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

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Old November 23rd, 2006, 10:38 PM   #1
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first wedding

Hello everyone. I have finally finished my very first wedding which we made zero money off of. It is great that we now have some footage to post on our website and get the experience of actually filming the wedding. After all was done I have learned alot just from this one wedding. Please feel free to take a look at the two samples i have placed on our site. Also some input or advice is welcomed. Also what is your take on the wedding festivlals that is held each year. How well does actually being there help. Since we do not have a listing in the yellowpages nor have alot of money to advertise do you think getting a booth at a show like that would benefit? Here is a link to our site please let me know what you think...

Chris Barton
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Old November 24th, 2006, 02:02 AM   #2
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potentially really good... a good eye for things like the cake in the foreground, and the shot where people are setting up in the background (although the guy with the brown table looks like a walking chocolate raisin :)

couple of constructive criticisms:
1. i'm sure you realise you need a tripod, it's the difference between good footage and v.good footage.
2. almost every shot has a low contrast, blue tinge to it, as though its not white-balanced properly. i'm sorry if this is intentional, or if its my monitor. i would maybe look at colour correcting it, to bring in the yellows and reds, to make the colours more vivid and saturated, or make them have more contrast?

Yeah, really good, keep at it!

You say you have little money for advertising....but i spent a minimal 50/per year on one website, and i've had most of my bookings from it!
obviously don't get conned into the $$$/year sites, unless you've REALLY checked them out first.

i've only done 2 wedding fayres to be honest, and i'm not so sure i'll keep doing them. Yeah, i got business from them, but i get more from website advertising and word of mouth and that's alot less hassle! But then everyone's different, you might really enjoy standing around ALL day with a smiling, selling face, saying the same scripted lines over and over again!


p.s. you spelt reception to be 'recption' on your examples page, and also, maybe look at making the clips smaller, or stream on the site? (hmmm, streaming, now that's something my clips need to do too!)

Last edited by Richard Wakefield; November 24th, 2006 at 02:33 AM.
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Old November 24th, 2006, 02:02 AM   #3
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OH MY GOD!!! sorry just had to ask, what exactly is the groom doing under the bride's dress???....that shot goes on far too long to not look dodgy...shouldn't that sort of thing wait till they are alone? :p
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Old November 24th, 2006, 07:15 AM   #4
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LOL Yeah dude I was starting to get turned on hehe, maybe there is an uncut version ;)
One thing which stood out to me was during the photoshoot you had the camera at the same angle and many of the shots throughout are held too long (i.e the photos with trees behind them and the Sun in the top left corner). Try to move around a bit more and cut the scenes up a bit, close up of face cut to midrange, a different position, close up of different position, flash to a wide-angle. It's so tempting to just adopt the photographer stance when I forget we can do things much more and differently. I'm saying this because I make/made some of those mistakes too and for some reason it's easier to spot when someone else does it. Also (and I was guilty of this) there is tons of space sometimes between the subjects heads and the top of the picture, bring it down or close in more if you can.
But yeah I thought there was a lot of beautiful scenery and shots, definitely get a tripod on them, I reckon thats the most important thing you could do at the moment.

As for advertising, tell absolutely everyone you know what you are doing, tell them to please tell everyone else that they know too. If you are out, carry business cards all the time, permanently keep a demo dvd or something similar in your jacket pocket, keep your ears open to other peoples conversations in meeting places (without being rude of course!) such as bars, malls, cafe's wife was out one evening at a bar and has possibly got me a job for next year simply by overhearing a couple discussing their wedding plans. Talking to people, put on your business hat and make an effort to start small talk now and again, I'm not saying be false cos people can sense that, but just make polite conversation. That's how I've possibly got my second job for next year and this is without spending a penny, hell I don't even have a website up yet. Someone always knows someone who knows someone whos getting married....
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Old November 24th, 2006, 08:27 AM   #5
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Although I have only shot three events, I too have learned allot from them also. Some suggestions:

For the sample area of your site, that your videos be smaller in size. Respectively they are 93mb and 63mb. This is fine for folks on the forum to review, but for customers it will test their patience if they do not have a fast enough pipe. Perhaps providing a thumbnail near each links.

I also suggest you start another thread on this forum to help QA your site. You be surprised on how much the little details are easily overlooked.

Regarding the actual shoots:
If there is anything I have learned from reading and actually shooting, is to frame those shots and never move unless the pan is absolutely needed to complete the shot. I guess what I am trying to say; I noticed too many frame re-adjustments i.e., when bride/groom and others were exiting the house.

Good luck with your new venture..
MotionOne Studios
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Old November 24th, 2006, 08:57 AM   #6
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Welcome to the biz

Hey Chris,
Good to see another company from SC on here (I'm in Columbia). Very good first effort. This will be my second year in business, and I second the others suggestions. It is all always a work on progress. I got 16 weddings this year on word of mouth alone, plus advertising on free sites like,, and Mostly my work came from other vendors that I worked with. I also am in pretty close with some other Videographers in my area and we refer each other. You should see about getting in touch with other folks in the Greenville/Spartanburg/Anderson area and just introduce yourself, show them your work and maybe try to get some work as a second shooter. It can really improve your own work, and get you in touch with a community. There are some very talented folks in your area, so they can be alot of help. In the website dept, I have always felt that less is more. You should speak as much with images as words. The only comment I have about the website is that it looks a little busy. Try not to impose text over images, they tend to get lost. Again great to see you on here, and if we get our videograpers association kicking here in Columbia, I'll shoot you an e-mail. Are you planning on doing the St. Andrew's bridal show in Jan?
Bill Grant
Grant Photo & Video
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 09:05 PM   #7
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Thanks for the comments everyone. For anyone that has not viewed the samples or tried and didnt want to wait so long, i have uploaded a smaller size for view also.
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 08:17 AM   #8
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Anticipation, Chris! Try to anticipate where the shot is going, so you don't have to slightly re-frame (or worse: slightly zoom) the shot during the clip. Screams "home movie!" and you're clearly capable of much better. If you must do it, do it smoothly, imperceptibly, so you don't draw attention to the fact that you, as camera operator, changed your mind as the shot developed.

Also: if you must use a cross-dissolve, be aware of "handles" you're introducing to the viewer: the newly visible frames (i.e. a few extra frames before the front of an incoming clip, or the few extra frames after the end of an outgoing clip). These often can be seen to zip pan or crash zoom off during the transition and, being visible in the final edit, they are unpleasant, yet they probably weren't visible with just a straight cut in the rough edit.
Martin at HeadSpin HD on Blu-ray
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 12:52 PM   #9
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I must say that I thought this was very good, better than some pro reels that I've seen. Where does the music come from in the ceremony reel - is it original music?
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 01:30 PM   #10
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Demo looks pretty good, but I see we are not worried about copyrighted music.
Chapter one, line one. The BH.
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Old December 4th, 2006, 09:21 PM   #11
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Thanks again for the comments. Also i have to say this is my FIRST wedding and actually never really been in film/camera work at all. I can live with the slight adjustments we had during the ceremony and when we did adjust i understand they were not the smoothest as i was using a low quality tripod. For the reception i dont think you can anticipate those shots as you dont know what is going to happen. As for the x-fades could you be more specific on which scene or video had this. The music is mainly what the couple wanted and what i chose was on the menu music which was only an instrumental of there selected music. Martin im not sure if im right or it may just be my prefrence but i think a completely static (still) shot with out any moving object looks more like a still photo and does not give the same effect as video. As videographers we can move and pan or zoom SLIGHTLY and SMOOTHLY which i think compliments a shot. I just think shot after shot with no zoom or pan gets kinda boring, but thats just my opinion.

Greg the ceremony music is " I could not ask for more" by Edwin McCain. Also it is really nice to see you compliment my work the way you did. I really appriciate it and I hope to only improve on this first effort. I have a new tripod and some extra goodies on the way...
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