If you’re interested in filming a wedding, you’ve come to the right place. Weddings are one of the most popular types of events for professional videographers to shoot.
This is an introduction to some of the basics of filming weddings.
If you don’t already have a background in photography or videography, this is a good starting point.
This guide will also help you get into the right mindset to be successful at this profession.
Weddings offer plenty of opportunities for skilled filmmakers to flex their creative muscles. It’s also quite a lucrative industry to get into.
There is a lot more involved in putting together a wedding video than one might think. It is a delicate balance between artistic expression and technical skill; all while working under pressure, with limited time and resources.
How To Film Wedding
What Is Wedding Videography?
There is nothing quite like a wedding video to bring back memories of a special day for the bride, groom, and all the guests that were lucky enough to be in attendance.
Simply put, a wedding video is a chronicle of the couple’s big day. A compilation of many different types of shots that are edited together to tell the story of a wedding day.
The quality of these videos can vary quite a bit, depending on the skill and experience level of the videographer.
How To Film A Wedding
The first thing that you need for wedding videography is a camera. Most people who want to get into this business already have a digital camera of some sort.
It may be a DSLR, it might just be point-and-shoot, or even just a smartphone camera.
Whatever it is, that’s what they’re going to use for wedding photography.
These types of cameras are perfect for creating high-quality wedding photo albums, but they may not be the best equipment for videos.
Now, I don’t want to spend too much time talking about cameras here because there are so many courses out there about camera gear.
And besides, cameras and camera technology change all the time, so it doesn’t matter which one we talk about because by the time you read this article, it may be obsolete anyway.
To become a professional wedding videographer, you need to have the right gear, skills, and software.
You also need to understand how to communicate with clients and create videos that are memorable and meaningful.
There are certain things you should always do:
Conduct A Site Visit
Before every wedding, you should do a site visit to get a feel for the venue and surrounding area.
You can use this time to scout out beautiful places for video or figure out where you can set up your equipment.
Make A Plan
Figure out what the couple wants from the video before the wedding date arrives, so you know what equipment you’ll need and what shots to get on the big day.
For example, if they want footage of their first dance as man and wife, you’ll want to set up your camera in such a way that it captures both partners’ faces clearly.
Think Like An Editor
While filming is important, it’s equally important to think like an editor while shooting.
This means getting high-quality footage that tells a story and captures all the most important moments.
Learn more tips on how to film a wedding as a professional videographer in this video guide.
How To Do Videography For Weddings
A wedding is a day that you want to remember. It is the most important day of your life, so you want to make sure that you capture it all and record it properly.
You don’t want to have regrets later on in your life when looking back at your wedding memories and wishing you had done things differently.
You don’t want to be disappointed in your own wedding videos considering how much they cost.
There are many things that go into making a good wedding video.
- You need great equipment that can take fantastic video and make them into something that looks professional.
- The right angles and the best way to tell the story.
- You also need someone who can actually edit all this footage together because getting raw footage from one camera isn’t enough.
All the clips need to be put together seamlessly to create one amazing final product.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, then there’s no way you’re going to produce anything worth watching for more than five minutes.
The worst thing about bad wedding videos is that they are usually so boring, no one wants to watch them.
Some basic shots include close-ups of the bride and groom as they prepare for their ceremony, as well as various family members interacting with one another and with their children.
These are great for capturing emotions that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Other more unique shots can include those from the reception, where guests may be seen having fun on the dance floor or enjoying dinner at their tables.
How To Film Wedding Ceremonies
Filming a wedding ceremony is the most important part of the day. You have to make sure that the vows are heard, the rings are visible and all the drama gets captured if the bride loses her shoe!
Here are some professional tips for filming a wedding ceremony.
The key to good footage is to film from multiple angles. You need to capture all of the guests, and also be able to see what’s going on throughout the ceremony.
Use a tripod for your primary camera, but don’t forget that it can also be handy to be mobile with a hand-held camera.
To keep things looking professional and polished, try not to move too quickly. If you need to pan around, do it slowly so that you’re not making people dizzy.
Try not to move your camera too much if you can help it, as this makes it harder for people to watch when they’re viewing your video later on.
It’s a good idea to have someone filming from behind the guests too. This way you’ll get some nice footage of everyone – and you’ll capture those reactions when you see what happens!
Use Multiple Cameras To Film a Wedding
Filming someone’s wedding has to be one of the most stressful jobs there is. There are a lot of things that can go wrong and when you add the fact that you’re filming someone’s special day it adds an extra level of stress.
What are the benefits of filming with multiple cameras?
Trying to get good shots on all the people at the right time is rather difficult. So, use multiple cameras to film a wedding and capture as much as possible while keeping track of where they are all going.
By having multiple cameras you’ll have a better angle on the action, and you can use each camera strategically.
You might have a wide shot and close up shot with one camera and another with just the groom’s face to show his reaction to something funny that happened earlier.
This way you can cut between different cameras for different shots during editing.
The biggest benefit of using multiple cameras is if something goes wrong with one, you have back-ups.
Solo Operator’s Guide For Getting Perfect Wedding Video Shots
Wedding videos are a lot more important than people think. It is the only way to capture the memories of their biggest day and one that can be passed down from generation to generation.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but they are unable to transmit certain emotions, sounds, and feelings like video can.
Trying to get those perfect shots without professional help can be difficult though. There’s a lot of video equipment involved and it’s hard to know what angles look their best.
The last thing you want is for your guests to see you running around and not enjoying yourself.
With a professional by your side you can still get all of the right shots while you enjoy yourself.
Here are some tips for getting those perfect shots with a professional by your side:
Make sure they’re aware of everything in advance. You don’t want them showing up at your wedding and then have them ask where everything is.
Having them show up prepared will make things run smoother and it will also help them get shots that you wouldn’t have even thought about.
Most videographers use either a DSLR or HD camera for filming weddings. As long as the lighting is good enough, both cameras shoot great-quality footage.
How To Film A Wedding With Only One Lens
I’m not going to lie, wedding videography is hard. It takes a lot of practice to get good at it, but the good news is that you can be really good with just one lens.
Here’s what I recommend:
Canon 24mm 1.4 L II
This is probably my most used lens. It’s great for filming during the ceremony and creating cinematic shots throughout the rest of the day.
It’s an expensive lens and very heavy, but this is the one I’d recommend if you’re only going to have one lens.
Canon 50mm 1.2 L
This is my second favorite lens and I use it almost as often as my 24mm (especially when shooting at a venue).
It has a beautiful creamy bokeh that works well in low-light situations and gives your video that cinematic feel.
The downside is that it doesn’t zoom so you’ll have to get closer to your subject than you would with your 24mm or 85mm lenses.
Canon 85mm 1.2 L
This is one of my “must haves” when heading out on a wedding day, but I wouldn’t recommend it as a primary lens.
Wedding Videos Are A Love Story
Creating video content is a huge part of SEO these days, and it’s getting more and more competitive.
Trying to find a way to stand out? Why not create a video that tells your love story?
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “content is king”. Well, in this case, it’s true.
Your content needs to be as unique and engaging as possible. The best way to do this is to tell your story in a different way than everyone else.
As far as search engines are concerned, text is boring. You may have seen this chart before:
Wedding videos have been on the rise for quite some time and there are several reasons why they work so well in today’s world of SEO.
Let’s take a look:
- Video content gets higher rankings on Google.
- Video content has been shown to increase brand awareness.
- Video content encourages sharing on social media.
- Sites with video see an average increase of 78% in overall traffic.
All of these factors make sense when you think about it. They answer questions that users may have, or they hold their interest longer than just text could do.
Coordinate With The Photo Team When Filming a Wedding
Before you start filming, it’s a good idea to meet with the photographer and discuss the best places to stand or set up your tripod.
Some of the most important shots, like the first kiss and the bride and groom’s first dance, are often done at the end of the reception.
If you’re not familiar with photographing weddings, you may want to ask if they would be willing to help you capture that footage.
You also need to think about where to plug in your laptop for uploading footage. If you have a wireless card on your computer and it’s not going to be used by anyone else during the reception (like for slideshows), then it should be fine to leave it on throughout the day.
If you’re planning on filming from your laptop, checking with the venue beforehand is also a good idea. Many venues have restrictions on what can be brought in during an event.
If this is going to be a problem, then an external hard drive or flash drive might work better.
Filming a Wedding Pre-Wedding / B-Roll
What is pre-wedding?
A pre-wedding is traditionally the time that a couple takes to be alone before the wedding. It’s important for the bride and groom to have some time together, without all of the fuss.
The pre-wedding video production team is there to capture that special moment between you and your partner.
I personally like to get some b-roll shots of your relationship, whether it be the couple out on a romantic date, or doing something with family and friends.
Some brides and grooms will also choose to do a first look during their pre-wedding session.
This is where the bride and groom meet up with me separately and we do a quick interview about what this day means for them both, followed by them seeing each other for the first time in their wedding attire.
Filming a Wedding The Ceremony / Kiss
I recommend filming the ceremony from within the church, a few steps back from the altar. This gives you a great view of everything and also makes it feel like you are part of the ceremony.
If you want to get closer, I recommend asking the priest or minister beforehand. It’s important to be respectful and not distract from the ceremony.
There are a few moments worth filming outside the church: when guests arrive, the bride walking down the aisle, or if there is something special about the venue.
The church service itself is not something that needs to be recorded for posterity. You can always get a couple of still shots during this part with your camera held out at arm’s length.
After the ceremony, I like to head outside with my camera and capture some quick shots of people congratulating each other, as well as some details inside the venue itself.
This is a good time to shoot some close-ups with your macro lens (in manual mode) and try different angles and perspectives (e.g. photographing down an aisle instead of straight ahead).
When you’re outside, be sure to watch out for those stray sunbeams – they will kill your exposure!
Filming a Wedding – The Reception
Filming a wedding reception can be an awesome experience. It’s like having a room full of celebrities who are all your best friends and they’re all getting ready to watch the bride and groom enter the room.
Telling the story of a wedding is a lot like telling the story of any other event, but you have to get yourself in the right mindset.
You have to remember that you will be talking to your audience or recording for them. Rather than just talking about these amazing moments as they happen, it’s important to pause and let them digest what it is you’re trying to show them.
For example: if someone is saying their vows and there is a shot of the bride with her beautiful dress flowing behind her and someone else crying, don’t talk over it. Let them take it in before moving on.
Always Keep it Natural
One thing you want to avoid if at all possible, is having your subjects be aware that you are filming.
If you are constantly making people aware that they are being filmed, it is going to come off very unprofessional when you’re done editing and will most likely make your film look awkward as well.
You want your subjects to act naturally or pretend that they don’t see you.
Editing a Wedding Film – The Next Step
Editing a wedding film is probably the most important part of the wedding video process. It’s where you put all of your hard work together to create something that has a beginning, middle, and end.
The first thing to consider when editing your wedding film is pacing.
If you’re cutting your footage by hand then you need to be very careful with how fast you go through it. If you’re working with an editor or NLE then you can get away with quicker pacing as long as the edit is smooth and doesn’t leave too much dead space.
You want the viewer’s attention to stay on screen but don’t want to bore them by lingering too long on parts that aren’t interesting.
Once you’ve established an appropriate pace for your edit then look for moments in your film where there are emotional highs and lows.
It’s natural for these moments to occur within conversations or vows. However, sometimes they can be difficult to see without taking time to watch all of your footage from start to finish.
If you have any questions about editing a wedding film, feel free to ask them in the comments section below.
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