Keith Nicol Photography

Photo Video Spain film card black 16-9
Some of your Questions Answered

I receive many questions about Wedding and Event Videography, so I’ve tried to answer a few of the most requested answers here, starting with the most popular question.

December 20, 2007
Question: Why does it take so long to get my video after you shoot my event?

Answer: Before I started editing video, I used to wonder the same exact thing,
"Wow the turn-around time is more than 2 months! That's crazy!"  
Ah, but I had yet to be initiated in the world of digital editing.  There are many qualified, professional, nationally recognized & award-winning videographers, whose average turn-around time for delivery can be anywhere from 4 months to a year (or more).

However, it's not a videographer's goal to take as long as they want to finish a video.  We all realize how important your memories are to you.  But there are several factors to be taken into consideration:

1. For every hour of footage that we shoot, it can take 7 to 10 hours of processing & capturing footage to the computer, reviewing, editing, more reviewing, authoring, testing, rendering, burning the final dvd, more reviewing  (and sometimes making fixes & then re-burning), designing & printing the dvd label and the dvd case, & finally assembling enough copies for the couple & their folks.  So if I get 6 one-hour tapes from one wedding, that's between 42
to 60 hours of work.  If my assistant hands me another 6 tapes, the work practically doubles!

2.  “So if it takes, say 40 to 80 hours to finish an event video, why can't I have it in two weeks?”  
Well, you could if it was possible for an editor to sit down at the computer and work straight through without any interruptions.  
(HAHAHAHAHAHaHaHahaha...ha.  Okay, now I've got that out of my system :-)

3. Editing is a very creative process, and if one is in a creative mood, the video turns out much better.  Now, one might say that "since you're a professional you should always be in a creative mood."  Agreed.  But there are times when even a professional editor needs a break from creating, or to sleep!

3. Creative breaks aside, there are other tasks during a videographer's week that can take time away from your video, such as meetings with clients, updating websites, arranging schedules, preparing for wedding shows, designing ads, creating demo reels & samples, various other marketing tasks, networking with other vendors, participating in professional organizations and chamber of commerce meetings, ongoing training & study, workshops & conferences, and, of course, other client's shoots.

4.  In general, many videographers shoot on weekends and schedule editing for weekdays.  I find myself feeling guilty for taking time off to do the laundry, mow the lawn (when I had a lawn), or head into town for groceries or even play with my son!  Nevertheless, time off is necessary, so even though many of us work every day of the week, we also try to schedule ‘down’ time for exercising, visiting friends & family, a movie, or even dance lessons!

5.  Even though your videographer just finished shooting your special event, it's very likely that he/she has already shot several other events before yours, so many times (unless you want to pay the big bucks to get to the front of the line), it's just a matter of waiting for your  turn. I actually employ two other editors to perform a ‘pre-edit’ to mix the video down in the first instance in order to try and speed up the entire process while maintaining Quality Control.

6. Finally, it's the videographer's goal to provide you with the best product possible.  (You can have it "good or fast" but probably not "good and fast." ;-)  

It's also our job to provide you with regular communications & progress reports so that you know you haven't been forgotten, or worse, lost in the shuffle.   So far, knock on wood, I've been able to deliver inside 3 months, and that continues to be my goal.  But I've also learned that once one gives even an estimated date of delivery, that naturally, things happen to delay it.  So while you can hope for a 3-month turnaround, it's better to expect a much longer time...and then you can be pleasantly surprised that you've received it sooner!

When it’s NOT ‘Wedding Season’, sometimes we can have your DVD ready within Two to Three Weeks, but for Weddings happening in June, July, September or October, when we shoot, on average two per week, this is just not possible, but we shall do our very best.

On average, we can edit for four to five hours per day.
On average, to create (burn) a DVD takes about 6-hours.
If we have to make just one change to any part of the DVD or menu system, it takes a further 6-hours to encode and burn. Just FYI.

January 11, 2008
Question: What's a video portrait?

Answer: There are several variations on the theme, but basically it's a 5- to 20-minute session where the subject sits in front of the camera and either tells their story or is interviewed (or a combination of both).  
Video portraits make great keepsakes, time capsules, holiday greetings, milestone markers, birthday cards or postcards to loved ones.  A longer version, from 30 to 60 minutes might be the type of portrait commemorating a graduation, promotion, engagement, or birthday tribute.  There are endless possibilities, limited only by the imagination.

August 26, 2007
Question: I'm disappointed that there wasn't more video of dancing at my wedding.  
Why did I waste money on a DJ?  I really wanted my wedding video to have shots of the dancing at my wedding...

Answer:  I have several thoughts on this, having recently shot several weddings where the bride was excited and adamant that there would be lots of dancing at their wedding but it turned out to be less than ‘lots’.

Many of the DJ's I've seen encourage the guests to get up and dance, but I imagine it's also not an automatic thing that they do, and it would be good to check with your DJ beforehand about their style, etc.

But beyond that, it has  been my observation that first, the fewer the number of guests at your wedding, the more difficult it is to get them out on the dance floor.  And obviously if the choice of music is limited, you limit the number of people who get up and dance to those who like that style of music/dancing.

Also include dances that don't require partners, so that everyone can participate.  Ask  your DJ to not only encourage people out on the dance floor, but to give simple dance instructions for circle or line dances.  You might also consider a few dance contests, where the winner is not necessarily the "best" dancer, but maybe the one who drove the furthest to get to your wedding, or the one who is wearing the most purple, etc. with gag gifts for prizes.

BUT, the one thing that does seem to help (aside from liquor), is that guests want to interact with the bride and groom.  After all, that's why they're there.  
And if the newlyweds do their first dance, and then sit most of the rest of it out, why should guests want to dance, too?  They're not there to entertain the couple (or perform for the camera), they're there to enjoy themselves and to share in the couple's joy.

So I maintain that it is ultimately the newlyweds' responsibility to get those people dancing, not the DJ's.  And the easiest, most fun way to do that is to get out on the dance floor yourselves, not only with each other, but with members of your bridal party, and then with other members of your family, and then friends, etc.  Enlist the help of your bridesmaids and groomsmen in advance; let them know not only that you'd like them to dance but to actively help you get other people on the dance floor.   

It's the first 3 or 4 dances after the newlyweds' first dance as a couple that really count in setting the tone for the rest of the party and whether or not the bride gets her wish for a lot of dancing at her wedding.

One last note, many times, when all of the lights are turned out, there is just not enough ‘natural light, supplied from the disco, to make shooting capturing video possible. We can turn on the camera lights, but this looks a little ‘unnatural’ and can intimidate everyone!

February 17, 2007
Do I really need a Wedding Planner. Is it not easier to do everything myself?

Answer: This really is the $64,000 question!
First, ask yourself a few questions;

1. Do I speak good enough Spanish, or have friends that do, to organise my wedding in Spain?

2. If something goes wrong on the ‘Day’ am I happy to sort it out, or would I rather that my Wedding Planner did so, maybe even without my knowledge that there ever was a problem?

3. As much fun as it might be, do I really have the time to visit lots of venues, negotiate rates for guests, choose the menus, meet with videographers, photographers, florists, flowers, caterers, stationers, limousines, bus companies, organise Hen and Stag nights, etc, etc?

4. Could I do without the stress or is it something I would really enjoy doing?

If you can honestly say to yourself, ‘YES’ to all of the above, then congratulations, you have the time, talent, language and organisational skills to do it yourself.

If not, here’s my recommendation;

a) find yourself a good wedding planner, a number of which I have links to on this site.

b) tell them that you would like to organise certain things by yourself but you would be happy for them to cover everything else (for instance you may wish to pick out your own Dress or design your own stationary).

c) your chosen wedding planner shall introduce you to a number of qualified service suppliers, all of whom you can meet with yourself plus they shall recommend a number of venues for your service or reception. Note that, with all of the paperwork required for a Religious Wedding in Spain, I’d always recommend you let them work with you on this.

Thus, let your wedding planner take away some of the stress, If the day before your wedding your photographer suddenly comes down with the flu, they shall have a back-up list of names to call immediately, whereas, you may not!

Enjoy your Big Day. Let your Wedding Planner take over some or all of the responsibility while you can enjoy your Special Day.

In other words, hire a wedding planner let them take the stress while you savour your celebration.

March 2nd, 2007
Question: You must have lots of contacts, can you organise our wedding for us as well as taking the photos?

Answer: Yes, I do have all of the contacts but would I want to organise your wedding for you! NO!
I work with lots of Wedding Planners and while the build up to the big day might be something that one can keep control of, the very thought of trying to direct my videographers and photographers, while wondering about the flowers, the cake, the restaurant, the church, the limousine, the bus moving the guests about, the hotel, the nights entertainment et all, is far too much work to undertake.

Hire a Professional Wedding planner, you’ll be glad you did so.