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Wedding videography advice


Jimmy
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@Arikhan 

1 hour ago, Arikhan said:

@Axel

I care for years about impact of film / video clips on audience. And as more than 90 percent of current productions are documentaries, narratives, commercials, etc. (and NOT productions for film theatre), every filmmaker should care about the requirements of his audience...and not about the requirements of an "inner circle" of enthusiastic freaks. At least, if you want a growing audience to watch your films.

Well said. 

1 hour ago, Arikhan said:

NO ONE cares about "filmic look"...

What does anybody care about anyway? The majority doesn't care about McD's food being junk, and you don't have to be an haute cuisine chef to know that it is. You say, my audience doesn't care, why should I? That's a valid point. 

1 hour ago, Arikhan said:

People like tack sharp and well composed photos - that's what everyone immediately sees. Colors is for most people a secondary matter...

Secondary matters don't need to be addressed. Colors are way overrated. Taste is what the Big Tasty means (not sure if this McD product exists everywhere, it's a burger with smoke flavor sprayed upon). 

1 hour ago, Arikhan said:

Please don't misunderstand me: if one wants to massacre his 8K footage to a soft 1080p footage because of "cinematic look", OK, each to his own. BUT than we could throw away all 4K + devices and the technical progress of the last 10 years...

Very poignantly put, thank you. Then of course we need to discuss no longer, because the NX1 is the answer ("blatant precision, crispness, detail").

EDIT: did I say that I like the NX1's features? It has good resolution, it has ok colors. But when I hear people say they like it because of the sharpness, I can't help thinking they'll like the Big Tasty for it's taste.

JimCarrey.gif

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@Axel

Though I like the NX1, this camera is in my eyes just "poor man's RED"...I know about it's flaws and weeknesses, but there is no cam wthout weeknesses and quirks, even at a price range of 20.000$ +. The NX1 is in my eyes affordable quality (IQ, AF, etc.) for a one man band or small teams. Nothing more...It offers a very good (native, not downscaled from 4K) 1080p and slomo (120fps) IQ, only beaten by about 3 DSLRs in the industry. Working with the NX1, it's face detection (AF) on dynamic shootings and a gimbal is in my eyes a charm, only beaten by Canon DPAF and the a6300/a6500/RX100v. But...it's far away from a "ultimate answer". THIS is (in my eyes) an "ultimate answer":

It's just impressive and beautiful. In hands of professionals (cameramen, colorists, conceptioners, DOPs, etc.), a weapon. The NX1 is far away from a weapon, even in hands of serious pros - it's just affordable HQ.

BTW: I don't like junk food.

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I think the fact that most people are comparing the NX1 to RED's or URSAs is already something astounishing to say, considering the NX1 was on sale a few days ago for 500$ and the rest of these cameras cost +4k$. 

I personally do believe its one of the best consumer cameras out there, it has a lot of strenghts and its weak points (at least to me) arent that big of a deal, but of course this all means nothing if your needs are different. 

But one of the things that most of my clients say when they first see the films is "the colors and image is beautifull", so I think even random clients appreciate the colors much more than what we think they do.

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Where the NX1 was 500$?! I would take a second one for that price IMMEDIATELY. Seriously.

NX1 just does most things right and is a work horse for me, something the a6xx gimmicks aren't. Ergonomics, efficient light codec (when I shot a 3 hours performance, I save half a hard drive with my NX1/NX500 combo), battery, no heating are things understated by the many, but when I work, these things become more important than one stop better iso, or the DR's absolute numbers, or a few kbytes difference in bitrate.

If I want absolute image, and depending the job (time and control in set) I rent. I do not understand how people need 10-40.000$ image from 800$ cameras, that is seriously above me.

Most of my clients, still ask for DVDs.

When I offer 10GB files or more, for better quality, they say, "no, we just want to watch on TV", which that means, we have a DVD player, and we know no better than that (even thought they just bought a 4K, 55" for Christmas!).

I go for the soft look my self for weddings/Christenings, a sharper documentary style for live/performances, and more artistically for other projects (depending concept, idea, emotions, etc).

I am working with a lot of cameras/systems. NX is king for mirrorless/dSLR, C100mkII for run and gun, LS300 for the best compromise between those two, C300mkII for more, Sonys for slow motion (FS700 is cheap to rent and provides good slow mo). In our market Alexa's are for only very expensive tv adds that are out of my league (and most people here, the industry is non existent).

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  • 3 weeks later...

I started shooting weddings in the mid 90's on a Canon L2 Hi8 camera, then an XL1, and then the JVC-DV500 and a Pany DVX100... and then the GH1.. I was in the dvxuser forum when Tester13 hacked the GH1 (I donated to the effort).. Back when everyone was all googly eyed for Canon DSLR's... I shot with the 7D (hated it compared to the GH1) the 5D variants. The Canon loyalists told me many times "That Panasonic shoots a "consumer" format!" then those same people bragged about getting the Canon C100 which shot... AVCHD! There comes a time when ease of use goes a long way.. You and I can spot the differences between a full frame DSLR and a GH4 but 99.9% of our clients couldn't... and your job is to give them what THEY want... Not what you want. Make life easier on yourself. You will appreciate it. I switched to Nikons because I do photography as well but I picked up a Sony AX100 and the Bluetooth wireless system as a C cam and I found myself reaching for that little camera more and more simply because it took less time to set up and I needed to "get the shot" faster. Clients won't be happy with pretty pictures if you miss the one scene they really wanted because you were setting up your rig... Now I'm looking at the LS3000 and the Panasonic HC-X1 for 4K at 60P. I have two clients this year asking for 4K delivery and I'm sure with $400 4K TVs at Walmart there will be a lot more asking for 4K delivery in the next year. I'm thinking the HC-X1 with the GH5 would be a good combination for shallow DOF when needed and ease of use. Low light? Who cares.. get some LED lights.. they are cheap and should be a part of every wedding videographers arsenal for reception footage.
Both cams also do 1080P at 120fps so there's your slow motion should you want it. It's a no-brainer IMHO.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 4 weeks later...

If you were making over $120,000 a year shooting weddings, couldn’t you afford at the very least an assistant to hold a reflector or diffuser, or learn how to use ND filters properly? In Parker Wallbeck’s shameless plug ? for his filmmaking tutorials, he talks with a young woman who shoots 80 weddings a year.

His footage, presumably shot with a 1DX Mk II, looks gorgeous, with nice backlighting, beautiful skin tones and pleasingly shallow depth of field. Which made it all the more shocking to see the harsh looking images produced by Kaylor with her 5D Mark IV (at around 11’15”).

 

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1 hour ago, jonpais said:

If you were making over $120,000 a year shooting weddings, couldn’t you afford at the very least an assistant to hold a reflector or diffuser, or learn how to use ND filters properly? In Parker Wallbeck’s shameless plug ? for his filmmaking tutorials, he talks with a young woman who shoots 80 weddings a year.


Just because she is earning $120K/yr doesn't mean each wedding has that budget. Quite the opposite, when she is doing 80 weddings/year that means each wedding is only $1.5K/wedding???? I hope that is not gross income, but net income. As once you subtract expenses.... OUCH!

She is playing the high volume, low price game. 

No wonder she is just rushing through them with minimal equipment. (haven't watched the video, but if she is doing $1.5K weddings then she might be doing it alone or only with one extra shooter)

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Alot of these events are directed by the photographer and the lighting you need and they need are often different. They might want to be use flash, not bounce, for instance. If time is minimal, you often just have to go with what the photographer wants. Another point, there were times last year that I shot with XT2 and XT1... Some of the XT1 shots were blown out when I exposed for skin/faces... but the bride and groom actually loved those blown out shots. This happened on a few different showings. Maybe this videographer has also come across this and is doing it purposefully? (I don't see anything particularly terrible in any of that footage, decisions have to be made on something like the 1DXii, with 10 or so stops)

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18 minutes ago, Jimmy said:

Alot of these events are directed by the photographer and the lighting you need and they need are often different. They might want to be use flash, not bounce, for instance. If time is minimal, you often just have to go with what the photographer wants. Another point, there were times last year that I shot with XT2 and XT1... Some of the XT1 shots were blown out when I exposed for skin/faces... but the bride and groom actually loved those blown out shots. This happened on a few different showings. Maybe this videographer has also come across this and is doing it purposefully? (I don't see anything particularly terrible in any of that footage, decisions have to be made on something like the 1DXii, with 10 or so stops)

But in the video I posted, she is working alone, with nobody telling her what to do. No photographer telling her to use different lighting (she's shooting in available light). So I  don't see how your first argument holds any water.

Can we agree to just deal with the video I posted?

So we can't blame it on the photographer.  Because there isn't one present.

Are you saying the videographer is intentionally shooting garbage video in order to please the clients? Because that is what you are implying - past clients have adored her crap video, so she's just doing it to make them happy?

The footage looks nasty.

Sorry to be so contentious, but your remarks that you messed up a shoot, that the client loved it and that this person might be doing the same for the same reason just doesn't make any sense at all.

I'm sure the 5D Mark IV (not the 1DX Mark II) which she is shooting with has plenty of dynamic range for a wedding shoot - provided she poses her clients in good lighting, chooses her angles wisely or uses a reflector or diffuser.

Why make excuses for bad practices?

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11 minutes ago, jonpais said:

But in the video I posted, she is working alone, with nobody telling her what to do. No photographer telling her to use different lighting (she's shooting in available light). So I  don't see how your first argument holds any water.

Can we agree to just deal with the video I posted?

So we can't blame it on the photographer.  Because there isn't one present.

Are you saying the videographer is intentionally shooting garbage video in order to please the clients? Because that is what you are implying - past clients have adored her crap video, so she's just doing it to make them happy?

The footage looks nasty.

Sorry to be so contentious, but your remarks that you messed up a shoot, that the client loved it and that this person might be doing the same for the same reason just doesn't make any sense at all.

I'm sure the 5D Mark IV (not the 1DX Mark II) which she is shooting with has plenty of dynamic range for a wedding shoot - provided she poses her clients in good lighting, chooses her angles wisely or uses a reflector or diffuser.

Why make excuses for bad practices?

Jon, here in Greece the couples that are getting married really do not really care about image quility. They care more about the brand(if the photographers are famous). I have seen some terrible video in the wedding industry and people are loving it because they are just... bad. And also the wedding industry will always be male dominant. She just got famous of good marketing as you can see because her image is terrible. Marketing is key.

I was going to film a wedding in a Church and I saw those two guys before me shooting there with 2 a7sii without lighting and I asked them. Where is are your lights? 'Muh a7sii shoots at 25000 iso'. I lost it there. And these guys are booked a full year.

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1 hour ago, jonpais said:

but your remarks that you messed up a shoot, that the client loved it and that this person might be doing the same for the same reason just doesn't make any sense at all.

Wow, you're a delight, aren't you.

Where did I say I messed up? I exposed for the skin (in midday sun, like most weddings)... That is a creative (and correct) decision. The XT1 has limited DR, so the highlights were blown, yet it still looked good (the XT1 has nice highlight rolloff).... good to the point where the client actually liked the look. It added an interesting contrast to the shot that wasn't present on the XT2 shots that kept a flatter profile. You can sit behind your keyboard crying about their view on this, i'll use it to further my career and better my craft. I learnt alot this year and certain styles get a better emotional response. 

As for my first point, note I was not directly addressing you, just talking about the wedding industry in general (what this OP was all about). 

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1 hour ago, jonpais said:

But in the video I posted, she is working alone, with nobody telling her what to do. No photographer telling her to use different lighting (she's shooting in available light). So I  don't see how your first argument holds any water.

 

Possibilities:
1) this was specially staged (so not normal) just for the YouTube video, and no photographer was present
2) they just framed out the photographer and didn't include in the edit
3) it doesn't matter.... even if you get a video shoot time slot which is all to yourself during a wedding (that you don't have to share with the photographer, and that is kinda unusual, especially on the low budget shoots she is doing it seems), then you're talking about mere minutes you have per pose/setting/clip you need to smash out quickly on the spot before they need to get back to the wedding. And it is highly likely she could be working alone (even if she isn't working alone, then possibly her second shooter has to stay back at the wedding venue to "hold the fort" in case any spontaneous moments pop up which they'd want filmed)

1 hour ago, GreekBeast said:

I was going to film a wedding in a Church and I saw those two guys before me shooting there with 2 a7sii without lighting and I asked them. Where is are your lights? 'Muh a7sii shoots at 25000 iso'. I lost it there. And these guys are booked a full year.

In my past as a videographer, I have shot a LOT of weddings. Usually as a B cam shooter for someone else, and it is very very rare to see lights used at a wedding on the shoots I was on. 
The exceptions:
1) a "high end" Indian wedding I worked on that a couple of dedolights were carefully used for part of
2) an old timey wedding videographer who sometimes rarely used a LED worklight (yes... from the hardware store) because her ancient Sony EX1 kinda needed it occasionally. 

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Yep... If I had, say, 15 minutes... I'd prefer to get 15 or so interesting shots than 5 perfectly lit shots.

You do what you can do... When the budget allows for an assistant, ideal... When it doesn't, you make your decisions based on what you have gleaned in the (usually minimal) amount of time you have had with the clients. 

Anyway, the girl is making cash and probably not sat around on forums pixel peeping other people's work... Good on her.

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3 hours ago, IronFilm said:


Just because she is earning $120K/yr doesn't mean each wedding has that budget. Quite the opposite, when she is doing 80 weddings/year that means each wedding is only $1.5K/wedding???? I hope that is not gross income, but net income. As once you subtract expenses.... OUCH!

She is playing the high volume, low price game. 

No wonder she is just rushing through them with minimal equipment. (haven't watched the video, but if she is doing $1.5K weddings then she might be doing it alone or only with one extra shooter)

Here in eastern europe, 1500 usd for a wedding cinematographer means you have a very fancy wedding and your are hireing a pro group with 2 or 3 person ? the wage gap between here and the west is insane.

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5 hours ago, jonpais said:

If you were making over $120,000 a year shooting weddings, couldn’t you afford at the very least an assistant to hold a reflector or diffuser, or learn how to use ND filters properly? In Parker Wallbeck’s shameless plug ? for his filmmaking tutorials, he talks with a young woman who shoots 80 weddings a year.

His footage, presumably shot with a 1DX Mk II, looks gorgeous, with nice backlighting, beautiful skin tones and pleasingly shallow depth of field. Which made it all the more shocking to see the harsh looking images produced by Kaylor with her 5D Mark IV (at around 11’15”).

...did we watch the same video? I skipped to the last few minutes just to watch her work and to see her footage, which I thought looked great -- I mean it's a wedding, you don't have the luxury of a gaffer truck and crew. She was confident in her instruction, she knew her gear and moved fast to get the maximum number of shots in a short space of time. There was a couple of shots where the background was a bit hot, but mate who cares about the background?!? Her exposure was on her couple! As it should be!

Your criticism makes me wonder if you've ever shot a wedding before, because it's a high pressure environment where you work with people you don't cast and barely know and you're at the mercy of someone else's schedule and the weather. You're on your feet all day and constantly worried about making sure you've covered everything that's happening and with enough variety for the edit, and keeping tabs on battery life and card space and where you've left your camera bag. If I had a second they'd be busy getting a second angle, not holding a reflector. Not entirely sure how you expect to see any diffusion -- to diffuse full sun for two people walking they'd be under a 20' x 12' at least, and then you'd have to worry about shadows on the ground and the wind blowing the damn thing over.

As a wedding photographer (who have also shot a few wedding highlight films) I'd be more than happy to work with her on a wedding. Definitely better than some that I've had to work with. My only criticism would be that she's simply not charging enough if she has to work 80 weddings a year, that is an express train to burnout town. 

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51 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

Possibilities:
1) this was specially staged (so not normal) just for the YouTube video, and no photographer was present
2) they just framed out the photographer and didn't include in the edit
3) it doesn't matter.... even if you get a video shoot time slot which is all to yourself during a wedding (that you don't have to share with the photographer, and that is kinda unusual, especially on the low budget shoots she is doing it seems), then you're talking about mere minutes you have per pose/setting/clip you need to smash out quickly on the spot before they need to get back to the wedding. And it is highly likely she could be working alone (even if she isn't working alone, then possibly her second shooter has to stay back at the wedding venue to "hold the fort" in case any spontaneous moments pop up which they'd want filmed)

Other possibilities:

1) She skipped the tutorial on moving the subject to a different location or shooting from a different angle to get the best lighting.

2) There was a photographer standing over her shoulder but he (or she) was photo-shopped out of the image.

3) The clients genuinely like ugly video.

4) Parker mischievously graded her clips to look bad in order to not look as good as his own.

5) She forgot the ND filter in the car and was too lazy to walk back and get it.

I agree with @GreekBeast - she's gotta be one helluva good salesperson, because the shots are pretty awful. 

@Jimmy No hard feelings. You're right, it might be better to get fifteen interesting shots than five well-lit ones - but she didn't even accomplish that.

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17 minutes ago, jonpais said:

You're right, it might be better to get fifteen interesting shots than five well-lit ones - but she didn't even accomplish that.

I mean interesting to the bride and groom though, not to filmmakers... Look at the 15 or so shots in that minireel that were form the bride and groom alone time, let's assume she had the standard 15-20 mins you get with the bride and groom... She has a nice variety of angles and compositions... good variation in locations... good, steady movement... alot of focus on the bride... some good wide shots... all the bread and butter shots like hands with rings.

Whether a filmmaking forum will swoon or not doesn't come into it... Those shots are gonna be loved by the clients and it's another $1500 in the back pocket.

I don't know if you've ever done a wedding shot, but you come out of that 15-20 minute session frazzled. To come out of it with all the classic shots is amazing in itself.... If you get 2-3 "oh wow" shots, then it's been a great day. 

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