1. Make sure the Mandap/staging area is free of plastic bags, paper towels and any plastic or paper goods. Put all ceremonial items in decorative containers, such as a brass cup or tray. Paper goods and plastic items can make the Mandap/staging area look cluttered.
2. Please request that your guests stand behind the official videographer and photographer when taking photos of key moments and/or to remain seated during the ceremony. Over zealous guests and even young children can easily block important shots.
3. Remove all shrink-wrap plastic from ceremonial items. Many families like to keep these items wrapped in plastic to reuse them again in the future, but camera lights and flashes can create a glare or reflection from the plastic. These things look better unwrapped.
4. Chair placement on the Mandap/staging area should always be arranged in a way that the person/people who are the center of attention are the main focus in the camera. For instance, if the bride and groom are sitting center stage, then all chairs on the sides should sit at least 18-inches away from the bride and groom and spread out so that everyone can be seen. The side chairs should be placed in a step-pattern with the chairs closet to the camera being furthest away from the bride and groom. See diagram.
5. Inform family members and officiant not to turn their backside to the camera, especially when bending over and not to stand in front of or block the camera. When bending over, make sure the camera has your side profile.
6. When using uplighting on the Mandap/staging area, be sure to sit at least three feet away from the colored lights. If you sit too close to the lights, your skin-tone will take-on the color of the lights.
7. You can help the videographer/photographer by asking the manager/decorator not to turn the house lights off or down too low, other than that let the videographer/photographer control their own lighting. For example, against our advice, we once had a bride ask the DJ for a high intensity spotlight to follow her during the procession. This type of light has a blue temperature to it that will make the skin-tone look unhealthy and make the image too bright. Most videographers use a low wattage camera light and can control how much light they need through the camera’s controls.
8. An outdoor wedding will look much better if it can be set up so that the bride and groom, as well as the guests are not in full direct sunlight. Shady areas or canopies work best.
9 . If you are planning a performance, a unique dance or anything special let the videographer/photographer know about it in advance.
10. Try not to react to the presence of the camera, especially turning away, as this renders the footage unusable. When in doubt whether to look at the photographer or videographer, always look at your photographer unless he/she tells you otherwise.
Husband and wife couture wedding cinematographers, Mike and Janice Celeste own Celeste Studios Worldwide Productions
together in northern New Jersey. They’ve worked together since they were wed in 2006, after meeting on eHarmony.com.
Janice has been filming platinum weddings for more than 10 years and has formally taught television production, as well as worked as a supervising editor at a New York marketing firm. Mike dabbled in photography before meeting his wife and business partner and now works full time for the production company. Celeste Studios
has since gone on to make a name for themselves with their weddings featured on The Learning Channel and editorials in Inside Weddings magazine. The couple also produced an educational DVD on filming Hindu Weddings for other filmmakers in the industry.