Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › What to make sure I shoot at the wedding. › As always, Hanks not only
As always, Hanks not only swift to reply, but he’s also right 😛
If you’re going to be doing your first wedding, and you’re not totally sure of youreslf, try to find a wedding to attend. Don’t crash the wedding, but if a friend or family member is getting married, or if your church is hosting a wedding and they have a big balcony that won’t be getting used, it always helps to "see" what you’re going to do.
as Compusolver mentioned, at least three cams and three mics is best, and if you can get more, do it. I use three cameras and four mics, and I have a fourth camera if I feel that it will help, and even with that, sometimes I wish I had another (of course, that’s just my OCD speaking, that wished I had a shot from every possible angle in the room!), but alas, I have yet to find a bride, groom, or pastor that would wear a helmet cam at the service :-D.
In our wedding packet we give couples, we have a sheet that we fill out with them to ask what shots they’d like us to try, what things will be special/important to them, and also to ask for their editing style likes and dislikes (for example, they might want the video edited like TLC’s "Wedding Story", or they might have some other styles they prefer in editing). It helps us know what they have in their mind for the finished product, so when they get it they won’t be disapointed.
One other thing, never guarantee a particular shot to a couple. Tell them "These are the shots we always go for" or "This is what we typically try to get", but as soon as yu promise something you can’t guarantee, you’re going to get in trouble.
For example, one couple I worked with really wanted a super closeup of their hands for the ring ceremony. At the rehearsal, I showed him the best way to hold her hand so I could get the shot, and told him where to stand. Everything was perfect, until the next day, at the ceremony. I got set up in my location to get the shot. Everything was going as it should. But then, when the groom was about to put the ring on the bride’s finger, in his wedding day nervousness, he shifted his position so that all I could see was his back. By the time I relocated, it was over. When I told them that I couldn’t get the shot, they were initially upset enough to even ask for a discount. Fortunately, when I explained the situation, they were forgiving and let things be.
But the back of my contracts, which I always go over with the couple, houses legal crap that covers stuff like that. It says right on my contract that I do not guarantee any particular shot in a wedding. I’d suggest that if you’re going to "go pro" for weddings, that you get a lawyer to help you draft a legal disclaimer on your contract. At the very least, find a good premade statement online, and tailor it to your service. In the pro world, even at a happy event like weddings, there are scum out there who are looking for a way to get something for nothing, or worse, a way to get more than something for nothing, e.g. "I didn’t like the video, therefore I will not pay you AND I’m suing for damages! By the way, I’m keeping the video."
Of course, if you’re just doing a wedding for friends or family, you don’t need to worry so much about that, but still make sure they know that you’ll do your best, but if something happens and you miss a shot, that’s just how it goes sometimes.