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Filming Large Events for New Videographers

From the Perspective of a Still-Learning Film Assistant

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     I've been working with the studio for a few years now, and if I've taken away anything from all my experiences with Hayes, it's that there is always something new to learn. From assisting with lighting and equipment setup to taking your first solo position behind the video camera, you never want to lose track of what's most important for filling any role when shooting film or photos. Undeniably, the first and biggest rule of filming any event, and especially the larger they get, is that communication is key.

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     With so many details that go into the planning, setup, and running a ceremony that plays such a big part for so many people, it never hurts to double check start and end times on your schedule, keep updating with any planners or hosts, and express any concerns or questions you may have as soon as possible. 

     Especially regarding planning, it's imperative for photographers and videographers to acknowledge that everything might not happen according to schedule, and to stay on your toes for when they don't. You never want to miss a sentimental moment, so always stay prepared to shoot ahead of time.

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     When solo filming bigger events (like I happened to be for this one), bringing a little backup can go a long way. In the form of a wide angle lens such as a 24-70mm, a shoe mount LED on-camera light to help with low-light situations, and a sound recorder to help sync the audio for speeches, I encourage anyone shooting alone to pack those as well.

     Last but not least, when there's lots of people enjoying the event, keep it rolling! It's always better to cut down footage you won't use than to miss something key to the event. Make sure to take advantage of your space, wide angle, and vantage points to get a solid variety of perspectives. And I can't say it enough, keep mobile!

     Below is a video I put together from footage I filmed on my own at the same event shown in the pictures above. My goal is to demonstrate contrasting scenes based on lighting, space, focus and framing to convey all the opportunities available for videographers while shooting solo. Thanks for watching and I hope you enjoy!

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Tips from the Studio

Portraits for Young Families

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     When shooting portraits for families with smaller children, the first and definitely most important rule for organically capturing that youthful glow, is also a simple one: have fun! The best way to get that genuine, goofy laugh or toothy grin from kids is to let them enjoy the shoot! Child-friendly environments like parks and beaches, which are generally open, scenic areas with plenty space to bounce around, along with a high-energy and interactive photographer, can make all the difference between a pouty portrait and a smiling snapshot.

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     Try a more relaxed style shoot! Accepting a more candid, or casual and natural, outlook on family shoots and really taking a secondary role with directing the session allows not only the kids, but the parents as well, to get in their comfort zone, which makes for a more authentic look and enjoyable experience.

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     Although location, time of day, and the length of the session are all variables that factor into every shoot and how often you’ll have to adjust, when taking pictures with little ones, a high shutter speed is essential for catching those in-the-moment smiles and giggles that truly bring out the look parents want. Setting a relatively higher speed to your camera’s shutter allows it to capture the light information faster, but will also result in a darker photo, so you’ll want to keep an eye on your ISO and and aperture.

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     Timing is key when working with a high shutter speed and rambunctious subjects, so make an effort to highlight any sentimental interactions, unique details, and all the laughs and goofiness. Also, be sure to consider all your light sources and take advantage of softer light for a less sharp contrast.

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     As for any specific gear that we recommend for a family shoot, a 24-70mm or 24-105mm lens will definitely be the first choice. Since they both give such a wide range, letting you zoom in and out from a further distance, they help save time switching lenses since the session will be much more active.

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     Get the parents involved! Especially when you need a more cooperative shot, including mom or dad to help direct can not only result in that perfect picture you wanted, but improves the overall experience, allowing everyone to contribute in a fun way.

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     Last but not least, and this goes for any photo session, try and get some behind the scenes! If you have the equipment, a little video of the shoot can make the experience all the more memorable.

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Adornment Events

Caring for every customer.

Carisa at Adornment events has to be one of the most caring and professional wedding and event planners I have had the privilege to work with. If you don't make it over to my wedding site www.hpweddings.com very often then you may have missed this project I did for them. I am also very lucky and blessed to partner with them for weddings. 

If you are in the need of a planner for your wedding or other big event look no further then Adornment Events.

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