1-Camera wedding – where do I stand?!

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    • #37369

      Hello All,

      I’ll be filming my first wedding next week. It’s actually a same-sex ceremony. (Has anyone done one of those?) It’s a 1-camera job and they’re not having a rehearsal. My question is, where do I stand to capture the best video?

      (I already have the lav mic and shotgun, and I’ve read many great tips here so far – I think this is my only remaining question. Then again, the more tips, the better!)

    • #165615

      generally at the front of the alter is the best position to get all the “action” Just remember people will stand during the procession..set your tripod as high as you can and point your viewfinder/monitor down to see it. shoot over their heads if possible. I have been shooting for 15 years and have not done a same sex wedding yet. I know I will get the call one day and I hope I am already booked! Not that there’s anything wrong with it… :-]

      Do you have a good light for reception? plenty of battery for it…Thats where you run into lighting issues. bring spare camera batts,extra tapes, etc. expect the unexpected.

      Good Luck!! shoot plenty you can cut it out later, but you can’t go back in time.


    • #165616

      glasseye pretty much hit the nail on the head. I don’t do weddings, but I did one for a family friend once. My video teacher from high school, who i still keep in touch with, said ideally you want one camera shooting down the center isle framed with the bride, groom, and priest. Then you have a second camera on the bride. In your case though, maybe you have 2 brides…or no bride. Now that’s a brain teaser.

    • #165617

      It shouldn’t matter that it’s a same sex wedding the charcters you are portraying are still the same. If you must do a single camera wedding, take the traditional wedding approach shooting down the center isle framed with the bride, groom, and preacher. Make sure you makea list of special ceremony events (i ejoining hands, therings, the kiss…etc) you want to emphasize. Let the bride, groom, preacher know in advance that right after the ceremony you want the principle parties back at the alter (or whereever) and your going to recreate about a minutes worth of cut-in video to augment the real ceremony. Then use your list as a guide anddirect the action you want to take place. Don’t forget to incorporatedigital still pictures into these staged shots. They makegreat title pages for thefinal product. Be the director of your video not just a technician.

    • #165618

      Awesome information and tips thus far. Thanks so much for making a scary experience slightly more comfortable!

    • #165619

      My suggestion to you in the long run is this. EQUIPMENT FAILS! So if your one camera has problems during the shoot, gets dropped kicked, or champagne spilled in it, you are going to have problems. Rent a back-up to have on hand. I always have one more piece of equipment than I need in every category. Need 3 lights? I bring 4. Need two cameras, I bring three. I can’t tell you how many times that strategy has saved my butt from issuing a full refund to the bridge/groom due to equipment malfunctions. NEVER TRUST YOUR REPUTATION TO ONE PIECE OF EQUIPMENT!

      Oh, and good luck with the wedding!

    • #165620

      I would suggest seeing if you can get up on the alter (but out of view of the congregation) on the side. Get everything from the front and don’t move the camera a whole lot.

    • #165621

      It’s important to know if the couple will be facing the audience or the priest (Officiant). This will determine if you should place the camera at the back looking past the audience and to the couple OR from the stage so you can see the couple’s faces with their backs to the crowd. You will miss the Priest’s face but the ceremony isn’t about him, its about the couple and their day.

      Also…you should be able to meet with the couple and ask what the basic flow of the ceremony will look like. What is their order or service? How long will it be (that will determine how many tapes you bring, etc). Get an idea from them on what the day will look like how to film it.

      Check out my site for more info and how to best shoot weddings. It’s a resource on how to improve your video.



    • #165622

      Great info. Thanks, Jeff!

    • #165623

      First of all talk to the priest or officiant about do’s and dont’s and your ranges of movement. If you are allowed to move freely during the ceremony, I would suggest you to choose pos. #1 to film exchange of vows and rings. Pos. 2 and 3 as you can see have better angle to cover the bride’s side because she is apparently more important part of your video.Use pos. 2 or 3 if you have no chance to set your camera in the central isle for whatever reason (priest’s objection, terrible back light, etc.) Talk to the marrying couple straight (!) and ask them who would they prefer to see better if you put into position of making a choice between the two.

      Wedding Camera Position

      Second, decide if you have to shoot non-stop (continuously) or stop and go (preferably). In the latter you can discreetly move around the chamber and get different angles and close ups of the families on BOTH!!! sides.

      And last but not least, read my book Shoot-It-Yourself Wedding Video Guide.

    • #165624

      Thanks for the info, Andrei. This being my first wedding, I may just have to order your eBook from Lulu. Looks pretty useful.

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