Jordan Donovan owns Current Media Productions, a Bellingham company whose services include videos for weddings and other personal and community events.
Booking both at the same time allows you to check your media needs off of your list. As videography becomes equally valued as photography for weddings, we will soon see videographers and filmmakers booking early and filling up their schedules for those prime summer weekends.
What kind of equipment will they be using, and how many cameras and staff will they plan to use to cover your wedding? A wedding cannot be properly filmed with a single camera and individual. The video company you hire should be shooting with at least two cameras (I recommend three) and at least two shooters. The crew should have adequate audio equipment to mic up the officiant and groom. The crew also should have audio gear to interview guests for well wishes, proper lighting, and ancillary equipment, such as a slider or dolly, a small crane, and possibly a drone for aerial shots of the wedding location.
The video team should maintain a low profile as much as possible, so you want to avoid a crew too large for your wedding. If you’re hosting a few hundred guests, a crew of four is no big deal. But if your wedding is smaller, you want your crew to blend in and only have two or three in their staff.
And, of course, there’s price. Many companies offer multiple packages offering different levels of service at various price scales. Find a videographer who fits your budget.
The questions you’ll want to ask yourself are: Do I want a professional video production? If yes, can my friends deliver the high quality I desire?
But keep in mind that if your friends or family members are shooting your wedding, they are either working or they are enjoying the wedding — it’s tough to do both. Is the person a really close friend, or a friend of a friend? Will they still be able to enjoy your special day? If they do a good job, then probably not. Or if they participate in the festivities, then your wedding video will suffer.
When I’m shooting a wedding, my cameras are always rolling. People will move in and out of my shot, including the photographer, and that is expected. But in the edit room I will cut out superfluous shots and content. ... That can be more difficult for the photographer. I do my best to stay out of the photographer’s shots.
Establishing a respectful working relationship early in the day with the photographer has always helped us both throughout the wedding. I’ve often had the photographer or his or her assistant come get me to make sure I’m not missing a moment.
We put a small light on a camera and approach guests with a microphone for happy wishes for the bride and groom. Dinner, dancing, cake cutting, you name it, we’re shooting it. And in the end we try to get departure footage of the newlyweds leaving the reception (if they do so).
I filmed a wedding a couple years ago at Semiahmoo Resort and as we were packing up, the town of White Rock, B.C., began a fireworks display across the bay. I’m not sure what the fireworks were for, but I grabbed a camera and propped it up on a fence log and shot the whole sequence. We ended the wedding edit with that and found out later that that night the newlyweds were watching the same fireworks from their hotel suite.
I placed my assistant shooter on the bride’s vessel and I stuck with the groom. The challenge was not being able to communicate with the second half of my team as we were preparing for the ceremony, but I had the third camera and audio gear, and time to place and prepare the equipment. It all came together perfectly when the bride’s boat pulled up.
The next day we boarded a plane to Mexico and I remember thinking, “Wow, the day really did pass by fast, I hope our photographer got some good pics.” Then I thought, “I wish I had video.” To this day I still regret that choice. The still photos turned out great, but we missed all the interaction. The voices of people present and the music that played, the kids running around playing with the games we had out, the dancing ... our photos just didn’t cover the whole day adequately.