In telling the story, we tend to structure our wedding videos (Cornwall, Devon) around a rough chronology – which means that most of the reception footage will come near the end. It caps off your film! We love seeing everyone really let their hair down at the reception, and have
Wedding Video is All About the Light!
The more lights your band/dj have, the better! The more advanced their setup (moving lights, varied light type and direction, different distances and heights), the better it will make the footage look. (NOTE – not lasers. Lasers are bad! Lasers kill cameras!). Be sure to ask your band or DJ about this when booking! Ideally, it’s good to see real life videos of what they look like in action! (they probably won’t have been professionally shot – but it will give you an idea!)
Photographers have flash, wedding videographers have…
Not a lot, usually! Photographers can power their flash all day with 4 AA batteries. At a push, they could fit it in their pocket! Sadly, video lights are generally larger affairs…
Until very recently, a video light would be quite large (the size of a melon, or larger). And they’d get hot – VERY HOT.. Enough so that any guests stood within a metre or two would feel some warmth. And they were called ‘blondes’ or ‘redheads’ (based on the colour of the light casing – red or yellow).
Being unobtrusive is a huge part of how we work, so to fly under the radar, we use the smallest lights humanly possible. And new light systems have made that easier.
Most of the time at weddings we just work with whatever natural/ambient light is available. But when needed, We use one of two light systems:
- A fresnel light. About the size of a fist, mounted on a light stand. This is battery powered, and very low profile. It can be narrowed into a spotlight, or cast wide as a flood. It’s a tungsten bulb, and is really flattering to skin. This is the main light we’ll use during receptions. And if you look at our footage, you can generally see it acting as a back/side light.
- A smaller LED panel. This is super portable – it also has a surprising amount of power. Often useful on-camera, or as an accent light.
How Much Better Does Lighting Make Wedding Film Footage?
We tend to use 1 light, positioned out of the way, off the dance floor. Now, this isn’t because we need the light (our camera, the Sony A7Sii is literally the best low light camera on the planet) – but we need the light to make great footage. Ordinarily, everyone would look flat, in a gloomy, dark space. But It make with the dedo, all of the dancing really pop out of the screen, while still keeping the night-time party atmosphere. Check out these screengrabs to see what we mean.
Smoke Machines and UV Lights are great for wedding videos as well!
These can add a bit of special sauce! UV Lights obviously make everything white (or uv specific, like make up or pens) shine brightly. It can add a real novelty factor. And it looks awesome in slow motion!are also great for wedding film footage. When the smoke sits in the dancefloor air, it makes everything look more dramatic and interesting. If there’s a good lighting setup being used as well, this is amplified and refracted into the smoke, it looks amazing.
To see what we mean, check out Lauren and Chris’ wedding film at Tregenna Castle in St Ives, Cornwall. The last 60 seconds is all (awesome) dancing – the video demonstrates much better!
They had some of the best DJ light and smoke setup we’ve ever seen – and the revellers matched it with some incredible dancing! Emma and Gareth’s Pynes House wedding was even better lit!!!! Genuinely stunning, and incredibly striking – the lights cutting through the smoke looked phenominal,
NOTE – It’s worth talking to your DJ (and the venue) about this in advance, as sometimes (depending on the type of machine used – Smoke vs Haze) it may be a problem with smoke alarms.