Anyone experience this church problem alot?!? PURTURBED!

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    • #42695

      Once again, (a Methodist church this time) is telling me that I am only allowed to have cameras in the balcony. At least this time, I am allowed to have more than one and it does not have to be hidden.

      The balcony is all the way in the back. WHile it provides a nice wide shot, a wedding with just a wide shot is very boring.

      I met with the bride yesterday and she gave me a paper to sign saying that I understand the rules. And the 3 rules were stated on the sheet.

      1. No microphones. No wireless mics.
      2. Cameras only allowed in the balcony
      3. Equipment must be set prior to the start of the wedding.

      It just pisses me off, the double standard that goes on.
      They set down all of these restrictions for the videographer, but the photographer is allowed to roam around and snap all the shots he wants! Video cameras make no noise and still-cameras are heard clicking during the entire ceremony.

      What gives!?!

      When I met with the bride, I went around the sanctuary and tried to map out all of the places I could hide a camera where no one would see it. Particularly to get a shot of the bride and groom from the front.

      I asked the bride to speak with the preacher and try to convince him that it could be done with no distraction and no visibility of the camera by the audience.

      The preacher said the only microphones allowed are the ones already in place in the sanctuary. He says they are sufficiant to capture his voice.

      I asked the bride to speak with him about letting me use a digital voice recorder set in the groom’s pockets atached with a lapel mic. I told her to tell him it would be virtually invisible and since it was not a wireless transmitter, it would cause no feedback on their system. It was only going to be as damaging as a PDA or Cell phone left on. In other words… None.

      I’ll let you know what he says.

    • #178990

      having photographed many weddings here’s some insight I can share…
      Photographers oft get some restriction, but less so than videographers.
      Photographers also do not walk around with a camera at eye level, and are therefore less prone to mishaps, than somebody who is paying attention to a video cam.
      Still images don’t capture faux pas the way video does.
      There seems to be a disporportionate number of inconsiderate/rude videographer stories out there, compared to bad photographer tales.
      Whether pro or amatures, Photographers seem to give/get more respect.
      Fair or not, best you can do is try to convince them to let you do your job…….

    • #178991

      Yes, I know. Depending on what the bride tells me after she meets with her preacher, I plan on setting up an appointment with him to try and convince him I can do my job with no distractions.

      With regards to photoagraphers…
      I have performed 5 weddings to day and I have been given variying degrees of restriction at each. But at each of these, I have seen the photographer wandering around DURING the ceremony, snapping shots. I hear, in passing, many audience members talking about how annoyed they were with these photographers.

      I know that the only time I would ever move around is if I might need to get a quick shot of the bride coming down the isle, and scoot out the back side of the row while the congregation is preoccupied. But even with that I get the officiants permission and we set up and choreograph how it will work.

      I don’t have the camera up to my eye either, it is just a quick scoot out.

      This is the third time I have been told I have to stay in the balcony. I was not able to talk the preacher out of this, nor was the bride.

      I just think they are pissing off the brides more than anyone because they are paying big buck for my services and are being told by the officiant that they have to get a boring crappy video.

      Please do not reply with lectures about how it is my job to edit it beautifully. I know that. But there is only so much you can do with a shot from a hundred feet back and 20 feet up.

    • #178992

      If you don’t have good raw footage, there’s only so much you can do in post production. I’d be ticked.

      Do this. Tell them you’re a photographer. If he demands proof, show how you can take stills with it. If he’s still a problem, christen your cam with holy water.

      I wouldn’t even tell him about the pocket recorder.

      Finally, you might suggest to the bride another location.

      I’m ordained myself, and can’t understand why all pastors accomodate couples in this crucial time in their lives. All I can say is that not all pastors are this way — just the religious ones, and nobody needs that at their wedding.

    • #178993

      if you have a good demo, show them it and explain why you do things the way you do.
      ask lots of questions. find out why those rules came into effect.
      good luck. The bride may have more influence on the clergy than you. She should be there to sign off on the restrictions also.
      Perhaps in the credits at the end of your video, you’ll need a disclaimer, explaining how the rules, prevented you from doing a proper job? (sarcasm do not take literally)

    • #178994

      i think you could get away with the mic. just hide it well enough on the groom. and take a line out of the audio board for the preacher man

      as for the cameras… you could pull something crazy off and pretend to be a wedding guest and just tape the wedding from the pews as a person viewing the wedding. be tough but funny. The other thing i would try and see if there are any door ways… that way you can have them open and technically not be in the church… bend the rules as much as you can. the bride and groom will like the fact you went the extra mile.

    • #178995

      Just slip a wireless lav on the groom. I’ve done it before, and have had no problems. Always be kind and respectful to the minister, but you have a job to do also. The wedding day will come and go and the only thing they’ll have to remember it besides the pictures is your video. Hopefully no one will ever notice the mic.

    • #178996

      compusolver Wrote:

      On the other hand, doing these things could cause you to lose the respect of your client and harden the minister’s opposition to videographers.

      If we (wedding videographers) want to be treated as professionals, and with respect, then we must act accordingly.

      I’m with you on this one. I’ve just started capturing wedding video’s to make some extra money and although I don’t have much experience I would never try to get the shot through trickery. On the contract I have clients sign it basically states that I’m not responsible for any restrictions that will cause a not-so perfect scene. I also ask every client when we first meet if they know of any restrictions for videographers either at the ceremony or reception. If they don’t know, I ask them to ask "whomever" before giving me a deposit to hold their date. I do this so they take asking "whomever" more seriously.

      No wonder why videographers are given such bad reputations, so-called professionals holding up a camera in the middle of the pew to get a shot. I don’t consider myself a professional, yet, but I would never do such a thing.

    • #178997

      Well I told you guys that I would update you when it was all said and done.
      The wedding rehearsal was on Friday night (June 8th) and the wedding was on Saturday (June 9th).

      I got to the rehearsal about a half hour early because I had made an appointment with the preacher to discuss a camera in the front and a microphone on the groom (refering to the oringinal thread topic). Honestly, I was very nervous about his answers. If you are wondering why I did not met with preacher earlier, it was because he had been out of town for 2 weeks at a conference.

      Front Camera
      But when I finally met with him, I explained what I wanted to do with the camera, (put some green tape on the front of it and hid it under a fern at the back of the alter, at the top of the choir seats and it was completely invisible unless you were specificaly looking for it). I showed him the final hiding place and what it would look like and he agreed.

      Lapel Mic
      The preacher’s main concern was whether the microphones were wirless transmitters or not. I showed him exactly what I was going to be using (a digital voice dictation recorder, like the old mini tape recorder but more hi tech and with better sound’. The lapel mic would be connected to that). He agreed that since it would NOT be a wireless transmitter that it was okay.

      With this wonderful news about the lapel mics, I put one on both of the singers as well and the sound for each came out great!

      To sum up.
      The wedding went well and the reception went well.
      I handed out lots of business cards and the Reception venue’s manager asked for a bunch of my literature to put on display there because he had heard from the bride and groom and the other guests how I was doing. It made me feel good.

    • #178998

      Don’t let this sort of thing stress you out. As long as the B&G understand what the restrictions will do to your finished product, you’re good to go. You should be able to get decent medium to tight shots from the balcony although not as good as if you were in the front. Audio is VERY important but if you can’t get past the restriction, don’t sweat it.

      Sounds like you did a good job of presenting your case to the clergy so I imagine you’ll do fine when dealing with similar situations in the future.

      Finally, the "agreement" you are signing most likely isn’t really an enforceable legal document anyway. Are they really going to take you to court because you had a wireless microphone on the groom? As long as you respect the event and operate like a professional, there shouldn’t be any problems.

    • #178999

      MindYourVideoBusiness Wrote:

      Finally, the "agreement" you are signing most likely isn’t really an enforceable legal document anyway. Are they really going to take you to court because you had a wireless microphone on the groom? As long as you respect the event and operate like a professional, there shouldn’t be any problems.

      No, I did not take it as a legal binding document. But basically it said that if I did not abide by what was on the sheet, the church had the right to kick me out, and definitely not ever let me come back.

      I also figured that this preacher had some bad experiences with Videographers in the past and this was a C-Y-A form for them. Basically, they told me and that was that. If anything happened they could just say, We told you not to.

      I feel sorry for the phototgrapher, they had more restrictions on her than me. (That is a first.) SHe had to stay in the balcony and was only allowed immediately inide the sactuary door but no further.

      She got no front shots. And did lots of telephoto from behind. Not much of comming down or going up the isle either.

    • #179000

      Wow…while I respect the church’s authority to have rules upon rules about what goes on in there, shouldn’t these things be up to the bride and groom? I mean, come on. As if in the event there was a "mishap" the couple isn’t really married? Sheesh. That said, I’ve never, ever had a problem with restrictions. Maybe that’s not the norm and maybe my town is just more realistic about those things but I feel pretty lucky after hearing your stories.

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