by Jean Blight Published 01/06/2013
So I woke up one morning and decided I wanted to be a videographer. No - it doesn't happen like that, thankfully. You really do need to have a passion for producing great images whether you are a photographer or a videographer.
Together with my husband, John, we run our successful videography business in North Wales. Personally, I had always had a desire and hopefully a flair for moving images, never having the desire for the 'stills' side of the profession. Truth be told I can't take a photo to save my life. 'Leave it to the professionals' is my motto and vice versa please. Whilst both still and moving-image professions are merging, we both strive for the same high-quality finish.
We remember our chief executive (Phil) and managing director (Juliet) on many wedding shoots before their lives took a different course. We even filmed their wedding way back in 2001 and they shot our daughter's wedding the same year. Their son, Colin, also helped us out for a few years when he was still at school and is always a great support and help now. I was even employed for a few years by the SWPP in the early days when Phil first took on his present role. I have always followed the continued success of the Societies and always recommend them when I can. Once you have had the belief, it stays very much with you. I approached Phil and Juliet and asked if I also could become a member of your Society and was thankful for their support and have been a member now for many years. Our skills are not that different really. We all want the same result for the customer.
I love to receive my copy of Imagemaker and always read it from cover to cover. I particularly like the competition entries - well done to you all. We have watched over the last few years a huge increase in the number of occasional photographers coming into this business. They may or may not be Society members. Up to about three years ago you would work with the same handful of photographers week in and week out in this area when filming weddings. We all got to know each other well and would recommend work both ways. We work now with a different photographer every week as the market is saturated, and not necessarily with good, qualified photographers. These days it seems that experience counts for nothing and it is all about 'price'.
With the new arrivals we have also seen a lack of respect creep into the wedding side of the business from some photographers. We have witnessed this new breed of photographer monopolising the wedding day and having a very 'I'm in it for me and no one else' selfish attitude coming through strongly. Well, unfortunately it doesn't work that way. There has to be some way of getting through to them that we have to work together.
The way we have always run our business has been with an attitude of respect and, in particular, for the photographer. Hey - we know your job is not easy, guess what, ours isn't either! The difference being - we only get ONE chance to get it right. A wedding is a 'live' shoot. We can't shout 'cut' on a wedding day and go back and film it all again. Photographers do have the enviable chance of reshooting or setting up another shot if your bride's eyes are shut.
There are two main parts of a wedding we feel are more important to video than to the photographer. Thankfully most decent and established photographers out there understand and believe this also.
1. The Service. The sound is paramount and it does help not to have the photographer's shutter 'clicking' 200 times through this as we DO pick up that sound. Yes, we have been asked on numerous occasions by photographers 'does that pick up sound?'. P-lease!!!!! You know who you are and we still can't believe we are asked this question.
Also, please don't ask us to move during the service because we won't. We have attended the rehearsal with the vicar and he has placed us in position. Also, we do pay for a licence to film in church. We work to a code of practice which we are proud of. That is, we DON'T move during the service. Why? Because we and anyone else shouldn't really. We know photographers have to move a little and understand this - but you must remember it's not about us, it's about the bride and groom. Plus you will get in our way of filming. Work with us and not against us on this one please. Remember what we said - we only get ONE chance to get it right.It's only the BBC that can cut and start again, not humble wedding video companies. Also, just because we are filming with two cameras doesn't mean we can cut to a different shot - chances are you are in both camera angles if you insist on moving around a lot.
Speak to the vicar or turn up to the wedding rehearsal and get your position before the day and check out, as we do, that you are in a best position to get your photos. This minimises you having to reposition and move around.
2. The Speeches. Sound here again is paramount. Sorry but a photograph cannot capture the emotion of a father speaking about his daughter or the groom's reaction to a funny comment by his best man. Over the past year it has been suggested by some photographers that we move away from our positions near the top table so 'they' can use a wide-angle lens to get their wide shots - obviously not wanting us in their photo. I will reiterate, sound is paramount, and the further away we go so does the sound? Sorry but you have to see our side on this one, surely?
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