Even for experienced photographers, shooting events like a wedding can be unnerving because you only have one chance to get it right. There’s no such thing as a second-take wedding ceremony or a do-over during the reception. Event photography requires time management, efficiency skills and a constant state of readiness during the action.
Courtesy of ZFilm Productions
This wedding compilation video is a product of an experienced videographer and photographer. As a photographer, it is beneficial to have at least some working knowledge of videography as well. With the proper skills and steps, you can make your work clean and professional during your next shoot.
Quality vs Convenience
It used to be one or the other. Do you want a camera that’s quick and easy to operate or something more complex with a better picture? DSLR has quickly moved up as the camera of choice at events because of their ease of use and professional quality (since it’s the same type of lens as an SLR). Their size and handle makes it the ideal camera on the go compared to something you have to throw over you shoulder.
This “Star Wars” themed wedding video was shot by Switzerfilm using a DSLR camera.
Photographer vs Camera Operator
Wedding photographers shoot at an outdoor ceremony. Creative commons photo via Flickr.
A camera operator knows how to shoot photos or video, but a photographer edits, controls lighting and sets the scene (aka directing) for an ultimate encapsulation of the event. Take control of your surroundings while event shooting. Unless your clients request very specific shots, you control what’s worthy for the camera and the final cut of your finished project. After all, the client hired you for more than just your equipment.
The Pre-Event Research
Weddings or not, research before the day of shooting is key. If a photographer is shooting press photos or video footage for a Broadway musical, they’ll likely grab some New York City theater tickets to see an earlier show. If possible, learning as much as you can about the people and places your shooting before the big day is crucial to a successful project. Sit down with the stars of the show (in this case, the bride and groom) and ask right questions:
- Where did you meet?
- How did he propose?
- What is your favorite date spot?
- What’s your dream getaway?
Questions like these aren’t just for fun. Through this information you’ll gather ideas for locations and scenes for shooting between the ceremony and reception (when video and pictures are typically done).
Film a Dry Run
Don’t drag your bride and groom away from their busy lives leading up to the wedding. Just make a “shot list” of all the places you’ll photograph and practice shooting at each one. Even edit a few of those shots together. Once you get a feel for the areas, the wedding day will be much smoother with less need for any improvisation.