Usually, gear is the LAST thing I want to talk to couples about. My sincere belief is that connecting with a couple and learning their wedding story are the two most important elements to creating an unforgettable wedding film.
But high-quality equipment is important.
It helps us get amazing cinematic shots.
It helps us NOT be intrusive.
It holds up to intense filming.
It’s far costlier than consumer cameras and accessories.
Let me unpack each of those a bit more.
Cameras and Lenses
How does professional equipment help us get “cinematic” shots. I’ll talk about cameras and lenses first, as they are the keystones to great cinematography.
Using full-frame cameras like the Sony a7sII and fast, sharp lenses allow us to get a shallow depth of field, which means the subject will be in focus but the areas around it will be soft. This creates a way to visually isolate the subject, as in these two examples: The first is of Lauren and Zach in their Wedding Feature Film and the other from the commercial film “Dear Frankie.”
Movement (or lack of movement) in images is another way that professional equipment helps us achieve highly stylized looks. In our case, we use gimbals to let us walk along with our subject without jitters. And tripods and monopods stabilize our shots when movement isn’t wanted.
Long lenses help us get very close to the action but from quite a distance, so that you’ll never see a Sweet Pea videographer up front at a wedding ceremony. No one wants to see us, because guests come to see the bride and groom! (This is also a great question to ask your photographer: How close do you get during the ceremony? Our preference is always to shoot with long lenses and be out of sight!)
And our high-quality gear is built to last, even though they are incredibly sensitive. As we hustle to get as much footage as possible on a wedding day, we’re often lugging equipment to prep, ceremony, photo/video sessions and the reception. That kind of action can wreak havoc on equipment that’s not sturdy.
Cost of Gear
Lastly, if you’ve ever wondered why wedding videography is a considerable investment, equipment is one of the big reasons. We carry roughly $20,000+ in visual and audio gear for every wedding, because we’ve found that we need different lenses, cameras, lights, audio equipment and more give us the look and sound that our clients love. Plus, all of this equipment must be maintained and regularly upgraded, too, which is a huge investment for us every year.
The reason for it all
Why such an arsenal of gadgets?
We want to produce the most amazing art piece from your wedding day, and these are the tools we have found that make a huge difference in how a Feature Film turns out. With the equipment and techniques used in Hollywood’s best efforts, our films have the same kind of emotional impact, and that’s exactly how the memories of a wedding day should be carried for years and years to come.
There are a ton of other reasons why gear matters in wedding videographer. For instance, I haven’t even tackled audio capture (which is equally as important as the visuals). But I’ll cover those topics in another blog.
Have more questions for me about what we pack in our camera bags? Please feel free to call or email!
The essential Sweet Pea Cinema Wedding Film kit
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