Wedding Videos are becoming more and more common as the quality of film improves so what steps are involved in shooting a high quality wedding video with the help of your family and friends ?
You need a camera, now a professional will use a DSLR or better type camera but if you are looking to save some money and having friends shoot the video believe it or not an iphone can be used to get some pretty impressive results. What ! an iphone to shoot a wedding video, you’re kidding right, well erm no, we’re not.
Take a look at the video below it was shot using an iphone, I doubt many people wouldn’t be impressed with that quality of wedding video. Now of course the editing is the key, but it always has been to get a specific look.
Would a professional camera get better results, yes, but then again you’re looking at investing a fair bit of money and in that case you’d hire a professional wedding videographer because it would cost more for the camera. If someone can lend you a mid to high end camera, great but as you can see an iphone isn’t to shabby at capturing video only really starts to struggle a bit in the darker shots, which any camera will, it’s how they work, just that a higher end camera would deal with it better. Personally this is a great video, very well edited and we’ll get into that later.
We’d recommend you hire a camera from somewhere like hireacamera.com , it’ll have a mic and will just make capturing the audio so much easier, this camera would be the primary camera used for filming the must have moments such as the ceremony itself, speeches and the first dance. We spoke to Russ who is a professional filmmaker and wedding videographer to get some tips on how you would plan the camera positions and put it all together, so a big thanks to Matt for his contribution to this article, I got an overload of what is actually involved in filming a wedding and I hope I haven’t left too much out.
You can shot video without planning, but if you plan the video it’s going to look alot better and give you better footage to edit. Look at the venue, imagine were everyone will be sitting, what shots are important to you, the bride walking up the aisle, the exchange of rings and leaving the ceremony to go to the reception. I’ll assume you have hired at least one high quality video camera of have managed to get hold of one from a friend. You want as many people filming as possible, professional videographers tend to film wedding in pairs or even threes. When you look at my wedding positioning guide image below (I’m not an artist but I reckon you’ll guess that !) you’ll realize to get the best shots is nigh impossible with one person filming. Sure you can miss some shots out but the aim of this guide is to give you the means to get professional results and the satisfaction of noting only starring in your own wedding video but also the personal satisfaction of editing it to your complete satisfaction.
As you can see in my great image above, we have P1, P2 and P3, these are position references for people filming within the ceremony venue, in this case we’ll assume it is a church, but most ceremony venues are laid out in a very similar style. P1 one will always have the best camera (with a mic), if you want to really be sure , it’s recommended to test how close the video camera needs to be to get clear audio and simply adjust your positioning accordingly. P1 will be used to capture both the bride walking up to the altar and the actual exchanging of vows and of course the kiss ! P2 will be used to capture the bride entering the venue and walking up the aisle, notice no sound is needed from P2 or P3, so a smartphone will work fine for the footage for these positions. It if possible do a test run, it can be fun anyway, it’ll give you an idea of the results you can expect. P2 is a good position to capture the guests reaction as they stand and congratulate you as the ceremony ends.
P1 would then quickly run around to the front of the venue to see the bride and groom exiting the ceremony venue,although this can be done by P3 if you intend to overlay the audio with your favourite music.At the reception the video camera would be used for the speeches, cutting of the cake and the first dance and any additional footage would cover the guests. If some guests have traveled a fair distance or you just don’t see them often it would be a good idea to capture some footage of them, it’s a nice keepsake whether it is in the final edit or not. Very often people look back on their wedding videos and see friends and family no longer with is so this is actually quite footage which can be overlooked but you can see the importance of capturing it.
It’s a good idea to check you have everything you need a couple of days before the day itself, for example, the video camera, memory card, and don’t forget to charge the video camera battery, and if you are having some friends film P2 and P3 forewarn them to have their smartphones fully charged. It’s also a good idea for the person who will be using the primary camera to get familiar with how it works, inserting the memory card and ensuring the battery is fully charged. Another idea is to explain to the photographer your plan, it’s often a good idea for the primary filmer to shadow the photographer, but remember not to get in their way. Professional videographers and photographers often shadow each other simply because the position requirements to get the best shots are pretty much the same, so have a chat with your photographer to make them aware of what’s going on.
It’s a good idea to do at least one mock run, there is alot of pressure when you are filming a moment which will not be repeated and has significant meaning, but the truth is if they weren’t there filming to help you out you wouldn’t have a wedding video anyway. You want the filming to be short, remember your friends want to share in the experience as well. The key points would be the bride walking up the aisle, the ceremony and the first dance, those moments are the “must have” moments, consider everything a bonus. Make a point of thanking everyone who has filmed, they have just captured your memories, sending a gift after your honeymoon would be a nice gesture.
This is the trickiest part, you can send your footage to a company like shoot it yourself who specialise in editing wedding video footage shot by your guests or you can complete the final part of your wedding video by editing everything yourself. The first thing to do is get all the footage into one folder. For the video camera footage, insert the SD card into your computer and copy all the files to your chosen folder, wedding video footage , for example. If people have taken footage with their smartphones have them copy the video files and put them onto a memory stick for you, again put this footage into the same folder. The next step is make additional copies of that folder, use a portable hard drive a USB memory stick, ideally you want at least 3 additional copies, remember what this footage is, you can’t really have enough copies.
Check the footage over in your primary folder (having saved multiple copies of the folder) and name each video file in relation to what the video contains, for example “exchanging of vows footage etc, this helps speed up the editing process by knowing what video file contains what. A professional wedding video will likely contain the bride and grooms preparation, again this can be done with friends of the bride and groom respectively filming, there would be some anecdotal footage to tie everything in , the bride arriving and walking up the aisle, the exchanging of vows, the bride and groom leaving the venue and going into the car or carriage (or whatever mode of transport has been planned) and the cutting of the cake as well as the first dance.
Once you have the footage organized you are ready to start editing, ideally you will know someone who can put it altogether for you, if you are determined to do it yourself you will need video editing software such as Adobe After Effects or Final Cut Pro. We’ll do another article on editing in the future but it is a topic which requires an indepth article and the aim of this article is to show you how you can easily shot your own wedding video and get great results. The videos below will help you edit your footage and come up with your final professional looking wedding video. The process will also help you understand the responsibility and pressure professional videographers have when filming weddings and that they are indeed worth every penny if your budget allows.
Remember most video editing software usually have a free trial period so you could use this trial period to edit your video and follow along with any videos at your own pace.
All that remains is to wish you the very best for your big day and we hope you found this article useful.
Here are a small selection of video to give you an idea how professionals edit their wedding videos, remember, there are different styles of editing so find the style you prefer.