If you have been hired to create a video of someone’s wedding and reception, it can be a really fun job. Not only is there a lot of joy, laughing and fun moments during a wedding celebration but it is really gratifying to know that the video you are creating will be part of family celebrations of these people for decades to come.
Naturally, you want to do a good job. But whether you are just getting started or have been shooting video for years, you know things can sneak up on you and make your job more difficult. So there are some “insider tricks” that you should keep in mind especially on the big day so the wedding goes off like clockwork and you get that great video without disturbing the joy and fun of the family.
The first few precautions actually happen long before you drive up to the church and that is a thorough equipment check. Check and double check your equipment and then check it again. It can’t hurt to be a bit compulsive about this. Also, check that all of your supplies are new, in good shape and that you have back ups of batteries, bulbs, tapes or whatever recording media you are using. If you know your equipment is in good shape, you can walk in there like the professional you are.
Next, be everywhere early and well prepared. In fact, it can’t hurt to scope out the church and reception hall the day before to check the lighting and do some planning on where you might plan to get your best video from. If Martin Scorsese can preplan all of his shoots, so can you.
Now be sure everybody knows who you are. Meet the bride, groom, the wedding party and others close to the planning. If there are security people, be sure they know who you are as well. If there is a need for passes or badges of any kind, be sure you have one well ahead of the wedding day.
Part of networking with the key players includes getting some face time with others who may be supporting the wedding. Many weddings have a wedding planner who must know everything that is going to happen. Be sure he or she knows who you are and what you are going to do before you start disturbing their domain. It is also a great idea to meet the other photographers and do a bit of preliminary choreography so everybody can get their shots. Be aware that you really don’t want to do such a great job of videotaping the wedding that you damage the experience of the wedding guests. This all takes lots of planning.
If they rehearse, you rehearse. The rehearsal is one of the great missed opportunities that wedding photographers and videographers have to step through the wedding with the party and plan where you are going to be. Now secure permission to be there as you never want to surprise a nervous bride or her mother. But if they know you are working as hard as they are to get ready, they will be thrilled and you may find them giving you directions on shots they want included in the video and where they want (and don’t want) you to be at strategic moments during the wedding. This information is gold on producing a high quality video for your customers.