Wedding Videogrpahy using a GoPro
I’ve had handfuls of people ask me if there would ever be a time when I would use my GoPro for wedding video work. My short answer is yes. The super compact camera has a lot of features and the lack of screen means it has pretty great battery life too. Let me clarify before I go too far that I would not have any intention on filming a wedding on a GoPro, but rather using it for special effects that might only total 2-10 seconds of footage in a final highlight video.
Super Slow Motion
The GoPro is obviously weather proof. I’ve dropped it from five feet up, taken it in the ocean, and it still works like a charm. A nice feature is its ability to shoot 60+ frames per second in video mode. And high-frame rates give the ability to slow video down. Slow motion is a great feature; the video above is not of a wedding, but it is some footage I took during a destination wedding and everybody loved it. Often times when we are on destination shoots we give the client more than just wedding video footage. I’m sure you can imagine some scenarios where this kind of super slow motion would look great. Maybe a bride on a bicycle or in a horse carriage. I haven’t used the GoPro as much as I’d like to because it’s one of those tools I often forget to unpack when the chaos of the wedding day begins. If you have a second wedding shooter, this is definitely something I would consider. Don’t forget too that many of the Canon DSLR’s have the ability to shoot HD 60 frames per second as well.
One awesome feature the GoPro has is the ability to do a time-lapse. Video is nothing more than 24 pictures every second. You can see a couple examples at the beginning of this wedding video. Likewise, a timelapse is nothing but a series of pictures taken at precise intervals such as ever second or every 10 seconds or even longer. One place I have used the GoPro in my own wedding videos is a time lapse of the sky going by the church. What’s nice about this little camera is you can mount it to one of those table top tripods and set it across the street and just let it go for 30 minutes on its own taking a picture every 3-5 seconds. Take all these still photo’s and what you’ve got is a really nice 7 second intro to the church or hotel or whatever. I want to add that time lapse really only looks good if there is something moving! It can be clouds in the sky or cars in the foreground, but if you have a perfect blue sky and no cars or people moving about then the shot is going to be very boring!
One last note regarding the GoPro line. They have gotten a lot better since I first published this article. I have to say, I now use GoPro features (primarily time lapse) even in my architectural videography and real estate photography.