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Old May 2nd, 2018, 02:57 PM   #1
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Who adds shots of food in their weddingfilm?

Let's blow some life back into this weddingvideography section and ask a question, if I end up talking to myself then I guess it's time to close down this section as I"m not the only one that has noticed nothing really happens here anymore (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-...hers-gone.html)

Anyways, a question I asked a while back on a large facebook weddingvideography group I used to be a member of was, "why am I never seeing shots of food in wedding highlights or trailers?"

In my country food is an important part of our culture and generally a large part of the budget is spend on it at weddings, as videographer I often am invited to sit down with the guests when everyone eats but often I get a separate table together with the photog and we get served the main course, if I"m lucky I get to eat all courses they serve. There is also often a large selection of dessert and I can join in on that as well.

I never film people who are eating but I do take closeups from the food, not everything but just a few shots, or I film people who are taking food and then maybe a quick steadycam shot of the food- or dessert table.

The reason why I was referring to my asking this question in that facebookgroup was that the reactions I got there was: "food is boring", "it doesn't fit in their story", "it doesn't fit in my cinematic style"
The only thing they would shoot was the cutting of the cake.

I was the only one it seemed in that huge group of videographers who was taking detail shots of food and another example why I didn't fit in :)

I could not imagine not having some shots of the food, the time the guests spend to eat can cover 3 to 4 hours in the evening so by not showing that it looks like it never happened or that I would pretend it didn't happen.

Am I the only one here as well who does find this important enough to include in the film?
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Old May 2nd, 2018, 03:18 PM   #2
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Re: Who adds shots of food in their weddingfilm?

I think only us old folks post on message boards.

I do film the food and some wide shots of dinner, servers bring out the food, people laughing and talking, no close ups of the chomping . My way of thinking the bride likes coverage of all the things they spent money on including the food. It’s good to have a little broll of the food to bridge between parts of the reception.

I think many don’t film because it’s our only opportunity to eat and get our second wind that and it’s unflattering seeing people eat. I once had a client instruct me to setup a camera as lock shot of the main table to film the entire reception.
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Old May 2nd, 2018, 04:18 PM   #3
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Re: Who adds shots of food in their weddingfilm?

I have the same way of thinking as you do, some comments I did get in that facebookgroup was also that when the food was served that this was the only moment they could eat and then didn't bother filming it.

Where I live that would be not done, from what I understood average US weddings last 8 to 10 hours for a weddingvideographer, for me that's 15 to 17 hours average, if I had to shoot only 8 to 10 hours I would just bring my own food and make the most out of my limited time that I was present but since I"m doing a double shift my clients never question giving me food, even halfway the day and I never have to ask for it, but they do expect every single detail where they spend money on to be covered.
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Old May 2nd, 2018, 04:30 PM   #4
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Re: Who adds shots of food in their weddingfilm?

I don't shoot weddings any more, but when I did...

I included the food. Close-ups of various dishes; utensils going in; glasses being raised etc. but *never* a close-up of a guest eating. Those were always wide, general shots of folks at tables.

The bride and groom cakes were always a big deal too.
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Old May 2nd, 2018, 04:35 PM   #5
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Re: Who adds shots of food in their weddingfilm?

I'm with you completely on this Noa. I think that the food is an important and highly sociable part of the day, that takes a large part of their budget. I never film people eating, but always show the courses being served if it is waiter service, or dishes if buffet style.Always closeups of the food, but never enough to make it boring. The gaps in between the courses are a great opportunity to get people laughing and talking without them being aware, something that the B&G always love. It's also those quick big closeups of wine glasses being topped up, coffee being poured etc, that capture the atmosphere.

I've also heard the comments by other videographers that food, meal and people shots are 'boring' and don't fit with their style or cinematic coverage. You have two choices as a wedding videographer in my opinion, 1) You produce a product tailored to your particular ideas of style and importance of content, 2) You capture the day as it unfolds covering all the little details in a documentary way without bias. I do the latter as I feel that I want the couple to be able to see all the details that they always say they missed, and love to see afterwards. They always comment that it is the first chance they have to see their own wedding.

I would add that occasionally I get asked if I can produce a short highlights for their friends to see that don't know the family members and I am always happy to do that as well.

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Old May 2nd, 2018, 04:39 PM   #6
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Re: Who adds shots of food in their weddingfilm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco View Post
I think many don’t film because it’s our only opportunity to eat and get our second wind that and it’s unflattering seeing people eat. I once had a client instruct me to setup a camera as lock shot of the main table to film the entire reception.
I always ask for my food to be served when the family and guests eat, as I don't film them while they are actually eating and I always finish long before the next course, so don't really lose any time getting those in between shots.

Roger
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Old May 2nd, 2018, 06:30 PM   #7
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Re: Who adds shots of food in their weddingfilm?

If it's a self serve buffet I will film the bridal party serving themselves and maybe the parents and always the buffet as soon as it's put out. Sitdown meals are trickier so I tend to leave them out but might do a few stills if we are doing photos as well. Some ethnic groups seem to place a huge importance on the food and I remember one Indian wedding where they were annoyed that I never filmed the guests eating but then again we never have done that and I consider it rude to film people with their mouth full!!
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Old May 2nd, 2018, 11:25 PM   #8
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Re: Who adds shots of food in their weddingfilm?

From a non-wedding videographer, the idea of capturing the drinks and meal seems like it would be a good idea to capture the mood and the more informal part of the celebration. Last summer I had the opportunity to “film” (hey, it is digital!) a wedding and did get some table shots. It was a sit-down affair so not smorgasbord affair.

The hall was really crowded so it was not really possible to walk between the tables. There was an official photographer with an assistant and I was just a last-minute volunteer videographer. In hind-sight it would be nice to take a video of the people at each table but coming up to the table and interacting with them somehow, depending on their relationship with the bride and groom. Ask a few questions and get some reaction. Use someone familiar with the guests to interact so the videographer can concentrate on the video part.

This wedding was in Slovakia and the wedding was a dual language affair, Slovak und Deutsch, and I don’t speak Slovak and my German isn’t all that good so it was an interesting day. Noa raised some good questions here and I think that the food and drink parts would be excellent cam fodder.

Here is a couple screen shots - one of the guests taking a picture of the videographer and the other of the hall looking toward the front table. Everybody was having a good time and that would be good to capture. I had a very good time.
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Last edited by John Nantz; May 2nd, 2018 at 11:30 PM. Reason: Sp: now > not
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Old May 3rd, 2018, 04:27 AM   #9
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Re: Who adds shots of food in their weddingfilm?

I've avoided food in the past. I don't agree with it not being cinematic enough. Really as opposed to any other aspect of the day like guests mingling, chatting away eating nibbled. I think its more down to preferring to have a break and eat. I once worked with 3 Photographers who didn't leave their food despite there being singers during the meal, with guests dancing on the table and the Groom joining in. It was only me who covered it.

That said, my reasons for not covering the food is that I am often grabbing shots of the venue. Especially now since I've started to use my drone. However in the past couple of months, I've had about 4 or 5 couples ask for food coverage and I've been grabbing some shots. So from this, I agree its an area that should be covered and not ignored and so thing I shall have to address in the future.
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Old May 3rd, 2018, 03:30 PM   #10
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Re: Who adds shots of food in their weddingfilm?

I don't shoot it, not sure if its a country/cultural thing, but are you guys talking about cocktail hour, or dinner?

During cocktail hour I'm typically shooting the venue before guests enter & sit down. Tables, cake, table flowers etc. Then I'll venture back in & maybe shoot some cocktail hour if there's time, but sometimes we're taking a few photos of the couple, or family pics etc at the beginning of cocktail hour, so by the time I'm inside, setup for intros, shoot a bit of the venue, there's only 10 minute left of cocktail hour. I typically skip it & remain set for intros rather than shoot a little bit, depends on lighting & how it would look too.

But food? Maybe if I have 30-60 full minutes of cocktail hour, then yeah. But not dinner, almost never. Not that its a 'cinematic' thing. One part is I would hate guests saying to me "What are ya shooting the food, hahaha". (I had a guy say that to me my last wedding, I was adjusting my exposure for indoors & he cracked "What are you shooting, the furniture?!". But also I can't see how I would shoot dinner,. Ask the venue for shots in the kitchen, or shoot it from a guest who's been served?

Most wedding here tend to have servers deliver food, not often buffet, so maybe thats a difference.
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Old May 4th, 2018, 12:40 AM   #11
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Re: Who adds shots of food in their weddingfilm?

I just talking about food in general, here small snacks (don't know the exact english word for it) are served during "cocktail hour" or reception just before the guests are going inside the venue and sit at the tables, there dinner is served which can be either be buffet or servers bringing the food to the tables.

When they serve snacks I get a quick shot of servers bringing the food and maybe one close up of the food and when it's dinner the same, I follow a server while he brings the food to the table and one close up when he places the plate on the table. When it's a buffet I get a few shots of guests taking food and a few close ups of the food.

Quote:
One part is I would hate guests saying to me "What are ya shooting the food, hahaha"
Here taking pictures or filming the food is no laughing matter, they expect you to cover that part, I don't need to have a shot of every type of food, just 2 close ups and some shots of the guests lining up for the food, the photog for instance always takes a lot of close ups from the food and they cover that part more in detail then I do.
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Old May 4th, 2018, 01:46 AM   #12
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Re: Who adds shots of food in their weddingfilm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I just talking about food in general, here small snacks (don't know the exact english word for it) are served during "cocktail hour" or reception just before the guests are going inside the venue and sit at the tables, there dinner is served which can be either be buffet or servers bringing the food to the tables.

When they serve snacks I get a quick shot of servers bringing the food and maybe one close up of the food and when it's dinner the same, I follow a server while he brings the food to the table and one close up when he places the plate on the table. When it's a buffet I get a few shots of guests taking food and a few close ups of the food.
This is exactly what we used to do. We also used to make sure we had shots of all the tables with closeups of place settings & table decorations before the guests sat down. It's all part of the day & the couple generally have put a lot of thought into choosing the meal & the table decorations so you need to record it.
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Old May 4th, 2018, 05:06 AM   #13
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Re: Who adds shots of food in their weddingfilm?

A studio I worked for years ago would shoot the cake, catering, ice sculptures, flower arrangements etc. as part of their ongoing marketing so the vendors would have samples of their work to show. We would print photos and give to the vendors. All part of the lead sharing arrangement. Not sure how that might work for video other than perhaps developing a little promo reel over time.
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Old May 4th, 2018, 12:44 PM   #14
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Re: Who adds shots of food in their weddingfilm?

use it as props, for example stick a gopro on a plate that is served.
You will get food in the picture but not as the main subject.
you can also film trough transparent bottles or glasses.
you can shoot glasses being filled. with people in the background.
I mean it is silly to shoot food to show it, who cares about food ?
but integrating it into a scene is nice, like you would do for flowers or cars.
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Old May 4th, 2018, 01:29 PM   #15
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Re: Who adds shots of food in their weddingfilm?

Noa - just had to answer this one ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I just talking about food in general, here small snacks (don't know the exact english word for it) are served during "cocktail hour" ....
The ‘American English’ word for that is “Hors d’oeuvers.”
Je oubliez très beacoup de mon Français since l’école so I don’t know how that exactly translates, but that’s what we call it.

Looking back at the things I was trying to capture, I wish I would have got more of the food and drink part. I did get a bit of the wait staff as they were bringing the trays out but not so of the actual delivery. As a guest I did my filming more incognito. Also, not knowing most of the people there one doesn't want to impose or film people who may not want to be videoed.

If the video winds up being shared with the guests it becomes one of their memories, too. While the guests are known by the bride and groom, there are family relations who travel sometimes long distances to attend and may not have visited some relatives in a long time, so these videos can be really good.

What is especially nice is having shots of the grandparents and the children. The children grow up so fast and I now have some family video of, say a three or four year old doing some kid thing, say crawling under the dining table, and now they are a teenager. I can now threaten to show it to their boyfriend or girlfriend! Ah, the awesome power of video! I haven't finished editing all the video I shot last summer and had totally forgotten about the little girl taking a picture of me so that's one clip that will be definitely included.

Edit: there are also things like "petit fours" or bonbons that one typically has with coffee or tea.

Last edited by John Nantz; May 4th, 2018 at 01:40 PM. Reason: bring > bringing
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