Videotaping Weddings: Advice from an Award-Winning Pro

Brooks & Shae – Dickson, TN from Josh Bennett on Vimeo.

How To Videotape Weddings

TELLY AWARD WINNING WEDDING VIDEO

I am thrilled to be able to present to you this national award winning wedding video produced by a former student of mine, Josh Bennett.

No wonder this video won a prestigious prize!  It’s beautifully done, full of heart-felt emotion and quality video storytelling stitched together with grace and style.

It was enough to make me cry and I’ve never even met this couple!  My own daughter is getting married in a month so I’ve got weddings on the brain.

Shooting wedding videos is one of the single best ways to create a local video business, as Josh has done so well after his high school video production class where I was the teacher.  He was a standout video storyteller from the very beginning.  He’d already been creating goofy videos with his family and friends for years when he came into my class as a shy sophomore.

Josh’s enthusiasm and talents for video production was a  joy to behold.  It was also lovely to watch him grow from a quiet boy to somewhat of a local celebrity with his on-camera antics that played out on the high school’s closed circuit system and proved to be remarkably popular.

Today Josh runs a thriving wedding and videography service in the Nashville, TN area. 

Josh was kind enough to write this post for me to share with my readers a list of the equipment he uses for creating wedding videos people love!

Since I know this wonderful young man, I can tell you much of his success comes from being personable and fun to work with.  I have no doubt his clients love him and he quickly becomes part of an awesome wedding experience.

That sort of talent of course, goes way beyond what model camera or tripod one uses. Customer service, trust and rapport with clients goes a long way in creating a successful business.  Weddings often are touchy, emotionally-laden events that can often take a sensitive business person to handle well.

Watching the video, I particularly loved his storytelling which includes a solid beginning, middle and end.  Notice the very first shot is the dress on the hanger, accompanied by the bride’s voice over about her dreams and planning her wedding.

The video progresses largely in chronological order, with music, voice-over and natural conversation moving the story along.

Josh uses some awesome, sweeping shots he gets by using a glidecam, which helps set his videos apart as highly professional.

As Josh so eloquently points out, as a video teacher,  I was always a big advocate of using a tripod or other method to steady the camera.  He does an excellent job of that today so obviously my harping paid off.  :)

This particular video also benefits greatly from the sweet young couple getting married, Brooks and Shae from Dickson, Tennessee.  Josh does a fantastic job weaving their story together with strong visuals but the strength of the a story rests with their touching words, which Josh captured non obtrusively with a wireless mic. A wireless is the single best way to capture quality audio in virtually all, live, spontaneous events one might be videotaping.

Wedding videos  have their own particular art, and Josh is one of the best!  His award winning video placed 3rd in a national contest, the Telly Awards.  This is an incredible honor and once you watch the video, you will clearly see why it beat out the other 50,000 or so entrants!

Here, he tells you about the equipment he uses to shoot the best wedding videos.  Enjoy!

Lorraine Grula

Internet Video Gal

 

JOSH BENNETT, WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHER

Josh bennet, wedding videographer Nashville

Josh Bennett, wedding videographer extraordinaire.

Hello I am Josh Bennett. I am a wedding videographer and photographer in Nashville, TN. I recently won a Telly Award for a wedding highlights film I produced and you can watch it on this page.

You should know that Lorraine Grula was also my first TV Production teacher. I learned many many many things from her. One of the most important things she yelled at me about (and still does) is to always use a tripod. It is one of the must haves to shoot a professional video.

So if you are wondering what gear I use to shoot award winning wedding videos then keep on reading.

CAMERAS
Canon 5d Mark II - Great full frame DLSR (although we recently upgraded to the Mark III)
Canon t2i (x2) – When I was just starting out I used this camera for every wedding. If you are on a budget I recommend the t2i, t3i, or t4i.

I believe DSLRs are the way to go now for many reason. A big reason being the lenses you can put on them.  Getting a variety of interesting perspectives with your shots works better when you have lots of lens options.

LENSES
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens – My first lens. A great buy for $100.
Canon 16 mm – 35 mm – F/2.8 L
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L
Canon EF 70 mm – 200 mm – F/2.8 – My favorite lens! If you can’t afford it you should rent it for an event I am sure you will love it too.

Manfrotto Fluid Video Monopod with 700 Series Head
This is the king of all monopods. It’s perfect for weddings because you can easily grab a shot and move on instead of lugging around a tripod. Also you don’t take up as much space while you are shooting. The shots are so smooth because of its fluid head.

Davis & Sanford ProVista 7518 Tripod
I have used this tripod for many years. The spring inside the nob that allows you to slide the plate on and off messed up within the first week. After I pulled the spring out it worked a lot better. Go figure.  I’ve made a decision to stick to Manfrotto tripods from now on though. Its nice to have the same plate for all your tripods and monopods so you can quickly switch from one to the other at a wedding. (Or no matter what you are videotaping; speed is always important when shooting video.)

Glidecam XR-2000
Great little tool to get those smooth walking shots. I try to capture a few “Wow” shots with the glide cam just for the purpose of putting in the trailer. It takes a lot of practice to get a nice, smooth shot but the effect is really worth it to help your videos stand out as the best.

Sennheiser EW 100ENG G2 Wireless Mic
I purchased this with the money I made off the first wedding I ever shot. Its too bad I didn’t make a profit on that wedding but buying this mic was worth it. I have used it at every wedding since to capture vows and other audio.  A wireless mic is essential because it is non obtrusive.  In all video production situations, that is important, but perhaps this is especially truth with weddings.  No one wants the camera close enough to pick up sound with anything other than a wireless.  People forget they are wearing it so that helps settle their nerves as they have enough on their minds already.  Being unobtrusive with your camera and microphones helps you get real, spontaneous moments that are more beneficial for quality storytelling than stilted shots where people are posing for the camera.

Midland GXT-1000 2-way radio with headsets.
Makes it easy to communicate with your hired guns during the day. Cell phones make you look unprofessional but these two-way radios make you look awesome (or maybe nerdy).

If you have any questions feel free to contact me on my website www.josh-bennett.com

Thanks!

 

 

Comments

  1. John Armes says:

    Great wedding video… The cinematography was great, and liked the swirling camera effect… Great also to see a young couple that expresses real Christian value… In this time and age it seems rare…

  2. Hi John.
    I agree that it was a spectacular video all around! The couple was very sweet and the video crew did an outstanding job with every shot. Thanks for your comment.
    Lorraine

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