Shooting a wedding is no small task. In fact, in many ways, it’s like producing a small film. And as video editing professionals will tell you, you won’t get far if you don’t have the gear you need. Whether you’re shooting an indoor wedding or an outdoor wedding, most of your gear requirements will be the same. But there may be a few considerations you’ll need to take into account depending on the venue. Here’s a look at some of key categories and items to put on your wedding day checklist.
You could write a book about the different types of cameras that can be used for wedding videography. The key element you’ll want to decide on is how many cameras you’ll use for the wedding. For most weddings, video editing professionals utilize a two-camera setup, with one camera for medium shots and another catching the close-ups. Smart video editing professionals will add one more camera to the mix – a backup camera if something goes wrong with your primary unit.
Indoor versus Outdoor – Many experienced video editing professionals prefer a DSLR camera body for shooting outdoor weddings. The DSLR provides the option of utilizing different lenses – a useful feature given the many different videography situations and lighting you may encounter at an outdoor venue.
Tripods and more
Nothing screams “amateur video” more than shaky footage. Wedding editing professionals wouldn’t dream of shooting a wedding without packing a good-quality tripod along with their cameras. Don’t just settle for an inexpensive tripod. At a minimum, choose a tripod with a fluid head that allows smooth tracking motion with your camera.
If you’re looking to expand the array of effects available to you, consider adding a slider to your gear list. The ability to add some motion to your shots is an effect that’s prized by wedding video editing professionals, particularly when employed with B-roll footage. The variety you’ll add to your footage will yield a much more interesting finished product.
For shooting footage on the fly, like at the reception, experienced video editing professionals will utilize a handheld stabilizer. You’re looking for a compact handheld stabilizer, not the over-the-shoulder, powered, and computer stabilized models used in feature shooting. Your model should be easy to maneuver in a crowded area, like on or near the dance floor.
Indoor versus Outdoor – Outdoor venues may require transporting your equipment greater distances than setting up indoors for the wedding shoot. Keep this in your checklist when packing your gear and go with lighter options when possible. Consider alternatives too, like using a monopod in place of a tripod when possible.
Audio recording gear
Wedding video editing professionals know the importance of good sound. Your audio recording setup is the key to getting high-quality audio to sync with your video. Don’t rely on built-in microphones to record the ceremony (although recording audio on your camera will make syncing the audio track to your footage easier when you begin the editing process).
Be sure you have a versatile audio recorder, with multiple audio inputs so that you can connect several microphones or other audio inputs (like the feed from a DJ’s soundboard, for example). Most wedding Smart video editing professionals will use a combination of shotgun and lavalier microphones to capture both the overall sound ambiance and the details of the wedding vows.
Indoor versus Outdoor – When you’re shooting outdoors, don’t forget the effects of weather. Pack along some windscreens for your mics to avoid picking up extraneous wind noise.
The essential odds and ends
Indoors or outdoors, it doesn’t matter. The gear we discuss here is essentials that you should never go to a wedding shoot without.
Audio cables – You’ll want to be sure you’ve got plenty of cables, ready for any type of connection you may need. At the least, pack XLR, RCA, and ¼” to 3.4mm cables. This will ensure you’ll have whatever you need to connect up to your audio gear and other equipment, like DJ soundboards and venue PA systems.
Lighting – Be sure to pack a small LED light (plus power supply or battery) in case you need to add some lighting in for a low-light situation.
Batteries – Be sure that all the batteries for your cameras and other gear are fully charged before you go. And then pack extra batteries to go with them. And don’t forget standard sized AA and AAA batteries as well.
Memory cards – You want to be sure that you’ve plenty of memory to capture the video and audio recordings you’ll make. Don’t rely on a single card for each camera. Have some backups just in case.
Tools – You never know what might happen or what might need a quick adjustment. Pack a roll of gaffer’s tape, a multi-tool, and a multi-purpose screwdriver at a minimum.