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Ocken Photography Chicago is proud to announce a new partnership with one of our favorite co-workers in the wedding industry, John Severson of Smiling Toad Productions. Now when you hire Ocken Photography and Smiling Toad for full visual coverage of your wedding or other special event, you’ll get a discount from both service providers. Sweet!
We asked John to talk a little about what’s happening in the world of wedding videos, so here he is with an introduction what will make brides much smarter when shopping for services.
John is the first to admit that wedding videos often get a bad rap. Maybe they’re six hours long, capturing in painful detail every minute of the wedding day–a torture device unwilling family members will be forced to endure for years to come. Or perhaps it was the creation of the video that was painful–a slightly sleazy cameraman in a light-blue tuxedo who insisted on standing a little too close to the pretty ladies as he shone a light in their faces and asked them repeatedly to “share some thoughts with the bride and groom.”
But neither of these scenarios is the current state of the art where videography is concerned. John has a background in documentary filmmaking and keeps himself at the cutting edge of the industry’s rapidly developing technology. His suggestions for getting a memorable video through an unobtrusive process may surprise you…
*Choose a videographer who has a DSLR camera, but not only DSLR cameras. “DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras are the future of wedding videography without a doubt,” Severson says. These cameras look like still cameras, rather than traditional video cameras, “which allows for more casual coverage of guests interacting, getting ready, or taking pictures of each other without immediately telegraphing to the subject that he or she is being captured on video.” These cameras also work better in low-light situations (which at least some portion of every wedding day seems to be), and their interchangeable lenses allow the videographer to zoom in on the action without being an inch away from your face.
However, DSLR video cameras are relatively new, so they have some limitations. You can only record for 12 consecutive minutes, and their microphones aren’t great, Severson notes. So you don’t want a videographer who has ONLY this sort of equipment. It will be another year or so before DSLR has advanced enough to carry an event on its own.
*Be sure your video team includes multiple cameras and shooters. It might seem like one guy with one camera is the best way to ensure video coverage doesn’t swarm and take over your event, but Severson says more is actually less! He recommends three cameras for the ceremony. “This allows for much smoother and more interesting editing,” he says. “Contrary to popular opinion, this also makes video coverage less noticeable. Generally with a three-camera setup, two of the three cameras do not move, as opposed to one- or two-camera coverage where constant movement and/or adjustment is often required.”
He also suggests at least two videographers with two cameras for as much of the rest of the day as possible. “This doesn’t mean that both shooters will be filming all events constantly, but by having this option, it will allow the shooters to allocate their resources to the appropriate event or venue.” You’re giving a heart-felt toast up front, but your husband’s fraternity brothers are making a human pyramid at the back. Don’t want to miss that!
*Don’t let budget worries prevent you from getting video coverage of your day. “In reality, with the proper knowledge and experience, two or three videographers with small HD (high definition)-capable cameras are able to film all aspects of your wedding day in an unobtrusive manner without needing camera assistants or Hollywood salaries,” says Severson. “Wedding videos are no longer just about capturing and preserving your ceremony. They’re a fun and unique way to capture all the elements of your wedding day in a format that’s easily accessible and shareable with people who weren’t able to attend or want to relive the most unique moments.”