Bride hired me; told me some disturbing news. Please help!

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    • #42643
      Avatarbrandon0409
      Participant

      A bride recently saw one of my wedding videos that I did last year for her friend:
      -3 cameras
      -Everyone miced
      -All together some of my best work.

      She hired my based on that quality.

      Last night she emailed me this:

      Thank you so much for all the info! I am planning on discussing all of this with my Dad soon and Ill get back to you. Here are some questions I have: Do you require a deposit to hold the date? If so, how much and when do you need it by? My church is somewhat traditional and will only allow one camera during the ceremony and it must be in a fixed position from the balcony. I understand the limitations that this will present. Is this something that you are willing to work around and will this affect the price at all? Thank you so much and I look forward to talk to you soon! Lauren

      What should I do? Do I say no to the wedding and yes to the reception? SHould I suggest that they get Uncle Bob to sit his camera up in the balcony?
      I am worried that if anyone ever saw a one camera wedding video they would ask,"You paid how much… for that?" Then the bride would be so embarassed that she would never recommend me or might even discredit me.

      This is my art and I don’t want do a wedding where I can’t do my best.

      Regarding the statement that she made about money. SHould I lower my price. I don’t feel that I have an obligation to do that. The price for my time is set no matter how many cameras your church tells me I’m allowed to use.
      But then again… HELP!

    • #178878
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Interesting!

      You are sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one. In sitting back and thinking about what I would do, I came up with this:

      First of all, you gave her a price that includes everything including of course, your best effort. The fact that the church does not allow more than one camera, and… that it has to be stationary in the balcony is NOT your fault. As you already eluded too, your time is money and whether you are there with 1 camera or 3 cameras should not affect the cost of your time. Remember, this is still about money as far as you’re concerned. I agree with you in not lower the price.

      Now the bride of course would have to be told everything up front. This will then be her call. If she is an intelligent person, she will realize that it’s not your fault that you can only use one camera. The key really is to make sure she knows everything up front! If she doesn’t like the fact that she still has to pay full price for a one camera shoot, then it’s her decision as to whether or not she still wants you to do it or not. As a net result, you won’t have to deal with the concern you had regarding this 1-camera wedding shoot getting out in the open with your name on it.

      Now if she still is willing to pay full price with the one camera, then I would just make sure you take LOTS of b-roll before and after when you get a chance so that you can spice up this one cam shoot because it will need a lot of spice! πŸ˜‰ I would also make it a point in the beginning of the video or ceremony segment to post a small title at the bottom of the screen somewhere saying something to the affect that, "Do to the church’s restrictions towards cameras, this ceremony was shot with just one stationary camera." This would let everyone know that this was not your idea going with one camera. Kind of like a disclaimer.

      After that, the rest is a piece of cake with the reception.

      Where the hell is Hank?

      HANK! What would you do?

      RAM 8)

    • #178880
      AvatarAnonymous
      Guest

      If convincing the officiant will not work and you don’t want to throw out the gig, I’d consider using the one-and-only camera as you locked-off shot and then hide two unconspicuous camera persons posing as guests (probably using consumer level camcorders) near the front seating area. It’s not ideal, but it will give you more angles. If the officiant objects to "guests" having video cameras, then you really have a problem. Have the bride find out if the officiant prohibits guests with video cameras. She could say "ya know, [insert a relatives name here] can’t make it and my cousin is going to bring his camcorder to record it so [relative’s name] can watch it back at home."

      This scenario is one of the many reasons why many videographers don’t last long in wedding videography. It’s a tough business to be in. You’re wise to consider declining to do the job. Do you think it’s better to decline work and suffer some poor customer relations and immediate income or put out bad work and suffer whatever consequences that might bring?

    • #178879
      Avatarbrandon0409
      Participant

      compusolver Wrote:

      By the way, kudos to brandon0409 for being an upstanding guy who cares about his clients!

      Hank, I hope I have not offended in any way. I’m just trying to find the best possible avenue for all parties involved. If this comment was sincere then I appologize and thank you. I have always come to rely on your expertise in these forums to guide me in the right direction.

      To everyone else, Than you for your input. I’ll have to do alot of thinking on this. I do like the idea of having quote "employees disguised as family members" in the audience with cameras. I hope I don’t have to but I might try that if it comes to that.

      Thanks again everyone.

    • #178881
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hank: Of course, sitting down with the minister/father and trying to negotiate as to the reason why you can’t film would be the easiest remedy but most churches (up here anyway) that have a policy like this in place usually stick to their policy with NO exceptions. Newer contemporary churches aren’t that bad, it’s the older more traditional churches that seem to be the problem ones. A lot has to do with the age of the officiate too. Older clergy are harder to convince versus younger clergy who seem more in tune with changing and modern times.

      I have never run into any anti camera churches but I have run into some where the father made it clear that I had to be as inconspicuous (almost invisible) as possible and that certain areas were off limits as far as setting up gear.

      mmontgomery: Interesting workaround but if there is a policy of no cameras in a church, I would think that this would mean attendees as well as pro videographers. A person sitting in the pew that pulls out a camera in a church knowing that they are not permitted would be very disrespectful I would think.

      brandon0409: I guess I would think you have 2 choices. 1):Turn the whole thing down. 2):If jobs are few and far between and you want the money, take the job and do the best you can. Just make sure the bride is aware of what she is going to get in the end. As far as putting your name on it, it would be totally up to you. Remember that we are only talking about the actual ceremoney being the problem here. There is a lot more to a wedding video project then just the ceremoney. Personally, I think I would add a little disclaimer at the bottom of the screen like I mentioned eariler and I would put my name on it.

      RAM

    • #178882
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      😯 WOW!

      That had to be an uncle or some relation running that show. No pro or even a semi-pro videographer would think of doing that. It almost sounds like a great set up for some candid camera show. X-D

      I think if I was there, I would actually feel embarrassed for the guy.

      Rodney,

    • #178883
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      You should see if anyone has their own video (same wedding) of this so called prooo-fessional working this wedding. Then you could include it in the instructional video you’re working on regarding wedding videography. You could call that segment, "How NOT to video a wedding."

      Incredible!

      _R_

    • #178884
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      [quote="Video-maniac"]

      Now if she still is willing to pay full price with the one camera, then I would just make sure you take LOTS of b-roll before and after when you get a chance so that you can spice up this one cam shoot because it will need a lot of spice! πŸ˜‰

      Me and my colleagues have found certain ways to add spice: We put in extra video of messages and best wishes from friends and relatives (and from celebs occasionally), unbeknowst to the bride and groom. We insert stills of important milestones in the couples lives: childhood (never fails to draw amused smiles), graduations, overseas trips, etc. We add footage of the couple reiterating (before the wedding day) how the other attracted him or her (but this is now common practice everywhere). All of these are value added, which will be greatly appreciated by the client.

    • #178885
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      sourcreme Wrote:

      Me and my colleagues have found certain ways to add spice: We put in extra video of messages and best wishes from friends and relatives (and from celebs occasionally), unbeknowst to the bride and groom. We insert stills of important milestones in the couples lives: childhood (never fails to draw amused smiles), graduations, overseas trips, etc. We add footage of the couple reiterating (before the wedding day) how the other attracted him or her (but this is now common practice everywhere). All of these are value added, which will be greatly appreciated by the client.

      You got the picture! 8)

      RAM

    • #178886
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I know this post is late, but from the tone of her e-mail, it sounds as if she is thinking that the additional difficulty of having only one camera would raise the price, rather than lower it.

    • #178887
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Lots of good information here. I thought I would add my experience in a similar situation. On one occasion I was told that I could only have one camera for a wedding and it had to be unmanned and in an inconspicuous location. This was at one of the oldest, most traditional and most photogenic churches in town. They were so organized in their restrictions that they had a pre-printed sheet of instructions for videographers that listed 3 possible unmanned camcorder locations. All of their locations were terrible. After talking with the officiate, I learned of many horror stories that they had experienced with people shooting video during the services. They even had one "professional" show up in cut-offs and a t-shirt. After a long conversation, I managed to convince them that I was there to document and capture the service without distracting or detracting in any manner. They wound up trusting me and I shot the wedding with 3 cameras. Only 1 was unmanned. Communications is key.

    • #178888
      AvatarAnonymous
      Guest

      All you have to do is set the proper expectation with the client. Make sure she understands that there WILL be differences between her video and her friends. Explain what the differences are and in most cases, she’ll understand and be perfectly comfortable with them. In other cases, she might make it her personal mission to demand that you be allowed to shoot from other parts of the church during the ceremony. Priests/Preachers don’t like to deal with angry brides any better than the rest of us.

      I think as videographers, we often think too hard about these types of situations. Our clients do not critique our work as hard as we do. And hiring Uncle Tom to set up a camera in the balcony isn’t even close to being as good as the video you shoot will be. You can still shoot a great video with one camera from behind. Just set the expectation that the client won’t get the same type of closeups she may have seen in her friends video.

      Kris Simmons
      ——————
      http://www.MindYourVideoBusiness.com

    • #178889
      Avatarpaulears
      Participant

      Why not ask the bride to show the officiate the 3 camera tape showing how sensitive you were to the solemn ceremony that was going on – most rules like this come from the disturbance to the ceremony some firms seem to care little about. No doubt one or two bad experiences have made the rule so common.

    • #178890
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      You keep talking as if a one camera wedding shoot is the worst thing in the world. You clearly have not shot very many weddings if you believe this. If done right, a one camera wedding can be better than some multi-cam shoots. I won’t preach at you, but I will tell you what I do. I make a music video out of the entire event from pre-ceremony to reception using two or more songs. The finished DVD has the music video track, the interview track and the ceremony track. Most people don’t really want to sit through the entire ceremony again, so the music video will get the most plays. It’s a great way to recap the entire night. But the ceremony will be there just in case, and for anyone who may have missed it.

      But even the ceremony itself can look good if you shoot it right. Start with a wide, of course, and slowly zoom in to a close or mid shot. Make sure you have excellent audio. Try to tie into the board and put a seperate lav mic on the groom. In post, you can color correct a little and even put a very subtle soft focus filter on it. Trust me, it will make them very happy.

    • #178891
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Of course a very talented person could make a three camera shoot look a lot better, but that’s not the issue. All I’m saying is that if he’s good enough, he can work with one camera and make it into a great video. I would definitley lower the price to a one camera package though. It’s not just about the money, it’s about people. That may sound trite, but it’s true.

    • #178892
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Ok, let me clarify. I never said there weren’t problems with a one camera shoot. All I’m saying is that a one camera shoot CAN work and CAN be very nice if done right. I’m sure you’ve shot dozens more weddings than I have, but I’ve shot enough to know that it can work, and work well.

      Here’s how:
      Very good white balance
      Very good audio
      Very smooth camera movements
      Very good and subtle post production

      The ceremony will look and sound great. No, not as good as having a three camera shoot, but great still. Yes, you will have the backs of their heads for a good portion of the ceremony, but that’s yet another reason why you charge less for that package.

      I’m sure I could learn a lot from your experience, and I mean no disrespect. My only point is that it can be done in a journalistic style and done well. Especially if you combine it with a stylistic music video of the entire event. I wouldn’t charge more than $500 to do it without the music video.

    • #178893
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      P.s. The comment about not much video experience wasn’t directed to you, it was directed to the guy who started this thread.

    • #178894
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I’d be glad to send you a DVD. Thanks for the offer.

    • #178895
      Avatarbrandon0409
      Participant

      norrispictures Wrote:

      P.s. The comment about not much video experience wasn’t directed to you, it was directed to the guy who started this thread.

      Excuse me… As a matter of fact I have performed many (relative I guess) weddings by this point in time. I have done about 20 or so wedding since I began talking on these forums. While that is not a huge number I believe it to be pretty respectable for only a year in the biz.

      My question is mostly because I respect the opinions of those on this forum so I figured it was safe to ask the question without being called names.

      I like to see what others do or have done.

      To charge less for a one camera shoot. That is not necessary. First I don’t think that 1-cam shoots look that good. Yes I have seen many samples from our local videographer and others around the country that I have swapped samples with. Yes it takes talent to put one together but it also takes alot more time than with a two or three camera shoot. Personally, from the consumer’s perspective I think they look very amature 90% of the time.

      I decided to have a group of people ()many of them clients) view some of the different samples I have made and some I have received from other videographers. First I showed them a bunch of 1-cam shoots. Most of them thought they were very amature looking. Then I quoted prices (while keeping the company’s names annonymous out of professional curtisy).
      Then I proceeded to show them the 2 and 3 cam shoots. Obviously they were much more wowed by those and 100% of them… that is every single person (20 poeple) said they would never pay for a videographer that offered a one camera shoot as his only option when they could have uncle Bod do it for free. And some of the 1-cams looked fairly decent but still, how much can really be done with one camera?

      You made the comment that the musical summary will get the most play anyway.
      Another thing that the group requested was that more videographer include a copy of the FULL wedding and then add a version set to music that summerizes the wedding in 3-5 minutes. On the questionaire I gave out, the most popular response was

      "Because it’s always nice to watch the day on our aniversary but to show our friends the highlights, we show them the musial version."

      I offer this as a standard item. It only takes me an hour or so to make the musical version so time is not an issue.

    • #178896
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I’d at least do a 2 or 3 cam shoot of the wedding. I believe it should be up to the bride and groom on how many camera’s should be used for the ceremony and where the cams are positioned in the church. After all, its their wedding day not the church. Sure you can shoot the event with 1 camera but you’ll spend more time trying to spice it up and then you end up going over what you quoted to the bride and groom. I mean thats like saying they should use 1 camera for televised sporting events.

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