I was in a trendy, hip Brooklyn neighborhood and came upon one of my favorite restaurants. It wasn’t long ago that I made a conscious decision to leave soul sucking job as as an actuary for an insurance company and pursue my dreams of being a cinematographer. I read got some wedding videography tips and decided to give it a go! So here I am back in my old neighborhood ($2,000 now for a 1-bedroom?!).
I was here to talk to a potential client who wanted to hire me as their wedding videographer. The young couple was a little wishy-washy about the whole process. Like why is it so expensive? Why do we even need a wedding videographer when we’ve got a photographer. And most of all how do we become wedding videographer extraordinaires, like my good friends at 2Bridges Productions?
I genuinely believe that a genuine wedding cinematography can enhance the wedding experience and be shared for generations to come. Especially, if one uses a mix of montage style and documentary style in a wedding film, like my colleagues here:
Videography is a must for any Wedding!
Undeniably the decision of getting married is one of the biggest decisions you ever make in your life. It will also be the most exciting and joyful moment filled with something that you definitely wished to revisit as many times as you can.
To capture all the happy moments of your wedding ceremony will definitely require the services of a professional wedding videographer or in other words we can say it requires a person with huge experience in the cinematography field with a portfolio of great videos to back his claims. No doubt to hire a professional videographer for cinematic wedding video is a bit expensive but the expense is well worth it, because it is the best way to experience your wedding day whenever or wherever you want.
Moreover, photographs are called “still pictures” for a reason. Do still pictures talk? Can they move around like you? Yes – still pictures are beautiful and will etch the wonderful memory of your wedding forever. However, in the hands of a skilled cinematographer (and editor), moving images are even more powerful.
When was the last time you paid $20 to watch a photograph in a dark theater filled with strangers? Now, ask yourself, when was the last time you paid $20 to go to a movie cinema to watch 24 frames of moving images? When was the last time you went on Youtube or watched a cat video on Facebook? Do you even Netflix bro?
There is a reason why video is the most powerful medium today. It is the closest thing to mimicking reality (until virtual reality takes off). Imagine yourself as a 90 year old, and you wanted to revisit your wedding. Which do you think will make you cry more? A still photograph of your twenty year old self? Or a video of you dancing and talking with your loved ones and family? Video is king.
Why you need to hire an experienced professional wedding cinematographer to capture your dream moments?
Experience is with no doubt an important part of choosing a wedding videographer because there are a parts of the day that you cannot see, and it’s up to the camera guy or gal to cover different elements of the event. For instance the bride may be interested to see the groom getting ready or anything else. Only a videographer with experience will exactly know how to capture every moment of your ceremony because he has already done it a number of times before.
A professional and experienced wedding videographer will figure out the best points, get the angles right and use his skills to get a master piece with the latest effects. That’s why before you decide to hire a particular videographer it is good to look at a few.
Experience is not sufficient in the world of wedding videography; it is uniformly important to use the latest and greatest tools. An appropriate professional specializing in wedding videography will have the latest camera along with the fresh and latest software which allows him or her to produce high quality video to you. An HD camera shared with dynamic lighting equipment, a high quality microphone and software is the entire tools they need.
This is why I’m confident that I’m one of the best around to capture an wedding and make it into a cinematic wedding video. After working for so many years as an actuarial insurance specialist, I was able to save enough money to buy the fanciest and best equipment out there.
I use a combination of DSLRs like Black Magic and Sony. My go-to camera of course is the RED camera (but I only bring those out if the client has the budget). For the basic musical montage (my most popular package and the most abundant video on Youtube or Vimeo), I only require basic lights, a Rode mic and a portable DSLR. Since these type of basic videos require only one video shooter, I need to capture all the necessary footage by myself. Hence, it’s really important that I stay mobile and the Black Magic is great for that. Just have your lens bag, pop in your favorite lense and shoot!
For the more complex shoots, I will use a combination of a Black Magic and a RED Weapon camera. I will hire an “intern” (I use that term lightly as they work for free) to use the Black Magic, while I use the RED to capture the wedding ceremony. This is probably overdoing it, but I want to get practice on my RED Weapon so when I’m ready to shoot my first feature film, I’ll definitely be ready (see what I did there?).
Finally, it’s good to show off the RED Weapon every now because it looks cool. I’ve gotten referrals in a wedding by just bringing that beast of a camera out. It impresses the client, gets me practice on my favorite camera and is a hit with the bridesmaids. Win win all the way. Of course, it’s not an inexpensive option, but if a client can afford my RED Camera, I can guarantee amazing results.
A number of options to choose from:
If a couple hires a professional videographer, they can be assured of a great wedding video. However, you need to have a discussion with the videographer about the various options includes delivery of the finished product. If you hire a videographer than he will definitely comes with a number of idea and samples to choose from. Make sure they have the following at a minimum:
- A DSLR camera (duh!)
- Basic sound equipment
- A second camera and crew for complex shoots
- Lighting equipment for those cinematic shots
- Editing equipment like Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere
- A Van (or some way to get around to carry that equipment)
- A website or social profile (to see samples of work and see how serious they are at their craft)
- A Youtube channel or Vimeo (ideally both)
Those are the basics that one should look at when choosing a wedding cinematographer. I have all of these and my equipment is top of the line so I’m the most qualified to shoot any wedding. Finally, to make your special day more special and to re-experience it you need to find a wedding videographer adept in film editing.
You need to take a bit of research from your end and that will make your special day more special. However, the litmus test of a good videographer is the videos he has done in the past. Videography is the best option that will make you re-visit your special day whenever you want.
For the couple that I met the other day at the Brooklyn restaurant, I communicated all this information to them. I explained to them how to choose wisely:
I always find that the laid back approach the best. I want to make it as a cinematographer but I’ve found that the car salesman approach doesn’t help close the deal with a potential client. I told them the benefits of wedding cinematography and laid out why I’m the best at it (you gotta be confident!).
I showed them samples of my work on Youtube and Vimeo. I told them about my fancy camera equipment and if they opt for the full package, I can guarantee a full cinematic video that will last a lifetime.
After my pitch and a few beers (the secret sauce of any negotiator), I closed the deal!
Plot twist: This is my first wedding videography gig ever.
Sounds amazing doesn’t it? I’m definitely excited and apprehensive. All that hard work in studying and buying the right equipment has finally paid off. Now I’m ready for a big time career in cinematography!
But all those years pounding away at my calculator at an insurance company paid off big time. I got my expensive equipment to shoot a cinematic wedding video – heck even an indie film. Now, I’m ready to hit the big time. Because fellas – ladies – my life life is simply marvelous.