One Camera - backup camera where?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by steve.elliott, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. Just wondering where people tend to keep their backup camera at a wedding.
    Locked away in the car? Always with you over shoulder or in camera bag? Or perhaps it depends on location - ceremony, reception - and how far away the car is parked and how fast you can run!
  2. I used to shoot a lot of events - charity balls, political events, a few weddings. I always had my back up with me. But I would stow the big bag with the extra stuff (batteries, extra lenses, gaffers tape, etc.) under the stage if there was a band. Or with the DJ's gear. If those weren't available, I would stow it under one of the food tables behind the skirting.
  3. My back up camera is my second camera, and it is usually on my left shoulder. I have a second back up body in the trunk of my car.
    Marcie--I've had a case of gear stolen before. I would re-think where you put your bag, or at least, get a cable alarm, like I use. Also, I use a hard case so it can't be cut. The thieves stole my case by cutting one of the handles plus it was from under the nose of the bartender right next to it.
  4. A backup camera in the car is kind of like a spare tire that you left in the garage at home.
    Like Nadine, I shoot with 2 cameras. This has a variety of benefits. I shoot a fair bit with 2 cameras even when I'm shooting on my own, for fun rather than working. But it also means that, if one camera fails, the other camera is in my hand and ready to go.
    I have a third and sometimes a fourth camera back in the car. Occasionally I have actually used the third camera. But most of the time I bring them along, well, for superstitious reasons - you know, for the same reason I carry an umbrella. If you bring it, you won't need it. If you don't bring it, you will.
  5. Nadine & William said it -- most times the 'backup' is the SECOND camera. A third body might be called the "emergency" backup actually.
    Wide angle on primary, and medium tele-zoom on the 2nd... workflow like that...
  6. Haha - good point William! I guess I've been toying with the idea of switching to just one camera, rather than 2 cameras (a prime on each).
    Especially as the 5D II is the better camera against the 5D (my second camera). The live view mode and silent shooting at the ceremony is particularly welcome. And the higher ISO quality amongst other improvements.
    I agree with Nadine about not leaving gear unattended - unless locked and out of sight in the car.
  7. If you're going to a single camera, I'd have the back up in your shoulder bag or in the case of gear (locked up) you bring with you. A back up camera that you have to run to the car to get is not a good back up camera. In fact, in the case of gear is also questionable. Since you have to lock the case for security, the time it would take to get to the case, unlock it, and get the back up is almost as bad as having to go to the car.
    Needless to say, you should never let the shoulder bag out of your sight. Have it on your shoulder at all times, or if you put it down, you have your eyes on it, literally.
  8. Just had a thought--I use a holster style strap (similar concept to Black Rapid). You could keep the back up body (capped and no flash attached) under your arm in a slim configuration on such a strap. Then, if you need it, you pull it out or off the strap, attach the lens you were using and go on. In the no lens/flash/vertical grip status, most cameras are pretty light. You could go all day with that, and it would be hidden under jackets too. Hmmmm...
  9. No, I kinda thought it was too risky to leave in the car Nadine. I like the idea of the capped backup body. That would work well with the Upstrap shoulder straps I use. I could wear it very comfortably. Thanks for the feedback guys.
  10. No, I kinda thought it was too risky to leave in the car Nadine.
    I actually think this is the safest place if you don't use 2 bodies. I only use one cam and keep the other in the trunk. Of course I'm not parked a mile way either. I just don't like being weighed down by a 2nd body slapping me in the arse and banging on everything.
    Too often I see photographers park their 2nd camera on a table, in a back pew, an open bag and wander off... They leave them in all kinds of places where somebody can just pick it up and scoot out the door. I was a guest at a wedding just 2 weeks ago and tripped over an open pelican case left against a wall that was filled with at least $10k in gear.
  11. RT--might be the safest place but not the best place if you need it in a hurry, and you do, if your primary camera goes down at a point where you can't halt the proceedings. If you have the second body properly placed on your body, it is out of the way, comfortable, and handy. However, I understand working 'light' with one body, and I still think 'in the car' is too far away. The times I'm using only one body, I might do just as I described above--capped, no lens, no flash body tightly held under my left arm on my holster strap.
    You are right about photographers being lax with where they put their gear. I had stuff stolen so I am ultra cautious. I don't even like to go into the trunk of my car, in case someone is watching.
  12. Same as the others - I work with two bodies on my person. One is film with an ultra-wide, and the other digital with generally a prime or fast tele zoom. My 2nd shooter has one digital with her. However, I always bring enough 35mm film with us to shoot the entire day, if one of the digital bodies dies, so the film body is always there at my side if there's a problem. And just like I carry an extra CF card in my shirt pocket, there's always an extra roll of ISO 400 Tmax or Portra in my pocket. Just in case. You never know.
    I have an old manual focus 35mm with a complete lens arrangement in an orange Pelican 1400 case - along with all the odds and ends and emergency stuff - and it's my emergency backup backup. My cases are orange, so you can't miss them.. I usually get everything I need and try to stay out of the cases while I'm working, and store the cases in an off-limits side room.
  13. I used to keep my spare equipment by the band or dj. A couple of years ago on the job, there was a guy dressed up in a suit talking on a cell phone by the dj. He looked like a guest. When the video photographer walked away from his camera for a minute, he moved closer and stole it. I heared a scream from the video guy, who was on the other side of the room. He started chasing him, but the guy ran down the stairs and there was a car waiting for him. An $8,000 camera, stolen and the entire wedding up to that point, gone! After that, I would always keep the spare in my trunk, locked. I think my chances are better that way. If it's stolen, at least I will still have the wedding in my hands. These guys work at weddings and have their thefts carefully plannned. I'd rather take my chances this way. So far I've been lucky. No Problems.
  14. I used to work a lot of big venues. Multiple weddings, lots of people and help roaming around. Room for a theft was very easy. My main rig was always with me. I usually used a big Tamrac bag, but I also had lockable metal cases with cables to hook onto a table or other bulky item. Anything to hamper a thief. It's too hard to watch your stuff every second, so I found a lockable case and cable was a good deal. Even on my soft bag I had a row of metal fishing bells tied on and kept the bag zipped. If I wanted them quiet I would stick them in a cloth, but also made a little device to clip on that held the clakers still. You have to be creative in this business. Of course insurance is a given, but some folks take their chances. Open cases with loose expensive items is just being dumb-dumb.
  15. For those of you who leave cameras in the trunk of your car, I would worry about what the heat would do to the camera(s); especially digital cameras that have electronic parts.
    I had a friend that left a handheld ham radio in the glove box of his car, and when he came back, took it out, it was fried.
    In all the years I shot weddings, I never lost any camera gear. Praise the Lord for this.
  16. For those of you who leave cameras in the trunk of your car, I would worry about what the heat would do to the camera(s); especially digital cameras that have electronic parts.
    Can't be any worse than the thousands of UPS/FedEx drivers delivering new cameras every day in vehicles under the same conditions.
  17. I work with my wife, we both carry two cameras at all times. Like others have said, besides providing backup, it allows you to more quickly change between lens setups. Sometimes I'll be using one for available light, one for flash etc. Gear does break, I think you need to have a second camera ready to shoot at all times. Even if you told me there was zero chance of equipment failure, I've grown accustom to having multiple camera options. It was pretty much the same with film too... one body for color, one for b&w or different speed films, etc.
    Working with an assistant I think you can get away with just carrying one as long as they are always ready with another.
    As for stowing equipment.... all cameras, lenses & cards stay on us at all times with beltpacks. I know too many that have had their gear grow legs, even at the church. The only thing we stow are reflectors, lightstands, that kind of thing.
  18. Tried CameraArmor for my bodies, actually, once; just to make sure if it hit, it wouldn't hurt - as much.
    Then I returned it and decided it wouldn't be worth the hassle.
    But heat over here is a problem, so I never leave anything in the car really.
  19. I keep it on my hip with my spider holster. honestly I think it's the best invention in the world of photography since the invention of light.
  20. As William said...
    If you bring it, you won't need it. If you don't bring it, you will.​
    ... so I carry my back-up cameras all the time {:>]
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  21. Normally I use one camera ... sometimes two, if I sling my little rangefinder over my shoulder.
    I mostly shoot with an assistant or second shooter, so we try to keep one set of eyes on the bags ... but it's not possible 100% of the time.
    If a thief wants your stuff they will get it. You can slow them down but can't stop them. Insurance, including liability coverage, is your only real protection.
    One argument for keeping an emergency body/zoom in the car is that even in the event of total theft, you can at least finish the job.
    Maybe a Lo-Jack devise for camera bags or even something in the camera ... some GPS devise ... would be cool. Just a BIG warning label on the bag might deter. I know thieves are now avoiding sealing GM cars with the On-Star label in the window because they can stop the car remotely and notify police exactly where it is.
    Some of this stuff is now so expensive that it would be Grand Larceny for stealing it. GRAND THEFT CAMERA ... LOL! Soon to be a violent video game.
  22. At the church with my assistant,never more than 20 seconds away.Second camera always set up with flash and ready to go.My assistant always watches me and not the ceremony( this is SO important!) and is ready for any signs of trouble.My third back up camera is kept in the trunk of the car.My assistant also has a set of keys.At the reception I cable lock it to the leg of the table.Usually this is the table for the hired help,DJ,Video guy,my assistant etc. so we tend to watch out for each other.Nothing is 100% safe but so far the only lost gear was due to me forgetting a Metz flash at the park.I would guess that more gear is lost this way than any other.
  23. The back up camera won't do you much good if it's in the trunk of your car when the main camera goes bad. "Excuse me, minister. Could you please hold on for a few minutes while I go fetch my back up camera?" For a big event like that, I'd want it within reach of me. Not that my Nikon has ever let me down... I'm more concerned about carrying extra batteries and CF cards.
  24. With me all the time.
  25. used to shoot with three cameras. two around my neck and the other in hand. i have now consolidated my lenses/cameras, and now shoot with two cameras. one in hand, and one in my shoulder bag with all of my other gear. i was at my cousins wedding the other day, as a guest, and the photog was using his slr digicams. BOTH cameras failed over the course of the day!
  26. I carry two cameras with me. My assistant carries my bag and a pair of Canon G9's (decent p&s unit) for emergencies - one around her neck and the other stuffed in the bag. I like my equipment close at hand.
  27. Small bag -- with fully charged 20d -- sitting on the floor of the reception/church --never needed one yet....
  28. Thanks for the feedback. And Marc you're right about the price of equipment these days. If cameras were a bit cheaper I could afford 2 cameras of equal capability. Then the choice of using 1 or 2 cameras is an easier decision to make. :)

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