An Amateur Videographer’s Guide to Filming Wedding Videos
Filming a wedding video is one of the most important jobs in the wedding industry. You are capturing a key moment in many people’s lives. It’s also one that can’t be repeated, so you’ve got to get it right. Here are some handy tips for shooting great wedding videos.
How to shoot wedding videos: a guide for amateur wedding videographers
1. Prepare accordingly
Have a detailed conversation with the couple prior to the wedding to fully understand what they are looking for. If you can attend the rehearsal, do so, as that is an opportunity for you to get a good feel for the flow of events, which will come in handy when you are filming the actual wedding.
Even if you can’t attend the rehearsal, arrive at the venue early so you have time to scope out the location and plan out where you need to be for key shots. Talk to the wedding planner and other people involved in the wedding to better understand what happens when and where, so you can be at the right place at the right time to capture the footage.
Alt text: Silhouette of a wedding shoot
2. Plan your shots carefully
Make sure to capture the must-have shots. In your discussion with the couple prior to the ceremony, ask about their must-have shots, then make sure you capture those. Must-have shots can include the bride walking down the aisle, the couple saying “I do,” the kiss, the first dance, and the cutting of the cake.
Beyond must-have shots, also try capturing some creative shots. Vary up your camera angle or motion to capture some unique scenes. Also, make sure to capture the emotions from both the wedding party and the wedding guests. Weddings can be very emotional, so capture what you can.
Also, capture plenty of cutaway and B-roll shots that you can use for transitions in the final video. You want to have enough footage, but make them all count, and don’t just film for the sake of filming, as you will spend too much time editing at the end.
While you will probably shoot some video handheld, it’s important that you have some means of stabilizing your camera to get the best shots. That could mean using a tripod, monopod, slider, Steadicam, or glide cam. Whatever you use, make sure it doesn’t get in the way of the wedding party or the guests.
4. Make sure you capture the audio
Capturing the audio is extremely important for videos. Even if you capture the best footage, your clients won’t be happy if they can’t hear the vows or the toasts.
The first thing to consider is how well your camera captures audio. If it doesn’t do a good job, then you should definitely have external recorders. Even if your camera does a good job, it’s a good idea to have a backup.
Having a wireless lavalier microphone is a good option. But try not to put it on the bride. You can also try using a shot-gun camera microphone for good directional audio.
Another option is to talk to the DJ and see if you can plug into the soundboard, assuming you can get good audio off of that. Also, have a good pair of headphones so you can monitor sound and make adjustments as necessary.
5. Be prepared to film in low light
Unless you are filming a morning ceremony and daytime reception, you will have to shoot in low light at some point. It’s ideal if you have a fast lens, which will let in more light, or a camera with a really sensitive sensor. You can also try shooting in a wider aperture so that more light reaches the camera sensor.
However, that may not be enough, and you may need to have external lights. You can talk to the DJ and see if you can use the lighting set up there. Otherwise, bring your own lights. However, if you are shooting with lights, use them sparingly to avoid blinding guests.
6. Bring extras
You don’t get a chance to redo the wedding, so make sure you are prepared for everything. Include a second or even third camera as a backup, which you may want to have set up anyway to easily capture additional shots from different angles.
Also carry extra lens, batteries, lights, memory cards — whatever items you might need. You don’t want to miss out on that critical footage because you weren’t prepared for the worst. You can bring an extra gear bag and stash it somewhere safe and out of the way, but easy to retrieve if needed.
7. Don’t go overboard with editing the video
Do the editing you need to make the video smooth and seamless, but avoid the temptation to over-edit. It will be more obvious than you think and could end up looking terrible. Always consult with the couple on the look they want. Whether it’s something timeless and classic, vintage, or something else, make sure you respect their wishes in the final edit. Here are some more mistakes you should avoid.
But there are things that need editing in almost every wedding video. For example, some parts of your footage might turn out too shaky and need to be stabilized. Or, perhaps, there are unwanted people or objects in the video – why not crop them out? Read this article to learn more about how to enhance videos in mere seconds.
Final thoughts on filming great wedding videos
Shooting wedding videos can be exciting work. There’s also a lot of pressure to get it right. With the right preparation, there’s no reason you can’t capture great footage and make a great video for your clients. The list above is a good starting point. Practice, be prepared and have a great shoot.
Want to read more of our latest post? Check out this Savannah Styled Wedding shoot.