This blog post is for the soon-to-be brides and grooms aimed at giving tips and advise on how to make your wedding day run smoother by helping your Videographer. I know you are busy planning your big day, and probably don't have time to read another Blog about weddings, but this post should help you with a few tips that you may not have even thought about. So here are my 5 tips!
1. TELL ME EVERYTHING!
I personally hate surprises, and like to be organised and know exactly what is going to happen and when. For the best possible experience, your videographer will need to know everything that is going to happen. Even the small details.
Are you having fireworks, or sparklers? Are you going to wear your grandmothers earrings, or some other sentimental items? Is there a surprise that the guests don't know about but perhaps the videographer should? Is your cousin Dave bringing his drone? Is someone making an impromptu speech? If they are, the Chances are, if your Videographer didn't know this, they won't have had the opportunity to give them a clip on microphone to record the audio. We Need to know these things to be able to capture these moments on film. The more we know, the more personal, and special your film will be and likewise, the better prepared we can be, and the better your film will be. The best rule to follow is: if in doubt, tell the videographer!
In addition, make sure you keep the videographer informed throughout the day. I know there is going to be a lot going on, you are busy enjoying your day. – you won’t notice us capturing those intimate moments, and that’s the way it should be! But please don’t forget about us. When you’re going to cut your cake, just give us a heads up so that we can get cameras set up. It’s likely we’ll want to have more than one camera rolling for these important moments, so that we can cut between different angles in your film, so tell the DJ to wait for our nod before cuing your Ed-Sheeran-first-dance-medley.
Additionally, if you’re going off with the photographer for some shots, it would be great to let us know, too. Sometimes the photographer forgets because they’re so focussed on getting some beautiful photos of you, which is absolutely fine by us. But chances are, you’ll want some beautiful shots in your film too, so just give us a heads up. Maybe the photographer wants 15 minutes alone with you – that’s cool! All we ask is that we get some time alone with you, too.
2. GET READY NEAR A WINDOW
First of all, before you get ready, turn off all the lights! - Yes that's what I said! turn them off! A lot of indoor lighting has a yellow tint to it, which is unnatural. On video and photographs, the yellow light can look horrible. Everything will look weird and unappealing, and it will make your skin tones look unflattering. Natural light however, is both flattering and will show true to life colours.
Ladies, when your make-up artist arrives, chances are they’ll sit you by a window (after all, it makes sense for them to have loads of light too in order to work their magic). But if they don’t, maybe try and suggest moving. Some make-up artists will bring their own lights, and will prefer to work in front of them than in front of a window, and that’s okay! Any worthwhile videographer will be able to work in artificially lit conditions – all we’re talking about here is how to foster the ideal conditions for the best Wedding Film your videographer can produce.
Gents, chances are your videographer will spend less time with you when getting ready, simply because it doesn’t take as long for you to get ready, and there are only really a few shots we want to get. For example, a shot of you (or your father/best man) doing up your tie is always great, as is a shot of you putting on cufflinks and throwing on your jacket. These can be relatively mundane shots in a dimly lit hotel room. But stand by a window, and we can position you such that there are all kinds of interesting shadows occurring, and it’ll just make the shot much more interesting and appealing. Plus, it means we can get some awesome silhouette shots, too!
3. Make sure you turn and face each other in the Aisle.
At some point in the Ceremony, the officiant will ask you to turn and face each other, usually for the vows/exchange of rings. Now, whilst this is a fairly straight forward thing to do, all I ask is that you PLEASE fully turn. Don't just turn your neck towards each other, or twist to face each other, please, please turn a full 90 degrees, where your feet and toes are pointing at each other. A lot of videographers, and photographers, will be filming from the back, and this is probably the most important part of the Ceremony itself! The videographer will want this shot to be GREAT. If you just twist to face each other, chances are we will mostly have the back of your head still in the shot for this moment, so make sure you turn to face each other head on, look into each others eyes and it will make a world of a difference!
4. Have an unplugged Ceremony
Okay so you have planned everything to perfection, done the rehearsals, and everything to going to go to plan. However, just because you have the day all planned out perfectly, it doesn't mean your guests won't get in the way still!
Whether it’s Uncle Pete and his new flashy Canon camera, or Olivia, the Serial Instagrammer there will always be somebody watching your ceremony through a screen. And while that’s a shame for you because you invited them there to be present in the moment and enjoy your day, it’s an even bigger shame for us, the videographers, who have to try to shoot around the DSLRs and the iPhones leaning into the aisle. There have been times when guests completely get in the videographers way, to get that all important iPhone shot. Please be advised, if a guest for example, decides to go into the centre of the aisle or lean into the way, I will firmly advise them to move!!!
It’s for that reason that I always recommend an ‘unplugged’ ceremony. In essence, this is a ceremony where you ban people from taking photos or videos. It might sound a bit extreme, but it is becoming more and more popular. When sending our your invitations, request that the guests leave their phones turned off in the bag, or car. - Leave the capturing to the professionals!! Seriously, this is what the professionals have invested thousands of pounds on their equipment for!
It will be a much better experience for everyone, to see the day through their own eyes, rather than through their phone.
With an unplugged ceremony the effect can be fascinating: people actually sit and watch your ceremony with their own eyes! And I can get a clean shot of your ring exchange without having to have a word with Uncle Pete!– win-win!
5. Be true to yourself
This one applies to men more than women; because of the whole ‘man up’ thing. I don't subscribe to the idea that all men, need to act tough and be a 'ruddy bloody bloke'. Men are generally reluctant to let their emotions show. and I have found this is no different on your Wedding Day. When they see their significant other gliding down the aisle, radiating beauty, a lot of men do want to cry, but only a courageous few let that happen. The rest of you try to bottle it up, which results in some of the strangest faces you will ever pull (which isn’t ideal on what is potentially the only day you’ll ever have a professional camera pointing at your face). So don’t bottle it up… let it all out and cry like there’s nobody watching – it will make your Wedding Film ten times better. Plus, it’s a fact that the sight of a man crying is more likely to set somebody else off than the sight of a woman crying; so chances are that, once you start, someone else in that room will join in before long (and, if they’re anything like me, it may well be your videographer).
So there you have it – 5 ways you can help your Wedding Videographer to make your film the best that it can be. Again, these aren’t essential, and they won’t ruin your film if you neglect to follow them, but they will help to foster the ideal conditions for your videographer to work their magic and make you a fantastic Wedding Film that you’ll be proud to show family and friends for the rest of your lives.