How to Become a Wedding Videographer
- Why Weddings?
- Developing Your Style
- How to Shoot a Wedding
- What Equipment Do You Need?
- How to Edit
- Business and Pricing
- Closing Remarks
If you are into filmmaking, becoming a wedding videographer might be worth considering. Research suggests that the wedding videography industry is growing at an alarming rate. Gone are the days when the bride and groom would designate an uncle or favourite cousin to film their wedding. With time, people became more interested in capturing valuable wedding memories, and the way to do this is by working with professionals. So, what does it take to be a wedding videographer? In this guide, we have put together some tips that will make you a top-notch wedding videographer.
They Broaden your Market Horizon
Unlike music video shooting and filmmaking, wedding videography exposes you to more projects. There is always a wedding happening somewhere in the world. A majority of them prefer hiring professional photographers and videographers. If you are excellent at what you do, your reputation will spread like wildfire, and clients will come knocking on your door begging you to film their wedding.
You Learn A Lot
Wedding videography is not void of challenges. This industry exposes you not only to the technical aspects but also to the business ones. Like any other business, you need to market your services, balance your books, purchase equipment, and orchestrate your pricing in such a way that you make profits. Through these challenges is how you improve and perfect your craft.
Developing Your Style
The technical side of wedding videography is more or less easy to grasp. In a short time, you might start facing competition from other wedding videographers. To stay ahead, you need to differentiate yourself from others, and the way to do this is by finding your style. Check out the styles highlighted below to understand better.
The Art of Storytelling
The wedding video doesn’t have to be about the wedding only. You can capture the narrative of how the couples met, what they admire about each other, and what their friends and family think about their love. Storytelling will enable you to capture the emotional bond between the bride and groom. Of course, this might require you to do some bit of journalistic digging.
Casting with Time
You can capture the beauty and culture of the wedding venue. This style is geared more towards wedding videographers who love to travel and experience new things. For instance, if the wedding is in France, you can include a short clip showing the country’s beauty. Maybe even add some French background music.
Here’s to the crazy ones. Your style can be to film and edit on the same day.
Authenticity is about capturing real emotions. Maybe you can go for a style of filming events as they happen, for instance, a glimpse of the groomsmen laughing and teasing each other.
Preparation is basically the same as for a wedding photographer. You will meet up with you clients and talk about their wishes, expectations and things to think about.
In our article “Questions To Ask Your Wedding Videographer” you will find questions a wedding couple will come up with. You should be prepared to answer these questions blindfolded.
How to Shoot a Wedding
Great! Now we are getting to the sweet stuff. Before we go into detail on how to shoot a wedding, some few no-brainer tips to observe are;
Do not panic – You might feel like you are in a lot of pressure to be perfect. Try to reassure yourself that you can do a good job. Being calm will help you capture the moment without overthinking.
Be Patient – Try not to rush or force the moment. At times, the memorable parts of the wedding are down the lane.
Only take clips of the noteworthy moments – You do not have to keep shooting when nothing is going on unless this is your style.
Okay, let’s get into the details. As the old mantra goes, “sweat more during training, bleed less in war.” The first thing you should do when shooting a wedding is to plan. Preparation is key. You can start planning by making a shot list. A shot list is a compilation of moments that you or the client consider worth capturing. They vary in each wedding though the common ones are:
Bride, groom and guests preparing
The down-the-aisle walk
The first kiss as a married couple
Reception and toasts
Create the shot list, as per your style, then run it by the wedding planner or the clients and ask if there is anything else they might want you to add. As you run it by them, enquire on the timeframes and venues for each listed moment so that you do not miss out.
Once you cover the planning part, the rest is to show up ready. You can begin by setting up your equipment at the designated places and testing it if need be. Be attentive to the happenings in the wedding. The best thing to do is to divide your film into two parts. You can call it A and B. Part A is a film of the valuable moments, like the walk down the aisle and the vows, while the second part is for moments when people are having fun, drinking and making toasts.
What Equipment Do You Need?
Camera and Lenses
There are many high-quality cameras and lenses that you can select. Whichever ones you decide to go with, make sure you are comfortable with how they work. Strive to know the ins and outs of the camera before you shoot a wedding. You might impress the clients with your new high-tech camera, but if you don’t know how to use it won’t do you any good.
The quality of sound is fundamental in wedding videography. At times, the valuable moments will call more on audio than visual representation. Equip yourself with enough microphones, so that you do not miss the speeches, vows, and toasts. But be cautious not to capture sounds of a baby crying or guests arguing at the backseats.
Drones come in handy for capturing the destination and landscape of the venue. They grant you more freedom to capture overhead moments and sessions.
Tripods will enable you to keep your camera still. There is nothing awful like watching a film made with a shaky camera.
Other equipments you might require are:
Lighting enables you to brighten the video and manipulate the texture and luminosity. When it comes to lighting, the sun is your best friend, but it won’t always be available. What should you do then? You can buy lighting equipment like backlights and LED lights, though only purchase the ones you need. The lighting you use should not be intrusive. Request for permission from the venue managers before setting up the lights. If they grant it, set your lights in a way that does not blind people or steal their attention.
How to Edit
The filming part is over. Now it’s time for the mentally-draining part. Anyway, I’m joking. It’s not that mentally draining. But it can be a bit bulky and time-consuming. First off, you need a video editor. Search for one, then familiarize yourself on how to use it. We use and recommend Davinci Resolve which is massively powerful and the free version should be more than enough to start.
Start the wedding video with the shot list footage that your client wants. Proceed to precut and compile the other usable footages then customize the fonts, music and tones. You can ask your clients if they had any songs in mind for the video.
What package of edits can you offer?
Depending on how much you charge, you can offer your clients a one-minute video, two-minute, five-minute up to twenty minutes. Any package higher than this will be too long. You can also give your clients the raw or loosely edited footage if that’s what they want. Another insane option would be to offer same-day editing which we mentioned earlier. Same day editing is a good selling point that will give an edge over your competitors, though prepare yourself for a long, long day.
Business and Pricing
With your wedding videography skills, you can either seek employment in a wedding videography enterprise or start your own. For the latter, you need to learn the business aspects of wedding videography. For instance: how to search for clients, how to price your services and how to file your taxes.
When pricing, value your time, effort and worth. A good tip would be to calculate your price per hour. Charge as per how many hours you think you will spend on a project, both in filming and editing. Remember that at the end of the day, you are running a business. Your wedding videographer pricing technique should at least break even if not turn a profit. Strive to deliver a good film, but do it within the timeframe you allocate yourself.
When starting, it’s okay to charge less. Learn, get better, grow a client base, then review your pricing. The best wedding videographer pricing strategy is to collect a deposit before commencing on a project, then getting paid the full amount after delivering.
The last tip we will provide to you is, be reliable. Reliability means you show up on time and deliver as per client’s expectations, if not over-deliver. Learn to form a good rapport with your clients. If they love your work, they will refer you to their network of friends and family. Now that you know how to become a wedding videographer – go out and be the best!
If you are new to video or want to start in this niche, we have these 10 Tips on How To Become A Videographer for you. Check them out!
What do you think? Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments!