They were cool on a personal level. But we made the decision that even if we have confronted them, their equipment limited them and they would still have done what they were doing all day. True professionals know how to work around each other. So we ended up working around them. As for the alter question, it was an outdoor wedding so there is a lot of freedom a photographer and videographer can do, however just the 50mm lens the videographer was using on a full frame camera was the wrong setup in my opinion.
I strongly agree with that. Pretty much everything about their approach was wrong, from the lens to the use of a still camera in the first place. You should never be using a portrait lens for close-up video unless you're doing cinematography—that is, unless your video production is the center of attention and there's no audience. To do this right with still cameras, you should have:
- Two close-up cameras with long zooms (70–300 equivalent or longer)—one on each side, about halfway to the back of the crowd (depending on the size of the venue)
- A back camera with a superzoom (e.g. 24–300 equivalent)
Your close-up cameras (side cameras) should be able to show anything from a two shot of the couple (partial over-the-shoulder shot, not
a full OTS) to a close-up on the bride's and groom's hands during the ring part of the ceremony, and a medium shot during the exchange of vows. Minimally, you can get by with one side camera here, but it is less than ideal.
The back camera absolutely must have a superzoom, because it has to cover everything from a medium shot of the officiant and lectors (or at least a three shot of the couple with the officiant and a passable medium long shot or long shot of the lectors) all the way to a wide shot of the entire room. If you don't have a superzoom, you'll need two cameras here—one with a long zoom lens (e.g. 70–300 or 100–400 equivalent)—and one with a wider lens (perhaps a 24–105 equivalent so you can zoom slowly from a shot of the entire bridal party to a wide shot of the entire room).
One of the side cameras should record the audio feed from the house sound system, if possible. Otherwise, you should use a separate portable audio recorder to capture the house sound. The back camera should have a dedicated external microphone on a mic stand, placed several feet above the camera to minimize noise from both the camera and the operator.
At this point, it is worth noting that so far, I've described what I'd use for a wedding if I had to
shoot it using still cameras, but given a choice, I would never even consider doing so, for two reasons:
- Still camera lens zoom ranges are laughable by video standards, and changing lenses while recording video is not really very practical. For event videography work, I would consider an 8:1 optical zoom range to be the absolute minimum usable zoom range unless you can afford to throw several extra cameras and tripods at the problem. These days, most high-end ENG/EFP gear has 20:1 or higher optical zoom ratios. So even Canon's 28–300 lens with its 10.7:1 zoom ratio—the longest zoom ratio available in a Canon still camera lens—is considered just barely passable for ENG/EFP purposes.
- Electrically operated zooms give much cleaner results that are more likely to be usable without the need to attach long sticks to them.
So in practice, I'd have those same basic cameras, but each one would be more along the lines of an XH-A1, XA20, or XA25.
In an ideal world, I'd also have:
- A camera over the altar pointing back at the congregation
- A dedicated choir camera positioned opposite the choir
- A dedicated choir director camera positioned above and behind the choir
- A pair of part-time camera operators in the front row of seating for better angles of certain parts of the ceremony
- A dedicated officiant medium-shot camera with a long prime lens so your other back camera can keep a three shot
- Dedicated ambo and lectern cameras to cover scripture readings
- A moving camera operator
And in an ideal world, all of those cameras would be permanent fixtures of the church except for the moving camera operator, who is optional. That way, you'd just have one or two remote camera operators back in the back steering things, and minimal distractions.
Either way, if you have a moving camera operator, that person should not move very often. IMO, it would be acceptable to have a mobile cam in or near the center aisle during the procession, who gets the heck out of the way immediately thereafter. That person might move immediately to the back to catch the recession at the end, or might temporarily sit in or near the front row to serve as a pop-up cam for the ring exchange, or as an alternate straight-on camera for parts of the ceremony that are off to one side, and then might slip to the back during communion or some other moment of Mass distraction.
Either way, the moving camera should never
be up and moving around during the ceremony itself on an ongoing basis. That's very unprofessional.
And you should never have a camera behind the officiant unless it is pointed almost exclusively at the congregation. That violates the 180 degree rule, a.k.a. crossing the axis, jumping the line, whatever. Presumably, you'll have a back camera pointed at the trio, and if your close-up camera shoots from the opposite side, suddenly people are facing the wrong direction. It is very disorienting. It also doesn't reflect the congregation's view of the ceremony, which makes it a dubious representation of that ceremony.