Thursday, June 9, 2011

What It Takes to Be a Successful Wedding Videographer

Shooting wedding videos is a big and lucrative business. If you have experience and technical knowledge of videography, but have never done a wedding, you will need some basic information. You should be up front with your potential clients about your lack of experience shooting weddings. Show them samples of whatever work you have done so they can see you're not a novice with a video camera. Offer the bride and groom a great deal on your wedding packages and keep your prices lower than the competition until you have some successful weddings under your belt.

You will have to have contracts made up especially for weddings and include all the usual information as well as a place to note any special requests. It is perfectly acceptable to ask the bride or her parents if a meal will be provided for you. It's a long day and you don't want to be working on an empty stomach.

Arrange to attend the wedding rehearsal at the location or locations. It is important to see the layout of the church, taking note of lighting, sound and placement of your camera or cameras. If you're shooting in a church, speak to the minister or officiant regarding his or her "rules" about placement of your equipment. Determine if you need more than one camera. Some ministers and priests want you as far away as possible, like in the choir loft. You need to be prepared to shoot from anywhere.

To prepare for the job on the big day, go over all your equipment, including backups. Make sure you have what you need for any situation. If you have any new equipment, test it before the wedding. Get to the church early so you can park as close as possible and you have lots of time to set up.

If you do not have an assistant, you will need to be quick on your feet. Shoot everything, even the guests being seated. You can always edit down the footage later.

After the wedding, head to the reception location as soon as possible to set up. Pay attention to where the bridal party table will be, as well as the band or disc jockey. Also, make sure you're in a location where you have power outlets. Again, shoot everything. One exception would be shooting the guests while they are eating. Keep your eyes open for drunk party goers and remember, your camera is picking up sound as well so you may have to edit certain comments.

Most importantly, remember the bride and groom are the stars of the show. They will keep the wedding video you produce for a lifetime and will be sharing it with their children and maybe even their grandchildren. You want them to have a complete documentation of their special day.

This article has been was written by myself for my newsletter and since the author is the same person, permission for use is granted.

Joe Sabol is an Internationally known videographer with almost 28yrs experience in the video industry. Please visit us at for more information.

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