1.) GET IN TOUCH-
The old phrase "Communication is Key" is ringing in my ears. But, it's more than JUST communicating, it's about being personable and real with each couple. In every consultation, I truly try to get to know each couple the best I can. I love hearing how they met, who said "I love you" first, and what they like doing when they're not furiously planning for a wedding. During the consultation, I also make sure to get to know what they're looking for in their wedding video. Do they have certain moments that they REALLY want me to capture? Is the bride going to be wearing her great-great grandmothers earrings? Is there going to be a juicy long first kiss? Are they planning a flash mob? Because, if so, I want to make it a priority.
2.) STORY WILL ALWAYS Be KING
As a bit of a video nerd, it's easy to get caught up drooling over my "Amazon Wish-list" or the next best camera, but mastering the ability to tell a story will forever trump any amount of video equipment you might have. Whether it's an epic aerial shot over the venue, the bride reading a letter from her soon-to-be husband, or the groom anxiously practicing his vows. They all play a part of a bigger story of that day. Understanding the dynamic of story-telling is, and will always be, the key to creating an emotional connection between the character and viewer. The story JUST. CAN'T. WAIT. TO BE KING! (Lion King Reference)
3.) MASTER THE AUDIO
Check. Check. Can you hear me? Cheesy - I know, but audio is another contributor in the process of telling the story. I'm talking more than just a catchy song playing in the background. It's about having audio, whether it's the vows or a toast and nothing is more frustrating and distracting to a viewer than having audio that cracks or hisses. So, investing in a couple audio recorders is always a great idea. These are some of what I use (Zoom H1 + Lav Mic OR Zoom H4N) but you can find more affordable mics with similar quality.
4.) BE A WEDDING NINJA-
I can't confirm or deny that I have attended formal Wedding Ninja schooling, but I believe in capturing beautiful shots, without being bothersome or forcing moments. The trend is moving towards wedding videographer taking over the day, and bringing in massive amounts of video gear. I believe wedding videography should focus on documenting rather than directing. And to do that, it requires the videographer to be minimalistic with equipment and his/her style. Being able to capture REAL and RAW moments is what a wedding day is all about. Because, you won't get a "TAKE TWO" of the bride's dad tearing up. So, don't get caught up carrying around too much or forcing moments, just watch, and you'll see the special moments unfold.
Lets face it, weddings can be stressful. The bride and groom have spent months planning and have chosen you to document one of the most memorable days of their life. There's going to be a lot going on and it's easy to get caught up in all the tense moments. But, as my friend Dory once said "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming", OK, she's not really my friend, but it has some truth to it. With weddings, and almost anything in life, things happen that you have no control over. It might rain. Babies might cry. Or for god's sake, someone steps in front of a beautiful shot as your following the bride. But, there's good news. You can choose to fight those moments, which will make things more difficult or you can embrace and creatively use those moments. From my short experience, I've learned wedding parties are extremely good at sensing emotions. As a professional, they'll look to you for assurance in stressful moments. That makes it your job to always be cool and collected. So, enjoy the day. Roll with the punches, and ALWAYS remember to smile.