6. Test your audio.
Testing your audio before the ceremony is the best way to avoid common audio problems. To test your audio, make sure to arrive at the wedding location at least two hours early, in order to set up your equipment and check it out, and have time to fix any problems that you find. Another good tip is to monitor the audio with your headphones to be sure that it has a professional quality. Unfortunately, audio recorders, unlike wireless mics, cannot be monitored.
7. Concentrate on close-ups.
It is extremely important to get close-up shots at the wedding. Close-ups make your images look sharper and they allow you to capture emotion in your wedding video. Be sure to get close-up shots of the bride and groom, the wedding party, and the parents throughout the wedding and the reception, and use them frequently.
8. Anticipate and follow the action.
In order to shoot a professional wedding video, you must anticipate and follow the action throughout the wedding, especially if you’re doing a one-camera shoot. You only get once chance to capture the action at a wedding ceremony, be prepared for whatever is coming. Talking to the couple and attending the rehearsal ceremony will help you to know what’s happening next, and your camera moves will be more fluid. Anticipating and following the action is key to shooting a professional wedding video.
9. Focus on capturing the event, by creating a memorable documentary of the day’s events.
Special effects are no longer popular in wedding videography, except for a bit of slow motion. Titles are rarely used in wedding videos these days. It is very important to remember that shooting a wedding video is all about capturing an important event, not creating a video with the most special effects. Remember to keep your focus on the couple, the ceremony, and the emotion of the wedding, and tell the story of their day. Later you can add a short “highlights” film of 2 or 3 minutes which becomes part of the video.
10. Finish the job on time.
After you’ve shot the wedding ceremony and the reception, it’s time to produce the finished video. Make sure to allow at least a week of postproduction to finish the job on time. A week should give you time to transfer footage to your system, catch up with other possible clients, editing the ceremony, the reception, and the pre-and-post ceremonies, as well as transferring to tape or DVD and preparing the packaging. Remember that the MOST important part of post-production is delivering the finished video ON TIME. The married couple will be anxious to see their wedding video, and are depending on you to deliver it on the date and time that you promised. Your reputation, and your future clientele, depends on your ability to finish like a pro by producing a professional wedding video on time and on budget.
These excerpts are from The Guide to Professional Wedding Videography Available as DVDs or Blu-ray.