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Anyone MISS something, say, at a wedding?

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Danny BoyeeAnyone MISS something, say, at a wedding?
by on May 7, 2005 at 3:04:44 pm

I just shot a wedding. Before the bride stressed how important it was to get her children coming down the aisle. I made sure to get the shot, but as they were coming out, the groom lit a candle inhonor of his father. He's disappointed that it is not on the video. He didnt tell ME that, I heard it thru the grapevine. I feel horrible about it. And I had a program that I should have looked at, but I was so concerned about the children. This happen to anyone else when they were first starting out? What did you do? I'm thinking of sending back their final payment.

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Aanarav SareenRe: Anyone MISS something, say, at a wedding?
by on May 8, 2005 at 3:49:58 am

I personally don't shoot weddings, but edit quite a few over the year. Every company that I work for (wedding or otherwise) has given me a shot list of what should definitely be included in the video. These requests come directly from the client and not the production company that I am working for.

IMO in the future, it would be better if you asked your clients to state what definitely needs to be included in the video. This would avoid a lot of confusion , if a similar situation comes up.

Regarding the payment, that is a personal opinion. If you do send it back with a little memo, you would be their hero. If you don't, I don't think it will impact negatively in any way.

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KlausRe: Anyone MISS something, say, at a wedding?
by on May 8, 2005 at 6:37:03 am

No matter how careful you are to do the right thing by your clients, there will be occasions when they may be disappointed. It is simply the nature of covering a very complex event, with one go at it, and usually with a small crew (if any) and limited resources.

The best thing to do is to learn from the experience and to think about what you may do next time.

If you feel that you have let down a client then it is important to offer them an apology. With the apology should come an explanation of why it happened. Your explanation sounds fair and plausible. It should be stressed to the client that you are offering them the explanation not to abdicate responsibility, but to provide them with some context. It would also be useful to empathise with the client regarding why they might be disappointed.

Whether you offer a partial refund or not is up to you.An alternative to offering the client a partial refund might be to offer them a discount on future work. This would indicate to the client that you own the problem, and are committed to improving your service.

You may wish to consider adding a clause in your contracting to provide you with some level of protection in this type of situation.

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Craig SeemanRe: Anyone MISS something, say, at a wedding?
by on May 8, 2005 at 12:52:32 pm

With one camera you can't be expected to shoot two things at once. From moment to moment you have to make judgements. I offer a two camera package and stress the advantages that coverage provides. In my experience, most of my budget conscious clients choose just one camera. I don't think you should suffer financially because you made a judgement based on a set (or conflicting sets) of instructions. You should offer a two camera package if you don't yet.

You might find out if the photographer took stills of the candle lighting and include animated stills (nice slow zoom in for example and/or a series of dissolves if the photog took a series) at the appropriate point.

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AlexDon't do it!!!!!!
by on May 8, 2005 at 10:54:56 pm

I love it when people are honest and straighforward, and I think that is the ONLY way to do business. However, if you plan on returning a check every time something goes slightly wrong that isn't even your are going to get eaten alive in the biz world. This has happened to EVERYONE, and will continue to happen, and it is a natural reaction to feel bad about it. But you still have to pay your bills, and I assure you the client is not expecting any cash back. If they were, you would hear from them. You live and you learn.

I'll leave you with a little quote I picked up somewhere about independent consulting: "If you don't feel a little uncomfortable when you send a bill, you aren't charging enough."

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velmaRe: Anyone MISS something, say, at a wedding?
by on May 9, 2005 at 2:38:54 am

First of all, I have in my contract's terms and conditions page something that says that in the recording of live events, no shot can be guaranteed because stuff happens. (Ok, not the exact wording, but something to that effect.)

Secondly, about a month before the wedding, I send out a detailed questionnaire about the events of the day. The last thing on the questionnaire says, "List below any special stuff you want (or don't want) in your wedding video. While we can't guarantee any certain shots, we will do our darndest to get what you want." (ok, not exact wording again, but you get the idea.) This is my ace when they say, "You didn't get this or that." I just say, "Well, you didn't put it on the questionnaire as a special shot you wanted. I'm sorry. I would have been more than glad to get a shot of grandpa sitting in the corner sucking on an oxygen tank if you had have let me know it was important to you."

Thirdly, I use two cameras plus an "oh sh*t" camera that is usually in the balcony, stationary, and gets the entire wedding. It has saved me more than once.

My philosophy: You'll never cover your a$$ enough! But cover it all you can.


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Danny BoyeeVelma...
by on May 13, 2005 at 11:07:10 pm

Would you mind sending me a copy of your terms and conditions page as well as your questionaire? I am new in this business and would like to compare.
If not I understand.
Thank you,

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Tom PaunczRe: Velma...
by on May 15, 2005 at 4:43:01 pm

Hi Velma,
If you're still following this thread - I wouldn't mind seeing a copy either.

I may need to shoot a bar-mitzvah soon and though I don't do this as a rule (or for a living), the questionnaire may come in very handy.

Send it to pauncz[at]attglobal[dot]net.


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gasparRe: Anyone MISS something, say, at a wedding?
by on May 9, 2005 at 3:14:02 am

Three times that I can think of, I missed something that I sure wished I hadn't. Now I'm not talking about the usual missing Grandpa breakdancing because you decide to shoot the bride's tearful goodbye to her favourite aunt. Or you realize that your footage could be better. That happens all the time. I mean times when I feel I made a major mistake, or wished I had had better info ahead of time. All three times, I was able to fix it, which may be an option for you as well in future.

First time, I was riding with the photog to the ceremony and he got lost. We were late, and missed the beginning of the processional. I felt awful, but for the heck of it, asked the bride and her parents (after the ceremony) to reenact her entrance to the church. Filled in my missing footage beautifully, and they never brought it up when they saw the video. I truly believe they forgot.

Second time, I pushed record during the first dance at the reception, and didn't realize that it hadn't pushed it hard enough. Spent five minutes circling the B&G taping nothing. Missed the whole first dance. Couldn't believe it. So I did whatever I could for the rest of the evening to catch the bride and groom slow dancing. Framed them to cut out people dancing next to them, asked them to dance a bit when there was no one else on the floor, whatever. Also begged the photographer for copies of anything he had taken during the first dance. They ended up loving the video, and never said a thing about the fictional first dance, even though I had told them right away at the reception.

Third time was just this weekend. First dance again. No one bothered to tell me that there would be a live guitarist/singer for the first dance. I get into position with my tripod, the music starts and I shoot the b&g dancing, with some crowd cutaways, etc. The whole time there is this guy singing behind me and I had no idea. He was so good I thought it was a CD. So I asked him later if he would mind setting himself up again and singing his song (covered up by blasting disco) so I could get some footage to mix in with the audio I have already. Hopefully, it will work just fine.

My point in this long post is that no matter what you miss, perhaps you can fix it. Be honest, tell them that there is a problem, and do what you can. Chances are in the final video, they won't even remember that there WAS a problem. Don't offer them a refund! There's no way you can expect a wedding video to be perfect. There's just too much going on.

Velma and the other have great points too, to help you CYA.

My two cents,


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allanRe: Anyone MISS something, say, at a wedding?
by on May 9, 2005 at 5:36:12 pm

Have to agree with most people here. Sounds like you did the best you could under the circumstances you were handed. Common problem is for clients to have Champagne tastes and a Beer budget.

I wouldn't return a cent BUT...I'll bet if you offer to include a short photo montage of the groom's father as a little Easter Egg on the disc it will be greatly appreciated.


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Danny BoyeeThanks everybody
by on May 11, 2005 at 1:39:04 pm

It makes me not feel so much like a dum-dum. I will include a clause and I love the idea about doing a photo montage for them

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tony salgadoRe: Anyone MISS something, say, at a wedding?
by on May 12, 2005 at 5:16:42 am


The wife is the most important person to consider because she would have never accepted you missing the kids for two reasons 1) she specifically told you to shoot it and 2) never say no to a female client after she tells you to do something or else you will never hear the end of it.

You cannot refund the last payment since you could not be at two place at once with one camera.

If you provided the client with a quality product and delivered the tapes on time then you have fulfilled your obligation.

Move on to the next client.

Tony Salgado

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gillenRe: Anyone MISS something, say, at a wedding?
by on May 12, 2005 at 11:06:09 pm

I'd try to get my hands on some still shots anyone else may have taken of the groom lighting the candle and work them into the video. After effects could sweeten it up.


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Danny BoyeeRe: Anyone MISS something, say, at a wedding?
by on May 13, 2005 at 10:58:28 pm

The photographer has no pictures of it either. He was taking pics of the kids the same time I was!

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NICK BRe: Anyone MISS something, say, at a wedding?
by on May 14, 2005 at 12:07:15 am

Maybe the client should have realised you were not filming him at that important moment (or the still photo guy)

is it possible to re stage the lighting of the candle even a close up done in another location with some words re recorded ?

i come from the world of broadcast tv and if it had value we would cheat it on a reshoot like that, it also shows the client you realy care.

Or just print out this thread and show him your concern.

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gillenRe: Anyone MISS something, say, at a wedding?
by on May 15, 2005 at 4:47:17 pm

That sucks. Makes sense though, you were both shooting what was requested. I'd chalk it up as a shoot made to order. You can't be everywhere at the same time. Just on the outside, though ask them if any guest took a pic of the groom. Or maybe restage it like the other guy said. At a partial cost though.


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Postal BoyRe: Anyone MISS something, say, at a wedding?
by on May 17, 2005 at 8:59:01 pm

I have a friend that has a particular disclaimer in his brief it says:

if you have something special that you want recorded at the event it must be written down so that he can bring the appropriate equipment to capture the event. Otherwise he may not have the capability to capture everything they desire.

In other words, if they don't tell him what needs to be recorded (out of the ordinary), he isn't responsible for not having the appropriate equipment to cover it (microphones, cameras, etc.)

Oh....and I have NEVER missed ANYTHING at a wedding! No, Honest!!! ;)

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chris collinsRe: Anyone MISS something, say, at a wedding?
by on Jun 4, 2005 at 2:40:05 am

I know this thread is probably DEAD but here's my two clause from my personal contract, hope it helps:

(b) Client Not Liable for Non-Return: The Client acknowledges that the Video Producer cannot obtain insurance on the Video in its library for any commercially reasonable cost. Accordingly, the Client specifically agrees not to try and hold the Video Producer financially responsible for any Video Footage it cannot provide, for any reason, at the termination of this Agreement. The Client agrees not to sue nor seek payment for damages from the Video Producer in the event that the Video Producer loses or cannot obtain any Video Footage. In the event of a breach of this provision, the losing party shall bear the expenses, including legal fees, of the prevailing party.

This basically covers you for footage not obtained. The insurance it talks about is insurance on video coverage.

When I get client complaints like this, that are minute (and believe me, this falls under the 'minute' category as far as weddings go) I generally offer them one extra copy of their dvd (as to me this will make them feel like they're getting a pricey bonus when it won't actually cost you all that much to dub off one more copy and call it even).

My 2 cents.


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chris collinsRe: Anyone MISS something, say, at a wedding?
by on Jun 4, 2005 at 2:41:18 am

Oh yeah, and please do nooot refund any money for this particular circumstance. It would be ridiculous to. I'm pretty sure you've gotten that by now from this thread and all the responses, but it simply does not justify any kind of refund.


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You Can Call Me AlRe: Anyone MISS something, say, at a wedding?
by on Jun 21, 2005 at 2:32:23 am

Now a days at wedddings I rarely see less than 2 or 3 guests who don't also have video cameras... perhaps a guest got the candle shot.


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