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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old August 6th, 2014, 04:47 PM   #1
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How to take your Wedding Videography to the next level?

I feel like I produce a solid wedding video. Good quality video with good quality sound, but I feel like I am stuck at that level. Any tips on how to take it to the next level? I am doing this part-time and am averaging 15-20 weddings a year. Here is my Youtube Channel where I upload my videos. What do you guys think? https://www.youtube.com/user/TNYVideography/videos
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Old August 6th, 2014, 06:07 PM   #2
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Re: How to take your Wedding Videography to the next level?

3D is the future.
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Old August 6th, 2014, 06:13 PM   #3
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Re: How to take your Wedding Videography to the next level?

Tyson ... if your clients are happy paying what they do and you seem to be getting a lot of bookings considering you are part time.

Why bother changing ?

To take it to the next level, you realistically need to up your prices to compensate the extra effort, equipment etc you will spend.

And as above ... you can start filming with 3D cameras to offer a 3D wedding video or you can buy 4K cameras and start offering 4K ...

Plenty of ways to take it to the next level. But I would personally stick with what im doing if it's bringing in the clients.
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Old August 6th, 2014, 06:55 PM   #4
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Re: How to take your Wedding Videography to the next level?

I'm guessing that's not what he meant, guys.

Tyson, my wife and I are considering moving to your area in 2 or 3 years - Bloomington is our first thought - to escape the frozen hellscape that is Northern Minnesota/North Dakota, but while keeping the midwest feel.

Do you want specifics for you? May I ask, what do you deliver to the client? On you channel, I watched two of your 4 1/2 minute trailers. I assume there is longer material, but is it just a full length video of the ceremony, speeches, etc.?

Mostly I watch the work of other people who are much, much better than me, and pay attention to what it is I like and don't like. This includes structure and sequences, and composition. Color grading and picture style is sort of last on my list, but I think it's still important, too.

Just off the top, nothing at the front of your videos grabbed my attention and pulled me in.
*Can you get in tighter during vows with your side cameras so that, instead of a 3 shot, you've got an over the shoulder of just the bride or groom? It will give you a great sense of intimacy. Same sort of problem during their first dance.

Those are the first two things that jumped out at me.
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Old August 6th, 2014, 07:02 PM   #5
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Re: How to take your Wedding Videography to the next level?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyson Yoder View Post
I feel like I produce a solid wedding video. Good quality video with good quality sound, but I feel like I am stuck at that level. Any tips on how to take it to the next level?
Hey Tyson, Robert's advice is good, but two things that jumped out at me -- (1) you don't need to fade to black between each shot; it breaks up the flow too much; (2) your shots could be more stable. But if you're shooting handheld, no need to change -- you'd lose the flexibility of handheld.
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Old August 6th, 2014, 07:31 PM   #6
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Re: How to take your Wedding Videography to the next level?

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Originally Posted by Robert Benda View Post
I'm guessing that's not what he meant, guys.


Do you want specifics for you? May I ask, what do you deliver to the client? On you channel, I watched two of your 4 1/2 minute trailers. I assume there is longer material, but is it just a full length video of the ceremony, speeches, etc.?

Just off the top, nothing at the front of your videos grabbed my attention and pulled me in.
*Can you get in tighter during vows with your side cameras so that, instead of a 3 shot, you've got an over the shoulder of just the bride or groom? It will give you a great sense of intimacy. Same sort of problem during their first dance.

Those are the first two things that jumped out at me.
I offer the short Highlight Film as you see on Youtube, a Full Doc edit and a Short Form Film.


I shoot with a Panasonic Gh3, Gh2, and a Sony NX70 for my helper. I recently got the 35-100mm lens for my Panasonic so that will help with the close-ups.

But ya thanks for the input.
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Old August 6th, 2014, 07:36 PM   #7
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Re: How to take your Wedding Videography to the next level?

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Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
Hey Tyson, Robert's advice is good, but two things that jumped out at me -- (1) you don't need to fade to black between each shot; it breaks up the flow too much; (2) your shots could be more stable. But if you're shooting handheld, no need to change -- you'd lose the flexibility of handheld.
I shoot most of my video from tripods, the only time I don't is the Bridal Entrance. I try to be as inconspicuous as I can so I don't like to set up in the center aisle until right before she enters, I slip over and go hand held for the entrance and then back out as soon as she reaches the front.

Thanks for the input, I know I need to work on stuff and thats why I asked the question.
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Old August 6th, 2014, 07:45 PM   #8
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Re: How to take your Wedding Videography to the next level?

Sounds good, Tyson. If you want to show off a short form, I'd love to watch one.

If you want examples, I know there are plenty of trailers available on this site, in the example gallery. I've got a few of our 15 minute highlight films on our website here: Wedding Videography | RNB Weddings by Robert & Nomani Benda

The five examples I have on there do sort of show my evolution over the past 18 months....both in editing and shooting. I'm finally to the point where I'm reasonably happy with our work, but its not consistent enough.

I'm now focusing on color grading, since we have a good grip on our basic style and fundamental shots. I'm still practicing my composition, but mostly I experiment when I'm not being paid - I'm also an MC/DJ. I will say, missing the darn focus aside, I'm really happy with my shooting style during dancing, and am starting to nail speeches. Those 4 minute dance/reception highlights (I use to promote me as a DJ) can be seen here:
Wedding DJ Robert Benda | RNB Weddings by Robert & Nomani Benda
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Old August 6th, 2014, 09:40 PM   #9
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Re: How to take your Wedding Videography to the next level?

Hi Tyson, I have to ask -- what sort of tripods do you use? (I've got a suspicion you're using photography tripods rather than a video tripod with a fluid head.)
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Old August 7th, 2014, 03:01 AM   #10
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Re: How to take your Wedding Videography to the next level?

I take it you do work solo? Just watch 2 of your videos and what I miss is the creative part of camerause, like you said you have got your basics right but the addition of steadicam and slider moves will certainly give your videos a higher production value.

The only problem when shooting solo is to find the time to use this type of equipment. I have a blackbird steadicam which I use a lot starting from the reception, before that I just don't have the time to use it and I have a simple slider that I actually hate using as it's so cumbersome to drag around and use throughout the day but a sliding shot looks much cooler then a panning shot from a tripod.

Especially for your trailers that are online steadicam and slidershots will make your video appear more professional and that can be a reason to increase your prizes.
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Old August 7th, 2014, 07:41 AM   #11
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Re: How to take your Wedding Videography to the next level?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
Hi Tyson, I have to ask -- what sort of tripods do you use? (I've got a suspicion you're using photography tripods rather than a video tripod with a fluid head.)

I use Manfrotto with fluid heads.
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Old August 7th, 2014, 07:46 AM   #12
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Re: How to take your Wedding Videography to the next level?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I take it you do work solo? Just watch 2 of your videos and what I miss is the creative part of camerause, like you said you have got your basics right but the addition of steadicam and slider moves will certainly give your videos a higher production value.

The only problem when shooting solo is to find the time to use this type of equipment. I have a blackbird steadicam which I use a lot starting from the reception, before that I just don't have the time to use it and I have a simple slider that I actually hate using as it's so cumbersome to drag around and use throughout the day but a sliding shot looks much cooler then a panning shot from a tripod.

Especially for your trailers that are online steadicam and slidershots will make your video appear more professional and that can be a reason to increase your prizes.

I do all the Pre-Ceremony stuff solo, so yes its hard to find time to use sliders, glide cam, etc. Those shots definitely add to the video. I used to have a Blackbird but ended up selling it because I just didn't have the time to drag it around by myself.
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Old August 8th, 2014, 05:40 AM   #13
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Re: How to take your Wedding Videography to the next level?

It's solid work. Here's a couple things I'd do if I were you:

1) Less weddings, more money. Every year raise your prices a couple hundred. I went from $800 a wedding to $4000 by just aggressively raising every year - and I offered less final product. You mentioned you were part time, imagine if you only had to do 10 weddings a year for $2500. Be sure to keep all the editing work the same and don't do anything different work load wise or purchasing equipment. It's tempting to want to give back or do more when you raise your prices but it will just make you back track profit wise. If you feel like you could make a jump by buying X or Z that's fine, but again protect your profits as you raise prices. So do this until you feel like you are dropping in income one year and hit a ceiling.

2) Find other revenue streams. Especially being part time I'd find other ways to make money without shooting more weddings. If I was doing wedding's as a main gig I would focus on the venders and creating one minute montages for each of them. You could probably sell those for around $200 - $500. And then ontop of them offer to go to their place and shoot an interview with them to make promo's. Especially as you work with the same vender you could make some really nice promo videos. So at weddings when you are getting footage keep in mind that you can make videos for the makeup artist, hairstylist, photographer, dj, wedding venue, caterers, etc.

3) You could try to go more 'cinematic'. I would loose all fades. I think if you strive to capture more dynamic broll you could really add alot more to these highlight videos. You've proved that you can shoot a great 'base' for the video (prep, ceremony, toasts, dance), now try to add more frosting.
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Old August 10th, 2014, 03:43 PM   #14
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Re: How to take your Wedding Videography to the next level?

Tyson, I've grown by doing contract work and being mentored by others. Also look into workshops and education.
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Old August 10th, 2014, 05:23 PM   #15
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Re: How to take your Wedding Videography to the next level?

I was thinking about this a bit yesterday, as I was livestreaming a Catholic wedding from the balcony and had zero things to do....

Many of the best wedding films have certain things in common:
*good technical ability
*good composition
*good audio

But, we often overlook
*finding a way to show the B&G's personality
*showing the emotion of the day itself (like the shot of a nervous groom right before the ceremony, in some room, foot tapping, or something similar).
*shots that give you, the viewer, a sense of intimacy. Tight shots of faces, eyes, hands, or other elements help. It's why the partially obstructed shot of a B&G, like through the leaves of a tree, like we're seeing something private, work so well in the right moment.

Anyone else?
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