The most important aspect of video is one often overlooked: quality audio recording. When the audio quality of a film is poor the video always follows suit. We have all become accustomed to Hollywood films and the way they reproduce sound. When we hear someone speaking in a film we expect it to sound a certain way: crisp, easy to hear, and full. This is the sound we associate with high quality video. Camcorders and mobile phones produce video we generally consider as unprofessional largely because they record audio through their built-in microphones or microphones attached to the cameras. When audio is recorded at a distance from the audio source it creates a sound that is abrasive, distant, and thin – these qualities are associated with amateur video and produce poor results. Since audio plays such a large role in making a great wedding film it is essential that your videographer use professional lapel microphones to capture high quality audio to capture every last precious word.
This is a once in a lifetime event so it is essential that your videographer brings at least one backup camera.
Although it is rare, video cameras can and do malfunction; it’s not a question of if but when. For example, a camera could refuse to turn on making it impossible to shoot any footage at all. It happens! If your videographer was limited to only one camera you would be left only with the footage they captured before the malfunction. If on the other hand your videographer had a backup camera, or even multiple backups, the malfunction may only result in missing a few seconds; if they are capturing multiple angles, more than likely, nothing will be missed. A wedding videographer who is prepared need only reach into their bag and start filming on their backup camera. This is a once in a lifetime event so it is essential that your videographer brings at least one backup camera.
While there are some videographers out there who can solo shoot a wedding without compromising on quality, they are the exception to the rule. Filming a wedding has many facets and time restrictions that make solo video shooters less than ideal. For instance, bridal prep and groom prep are often help at two different locations. Logistically, a solo shooter may have to compromise and choose to shoot one over the other. My recommendation to those looking at working with a wedding videographer is to make sure there will be two shooters on the day, or at the very least, that they bring an assistant.
It is the videographers job to plan out and find a way to make the speech portion of your film look as good as possible.
Crafting a stunning wedding film, as we have seen, requires a lot of technical knowledge, but it also requires a certain degree of planning. Special care should be taken in the filming of speeches, for example, to ensure speech givers are standing in a location that will look great on film. This is not something that should be handled on the night, but instead it should be worked out in advance. Attention to detail is everything. Just think about all of the time and effort that goes into making your ceremony location look beautiful. Similar attention should be paid to where your speech givers deliver their kind words. If special effort is not put into making the speeches look amazing, large portions of your film will be of your friends and family standing in the corner of an uninteresting room. If your videographer does not have any requests to make of you or your planner, you may have a problem on your hands. It is the videographers job to plan out and find a way to make the speech portion of your film look as good as possible.
If your videographer says, “I work with the available light,” the choice to do so is probably not purely aesthetic.
The ability to light a scene or subject well is a skill that separates professional videographers from amateurs. Lighting plays a vital role in the reception portion of a wedding. Receptions are often held at night when the natural light of the sun has faded. As a result the multicoloured light of DJs and wedding bands dominate. Mixed (multicoloured) lighting is less than ideal for capturing images. This is why so many reception photos are delivered in black and white: sometimes it’s an aesthetic choice, but often it is because of how difficult it can be, without balanced light, to make skin-tones look natural and healthy. If you’ve ever noticed a difference between a video you’ve taken and that of a professional, the main difference was probably the lighting. Professional lighting is the perfect tool for adding depth an interest to images and without it your videos can look flat and uninspiring. If your videographer says, “I work with the available light,” the choice to do so is probably not purely aesthetic. Ensure any videographer you work with brings their own lights.
Vancouver has an amazing talent pool of wedding filmmakers and I’ve compiled a list of all of my favourite ones in this article Vancouvers Best Wedding Videographers in 2021. I provide video examples of all of their work and links to their websites so you can see what Vancouver has to offer. I’m certain you’ll have a hard time making a decision as all of them are great!