Whether you’re new to the world of cinematography or a grizzled veteran, providing wedding videos for newlyweds is a beautiful (and profitable) venture. First, be sure to compile a list of events they want to be recorded – such as cutting the cake, footage of which guests walking down the aisle, the bouquet toss, etc. Aside from discussing certain moments they want to be captured, you may want to ask them if there are any choreographed surprises that you should know about. Although they may enjoy surprising guests, you need to know all of their plans for their wedding day; this will give you a chance to record these moments for their video, instead of playing catch-up. Here are other tips for shooting awesome wedding videos.
1. Right Gear
The quality of recording equipment changes from year to year – sometimes in as little as a few months. While it’s easy to desire the latest, greatest, most expensive high-end cameras for “the perfect movie,” the basics still work just as well. These days, 1080p is still HD quality – the Panasonic LUMIX camerafor $498 should be more than adequate for event videography. You also want to invest in professional audio equipment. The Zoom H1n is a marvelous digital recorder that you can hook up lavalier microphones to. It records WAV (up to 24-bit/96 kHz) and Mp3 (320kbps) which is top-line quality. Be sure to also use a monopod to make easier, more fluid transitions instead of setting up a bulky tripod and staying stationary.
2. Don’t Overshoot
Shooting too much footage is just as bad as not shooting enough. The real beauty of wedding videos is being able to express the journey that the newlyweds are on. It will be difficult for you to tell the story of their wedding day if you have 5+ hours of footage. Not to mention how time-consuming editing is post-production. This is especially true if you have a ton of “right shots” – you’ll be battling yourself over which perfect shot to use in each particular sequence. This is why it’s a good idea to practice shooting with intention and deliberation, instead of merely recording everything possible.
3. Dress Rehearsal
When you attend rehearsals, you’ll be more comfortable with the location and can set up shots. This gives you an opportunity to flush out your ideas for recording places. You’ll be prepared to deal with lighting and audio issues and be able to “choreograph” your shots.
Adding the spice of variety and unconventional shots is the name of cinematography. Don’t forsake traditional “wedding cliché” shots altogether. They are classics for a reason: wedding videos is about telling the newlyweds’ story – find shots that will support that story. You don’t want to shoot a vanilla video, but you also don’t want to shock your clients with avant-garde shots, either. (Unless your clients are avant-gardists.)
Low-lighting situations are nightmares. Cameras that don’t handle low light well will record blotched footage that is hard to see. This is especially true after dinner is served when the house lowers the lights for a more comforting atmosphere. If you must use an external light, don’t use it for too long on guests.
At the end of the day, the only thing you can really do to shoot extravagant, jaw-dropping wedding videos is to shoot as much of them as possible. No amount of research will replace the experience of actually recording them. You know how the saying goes: practice, practice, practice.