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

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Old December 27th, 2012, 10:23 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 1,149
Enlivening a photoshoot

Random thought for the day...

So, I'm one of these people who kind of hates the photoshoot period. I think it generally makes crap video, and I'm sick of shooting roundie roundies, walking shots, posing shots, and endless kissing. Kissing against a wall. Kissing with a sun flare. Kissing with a dip. Kissing in a reflection. Kissing against a water view. Etc.

So, today's wedding for me involved six hours of photoshoot. And with couple only; no bridesmaids or groomsmen. Went straight from bride prep to photoshoot; no groom prep and no ceremony. Granted, most of this six hours was travelling time, but still I was bored in 15 minutes.

Talking over the situation with my colleague, we came up with two possible solutions to make the photoshoot more video-friendly. Didn't get to try them, but anyway...

1. Actually do something with the couple, in order to make good video. None of this staged walking and posing rubbish. Go to a fun fair, take a carriage ride, go to the zoo, row a boat, buy an ice-cream. Actually do something.

Of course, you'd have to arrange this sort of stuff with them in advance...

2. Document the photographer. Is it really necessary to exclude them from all the shots? Aren't they a part of the day as well? And particularly if they're entertaining, why not include them in the video?

The photographer we worked with today (the main one we work with, in fact) seems to have a big repertoire of amusing things to say to loosen people up / get reactions. Examples:
-- To groomsmen in morning: "I want you to look like you're having a gay time."
-- "Oh my God. So beautiful... I was talking about me. But you're beautiful too."
-- To couple: "Look into each other's eyes. Pretend you like each other."
-- To bridal party on dock. "Now, everyone cheer. Now, everyone check out the groom. Now, everyone jump in the water."

So, I could see including him in the video, and it be amusing for the couple to remember what it was like being photographed by him...

On that note, I'm not sure it is such a bad thing for fellow videographers to be in shot. I don't think so. Not all the time anyway. In the morning, if a videographer is setting up a complicated slider shot, might it be interesting for the couple to look back and remember these crazy people turning up to their house with all this gear? At the reception, if a videographer is having a good time on the dance floor and laughing, might it be interesting for the couple to see that, same as seeing any other of the hired help laughing or doing something interesting (make-up artists, priests, waiters, cake makers, florists...)? Aren't they part of the day as well?
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Old December 27th, 2012, 03:19 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Saratoga, NY
Posts: 37
Re: Enlivening a photoshoot

I like the idea of "The planned activity" though it could be tricky to plan. Funny about the photographer though, a horse and buggy ride could be interesting with a videographer and photographer competing for the coverage. (Like fighting off the stage coach robbers.)
I've actually recorded the photog working with the formal sessions. No voices but music background.
One wedding the photog and I collaborated, (being friends), and we worked together. I shot in light of showing him at work (for his demo reel) and he gave me the stills to place in the edit right after the flash. It worked well.
I would imagine though that there could be photogs that we would be so annoyed with for getting in the way that we may not want to give them that recognition. Or they could be dressed horribly or for some other reason not lend to a good product.
Our role is mainly behind the scenes, but doing photo and video I've learned that the photog sometimes becomes a hybrid between the videographer and DJ. Meaning sometimes being invisible and sometimes leading the event which might end up being entertainment.
It would be interesting to see what happens if the videographer started taking charge here and there. How would this play out between the photog and DJ?

Last edited by Henry Kenyon; December 27th, 2012 at 03:23 PM. Reason: Addition
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