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

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Old April 5th, 2019, 08:18 AM   #31
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Lowestoft - UK
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Re: How do you protect your wedding clients?

I know we're drifting off the subject, but do you use a kind oil template for the weddings? I've seen some impressive ones, but wonder if the clever stuff, and the standard sections are refilled, and it's just a case of slotting in the appropriate bits, or is a it a total build. One off my friends does aviation videos - and he has presets as templates for each kind of aircraft they fly, so they load up Tiger Moth (blue sky) or Tiger Moth (Overcast) or Tiger Moth (Rain) and up pops the titles, the B roll stuff of the aircraft taking off and the air to air stuff, and then they insert the appropriate video for each person who paid to fly the things. Only about 50% of these videos is actually shot on the day, the rest is stock footage they've shot. Is this viable for clever stuff in churches you've previously worked in? The stained glass, the altars and pretty stuff without people?
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Old April 5th, 2019, 01:47 PM   #32
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Reading Berkshire UK
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Re: How do you protect your wedding clients?

Paul, I'll answer it with photos.

Brides put an awful lot of effort into many aspects of the wedding day and they would react badly to anything that does not match their unique sets. Anything from the weather to the external flora growth to the specific internal decor and positioning of furniture and fixtures.

On some occasions I have recommended that I supply some of my "stock" images to clients when the scenario on the day was less than perfect or not do-able at all.

For example this busy church - St Etheldreda's in central London often has several weddings per day and each ceremony can have different decor. This first photo shows flower arrangements on pedestals near the high altar - shot on a Canon 15mm f2.8L fisheye since you ask; I now use a Tamron 15-30mm f2.8 G2 rectilinear:

The second photo shows the flowers and pedestals have disappeared:

The first photo was from an earlier wedding and there simply wasn't enough time to get the establishing shot after that wedding party had removed their decor and before the next wedding.

One sample shot I have used regularly is the Brompton Oratory in Kensington London. Its one of the few occasions when the weather has been fine and the traffic and pedestrians in the foreground not compromised the composition:

Likewise inside the Brompton Oratory often there are worshipers and tourists wandering around everywhere and that doesn't look great:

I've often supplied both of these Brompton Oratory shots for clients on their request.

Another stock type image occurs when clients who cheaped out on photography found out afterwards that their so-called photographer had not shot and supplied some of the basic must-haves like establishing shots of the venue. This shot of the Elvetham Hotel pops up:

I know that some of my colleagues across the pond regularly use their own stock shots especially for wedding mill type venues and in locations at which the weather and external areas look much the same most of the year round.

Where videographers use templates its more in the style - specifically of the "cinematic" shorts - rather than in the use of previously shot content. It can be hard not to get cynical about the shorts, like a case of when you've seen one you've seen them all.

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Old April 5th, 2019, 02:14 PM   #33
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Romsey, UK
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Re: How do you protect your wedding clients?

Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
No, don't bother with a deposit, the booking isn't confirmed until we receive a signed contract back which gives us good protection in the case of a cancellation. The problem with deposits is that there can be grey areas with the legality of retaining a deposit in the event of a cancellation if the client wants to insist on having it back. I also don't like receiving money for something I haven't done.

Deposit in my mind has little to do with payment for services rendered and more an act of good faith to show you are committed to the service. I think some couples even take comfort in feeling having paid some money, they can at least rely on you in some way. Its common practise beyond our Industry. I paid a deposit for my Pocket 4K months before I received it. Refundable of course. However in my case, a note on my contract stipulates non refund in case of cancellation. I after all do still do some work for every booking, meetings in some cases, research, emails, phone calls. This still counts as time and effort plus the fact I may have to turn down other bookings represents a financial loss.

Until recently, the only gain I had from any cancellation was my small deposit. However in light of some couples cancelling last minute for silly reasons, I have been forced to put in cancellation clauses. Not ideal, but it annoys when I have late cancellations for dates, after having had nice enquires for those same dates I've been forced to turn down.

As long as it is in my contract, there's little in the way of legality concerns to be had. Nearly every company I deal with have early closure clauses in case of cancellation of a contract, and having fought one, I know its hard to crack. My cancellation clause is therefore quite legal and similar to others in the Wedding Industry. We do commit to work years in advance and this can be a significant loss should couples cancel at the last moment. If for severe reasons I can understand, but of late I have had less severe reasons for cancellation, such as my Uncle has decided to film our Wedding as a surprise gift, the Groom is uncomfortable with the idea of being filmed. We changed our mind about being filmed.

Having this a month before the Wedding having turned down others for that date is really annoying. We can be kind, but too much is often exploited.

Last edited by Steve Burkett; April 5th, 2019 at 02:54 PM.
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Old April 5th, 2019, 02:22 PM   #34
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Romsey, UK
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Re: How do you protect your wedding clients?

Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
I know we're drifting off the subject, but do you use a kind oil template for the weddings?
I have done, but its not ideal. If time is limited, then yes reluctantly. However frequently less so for interiors as they are often decorated unique for each Wedding. Even the exterior such as a church door can have unique flower arrangements. Plus weather can be a factor. I rarely do enough at the same venue anyway despite over 80 Weddings a year to make this work. I do get some cases per year where I can reuse shots. Last year a few drone shots I was able to reuse for 1 other Wedding. Apart from that, all other Weddings had unique shots throughout.

It feels a cheat to be honest. But a necessity in some cases. However a Wedding Day is so unique, I find it has limited applications. I don't engage with trivial shots that can be so easily reused. Plus part of the appeal of going back to previous location is finding new ways to feature it in the video. Being creative and all that nonsense. :) As long as the weather is fine, the meal time is more than enough time to grab some of those shots.
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