What to Know For Destination Wedding Videos

If you're looking to have video for your destination wedding, it's good to consider your options as when you're booking a wedding package at an all-inclusive resort, it's typical for them to include an option to have someone to film your wedding. 

In my experiences, there are a few major downsides to hiring the resort's wedding guy

  1. For starters, the bride and groom almost never meet the videographer before their big day. This can be troublesome as it makes it difficult to communicate in such a short time exactly what you're looking for with your wedding video, particularly if you want something a little more artsy and special.
  2. As well I've seen many times due to multiple weddings at the resort, the resort wedding videographer can only show up for the ceremony and sometimes not even the reception, so your wedding video might look a bit more 'home video' than hiring your own professional who's there for you throughout the entire day.
  3. Depending on the time of year, there could be 2-3 weddings in a day at the resort and it can be hard for the resort videographer not to 'go through the motions' and miss capturing the unique story of each couple.

On the other hand, when booking your own videographer for your destination wedding

  1. There's much more time in advance of your big day to meet and get to know your cameraman as well as communicate your vision and any specific requests you have for the wedding video.
  2. You can also rest assured that on the day of your wedding, you are the focus of the videographer's attention and as a result of your previous meetings, they know a bit about you and your relationship and are better prepared to communicate that in the finished product.
  3. Flying your own videographer to your destination wedding can cost close to the same as if you were to hire them for a wedding at home. Many couples save money by using points for their videographer's flights and covering their nightly rate at the resort for 2-3 days instead of the entire week. In addition, many videographers will be open to adjusting their package rates for destination weddings.
  4. Depending on when your wedding occurs during your stay at the resort, your videographer could fly home and begin post-production editing, potentially having everything ready for you upon your return home.

Two Benefits to Hiring a Professional Camera Operator for Event Videography

After recently completing several shoots for event videography in Calgary, there are a couple of reasons why it's important to spend the extra money and hire a professional camera operator to cover your live event.

1. Availability of Suitable Equipment 

Many part-time videographers simply do not have the immediate access to suitable equipment that a professional does, in part because due to their typically, smaller budget. This immediate access to appropriate equipment is incredibly important when shooting events, as every venue is different and what camera setup worked for one shoot, might not translate to the next venue, event, and overall intention of the event coverage. 

For example, two event videography shoots I completed recently were about as different as they come:

i. A small lecture-hall style room with a large stage, one main speaker, and a sound mixer gave much less free movement around the room, more static shots of the speaker on stage, and overall, a more informational-style of event video. Equipment needed: Camera, tripod, and long lens.

ii. A large open concept room with a small stage and DJ setup, as well as a small microphone system provided many opportunities to tell a story of the evening including interactive crowd shots, sound ups from the host, and ultimately, a more atmospheric story-telling event video. Equipment needed: Camera, tripod, shotgun mic, two different lenses, and a monitor.

2. Ability to Adapt on the Fly

Since professional videographers are shooting on a full-time basis, typically they are more capable of adapting to the inevitable changes that occur when dealing with live event videography. This relates quite closely to the first point regarding having the appropriate gear on hand, which is essential if, for example, during the middle of shooting an outdoor event, it decides to rain or the venue lacks an adequate sound system. 

This ability to adapt seamlessly also translates to the capturing the spirit of each unique event itself. By adjusting their shooting style to the venue, event, crowd, and atmosphere, the professional can capture key moments of the event and produce a much more coherent snapshot of the activities that took place.

What to Look For When Hiring a Great Wedding Videographer

When searching for a wedding videographer, there are many considerations to take into account. From their previous work to their customer reviews to their rate packages, researching and finding a great professional shooter is not always easy. Here are a few things to look for when hiring a professional wedding videographer:

1. Experience

While there are no doubt some fantastic part-time videographers out there, your best bet is to hire someone whose bread and butter is wedding videography. Not only will a professional have more weddings under their belt, they will have worked with many different brides and grooms and have a better idea of important factors like timing and key moments in the wedding ceremony. As well, many full-time videographers include pre-production and post-production preparations in their rate packages such as meeting with the bride and groom beforehand, attending the wedding rehearsal, and editing during the following week(s) to prepare your video for delivery. 

It's also important to remember that just because someone owns the latest and greatest camera gear, it doesn't necessarily make them more qualified to use it. A true professional can shoot on many different types of cameras and the reality is that couples are paying their wedding videographer based on their ability to tell a compelling story, not on the ability of their camera to shoot in 4K.

2. Turnaround 

The reality of part-time videographers is just that: part-time, meaning that they do something else full-time and are only able to work on your wedding video on the side. Whereas a full-time wedding videographer will budget time to cut together and edit your video soon after. This results in an increased turnaround time as professionals don't have to spend a few hours here and there on evenings and weekends to prepare your wedding video.

3. Confidence

The ability of a seasoned wedding videographer to give the bride and groom full confidence in their ability to do their work is one of the most important assurances to have when hiring a professional shooter. Not only will their communication skills be clear to the bride, groom, and wedding party, they will also communicate with your wedding photographer as to where to stand during the important moments in the ceremony and how the plan for the wedding video coincides with photographer's responsibility to capture the day in still frames.

What to Wear? Colours, Textures, & Family Photography Sessions

For many, deciding what to wear in for family photos can be a bit of challenge. It used to so easy. Everyone would just wear the EXACT same thing: white t-shirt & khakis, plaid shirts all around, or the dreaded Canadian tuxedo (denim shirt & jeans). Unfortunately, there are a few more considerations to be had in photographing more modern family portraits like showcasing the unique, individual style and personalities that make up the family as whole. 

Here are my top five tips when deciding what to wear for your family photography sessions:

1. Choose a colour palette

If your family portrait is going to be hanging in your neutral coloured living room, this is easy. The world is your oyster. But if you’ve decided to fashion your den after Austin Powers love shack, then you should probably base your clothing choices off of colours within that similar bold palette.

Pinterest is a great tool to discover complimentary colour themes, in particular a website a lot of photographers use called Design Seeds. Here you will find beautiful palettes inspired by professional imagery that will really help train your eyes to start seeing which colours go well together. 

2. Find a focal piece & pick 3

It’s easiest to come up with a colour palette if you play it off of a patterned piece of clothing that you love, such as a plaid shirt or a floral dress. This will be the focal piece for the session and will help guide your planning of all other complimentary clothing and colours choices. 

For the best results, pick 3 colours that compliment your chosen focal piece and then add in a couple neutrals (greys, whites, blacks).

3. Add texture with layers & accessories

Items like necklaces, cardigans, scarves, ties, or hats that mix materials like metal, wool, or silk will add dimension and texture to the overall photograph. They’ll also help to showcase the individual style and personalities of your family members.

As well, if there are new items you’ve purchased and you’re not sure about, be sure to leave the tags on and keep the receipt as you can always return it after, if it ends up not working out.

4. Split up the colour

Remember when we talked earlier about everyone wearing the same thing? It still stands. Try not to have your chosen colours all be along the top of the photo. Rather try to spread your colours around towards the bottom of the photo with your choices of pants, skirts, and shoes (Converse sneakers anyone?).

It’s also important to split up the colours between the natural pairs in your family: mom & dad, brother & sister, mother & daughter, father & son, etc. 

5. Lay it out 

When you’ve collected clothing pieces in the colours you’ve picked, find a spot in your home and lay them out. It’s even a good idea to take a picture and look at it from a different perspective.