When handling a wedding day videography and photography project, you’re not dealing just with the bride and groom. The entire wedding party will have to be cooperative and easy to work with. Otherwise, you risk running into some nightmarish situations.
Older family members can be a particular challenge. Very often, they aren’t as fast or as responsive as younger family members. In some instances, senior wedding attendees could also have their specific ideas about the best ways to do your job.
In the middle of a wedding day chaos (especially if you’re handling a larger event) dealing with the family could be nerve wracking. Still, it’s imperative to maintain your composure. If you adopt the right approach towards senior family members, you’ll get some good shots out of them and you’ll probably create some loyal fans for life.
Know Your Must-Get Shots and Stick to the Plan
Input from the family on the wedding day is very distractive and it can make you lose your focus easily.
This is why you need to follow a pre-determined plan that’s been worked out with the bride and groom.
Know your must-get shots and work towards fulfilling the entire plan.
If you have some extra time, you can work with relatives on some of their desires. Needless to say, that’s up to your discretion. Don’t give into pressure attempts and make sure that you’re making the bride and groom happy first and foremost.
Learn to be polite yet firm when it comes to dealing with family input.
Older people are quite set in their ways and they may find it difficult accepting new trends and ideas. Be helpful and let them know that the bride and groom have made their desires very clear. Most often, such responses should be enough to give you some peace of mind.
Portraits: The Secrets of Making Them Stunning
Photographing or capturing young people and kids on camera is one thing. Senior portraits, however, will necessitate a very specific approach.
There are several things you can do to feature all of the family members and make every single portrait spectacular.
The first and most important rule to understand is that natural light is your friend. Artificial light can be very harsh and challenging for older people to stare into. As a result, you’ll get squinty outcomes – not the most flattering portraits on the face of the planet.
Your subjects are not professionals and they’ll need some time to get comfortable in front of the camera.
Have a casual conversation or give them something to do while trying to capture the portraits. In a few minutes, your subjects will loosen up and give you some natural poses. Once this happens, you’ll get all of your spectacular portraits.
Family and Group Photos Involving Seniors
Wedding day videography and photography will involve a dozen of group shots.
These are usually the ones that get professionals on their knees in desperation.
Someone would be distracted, somebody else will misunderstand the directions. Some people will attempt directing while others simply couldn’t be bothered to cooperate.
Group shots bring together children and seniors, resulting in a huge mishmash of disappointment quite often.
There are, however, strategies you can employ to make group shots a lot of fun.
If you have to, appoint a helper. A younger member of the wedding party like one of the best men or a bridesmaid can help you round up everyone faster. The benefit here is that wedding party members know everyone and they can turn into a second director without overstepping your professional boundaries.
It’s a good idea to get the most difficult shots out of the way first. The more group shots you have planned, the longer it would take for the entire session to be completed. Thus, try to capture senior family members and larger group photos first. When you’re finished with these challenging pictures, you’ll be free to have a bit of fun with the bride, groom, their parents and friends.
Wedding Day Videography and Photography Should Never Over-Complicate Things
There’s a simple journalistic rule of keeping it simple. This very same rule can easily apply to wedding day videography and photography.
Overcomplicating things will usually give you disastrous results, especially if seniors are involved.
Understand the fact that following directions or getting into funky poses could be impossible for people past a certain age.
Chances are that the bride and groom want something very youthful and fun. Still, you have to give them some suggestions based on your experience. Whenever family members have to participate, it’s best to tone things down. Otherwise, the results will be underwhelming or mediocre at best.
Stick to some classic shots that involve the senior family members. If you feel that they’re willing to take things further, you can definitely have a bit of fun together.
Some Difficulties Linked to Capturing Older Family Members
Photographing or shooting older family members on film will have you facing some very specific challenges.
Here’s an example of something that may seem quite trivial but that could turn into a problem – glasses.
Glasses can create glare and reflections to ruin the shot.
You can address the situation in a couple of ways. Asking subjects to tilt down their glasses is a good way to save portrait shots. Alternatively, you can consider raising the lights a little bit to reduce glare as much as possible.
Baldness is another potential issue among older gentlemen that could affect photo and video quality. A bald head, as funny as that may seem, will create a reflective surface for some additional glare.
Natural light is the best way to address that problem. If you’re using overhead lighting, bringing down the lights a little bit can give you a fairly good result.
Have Fun and Get People Comfortable
Older people will often end up looking very stiff during wedding day videography and photography.
They haven’t had as much experience with posing, selfies and amateur videos as their kids and grandkids. As a result, senior wedding attendees will probably feel quite stressed out and they will not enjoy the process of being filmed.
As a professional wedding photographer or videographer, you have to turn into a part-time psychologist, as well. Getting people comfortable and communicating openly with them is a major part of the job.
Talking to older wedding attendees can help them relax. You can actually learn a lot from them and use that information for better project completion.
In fact, some of your talks may even make it to the final film. The wisdom people have gathered through the years can result in some really refreshing and genuine interviews. Such improvised moments add a depth and richness to the wedding film you definitely want to pursue as professional.
Getting people comfortable requires so little on your behalf. Be friendly. Listen to them. Don’t hesitate to improvise if the initial course of action doesn’t prove to be optimal. By engaging in these simple steps, you will get a lot more than what you originally anticipated.
Play to the Strength of the Demographic
As you know, every single shot depends on a medley of elements.
The subject is the most important one but there are other factors contributing to the quality of the shot.
A senior demographic gives you some challenges but there are also wonderful opportunities.
Choosing the right settings and colors, for example, can help you highlight the wisdom and life experiences of parents and grandparents.
It’s also a good idea to experiment with details.
Zoom in to capture the loving and caring eyes of a grandma. Textures and materials can also add a lot of depth to your photos and videos. Don’t be afraid of zooming in really close, though this is something you wouldn’t instinctively do with older people.
Be Careful with Effects and Post-Production
How much editing is too much when your subjects are older?
The answer to this question depends on the photo style the bride and groom are going for.
If they’re trying to keep things as natural as possible, you should definitely limit the post-production. You may feel tempted to add lots of filters and air brushing but that’s not necessary.
Every single flaw or defect stemming from age can be turned into an effect. Black and white photography and videography, for example, can be particularly flattering with older subjects. The shots will look dramatic and beautiful without having to get heavily processed.
A wedding is an accumulation of many elements, events and people. Wedding photographers and videographers should feel comfortable with all of those.
Sometimes, you will run into difficult older clients. Most of the time, however, people are happy and eager to cooperate for wedding shots. It’s up to you to provide friendly but competent guidance. Once you find the right approach, you will make the entire wedding day shoot enjoyable for all parties involved. Don’t hesitate to communicate directly and to improvise when appropriate. Keeping an open mind is the best way to become the one wedding videography or photography professional people would want to work with.
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