I recently got to travel up to St.Augustine to film this wedding, and I had a blast! I got there early enough to get some location shots of the fort and of George Street which was PACKED that day, which was a bit challenging later in the day when the photographer and I were trying to get some good shots and footage. Another challenging aspect of this wedding was that it was all outdoors...in Florida...in the summer. I'm not gonna lie, it was incredibly hot, and I was dehydrated the next day, but in the end it was all worth it because I now I have a beautiful video to add to my portfolio!
I will not sugarcoat the fact that I am new at wedding films, but with every wedding, I am learning a TON, and this blog is one way for me to keep track of the things I've learned.
At this wedding in particular, here are some thing I learned to make my craft better:
-If you are filming somewhere you are unfamiliar with, do your research ahead of time to get to know the surrounding area. I've lived in Tampa my whole life, but I've only been to St.Augustine once when I was in 5th grade. Luckily, I was working with a photographer who knew her stuff and even booked an area of a museum to be cleared for an hour so the couple could do their first look there. Without her, I would have been lost and not known where I could get good footage for their film.
-If you are filming a wedding outside during summer in Florida, be prepared. Have water always on your person, wear appropriate clothing, don't wear any makeup, and put sun screen on.
- Use a monopod or a tripod. Like....always. I am slowly building up my gear, and fancy gliders and sliders are the last things on my list, but a fluid head monopod and tripod are practically a must. Invest in one of each
- If the bride tells you to get there at 2 and the first look is at 4...that doesn't make sense. You want to get there when she is getting her hair and makeup done. Ask her for THOSE times, and then get there half an hour earlier than that.
- Try and convince your couple to write notes to each other before the wedding, and read them aloud with you in the room if they are comfortable with that. I have done this for both films I have made, and it ends up being an AMAZING source for content in the movie.
- Put a lav mic on both the officiant and the groom.
- Don't be afraid to tell the photographer you need them to move, or you need some footage before they get closer for their shot. Also, don't be afraid to let the photographer take the lead either! If you are working with an experienced photographer and they seem to be leading the show, I will sometimes just act as a fly on the wall because I'm getting great content from the directions they are giving the couple.
- hire an assistant. Not necessarily a second shooter, but someone who can help you hold on to your gear, switch mics when people are giving speeches, set up light stands, etc. I am still doing this by myself, but I intend on recruiting my boyfriend (who is a pro at sound and audio recording!) to be my sound tech/assistant. There is too much work in this job to be doing it efficiently on your own.
- EAT FOOD. Don't try and convince yourself that you don't need it, or you're too busy. Your efficiency and production level will suffer if you don't fuel up. No one really wants a camera looking at them while their eating food, so dinner is the obvious time for YOU to eat as well.
- Bonnie, you need more lights. It's so important. Get them.
I'm sure there are countless other things that I learned from this wedding, but the main thing is to just keep going! Every wedding should be better than the next, and as a videographer, you should never EVER feel like you have no room for improvement. There will always be more you can do better.