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


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Old July 2nd, 2007, 04:39 PM   #1
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Getting creative without stepping on photogs toes!

I'm struggling with this. Last Sat, I had the PERFECT wedding party for doing a credits clip similar to the stunning work I've seen from Glen Elliot. I wanted the whole party to walk together in a field next to the reception tent while I filmed. That's all I wanted... 10 minutes. I was all set, talked to both the boys and girls, and they were all for it. But before I could get started, the photog arrived, and the show was over for me. By the time he was finished with his 25,000+ shots of everything but the bride with the kitchen sink, the guests were arriving and the bride didn't want to be out in the open at all. So, I settled with a mediocre shots of them exiting the hall going straight into a bus, and in the confusion, one grromsman wasn't in the line. Oh well. Most wedding go like this... the photog takes so long I'm left with scraps.

How do you all work with the photogs? Any tips on trying to be creative with your work and get time with the wedding party without pissing off the photog? I know that some brides are photo-oritented (like last weekend) and video is a distant second. I guess in those cases I just become a documentarian. But, I know there will be a brides that prioritize the video over photos, and then I can go hog-wild!

I wish I could just tell the photog, "it's my turn now!", but that just doesn't work. I guess when I build better relationships with some photogs, they will be more flexible.

Dan
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 05:25 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Dan Shallenberger View Post
I wish I could just tell the photog, "it's my turn now!", but that just doesn't work. Dan
why not?
If I'm there then the video is important tothe bride and groom as well as the photos so I tell the B&G I'll need them and the wedding party for a few minutes to do some shots. IF the photog blasts in to cover over me fine, but if the photog tries to wreslt the folks away I have a conversation with the photog and politely tell him or her that I'm working with them and to take a break. If that doesn't work the I ask the B&G to tell the photog. Generally it doesn't get there. I've worked with many of the same photogs for years and they know what I do so it isn't a problem but on occassion I have had a few try to intimadate me-that really doesn't work especially since I was a still guy before many of them today were born. I have had 1 or 2 that tried to threaten me with bodily harm - that really doesn't work and once the groom actually told the photog to pack his gear and go home and that he wasn't getting paid for anything since he was being a complete A**hole, he decided to simmer down and stayed, although he was very contrite after that and did stay a far distance from me. I guess he didn't like me. ;-) This was a very very extreme case.
Generally I just ell them I need a few minutes and that takes care of it.
You're getting paid to do a job and if a few minutes is going to make the difference IMO take the time UNLESS the B&G decide otherwise. On THAT day THEY are the boss. You work for them not the photog.
Don
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 05:30 PM   #3
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I shoot my credits clips throughout the day which makes it easier to get some time here and there and also means a lot of it can be candid. While you don't get as many wild shots as you can when you have each person alone with enough space and light, I do find the clips to hold you interest a lot more as as they have more substance behind the sizzle- being that a lot of t is candid.

We also do photography, so most weddings we are shooting both- and that is a huge bonus. When I am just doing video though, I speak directly to the bide if need a couple minutes with them and I do it when I need the time- in most cases she will take a break from photography for a couple minutes so I can do what I had planned. The key being- don't always ask the photographer, ask the bride, it is her your working for after all, and the photographer can never have enough time, so its tough for them to agreee.

Patrick
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 09:24 PM   #4
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The key being- don't always ask the photographer, ask the bride, it is her your working for after all
Exactly! Why would you ask the photographer? You're not working for him...

That being said, like Patrick I usually work with the same team of photographers, which is a huge plus. When I work with one from a different company, it can be helpful to say hello and give him or her an idea of how you work, and warn them that you will need time here and there. Then you've established that you are working as a team. No need to be antagonistic by dragging the bride and groom away with no warning.

Still, when you get down to brass tacks, it's the B and G you need to worry about. If you need time, ask them.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 09:45 AM   #5
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Thanks all for responding!

I didn't ask the photographer for time, although being polite will get me much further in future encounters with them I'm sure. I did ask the photog a couple of times how much longer he would be because I had a couple of shots to get, and he kept underestimating his time. And I did ask the bride, groom and entire wedding party and they were all for it. But the photog had a shot list and kept going. I couldn't get the shots early because the whole wedding party wasn't there until after the photog arrived.

This photog was a well-respected and well-known photographer in the Cinci area, and it's the first time we worked together directly. He was very respectful of me for the most part, but knew what he wanted and was going to get it. Also, the b&g had photos at a much higher priority than video, so that didn't help either. I still did a good job and got a lot of great shots, just not much that I wanted to set up.

Shooting lead camera now nearly every weekend for the rest of the season, I'm sure I'll build relationships with photogs and things will get a bit easier. I know I need to be more assertive though. I also think that if I talk to the bride ahead of the wedding about some shots I want to get, and get her excited about the video, she'll be more likely to insist I have enough time on the day of.

Thanks for your input everyone!
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 10:23 AM   #6
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Call them ahead, I have a question at the time of booking, who is your photographer. Sometimes calling ahead works and sometimes it doesn't.

If my client agrees to do something, then it's going to happen. I will look straight at the photographer and tell him I have somethings to do. Trust me, they'll snap their pictures right along with what your doing.

Again, as mentioned above, you're not working for the photographer. We've all worked with very good photographers, those professionals who act appropriately when you have to get your job done. And then there are those photogs that, well, I believe there's a special place for them.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 11:13 AM   #7
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I just skimmed the responses but I think it's already been said. You need to make your arrangements with the B&G and work it out with the Photog. He needs to work it out with you as well. If the couple agreed to do this with you there's no negotiation with a photog as to whether you're going to do it... that's already been decided... it's just working out the logistics.

Whenever I did this (not much anymore), I'd call the photog beforehand and "tell" him/her what the couple hired me to do. I didn't "ask" him if this was OK. They always understood (even if they didn't like it).
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 12:29 PM   #8
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Last weekend the photographer asked me if I would set up a few more scenarios, cause he noticed that when I did, he got more natural and candid shots of his own, compared to what he was getting with his posed setups.

Go figure.

So it's to their advantage as well that you do something.
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