When it comes to shooting wedding videos, every artist has their own style, procedures, and creative process. Here are seven tips I follow help manage the process and create the best possible wedding video for my clients.
1. Provide what you promise
If I am expected to record a ceremony from beginning to end, I keep things simple. I find the best spot, set up my audio equipment, get my subject in focus, press record and step away from the camera. If I am using two cameras, I like to leave one camera stationary for a medium-wide shot of the event. I then use the other to follow the action and for close ups.
If I am strictly producing a highlight video – a bunch of shots cut together – accompanied with music, I use my time to shoot an abundance of eight to 10-second clips with minimal camera movement and clear focus. I do this so when it’s time for me to edit, I know I have more than enough content to piece together a masterpiece my client will want to watch over and over again.
Whatever the agreement is between you and the couple is, make sure to deliver what is expected.
2. The Couple comes first
As an artist, I have a keen eye for all the shots that could enhance the video. Shots of flowers and cupcakes are nice shots – and I do capture those details – but I know my clients chose me to capture their day, and they want to see themselves. I pay special attention to the bride and groom throughout the wedding and reception to capture all their best moments.
A general rule I follow is that for every short clip of smaller details, I have at least three clips of the bride and groom doing something – interacting with guests, walking holding hands, sharing a laugh, etc. The more clips that show people, the better.
3. Don’t be afraid to overshoot
All great videographers live their lives seeing things around them and thinking “that would be a good shot.” When it comes to gathering footage for a wedding highlight film, I take every single one of those shots. I do not ever want to look back and think about how a shot I passed on could have made a video that much better.Of course, I do this with respect to the amount of digital memory I am carrying and top priority shots – the first kiss, father-daughter dance, speeches, vows, etc.
4. Audio is king
5. Know the photographer
I make it a point to connect with the wedding photographer and come to a mutual understanding of what is expected from the both of us, so we can both do our jobs. I like to discuss where we each plan to setup and what the agreements are with the bride and groom.
I certainly do not want to be caught in a couple’s $2,000 wedding album and likewise, I do not want the photographer showing up in the closing shot of a wedding highlight film.
6. Memorize the itinerary
I ask clients to send me a detailed itinerary with addresses and times. Getting this information directly from the couple ensures the information is accurate. Knowing what the day entails is critical in planning my own transportation as well as the shots for which I need to prepare.
Wedding vendors are often viewed as experts of the wedding day. I understand family and friends may come up to me for information about what is next, and I like to help as much as I can – this means being prepared and knowing the schedule. I like to have a few printed itineraries on hand.
7. Stick to the vision
Once I get to the know a couple, I can start to envision how a video will look, feel and sound. Even before the wedding day, I like to choose songs that evoke the couple’s personality. I also write out a list of must-have shots and carve out time to interview some of the couple’s closest friends and relatives. I look through styled presets and graphics packages.
All this planning and getting to know a couple’s style and energy is very beneficial. It prevents unnecessary second guessing – and confident shooting and editing results in a great, personalized video that clients will love.