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


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Old July 31st, 2009, 05:41 PM   #1
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Camera set up for weddings

I am totally new here and new at event videography. I have read several posts concerning camera set ups for weddings. One post stated to set up a camera on a tripod at the back of the church. Use your second hand held camera towards the front. When you set your stationary camera up at the back of the church, do you zoom in to get a close shot of the bride and groom or keep it at a wide angle to capture the whole scene?
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Old August 1st, 2009, 01:16 AM   #2
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Hi Cary

I guess there are many different setups. I found at a Church wedding unless the camera is high up you lose vision when the congregation stands up!!! I tend to work backwards. My main cam is on the front row of pews and almost centre (just leave room for the bride to get past!!) That way no-one can stand in front of the camera. I set it at a fairly tight shot of the couple and priest and then zoom in to just the couple for the vows.

I use my "B" cam then to shoot all the cutaways and also provide all the wide shots of the entire wedding party. The "B" cam also does the bride coming down the aisle, register signing and the exit. With a camera 50' back you would have to zoom in a lot and that makes for wobbles at high magnification!!!

I'm sure others do it a lot different so we will see what others say!!

Chris
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Old August 1st, 2009, 07:25 AM   #3
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while this has been discussed at length in other posts and I'm sure if you search thru the wedding board you'll find enough to read for about a week straight. HOWEVER, to answer your question...it all depends. The venue and the way the ceremony is phyisically going to be layed out, play th biggest roles (IMO) as to camera placement. Some churches are very restrictive some aren't. Outdoor ceremonies present their own set of challenges as to placement. What may appear to be a great shot of the B&G (with the camera up front shooting over the officiants shoulder) turns out to be poop cause noone stood exactly where they told you they were going to.
The best thing to do IMO, is to get to the venue early, scope it out, ask some questions of the B&G or officiant or coordinator and get the general feel of how it's going to go then use some good ol' common sense when setting up cameras.
IMO there is no 1 or 2 or 3 good answers. Every wedding, every venue is different. Camera placement will be also.
YMMV
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Old August 1st, 2009, 08:42 PM   #4
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Very sensible answer Don!!

Cary, I CAN give you one good piece of advice... always go to the wedding rehearsal!!! it may be a pain but it gives you valuable information about the layout and what's going to happen!! If you visit a venue just to check it out, make sure you go the same time that the wedding ceremony is scheduled for!! especially if it's outdoors when the sun position is important!!

Chris
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Old August 1st, 2009, 10:12 PM   #5
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Thanks guys for your time and efforts. Your reply is greatly appreciated. Actually I have previously done a few weddings and each time I did attend the rehearsal. You are right that helps greatly. I am reading through all the posts here and learning a lot.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 11:27 PM   #6
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I've pretty much stopped going to rehearsals since I do so much work in the same places time and time again BUT if it's a new venue for me AND it's not all that far AND I feel like going (meaning, I'm not working and my wife doesn't care if I go ;-)) I'll go.
I'm doing 1 in Little Rock next month and I WILL be going as of course I've not done a wedding previously there but I honestly don't think i've been to a rehearsal in probably 2 or 3 years.

However until you feel 110% confident about a particular venue, definately go to the rehearsal-you'd be surprised what you find out about the wedding. Too bad they usually have it in the evening when the wedding is in the afternoon. Lighting changes fast.
Oh well, not much you can do about it except roll with it.
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