overlap, but one person is going to have it rough doing "both" at the same time, you'll have to plan carefully to get the "money shots".

IMO, a good team will deliver better results, and can perhaps once established charge more overall, or maybe use discounting to advantage as needed to land the jobs.
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