How to improve your wedding video footage
Ask photographers and videographers and most of them will tell you that weddings are challenging to shoot. For this reason, it is advisable that you perform some preplanning when shooting wedding videos. Here are some of the important things you need to prepare for:
Type of lighting
As a videographer, it’s a wise idea to check beforehand the type of lighting used at the venue. Doing so, you will be able to adjust your accessories to match the lighting and create clear footage.
Go for great audio
The on-camera microphone isn’t enough to capture great audio, especially during the exchange of vows. As a videographer, you can ask the groom to wear a lapel mic so that you can get clear and crisp audio. On the final editing, be professional enough to cut out any embarrassing conversations that have been captured on the lapel mic.
Rehearse camera positioning
During the actual wedding, you may have difficulty finding the perfect positions where you can shoot videos. It’s a good idea to rehearse your positioning beforehand so you know where to get the best shots on the big day. As a videographer, you can join the couple’s rehearsals so that you can plan your positioning way ahead of the event.
If the wedding and reception venues are indoors, your lighting may be very low and you will be forced to use on-camera light. When doing so, make sure to use a diffuser to soften your on-camera lighting which can cause subjects to squint their eyes due to harsh light. Ask the organiser to turn on all available lights during the important moments of the reception such as the toasts, tossing of the bouquet, and cake cutting. With low light, your video could become grainy.
Outdoor wedding venues tend to have good lighting. In fact, shooting under direct sunlight could wash out the colours off your subjects. Make sure to shoot under shaded areas or use canopies to avoid the harsh sunlight.
The vow exchange
Typically, the best angle for this moment is with the couple facing the guests or each other. However, there are times when the couple decides to face the wedding officiant and that could leave you, the videographer, in an awkward position. Ask the couple beforehand where they’ll be facing during the exchange of vows so you can prepare. You can also set up several small cameras by the altar or at the back of the officiant so that you can shoot videos in otherwise tight spots.
The wedding reception
During the party, you may be forced to work in a limited area. To ensure that you still get great footage of all the important parts of the party, you can let the bridal entourage know where you plan to set up your rig. This will allow your subjects to adjust so that you can take up the good angles.
Other traditional moments
If there’s going to be candle lighting, ask the couple beforehand not to block the unity candle to give you a good shot. For a sand ceremony, ask the couple to avoid blocking the vase. The same goes during the exchange of wedding rings. Tell the couple that to get the best shot, you need to have a clear view of the centre or the traditional objects.
Things to avoid
Good videographers avoid taking shots of wedding guests who are eating, chewing gum, or smoking during the ceremony. Doing so just looks bad in the finished video.
Work like you’re not even there
Ask the couple and their guests to act naturally in front of the camera. Tell them to think that you’re not even there to film them. People who act in front of the camera tend to look awkward and may even render the shot sequence unusable for the final video. Remember every wedding is unique. As a videographer, the only way to ensure that everything works out is to prepare for every wedding shoot ahead of time.