Some of the best results from your wedding can come from your vendors working together to create your dream on your wedding night. Nothing lasts longer or is more true to your memory than photographs and video from your wedding. To shed some light on the whats and hows of a modern wedding videography, I connected with Wendi of Swoon Films. Be sure not miss her killer tips for helping to create a stunning video of your big day!
1. How do I know if I need a videographer as well as a photographer at my wedding?
Let me ask you this: do you want to hear your vows again, clearly? Do you want to hear your speeches again, clearly? Do you want to see the motion of your first dance? In my opinion you need BOTH! While photos capture that perfect moment in time, video captures the sounds and motion of your day. These are your memories, part of your legacy, and they should be budgeted for. If I had a film of your grandparents or even your parents wedding, what would that be worth to you? I recently archived my cousin’s wedding from 1996 on VHS to DVD. Not only did I get to see myself and my immediate family back then, I got to see my sweet grandpa. I burst into tears because that video is now PRICELESS to me. He died in 2011. What we all have in common is our need for connection, our relationships and our time on this earth. We don’t know how much time we will get. A wedding video isn’t just a documentation of your wedding day, it’s creating a link from the past to the future.
2. Isn't it just video of the ceremony and the speeches?
Well, only if you want! One of my favorite things to film is the couple getting ready. The nervousness, anticipation and DETAILS! I get some of the greatest sound bites of the day during this time. The best wedding filmmakers know how to capture your day without forcing anything. They are efficient, creative, used to working under extreme pressure and time constraints. Then it’s weaved and edited in a way that’s unique to you and your story as a couple. Look for filmmakers that want to get to know you and take an authentic interest in your day. It’s going to go by so fast and it will be a blur. Video is a great way to relive it.
3. What do you get when you hire a videographer for your wedding?
Every company is different and this where you will have to do your homework. I personally include a 1-2 hour edit with every package so my couple doesn’t feel like they are missing anything. Then I offer several creative, time shifted, highly edited films. I offer different lengths up to 25 minutes. These are the kind of films that you will not only want to share, but you will love to watch over and over! Hollywood has a year to make a film. I have a day. I highly recommend getting either a thumb drive or hard drive of your films. This way, you can back things up.
4. What tips do you have for a bride looking to hire a videographer?
First, you want to like their style. There will be films out there that will just resonate with you. You also want a team player that will work and interface with the other professionals on your day. Wedding video has come a long way in the 10 years I’ve been filming. (Thank goodness!) Gone are the days of shoulder-mount cameras and ridiculous lights. Most wedding filmmakers these days make use of tiny DSLRs that are amazing in low-light. In fact, they are the same cameras your photographer is using, just in a different way. We are very mobile, stealthy ninjas and make use of cinematic tools like camera stablizers and sliders. On top of that, we can control our depth of field! This is HUGE! Older video cameras used to shoot everything in focus. Now I can shoot the subject with the background out of focus if we want. That’s how we can get that amazing “film look” without shooting film! In FULL 1080p HD! Make sure to ask your filmmaker how they backup footage. DSLRs are file-based. I personally back up every shoot in three different places, one offsite. Make sure your filmmaker has backup equipment for the job and ask how they backup computer files. I make use of “the cloud” and always set my autosaves to different drives. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 10 years is that electronics and hard drives fail. Better be safe than sorry. Also, you want a filmmaker that has the experience to not only be present during a shoot but can also anticipate problems and events. That comes with experience.
Tips for having a great video:
- Pick a pretty place to get ready that’s free of clutter. And yes, get this filmed! It’s more important than open dancing, I promise you! Also have your makeup artist do your makeup near natural lighting. It’s more flattering in photos and video than indoor lighting.
- Don’t chew gum and make sure no one in your bridal party does either. You’ll thank me later.
- It’s completely understandable that you want to have a dance party while you get ready! I recommend not having either a TV or music playing while getting ready. I get some of the most amazing sound bites during this time and once that sound bite is mixed with music, I can’t separate it. Have the dance party later at your reception!
- Audio is SO IMPORTANT. Make sure your officiant is ok with wearing a mic. Also make sure your DJ will allow your filmmaker to get a clean audio feed from their board. Audio is really the foundation of the film…it’s how we will weave your story together.
- Allow ample time for couple photos. These are usually the most romantic shots of the day and really give your film amazing eye candy.
- LED lighting looks great in person, not so much in photos and video. During the important dances make sure you are lit with white lights, unless you really want to look like smurf. It’s virtually impossible to color correct after the fact because it’s so saturated.
- Keep your filmmaker in the loop too! Send timelines, vendor information and inform them of any surprises.
- Last piece of advice: enjoy your day. Don’t worry about a thing because you hired the best professionals. Laugh, smile, love. Your pictures and video will be amazing.
Other than basking in the glow of my monitor most days, I love spending time with friends and family. I'm obsessed with cocktail rings, pomeranians, Japanese prints, lenses, sushi and coffee. I'm available for freelance, weddings, promos, heirloom videos, mitzvahs or whatever else your little heart dreams up. I would love to hear and tell your story. To see more of her beautiful work or hire her for your event, visit her website.