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


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Old July 20th, 2007, 01:26 PM   #1
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One Camera Wedding

I realize that 2 cameras is ideal, but right now thats just not possible. I would greatly appreciate any input on camera angles, positions. Should it be on a tripod the whole time? I am shooting with a sony vx2000 and the groom will be miked with a sennheiser wireless lapel.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 01:45 PM   #2
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I would just stay safe and use nothing but tripod. It is pretty hard to keep steady during the whole thing so at least you will have some insurance that your shots will look pro. There is nothing wrong with getting some free hand shots but remember to put the camera back on the tripod when nothing important is going on so it will be easy to edit out.

I once had a two camera shoot where I used one free hand and the other tripod. Well the tripod cam wasnt recording. It sucked so bad, lots of shaky shots because it was the handycam type and it gets hard to hold after a while.

I would put the camera on the groom side pews if possible. I find this angle to be the most attractive...maybe because it is facing the bride instead of the groom.

But that is main point, weddings are usually centered around the bride. A strait isle shot is really boring with only one camera but that might not be a bad choice either, especially if you have a great view.

Also, I would do a few pans here and there (maybe during prayers, singing, etc) to make it not quit as boring.

I would also ask the b/g what angle they would like best.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 02:03 PM   #3
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Hey Jacob,

I shoot one camera weddings all the time. Usually I place my tripod on the left side (left facing the altar) of the church at the front. Others will tell you the opposite side, because you will be facing the bride when they are looking at each other for the vows, but I think that's more applicable to multi-camera shoots where you have more coverage and won't ever be coming off the tripod.

I find on the left, you avoid the bride being hidden by the taller groom, and you can get better shots of them watching the readers at the podium, which is usually on the left. You also get a better shot of the readers. Anyway, choose a side you like.

I stay on tripod for most of the ceremony except:

1. The processional. I'm hand held next to aisle to get everyone walking up. If you stay on your tripod for this, your shot will be blocked when everyone stands up for the entrance. Just at the end of the processional, I run and put my camera on tripod while everyone is getting settled, and hopefully before the priest starts talking.

2. I come off tripod and move back into the centre to get the vows. If you don't, you will certainly not get a shot of them both (as I explained at the top).

3. I come off tripod to get the signing of the register.

4. I come into the aisle for the recessional, usually backing up down the aisle next to the photographer. After getting the recessional and the couple exiting the church, I run back in to pack up my tripod and any recorders I have going. Then get back outside in time for the group shot and general congratulations.

This workflow assumes you know what's coming in a wedding. You need to know when the vows are coming up so you can be in position, etc. It's also different for other denominations. For example, in orthodox weddings, the exchange of the rings and the vows are right at the beginning. I've been screwed by that before.

I would strongly suggest putting a recorder and microphone on the podium as well as the groom to get good audio of the readers. Gives a much better result in your video, and can be a backup audio source in case of some disaster with your wireless. You could put one on the altar as well. I don't bother micing the priest unless it's an outdoor ceremony. The more the better.

If you roll camera without pause throughout the ceremony, which you should, the audio sources are easy to line up. I use iRivers and Giant Squid mics, plus my wireless. Do a forum search for iriver if you want more info on using them.

Also, make sure you get lots of detail shots you can use as cutaways. You'll need them in a one camera shoot. Stained glass windows, decorations, etc. You can get closeup shots of the audience during communion or long prayers that would probably be cut out in the video.

Cheers,
Vito
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Old July 20th, 2007, 04:40 PM   #4
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Jacob,

Ditto to what Vito said. I shoot with one camera (not ideal, but hey money doesn't grow on trees). I start up front to get everyone coming down the aisle and then run in the back and set up on a tripod down the aisle for the rest of the ceremony. It not be as interesting as a two camera wedding but the most important thing is to document the occasion.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 06:55 PM   #5
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Make the bride the subject :) Shes the most important there, usually better looking than the groom too :)

I use a second cam unmanned usually. but for me the rub is that I have not found an ideal use for it unmanned, I shoot the main footage as if I dont have the second cam - just in case the second cam failed

Ian
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Old July 20th, 2007, 07:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul J Carey View Post
I start up front to get everyone coming down the aisle and then run in the back and set up on a tripod down the aisle for the rest of the ceremony.
Just to be clear, I stay at the front left of the church, in front of the audience. Not at the back. In the back, you will be blocked whenever the audience has to rise (which is about every 2 secs in a Catholic ceremony, hehe).
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