DIY Wedding Videography Professional Secrets
You know that a wedding video is one of the few things about your wedding that will last… you know that you’ll be able to relive your special day over and over just by viewing the footage… you know that someday your great grandchildren may even watch it… but you just don’t have the money to invest in a professional wedding video.
While a relative, friend, or film student won’t be able to deliver the caliber of video a pro would, we do have some tips that will help him or her capture one of the most important days of your life.
If you want a good video, you have to start with good equipment. For the best results, rent professional grade cameras and microphones; but if your budget doesn’t allow top-of-the-line tools, try to get your hands on a camera (or two), wireless microphones, an audio mixer, a tripod, and a mini disc recorder or digital capture device to back up sound.
Wireless mics are great for unobtrusively catching your vow exchange and an extra video camera can be set up on a tripod and trained on especially eventful places like the altar, the cake table, or where toasts will be given.
A professional may shoot a different wedding every week, but chances are this is only Aunt Jessica’s first or second attempt at the task. With such important memories at stake, it’s critical that you take the time to think about what shots you want your video to include. Create a list of must-have video moments and go over them with him well before the event.
Your wedding rehearsal may be Aunt Jessica’s first and last time to take a good long look at the ceremony site, the bridal party, and important friends and family, as well as get an idea of what to expect at your ceremony. It’s also the perfect time to figure the logistics of the shoot, such as where to place tripods, whether extra light is needed, where microphones should be placed, and most importantly, where the bride, groom, and other key people will stand during the ceremony.
A fountain gently bubbling in the courtyard, the flame of a unity candle, or the sun streaming through a stained glass window. Whether they establish a mood or setting, or help transition one part of your wedding to another, don’t underestimate the value of a “B” roll. Ask your photographer to arrive early and take interior and exterior shots of your ceremony site, and be on the lookout for other great shots, like beautifully set reception tables, pretty flower arrangements, and piles of frothily-wrapped wedding gifts.
The Set Up:
While professional wedding videographers are well acquainted with their equipment, remember the amateur will probably experience a few set-backs during the video set up. As you finalize the details of your event with your wedding or ceremony site coordinator, make sure you’ve given Aunt Jessica ample time before the event—about two hours—to set up and test tripods, microphones, cameras and back-up equipment.
Long shots are great, but it’s close-ups that truly capture the emotion of your wedding day. And for a real novice, long shots can feel especially impersonal. To avoid a proscenium-styled wedding video, emphasize that you’d love close-ups of the wedding couple, the bridal party, and important family members throughout the shoot. The picture will be clearer, they’ll be lots of editing options, and you’ll have caught those heartfelt expressions on camera forever.
One of the talents a good wedding videographer has is the ability to stay one step ahead of the action. While this skill is usually honed by time and experience, an organized wedding schedule will certainly give your videographer a clear advantage. Create a wedding day itinerary so he knows when and where the must-have moments will be, like your first dance, the cake cutting, the garter and bouquet tosses, and of course, your getaway.
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