Videotaping Weddings!

The first time I read videotaping weddings, I thought the article is old. However, I then thought that… well, the information could help you if you were after this specific job to videotape weddings offline and enhance this profession by having it online, so you will triple the additional income you make from video taping weddings.

There is a huge potential market for wedding videos. Just look in your local paper any Summer week and see how many weddings there were. Since almost every household in the country has a VCR, you can bet that almost every wedding has a video.

But, not only during Summer, or only in America, as video taping weddings could be a good job in other places in this world and when taken online in websites that work, it would definitely bring more additional income, not only from requests made online, but also from relevant products relevant to weddings videotaping.

Videotaping Weddings: Jay Mohr videotaping a wedding with Jennifer Aniston

Jay Mohr videotaping a wedding ceremony in Picture Perfect, while Jennifer Aniston stood beside him to convince him that she had given up everything for him.

Notice only that, with the development of the video cameras, you only need to use one camcorder from well established camera industries in the world. Canon is good.

But, there are also some other good video cameras to use, such as Sony, Nikon and Hitachi, so, you could produce good tapes on DVDs. you may ignore the classical videotaping weddings included in the article, in this regard.

Keep in mind, though, that there is also big competition in the weddings videotaping field. If you want to make it, you'll have to be sure of two things: you have the skills necessary, and that you can offer more in your area.

More means incentives, professionally developed arts, different types of presentation and even integration to modern photographing techniques that make the complete product incomparable with other products your competitors offer.

There's more to taping a wedding than just setting up a camera and turning it on. If you're married and had a video taken at your wedding, I'm sure you'll agree. You, the photographer, can expect to be dropped into an environment of potential conflict.

Last minute spats between the bride and groom, conflicts between family members, still photographers, all can be a source of headaches for you.

The best way to prevent problems is to set up a meeting with the bride, groom, close family members, and, if possible, any other photographers that will be at the service/reception.

This way, you can find out exactly what the family wants, any special shots they will want, any unusual parts to the ceremony that they may want on tape, how many people will be involved, and other issues.

Videotaping Weddings: Jay Mohr and Jennifer Aniston in Picture Perfect

Video Taping Weddings, Jay Mohr and Jennifer Aniston in Picture Perfect.

Keep in mind, the family will be paying you, so they will probably want to TELL you what you can or can't do. If what they want is reasonable, don't fight it. That makes your weddings videotapig job easier. But, if what they want is unreasonable, be honest with them, but, by all means, be tactful.

If you can meet with the other photographer(s), discuss where they need to be to get their best shots, so you and your camera won't be in the way. Also, this will help you with your BUSINESS planning so they won't be in your video, and you won't show up in the photos. This brings up the subject of planning.

Planning is all important when it comes to videotaping weddings. You will be producing something that the couple will want to view over and over again and that their family and friends will be seeing. It's your best advertisement. So, you will want it to be the best it can be.

If you know what the ceremony will be like ahead of time, and what special shots the couple and family will want, you've got the ball in your court. Be sure to attend the rehearsal, so you can set your equipment up and plan your camera angles. Since you've planned your work, all you have to do is work your videotaping weddings plan.

Videotaping Weddings: The bride and the groom, Picture Perfect

Videotaping Weddings: The bride and the groom, when interrupted by Jay Mohr and Jennifer Aniston in Picture Perfect.

Here's an idea of the equipment a well-stocked wedding videographer should have or have access to:

  • At least two VHS camcorders with high-quality low-light functions
  • At least one VHS VCR for editing and dubbing
  • At least one free-standing light for each camera
  • A tripod for each camera, preferably ones with a large range of heights
  • At least two twelve hours of batteries for the camera 
  • The best quality wireless microphone you can afford (one for each camera)         
  • All necessary cables, with spares
  • Extra tapes, the best quality available.

Don't let this list scare you off. If you don't own all this, you don't have to rush out and empty your bank account. You can either rent what you need, or barter your services with someone who has the equipment. Then, pick up the stuff you need piece by piece. Also, keep your eyes open for good quality used equipment.

Videotaping Weddings: Weddings ring, Picture Perfect

Videotaping Weddings: The bride and the groom and the weddings ring in Picture Perfect, starred by Jay Mohr and Jennifer Aniston.

Other equipment you may want to consider would include a good video editor deck, for putting your finished product together; a film-to-tape camera attachment (can be used to create a montage of scenes from old home movies of the couple when they were kids, which is a great service to offer and a unique marketing point to offer; and a graphics/title generator.

So, you may have wondered, why would you need more than one camera?

If you have two cameras set up, you:

  • can have different angles of the action, instead of the standard wedding video, which has a half-hour of a still camera; and
  • you're covered if one of the cameras messes up or lighting is bad.

Make sure your videos are special, different from the run-of-the-mill wedding videos. Try to get a camera aimed toward the faces of the couple, so you can capture them during the vows, and at other points. This will also provide close-up footage to edit in at slow points.

Try to have a camera at the end of the aisle, so you can catch the exit of the bride and groom. This camera could also be used to show the bride from the back, entering the ceremony, an angle that you rarely see in a wedding video.

If possible, get or draw up a floor plan of the location of the ceremony. It will help you plan your camera placement and shots.

Videotaping Weddings: Videotaping weddings ceremony, Picture Perfect.

Videotaping Weddings: The guests in Picture Perfect, starred by Jay Mohr and Jennifer Aniston.

Position your microphones where they'll do the most good. If possible, get either the bride or the groom to wear one, and get the minister or celebrant to wear one.

This way, you'll have crisp, clear sound. Just remember to warn the bride and groom not to whisper anything they wouldn't want the microphone to pick up! You can always edit out any unwanted sound.

Other places you may want a camera would be (with the couple in the 12 o'clock position): 10:00 or 2:00. Use the camera to get views of the crowd, the parents of the couple (edit a shot of them in during the vows, catch the emotion of the ceremony), and the entrance of the attendants. 

If the ceremony is a specialized ethnic ceremony (becoming more popular, especially with Black Americans) or unusual, you should look for points of interest to capture on tape which will show the special meanings and emotions of the ceremony.

If the couple and family can watch your tape and feel the same emotions they had during the actual ceremony, your tape is a winner!

Technical skills are important, but they can be learned. The most crucial skills are smooth panning and zooming. Before you ever do your first PAID wedding, practice with another event for free. Practice makes for fluency.

The worst wedding video is the most common: one stationary camera, no zooms, never moving. People look around when they're at a wedding, and so should the camera, within reason.

Practice a slow, smooth pan that keep the subject in the frame of the camera. Practice smooth zooms that aren't jerky, and aren't too close or too far from the subject.

You've probably figured that you'll need a helper for the actual taping. Unless the only camera that will pan and zoom is the one you're operating, and the others are stationary, you'll need someone. Be sure your helper is well-trained, with skills up to par with yourself.

Ideas: a friend who also has a videocamera (here's a way to save on equipment costs); a college or high-school kid with video experience (they're becoming more common, as more and more schools add video classes to their curriculum); or a freelancer (possibly a crew member from the public access channel at your cable station).

At the reception, it's important to get the "traditional" events: the garter/ bouquet toss, cutting the cake, toasts, etc… Use the same guidelines as before: keep in mind what's important to have in the frame, and try to tape it smoothly.

A good idea may be to talk to the relatives of the couple and see if some of them would want to say a few words about the couple on tape (try to do this early in the reception, before a lot of drinks have been served).

If your videos are special and well-produced, you should be able to charge fees that are toward the top range in your area. Premium wedding videographers in large areas should be able to get $750 to $1000 for a wedding. Discretely call other videographers in your area to get an idea of what the range is. 

Video taping Weddings: Picture Perfect, Jennifer Aniston and Jay Mohr.

Video taping Weddings: Picture Perfect, Jennifer Aniston and Jay Mohr.

Videotaping Weddings - Marketing Ideas:

(1) Scan your newspaper for engagement announcements. Then, use your computer's word processor to print out personalized letters detailing your services. Use your library's city directory to find the addresses you need. Send the letters and a brochure to the lucky couples.

(2) Set up a referral network with florists, formalwear shops, printers, and other wedding-related retailers in your area. You could offer them a set commission fee each time a referral leads to a taping job.

(3) Find a wedding photographer in your area who doesn't currently offer video. Set up a deal where your photo and video services could be offered as a package.

(4) Participate in local bridal shows. These are attended by people who will be marrying soon, qualified prospects for your videotaping weddings services. Have plenty of your brochures and marketing materials handy, so you don't run out.

A good idea is to have one of your best videos playing on a monitor at the show (get permission from the couple on tape first, maybe offer them a discount in exchange for letting you use their tape for marketing purposes).

(5) Advertise your videotaping weddings service in your newspaper's wedding supplement. Most newspapers publish at least one a year. Use freebie ad magazines, free press releases, free radio advertising, shopping center papers and other media.

If your videotaping weddings was simple, with only one camera, you may be able to deliver the tape to the couple at the end of the wedding.

If more extensive editing needs to be done, make sure you give the couple a realistic date when they can expect the tape. Don't give them a time that will leave you rushed.

If you don't have your own editing equipment, check ahead with your local cable station. Many times, they have facilities for their public access station, which can be rented. Many also offer short courses in video editing which are worth checking into.

Supportive Articles Relevant to Videotaping Weddings:

The following articles with the resources included provide you by more insights into videotaping weddings, more business ideas, good learning about using camcorders to shoot videos and even the best cameras to use and succeed in videotaping weddings.

Video taping Weddings: Picture Perfect, Jay Mohr, Jennifer Aniston.

Video taping Weddings: Picture Perfect, Jay Mohr and Jennifer Aniston.

Digital and Video Products:

Audio Products| Digital and Video Products| File Converter Software| How to Produce Cable TV Spots| Inventory Videotaping Business| NTI Home Video| Special Event Videos| Video Converter| Videotape Rental StoreVideotaping IdeasVideotaping Service| Videotaping Weddings| Windows Movie Maker|

Pictures and Shows:

Dance| Exhibiting Online| Freelance Photography| Native Americans Videos| Paintings| Photography| Pictures| Pictures for Your Website| Red Indians Videos| Salsa Samba Dances| Sell Paintings Online| Sudanese Music| Sudanes Song| 10 Hints to Exhibit Your Artwork Online| Video| Video Games| Video Shows| Video Talk| Weddings Photography|

In addition to videotaping weddings, you may also be interested in the following resources:

The Wedding Video Handbook: How to Succeed in the Wedding Video Business (DV Expert Series)| The Shut Up and Shoot Freelance Video Guide: A Down & Dirty DVD Production| Lighting for Digital Video and Television| The Sweet Potato Queens' Wedding Planner/Divorce Guide|

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Important Update!

The Sudanese Song should be by now published at the HOAs Cultural Project on the HOA Political Scene Blog here. I published that website few years after the Ezine Act. But, since this page on this website has good presence, I am forced to leave it here. It performs good with its article.

Please read it and if you wanted to leave comments on it, do that at the HOAs link you read above.

However, you can use the form on this page to write about any other songs and music in other countries in the world, but not in the Horn of Africa.

If you wanted to write about places in the Horn of Africa, or in other regions in the world, do that at Any Beautiful City.

You can read there about beautiful places in the Horn of Africa, such as Gondar in Ethiopia and Kordofan - Kurdofan in Sudan.



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