Don’t ever let someone talk you into shooting a wedding. It has to be something you want to do. Weddings take alot of work to pull off, not to mention the stress involved in making sure you have the shots you need in order to deliver a good product. There are hundreds of blog posts that talk about the essentials to shoot weddings. That’s all fine and well. Here are three things I have learned as I have filmed weddings.

Tip Number 1: Take on a wedding project because you really want to. If you go half-hearted into a shoot and wishing you were on the couch watching football, then shooting a wedding is not for you. It takes creativity, energy, effort, and diligence. For hours upon hours, you must be constantly watching and prepared to capture that moment. If your mind is focused else where, so will your shots.

Tip Number 2: I find that my shots turn out the best when I have enough time to study the surroundings. Get to know the location prior to shooting the grand entrance. Know where clumps of trees are, benches, birds chirping, nearby roads. Find out what might become a distraction and adjust accordingly. Look to see where the sun is, where it will be when shooting the reception, and find those spots that can really set your shots apart. Look for simple things like fences, stairways, and hanging lights that can be quick backdrops for your shots. The bride and groom look to you for their shots, and have too much on their mind to discuss locations for all the shots.

Tip Number 3: Place secondary mics in odd locations to capture ambient sounds. I was recently on a video shoot filming a wedding at a country farm. The ceremony was located in the woods by a huge ridge. In addition to the lav mic I used to record the bride and groom at the front, I attached a shotgun mic to the secondary audio input on my camera to capture the sound of people walking through the leaves as they came and sat down. The sound of the bride’s dress as it swooshed past. Even the people in the audience laughing at a comical moment. These are audio bites that can be inserted into the post production to add a little more realism.

Nothing too earth-shattering about these tips, but I know from experience that these 3 things make a huge difference.

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