Filming A Wedding
Filming A Wedding
The difference between a good wedding photographer and a great one doesn’t come down to having the best camera or gear! I mean it does help to have the equipment that you need and become clued up on their individual jobs/ how they can benefit you on your gig, but equipment isn't the be all and end all to good photography. The difference is you. Are you the type of person that a couple wants to have shooting/ filming their wedding? These are a few ways you can make yourself a better wedding videographer as well as a wedding photographer...
So, you've been hired professionally to shoot a wedding and we're not just talking stills here, that's right! Videography is more what this blog post is about. Filming a wedding is actually an entirely different ball game to photography, but even if videography is out of your comfort zone as a photographer, it's likely that at some point throughout your career, you'll either be asked the question "do you offer wedding videos as part of your service?" Or thrown in the deep end and asked to dabble at some point down the line. Of course, some photographers are, well, just that and don't feel the need to enter into the film side of things and do you know what? That's completely okay because imagery is a photographer's bread and butter really and anything else is a huge bonus to add onto their skill set.
Here at Weddit, we've put together a blog post on a bunch of different questions that you are likely to be asked as the wedding photographer who has been hired for multiple gigs at some point during your career. Check out our blog post "photography questions" for guidance on that topic.
Tip #1: Communication – With the couple, venue, and vendors, it's really important that you make that first move as the photographer/ videographer who is filming the wedding. After all, it's a job that you're being paid to do, so you should see it through properly, as this is the lucky couple's very special day. Communication is one of those things that sets aside a good photographer whom you can trust to capture your day perfectly, from a photographer who is a bit of a loose cannon and doesn't communicate very well throughout the day.
Well before the wedding date, you should have a sit-down meeting with the engaged couple before filming a wedding. Get to know what they are looking for in their video. Do they want to make sure you capture certain moments? Will there be any surprises or choreographed dances you need to know about? Will the bride be wearing her Great-Great Grandmother’s earrings? Being ready to capture these moments will truly make your work stand out. Reach out to the ceremony and reception venues and find out if they have any rules or regulations. Many churches won’t allow videographers in certain areas, so it’s important to note if you will need to bring a zoom lens. Some large reception venues require a proof of insurance before they let you shoot on the premises. It’s your responsibility to have everything in order before showing up.
Also, you should talk to some of the vendors, mainly the ones you will work with on the wedding day. Knowing vendors in the industry is your gateway to success. Their recommendations can help you land future weddings. First get to know the Wedding Coordinator. Ask for a copy of the schedule and contacts for the other vendors. Then you can ask the DJ about their setup. Will they let you plug into their sound board to get backup audio? Will they bring a high-end light kit for the reception? Getting acquainted with everyone will help the shoot move along much smoother.
Tip #2: Audio - There are no re- “I Dos” in weddings. So, if you don’t capture things as they happen, then unfortunately you'll of missed your chance! That's not really something you'll want to explain to the couple as they're watching the wedding footage back now is it? It’s best to have multiple audio sources recording, just to make sure you pick up the audio that you need. This leaves no room for let downs when filming a wedding. Does your camera capture quality sound? If not, have external recorders ready to go. Try to avoid putting the mic on the Bride, instead go for a lavalier microphone on the officiant or Groom. If the DJ is running sound, you may be able to plug the microphone into their sound board. That’s why it is beneficial to talk to the DJ beforehand. Keep in mind every DJ is different, so it’s no guarantee that you will get quality sound. That’s why you should only rely on them for backup audio.
Tip #3: B-Roll - Now let me start off by answering the question that you may have in your head... What an earth is B-Roll? Well B-Roll is the extra footage captured to enrich the story you're telling and to have greater flexibility when editing your footage. Instead of featuring only talking heads on video, you want to have other images you can cut away to that will add dimension to your story. All great wedding videos follow the unspoken rule of capturing more than enough B-Roll and we're speaking it just to make sure you're aware of its importance!
Filming a wedding is the perfect opportunity to capture more than enough B-Roll for a story telling wedding film and that makes the footage all the more beautiful! B-roll will be your best friend and worst enemy when editing. Not having enough will make you job much harder. It’s easy to remember to shoot exteriors of the venue, but don’t forget that there are people coming to these venues. When the Bride and Groom watch their wedding video, they will want to see their friends and family in attendance and not a whole film of them alone. Have an extra camera capture parts of the crowd during the ceremony. This footage will always come in handy to hide any rough edits. It’s also great to cut to the crowd if the photographer walks into your shot of the couple at the altar. Just to make sure that you don't forget anything, it may be a good idea to put a wedding photography checklist together and stick to it as much as you can when photographing a wedding.
Photo + editing credit: All images in this blog post edited by the team here at Weddit and photographed by Lukas Griffin. To get started with our wedding photo editing service, you can create an account here.