Pages Navigation Menu

The international magazine for the weddings industry

So, why should you have your wedding recorded for posterity?

So, why should you have your wedding recorded for posterity?

Why have your wedding recorded for posterity? That’s a good question when you think about it. It will certainly elicit memories as well give you something to show your grandchildren someday. But here is something else to consider.

On your special day you will in all probability be quite busy with all the details. Will you really remember what happened? Who was there? The best wishes? What about the flower girl and the ring bearer meandering down the aisle sometimes with a ‘kick the can down the road’ mentality. Eventually, these messengers get to where they are going, but sometimes they take their own winding path. With video you most certainly will remember as well as be a witness to your ceremony because it will be there for you to enjoy over and over. You might even be surprised at something you missed during the service. Typically brides and grooms are sequestered and required to be in certain places at certain times and do not get to actually see the entire ceremony or

reception. Brides, wouldn’t you love to see the look on your grooms face the very minute that he sees you walking down the aisle in the dress that he has not been allowed to see until that very moment? Now certainly you can get ‘Uncle Henry’ to video your wedding and obviously the price will be fantastic. Unfortunately, the old adage of, “You get what you pay for?, can come back to haunt you.


If you have chosen to record your own wedding or have a family friend do it, there are a few terms that you should be aware of. A professional behind the video camera is well aware of these plus much more so keep in mind that in order to produce a great video of your wedding day it is more than turning on the camera and hoping for the best.


OK ready? Buckle up then and hold on…here we go:


Head Room

In the view finder or monitor, does the subject have enough head room at the top of the frame?  That means that your subject is situated in the frame so that his/her head should come just a bit under where the top of the frame is. Not enough head room and you end up cutting their head off. Too much head room and you have too much unused space and it looks very amateurish. If you are not careful, this is a very easy mistake to make.


It is certainly easy enough to have too much headroom and that usually has the subject cut off in the middle or a tremendous waste of good usable space. The proper placement of the subject should be in most cases with his/her head just barely under the top portion of the frame. With a moving subject, this can be a bit of a challenge. If you get too close, then the subjects head goes off the top of the frame and you end up with a head that is cut off. This is not the type of footage you would want everyone to see to enhance your resume. It is a very common mistake. Sometimes, you get caught up in the action going on and lose track of the fact that you have to be impartial to the happenings and stay focused 100% of the time on the subject and his/her movements. Don’t mess this one up.


Rack Focus:

The meaning here is to throw the subject out of focus completely. Why? Well in the post production process, ( or if you are doing a live shoot) this can be a very dramatic effect where one shot goes out of focus and the next shot comes into focus as the two shots fade from one to the next. It is easier to do in post, but be very careful and don’t over use this one.


Zoom In/Out.

This is pretty self-explanatory here. To zoom in is to adjust your lens to make the subject bigger thus zooming in: getting closer. To zoom out is to do the opposite. Again, there is a tendency to over use this effect and it is very hard to do anything in post-production to correct this. Most times when you are using a zoom effect it needs to be  slow to medium speed and very steady.


Pan & Tilt.

To Pan is to have your camera go across the plane you are shooting at from left to right (or vice-versa.)

Your subject is naturally moving from one side of the frame to the other unless your subject is in motion themselves. If you have a walking/moving subject make sure that you are leading them giving them plenty of “look? room, meaning you don’t want your subject to have too much room behind them and not enough room in front of them. A Tilt is to move your camera up and down usually on a tripod as if it were balanced on a fulcrum giving it a see-saw effect.


There are many more terms and tips to make your video stand out but let’s master the basics first. You only get one shot at this. The biggest difference between a great wedding photographer and wedding videographer is that most of the shots the photog gets are posed and he/she will take several shots to insure he gets one that is perfect. A videographer only gets one swing at the ball. There are no do-overs. So be aware that if you miss the first dance, the entrance of the new couple, the garter or bouquet toss, they are gone forever.

Hopefully, this will give you some idea on ways to make your wedding video better and not look like Uncle Henry just picked up the camera. Put some time and effort into learning what  can go wrong and make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

Michael Cozzi

Video Birmingham

Birmingham, Alabama

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

one − 1 =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

To submit, take our super anti-bot test. Takes a human seconds. Fools a bot forever.


%d bloggers like this: