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- September 11, 2008 at 7:33 PM #37365
In a week, I’m going to film a wedding. I’ve never done this before, so I could really use some tips. I’m just an amateur and I’m doing this for a friend, but I AM getting paid and want this to come out great. I’ll be using two Canon HF100’s to shoot and Vegas Pro to edit. My main concern is the shoot. I plan on setting up one camera on a tripod for the ceremony and roaming free with the backup. No huge concern there. What scares me is the reception. Where do I go? What do I do? Where do I stand when they walk in? How much should I film? What should I not miss? Do I go to every table and try to get people to wish the new couple good luck? I guess it’s not so much my skill in shooting I am worried about as it is my knowledge of weddings. I have only been to a few. The other thing is the lighting. I imagine this is going to be a difficult obstacle since the reception will be in the evening and lighting will most likely be poor once inside. So that’s mostly it. What do I do? Please let me know! Thanks!
1) do not spend a dime of thier money, till you got the job done, and done right. If you aren’t 100% confident, (don’t let on, they don’t need to worry, but be honest about your experiance level), but in your contract, be prepared to give a full refund.
2) ask lots of questions, goto the rehearsal. check out the venus. find out what you’re dealing with, then deal with any problems that you find out about.
3) know your equipment. if you’ll need to raise the ambient light, or add video lights, best to know in advance.
get to the reception hall, shoot some b roll of the crowd waiting for the bridal party to come in. Stand in a good line of sight to capture bridal party coming in. I recommend that you go to the bathroom before going to the reception, you need to be available at moments notice. Shoot a lot, try to remember to start shooting and wait a few seconds before stopping the shot to make sure you don’t cut something off. When shooting guests for well wishes to the bride and groom, work a table at a time. Don’t be pushy, but get in position to get good shots. Standing behind the bride and groom as they cut the cake is not ideal. If you have some help with you, have one camera on the best man for the toast, while the other is on the bride and groom for reaction shots (if they are not close by) I sometimes have a camera on a tripod up high at the dance floor so I have some b roll or wide shots to mix in with any dance footage. I use additional light very sparingly when needed. Try not to disrupt the ambiance of the mood. This is the bride’s day, she has expectations and you should not interfere with them. Best of luck with the shoot.
Thanks. Let me be clear, though. The bride is a friend. She asked me to do this because she didn’t want to pay a lot of money. She was merely looking to get the day captured on film. I offered to bring my own camcorder as a backup and also edit the video for her. She wasn’t expecting me to do so much. This is just a great opportunity to get some experience. I’m not worried about money, she’s not worried about the finished edited product. I just want to make my first experience as good as it can get. Also, if anyone has any wedding clips hosted somewhere that I could take a peek at, I would love to see an example. Thanks
Three bits of advice:
1. Here’s a problem I’ve encountered at weddings – Photographers.
If one sets up right where you’ve got the video camera, you’ll be picking up
their camera noise and clicks as they go about their business.
Try to get as far away from them as possible especially if you use the camera mike.
2. Invest in a wireless system so you can mike the groom and get good audio.
3. Lighting at the reception/dance is a usually a problem.
Either bring your own lighting, turn up the house lighting or explain to the bride why
the video might be dark when the lights aren’t on.
Note – since this is a friend and this is your first wedding, I’d do it for free.
You can then use this as a basis for getting other business.
Yes, lighting is a concern for me. Bringing my own lighting is not an option, I just don’t have the equipment yet. She expects this to be an amateur job, but I have also thoroughly explained that it will look dark. The only upside is that the camcorder performs well in low light.