I have always hated having my picture taken and I couldn’t even imagine ‘acting’ for a wedding video. I totally empathise with couples who don’t want these shots in their wedding video. Also I have filmed weddings where it was a part of the original schedule but things ran long or the couple would rather forgo portrait shots so they can spend more time mingling. This is a totally fair choice and you will still get a lovely summary of your wedding day.
When a couple says they don’t want portrait shots I try to sway them because these shots add the nice romantic soft shots that really set the tone for the film. All day the couple will be talking to aunties and posing for group photos so having 20 minutes to kiss and cuddle with your partner is a really welcomed part of the day. Plus it is a great chance to add some visually interesting locations and textures to your video.
Besides from being pretty, these shots have a very practical role in the wedding video. I typically cut out the officiant’s voice during the vows so it sounds like it is one declaration from the bride or groom rather than lots of repeated phrases. When I do this there ends up being lots of cuts in the footage which honestly looks terrible so I like replace the cut up footage with portrait shots and use the vows as voice over. After all it is the most romantic part of the day and it is a nice change of scenery from the rest of the ceremony footage.
Here are some of my favourite lovey dovey moments.
But if shots like that would make them uncomfortable of course I will film what the couple ask me to film. I will just capture the rest of the day as I normally would but find intimate moments between the couple during the speeches or while mingling or on the dance floor. Tonally the video will have a different vibe but after all, the wedding video is not more important than the wedding day.
Here are a couple examples of wedding videos that excluded portrait shots.
As a videographer, I want to make sure you have the best day and I get the best footage. If posing for portrait shots will make you uncomfortable and awkward, the footage wont be good anyway so we are all better off doing something else. Don’t let other photographers or videographers push you into doing portraits if they feel unnatural. You are the boss. If you don’t want portraits just tell them you want a fly-on-the-wall approach, grab yourself a drink and go have fun!