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A Videographer’s Thoughts: Finding Your Style

We’ve spoken at length about the many and varied different styles of wedding photography but the message that’s perhaps not quite filtered through as strongly yet is that there is also a huge range in styles of wedding videography.

Videography has come a long way in recent years thanks in part to the new breed of incredibly high quality cameras with a small footprint and an affordable price tag, along with all the accessories that have come with them. With sliders, jibs and even drones hovering above to take some aerial shots now available to the wedding videographer it’s now quite possible to create a wedding film with all the gloss and slick camera moves of a hollywood movie, but that hollywood feel is certainly not for everyone…

Some videographers will look for that glossy feel and use all kinds of equipment, others prefer to shoot indie style with little more than a camera and a monopod. Some prefer to capture everything exactly as it happens, others prefer to direct some of the action. Some are looking to produce a short, fast-moving film, others are looking to capture a longer film with fewer cuts and more extended coverage. Some will choose to capture the shot from angle A, some will prefer angle B. There’s no right or wrong way to film a wedding, but chances are there is a way that you as a couple like more than any other, and that’s why it’s important to find a videographer who (more or less) matches your preferred style.

The range of styles is perhaps broadened further by an element that photography is not concerned with: the use of sound. The choices of music and the amount of background audio, inclusion of speeches or interviews or simply the way that these elements are combined can go as far towards defining the style as the way the film is shot in the first place. Just as a Tarantino soundtrack is likely to set up a completely different style of movie than a John Williams composition, whilst not necessarily using the same piece of music over and over different videographers are likely to have differing overarching approaches to their choice in music. Sound makes up 50% of a good film and the music is such a defining factor in creating the style and feel of the film and t’s not generally as simple as asking “can we use this piece of music on the video please?” as that musical choice may in turn demand an entirely different style of editing that is not in step with the type of film that particular videographer wants to make. It’s important therefore to watch a range of any videographer’s films and listen out for the way they use the music and make sure you feel happy in their soundtrack choices just as much as the the way they put their films together.

Another aspect to consider is if you are also having a photographer are the photographer and videographer’s styles compatible? Whilst hopefully the photographer and videographer will always do their best not to impede each other’s shots, at the end of the day you are paying both to capture the best imagery they can and if their styles are at polar opposites then chances are they are going to be forced to get in each other’s way. For example if you’ve chosen an unobtrusive documentary photographer but a “Marryoke” style wedding video where the guests all sing along direct to camera then the photographer is not going to be able to get a lot of those natural shots you’ve asked them to capture. Similarly if you’ve chosen a documentary style videographer and a photographer that poses every shot then it’s going to be difficult for the videographer to get the natural shots. On the other hand if you’ve chosen a photographer and videographer who both like to pose the majority of their shots then you need to make sure you’ve allowed plenty of time for both to get their shots separately. Photographers and videographers will of course try to naturally find a way to work together but it is just important to make sure they’re not working at polar opposites!

Many videographers travel all across the country (and indeed the world) so there are generally no geographical restrictions on being able to find the right videographer for you. If you’re unsure what style you’re looking for then video streaming services like Vimeo are a good place to start as they’re a great way to explore a range of styles before narrowing down your choices.

At the end of the day only you can choose the style of film that’s right for you, but make sure you do your research and fall in love with your videographer’s style before you book rather than asking them to change it later as for most their style is the way they see the world and not something that they can alter upon request. Wedding films are something to be cherished for a lifetime and a truly unique perspective on your day – make sure you put in the time to find the right style of wedding videography for you.

Matt The Cinematographer1

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