My husband works in film production and occasionally does weddings. He wanted to pass along some tips to all of you who are looking for or are considering hiring a wedding videographer…
How many cameras should I have film my wedding?
You have to ask yourself … When you watch this in a year or 10 years, what do you want to see? For the most part, people want to see facial expressions of the bride and groom and reactions of each. In order to do that well you need at least three cameras. One camera stays focused on the groom, one on the bride and one that gets a wide shot of the whole bridal party including the bride and groom. It’s a much more efficient way to capture everything that is happening. Also, this way one camera (usually the wide shot) can pan pickup any other parts of the ceremony such as poem or scripture reading or a soloist, while the other two stay on the bride and groom.
How important is it to have HD cameras?
A lot of wedding videography companies will tout HD packages as something “special” and charge extra for them. The reality is that we are to the point where HD should be viewed as the standard and SD or standard definition as a low cost alternative, HD shouldn’t be an upsell.
Many companies will use the Sony XL1, the Panasonic HVX200 or the Sony HVR-Z1U as their camera of choice. They are great cameras for the price and they have been selling as HD camera’s for at least 5 years so anyone offering SD as there base pricing option hasn’t updated their equipment in a while or is using a high-end SD camera in which case could be better than the affordable HD cameras I mentioned above.
What about sound?
Audio is one of those things that you don’t notice until it’s bad. Think about it. When you watch a movie you don’t say wow I can hear everything their saying. That’s because you’re supposed to! The second the audio becomes too quiet or unintelligible, you complain. The same goes with a wedding ceremony, you want to make sure that your videographer either can tap into the sound system that is projecting the voices for the room or can set up a microphone that can be run into one of his cameras. NEVER do you want the only sound captured on camera from the internal camera mic. Although camera mics can be very good, they pick up everything between you and your subject. So the people talking about your dress right in front of the camera … or the crying baby will drown out your vows, unless you have a mic dedicated to the main subjects.
Should the videographer be at the rehearsal?
Yes. Although not always feasible and sometimes not necessary, it’s still a good idea to have someone from the videography company there to see the flow of the ceremony and to see what challenges they’ll need to adapt to. The earlier those challenges can be identified the better.