Instead of capturing just a typical glidetrack shot of a wedding dress, we try to almost always opt for the bride to carry it or hold it or walk past it creating more of a connection with the dress and what it represents to her. So with the delicate light beaming through the windows, we decided to have the bride walk down the stairs while holding her dress. The mood from the light was perfectly reflective of this bride and the soft glowing presence it portrayed.
We added a simple FX called #ProLumetric that actually allows you to control the light source and produce light rays with movement creating a really nice organic feel.
We are wrapping up Kolby and Alex’s film this week and are in love with some of the ways that we added variety to their portrait sessions while still reflecting the mood and romance of their story.
We wanted to find a way to incorporate the stunning location that these two were in (tall, grassy field) and also find a way to add a little mystery to some portrait shots that would resolve into our main, favorite scenes. So we decided to film a few sequences with the foreground in focus while allowing the couple to be blurred in the background. This helped create a romantic yet mysterious feeling that would lead into other shots. We wanted to highlight the romantic location while still creating a mystery and romantic ambience of the couple without revealing them in focus quite yet. Still sexy. Still romantic. We feel that this works best if there is interesting movement and foreground like tall grass or something comparable. These shots work nicely when they eventually resolve into beautifully focus shots of the couple.
We would love to hear other ways that you spice up your portrait time while filming? #processWIR
One thing that we learned early on in a wedding workshop is that if you want to double or triple your business, start offering a #SameDayEdit.
Yes, they are a little stressful. Yes, you may need a whiskey by your side for the first year of doing them. Yes, there’s normally a little less coverage of cocktail hour because of them, but for real, they are seriously so fun and one of the most fulfilling things we do for our couples!
Let me explain how it works though because this is important. Instead of the traditional Same Day Edit that usually includes a designated editor all day, a little audio incorporated, as well as some reception coverage added into the film, we decided to alter the structure to what was attainable for us and our company. So we decided to start offering something many would call a #SameDayLoop. They are a little less stressful and still produce the same overall awestruck reactions from guests and the couple when we show it to them.
We offer them for receptions longer than 3 1/2 hours and only promise between 1 1/2 to 3 minutes of our favorite shots from the day up to the reception. No audio, so that it can just loop all night and not interfere with what the DJ is playing. We normally are working on this thing until about midway through the reception, give or take, and then show it to the bride and groom on a laptop or a projector if available.
We’ve always talked about guarding our view of weddings and making sure that we take every step to try to make sure that we still love what we do after several years. This accidentally became one of those steps. We get to personally see the shocked reactions from guests, the mothers that can’t stop hugging us, father’s faces full of pride, and the teary eyes of each of our couples that remind us why we are filming weddings in the first place. It started as a way (that worked!) to build our company and continues as a reminder of why we do what we do.
Here’s a little sneak preview of a SDL that we just showed at AJ and Sammy’s wedding in Chicago last month.
If you know anything about how to create a good story, you know that a fundamental part of what makes it interesting is the drama. We like to think of shadows as the only bit of drama allowed on a wedding day. haha Yes, we love bright, cheery footage. A lot of times it’s what tells and represents the couple best! Occasionally though, we’ll bump up the “sexy" on a wedding day and play a little more with shadows.
When we’re capturing a wedding day, we’re interpreting not only the couple’s personality into our footage but the feeling and the mood of the day as well. Each wedding feels different to us as we enter into a day of emotional teary eyes or loud music and fist pumping. Sometimes it’s a mixture of both!
As we’re filming throughout the day, we’re looking for ways to interpret the feeling of the wedding day and sometimes that feeling is interpreted well through using dramatic shadows and sexy low light. Sometimes filling a shot with shadows can move your viewers eyes directly to the one corner of the frame that has light pouring in. Sometimes we use shadows to bring movement into a shot even if that looks like one of us filming and the other one walking around by the window. Sometimes we bump the lights off and use silhouettes to show surrounding locations and what’s going on outside. The possibilities are endless and it can truly be so much fun once you start getting creative with this. Start by asking permission to flip off the lights, opening up the blinds, looking around the room at harsh or soft light pouring in, and get to filming.
Keep in mind that this type of footage doesn’t always interpret a wedding day’s mood, but when it does it’s so much fun not only to film but to play with while you’re editing.
There are plenty of tools out there for the wedding filmmaker. Whether its a monopod/tripod, glide track, 3-axis stabilizer, drone, or even a handheld rig, each tool can help create a cinematic film that really captures each moment and emotion that is happening in front of the camera.
So we wanted to break down a shot for you that we filmed a few different ways and give you a commentary on how we utilize those tools to translate the moment we wanted to portray in the film.
Introducing the viewer to the groom for the first time could happen a few different ways. Here’s a breakdown of how we used each tool while filming.
1. With this scene, we really wanted to showcase the avant-garde room that the groom was getting ready in as well as the groomsmen hanging out and playing cards. We didn’t want to show the groom immediately so we decided to utilize the DJI RoninM to follow the groom’s brother into the room while using him to block the groom getting ready until he walks out of frame as the camera pushes into the groom getting ready.
2. Another way we wanted to capture the groom was by using a monopod and letting the groom create the movement in the frame. The emotion he was exhibiting was that of confidence and charm. In our opinion, a locked down tripod or a stable monopod can strongly portray this feeling. The silhouette gave a little added mystery since it didn’t show anything more than the outline of his face and drew attention to the movement of what he was doing.
3. Lastly we showed a couple shots with subtle handheld motion. This movement we feel can create an emotion of anticipation or uneasiness. It can feel raw and somewhat chaotic. This wasn't the emotion we wanted to go for in this particular scene so we decided to not include it in the edit.
Some people prefer shaky shots compared to stabilized shots - we appreciate both styles. Just recognize the moment and how it makes you feel and use your tools accordingly. You will be surprised how effective you will get with certain shots, and your storytelling will become even more compelling and beautifully laced together.