In Wedding Videography & Photography, what was acceptable few years back is considered outdated or old-fashioned today. Here we take a look at the latest trends in the Wedding Video & Photo business.
Wedding Photography: Where Fashion Meets Photography
Wedding photographers around the world have raised the bar in wedding photography and cinematography by taking breath-taking pictures, stylized cinematography, slick editing and Avant Garde coffee-table books.
With powerful equipment becoming cheaper (reasonably), more and more photographers are investing in high-end cameras for better results.
Most Wedding videos nowadays are made similar to how movies are made!
In this style of photography, photographers with experience in fashion, lifestyle and editorial photography bring their expertise to the wedding space to get those perfect shots, making the bride and groom look like stars.
These photographers ensure the entire wedding experience is brought to life with a cinematic touch. With the talent and and precision of master craftsmen, aided by cutting edge equipment & technology, the current crop of photographers/cinematographers have revolutionized wedding photography and cinematography.
There’s also lot of money in weddings, which have promoted many from the film business to dive into the wedding business; the great thing about that is they get their film-making experience to weddings.
Most pre-wedding films and portfolios have romance and dream-like quality that world cinema is made of.
On most wedding films, scriptwriters, art directors, fashion photographers, cinematographers and editors are utilized to ensure a concept-rich & highly creative product is made.
Wedding Photography Etiquette: Dos & Don’ts
Here are dos & don’ts for photographers to ensure they don’t intrude during those important functions, and for clients to ensure they get what they want without appearing as control freaks.
When to Take Pictures
There’s no right time, in fact, as wedding photographers, you’re expected to cover every moment and every function. Here’s an effective way to make sure you don’t miss out on the important things.
Check beforehand with the client about the start and end time for the various functions and the venues for every function. Your photo/video team has to reach there well in advance, so that you can capture the décor without getting disturbed (advantage of reaching early), make sure you capture the couple entering the venue and moving out of the venue, make sure your team covers the function adequately.
Check with the couple beforehand to know when they can spare some time so that only the couple can be clicked in various poses. Make sure during reception, you also take some pictures only of the couple in various poses, without any distractions.
Proper Instructions to the Photo/Video Team
As a client, its also important to give clear instructions to the photo/video right in the beginning.
- Do you want more candid photos?
- Do you want more of the getting ready / makeup part
- Are you expecting any special guest during the wedding, whose entry you want captured, and so on. Dress Code
Most professional photographers send their photo/video team with Jackets or t-shirts bearing their company’s logo. This is a great way to showcase your brand, but then it works only if you’re a well-known brand and your crew is big (its common to have a crew size of 6 to 10 for most weddings, so its good to have some sort of dress code for your crew).
It also helps in identifying your team, just in case the client wants you to take some important pictures/videos at the spur of the moment.
Know the Important People
Its important to know who the important people, which means, besides the couple, you should at least know who their immediate family is, and their close friends.
In one of my friend’s wedding, there were about 10 people in the wedding photo/video team, and one of the videographers was busy shooting the proceedings, when an elderly man requested him to get aside.
But the videographer stayed put.
The elderly man requested again, which irritated the videographer who threatened to shut down the camera and walk off if he was asked to move from there. The elderly person turned out to be the bride’s father and the bride was very upset that somebody misbehaved with her dad.
So its important to know who’re the important people, and in general, it always helps to be polite with people.
Wedding Video Production: How to Shoot
Weddings, in general, is serious business nowadays. Every aspect associated with a wedding is taken care of by professionals.
The ceremony, moments and celebrations associated with a marriage can go on for more than a day, so as a Video-maker you need to ensure that you shoot a faithful documentary of the events as they unfold.
Here are some suggestions/tips to help you to take a professional approach to wedding video production and photography.
Chronological Record of the Event: The most common approach is to make a chronological record of the event. You shoot it as a documentary, telling a story and interpreting what you see.
Shooting the Ceremony: The most suitable position from which to shoot the wedding ceremony is usually from behind the priest’s left shoulder. You get a good view of the couple’s faces. You may just want to check with the priest to confirm if he is ok with your position.
Capture Diverse Moments: Don’t just stick to capturing the evening reception and the celebrations. Grab shots of the post-ceremony socializing and conversations as well. It could be outside the venue, but does not matter. You will get lots of candid and interesting snippets of video. The video footage will give you plenty of diverse moments when you sit down for editing!
Use Microphone: Consider the use of an external microphone. You will need to capture the sound associated with all the formal moments, including the ceremony. The camcorders built-in microphone will not give you the best results, with all the background noise being captured.
Dealing with the Photographer: Besides you, the photographer will also be capturing those precious moments. At times, you can’t do much since the photographer will get in your way. Try to include him in the action and create another point of interest.
Mix Shooting Styles: Every wedding will have key formal events together with less formal or lighter moments!
So you just cannot stick to shooting from a tripod all the time!
For the formal, staged moments, consider the use of a tripod. If you have to get closer to people or between places to capture the lighter moments, it is best to shoot hand-held.
Make the Couple Comfortable: Besides capturing the formal moments, you will also have to capture some informal moments, close-ups or candid shots of the couple.
Utilize the time when they are getting ready for the wedding, to ask some questions about their would-be. Add a little humour to your conversation. Make them comfortable. It will all add to the quality of your final video.
Tips for creating compelling, professional contemporary Weddings Videos
- Each wedding film is hand-crafted with narrative, says a story.
- Its shot using professional cameras (and even helicam depending on the venue)
- Uses live audio and classy soundtracks
Besides capturing the various events, they also film the bride and groom getting ready for the various events, and capture behind-the-scene moments at their respective homes & functions.
Their photo and cinema team at the venue cover everything from the beautiful decor and ambiance, to the guests & families of the bride/groom, including their candid moments. Unlike traditional videos, contemporary wedding films are much more compelling, and will make you look back and relive those special moments.
Studios have access to some of the best talents (photographers, cinematographers, video editors) from the industry, who work in creating the wedding videos.
Script for Filming a Wedding
Want your wedding to stand out? You need a script for filming the Wedding.
Here are some questions that you need to ask before covering a wedding.
- Question to the couple: What is your special love story, explain in detail.
- Question: Describe each other, Likes & Dislikes about each other
- Question: If your love story had a theme, or was a movie title, what would it be? (Few words max)
- Question: Any special requests you’ll have for us to cover (Particular events, speeches etc)
- Question: Any music preferences (If none we will select the perfect music for you)
Here’s a rough idea/outline of how the montage would play out in the final edit.
– The film opens with a few montage shots of the Location with a VO saying something like “Location, the city of love, where romance is always in the air, and where soulmates become one” (we will work on the final VO during the edit).
-Then comes : ‘…’ presents, The love story of a lifetime…
– Next, we do a fast cut reveal of the bride like the heroine in Bollywood films. We use the VO given to us by her friends and family where they describe her. It will go something like” She is sweet, she is mad, i love her smile, she is emotional, she is the nicest person i know….” etc. This we will get short bytes from everyone.
– We do the same with the Groom. A slow reveal with a similar VO.
– We start the narrative by inter-cutting their story with each other. Of how they fell in love, their long distance etc in a very cute manner. We will be showing them most of the times, not overlapping it with shots.
– We move on to a final 30-40 second pre-wedding montage of them.
Then we do the usual wedding scene with a few bytes in the middle.
– We end the movie with both of them, describing what they think their wedding life is going to be like. Something like, “This is what i have been waiting for all my life” or “Today marks the happiest day of my life”, etc.
A lot of this depends on what kind of bytes we can get off them. But this is the basic structure of the montage. Please share your feedback.
Every wedding celebration, irrespective of what religion or culture it is associated with, will have its key formal moments, as well as some lighter moments. So try mixing your shooting style to get a diverse footage. At the same time, it is one of the biggest moments in a couple’s life. So as a video-maker, make sure you approach it in a professional manner. With the above suggestions, you should be able to pull it through, and give the couple’s something worth remembering for the rest of their life.
Wedding Video Packages & Deliverables
Here are the things that gets delivered after a wedding film is shot, and how the changes are handled.
- Around 2000 to 3000 color-corrected photos (depending on the number of functions in the wedding, around 10,000 photos could be shot)
- Some may even upload the pictures on sites like Picassa to share it with friends/relatives
- Some may create a website exclusively for the client and upload the pictures and videos (the highlight video) on the site
- The client may choose a few hundred photos to be printed on a coffee table book (charged extra) Videos
Depending on the deal, separate videos of every function may be delivered, or just one Video crush covering all the events (1 to 2 hour duration) could be delivered.
A montage or highlight video (4-5 min) having the best moments from all the functions that can be shared with friends or uploaded on any website.
Along with the final edited film, the original footage of all the events may also be delivered to the client on an external hard drive.
Besides the main wedding video, as a client, you can have several shorter videos & montages of specific events and dances, which can require editing work, and for which the videographer is likely to charge more.
There are many who also provide a package that includes photography and videos. This can be beneficial to you, as the team is likely to be well coordinated and complement each other.
The disadvantage of this arrangement is that it doesn’t let you hire a more economic photographer or videographer separately. However, if the difference is not much, its best to opt for a package and then get a good deal on the various deliverable.
As a consumer of these services, you need to understand that wedding videography is a competitive market, so you can expect to get good deals, and also deals that match your budget.
So it’s in your best interest to ask for several quotations and then do the comparisons; you should also request for samples of work and get feedback from other users. Turn to friends and family for referrals, and previously hired, wedding videographers.
Wedding Photos & Videos: Handling Client Queries
Here are some typical examples of the various changes (and feedback) that most clients provide once their wedding videos and photos are delivered.
- Require more footage of the bride, groom, performances, décor, food
- Footage from all functions such as pre-wedding, Sangeet, party, wedding.
- Missing bytes that they had provided for the videos
- Need more reactions for the performances.
- Providing better music (at various places in the edit).
- Changes in the video if there are lots of abrupt cuts.