Watch the video to see examples of second shooter footage at Ashridge House, Hertfordshire.
Tips and advice for your wedding films
reasons for having a second-shooter for your wedding films
There are two main reasons that you might need a second shooter; what you want included in your film, and your wedding plans.
Maybe you’ve seen the offer of a second shooter offered as an extra, or that it’s included in a (usually more expensive) package and are wondering when or why you might want one for your wedding.
Wondering what difference having a second shooter can make to your wedding?
Larger weddings may need another shooter
Multi-venue weddings benefit from having a second videographer
As a rough guide if you’re having 50 or 60 guests or less, this is a ‘small’ wedding, and a solo shooter should be able to get enough footage of everyone during the day. Also having just one shooter is more balanced; they can blend into the background more.
As soon as you go over 120 or more guests, there’s a risk that a solo shooter won’t capture every single guest during your day. I usually film the the photographer and the guests organising themselves for the group photo shots; no-one is thinking about the videographer and the shots are often fun as well.
If it’s really important to you to have a plenty of footage of every single person at the wedding then having a second shooter ensures this will be captured for a large wedding.
Is your wedding day is happening in more than one venue or place, which may also be long way from the ceremony venue?
If your venue is very large, with a lot of walking to get around from one area to another, your videographer will need more time to get from one place to another to set up for the ceremony and the reception and speeches.
If you’ve set your heart on having your father’s first look at you in your dress, or your Mum helping you into your dress, you can still have this. But you may have to schedule this so the videographer can still get to the next venue on time, or have a second shooter.
What shots I usually prioritise for your film as a solo shooter...
Establishing shots of the venue and the ‘details’
Remember it’s your wedding and you can tell me what shots you want! If you’ve said you want specific shots, these will be on my call sheet, but as a rough guide, if I’m solo shooting I’ll focus on these shots for your wedding films.
I capture this naturally as part of the day. There will be close-ups and context shots of all the details that make your wedding uniquely yours or special to you.
If the groom is getting ready in another room in the same building, I’ll also get shots of him getting ready with his groomsmen, but normally couples ask for bridal preparation to take priority. If you want complete footage of both groom and bride preparation, you’ll need a second shooter.
The Wedding Ceremony
I capture the entire wedding ceremony including the entrance of the bride and exit of the bride and groom after the wedding, as well as the confetti throwing, if you’re having this.
I capture the wedding guests throughout the wedding including them mingling, enjoying themselves, and talking to the couple, as well as them being photographed by the photographer in the group shots.
The couple shots
It goes without saying that you're the star of the show! As well as following you both on your special day, I also capture couple shots. Usually this is done alongside and working with your photographer, so we both get the shots we need. Bear in mind my shots will be different so allow a few extra minutes for the video shots as well as for the photos.
The Reception and Speeches
I normally capture the reception from the entrance of the bridal couple, and people chatting while food is being served. I don't film people eating, as they don't tend to be flattering shots, and this is when I normally take a short break. I also set up to capture multiple angles of the speeches, including where possible the guest reactions.
The Cake cut and the first dance
The first dance normally follows the cake cutting and if the logistics allow for it, I'll capture multiple angles, but if it's very crowded or there isn't much space I'll use a single camera.
If you're having a bouquet or garter toss, personal rituals or national dances etc. I'll also film these.
Evening celebrations (and the dancing...)
After the first dance I stay to capture the couple and the guests dancing together and enjoying themselves. Normally I do this with one camera so I can move around quickly and capture the action. When I know I have enough for the edit, then it's a wrap!
Extra footage a second shooter can capture of your day...
Drone footage of the wedding Day
I have a drone which I'm licensed for, and if you're having a small wedding, and weather permits and the venue allows the use of drones, I'll use this.
However, if you’re having a ‘busy’ wedding with lots of things happening which I'll need to focus on, or you want specific drone shots, I recommend a second shooter taking care of the drone shots, as these need planning and set up time.
If you’re having a smaller wedding, or really don’t want an extra shooter, there’s often a possible workaround, for example, staging some key shots, or compromising a little on other shots.
This is why I like to have video-chats or meetings with couples in advance, as the more I know about what. you're like as a couple, your guests and the timeline of your day, the better I can tell what elements will be important to you in the films .
If you want complete footage of both the bride and groom preparations, then you will definitely need a second shooter.
Additional camera angles of the entire wedding
Maybe you’re arriving in your Dad’s prize Ferrari or Porsche car, and really want the car filmed arriving at the venue? Or maybe you would like to have a wider variety of shots and maybe some unusual angles, for example, the confetti shot from different angles?
If you're having any additional events, like door games for Chinese weddings, where things move very very fast, and lots of people are moving around, including the photographer, it can be useful to have a second shooter to make sure no funny moments are missed...
live streaming of your wedding
If you know you want your wedding streamed to relatives or friends in other parts of the world, I recommend dedicating either a second shooter (or a guest who knows what they’re doing) to focus on getting this right, as they’ll need to check the sound and WIFI in advance .
If shot in the right way, the footage from the live stream can also be edited as part of the wedding film. If one of your guests is doing this instead of a second shooter, please let me know so I can liaise with them so we both get what you need.
I do recommend you think about what you want included, so I can tell you if it’s possible in advance, and then you know what to expect. I always like to talk to my couples about this so you get exactly what you want in your films.
If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch and ask!