A lot of work goes into planning and executing a great wedding. Planning, and often a lot of expense, too. One major expense can be the hiring a videographer to record and document the event. A professional videographer requires compensation for his or her time to shoot/record the wedding, and then editing the material into the finished product.
One way of getting around the cost of hiring a videographer for your wedding is to go the DIY route, recording and editing your own footage. But before you jump into creating your own DIY wedding video, it’s good to know some of the tricks of the trade. They’ll help you create lasting memories that you’ll enjoy sharing with friends and family, and reminiscing with in the years to come.
But just like as you’re planning your wedding, you’ll want to plan your video. Certainly you don’t want to jump into a DIY video without doing the necessary research and planning to ensure success. So let’s look at some of the things that’ll help you create the best possible DIY wedding video.
Research Wedding Videos
When you decide to produce your own wedding video you’re stepping into a lot of important roles – taking on important tasks like production, direction, and editing. And just as a great director won’t start shooting without a vision to guide them, you should have a vision of what you want your DIY wedding video to look like. That is why doing your homework is vital first step.
The internet provides myriad examples of wedding videos. Check out YouTube and Vimeo of course, but also Google professional wedding videographers. Most of them will have demo videos, and you’ll quickly be able to discern the different styles that these pros produce.
Take note of the structure of the videos you like. Think about how the videographer has pieced together different elements and different shots to create the effect they’re trying to get. And think about the styles of videos you see – what style appeals to you?
Bookmark some of your favorite videos from these sources and sit down with your future spouse to decide what style and effects you’d like to see in your video.
It also pays to take the time to find videos and articles that talk about the process of wedding video production. There’s a lot of content available to help professionals make the best possible wedding videos – why shouldn’t you take advantage of that as well?
Plan out Your Video
Now that you’ve taken the time to for research, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to make your video a reality.
The first step is to sketch out a list of the shots you want. Consider everything you’ve decided you want in the video. Do you want video of the bride and groom before the ceremony? Arrival of the bride? Pictures of the ceremony itself? Close ups? How about the reception?
Once you’ve sketched out the shots, you’ll have a much better idea of the equipment you’ll need to capture your special moments.
You don’t need to be a full-time videographer to easily acquire the tools you need to create high-quality videos.
Of course, the first tool you’ll need is a camera. One of the best options for recording your wedding video without breaking the bank is a DSLR camera. These digital takes on the classic 35-millimeter camera are usually equipped with excellent video recorders that will easily serve as your main camera. DSLR cameras do such a good job, in fact, that a growing number of professional videographers choose them as a primary camera for many video applications. There are a lot of different lens options available for DSLR cameras as well. If you’ve got a friend who’s into photography you may even be able to borrow one or two to help create different shots.
Got a friend who’s into action sports? Sports action cameras like the GoPro offer great picture quality and a small size. They’re great for capturing secondary footage when placed unobtrusively near the action. And most record excellent high-definition footage.
Finally consider your smartphone. Most current smartphones have quite good video recorders built in, capable of recording high-definition images. We’re not suggesting simply having a friend hold up their smartphone during the ceremony, but carefully employed a smartphone can be a valuable source for B-roll footage. Take a look around and you’ll find many pieces of optional gear that let you mount smartphones to tripods and even offer different lens choices.
Whatever cameras you use, one must-buy product is a tripod. Nothing screams “amateur” video like shaky footage. Tripods don’t have to cost a lot, and even a basic model will serve you well in your project. Plus it’s a great tool to have for normal photography and those (perhaps) inevitable baby videos that will be in your future.
One last thought about equipment. Make sure you’re ready to go on the big day with enough recording media and batteries to capture all the footage you want. Most digital camcorders and cameras use readily-available SD cards, so be sure you’ve got cards with enough capacity to get the job done. And consider how much footage you’re going to shoot – it might be a good idea to have an extra battery for your main camera!
Choose your videographer(s)
Now that you’ve planned your video and gotten the equipment, you’ll need someone to operate the camera (or cameras). Think this through carefully – you want someone who’s easy to work with and willing to take direction without feeling like you’re trying to boss them around. It’s often best to choose a close friend or family member. But whoever it is, make sure that they don’t mind giving up their time at the event to help you out. It may even be helpful to suggest to them that their help can be their wedding present to you.
Once you’ve agreed, bring them into your confidence and share your plans for how you want to structure and shoot the wedding. Be sure to get together with them and the equipment to make sure they’re comfortable operating it. And maybe even do a few dry runs to practice the shots. Make it a fun time together, not a chore!
A Final Thought
It may seem like a lot to do your own DIY wedding video, but with a little planning and thought, this keepsake will be a valuable keepsake – a special part of your special day. So have fun with it and enjoy the ride.