Part 4 of my guide on simple tips to ensure you not only have the best wedding day possible, but that you also get amazing wedding films and photos.
I love the surprise and delight at how natural people look in my films...
Also involving me as early as possible in the day helps everyone to relax and just end up not seeing me at all or seeing me as part of the wedding party.
Taking and creating a great film is really very different from taking great photos and here I also explain why I recommend additional time for video couple shots.
This final post in my series about how to have the best video and photos of your day focuses on the day itself and some tips that might help you look even more amazing and beautiful than you are already!
I sometimes get people wondering why I need shots of make-up artists putting blusher on? Or guests milling about waiting and chatting. To videographer every part of the day helps tell the story.
Less 'us' and more 'you'...
Where to look...
Often a photographer will want staged shots, and they'll either want you to look at each other, or at the photographer. This doesn't work with video as it results in you both looking stiff and 'wooden' which we don't want!
As I'm aiming for natural looking results, it's best not to look at the camera or me. If in doubt, and we're shooting posed couple shots, then I'd suggest you look at the photographer—and then when I'm doing my video shots I'll make it very clear it's video time and where to look—which is usually at each other and never at me.
Just pretend I'm not here...
It's best to try and ignore me completely, and not react to the camera at all. It's worth telling your friends and family as well not to worry about stepping into and out of my shots, it's completely fine.
I generally find the bridal usually get accustomed to the camera pretty quickly during bridal preparations and then it flows for the rest of the day.
How you look...
Trial your make-up and hair in advance
I really recommend having a trial session of your hair and make-up before the day, so you can try out different looks and styles and feel that you look the very best you can on the day. It will also give you a very good idea of how it will take to do, which is really useful for planning the schedule for the day.
Personally I'd do this after you've bought the dress and any jewellery and accessories, so the make-up artist can work out looks taking every into account. Your outfit might not rock the look you have in mind.
If you're thinking of dramatic changes in your hair, such as dyeing it another colour, I'd definitely plan this at least 6 months in advance to give time for people and you to get used to your new look.
Stay away from the spray tan
I'd avoid spray tan, and this has a tendency to make you look orange on camera, and it's a nightmare to fix in post without making the rest of your guests look like vampires. Do you really want to look like Oompa Loompa or Ross from friends after his disaster in the spray tanning salon?
In films I've always felt people look the best in their natural skin colour. Spray tan makes you look seriously weird, unless it's done really well and subtly.
The general rule for great videos is to be as natural as possible and be yourself. Any make-up, hair or clothes should enhance your natural beauty and not make you look like a stranger that you wouldn't recognise in the film or photos in a few years' time!
Does your dress (and suit) fit well?
What you don't want is a video of you clearly uncomfortable in your outfit and pulling it about every five minutes because it doesn't fit properly...
Sometimes dresses come in 'designer' sizes which means you might be horrified to see the label is bigger than what you take normally.
Dress for your shape, and if you're not sure what suits you, take a friend or relative you really trust to be honest.
Likewise for men, a suit that really fits well will make you look great. If you're not sure what looks good it's worth talking to a male stylist for their suggestions and ideas.
Lighting and positioning
Bride and groom preparation
Unfortunately room lighting can result in a rather ugly orange glow in video, so opt for a room with good natural lighting and beautiful windows (and view if possible!).
For bridal preparation talk to your make-up artist and ask if she can set up near the window so the window light falls onto your face, as this is the most flattering not just for the wedding generally, but also for both photos and videos. It makes for great silhouette and beautiful and natural shots of your face.
It's your day, so don't be afraid to be in the centre of the room during the whole day—this also helps to get better photo and video shots with friends and family in the background enjoying themselves as well as wedding related stuff in the background.
If you're keen to have minimalistic shots for bridal and groom preparation then I may suggest moving things around in the room so the bridal preparation area is clear or if there's something that's very distracting in the frame. But the amount I direct at this stage very much depends on your personality and what you want—your things in the room are part of you and your day, they set the scene and will be part of your memories...
Most of all try to relax, but for couple shots it helps to stand up straight and roll your shoulders back—you'll look better (and slimmer, if this is something that worries you).
I'll guide you positioning as well so I get the most flattering shots of you both.
Especially for key moments like coming down the aisle, or the confetti shot, it helps if the bride and the couple walk slowly so there's time to get great photos and videos. It's your moment to shine!
Marching down the aisle as fast as you can, or looking at the floor isn't a great look, and it's your key moment—you'll want to be able to look back at it and savour it!
Just relax as much as you can, and let the day flow, and smile and enjoy! That way I'll get great shots of you both
More posing stuff...
The Confetti Throw
This is so much better in photos and real life if it's planned!
The best confetti to use is the large petal confetti—it looks so much better than the small dried stuff. To build up the anticipation, and get great shots, it's best to plan this, so that your guests are positioned and timed for the confetti throw, and that they throw the confetti up and hold their hands in position, rather than throwing the confetti at your face! The same applies for bubble-blowing and sparklers for your wedding.
Great fun for the first dance!
Confetti cannons and poppers are great fun at the first dance and can really add to the party atmosphere and the wow factor! Check with your venue first if they'll allow you to use these, but they're cheap to buy and easy to use. They'll really add pizzazz!
If the weather allows, sunset is a perfect time for couple shots and video
Sunset is the 'golden hour' for photos and videos as the light is soft and flattering but often this can fall when speeches are planned. It's worth checking what time sunset will be on your wedding day and working other events around this time. It's great for silhouette shots as well but it does depend on if the sun is shining!
I hope my 4-part series on how to get the best photos and videos has been helpful for you; if you have any feedback on it I'd love to hear from you.
My last tip for your day is to relax and just enjoy being with each other, as natural and genuine emotion will win out always, when it comes to your wedding films. Oh and maybe a pair of comfy white wedding trainers to change into when your stilettos are killing you!