Tips to Have The Best Wedding Video & Photos!
I love sharing the knowledge I've accumulated over the years from filming weddings, which is why I wanted to share some simple tips and pieces of advice to help brides & grooms have the best wedding video possible. Most of these apply to photography too; BONUS!
1) Get ready in a room with lots of natural light & space
Every wedding day begins with a time of “getting ready” or “prep shots.” Personally, I love this time of the day, because we’re getting to know our brides and grooms a little more as we chat and start filming; this is also when I love to get some beauty shots of the brides. To get the best shots, we need some space to move around you, and we need lots of natural light. Bathrooms are typically small, messy and little or no natural light. Artificial lights are usually casting a warm orange light from above, which makes skin look yellowish and creates unpleasant shadows under your eyes and nose.
2) Consider doing a "First Look"
There are many benefits to doing a first look (it relieves a ton of stress and anxiety before your ceremony), but one reason why I love it is that it’s one more amazing moment to capture, and it adds to the emotion of your wedding film. Some of my absolute favorite moments from weddings happen during this time; couples get to let out all their emotions without having to hold them all in during the ceremony. Ladies: if you want to get a great reaction shot of your groom seeing you for the first time, consider doing this. ;)
3) Face each other during the ceremony, but don't stand too close to each other
This is an easy one. We want to be able to see your faces during the ceremony. This will probably require you to chat with your officiant about how they’ll conduct the ceremony. Some officiants want you to face them at times, and face each other at other times. Preferably, we want you facing each other as much as possible, or at least have your bodies facing each other.
Another easy tip is to not stand too closely to each other as you face one another. This helps ensure one person isn’t partially blocking the other person from our camera’s line of sight. This is also something to think about for your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Bridesmaids and groomsmen have a tendency to create a arch, which can lead to poor line of sight for your videographer. So when you’re doing a rehearsal, think about how far away your videographer or photographer will have to be in order to get a clear shot of your faces.
4) Ceremony set-up: make sure there is plenty of space on all sides of your ceremony
This is another easy ceremony tip: make sure there is room on all sides of your ceremony space for your videographer to setup their tripods, and be able to move to a back camera. In order to be as unobtrusive as possible, I place my tripods to the left and right of the ceremony chairs so that I’m not in front of anyone, This means I need space between the chairs on the end and the wall if it’s indoors. This also allows me to walk around the the back to film from the center aisle.
5) Have an unplugged ceremony
As much as I would love to post a cringe worthy picture of ruined moments from guests taking photos during the ceremony, I wont (Google "unplugged wedding" and look at the pics). If you’re new to this term, it simply means no electronic devices during the ceremony are to be used by guests. This is becoming more popular, and I cannot emphasize enough how important this is. It’s becoming more and more frequent that a guest will hold up their phone, tablet or selfie-stick to get a shot of the two of you, while simultaneously getting in front of our cameras to do so. You’re paying your videographer & photographer to get the best shots possible, so ask your guests to keep their electronics put away during your entire ceremony, and to just be fully present and enjoy the event as it’s happening.
6) Getting your speeches right
Congratulations! You’re officially married, and now your wedding reception has begun. This is the time when your best man, maid of honor and maybe your parents will say a few words about you two and will end with a toast. Where the speeches/ toasts take place is often over-looked. Talk to your coordinator and/ or DJ about where they’ll stand so that they don’t have their backs to your guests, and your videographer & photographer can see their face.
Also, ask your DJ to provide a mic stand for the speeches/ toasts. Many people giving speeches walk up with pages to read, as well as a glass to toast with; this is why you don’t want them to have to hold a microphone on top of everything else. Added mic stand BONUS: no one will wander with the microphone in front of a speaker causing that horrible feed-back noise. From a filming perspective, it ensures that people will stay in one spot while they give their speech, instead of wandering around which can be very difficult to track and keep in focus on video.
7) Feeding your vendors
Alright, this one almost never gets mentioned on wedding blogs & magazines, but it’s actually pretty important. On the day of your wedding, your videographer & photographer will be on their feet for 8-10 hours, and we get tired, and hungry, and thirsty. When a meal isn’t factored into the timeline, and we have to work through the dinner hour, our energy plummets. Talk to your coordinator or caterer about having meals ready at the beginning of your reception for your vendors; this allows us to finish eating and be ready when speeches begin.
8) Consider the light when creating your timeline
Last but not least, is your timeline. If you have a wedding coordinator, they will usually help create a timeline for your day; sometimes your photographer will provide this service as well. You always want to make sure you’ve allowed enough time for your videographer & photographer to get all the shots you want at the best times of the day. You may have heard of people talk about “golden hour” or sometimes it's called “magic hour.” This is the hour right before the sun sets. This is best time for photos & video of the two of you, because the light is most flattering and wont create harsh and unflattering shadows on your faces.
Even if you’re getting married early in the day, and your reception is happening during golden hour, your videographer & photographer will be more than happy to take you two away for a moment to get a few shots during this period of great light. You will not regret it.
In the end, I always want to deliver the best wedding video possible, so I hope these tips come in handy for future brides & grooms. If you're thinking of getting a wedding video (I hope that you are), you can reach out to me on our Contact page!