Shooting the Bride

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Only one person could have stopped it, the bride. It was a bright sunny day, two in the afternoon. He checked to see if it was loaded. It was. From his vantage point, high above the crowd, he saw the bride emerge from behind a tree. Soon the others would see her too. Wasting no time, he placed his eye to the finder, and squeezed the trigger. What a shot, the videographer smiled to himself with smug satisfaction, as he panned his camera to keep the bride perfectly framed.

How was this guy really doing?

You’re about to hire a wedding videographer, but you’re confused; you’ve started looking at websites containing dozens of wedding videos and they’re all sort of melding. Who really is the better craftsman? What should you pay, or maybe more importantly can you find the right wedding videographer for your budget? Can you negotiate even though the videographer sent you an e-mail quote or you saw the price on their website? How long do you want your edited wedding film to be?

Finding the right videographer is probably about as exciting as watching grass grow. A recommendation might be the way to go. There again, your taste might not be in line with the recommender’s. Watching demos, and not just the first ten seconds, is the only real way to judge the skill of the videographer and editor.  Watch for framing, smooth or jerky camerawork, focus, the use of close ups or lack of close ups, music choices. Some videographers use a reveal technique, using trees or bushes or people to hide what they are about to film before gradually revealing the subject with camera movement. Some videographers have the skill but not the equipment. You can probably tell this right away: colors are not vibrant, images are grainy or just not crisp.   Top-notch videographers use top-notch gear—usually. But sometimes, even a top-notch videographer filming a budget video might not be willing to avail his $50,000 camera gear. Ultimately, it’s all down to your preference. But one caveat: Jazzy wedding films with fast edits to catchy music might look great to you today, but years down the road you might wish the videographer had spent more time holding longer shots of your mother or grandfather; you might wish the videographer captured more intimacy and allowed you to actually hear what Aunty Lizzie is saying.

 One thing you can do that will greatly help you get the perfect wedding video is discuss with the videographer what you want,not just what you’ve seen the videographer do before. Really discuss it over the phone, not by e-mail.  

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