Tips/Recommendations for great wedding documentary

Your wedding is single handedly the most important function of your life. The more you wish to control it, the more you understand, how daunting this can be. What kind of food, type of location, who all has to be invited, how do you want the video, how do you want the photos, how do you want the decor, what about the clothing, the list is few but the tasks are endless.

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Here are simple but effective pieces of practices which can help you with your wedding planning.

1.      Don’t hire just a ‘service provider’ hire, passionate people who like to do what they do. Instead of hiring a ‘decorator’, hire a passionate wedding planner instead.

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2.       Lighting is crucial for great ambience and also reflects in the image and video quality

  • At any cost, avoid a traditional videographer who uses hot yellowish-orange halogen lights mounted on top of the camera. Ideally, traditional videography is only a proof of what happened and most couples opt either for no videography or else candid videography (which is classy and shot tastefully). Check if they can shoot weddings with diffused lighting and not with bright yellow-orange camera mounted halogen lights.

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Ideal artificial lighting for videography – this creates nice soft diffused light.

3.       For the bride, don’t hire a ‘beautician’, instead hire a make-up ‘artist’. Make-up artists are contemporary and classy and they have a much better aesthetic sense to understand the facial structure to get the best out of it. Find someone who does it because s/he loves this profession. Find someone who has a public presence nad has past work with testimonials. A few negative reviews are not a problem as long as the positive ones are many. Never hire places like Lakme or other established saloons which send you an employee for the make-up. His/her job is just to get you ready and leave for the day. A good make-up artist however takes personal interest in making sure that you look the best as it is good for his/her business. The is not the same for an employee working for an establishment.

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We can recommend a few names, one being Ambreen, one of our favourites. Professional, passionate make-up artists like Ambreen/Sabrina/Roshni Safir, Preeya, Shreya and Chandni (make-up artist and hair stylist team) etc. can really make a big difference and they also understand how candid photographers like to shoot during the make-up time to get the classy close-ups of the bridal elegance. You can also check other friends who recently got married and take references or else, check facebook and check past photos of an artist.

4.       Both families must talk to avoid redundancies. Sometimes, we see two sets of traditional photographers and two sets of traditional videographers and that’s clearly an over-kill as they shoot from the same point of view. Having a traditional photographer is a necessity but two of them is definitely not required. With videography, have a traditional videographer is not a good idea unless they use some kind of diffused lighting to create their preferred lighting effect or else, hire a candid videographer who shoot without being intrusive and use existing ambiance lighting. In any case, we can help you with folks who can do the job for you.

5.       If wedding location is not confirmed, we sincerely recommend choosing a more contemporary location like Tamarind Tree, Classy hotels like Leela or lawn space locations like Royal Orchid, Hotel Ashoka or out of the box locations like Ganjam, Temple Tree. Such locations automatically add a lot of visual value compared to the tried and tested ‘kalyan mantap/wedding hall’ kind of traditional locations. If on a budget, you can have a temple wedding too (Nandi temple at the base on Nandi hills is a classic case of fantastic weddings on a budget. Absolutely no requirement of any decoration.

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Ganjam in Bangalore – It is basically a fairly large family home.

Remember, to have a great wedding and classy pictures, what matters most are:

o   fewer guests that matter to you

o   great location (great location does not mean expensive, but a location that adds value and contrasts the colours and open temples are great)

o   lawn based weddings but not in sunlight

o   most importantly, couple in love (if the magic is missing in the eyes of the couple, rest everything is secondary)

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6.       To have a great wedding, having a control on the number of guests is important. The more the guests, the more the cost, the more difficult the logistic management. We have done classy budget wedding shoots even inside a nice big house. Not all the times will the couple have a say, but it makes more sense to have guests who mean a lot to you than calling everyone ‘who know you some way’.

7.       For documentation, you basically have four things to choose from, and most couples opt for a combination of them:

i.         Candid Photography – For classy photos that summarizes the entire wedding (which Aj does –  about 150 – 200 edited photos from a typical 3 – 5 hour shoot)

ii.       Candid Videography/Cinematography – New and niche domain, this gives you the perfect 5-8 minute classy summary video of the entire wedding shot tastefully and put together in a movie style. We can help you with a couple of folks who can do this for you.

Reference sample: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEJCGMAeXHM

However, good candid artists in the video domain need to be booked well in advance and are relatively expensive. The reason is straight forward. Their quality of equipment gets you the nice dreamy feel and the editing is a true professional’s job and not video edits cut randomly and added. Check the above video to get the feel.

Candid is artistic and beautiful and does not focus on documenting everything as the stress levels are too high and the skill set and equipment line-up is extreme making it a very difficult job.

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Aj was a content manager with Wipro and quit everything to follow his passion and this does not just mean having an SLR, but getting trained by professionals in the US, having an array of equipment which makes the magic in candid photos.

iii.      Traditional Photography – Documentation purpose and great for group shots and covering people and rituals (been followed for decades but not interesting but good for documenting the entire wedding in detail if that is a requirement).

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Remember, traditional work began decades ago as a ‘proof’ of what happened just in case there were litigation and the goal was to prove that the wedding happened with great details of all rituals.

iv.     Traditional Videography – Documentation purpose and good for covering all people (but this will only act as proof of what happened and most couples won’t see the video more than once in their entire life-span). Many couples opt out of this as the video is shot with those unwanted hot yellow halogen lights with unnecessary zooms to the face, top to bottom and bottom to top profiling of the couple and every guest often embarrassing and unwanted. However, they do a good job in ensuring everything is documented.

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