I was asked to document a wedding ceremony in Minneapolis Fall of 2018. I love expanding my skills and background, so I said yes. Since I lack experience videoing wedding, I asked a friend who is a videographer for a news company and has experience taping weddings; he gave me many helpful hints. Before the wedding, I also looked up lots of videos on YouTube. I thought I was well prepared; however, I made a few mistakes so please read and learn from my experience.
1. Arrive early
This may seem like a no-brainer; however, the wedding I videoed was at a venue I have never been to before. Not only did I not know how to get to the venue, I didn't know where to park. I was already running late due to traffic and this just added to me being late. Since I was running behind, I felt rushed and had extreme anxiety. I did not have my camera setting set properly either. I did not pay for parking. After the ceremony, I ended up have a $40 ticket because I ran inside to start setting up as soon as I parked.
2. Know how the ceremony is going to go Understand if there are different aspects to the ceremony that include moving. Always chat with couples to get a good idea of how the ceremony will go. Is there special guests who are doing scripture readings? Are the bride and groom standing in the center of the aisle or are they off to the side? Will they be doing a union ceremony such as a mixing of sands, braiding of a cross, etc? Don't move unless you have to! 3. Invest in proper equipment I brought with me two cameras. One was on a tripod and one was handheld. The tripod camera was not of a good quality and the venue was a low light situation. Those two put together equal low quality video. The camera I held was, obviously, very shaky. I've now learned to either have a monopod or gimbal stabilizer! Audio is super important in video. I only recorded audio from my cameras. The venue I was at was large and there was a lot of echo. Connecting straight from the speakers AND putting a mic on the groom or officiant will help a ton. SD cards need to be a high enough quality that they can keep up with recording. Smaller SD cards will only record a few seconds until they stop. That's because there's too much information going into it that it is unable to keep up. Below is a link to a few items I recommend.
4. Use the proper camera settings Understand that your camera typically only can record for 30 minutes until it will automatically stop. This is so that the camera does not overheat. Be sure to stop and restart the recording if you are coming up on that timeframe. Make sure your frame rate, ISO, aperture, and shutter speed reflect what you are trying to capture. Your shutter speed needs to be double than your frames per second or fps. The higher the fps is good for slow motion or B roll shots but anything that you would want to maintain the audio pitch or speed for that looks natural should be shot at 24 fps. If you are switching your frame rate make sure to keep your shutter speed double. Ex. 24 fps shoot at 1/50 shutter speed (great for ceremony, speeches, etc) 60 fps shoot at 1/120 shutter speed (great for b roll, slow motion shots for highlight video, etc) 5. Collect as much footage as needed There is nothing worse than going home and realizing you are unable to create a good highlight video of the day and not be able to tell a story with what you captured. Collecting as much b-roll as possible will help! People laughing, details from the day, a tree or water fountain outside are simple. It helps to have an idea of how you would like to tell your story as the day is going. As the day is going on and you realize you are not capturing what you would like, speak up! Let the photographer know if the couple needs to hold that pose a little longer or you can also direct how the shot is going to go.