If you've been in the business for a while now, you will probably already have a list of equipment that you hold close and call your “essentials”, whether it is the latest camera in the market or trusty artificial lights, every videographer will probably have their own version of essential pieces of equipment which they can fall back on and take pride in!
The wedding day is one of the most important days of a couple’s life, so the pressure hangs heavy over a wedding videographer, as this is an important moment that cannot be taken lightly! The wedding film should look cinematic, highlight those precious moments from the day, both candid or perfectly posed, showcase the emotions, and encourage an emotional tear or two! This is the video that they will look back on every anniversary, or show to their kids and grandkids, and want it to be perfect! And that surely amounts to a lot of pressure on you as a wedding videographer.
As a wedding videographer, you probably already know that wedding videography is no easy feat and requires a lot of planning, preparation, a clear vision, as well as some handy gear that you will have your back. If you are in the business for a while now, you will probably already have a list of types of equipment that you hold close and call your “essentials”. Whether it is the latest camera on the market or trusty artificial lights, every videographer will probably have their own version of essential pieces of equipment which they can fall back on and take pride in! On the other hand, if you want to start off and prepare for success, having these pieces of equipment at hand will be a good place to start.
A list of Essential Equipment
Here is a list of basic items that we recommend for our wedding videographers.
Industry-grade Camera: Needless to say, that’s where it all begins! Without a proper camera that is capable of professional video sessions, you might have a tough time doing justice to a wedding videography gig. Make sure that you purchase the best possible camera in the market. Of course, this will require a fair amount of research. For a professional videographers, it’s recommended that they use interchangeable lens cameras, whether that is DSLR or Mirrorless. The main benefit of having these cameras is that you can experiment a lot by using different lenses. Thus, you will be able to generate a diverse and aesthetic output. Your work will have a variety, and the risk of it being monotonous will decrease significantly. You can also consider APS-C and Micro ¾, however, these cameras are used for very specific purposes.
In the end, you will have to make a choice between a DSLR and a Mirrorless. While most professional wedding photographers prefer a DSLR camera, those who are on the road tend to prefer Mirrorless as they’re superior in portability due to their smaller size. A DSLR camera will allow you to see through the lens, offering you a better idea of what you’re actually capturing. A mirrorless, on the other hand, captures images as a video feed, which is then used by EVF. In simple words, using it is a bit more technical. The battery life of a DSLR will be better than a mirrorless for obvious reasons (the battery size for a Mirrorless is smaller). Thus, if you are using a Mirrorless, it’s best to carry extra batteries.
Lenses: More often than not, most wedding videographers use a decent DSLR camera. Thus, you will find them carrying a variety of lenses with them. The major lenses used in the industry are – standard prime, zoom lens, fisheye lens, wide-angle lens, telephoto, and macro lens. Each of these lenses has specific uses which are outlined below:
The Essential Accessories: A professional videographer knows not to overlook accessories that are an essential part of a professional videographer’s toolkit. These include memory cards, tripods, transceivers, etc. It is safe to assume that you will be clicking a lot of pictures during the whole wedding. The traditional protocol is to capture as many pictures as possible, and then select the best out of them to edit. Thus, make sure that you carry ample memory cards to store all of them. Apart from that, you will need a tripod for your camera. For instance, after the wedding, you will probably have to film a couple of video clips of the bride and groom. Then, you will definitely need a tripod. Transceivers allow you to activate flashes and whatnot remotely. All in all, the list of accessories will depend upon your subjective preferences. However, things like memory cards and camera stands are already a must-have when it comes to a professional videographer’s toolkit.
Artificial Lighting: Almost every videographer, whether professional or amateur, has tried to capture aesthetic shots of the golden hour. It is true that natural light is a videographer’s best friend. The sun and the clouds can do wonders for a videographer. However, indoor events such as a wedding in an indoor venue tend to be pretty dark in terms of lighting. Thus, it’s best that you carry your own artificial lighting such as a flashgun. Without lighting, you cannot hope to have a half-decent video session. To capture the elegance of a wedding perfectly, you will require ample light, whether natural or artificial. And if the venue doesn’t have suitable lighting equipment, your whole gig can go down the drain. Thus, it’s always recommended for professional videographers to have a flashgun in their bag. It is important to ensure that you are not dependent on any external factors when it comes to your work. Make sure that everything you need to have a wonderful video session is either in your head or your emergency kit.
Backup Equipment: Having the odds by your side and carrying backup equipment in case things go wrong is a smart decision. A wedding can be a very chaotic event. It is very much possible that your equipment may easily break during a wedding video session. Thus, to ensure that your gig is completed smoothly, always carry an extra camera, lenses, memory cards, and flashgun. If possible, carry extra stands too. Quite a few videographers also tend to carry their laptops with them to offload the photographs mid-event. By having your system by your side during the event, you can shoot and edit simultaneously.
Sliders: Sliders give such a cool effect that you’ll love watching in your videos that it could be worthwhile to invest in one. Just don’t overdo it with the sliders to the point where they account for 75% of your wedding film pictures! That not only looks absurd, but it also cheapens the effect and makes it less unique. This is especially true when folks are looking through your portfolio to decide which wedding videographer to hire. As a starting point, the Konova sliders are a solid choice. You can’t go wrong with Kessler’s Stealth, Flat Mount Adapter if you’re looking for something a little more complex.
Sound equipment: It’s important to note that the sound of the wedding film is crucial and that without it, the movie will be severely affected. Couples can put up with a little shaky footage now and then, but bad audio is awful! To make things easy for yourself, invest in high-quality sound equipment. If you plan on traveling about the event, mount a RODE Videomic on top of your DSLR to record sound. Using background cacophony in your wedding movies can help improve the overall quality of the production. For amazing sound quality, mic up the couple during the ceremony with a Sennheiser ew 112-p G3 wireless mic system, and then do it again during the speeches.
Wedding videography or any type of event videography should be considered a mixture of science and art. You have to be technologically apt to even use complex equipment while having an eye for symmetries, patterns, and colors. Without a creative mindset, all the equipment cannot help you prepare an impressive video. So arrive armed with a creative mind! Equipped with the finest of equipment, a creative mind, and a head full of inspiration, we are sure you are all set to impress your wedding couple with a wedding film they will adore!
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