Wedding Videography Tips
1. Film Short Clips
This is truly the best single piece of advice I can give for filming. Aside from the ceremony, toasts, speeches, most of the clips I take are less than 5 seconds long; and they get even shorter when I edit them. The goal is to make your wedding video enjoyable to watch. The first thing to think about when you are trying to figure out how to make your wedding video enjoyable to watch is think about the media people watch now. Take a look at Hollywood movies and commercials on television. Go turn on the television right now and watch 6-7 commercials. Most of the commercials are thirty seconds. Count how many times the camera cuts during those thirty seconds. Average that out. You may find that there are 15-20 cuts per thirty seconds. That means that each shot is on screen for only about two seconds. There’s a good chance you’d never realized that before.
2. Delete as You Go
Deleting bad clips as you go was never possible before digital, but it is now and it serves two great purposes. The first feeds the second: video editing takes more time than actually filming the wedding. I’d say editing usually takes 3-4 longer than the number of hours you film for. It takes two seconds to delete the bad shots as you are filming–that means you don’t have to sift through them when it comes time to edit. The less time you spend sifting, the fewer hours you have to spend editing–this leads to a high doller per hour rate at the end of the day.
3. Visit the Venue if you Can
Getting at least mildly familiar with the venue and what the wedding will be like can help you prepare; at least mentally. The gear you will need can change if it is a 30 person chapel or a huge Catholic Cathedral. Consider if the ceremony is outdoors or indoors–how much natural light is there?
4. Multiple Cameras Helps with #1 and Gives Options
If you have the gear, resources, and help, having a second camera will add a lot of production value to your videography; especially important during the ceremony. It’s not uncommon for a shot on camera A to be ruined by the back of someones head or an accidental kick of the tripod leg or a host of other incidents. If that’s your only camera, then there’s almost nothing you can do in editing; and imagine if that incident happens during the ring exchange, first kiss ect. If you don’t own multiple cameras, consider renting them for your wedding video.
5. Capture Good Quality Audio
Most people, especially those just getting started, forget or don’t think audio matters that much. The dumb truth is, audio is 50% of video. I say dumb because it seems so obvious; but don’t think for a second that audio doesn’t matter. I’ll prove it. Have you ever watched a movie, maybe it was a bootleg version and the video quality wasn’t that great, but you finished the movie anyway and enjoyed the film. Now, have you ever started to watch something but you couldn’t hear the actors, or maybe a family member was being too loud or running the vacuum. Point is, people will tolerate a non-perfect picture, but they will not continue watching if the audio is awful. If you are short on equipment, try sticking a smart phone in the breast pocket of the officiant or groom. There are loads of mp3 recording apps–this is a good solution in a pinch. In the event that you don’t get good audio, don’t despair; you can still create a great wedding video by using powerful music (suggestions).
6. Don’t Zoom
If you want your video to look ten years old, use the zoom feature on your camera. Watch a movie. Watch television. You will not see them use zoom. The camera will move. This add excitement to the shot. Now, during the ceremony you might want to use the long and wide shots your camera is capable of. In other words, if you are wide for a few minutes, you can zoom in to the long end of your camera lens, but do it fast get it over with. Hopefully you can cut to camera B while camera A is zooming in.
7. Lighting Your Shots
There are differing opinions when it comes to lighting a wedding video. When it comes to the ceremony, most churches won’t even allow it; and personally, I’ve never even considered lighting a church. A the reception, it’s another ball game. We really never uses lighting unless it is absolutely necessary and even then we will use as little light as possible. We have an LED dimmable light that we can use, but the last thing we want to do is shine a spot light on someone dancing. The best video is usually candid and a bright shiny light in someones face kind of blows that. Make sure you have a camera that perfroms well in low light, like a DSLR and make sure you understand the Camera ISO settings.
Filming a wedding may sound easy, but it has become an art form over the past decade. This is mostly thanks to the computer and non-linear video editing. The reality is that most wedding videography of yesteryear was drab and static because editing video was next to impossible. Most weddings that were recorded were simply filmed for posterity’s sake; simply to document an event. To add music or edit the VHS required editing booths with multiple video decks and was even more time consuming than it is today.
NOW: What’s New in Wedding Videography
The personal computer along with software like Sony Vegas, Avid Suite, and Final Cut have brought professional video editing to the household. That said, no editing starts until the video is shot. Recording video has changed just as much as editing video. No longer is it acceptable to place the camera on a tripod and leave it for an hour or more. We are talking about making a wedding video that people are actually going to want to watch.