First Look - Camera Positioning


Wedding Cinematography


Lesson Info

First Look - Camera Positioning

let's bring out our groom handsome young lad alright how are you good how are you good jamie okay nina lena I get names wrong yeah okay lina actually you can stay there for now um so we have our groom now remember once you get the groom out here depending on the weather like here I think it's like forty degrees in seattle so you probably don't want the groom freezing outdoors you kind of want to keep him comfortable relaxed not too hot not too cold not freezing outside because it is his wedding day and he wants to enjoy the day um we do need some shots of him and his beautiful wife but we don't want to drive him crazy with shots and just get him uncomfortable annoyed and not enjoying his day we just you know right now he's smiling and he's happy and that's because he's comfortable and he's endorsed so we want to keep him in this zone here so if it is freezing outside and you're going to the first look outside hopefully I would strongly recommend that you do first looks outside unless y...

ou have situation maybe like this even where you have natural life leading into the room let's say it was freezing outside and the bride was like no way I'm doing a first look outside and you had a situation like this where you had a flood of natural light coming this room you could potentially find an area in a hotel maybe like a beautiful lobby in our hallway or corridor in a hotel that's got natural light coming in and just do it there I've done it all the time and you just work with it because the last thing you want to do is annoy the bride and get the bride upset and uncomfortable and not happy on her wedding day that's the last thing you want to do so always be mindful of the fact that even though you want to do all this cool stuff take care of them you know keep them enjoying the wedding day okay we all want to be creative but at the same time we got a kind of cater to our clients so he's here if this is outdoors I would just say hey you know what you can hang out inside we're gonna get you miked up and then I'll use my assistant is for the day I'll say hey stand over here with the groom's gonna be I'll frame up my side shot can I grab equipment off the set yeah I'll get thea I'll get the short little tripod okay so I'll generally have ah small tripod it's not it's not big and bulky like this one it's a very light tripod like the one that I showed during your talk it's very lightweight it's it's very easy just to grab it and go because it's so light way too probably weighs like two pounds andi I could just literally place that anywhere and the good thing about it is it doesn't have a great head like a fluid head or anything like that but I don't need them because just gonna be a static camera I don't need to do any pans or tilts or anything like that I just needed to be ah paris sticks you know that I could put a camera frame my shot and leave it alone because I'm not gonna have anybody manning this camera now here's the thing if you're on a shoot and you're with another creative person and you have that creative person behind a static camera you're wasting manpower right now because that person could have been on a mono pod getting a million different shots off this first look instead of being stuck behind ah static camera that's not going to move you know you're literally just wasting your opportunities to get more content so if you have another creative shooter just get them away from the static camera just leave the camera static frame it up what do we do we're going to check focus make sure the exposure is on okay checking exposure outside generally what you want to do is you want to check your exposure on the whites because that's what's gonna happen the bride is wearing white and that's going to get introduced to the frame generally if you can if you can expose off this white and you're looking ok and you can still see some detail nine times out of ten when the bride comes in you're gonna see some detail in the whites you're gonna be okay remember it's always safer to under expose your shots just a little bit bent over exposed them because once you overexpose him and the details are gone they're gone with these cameras in the compression that these camera shoot too the details gone if it's slightly under exposed you can always bump it up in post and that and that's why I have those ticker camera settings in my camera so I can have at least a little bit of flexibility and bump things up in post another great thing to do as far as your exposure is to focus on the sky that's one thing that I always I always sometimes I don't even have an assistant so if you have to do something quick I will expose for the sky and as long as the sky looks normal generally when the bride comes into the frame with a white dress it looked it looks pretty good it's pretty close so the sky's a great thing to expose on if you don't have whites maybe the maybe the groom's just wearing solid black maybe he's wearing a different color that's not white that you can't expose on the skies a great reference to expose on um and that's it so we've got our spot we've got a wider lens on here because we want o on a medium frame so we can allow for the bride to come into the frame so you don't want anything tight on this camera I would generally on this on this tripod here I generally have like a twenty four to seventy because it gives me the ability to either zoom out a little bit punching in a little bit and really composed a really nice looking shot without having to move the tripod physically forward and backward too kind of composed truckers I could get kind of kind of tricky so I love the new cannon twenty four to seventy the version too I think it's an amazing lands I did not like version one but version too I use a lot in fact I just had a wedding in the ukraine I shot the entire wedding with the twenty four to seventy and a seventy two hundred a mono pod that was it I don't even use try but at all the entire wedding so that was a very unique situation for me this ukraine wedding but I literally shot ninety percent of it with that twenty four to seven I didn't use anything else so that is that is a really great lines okay so here I would generally I'll just have my groom like face this way a little and I just want him to be right but relax I don't want anything that's too stuffy and you know if you're relaxed kind of just you know put your hands in your pocket or I just I just want you how would you be relax I'll have you talked a little bit this way yeah right there that's why you're good you're good yeah so I've got the groom set up I've got the camera set up this is gonna be static and I'm just gonna have like I said I'm gonna have a medium composition to allow for the bride to come in now one of the things that I'll tell you is when you frame your shot don't frame your shot here right don't cut him too close to the frame on the right side because what's gonna happen when he sees I'm gonna have you step up just like if he was here and he saw the bride a lot of time so you know and they'll do all this right and now they're outside of your frame so you have just given give him a foot of reaction space you know ah foot not you don't want too much dead space but give him some reaction room because there will be like oh my god you know just there will be sometimes there will be a reaction like sometimes there's no reaction like you look good you know memory they made married four five I don't know but sometimes they really like wow this is ah you look unbelievable but they take a step back just to kind of appreciate the bride's beauty things like that so give yourself some room in the frame and then I'll have you step back okay so this is nice and framed up and and the purpose of this camera here is when the bride comes up and now she's into your frame he's going he's going to face me right and then now hello honey uh I'm started to support you right like where is my beautiful bride um now you have his sight profile you have her side profile and hopefully in a realistic situation that would be over here because I be shooting with the light here for teaching purposes we're kind of shooting against the light so you guys can see I'd be shooting this way and if you looked on this side the lighting on this side is really really good so so let's just say for instructions say you have this beautiful light coming this way you have his side profile you have my side profile as the bride and some beautiful light which is why you're nice even lighting on both of us and now with a static camera you get this whole interaction that's going on here all this interaction you're getting side profile and meanwhile now you can adjust your main camera that you were shooting long seventy two hundred will bring that into frame and I just want to remind everyone that we're just gonna be demo ing this first look so we aren't actually yeah so there's no live right there's no live you sew this for camera angles like that so this is um this is the main angle here is the main angle here and this is basically just framing him up and capturing the bride's walk and sometimes they have a short walk sometimes have a long walk and like in the video that we saw the bride was coming from a long distance and were able to act with this camera I was actually able to capture about thirteen fourteen fifteen shots just with this camera as she was making her approach so now once he turns can you turn face the other way once he turns now I can move a little bit and now I can really punching on the bride's reaction because this is still holding the side reaction but now I'm gonna punch in on the bride your action and get her if you have another shooter because there's no shooter here so if you have a second shooter maybe they're on a model pod you know with like one thirty five lens or our hundred lens and there getting maybe shots of the groom's reaction from the other side or they're looking for some background they're always looking to create shots entered interesting right like create shots there outside the box that aren't basically you know you should never be looking for shots that look based even here when I'm when I'm shooting the bride I'm not looking just to shoot her squared up I'm looking I'm using maybe his shoulder as foreground maybe I'm just seeing her eyes you know playing with the camera little but I'm trying to create shots that are more interesting than just basic shot so just you know even though this alive moment still try to be quick still try to think outside the box and produce these shots that our stunning you know you're we always want to look for shots that are just visually visually compelling and they're different you know because you're gonna have clients that are going to say you say oh my god I've never seen anything like this before when they see your work and you guys have probably heard those comments before like wow I've never seen anything that looks like this and what they're referring to because a wedding was the same bright still got dressed groom still got dressed those vows there was speeches there was a party all this stuff but the way you shot the way you shot it that's what looks different is the way you shot it and the way that you were maybe able to interact and evoke emotions and when you put all those things together you're really creating some special shots so you there we're gonna bring the bride over you haven't seen her yet okay okay so I'm gonna have you come over here and and the bride's just going to do her thing now I would generally talk to the bride just to say a couple things because I don't want her to make the mistake of thinking when she gets up to the first look that she has to do something for our cameras because there are going to be a few cameras there's going to video cameras going photo cameras and all that so it's very important to get her into the zone and really know that when she gets to this first look it's all about her in the groom it's not about camera she didn't have to do anything special for the cameras I just want her to be in the moment and just enjoy the intimacy off this situation that she's going to be in right now so I'll just tell her that lena right you got that right after the third time we got right I caught her jamie earlier yeah yeah I don't know why I did that but but anyways sought I said listen when you guys make contact just just enjoy each other just enjoy the moment you don't do anything special for the camera and that's it just have fun with us they understand that when you get out they're gonna be looking at the cameras you're going just into this guy right exactly so she's in the zone right now now the other thing that I'm going to tell her is it's very important mama says I listen when you walk up try and walk up nice and gracefully because she's so nervous to see this guy she's you know she's going to run up there but that's going to create a big problem for us why because we gotta focus on we have to basically follow focus on a moving subject is going to create a nightmare for us always telling me so listen just walk up nice and gracefully nice and happy smiles and things like that and then just make contact because if they're walking kind of like this and you know it's nice and easy it's great because it gives the opportunity here to really down in the focus if she's running and I have to catch up to her with the focus ring it's gonna become very challenging and I might not end up with thirteen or fourteen shots I'm and that maybe one day if I'm lucky now if there's a short walk you're gonna have to make a judgment call you're going to say okay I'm gonna be risky and try to get a couple like creative shots or am I just going to be solid now if you have a problem focusing and some people do they just can't they can't nail the focus this is the worst area this in the ceremonies are worst areas not to nail focus like during live moments that you can never reset again because this moment once it happens you can't redo it it's done so you have to play it safe and if you want to play it safe you might want to start pre focusing like at a ceremony during a procession it's very difficult to maintain focus on people that are moving so you might want to do is you might want to pre focus on a spot that they're ultimately gonna walk right into your focus but whatever that focus range that you set up they're gonna walk right through it and at least for a couple seconds to three seconds you're gonna have a subject that's in focus and then semi and focused things like that so it's always better to have a shot then have no shots because of you struggled for twelve or thirteen shots and you ended up with nothing you're gonna be in a very bad situation especially when it comes to important moments like this and that's the great thing about having a side camera is your going to basically capture the entire sequence and you're gonna be in focus because they're not he's not gonna be moving any closer to the camera so the focus shouldn't change it all and the composition shouldn't change it all eyes always you keep her on the right path because sometimes you know how it is she could come to the left shoulder right shoulder and sometimes we set it up differently sometimes we don't even have the groove facing away we have groom may be facing the bride I've had him kind of uh you know holding hands over his eyes or something like that so where he's not turning around if it's a situation where she's going to have to go up to one of his sides that you pre determined I would let her know I said listen try to come up you know on his left side if you can because you've kind of already predetermined you've kind of like a vision the way he was going to turn and that's how you set your camera's in your composition and all that stuff so just be careful with that so at any rate I'm gonna have you there and and as she walks into the frame and I'm just gonna have you nice and relaxed as she walks into the frame you you walk into the frame and just bounce from him and that she should be nice and graceful and then just you can turn him around yeah so yeah and then and easy you know they're just like in love here they're just in love and real life situation they could be sense of beautiful words you know he'd never seen her in this dress before you were like oh my god you look unbelievable you know your dress is beautiful he shouldn't be checking her out he'd be checking out the girl they just spend the rest of his life with things like that so at least for a minute or so you're gonna have I mean a lot of content going on so to be left without a first look it is really like I said before it's an injustice because this is just this is a lot of content for film so here if they're not saying too much because sometimes some couples won't even say too much like why look beautiful you know and just said and then they just kind of smile and that's ok if there's no conversation going on there's no interaction anything I would start cutting to some more candid stuff you don't waste time just there's not a lot of dough and they're kind of like waiting like okay what do we do now and you've seen this before you know like there there and there was like okay what do we do now you've kind of lost in the moment just start switching the candidate you know see what the photographer has planned and then if he's just switching lenses and you know feeding cards and still figure out what he needs to do just you gotta act fast you know have a model pop have whateveryou have maybe the tripod and I'll tell her maybe even do some live shooting now or maybe we take a question and then I'll do a couple live shots okay great I think I got a question in the studio audience so during the static shot do you have she had it before in the past where photographers with walk in right before like in front of the camera or no do you let them very good question so nobody should walk in front your cameras at all because we're going to work together as a team and generally speaking the photographers have these same angles you know they have they have a person on the side and there have a person that shooting long you know so it should and I tell him I said listen are you good if we kind of bullshit from the side you know maybe me and your second shooter and the primary camera shoot the main ing along with seventy two hundred and I tell you I can't remember an event where they were not good with that you know there was one event in particular that I remember but I was a little bit further away were you on the way I know you weren't in the way nothing your honor what was out in california it was out in california and the side angle I actually had a seventy two two hundred because I was shooting through a field and the side shot just looked unbelievable but the camera was so far away that the photographer just forgot it was there you know where wasn't close enough to the for them to remember and they cross you know like running from the side angle but there was just it was just too far out and I did get a few seconds of the shot and that was good enough you know that that was good enough but but there shouldn't be anybody in the way for the actual moment when they meet now once the interaction is kind of fizzled and now the photographer's kind of moving around this it is what it is you know that then we need to move around as well when you started stop seeing some other shots and build it really building as much content as we can before they go into broader party photos and family formals was still like that because once they get into that stuff then you're kind of just waiting around because they're stuck doing family formals and bridal party pictures and all that stuff so try to get at least a few candid shots before they do formals and brought a party pictures and things like that just so you're not waiting around you know to get a shot I'll try to get like solid four five shots beyond this and then generally I hope the photographer would do candid shooting before formals that type of thing so they do it after formals then probably go somewhere else and maybe I'll get some set up shots and the reception I get some location shots and things like that just to kill time until they're going to candid shooting again so yeah devaney suggestions for what what would happen if you have a tall groom for instance like your gear here is perfect for these two height where you can get at shoulder level maybe even a little bit above but what happens when you have a guy who's you know six five six three you can't your tripods not going up high enough to be able to see the bride's reaction over the way your framing do you just change change your direction I had a better situation I had a basketball player that was seven feet tall and the bride was five one yeah how do you deal with that and they did a first look and I was still able to frame them in the same side shot just a little bit further back little bit wider the front angle even for me I'm six two six three and I struggled for a first look with the guy was literally like as high as I could possibly go trying tio get the groom shot but you just sometimes you just gotta make it work but that frame yeah it was um it was pretty turkey that was pretty tricky ray how important to you is the one eighty rule I'm just curious do you just shoot what you think looks best when it comes the first look are you even taking that into consideration I'm just curious about that well here I am here on phone the one that I always follow the one eighty but here's what you got to remember if you don't have a shot for whatever reason the rules go out the window because you cannot not record a shot because your warning about a one eight or like the bride's not gonna want to know that you know the reviews you got that particular shot you have violated the one eighty rule things like that so you didn't just you didn't take the shot that doesn't fly so there's going to be situated especially during ceremonies which is where you really want to buy buy the one eighty role here were always abiding by the one eighty role but at the ceremony in particular there's gonna be instances where you just don't have a shot because there's so many people there so congested we do a lot of jewish weddings and in a jewish wedding they have this hopeless that they get married under and a lot of times under the hope they have the bride the groom both sets of parents a rabbi maybe two rabbis ah cantor best man maid of honor you know these people and the hope a lot of times is not that big so where do you how do you have like a shot of bride or shot the groom when they're exchanging vows sometimes you don't have one all you have is people shoulders and heads and you just don't have a lane to shoot through and our rule for us is if you don't have a shot do whatever you gotta do to get a shot period if it means if it means ditching the tripod and grabbing a mono pod and fifty lens and just standing there like this so you have a shot off whatever you need to film you got to do it if you don't have a shot the worst thing you could do iss stand in a spot for thirty forty seconds missing something very important just because you wanted to follow like a one eighty roar or things like that or you're waiting for the situation to correct itself which is never gonna happen so the worst thing you do is sit there for a minute two minutes waiting for that situation just to correct this cellphone it's never going to correct itself when you could have just taken five seconds and just don't you need to do to get this shot again get that shot rolling and especially if it's a very important shot vows ring exchange you know you never get stuck in a shot in a situation where you're just you're missing a shot and if you just moved who cares if you violate the rules you know we try not to violate the rules of course because visually it's not visually pleasing to the eye and things like that when you're watching the film but you know in the end it's all about capturing the moment you know that's really what we're here to do is capture this thing and it's not it's not like commercial work of corporate work where we kind of really control everything and make sure that we're not violent anyone eighty rules this is a live event you know and see that the most challenging thing about this job is either captured air you lost it forever and that's that's tough that's a tough job that we do you know we're we're a special breed you know if you if you want to get into this industry I mean just a special breed of person because it's very challenging it's very stressful and you have to deal with these different type situation but tangier your question we always try to abide by the one eighty rule but in an instance where we just don't have a shop because we're trying to buy buy the one eighty roll the rules go out the window we just we make the adjustment and we get the shot

Class Description

Ready to find out what separates wedding videographers from sought-after wedding cinematographers? Join acclaimed event cinematographer Ray Roman for a crash course in wedding cinematography.

As he shares what he’s learned about filmmaking working with NBA All-Stars, high powered CEOs, and everyone in between, Ray will guide you through every stage of filming a wedding, from first looks to post-production. You’ll learn about the key gear needed for documenting weddings. Ray will cover basic film structure and time-shifting methods. You’ll also explore both basic and advanced composition techniques that you can easily integrate into your workflow. Ray will also share his proven sales and marketing techniques for connecting with clients and turning consultations into sales.

By the end of this course, you’ll have the skills you need to market your services, capture weddings on film, and give your clients a jaw-dropping record of their once-in-a-lifetime event.