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What Is Wedding Cinematography?

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  • Written By: Valerie Goldberg
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 29 August 2016
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Wedding cinematography is the art of documenting a wedding on film. Some couples may choose to use wedding cinematography only during the ceremony, while other couples may use it during the entire event, including the reception and any other pre- and post-ceremony activities. Good wedding cinematography will involve the proper use of lighting, various camera angles and solid editing.

While many people may have a friend with a video camera who offers to shoot the wedding, professional wedding cinematography will utilize several cameras and angles to capture as many parts of the wedding as possible. The various films will later be edited together by the wedding cinematographer or a member of his or her staff. Couples may want captions added to the video with the names of guests on the bottom, the name of the venue or different quotes about love. Much like professional wedding photography, the film editing process takes time, so the wedding video likely will not be ready until after the couple returns from the honeymoon.

One thing that separates wedding cinematography from that friend with the video camera is lighting. It can be especially important when a wedding is held in a place with low light, such as a candlelit church. A wedding cinematographer typically will set up lighting to enhance the video quality, taking care not to ruin the atmosphere of the wedding venue and the mood sought by the couple by making it look too much like a movie set.

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Wedding cinematography companies can offer many types of videos. A typical wedding video may cover everything that happened on the wedding day, from beginning to end. Some couples also may want special touches added. These can include clips of wedding guests offering their best wishes the newly married couple or the inclusion of photos or videos from the couple’s courtship. Pictures of the bride and groom, starting in childhood and spanning various stages of their life, also may be included.

Taking that idea one step further, many wedding cinematography companies offer what is know as a love story video. This type of film captures a couple talking on camera about how they met and fell in love. Pictures of the couple together may be edited in and music added. This video often is played at engagement parties, bridal showers and rehearsal dinners.

While cinematographers have joined photographers on the list of must-haves for many weddings, not every couple can afford professional wedding cinematography. That’s where the friend with the video camera may come in. Another viable option is to hire a college film student. College juniors and seniors majoring in film often have access to top-notch camera and editing equipment and likely won’t charge as much as established cinematographers would.

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