For many couples a wedding video seems to be an afterthought, something they only really consider once everything else is organised. However, after all the celebrations are over, your wedding video will play a vital role in allowing you to relive your day. In fact, not having a wedding film made is the only regret couples ever have following their wedding day.
Once you have decided to have your wedding filmed you have a number of options. You can of course ask “Uncle Bob” to get his camcorder out of the drawer, search high and low for the charger and the manual on how it works and bring it along with him. Alternatively you could book a professional who will bring their full HD camera, spare batteries, extra memory cards, backup cameras, sound recording equipment, lights, and all the other little bits.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that your Uncle Bob will not do a good job, as there are a lot of Uncle Bobs out there who are more than capable of producing a nice memory for you; however here are a few points to consider when choosing which path to take with regards to your wedding video.
Firstly, why is Uncle Bob at your wedding? Is he there as a guest or is he there to work for you? Where will Uncle Bob be at various points throughout the day? He will probably want to check in to your hotel. He will probably want to sit with the other guests and eat his 5 course meal and he will probably want to have a few drinks to celebrate the happy occasion. The nature of being a guest at your wedding may mean that Uncle Bob, through no fault of his own, may not capture as much as a professional videographer as he will want to interact as a guest as opposed to an independent 3rd party who is there to do a job.
The second thing to consider is what equipment does Uncle Bob have? Now we all know that the price of professional equipment has come down over recent years and that many people now have high end cameras which they would happily use to capture your day. However, not many people have 2 or more of these high end cameras. What happens if Uncle Bob’s camera gets damaged or stops working at some point during your day? Do you just accept that he missed that bit?
What options does Uncle Bob provide for capturing different angles? It is all well and good putting a camera in a single position to capture the action, but what happens if this position gets blocked. Often at weddings the best man, or a reader, will stand right in front of the main camera whilst giving the rings to the officiating officer. More commonly, especially for church weddings is the fact that readers and the vicar move to a different location to read. How is uncle Bob going to record you and the reader with his single camera?
What about lenses and other equipment? Does Uncle Bob have a selection of lenses available to suit the potentially difficult conditions you may be confronted with on the day? Professional videographers would carry a selection of lenses which can be changed to best suit the situation they find themselves in.
In addition to cameras I am sure you will want the sound recording on your wedding day? How is Uncle Bob going to go about this? Sure Uncle Bob’s camera will have a microphone on it, he’ll use that right?. WRONG – On camera microphones are not best suited to recording the sound at weddings as they are meant to record the overall sound in the room. This means they will record everything equally. Professional videographers will choose a microphone that best suits the situation, for the ceremony they will probably a lavelier microphone clipped on to the groom so that the sound can be localised to the couple. The speeches may demand a different mic such as a shotgun so that individual speakers can be isolated. Sound recorders may also be used a primary recording or backup devices.
Finally on the subject of equipment a professional videographer would carry a selection of specialist equipment used to make your film more interesting. Things such as steadicams or glide tracks may be used to create different effects in your final production.
So, as I started out by saying, there is no right or wrong answer here but you must consider what you are expecting from the finished product. Are you expecting a hand held, potentially shaky recording of your day with Ok sound or are you expecting a fully edited, multi camera production set to your choice of licensed music?
There is nothing wrong with Uncle Bobs, however sometimes the drink and the food get in the way of the actual video.