Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › One camera wedding shoot › Please, please, please, do
Please, please, please, do the bride a favor. Go down to a pawn shop, your local craigslist page, or some other used merchandise outlet, and buy at least one, but preferably 2 camcorders. Shoot the wedding with these cameras, and if you couldn’t afford to keep them, re-sell them immediately after you get the footage onto your PC.
Weddings make up the vast majority of my work, and let me tell you, a one camera wedding shoot will be a huge challenge and a pain in the butt to edit. It might not seem like a terrible idea ahead of time, but over and over, you’ll start moving to reposition the camera, and the minister will make a priceless comment that the whole room laughs to, right while your camera is pointed straight at your shoes.
The other alternative is to put your single camera on a tripod, and hold more or less the same shot the entire time. Again, this sounds fine before hand, but watching the video will be something like a visual dose of Valium. Great for putting the bride and groom to sleep on those lazy summer nights, but not something they’ll watch and remember with fondness.
If you can get a second camera, I highly suggest setting it up at the back of the room on a medium-wide shot of the stage. This can be your "CYA" shot that you can always cut to while you’re repositioning yourself. If you can get a third camera, train it on a medium shot of the groom so you can see his face, and you can get bride shots along with the other shots you’re going to naturally get from your camera. It might be worth offering a friend $20 to come along and make sure that the camera follows the groom if he moves (and he will!).
Now, if you can’t beg, borrow, or steal enough to get at least a second camera, you’re going to need to be really creative with your shots. You’re going to need to get some b roll shots to cut to while you reposition your camera. Before the wedding, get some shots of decorations, the crowd (if you can find a group docile enough to "fake" being a shot from the ceremony), and if you can, get some shots of the musicians/singers rehearsing. If you’re really good, you might be able to get the Bride and groom to let you take some shots of them standing on the stage after the ceremony, pretending to be in the wedding, but I don’t like doing that, because everyone will know that those shots are faked.
Ultimately, the best answer I can give you is to get more cameras. Even a crappy camera is better than none at all. If you go to a local pawn shop on Friday, some will have a 48 or 72 hour return policy less some restocking fee, so if you were clever enough, you could record all your footage, transfer it onto the computers, and return it to get most of your money, but again, that’s a questionable practice, so do it at your own risk. But if it’s possible, you just really need to get another camera or two.
Sorry if that’s not what you were looking for. I do hope it helps though!