Wedding cinematography is a new term that sounds important to couples who are seeking videographers for their wedding. Just like a director in the film industry, a wedding cinematographer elevates the classic wedding video to a wedding movie. They take breathtaking shots of your wedding and edit on film music within a unique storyline.
A cinematic wedding video contains around 30 minutes of time and it continuously holds the attention of the viewers. Making a cinematic wedding video is like making a movie or film. The videomakers bring a dramatic effect and mood by capturing and editing the shots. They portray it with a specific style and “wow” effect which is not available in a “mere documentary” of the event. If you want to know why cinematic wedding video from wedding video makers look very professional and if you want your video to look the same, you have to follow some ways and tips. In this article, we will discuss those tips to enhance your wedding video into a cinematic style. So, keep reading.
1) Don’t shoot too much footage
When I was a rookie, I shot a wedding film just by myself. It was very challenging and it also cut down a lot of the work time for me in post. I shot way too much footage when I first started shooting weddings. You really don’t need a ton of footage because, at the end of the day, you only need the footage or picture to video maker which are worth including.
2) Are you going to use this shot in the video?
You only need the right shots to include. You can shoot with much more intention after some practice, and practice is very important here. You have to constantly try to edit inside your head and ask yourself the question, “would you use this shot or angle in the actual video?” and if it’s a no, then you shouldn’t waste your time shooting it. You have to save time looking through bad clips in post.
3) Be light and be fast
Being light with gear and making it easy as possible to switch lenses and stabilization gear should be your usual strategy for weddings. You can use a monopod at weddings because it’s perfect for getting a static shot and it allows you to be able to quickly move from shot to shot, angle to angle. You can easily switch back and forth when you need to if you keep the same base plate glidecam.
4) Keep it natural
You have to shoot a cinematic documentary style film avoiding shots that look overly forced or staged for weddings. All you need to so is keeping it natural and getting those candid shots. If you have a cinematic camera with a cinematic picture profile and lenses, then it will give you a shallow depth of field and will help you to get plenty of natural, great looking shots.
5) Take care of the “must have” shots
Some certain shots are must have’s and you can’t ignore them at all. For example, the kiss! Try to do a safe angle with these shots because it’s just you shooting and there are no redo’s on moments like this. Some people recommend to rehearsal and practicing the shots. Though I never do it, it’s good to do. Or you can just check out what it’s like, where the light is coming from and then just go with the flow when you get spaces. You can ask what the flow of the ceremony is while getting shots of the bride or groom getting ready because that’s really the only hard parts. You will have to know when the kiss comes because you never want to be caught off guard.
6) Get creative and beautiful shots
Other than those “must have’s”, you can always experiment with new angles and camera moves because it helps to make the film as beautiful as you can. You can do this in the free time between the “must have” shots.
7) Getting emotions
Getting the emotions of the people into the film is the biggest secret to success. A wedding is a very emotional time and if you don’t capture the smiles, tears, and laughs of both the couple and the guests, then you’d potentially miss out the essence of the day. It’s really significant that they don’t see you while you’re filming them because people often get shy in front of a camera and don’t show their emotions. You can play a trick by having the settings and focus set. Point the camera to another direction and them when you know they are about to react to the speech or situation., get the shot quickly. In that way, you can get the real reactions and not the toned down “there’s a camera in my face” reaction.
Practice, practice, practice! The more you shoot weddings, the more you know where you should be. You will know which shots will be the best ones that you will never want to miss out.
9) Pretend as a Ninja
The ceremony is the most challenging part of the day. You have to get all the shots you need without being a huge distraction to the actual ceremony as well as you can’t really influence or change the lighting. You should never be standing right beside the couple with a huge rig, big matte box while the ceremony is going on. It’s very disrespectful and not smart. You need to pretend as if you’re a ninja or anything else if that helps.
10) Gear that works in any light condition
Weddings can be very challenging in terms of the event itself as well as in terms of lighting. And you have to be prepared and have your camera and lenses work well in low light conditions.
It’s a bit funny but at the end of the day, wedding photographers and videographers mostly spend the time with the couple out of anyone on their wedding day. So the couple should feel comfortable and relaxed around you. You’d be failing if you’re causing any unnecessary stress to the couple and that will show in the video. Be cool as much as possible and talk to the couple prior to the program, it helps to get them relaxed in front of a bunch of cameras. Don’t be too much of a distraction. This way the couple will not care about the cameras at all which means you will get the best documentary-style film. Best of luck and enjoy shooting.