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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old November 7th, 2005, 05:13 AM   #16
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Location: Aus
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meh, i wouldnt bother going out of ur way to accomodate the priest.. no offense and this HAS been discussed before but you are there for THE COUPLE not the priest..

u should ask these questions -
"where will the photographer be allocated? " (I bet the photographer is allowed to roam... if not, he would at least be given a spot to shoot from... argue this point if u need to )
"How much time will i have to set up before the ceremony begins?" (reason u ask this is that from the sound of it they may not wnat u to be in there until 5mins before it starts.. or if ur lucky when the guests arrive...
"Can the groom wear a Lav Mic? " (and if hes not allowed to wear one, plant on on the inside of his jacket anyway...)
"Can i stand in the aisle during the ceremony once the bride arrives, as this way we can film what the guests see as opposd to shooting from a risky distance" (DONT tell the priest u can zoom 20x... or whatever... this give him more ammunition...

Yeah sure these are guerilla tactics, but hell, your there to do a friggin job...
if i ever came across a church like this, and noone ants to play ball with me, i would seriously reconsider the job. Its nto worth the hassle..

only recently did i shoot an outdoor wedding and the photographer and myself were out the from of the entrance waiting for the limo.. The bride had said that her entrance would be different, but as i wasnt shooting her that morning, i called her. She was in a mood and didnt want to speak to anyone, however this critical information wasnt passed on to me, or the Photog, so we are waiting for these cars to arrive which they never did..
turns out they came in from a side entrance which was about a 5 minute walk away from the actual entrance...

so then out comes a guest.. and tells us that everyone ios already there and the proceedings had already started..
Now i had been at the location now for 2 hours before the bride arrived.. the bride was an hour late to the venue, so in effect i had ben there an hour before the ceremony..
No NOT ONE of the bridal party on the day had told us ANYTHING... we were clear when we left the ceremony location as to what we were doing, but we missed the entry...
So whos at fault here??
When a call is made and noone wants to communicate simply due to being in a "mood" or the bridal party, who were advised as to our location on the day to give us a heads up or knew where to find us in case of disaster..

in the end we ended up reshooting her entrance (she and her girls Danced down the aisle... the groom wasnt impressed and was clearly embaressed.
But whats the point m tryin to make here.. ??

You can do your damned mightiest to get the shots you need, but if people dont tell you shit, you can forget the years of experience and all the training youve ever had, coz in times like this, that dont mean jackshit.
In our case, the groom DIDNT want the dance reshot, but we persisted.. in the end we won, not for "our shot" but for the fact that THIS WAS HOW SHE CAME IN... if it was traditional, id jsut reshoot some headshots walking down the aisle and fix it.. but this was trippy...
i said to them that if my call was answered this morning, i would have KNOWN where and at least have an idea where they were with time. We had no idea so we shot from the hip...
On top of that the bride was late by an hour, so we waited at the main gate, where most wedding cars stop. This didnt happen.
Now in your case, i would DEFINATELY make it clear to them that you will endevour to get the best bpossible footage, however, without communication BEFORE the ceremony about where you will be and what you will be doing, you cant be held liable for the loss of a shot or for inferior footage.
If anyone here has seen my contract (most of you have) you will see to how much detail in go into...

the worse thing about situations like this is the fact that in the end, the video loses out...
Ive said this before and ill say it again, until WE change ppls attitudes to what we do and how we do it, then this sort of crappy treatment will continue..

good luck with the shoot, personally if theyre that adamant about throwing you on top of a balcony that far from the proceedings, id either sit in the aisle as a guest and point a camera to where i need to shoot, or simply record audio only, and get photos from the photographer and create a slideshow with their vows as a voiceover and and some simple music as a timepiece..

Oh one final though, i bet $100 that a guest (ANY GUEST) WILL have a video camera and they WILL shoot... Im sure that irrespective of the rules given, that the proceedings will not stop to ask the guest to stop shooting..
alternatively, id ditch the job, or ask the couple to try somewhere else, or with another officiant....
this has to be one of the biggest crocks of shite ive ever come across and the more we as professionas put up with it, the more it will occur...
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Old November 8th, 2005, 08:21 AM   #17
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ummm yes, well covered subject indeed! Peter & I (& others) have been outspoken on this one. ...and Jen, believe it or not, I bet there are other videographers that have been given more access than you. If you say - "no, those are the house rules." Undoubtably, it would shock you to know that those house rules have likely been different for different videographers.

My tactics for any known restrictive venue is to NOT attend the rehearsal (which roll out the red carpet for restrictions) and to set up before the ceremony, as late as possible so that it's up to the officiant or clergy to go out of their way to laydown restrictions at the last minute. I also advise my customers to not talk about video with the church, don't bring it up, let them bring it up, because if you bring it up then you are making an issue of it.

Two weeks ago I had a priest run up to me right before the prossesional was about to start to tell me I couldn't be in the center isle... he said "you really can't be there - it will be distracting to everyone." and I quilckly informed him "everyone will be watching the bride, not me. When the bride arrives at the alter I always move out of the way and to the side. I won't even be noticed. I've shot 25 Catholic weddings this same way, this year. You can trust me, I won't even be noticed." He did not have time to argue the point further and the ceremony began. The bride and her dad were very emotional, Dad had tears during the walk and Bride was tearing up just before the hand off. My camera was about 3ft away. No doubt in my mind that this would have been missed had I not been aggressive enough to fight for my customer. My goal is always to do the best job I can for my customers. Other videographers had been heavily restricted at this venue, no doubt.
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Old November 8th, 2005, 08:44 AM   #18
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well, funny thing is i havent had this problem.. actualy i had a priest tell me to stand on a raised lectern behind him to shoot.. coz he didnt want anyone in front of him.. I was a lil shocked at that as i was clearly far more visible to the guest than i woul have been had i been on the side..
But this is what he wanted and it worked, so i did it..

I may come across like an arrogant prick here, but in the end, i, like the rest of us are doing what we can to satisfy our customers..

I havent had issues with priests, and to be honest, im too polite for them to WANT to boss me around, as im usually there before anyone and fawning over the priests explaining what i will be doing and where i will be and how discrete we are.

what im saying here is that when u DO come across this, the approach is exactly as you have described..
hell weve been doign this long enough to know what needs doing without pissng people off.. hell its why we ge paid.. but in the end, its what we do with what is given..
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Old November 8th, 2005, 03:55 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by David Chandler-Gick

which church? Sounds like First Pres...

Also, a 2x adapter is going to cost you an f stop or 2... Just so ya know.
Yep, that's the one. Beautiful church.....
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Old November 8th, 2005, 05:18 PM   #20
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The wedding was this past weekend and the 20x optical was actually more than enough zoom. It turned out wonderful. As far as the church rules, when you first walk in there is a posted sign that says no pictures or video is to be taken in the sanctuary. They actually make an exception to this rule for weddings and that's why we were allowed in the balcony. A church worker actually stood in front of the sanctuary doors on the main floor the whole time to make sure that neither I or the photographer snuck in during the ceremony so there was no way around this. I respected that and even though I was limited to one angle from the back, the couple was ok with this. I'm sure they'd rather have a one angle back shot than no video at all. :)
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Old November 8th, 2005, 07:53 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Jennifer Graves
No cameras (video or still) are allowed to be on the main floor during the ceremony, whether you are a guest or professional. This church is very strict, they can't even have bubbles or rice or anything afterwards, they can't even have a receiving line...... If I leave the balcony I'll probably be escorted out, haha. That's my dilema, it's up in the balcony or nothing.....
Sorry, missed the last post where the event was this pas weekend, shame! Forget my advice that you're about to read!

OK solution, burn down the church, make the couple move to a new venue and let you pick the location which is photography friendly!

OK now really, call the church and ask to speak to the real person in charge, find out who else has shot there and call them and find out if they played by the rules or what they did to break them. Make sure that your wedding couple understands what is going on and it might even be in their best interest to make a tough decision on this venue or they will have to call the location as well and complain.

Finally, setup very close to the alter, once the ceremony starts, get in position where you want to be to get the best shot, they are not going to stop the wedding because you got where they told you not to go. You might not shoot there again but after you let the shooting community know the way this place treats shooters, couples will likely not want to book there.

Best of luck, and most important, get names of who has been there and what they have done, there is no way that you're going to get a GREAT wedding video shooting from the back of the house.

Miguel Lombana &
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