Shooting great wedding videos requires as much gear as shooting a short film without the huge crew. Typically its one or two shooters for the whole event and that includes getting prep, ceremony, reception, and a ton of b-roll to layer in the edit. Here are some considerations for first timers who are looking to adventure into wedding videography everything from cameras, stabilizers, gimbals, lighting, microphones, cables and the list goes on. Lets take a look at what a wedding that involves all of these very crucial pieces of gear looks like once it is all put together.
Its like watching a movie right? Everything from camera movement to the audio helps tell the story in all of Rob Adams wedding films and all of this can be achieved by using the right gear lets dive into what tools will get anyone starting out or curious to get into wedding videography to achieve this level of cinematography.
Cameras : As far as cameras are concerned, any camera capable of shooting 1080 or higher will give you the best results. two really good options are the canon 1dx mark II with its 4k 60fps and the Panasonic GH5 with its ability to shoot in a various number of high frame rates like 1080 at 180fps, but any camera capable of shooting at high frame rates is ideal because this will allow you to get buttery smooth shots to really pull of that cinematic look and fake some gimbal moves if you dont have the cash for a gimbal. Just be sure to have a backup camera ready. While shooting wedding video, you should at least have two cameras. Three is the best option, which gives you two to shoot with and a constant to shoot the ceremony from the back.
Lenses: During the wedding day, you will want to get plenty of intricate detail shots. This includes big things like exteriors of the hotel, church, or venue, down to the most smallest things like rings and cuff links. unfortunately, there isn’t one magic lens that will capture all of these things equally, so here are a few lenses you’ll need to capture the whole wedding day.
35mm: The 35mm is a wide-angle lens that’s perfect for shooting the entire wedding. Its compact size helps everyone on camera act like themselves. They tend not to be very intimidated by this lens. Before the ceremony, you can use this lens to capture the entire room while the bridal party is getting ready. It’s great for capturing a lot of action happening at once.
During the ceremony, this lens is great at setting a feel for the vows. It really helps set the scene, allowing you to focus on the storytelling. During the reception, this lens really shines when capturing the bridal party entrances. Not only do you see each couple walking in, you get some great footage of everyone in the background cheering them on. The same goes for the first dance and parent dances. Having the crowd smiling and crying in the background can really take the footage up a notch.
50mm: The 50mm lens is every photographer and videographers go-to lens. This lens is incredibly versatile. To get the best composition and framing, all you have to do is simply take a few steps forward or backwards. The 50mm is great for capturing all those candid moments of the bridal party goofing off and laughing. It’s not as wide as the 35mm, which can be beneficial if you are working in tight spaces — like small hotel rooms.
At the wedding venue, the 50mm can capture amazing details like table tops, the cake, toasts, seating cards, and so much more. Where the 35mm was great at capturing the couple at a wider field of view. The 50mm will allow you to draw more focus on the couple for those tight intimate shots.
70-200mm: I’m sure every wedding videographer if not most will tell you that this is THE LENS TO HAVE, but it’s really only good for ceremony. if you shoot a lot of big weddings, the 70-200 is still essential. This lens will help you hide in the back and go unnoticed by guests. You can easily capture some nice close-up shots as well as quickly zooming out to capture the whole bridal party.
100mm &135mm: If you are planning to get footage of the wedding rings, accessories, or some dress details, these two lenses are the way to go. You’ll capture some great little details.
24-70mm: A 24-70 2.8 is the first lens I would put into a full frame wedding lens kit. This lens has the image quality and overall performance needed to capture these important events impressively. Take a look at this behind the scenes look at how Parker Walbeck films his weddings with this impressive lens.
Stabilization: Just like any video production, camera stabilization and movement is key. you’ll need to make sure your footage is as steady as can be. Here are some considerations for camera stabilization
One of the best (and often cheaper) options is a monopod. The Manfrotto Monopod With 561BHDV-1 Fluid Head is one of our favorites. This monopod is great for a multitude of situations due to It being compact, lightweight, and very versatile. Many carbon fiber monopods can hold an incredible amount of weight. With the ability to quickly adjust the height, you can go from a low-angle shot to a high-angle shot in seconds. They are also great for maneuvering through crowds. In very limited space, you can still shoot incredible footage and then get out of the way in an instant this really helps out while shooting prep shots.
The tripod is the standard of all to achieve stable footage. Most Videographers think they need that latest and greatest stabilizers or gimbals to get the best footage, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. A solid tripod and fluid head will do more for your video. The added benefit is the ability to setup a tripod and let a camera run while you attend to other shots. You can set a tripod in the back of the venue and just let the camera roll while you work on other camera angles that way you don’t miss a thing.
These tools are the Steadicam,GlideCam, Camera Cages, etc. This category includes pretty much any stabilizer that does not go over your shoulder and does not require battery or computer assistance to operate it.
Handheld stabilizers are best used during the reception, establishing shots and details. They capture fantastic dancing footage. You can work your way in and around the dance floor. The handheld stabilizers are also good to use during portraits, as you can follow the couple and photographer as they take pictures.
DO NOT FOLLOW A BRIDE DOWN THE AISLE WITH ONE OF THESE! There is nothing worse than a videographer or photographer getting in the way of the ceremony. This is not your moment! Try to Stay out of the way! You are supposed to capture the wedding, not be part of it.
Note that this category did not include 3-axis gimbals. While great for filmmaking and indie productions, 3-axis gimbals are not the best for wedding video. Based on the size alone, you cannot discretely move around a dance floor with a Ronin.
A camera slider performs magically when it comes to b-roll. You can easily attach it to a tripod and run around the venue capturing everything from exteriors to table centerpieces. Adding the slightest amount of movement can make footage much more intriguing.
You can slide along the entryway table capturing the signature book and photos. You can slide into an entryway to help transition from one location to another.
Audio: How you capture audio is going to depend on the type of camera you are using. As DSLRs are the most common cameras used to shoot wedding video, you will need multiple audio sources. If you are using a traditional video camera or a cinema camera, you may have built-in microphones or the ability to plug in a mic using an XLR. typically you will want to capture as much audio as possible so having multiple recorders and mics will give options in the editing process.
You are going to need a versatile audio recorder. You want something that has built-in microphones, accepts external microphones, and allows you to plug into a soundboard.
The BeachTek DXA-SLR PRO HDSLR Audio Adapter is designed to enhance audio quality with virtually any HDSLR camera by providing high quality XLR inputs, AGC disabling, built-in limiting, headphone monitoring, comprehensive metering and more. Connect up to two microphones and provide 12 or 48V phantom power to professional condenser microphones.
The H6 is equipped with four XLR/TRS combo inputs for connecting external mic/line sources such as microphones or mixers. All four inputs and each of the mic modules are equipped with their own preamps with dedicated gain knobs that are easily accessible whether you have the unit mounted to your camera, or strapped over your shoulder. The recorder allows you to record up to six channels at once
always make friends with the DJ, then you can easily plug into the DJ’s soundboard or house sound (if they let you). Not all DJ’s will allow it so be aware they arent all cool and you could end up getting a terrible mix that you can’t use. Be sure you have plenty of backups in place as well, like an audio feed to your camera or an additional recorder.
Wireless Lav Microphone
To capture quality audio while being as discrete as possible, you will need a wireless lavalier microphone. The best option is to attach a lav to the officiant and a second lav on the groom. They can easily put the transmitter in their pockets. The AVX-MKE2 Set is the perfect digital wireless microphone for any project. The system fully self configures and is ready to record within seconds. Its ultra compact receiver fits directly into the XLR audio input of your camera or recording device. If you only have one lav, the officiant is often the safer bet. They are the ones talking during the whole ceremony. Be sure to tell the officiant they need to be close to the couple so you can pick up the vows.
Make sure you have plenty of cables handy. You will at least want XLR,XLR to 1/4inch, 1/4 inch to 3.5mm, and RCA audio cables. You will need these to plug into the DJ soundboard, any venue speakers, and into the audio recorder to get clean stereo sound of the event.
You won’t be setting up any three-point lighting during the ceremony or reception. However, you will want something you can use to light your subjects when needed. The best option is to use an LED light that you can use on camera, handheld, or on a stand. This is where The Litepanels Croma On-Camera LED Light comes in handy it produces a shadowless soft light at variable color temperatures adjustable by a dial on the side of the panel. Visually accurate color can be selected from 3200K tungsten to 5600K daylight.
A small LED light is portable and easy to toss in your bag. Odds are you won’t really need it until the reception. The DJ’s light setup may provide a great look, if not just have a light ready for any low light situations.
On Camera Microphones
If your camera has a microphone built in, be sure you have it recording. Even if you aren’t planning on using it, it’s good to have a backup. Also, it will help you sync the footage when you are editing.
If you are using a DSLR, you will need to attach a microphone to get decent audio. It should be noted that adding a mic to a DSLR still isn’t going to be the best option. The cameras were not designed to capture optimal sound. Just use it as a backup.
This is one of the most important tools to have because audio can either make or break your film. Although you can monitor audio levels in camera you will not be able to hear if you are getting usable audio, so you well definitely want a solid pair of head phones so you can monitor all of your audio devices whether that is in camera or going to a soundboard.
If you are interested in wedding videography but not quite sure if you want to buy all the gear mentioned you can rent any of the gear mentioned here on our website thelenspal.com and you don’t need all of this gear to make quality videos but this is what you want to strive to grow towards using to capture the best footage and audio possible. you basically want to be able to capture every moment from as many angles and as many ways as possible, because there are no redo’s or pick up shots on the wedding day you only get one shot.