Jump to content
Jimmy

Wedding videography advice

Recommended Posts

My brother just scored a contract to do all the wedding photography at a country hall, around 40+ per year. He has asked me if I want to do the videography side of things. Not really dream stuff, but hard to turn down the cash being thrown around.

So....

Now i'm trying to work out the best camera/audio setup. I currently have an A7s II, an NX1 and a BMPCC.... The A7s could come in handy for FF and lowlight stuff.

Camera wise, I would want:

  • Good skintones
  • At least 60fps, preferably highly
  • Decent AF
  • Decent audio (though I would probably have dedicated external sound).
  • Stablisation, preferably in camera, but could use a gimbal
  • Nothing too intimidation

I find myself drawn to the XC15 for the bread and butter shots (speeches, candid handheld stuff outdoors etc)... Then maybe use the A7s II for B roll, slow mo, artistic dolly stuff etc.

Any advice from people doing this for a living... The C100 II was looking interesting to me, but I worry that the size might intimidate people... Is stealth best, or do people want to see big cameras so they feel it is professional?

Gear budget would be about £5000 (more if i sell current gear).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Have used the a7sii in low light weddings and the skin tones are a nightmare. They are dead. Shines above all else when the party starts and the lights go down. Don't really need a gimbal if you know how to move the camera and are taking short, swooping shots over a 5ft distance. Obviously, long tracking shots are a different thing. Personally, I'll go with non electronic gimbal type in future - the DS1 I bought is utterly useless.

I'd use a cheap Canon for close-ups of people or perhaps master Andrew's colour settings for the Sonys. I've yet to buy them and am holding fire until the WB issues are understood (by me).

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I shoot weddings for a good part of the year. You are right that the C100 II would be a dynamite wedding camera. It looks professional without being huge and heavy to lug around. It's got great battery life, small file sizes, good in low light, nice colours straight out of camera. I use a GH4/2 (which work decently) but I would rather the C100 if I could afford it. It and a used C100 Mk I would be a nice combo.

Most of your valuable audio will be recorded off camera. I'll often use a recorder (Tascam DR-60) to take a feed off of the mixer/DJ board, and pocket recorders with lav mics on the groom and/or officiant. Usually some other recorder or mic in front of a speaker as a backup. Audio backups are key because stuff will mess up with one of your options from time to time.

Weddings are the type of gigs where you will quickly learn that ergonomics, reliability and nice looking footage with minimal hassle are critical.  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DaveAltizer said:

Shoot everything at 1080p. Don't shoot yourself in the foot with 4K. Although I do like shooting ceremonies at 4K for the post crop. 

Canon skin tones are the best. Even a used 70d would be better than Sony IMO. The C100 mk1 and 2 are the best cameras for weddings IMO. I've shot a few recently with C100 mk1 and my 1DC and it's super nice. Here's a teaser I did with 1DC/ C100 combo: 

 

 

You MUST MUST MUST remember that wedding films are CONSUMER PRODUCTS. DONT EVER FORGET THIS. THIS IS 6 years of experience and over 300 weddings shot of experience talking to you. These people aren't professional filmmakers. They aren't producers. They aren't film snobs. All they want is pretty shots of them on their big day. If you shot it all with a t2i and a 50mm 1.8 they would love it because it looks "cinematic". Don't get caught up with the gear when it comes to shooting weddings. That's the biggest waste of time and money. The couples simply don't give a shit. 

I hope you enjoy it. Weddings are a fantastic way to get lots of experience and become a ninja shooter 

So true. I did a couple of weddings for free (to gain some experience) and blew some highlights here and there, as well as having a grave struggle with skin tones. However, because I chose powerfully emotive music and was able to capture the joy of the day through stealth shots of individuals and tender moments between various family members - and edit these in such a way that the viewer has just finished crying when they find themselves laughing and then back again - everybody agreed that the finished videos were like nothing they had ever seen.

If you love your work, your client will love your work much more because they are emotionally involved in the story. The people you are filming have a history together - they will recognise and love every mannerism common to their loved ones that nobody else can.

The only wedding I won't touch after that feedback will be where either the bride or groom are professional videographers. They would notice the slight moire on the registrar's tie, the crushed shadows miles away in the corner of the church, the purple fringing in one second of the entire production - and then sue you silly for daring to soil their big day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Davey said:

 

The only wedding I won't touch after that feedback will be where either the bride or groom are professional videographers. They would notice the slight moire on the registrar's tie, the crushed shadows miles away in the corner of the church, the purple fringing in one second of the entire production - and then sue you silly for daring to soil their big day.

I dunno, if anything, I feel like they should get it. It's a chaotic shoot where getting the moment trumps all. Not to mention alot of it is done in horrific mixed lighting/backlit conditions that look like crap on any camera. Even the people that do high end wedding work have tons of footage that looks pretty junky compared to controlled shoots. Only so much you can do, given the conditions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DaveAltizer said:

Shoot everything at 1080p. Don't shoot yourself in the foot with 4K. Although I do like shooting ceremonies at 4K for the post crop. 

Canon skin tones are the best. Even a used 70d would be better than Sony IMO. The C100 mk1 and 2 are the best cameras for weddings IMO. I've shot a few recently with C100 mk1 and my 1DC and it's super nice. Here's a teaser I did with 1DC/ C100 combo: 

 

 

You MUST MUST MUST remember that wedding films are CONSUMER PRODUCTS. DONT EVER FORGET THIS. THIS IS 6 years of experience and over 300 weddings shot of experience talking to you. These people aren't professional filmmakers. They aren't producers. They aren't film snobs. All they want is pretty shots of them on their big day. If you shot it all with a t2i and a 50mm 1.8 they would love it because it looks "cinematic". Don't get caught up with the gear when it comes to shooting weddings. That's the biggest waste of time and money. The couples simply don't give a shit. 

I hope you enjoy it. Weddings are a fantastic way to get lots of experience and become a ninja shooter 

That looks great, man. Which camera did the hanger shot and what lens?

Also, was that all c-log?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, dbp said:

I dunno, if anything, I feel like they should get it. It's a chaotic shoot where getting the moment trumps all. Not to mention alot of it is done in horrific mixed lighting/backlit conditions that look like crap on any camera. Even the people that do high end wedding work have tons of footage that looks pretty junky compared to controlled shoots. Only so much you can do, given the conditions. 

Especially if you are a one man band with only two cameras - but - I read so much criticism of other people's work on forums like this (and Youtube / Vimeo) that I just would not risk it lol.

 

If Philip Bloom gets slaughtered for his Instagram style grading, then I am not going to risk ever doing anything for anybody who has ever held a camera.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wedding shooter myself and obviously know a few others. I use the C100 MK2 as do most of the people I know, it kills weddings. Best camera I've used for weddings full stop and I've been through Canon DSLR, GH4 and tried a Sony. The C100 is a workhorse that you need for this kind of stuff that just goes and goes and goes, great skintones and out of the box. I find the GH4 matches it quite well for a B camera too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your doing that many weddings C100 Mark 2 or FS5. I would lean towards the Canon. Light files, great image, great low light. That camera was meant to shoot weddings. FS5 has that fantastic auto ND filter and you can use a speedbooster though.

Do not ever shoot without internal ND on weddings, dealing with external ND's are a pain in the ass when you have to move from indoor to outdoor quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jimmy,

I've been shooting weddings for 5 years so hopefully I can help out a little.

I shoot with 2 x GH4s and a mixture of fast glass (adapted and native). The GH4s do a great job and I love the small size (as I'm very sensitive to being unobtrusive). However, I would suggest, as others have, that the C100 MkII is the dream camera for weddings and events if you can afford it. I've been very close to pushing the button a number of times but I'd have to switch my lenses and get a larger Glidecam and I'm not willing to take the financial hit at present.

The C100 nails lowlight, skintones, internal NDs, small file size and great audio, pretty much all the key elements to the technical side of weddings. But... I've seen people craft beautiful weddings films with pretty much every camera we discuss on these forums. You're A7sII is no slouch for this kind of work, although record times, reliability, battery life stopped me going down that route and sticking with the trusty GH4s which have never let me down. If there is a particular camera you just love shooting with, then you can make the technical limitations work.

Regarding size of C100, I wouldn't worry too much about that, even in the UK. It's not too big, and I think what's most important is the way you approach the filming. Some people won't like being filmed whatever camera you use, but an apology, smile and some self-deprecating humour will usually win over even the most vehemently shy/grumpy guests. Most people are fine.

I would suggest the other key area of investment is sound, especially decent lapel mics . Mic the groom for the ceremony (vicar/registrar too if they don't mind) and mic speaker for speeches individually if possible, or get them to hold a mic, or take a feed from the venue's PA system (if you are working at one specific hall then you should get this down pretty quickly!) I think killer audio from the ceremony and speeches is one of the areas that can boost your films to the next level, and the sound bytes can drive your highlights films too.

A few tips off the top of my head:

- Attend church/hall rehearsals where possible, good to ingratiate yourself with vicars (some have had bad experiences with photogs/video guys) and good to suss out all your angles ahead of time, and meet the close family and friends. Getting them onside can make the days so much easier.

- It's invaluable for ceremony, speeches and first dance to have a wide "safety" angle set up to cut too

- Editing is a real bitch when it comes to weddings, if you're like me you are going to feel that intensity to film EVERYTHING but every shot you take is going to have a knock-on effect with your editing pipeline. My footage is better when I shoot less and observe more; waiting, looking, for special angles and moments. Of course, sometimes you've just got to grab what you can given the day's timings.

- Don't overcomplicate your gear. I personally find it very easy to get bogged down into lens decisions, shall I go Glidecam now, shall I get the tripod out? Ultimately, I've found my best footage comes from when I'm stuck with a single lens (usually a prime) and I'm handheld or monopod and I'm just enjoying the filming.

Weddings isn't my dream work either, but wow is it a good place to learn fast, and work with footage that involves beauty, emotion and story... all key ingredients to narrative films. If you can handle weddings you can handle just about any filming environment too. Not to put you off, you'll be fine, but you have to get creative and think fast and plan ahead to get good shots in an environment you don't have control over.

If I can help any further with specific questions, feel free to message me or what not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Valuable information above. I am no professional wedding videographer, did 12 weddings over the past 9 years and always demanded a new piece of equipment as compensation. For me, shooting weddings is big fun, a bunch of challenges and a thousand times as rewarding as shooting corporate videos (I know a few people in that business).

4 hours ago, Davey said:

The only wedding I won't touch after that feedback will be where either the bride or groom are professional videographers. They would notice the slight moire on the registrar's tie, the crushed shadows miles away in the corner of the church, the purple fringing in one second of the entire production - and then sue you silly for daring to soil their big day.

I did that two times, no problem. As I said, I'm not a pro, but I went to film school, and I know how to present my point of view. What I wouldn't touch is if either the groom or the bright is an abominable wedding videographer, the most begrudging species in the world. They always hate their rivals and despise their work, if they admit it or not. The work of others is either cheesy, poorly photographed, has no story, too long, boring, the music makes my toenails curl in horror (and/or is stolen, would like to report you) or it's completely professional, an exchangeable template, lifeless, loveless, everybody can see how much you disliked the bride by the amount of diffusion you applied, are you so dull to miss that? And so forth. How I know? I once had been reading guest of a wedding videographer forum to perhaps steal some tricks. Make no mistake: hell didn't exist before, it was invented for this vermin. 

2 hours ago, Jimbo said:

Editing is a real bitch when it comes to weddings, if you're like me you are going to feel that intensity to film EVERYTHING but every shot you take is going to have a knock-on effect with your editing pipeline. My footage is better when I shoot less and observe more; waiting, looking, for special angles and moments. Of course, sometimes you've just got to grab what you can given the day's timings.

Good distinction: special angles (beautiful photography) and special moments (emotional mise-en-scène). A successful wedding video always has both. When in doubt, go for the emotion. A sequence of perfect beauty shots that looks like a lavish commercial: unendurable. Grandma fighting her tears, whispering God bless you: YES!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NX is good for everything, A7sII is perfect for the party later, and anything really low-lightish. I always use 2 cameras at least, or we are 2 cameramen.

The contract seems very good, maybe you can afford to have an assistant, it is so much better to have someone else for help and a second camera.

As mentioned above sound is VERY important, and a few (really good) LED lights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

good advice.. i agree an assistant is a blessing, i hate doing these gigs solo.. weddings are gruesome. most important is to be quick on your feet. bodies aren't really that important, i've shot with all kinds (D750, A7S2, 5D3, C100..) but your lens selection, gimbal/monopod setup, audio etc.. is as if not more critical even then body choice..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Kisaha said:

 

As mentioned above sound is VERY important, and a few (really good) LED lights.

On this subject, I find the F&V r300 Ring light really handy for dancing when things get dark. The Milk Diffuser add-on is worth it, as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Weddings are kind of my bread and butter. Like most people here I started on Canon DSLRs, but eventually went mirrorless. While I've shot quite a few with the GH4 and A7s i/ii, my tried-and-true favorite combination for weddings for the last 2 years or so is my NX1 with a battery grip (battery life for days!) on a benro monopod. The 4k is fantastic, the 60p is excellent and the 120p is very good. For glass, probably 99% of the time I'm using either the sigma 18-35 or the rokinon 85mm. I have an SLR magic variable ND with xume magnetic filter holders, so I can just clop it on and off any lenses i use in half a second, very convenient for the running and gunning of weddings. Who needs internal NDs when it's that easy. 

For steadicam shots, lately I keep an NX500 with a rokinon 12mm on a zhiyun crane ready to go in my bag when I need some cool camera movement. I've pared down my wedding kit so that I can carry it all with me all the time(peak design everyday messenger for the win!) I have  a nasty habit of setting things down in the moment, forgetting about them, losing them, etc. and it's just so much of a hassle to have too much gear. I've done the whole ronin thing, extra lights, all the lenses I MIGHT need, but then you have the risk of that stuff laying around when you're not using it, just not worth it for me, especially since most of the time I'm a one-man-band.

Like everyone is saying, audio is important (I live in Utah, i.e. lots of Mormons here, so I don't actually film too many ceremonies, just the happy couple coming out of the temple) but for the odd ceremony it's really not too much trouble to throw a Sennheiser g3 or something similar on the priest, and line-out record the house audio with any recorder you want for backup and you're golden. I just don't see much of a reason to over-complicate things. Weddings are easy. Pretty fun too. Good luck! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Parker said:

Like everyone is saying, audio is important (I live in Utah, i.e. lots of Mormons here, so I don't actually film too many ceremonies, just the happy couple coming out of the temple)

Don't Mormons allow filming inside the Temple?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...