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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old December 12th, 2008, 01:15 PM   #1
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Essential Shots

I am just getting started in the wedding video business. I have done some weddings for friends but now I am getting paying gigs. i want to know from some of the more experienced videographers, what essential shots do you guys capture at weddings? Do you have a list you could share? Thanks.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 02:17 PM   #2
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I am just getting started in the wedding video business. I have done some weddings for friends but now I am getting paying gigs. i want to know from some of the more experienced videographers, what essential shots do you guys capture at weddings? Do you have a list you could share? Thanks.
The biggest mistake I made was NOT getting close ups. It took me a few years and about 8 weddings in before I was comfortable shooting everything else so that I could start worrying about artistic shots like closeups. but a nice tight shot of a bride's eyes or hands punches up the emotional impact so much.

the rest is things like you've got to get the kiss, rings, vows, etc preferably from a bust frame at least (and a wide cutaway if you are multi-camming it).

When you get more confident and skilled, then add in things like making sure you capture scenes in the dressing room / prep (if they will let you in there).
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Old December 13th, 2008, 12:36 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Brett Weathersby View Post
I am just getting started in the wedding video business...what essential shots do you guys capture at weddings? Do you have a list you could share? Thanks.
Hi Brett,

Welcome to the wonderful world of wedding videography. It is my passion as well as my occupation. I'm sorry, but I don't have a list. When I was just starting out I made a list of shots I liked after watching other videographers weddings, which wasn't so easy before videos were accessable online.

So instead of just having a list, I would go to the websites of the videographers that post here at DVInfo and make your own shot list. Practice the shots before you go to the wedding. As you are going through this exercise don't just try to copy other videographers shots. Use their shots as a starting point and then play with them...be creative and make them your own.

At first it can seem overwhelming, but patience and persistance will pay off in the long run.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 01:34 AM   #4
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Jason brings up a great point with close ups but also do not forget to get wide shots too. I remember years ago an older man pulled me aside during the reception and said you have lots of close ups, but wouldn't it be great to see what it looked like from back here? That comment has stuck with me ever since. A farther away shot may not look the best or have that immediate punch, but it sure goes a long way for establishing and telling a story when edited together with those close ups.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 03:14 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Brett Weathersby View Post
I am just getting started in the wedding video business. I have done some weddings for friends but now I am getting paying gigs. i want to know from some of the more experienced videographers, what essential shots do you guys capture at weddings? Do you have a list you could share? Thanks.
As you get only one opportunity to do it right be careful not to ruin those one time shots, f.i. it's better to have a wide shot that's in focus of them putting on the rings then a close up that's blurred. Only do close up's on important moments if you are experienced in manually controlling the camera.

Like being said here, assure you get establishing shots so people know what and were it's happening, not only from inside but also outside the building. Take many close ups in church if time allows, put your camera on a tripod and fully zoom in to get all those details from guests faces to the couple holding hands. They are essential if you want to do more creative editing.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 07:33 AM   #6
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Brett - I always ask the B&G upfront if they would give me 2 minutes for a "re-enactment" of the ring exchange after the ceremony. This works great as you can get nice and close and don't have to risk losing your main shot.

Art
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Old December 13th, 2008, 12:41 PM   #7
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Brett - I always ask the B&G upfront if they would give me 2 minutes for a "re-enactment" of the ring exchange after the ceremony. This works great as you can get nice and close and don't have to risk losing your main shot.

Art
Ahhhh. a very very good idea. The ring exchange is one thing I've rarely ever gotten a decent pic of. they always have their hands practically hidden and the rings are no where near visible. very good idea.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 07:35 AM   #8
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Locked in Position

Many thanks for all the great advice! The church I am filming in has me locked in the balcony. This is a first for me. Any advice on how to shoot it from that angle? Also, I have always filmed in 60i. From reading a lot of posts here, I am hesitant to use 24p. Sounds like lots of people have problems editing with it. Any thoughts on that one?
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Old December 14th, 2008, 09:37 AM   #9
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From reading a lot of posts here, I am hesitant to use 24p. Sounds like lots of people have problems editing with it. Any thoughts on that one?
I recently upgraded to a xh-a1 and did my first wedding in 25f (pal) and edit with premiere cs3. It actually looks very good, also with a shutter of 1/25 at a very dark reception. You only need to take care of panningmovements, do them very slow or very fast to prevent visible stuttering in the motion.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 03:42 PM   #10
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Many thanks for all the great advice! The church I am filming in has me locked in the balcony. This is a first for me. Any advice on how to shoot it from that angle?
Hi Brett,

Are you shooting with two cameras? Do you have a 12x zoom or 20X zoom? Is it a really long church?
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Old December 14th, 2008, 05:25 PM   #11
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it's been my experience that to the B&G EVERY shot is essential. ;-)

I prefer to stage a shot over slamming in a fast zoom to TRY to get them doing the rings when they're mostly hidden anyway. There are a couple of others I do but for the most part I don't re-enact much at all.
Being locked to the balconey sucks in most cases but there's one church I shoot in where it's the best place for the ceremony. Keeps me away from the 40foot high 30 foot wide stained glass window that is ALWAYS backlight. Shooting from gond level is...well if I was a drinking man... Did I mention it's an oval shaped church and altar? Oh yeah to top it off, the aisle leading to the altar is sloped towards the altar and the altar is a raised paltform about 2 feet up.
I shoot the processional from the aisle and then scoot up stair while the officiant (decent guy) waits for me and the photog to get there.
Most tiems though the balconey sucks!
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Old December 15th, 2008, 09:34 AM   #12
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Many thanks for all the great advice! The church I am filming in has me locked in the balcony. This is a first for me. Any advice on how to shoot it from that angle?
Get B-roll shots of the guests before you are relegated to the balcony. Balcony placements are just the worst. It takes a few minutes to get up there, so that means you must be in place several minutes before the actual processional.

If possible, be donw on the main floor to shoot guests looking forward as if there were a wedding goign on up there. Then you can cut to these shots every once and a while.

And I know I will be criticised for it, but I shot still photos of other things at the ceremony so I could use them as filler in the ceremony.

Take video of the decorations and various other fine details elements of the church using Mark V.L.'s "Moving Camera" techniques. Reveals from behind neat things, reveals of boring thigns to impressive things etc. Shoot lots and lots of B roll of the place where the ceremony will happen so that it is harder to tell that these spliced in shots were not shot at the time of the ceremony.
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