Weddings are big business for videographers. But in an industry where most everyone relies on the same tried-and-true techniques, how do you stand out? By forgetting everything you know about wedding videos.
For a blissful couple, their wedding is a magical day. But for a videographer, weddings present a creative challenge. How do you tell a unique and engaging story when, let's face it, most weddings essentially follow the same formula? Ceremony, first dance, dinner, cake, bouquet toss, get your tux dry-cleaned and repeat next weekend.
Most videographers tackle this challenge by turning to their arsenal of reliable stand-bys: slow pans, long dissolves, sentimental music and so on. Not to knock this approach, these techniques are very useful, and they're used over and over again for a reason. But doing what's always been done makes it difficult to differentiate yourself. Whether you're looking to grow your existing wedding video business, or break into the field for the first time, it pays (literally) to find your niche. So what do you do and where do you start? As with most productions, it starts with the person signing the checks. Today, that's the couple.
Set the Scope
Many couples have a reasonably accurate idea of what a basic wedding video entails, and if that's what they want, by no means should you spring a surprise on them. A lot of what we'll discuss here requires getting more involved in the wedding, whereas some people like the videographer to blend into the background. So begin by describing your intended approach in advance to avoid surprises "on set."
Veering away from the traditional wedding video will require extra time and money. Consider this an opportunity. If you create a unique product, then you should charge accordingly. Do it well, and you'll eventually find yourself with a discerning clientele willing to pay extra for your one-of-a-kind service. On the other hand, if you're shooting these videos as favors for friends or family, the techniques discussed here should at least help make the project creatively fulfilling.
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