The wedding Controller

56 replies [Last post]
tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

My last wedding shoot had my B-roll Panasonic 3 chip MX300 recording the back of the stills photographer and his Hassleblad
on its tripod throughout the church service. I was the other side of the
alter, unable to speak to him with anything other than my eyes, which were giving imploring looks of "please, please don't stand there".

He refused to move and there was nothing I could do but wait for an opportune moment at the reception. "Why stand in front of my tripod and loose me all that footage, all those cut-aways?" I asked. "I didn't notice
any tripod" said Mr Important. Now how does a photographer - any photographer "not notice" a Manfrotto #075 standing 7' high with a camcorder atop?

So why be obstructive? Where's the gain? We've both been employed to do a job, how is it that he's assumed that his job has more importance than mine? I see on the rushes that he's always yelling at me "Hey you - Mr Video - out of my shot", yet I'd not have dreamed of yelling at him to "stop altering
the day".

For that is what he did. The wedding revolved around the stills photographer, period. Not the happy couple or the church or the guests from all over the world, but around him. He stage planned everything and nothing was allowed its own spontaneity. He held the couple trapped in the car while arranging the bridesmaids and their confetti in an "attractive" semi-circle around the door. He effectively controlled the day by staging everything - nothing was left to chance, life was not allowed to just happen. The movie clearly shows how wrong this is, that this happiest of days should be so manipulated by a single man.

Of course he saw this control as the means of getting his job done, but the movie tells it like it is. The movie shows how he's spoilt the day by altering reality and crushing the spontaneity that a wedding encourages. If you guys 'n galls - like me, shoot stills at a wedding, reflect on this.

tom.

Julian
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Joined: Aug 24 2000

Here, here!

mooblie
mooblie's picture
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Joined: Apr 27 2001

I did a wedding recently where an embarassed bride told me the best man had booked and paid for the stills photographer, and so she had to accept him ... and yet the photographer had already DEMANDED that he took precedence over any videographer.

I had to concede, but I used the video to go "fly on the wall" - recording the day as it actually was - showing how he dominated the day, barking orders, walking in front of the video and everybody else, a whinging voice, etc., etc., and I was getting reaction shots of everybody raising their eyes to heaven, and generally laughing at his expense.

The bride loved the video - not sure about the stills album - probably gathering dust already?

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

Matbe this is just a UK thing. The last 2 weddings I've done (both for family, me doing video) were in Spain and Tasmania.

The Ozzie one, I was alone, the stills photographer turned up just in time for the couple to emerge from the church, and spent less than 15 minutes there. He never got in my way and I kept out of his. No problem.

The Spanish one was different, they had both stills and video professionals present. I just took what I found. The whole wedding revolved around the "professional" video man, who actually got the priest to repeat part of the service so that he could get a better angle in church. My footage shows the whole pantomime going on. I delivered an edit 3 weeks later, it took the professional over 6 months to delver.

gordo
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Joined: Dec 19 2001

Looking at this from the groom's perspective, our stills photographer was recommended by our video guy and the two worked seamlessly together.

They knew how each other worked and it made the day that much better, everything just flowed.

So if your doing wedding videos as a regular gig, it would be well worth your time finding a local photographer that you can work well with and setting something up, who knows you may even pick up a couple of extra referrals along the way.

Gordo

Guzman
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Joined: Apr 21 2001

Interesting points about 2 people and their respective professions, clashes of ego I think in some cases.
Unfortunately as in every trade or career the words true professional, seem to be lost to some people.

I have for the first time( very nervous ) been invited to film and photograph a wedding (for friends)

So I will have the opposite problem 1 tripod 2 formats , plus I will be roaming between shots with a digital camera to get those off the cuff type of shots that tend to lend themselves to print that everybody wants.

Luckily the bride and groom are an outward sort of couple that do not care for the rigid regimented approach to their special day , and have asked for only the minimum of staged shots.
Have heard rumors of dress codes going out of the window and a wedding cake being made of cup cakes !! .
So the film will more likely end up a comedy .
Just hope I don't get any problems from the relatives though. ( The uncle Tom knows best type ) !

Cheers
Guzman
PS will not be changing my main job though, and as this is my first time (like a virgin) any tips would help.

RayL
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Joined: Mar 31 1999

>as this is my first time (like a virgin) any tips would help<

I'd feel very uneasy about trying to do both the stills and the video at the same time. The times when you need to concentrate on one are usually the time when you need to concentrate on the other.

I take it a stage further in the opposite direction and always have two video cameras (main and backup) running for the important parts of a wedding (the ceremony and the reception speeches). Having a backup camera on a wide angle completely alters your technique because you can use crash zooms and whip pans to get reaction shots and cutaways on the main camera, knowing all the while that you have a shot to cut to in the edit.

My main piece of advice would be: With every shot you compose, think about how it will edit.

Ray Liffen

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

I'm with Ray on this, you can't do both jobs at the same time. Hand the stills job over to someone else and concentrate on the video.

Assuming it's something like a standard wedding, here's my thoughts.

Tripod is essential. To make a decent stab at this you need 2 video cameras, one wide on a tripod probably near the back and fairly high so you can see over the heads to the altar. This is a locked off shot (that's the main reason for the tripod) for much of the time, but it can be handy for getting in close (the organist, vicar's face....). The other one you can nip around with, getting in everyone's way and collecting the interesting stuff. But it's a good move to have this one on a tripod as well, it's not a good idea to mix fimr and wavy shots, each shows up the defects in the other.

Don't forget to edit it hard. Depending on the type of ceremony, you can hack great lumps out and no-one'll notice. For my latest epic in Oz, I chopped out verses of hymns and event the happy couple didn't notice.

Don't forget to get lots of cutaways. These will cover up any angle changes or camera moves where neither of you action shots will do. Get the font, windows, flowers, doorways, lectern, flags, tombstone, lych gate, bridesmaids, dogs, uncles carrying aunties' handbags, hats, reflections in sunglasses, anything you can see that looks nice, use these for getting from one shot to the next. I promise you, no shot you take this way will be wasted, you'll use them all.

Once outside or at the reception, start again, because you're actually covering three separate events (the wedding service, the photos (meet'n greet session), the reception) and each needs it's establishing shot (the outside of the church, car arriving, lots of white cloth climbing out of the car, men in daft suits and hats.....) as well as the action.

There's a lot to getting weddings on tape. You've got your work cut out just doing that, leave the stills to someone else.

My 2 pen'orth.

Keitht
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Joined: Jan 8 2001

I agree with previous comments. One person doing stills and video will not work. You will end up missing important content from both.
Even on holiday I found that I was chopping video filming too quickly because there was something I wanted on still. I'm experienced enough on stills work to be able to frame and shoot quickly but short of having a second head and pair of arms fitted can't keep a handheld video going at the same time. Don't even think about trying to print a still frame from the video!!
Please, please, do the couple and yourself a huge favour and hand one format or the other to another person.

------------------
Regards

Keith

Regards Keith

Guzman
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Joined: Apr 21 2001

Alan . Ray . Keitht
Cheers for the tips- info I think I will heed your advice. (This is not going to be a normal type of wedding)

Yes,' I was having also having doubts about the photography side of things, but very good friends insisted, ( moral here never invited friends to your home to look at your portfolio of photographic work and share a bottle or two best quality vino)

Photography, I hasten to add , this was a passion of mine for many years, but the sheer logistics of doing both now seems daunting.

Thinking about it, it now seems possible I can get a fellow member from the local camera club to take up this role, he will need a crash course in using my old Leica camera , as he has been brought up on a diet of slr and tlm, using a rangefinder will be a new experience for him, got 8 weeks to get him up to spec. but then again might let him decided on what to use. This leaves me to concentrate on video.

The Leica takes excellent pictures , and in all the cameras I have every owned I have yet to find one that matches its quality in image capture. (never could afford a Hasselblad).

A little more info on the wedding itself , this is going to be a " really off the wall !!" type of affair, things like churches and the like are definitely out , but special license and strange locations are in !!

Some of the guests don't even know the location yet, and I've have been sworn to secrecy.
Let you know how I get on in 8 weeks

Thanks to you all
regards
Guzman (roland)

Also apologies to tom hardwick for jumping into his thread.

RayL
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Joined: Mar 31 1999

Another point to consider: You will be re-writing history.

Ask 10 people to describe the same event (especially one with a high emotional content) and you will get 10 varied descriptions. BUT once your video has been edited and seen YOUR version will be what they all remember.

You have a small duty to the future.

Ray Liffen

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

Roland, take all my hints as applying to whatever form the wedding takes. It certainly works for conventional weddings, and I've no reason to doubt it'll help you get any other sort fixed.

Definitely do one or the other (video or stills), you can't do both.

Get a healthy stock of cutaways (either before or after the event, they don't need to be taken during it, you've got more than enough to do then). Make sure you've got scene setting shots, maybe a "riding into the sunset" shot, you get the picture.....

And be prepared to deliver two versions of the edit. I normally do one full length so they've got the lot on tape, and a much shorter, snappier one so that the neighbours don't drop off to sleep part way through the showing.

[This message has been edited by Alan Roberts at work (edited 29 August 2002).]

Christian Lett
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Joined: Apr 26 1999

Guzman,

When I videoed a friends' wedding I (as a spur of the moment kind of thing) sat outside the reception room in the foyer of the hotel with the video camera and got my assistant to go get people to say a few nice words about the bride and groom. About half an hour later I had loads of footage that was edited into a montage with shots of people dancing, etc. And there was some very funny stuff amongst the sincere quotes!

Also, a few days later I interviewed the happy couple in their home; just a one-camera setup. The interview lasted about ten minutes and it just gave them a chance to put their own thoughts of the day on record (and to thank their brilliant videographer!!).

Good luck.

Christian.

Christian Lett After Effects and Maya Artist www.quarterlightpictures.com

Ed Stradling
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Joined: May 18 1999

I don't normally do these but was asked to do one at short notice by a friend in August and as I was going to the wedding anyway I thought "why not". Fortunately he had his own camcorder (only 1-chip, but it was a lot better than not having it there) so I too was able to fix it up on a tripod at the back of the hall, where it stayed all the way through the ceremony, providing many a cutaway shot. Or so I thought.

I spoke to the photographer before the ceremony and I told him where I was placing the static camcorder and he told me his plans also so we wouldn't get in each others' way. So I wasn't too happy when I got the footage into my PC and saw that he'd spent the entirety of one hymn right in front of the camera, the bastard.

Anyway he probably charged hundreds of pounds for a few photos while my mate got a broadcast quality (apart from the 1-chip cutaways) DVD of his wedding for nowt!

If it's not a rude question, how much do wedding videographers normally charge for a video shoot & edit?

e

branny
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Joined: Nov 6 2001

Just my 2pennorth - there are still 1 or 2 wedding photograhers still stuck in the past who firmly believe the day revolves around their performance (or lack of it) forgetting that by their barking and whinging they will end up with all the glum faces staring back at them in the wedding photographs - it's now wonder they take 200 and pass on 50 for proofs.
I've found if they're a complete and utter prat to everybody and compromise the quality of my videos,there comes a time for them to leave and a word in their shell like to the effect of 'please be extra careful where you stick your head or a good lugholing will be forthcoming' usually does the trick

Do not follow, I may not lead. Do not lead . . . I may not follow.

Jim Bird
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Joined: Sep 15 2000

Hi Tom,

Here's my tip.

It pays to speak nicely to the stills photographer.

But it helps if you have a gun in your hand.

Jim Bird.

SIFI
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Joined: Sep 16 2001

Photographers can be a funny old breed, but like videographers most are OK if you treat each other right.

There are of course the odd one or two who are complete prima donnas and don't care about anything but the photos.

In my area I know all the photographers and I work very well with them all bar one. I don't get in their way and they don't get in mine. I even get referrals from 6 different photographers.

The one exception is a guy who refuses to allow any part of the photo shoot to be recorded. If you try he will threaten to down camera, and he would! He has an unbelievably bad reputation with customers, videographers and even other photographers.

On the other hand I know a couple of video companies who do nothing but get in the way all day and are far too intrusive. I can understand photographers getting annoyed by these guys.

There is a place for both of us at a wedding and provided both parties can be grown up there is no reason why there should be any trouble. But then there is always the immature exception.

SIFI

Simon

Klapton
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Joined: Nov 4 2002

Just gotta add my spoon into the mix here...

I video my mates kungfu seminars and have learned a lot in a very short time.

First lesson: A seminar is for them, not you. YOU position yourself relative to the action. I only had to ask people to move when we were staging a shot piece.

Second lesson: Anticipate what is going to happen next! There is nothing more embarresing than the instructor doing close up hand work and saying 'wheres my video guy?'

Third lesson: CHARGE THE CAMERAS BATTERIES!!

Forth lesson: Just cause you have a good camera dosent mean you are the best camera man! I havent got the best camera OR manage to get thier son to carry the cable behind me. If I did have a son I would bring the son who had eyes and could look behind him for gods sake!!!!

Fifth lesson: Bring cough medicine. Seems lots of people love to cough during quiet tutorial pieces...

ok rante mode off.....

Klapton

Cougar
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Joined: Jan 4 2003

I don't support rudeness or arrogance by anyone at occasions like Weddings, but remember that the Wedding Photographer has to get the shots he's agreed with the Bride & Groom in advance. If he doesn't get them, he might not get paid, have to give a discount or 'word of mouth' might stop him from working again. He is doing it to earn a living, not just for pin money at the weekend. The 'professionals' at a Wedding are the Photographer and the Minister (usually in that order too). They know the routines that make it all go like clockwork. Everyone else is an amateur, doing it only occasionally or even only once (if they're lucky). It's a formal occasion, so there are 'set pieces' like who should be in which shot to be observed.
Bear in mind that the Photographer has to put up with the Bride's mother and the relatives who won't stand where they're supposed to. He's also up against the clock.
Treat him with a bit of respect and he'll help you.
In the old moviemaking days , woe betide any stills photographer who got in the Directors way on the set. It all depends who is in charge.
If there's a bit of tension between the stills and video man at a Wedding, try to inject a bit of humour. On a dark day, ask him if he wants a flashlight to help read his exposure meter. Look for common ground but never grovel.
It's all about getting on with people.
It also helps if your camera is bigger than his ( a kind of penis thing).

Alan

[This message has been edited by Cougar (edited 07 January 2003).]

Keitht
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Joined: Jan 8 2001

quote:Originally posted by Cougar:
He is doing it to earn a living, not just for pin money at the weekend. The 'professionals' at a Wedding are the Photographer and the Minister (usually in that order too). Alan

Alan. I would get my tin hat out and head for the deepest bunker you can find - quickly. I have a feeling you might get some pretty hostile reaction to the sort of comment made above.

A good many of the people posting to these forums (fora) ARE professionals. These boards aren't here just for people wanting to make a bit of pin money or for total amateurs like me. Without the pro's providing much of the useful information posted here these forums would not exist.

------------------
Regards

Keith

Regards Keith

Bob Barker Again
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Joined: Jul 30 2001

Cougar

You mention you cant abide arrogance yet you pre suppose that a videographer at a wedding cant be professional, enough to state that the photographer is more important than the Minister.
I think that this self - important arrogance of certain photographers is probably the cause of much animosity between Photo/Video at weddings.
There is absolutley no need for it at all!!

The most important people at any wedding are the bride and groom, it is their day and everybody should work together to make it as memorable as possible. ( for the right reasons).

It seems to me from your reply Cougar that videographers know a lot more about how photograpy works than photographers do about how videography and all its asocciations work.So who there is more pro.

Two creative formats should enhance each other not try destroy each other and their reputations along the way.

BBA.

( thats got that off my chest )
Regards

Cougar
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Joined: Jan 4 2003

Bob,
I agree with everything you say - but we live in the real world. My views come from having worked with both photographers and videographers. At your next Wedding, watch who makes the event move along.
I'm not out to offend anyone at all, just to point out that the current situation where the photographer is in charge needs to change and , as you say, it's all about attitudes. You can change such things but it's more effective to try not to do it in a confrontational manner. People will be willing to listen to you more if aren't red faced with anger. If they've been deliberately trying to annoy you, then you'll supply evidence that they've won. It's more professional to tackle this in a way where you seem to be the reasonable party, therefore building respect if not from your foes but from everyone else around you.
Be cool.

Alan

Bob Barker Again
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Joined: Jul 30 2001

Alan,

I sort of got from your post that you were saying that only the Photographer and the Minister were pro's and every body else were amateurs.

And by saying just watch who moves things along I have watched and more often than not it is the photographer that monopolises rather than keeping things moving.

With a few exceptions.

Video has also agreed to get certain shots,
especially the ones that are moving like the vows,leaving church,throwing confetti etc.
these also have to be shot otherwise they may not get paid.

And believe me most videographers that are pro will know all the set pieces required for both video and photo.

15 years of doing them and meeting many photographers and only having problems on a few occasions I think qualifies me to rant when other people are not considerate of my professionalism.

BBA

Cougar
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Joined: Jan 4 2003

Bob,
Ranting gets nobody anywhere. A persuasive approach and sense of humour does. Also, if we take ourselves too seriously, the enjoyment goes out of life.
As someone who wanted to make movies since he was a kid and did so full time for a long time, I eventually discovered that there were more important things in life. This helps me to take a balanced view of situations like you describe.
Promise me you'll think about what I've said with regard to handling problems with others.
I hope it will help you.

Alan

Keitht
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Joined: Jan 8 2001

quote:Originally posted by Cougar:

Ranting gets nobody anywhere. Alan

Alan

I agree that ranting gets you nowhere, apart from into pointless confrontation. The problem is that I would suggest that you were the one ranting in the first place. If the posting was intended to be humorous it obviously fell on stony ground.

------------------
Regards

Keith

Regards Keith

Cougar
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Joined: Jan 4 2003

Keith,
I'd suggest that you read my original posting again. I think you'll find it's a fairly even minded response to a one sided arguement. After that , we're going to have to agree to differ. Everyone is entitled to their own point of view, but when one person states I AM RIGHT, that's when a closed minded society begins.

Alan

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

Calm down chaps. I just reread this thread for the first time since my last posting to it. I don't think there's any real argument going on, just a bit of misinterpretation.

Weddings bring out the worst in quite a few people, usually the ones who think they're the most important. I well remember the vicar in my parish stomping up and down the main road outside the church muttering "where the hell is she, don't they think we've all got a living to make" when the bride was as little as 5 minutes late. That was 20 years ago. Last year, the average bridal delay was about 20 minutes at the same church, one turned up 40 minutes late. What can you do? It's her big day, but I've often got another wedding to go off to as a bellringer, so I have to plan bigger gaps now than I used to and that means turning down lucrative invitations to ring at other weddings.

When push comes to shove, it's the bride's parents who are paying for it (normally), so they're the ones who have the last word. If they want the photographer to be the most important there's not a lot we can do about it.

Keitht
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Joined: Jan 8 2001

My point to Cougar is, that to state that the only professionals at a wedding are the vicar and the stills photographer is wrong, particularly in the past few years. I am NOT a pro and don't do wedding work either video or stills. I feel that Cougar's comments were inaccurate and I would guess that his background is stills work. In many cases stills and video have been paid for and neither option is cheap. As has been said in previous topics on the same subject there are good and bad from both sides.
In a situation where only one or other is being done professionally I would say others should do their best to keep out of the way. The biggest problem probably occurs when a 'friend of a friend' is doing the video work and thinks they have to get pro results.
At the end of the day a sensible dialogue between all parties, before the event, should prevent argument and upset.

------------------
Regards

Keith

Regards Keith

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

No argument with that, I was just trying to lower the steam pressure a little.

Cougar
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Joined: Jan 4 2003

Keith,
No Steam here.
Enjoy life.

PS- I was a Video Director for 10 years.

SIFI
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Joined: Sep 16 2001

OK, lets inject a little steam;- only joking.

Best quote from this thread 'The most important people are the bride and groom'. I completely agree with that sentiment and do my best to remember it at every wedding.

Worst quote 'The only professionals are the photographer and minister' Complete crap. Everybody at a wedding doing a job should be professional. The hotel staff, the DJ absolutely everyone. I find it offensive to insinuate that as a videographer I am not professional. I have worked with many very unprofessional photographers and indeed all other people working their on the day. I've worked with somae lousy DJs but many others are professional.

To say a photographer is professional because he moves the day along is inaccurate, that is part of his (or her) job. If I tried to butt into that I would be being unprofessional because I'm there to film what happens, not direct the day.

There are good and bad examples of all trades within the wedding industry and I am by no means saying all video companies are professional, many are not, but exactly the same sentiment is true of photographers.

SIFI

Simon

Cougar
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Joined: Jan 4 2003

SIFI,
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
Good luck to you.
Alan

branny
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Joined: Nov 6 2001

Should the peacemakers and sh** stirrers care to refer to the beginning of this thread they will find the start of the problem ........

Do not follow, I may not lead. Do not lead . . . I may not follow.

Keitht
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Joined: Jan 8 2001

The original posting from Tom seems to be a plea for a bit of consideration all round. Surely that is not too much to expect.

------------------
Regards

Keith

Regards Keith

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Thank you Keith. It's often funny how a thread wanders off course over 33 replies, but as you say - all I was asking for was a bit of respect for another man's working day.

tom.

red
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Joined: Oct 1 2000

I think the wedding photographer feels under more pressure now than ever.

With the quality of digital video, computer editing and dvd's, fantastic sound and vision is available to the bride and groom.

Knocks a still image flat.

If I was a stills man I'd try to trip me up every time I walked past

MauriceODriscoll
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Joined: Nov 4 2004

Can I make a little comment here, well two things, first the most improtant people at the wedding are not the minister or the photographer or THE VIDEOGRAPHER, IT'S THE BRIDE AND GROOM, consider them, I've seen to many bossy "professionals" at weddings and they only end up being hated by the guests, and guess what, you loose all that off the cuff remarks and shots. (no one likes a smart ass). Second, 'FORESIGHT NOT HINDSIGHT'. PLAN, PLAN AND PLAN AGAIN! Have a meeting with the bride and groom and the photographer at the same time to discuss what everyone wants from the day! Act like a professional and you'll get treated like one!
Maurice.

Z Cheema
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Joined: Nov 17 2003

How comes no one ever asks a Friend to do to the photographs at the wedding ? only the video..

jez666
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Joined: Oct 24 1999

i found that out of the weddings i've filmed the photographer actually helps to form the structure of the film. They seem to control the day and you can get the shots you need as they set them up for you, you can tell when the significant aspects are going to happen eg: when the signing is going to happen etc so you can prepare, change tapes, batteries etc. In fact the first wedding i ever did would have been a disaster If i hadn't have followed the camera person. Even though i knew what shots i needed and had a copy of the service, i looked for the photographer to move, she seemed to know when the service would change perhaps due to doing so many? I've only done three weddings but all three have had decent people doing the stills, and I actually got pissed with one of them at the reception after we had both done our days work.

dfi lanparty 875b (revb)P4 3.2 prescott clocked @ (3.82ghz), 1 gig ocz ddr, 2 x western digital raptor sata, sb audigy, matrox g550
winxp sp2, avid express

DAVE M
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Joined: May 17 1999

"How comes no one ever asks a Friend to do to the photographs at the wedding ? "

I've Photographed three weddings for mates (I trained as a photographer but went into video)

all three got divorced within three years -

any requests??

busbyvideo
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Joined: Feb 7 2002

Sorry

Can't reply to Cougars flaming remarks.

To fu***ng angry.

Mike

busbyvideo
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Joined: Feb 7 2002

Last nights reply was sent after a long shoot and i was nackered. Cougars remarks hit a nerve.

Firstly i have to say that the majority of photographers are very professional and get on with the job in hand to a high standard. I always introduce myself to the photographer when he arrives, and ensure him / her that i will not be intrusive, and we can work together.

However, there are certain photographers who go out of their way to spoil your work and ultimately the brides day.

I few points i would like to put to Cougars remarks.

The photographer is not in charge of the wedding. Everyone must work together.
We all have our jobs to do.

I have been to weddings where the photographer has taken very few group shots, and i had to do a lot of setting groups myself. Others have taken over 2 hours and the dinner was burnt. Some have deliberately stood in my way or refused to allow the videographer to film the photo shoot. Others have stood at my shoulder during the vows, and all you can hear is the constant shutter click, and the video looks like there was a lighting storm. Yes, he does have to get his shots, but so do I.

As far as professionals are concerned. Most videographers (and many on this board) do this job for a living.

I believe to be a professional videographer is being in the right place, with the right equipment at the right time. Being constantly alert to what is going on around you, and having the necessary skills to change something if it is not going right or circumstances change. Being courteous to guests and staff at the venues and being as unobtrusive as possible, while capturing the days events as per the couples requirements.

The job requires many skills and shed loads of equipment. You need to be camera operator, sound man, lighting specialist, editor, graphic artist, as well as salesman and small business operator.

As for qualifications. I have worked very hard to get where i am to day, and studied for years to get: -

NC Media Studies
HND TV Production
BSc Media Technology
PGC FE Teaching Qualification
MM IOV

I have 15 years industry experience,and teach Video Production part time at a local FE College, as well as filming approx 50 Wedding per year and various other jobs.

I Am A Professional.

Heaven help anyone who tries to say otherwise.

Mike

Dave Austin
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Joined: Nov 19 2004

I have to agree with cougar, I can see where he's coming from.

Without the photographer the day would grind to a halt. Go to any wedding without a photographer (they do happen!) and see what I mean, the day is organised chaos without anyone actually "in charge" other than when the minister/registrar is officiating.

The photographer (usually) attends the Brides house, not all videographers do, the photographer is with the bride and then the couple, right up to when the MC takes over and introduces the couple at the reception, so the couple tend to rely on the photographer to be able to answer any questions regarding the running and organisation of the day.

If there are any questions as to how flowers are worn, where someone should stand, who goes first etc, they are usually directed to the photographer NOT the videographer who probably has his eye to the camera and when actually filming, the videographer would be unable to answer any questions to protocol or procedure or he would then have to edit out his answers which would be on the soundtrack.

I also find the following a little difficult to understand:

"where the photographer has taken very few group shots, and i had to do a lot of setting groups myself"

Do I then gather you've arranged group shots? What for? You don't just pan a camera over a group do you? The job of the videographer is to capture the action and atmosphere of the day, not the set piece stuff - that's the photographers job!

I've done both jobs professionally, I have covered over 500 weddings either as a photographer originally and for the last 15 years as a videographer so I've seen both sides. I agree there are some bad photographers who go out of their way to make it difficult for the videographer but there are some bad videographers who seem to think just because they have a large camera on their shoulder they should be treated as if they were from the BBC.

As busby points out: "You need to be camera operator, sound man, lighting specialist, editor, graphic artist, as well as salesman and small business operator...."

and as such it is not practical to organise the day as well, so the couple tend to rely on the photographer to do that, other than during the service or for the reception when the MC (or Best Man/Uncle whoever) takes over, by which time the photographer has long gone leaving the videographer to do whatever he wants without any interference.

As for:

"Sorry

Can't reply to Cougars flaming remarks.

To fu***ng angry."

Why bother then?

Flak jacket on, let rip............

busbyvideo
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Joined: Feb 7 2002

Dave

I don't deny that "Without the photographer the day would grind to a halt"

The point i was replying to was that the Photographer and the Minister were the only professionals at a wedding. What about the chef,flower arrangers, dressmakers, baker for cake car drivers etc. They all have their job to do. To suggest you could do without them, or insult there professionalism is a bit insulting to say the least.

To answer your own points.

When you say you agree with Cougars points, are you also suggesting that everyone involved with weddings are part-time armatures, except the photographer and the minister?

I do cover the brides house if asked. Sometimes using a second cameraman. The groups i set up was, as i stated in my previous post, because the photographed "DID NOT" take control, and the bridal party were standing in a muddle. I just rearranged them so the guests could get some decent pictures.

I am more that happy to let the photographer take over the arranging of the group shots. Less for me to do then.

I believe it is part of my job to cover the photo shoot, and yes, will sometime mean panning across the groups. Have to say i don't know any videographer (apart from you) that does not take a couple of shot of the groups. It is after all, part of the days proceedings.

Considering i can be at the church an hour before the photographer, i am often asked lots of questions about flowers, kilts, where people sit etc and am happy to do so. And my comments are not on the tape. There is a record pause button on video cameras, or edit it out in post.

The reason i replied to Cougars remarks was that they were insulting the profession of Videographers, by implying we were all part-time armatures. If that was not his intention, then i accept his apology.

I am sure that there are many videographers reading these posts and will reply when they see how this pans out.

Mike

Dave Austin
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Joined: Nov 19 2004

Busby, I think the point is being missed somewhere along the line. cougar didn't say vidoegraphers were not professional, he's just pointing out that the two people most regarded as "professionals" at a wedding are the minister and the photographer and as an ex pro wedding photographer I understand that point.

A lot of videographers are pro's in as much as they earn money from doing a job videoing a wedding, but the "perceived" professionals (in the guests eyes) are the Minister and the Photographer, the videographer comes low on the list, to some extent you've only got to look at the price difference, often a hotly debated topic, with videographers claiming, on average to only receive between £700/1000 per wedding (some I know only charge £400), when photographers seem to be charging around £2000 minimum, it comes done to perceived value, the more someone pays for a job, the more they seem to regard the person in "professional" standing.

Yes, there is the Chef (usually not seen by the guests so just taken for granted), the waitresses (usually 16/22 year olds earning spending money just doing functions) , the car drivers (only seen to do the job on Saturday's so "must" be part timers) etc........

I know along with many others, wedding video's are probably one of the hardest jobs in the video market, long hours on the day, shedloads of kit everywhere with backups just in case, blood pressure/heart rate that would scare a doctor, between 30 to 80 hours in the edit suite and on top of all that you get treated like something on the bottom of someone's shoe by not only the photographer but other guests - until the couple see the finished result - then it's "Oh what a great video/DVD, thank you!"

I don't think his remarks were insulting to videographers, he didn't actually mention them, he does mention the "video man" but IMO, he's trying to explain that the photographer is regarded as one of the two full time professionals who help make the day memorable for the couple.

Quote:

"implying we were all part-time armatures. If that ....."

Again, just my POV, nothing to get "wound" up about.

busbyvideo
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Joined: Feb 7 2002
Quote:
Everyone else is an amateur, doing it only occasionally or even only once (if they're lucky).

Sorry, but i can only read the above quote as "everyone else" to include the Videographer.

Re charges, you can't judge whether someone is a professional by how much they get paid, otherwise, Nurses would be getting 1K per week.

I agree that the Videographer needs some serious image increase in the eyes of the public. Perhaps its due to the fact that weddings always had a Photographer, whereas, video is a fairly new addition to the wedding in comparison.

Cougar did not state that the views were "in the guests eyes", so can only be read as "his" views.

If you really "think the point is being missed somewhere along the line", then perhaps Cougar can reply and let us all know what he was implying.

Perhaps Cougar not replying to my previous posts tells us that YOU have misjudged him.

Mike

McQueen
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Joined: Nov 25 2001

All this talk about Stills and Video and the truth is both are put away and seldom, if ever, looked at after the first month.

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
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Joined: May 3 1999

I was at a wedding in Holland last week. There was no professional photographer, buts lots of amateurs. All the group shots happened very easily. I counted at least 20 people with cameras and two with videos. We're all sending the couple discs of our pictures. It wasn't a scrum, nor a free-for-all, just a very happy occasion that went like clockwork.

My 2 pen'orth.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

McQueen
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Joined: Nov 25 2001

Most Photograpners use Part Time Saturday Operators. Kodak Weddings ( ex National Weddings)use nothing but Part Time Saturday Operators who may be fireman, builders, clerks in real life. They are the biggest wedding photography company in England and cover as many as 500 weddings on a peak Saturday. These Part Timers are as a rule dedicated people with a genuine interest in photography who have invested in top of the range professional equipment. Many of them will cover at least 30 weddings in a season which is more than the average minister/priest or videographer will. Since most cover their weddings from the Bride's home to the reception they will of course be aware of the sequence and protocol of a wedding. Many Brides and their families who have not been to church since they were christened rely on the photographer to keep them right.

Weddings also have to adhere to quite rigid time scales. There may be another wedding following at the church. The meal will be ready at a set time at the reception. The drivers may have another wedding to do. So it is important that the Stills Man can achieve his coverage in a reasonable time.
Historically, ministers, photographers and limo drivers have worked successfully hand in hand. The introduction of a Wedding Videographer can upset the time scale.
Most Wedding Videographers use equipment that they feel is adequate for the job. Unlike the Part Time Photographer few use top of the range broadcast equipment. Some Wedding Videography companies also use part time Saturday Operators.
The type of coverage the Videographer has promised the couple can affect the whole day with budding "Speilbergs" re-arranging and setting up scenes causing all sorts of poblems. Others who cover the wedding as it happens tend to cause less trouble and not create bad feelings with the guests.

The Wedding Videographer knows that the Stills Man will take at least 3 times more money than he will and that he will do so in a considerably shorter time. Could this be why the Videographer often has the hump with the stills man?

Just one more thing has RED never seen a Real Photograph?

And remember all your hard work will be put away and never seen again.

infocus
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Joined: Jul 18 2003
Quote:
Originally posted by McQueen:
All this talk about Stills and Video and the truth is both are put away and seldom, if ever, looked at after the first month.

Really? In most of the houses I can think of there's at least one framed photo of bride and groom displayed somewhere.

I'm surprised that one unfortunate incident has led to so much heated debate, surely stills and video can work together at a wedding to the benefit of all? (Especially the bride and groom.) I've only ever done a couple of weddings (favours for friends), but my memories are of making the taking of the photos part of the happening, video wise. I felt that without the stills photographer to add a focus, my job would have been more difficult. I don't think most stills guys are that worried about a good videographer, they get much more irritated by guests jumping out of the group at the wrong moment to take their own snaps.

It's comparable in the world of the Fleet St photoshoot. From the TV point of view, lots of stills guys arranging subjects makes getting a good TV sequence far easier, all they ask in return is TV not to get in the photo. Without that type of photocall there would be even more of the dreaded stilted walking shots forced onto us.......

Cougar
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Joined: Jan 4 2003

I haven't looked at this thread for ages and am amazed that people are still going on about remarks I made nearly 2 years ago.
I can only think that a lot of people have too much time on their hands.
If you agree with me fine, if you disagree then I respect your right to hold whatever views you wish. Now let's get on with the work.

I was recently filming an event and wanted a tilt down shot from a sign onto the queue of people at the entrance below.
A rather rotund Stills photographer was standing smack in my way, so while waiting for him to move I got close ups of people in the queue.

He eventually said sarcastically,
"I suppose you'd like me to move".
I smiled and said,
"Thanks - you're very kind"

That was all it took.

Kind regards
Alan

busbyvideo
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Joined: Feb 7 2002

Have to admit i didn't realise that it was a 2 year old thread. Only saw it 2nd time round due to Maurice O'Driscoll resurrecting the thread.

quote:
--------------------------------------------------
Everyone else is an amateur, doing it only occasionally or even only once (if they're lucky).
-----------------------------------------------

This was a bit of a "Catch All" statement by Cougar, who is entitled to his own opinion, but perhaps has to choose his words more carefully in future, before "Everyone Else" has a go at him.

I seldom have any problems with Photographers, as i know most of them by now, its the part-time policemen, architects and bus drivers (as McQueen pointed out correctly) that are often employed by large national companies that can cause trouble.

These guys and gals are only getting £50 locally for a couple of hours work, so naturally do a basic job as quickly as possible and leave. Some are very rude the the wedding party, pushing them around to speed things up. Its not their company, so don't care.

If you want a job done properly, you have to do it yourself. I found that out a long time ago. Employees won't take the time and care of your customers the way you will do yourself. Small businesses stand and fall by their reputation. I would not be happy putting my reputation into someone Else's hands.

Mike

Cougar
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Joined: Jan 4 2003

Busby,
Thanks - you're very kind. :)
Alan

busbyvideo
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Joined: Feb 7 2002

Any Time Cougar :)

Mike

Arthur.S
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Joined: Jun 2 1999

This thread MUST be some kinda record for length of time scale! Very similar thread in wedding & events. (surprised Mr C hasn't kicked this over there too)

My 2pence worth: The photographer should be organising the photo shoot - but not the whole day. I agree with Tom (start of thread, a looooong time ago ) there are too many who ruin the day by taking the spontaneity out of it. For example, The wedding march; Most stop the couple about half way along the aisle. The wedding party pile up behind, while the photographer faffs around getting his/her perfect shots. Where's the 'magic' gone? When I got married (a long time ago in a galaxy far far away) The photographer just snapped away as we came up the aisle. He got some great natural shots of us smiling/shaking hands with our guests. Still pictures with movement in them!

I worked with a fashion photographer a few weeks back who was doing the wedding as a favour to the groom - a friend. He'd never done a wedding before, & boy was he nervous! None the less, he produced some of the best 'moving' wedding pics I've seen. I think the 'posh' photographers call this style 'Reportage'. Pretentious? Moire? :D

Jim Bird
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Joined: Sep 15 2000

Hi,
-----------------------------------------------------

This thread MUST be some kinda record for length of time scale! Very similar thread in wedding & events. (surprised Mr C hasn't kicked this over there too)

-------------------------------------------

I think Mr C has other things on his mind at the moment, unfortunately.

Jim Bird.

Arthur.S
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Joined: Jun 2 1999

'nuff sed :(