I have been thinking a lot about it lately, that is, enter in the event shooting market as a freelancer using dslrs.
Yesterday, I have met a guy that works in the theater as an actor, and has previous experience as director too. He has a lot of studio equipment and is currently interested in starting a new business offering event shooting (photo+video). The idea is to offer full coverage using dslrs and a possibly more refined work than the average local business. If we bring our equipment together, we have apparently a good arsenal (2 5d markII bodies, maybe 3 in the future, and 2crop sensor Canon cameras, a lot of lenses, EF plus vintage manuals, lights, microphones, slider, steadicam, tripods, monopod, follow focus, shoulder support, editing software etc.). He would do the photography part and I would do the video part.
This would be, initially at least, a second job for both of us.
The problem is that neither of us has previous experience in event shooting, so I am a bit reluctant. Competition is harsh in this field and people usually tend to prefer a well established local photography studio (even though most of these studios work with freelancers).
The first problem, to start with, is how do you manage to build a portfolio in this case?
Because it appears to be a vicious circle: No portfolio to exhibit, no client and no client means no potential to make a portfolio.
Second, I want to evaluate what equipment I can use and what not for video. I mean if I can setup a multicam coverage to do some slides, a bit of steadicam, some wide angles and some closeups and if I can handle all this by myself not loosing any moment of the ceremony. And how many bodies do I need in this case, plus batteries, plus grips etc.
Third if the choice of DSLRs (knowing the shortcomings of overheating and 12m recording limit, battery drain from live view etc.) can handle this for video of the event. Most local studios use heavy videocameras, and the usual setup for video I have encountered is shooting with the camera on the shoulder plus a monopod on the belt for additional stability, a hotshoe microphone and a video light on top of the camera. I am afraid dslr needs different handling to make it through the event and not loose critical moment, and then there is the issue of the look (the client is probably more happy seeing a heavy videocamera, rather than a small dslr body even if it is on a big shoulder support). I do have my hv30 (but I wouldn't dare showing up with such a small camera), and we do have a large professional videocamera too, but the idea was to focus on dslrs due to the number of bodies, and the overall aesthetics.
Also I don't know if most video operators shoot in 50fps to make it look like video, on the dslrs, it would be 25fps. I guess the output is dvd or bluray.
I will meet the guy this weekend to speak a lot more in detail, but I am debating on whether it is a clever choice to start like this, or if it is better to make some experience as a second shooter initially... And what else to propose in order to start better (we could start this fall probably).
What do you guys suggest regarding the above issues and/or other issues I should consider?