Technology is outright amazing, especially nowadays. From the smartphone in your hand, to the internet that connects the entire world with each other, the world has gotten much smaller. Technology has revolutionized everything. This also goes for digital cameras. The same cameras used to photograph weddings can now also video them with exceptional movie quality. True story, some of the same exact cameras used in weddings are also used in Hollywood to make movies – cameras like the Canon 5D mark 2. And this is crazy if you think about it because back in the day to get anything remotely Hollywood caliber, you’d basically have to have been working in Hollywood. Shooting that high a quality was specialized and really expensive! But technology has now made it possible for the average person to create on the same level. Gone are the old VHS camcorders that captured dull ceremony footage that nobody watched. Now couples are in the keen position to have their wedding day created as a wedding film. Brides and grooms can now be captured in full motion and sound in their own movie. As professionals now have this technology in their hands, you now have the option to have every moment beautifully filmed. There’s nothing quite like it.
My name is John Cranman and I’m from Cranman Photography and Cinematography. My wife and I are wedding videographers who just recently started our own business. We were invited to guest blog here in order to share some tips and advice with you guys from our perspective as videographers to help you in your decision making and to help make your wedding film and day be that much more awesome. These are tips and advice from our personal experience only.
Consider doing an unplugged wedding. What is a wedding day without guests? They make the celebration that much more exciting, so the more the merrier, right? Agreed! But sometimes this can hinder the professionals you hire, especially when all of the guests think that they are photographers too. Nothing like that awesome moment when a bride and groom have had their first kiss and are just exiting down the aisle. Great moment! But while the professional you hired is trying to capture it, many of the guests are standing in the way, taking pictures with their tablets and phones. The shot ends up being entirely blocked. And there’s just no way to edit out guests who are blocking a shot. The footage ends up being ruined and the moment is gone. So the best way we can advise keeping something like this from happening is to handle it upfront, by doing an unplugged wedding. An unplugged wedding simply refers to a wedding where all electronic devices are powered down, or out of the way. You do this by kindly informing your guests that youve hired professionals to capture your wedding day, and to please be courteous by not using their devices to capture the wedding themselves. This makes our job so much easier, allowing us to capture all of the moments that make your wedding film awesome. Photographers will also thank me for saying this!
You get what you pay for. I understand that what goes into a wedding adds up and can be very expensive. You have to think about the essentials. Cut some corners here, spend some more there, all depending on what you want most in your wedding. It was the same for us. But I can’t tell you how many times potential clients have haggled with us over price. And because they were willing to go the cheapest route possible, they went instead with someone with less experience and who offered poor quality. So beware. As the old adage says, “You get what you pay for.” Cheaper isnt always better. A deal isnt always a steal. But it will be all too late once you find out what you “bargained” for when the work by the person you hired doesn’t turn out so great. There is a reason professionals charge more. They have paid their dues and have built up their experience which helps make your wedding film look that much more awesome, even in the event of tricky and unforseen circumstances. With someone cheaper, you don’t really get any of that. You take a risk. I know personally of a client we shot video for who thought they were saving money by hiring a “cheap” photographer. Even though the photographer had great equipment (she just bought it the day before), all night long we could tell that she didn’t know what she was doing. In the end, the pictures she took turned out horrible and the client was very upset. And because the photographer was at risk of getting sued, she ended up having to return everything she earned from shooting the wedding. And the sad thing is, those moments are gone forever.
Having said that, let me be honest for a second. I understand that everyone has to start somewhere. We wouldn’t be telling the truth if we said that nobody gave us our first chance to shoot their wedding at a cheap price. Every professional has to admit that, because every professional had to start somewhere. But every professional also has to admit that most of their mistakes are made in the beginning as well. Some big, some small. So if you are willing to take a risk on someone with very little experience because your budget is tight, then by all means, check out their work. Make sure it’s good and worth the risk. Please dont hire them just because you like the price. It would probably be better if you didnt hire them at all, if your wedding ends up being ruined.
Florida is very hot in the summer. Just a heads up. Summer weddings that are outdoors, especially in August and September, are horrendous. I know it sounds great in the Winter, when its all nice and cold out, to plan a Summer wedding. But you will be reminded very quickly just how hot it can be on the day of your wedding. We did an outdoor wedding a few years back in the middle of August, set at 1pm, direct sunlight with no cover. It was tough, very tough for the guests, as we watched them fidgeting and fanning the entire time, After the ceremony, when the photographers were shooting family and bridal party photos, it was so hot that hardly anyone wanted to cooperate. The wedding party wanted to get in the AC so bad that the shoot ended quickly! Needless to say, very little was captured. If you are absolutely dead set on doing an outdoor summer wedding, some things to think about would be location and time. Don’t do it in the middle of the day. Later in the day is much better! And if you personally cannot afford to provide coverage for your guests, see if the location offers some natural coverage, maybe some tree lines. Also, being near the water helps with a nice breeze. You’ll thank me for this one later!
Videographers arent photographers. This is not a dig at photographers whatsoever. My wife and I also shoot photography as well. But please keep in mind that though similar, the two are very different art forms. Videographers oftentimes lug around a lot of equipment, and are also concerned with capturing audio. So sometimes it’s takes a little longer for videographers to set up and break down, shot to shot. And sometimes because of this, the photographers we’ve worked with have gotten so caught up in directing that they often move too quickly from shot to shot, forgetting that you’ve also hired a videographer who needs to get their shots in as well. So it can be very helpful for our clients to make it a point to express to their photographer that its important that the videographer they hired can capture their shots as well. This helps us do our job better, and helps ensure that your wedding film is amazing. Please understand, most everyone we’ve worked with has been great, but there have a been a few hiccups is all. I’m also sure there are some things we could do better as well. This is just something from our experience.
Communication. At some point, please take the time to sit down and explain to your videographer what your vision is, what you want captured, and if you have a music preference. Communication and colloboration is key. Your videographer should be seeking this out as well.
Meals. This is just a pet peeve. Your professionals work very hard. Wedding days are hectic, and the moving is nonstop moment to moment. The only break your professional gets all day is usually during mealtime at the reception. Please feed and include them during meal time. I can’t tell you how stunned we were on some weddings, beat tired, finding out that our client chose not to feed us. Really? It happens.
Thank you so much John for sharing your wisdom! These insights are very helpful. You can also use this form and these great videographers can reach out to you!