Last Friday I filmed my first paid wedding, and it was an amazing experience. From the groom seeing the bride for the first time, to the ceremony, and the speeches and dances, it was an all around party. Not to mention, I was also in the wedding party celebrating my best friend who was just married (I had a second shooter for the ceremony). The whole day went until around 12:00am, and then came takedown. Seeing as I was also a groomsmen, it was my responsibility to help fully end the wedding day. I stayed longer then a videographer normally would because of this. There was also a breakfast the next day for the wedding party, and along with that, I also had another wedding I was to attend for another best friend the next day. Talk about on the run.
As I went home that Friday night, I hit the preverbal hay as quickly as I could. I needed the sleep ASAP, as the next day would most likely run just as long. After attending the breakfast in the morning, I had to run a few errands and drop off a few rentals, and then I was off to another wedding. This one however, I was not planning to shoot. My close friend who was being married that Saturday asked me to not film so I could enjoy the day, but something in my wanted to still make him a great film, and I knew inwardly that I’d still enjoy the day (especially for the fact that the film would be his wedding gift).
So, showing up as a normal onlooker, about 5 minutes before hand, I ran from my car with only one camera I happened to bring that day, and my lower grade tripod, and lavaliere. I found the pastor, mic’d him up, and took a place on the side to grab as many dynamic shots as I could. I only had one camera, my 6D’s battery was dead. I forgot to charge it when I got home the night before, along with the batteries in the T2i I was shooting with.
I had half a battery left for the whole ceremony, but I didn’t let that discourage me or stop me, I wasn’t being paid for this wedding, but that doesn’t mean you should cheap out on a gift. My last 16gig SD card was in the camera, with no hacked firmware on it (magic lantern; a firmware I never shoot without), and in the back of my mind I was wondering if the T2i would randomly activate it’s auto gain control while the lavaliere was being recorded. But I kept moving, and I kept filming.
Things Get Worse
It was almost over. They signed their license. They got blessed by there pastor. “I know pronounce you hu—“ and then the battery dies. I missed their first kiss as husband and wife! The worst! My friend Bryan, who was in the wedding party that day, and who was also my second shooter for the day before, saw me suddenly turn my camera down and run away. He was so confused. Why did I not film their kiss? I later told him why, and he bursted out laughing. He told me he placed a GoPro in the tree above which should entail a pretty nice overhead shot of them kissing, and I also found my friend’s dad who happened to get a nice closeup of the kiss on his Canon.
Enjoy The Day
I ended up going home in-between the ceremony and reception, charging my cameras, dumping my cards from the night before, and in essence, doing all the things I should have done when I got home last night. You really never know as a videographer when your next shoot is going to be. It could be planned, and paid for, or it could be spontaneous. Either way, you always need to be prepared, and this is something that no video, tutorial, or teaching, will ever teach you. The past two days of filming has made me that much more confident in the field of videographer, and especially wedding videography. There were problems I encountered that I never expected, and I have to say, I’m glad that I filmed my both of my friends weddings, even though they were both hesitant on me filming as they wanted me to enjoy the day. Valid argument, but I’m glad that I took the chance, and soon giving both couples the ability to relive their wedding for years to come, and that made the day extremely enjoyable.
Learn While Doing
I have another paid wedding at the end of the month. One that will be much more elaborate, and that’s exciting. But I’ve been duped into thinking that they best way to plan for a wedding, is to plan for a wedding. Wrong. The best way to plan for a wedding is to shoot a lot of weddings. The truth is you will never get better at any skill or trade if all you do is plan, and never test out your assumptions and techniques. Test them, refine them, and build some confidence in knowing that…
- You’re choosing to be someone who constantly learns… and…
- You’re choosing to be someone who takes action, even though they don’t know all the pieces yet.
If you take these two things to heart, you will exceedingly surprise yourself at what can be accomplished, because the best time to learn something is when you’re doing it for the first time.