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Our Favorite Wedding Cinematography Trends for 2020

Producing wedding videos is a great way to get started in the world of production; it’s also an excellent career path in itself. Wedding videos allow you to stretch your storytelling skills as a filmmaker while capturing a couple’s most important day. How do make your wedding videos stand out from the rest? Let’s dive into our favorite wedding cinematography trends for 2020 to find out. 

Telling the story as a documentary

The documentary wedding video has recently become a popular way of capturing the happy day — and for good reason. Think of this shooting style as less of a cinematic style wedding video and more of a journalistic approach. The focus here is on visual storytelling. You want to capture all the key moments of the day but with an observational shooting style. 

Follow your subjects throughout the day, from getting ready for the big event to the ceremony and reception. Be sure to capture a lot of B-roll and well-stabilized establishing shots of the location(s). While you are serving as an observer throughout the day, consider shooting interviews with the couple, the family members, the bridal party, and other guests. Think about how to frame your shots and what type of content your couple would like you to capture as you document their big day. 

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Employing a unique aerial perspective

It is 2020 and drone footage has come a long way in recent years. Capturing aerial footage is now a real possibility for shoots large and small. Using drone footage is a wonderful way to document the beauty of the wedding venue and surrounding location. You will need to hire a licensed drone operator, or spend the time and effort to pass the written FAA drone operator test. Either way, the investment will be worth it when the newlyweds watch the final wedding video. Think about capturing a sweeping aerial shot of the venue before the wedding to use as your establishing shot once you get into post-production. As a cinematographer, you want to capture the wedding from as many perspectives as possible.

Bringing stills to life using Cinema 2.5D effects

While this isn’t necessarily a cinematography trend, we would be remiss to not mention the parallax effect wedding video. To achieve this look, you will want to break up still images into different layers, then create subtle animation and particles within a post-production program such as Adobe After Effects. There are some great samples and tutorials out there to help you achieve this effect. The Cinema 2.5D effect is a great add-on to your wedding video offerings.

Planning ahead with the save-the-date video

The save-the-date video is a fantastic way to generate excitement for the upcoming nuptials. These videos go way beyond an animated video invite — we are talking music video-level production quality at times. No matter the scope, shooting well-styled cinematography is a must. Work with the couple to come up with a theme and the location(s). Work to visually capture the couple’s personality and connection, and determine the style of the final video well before you shoot. Dig into your cinematographer toolbox and pull out all the stops. 

Establishing cinematic impact with a theatrical trailer-inspired video

The film trailer wedding video captures the key moments of the wedding day, with sweeping views of the location as well as key moments from the ceremony and reception. This style of video differs from the documentary style in that it doesn’t necessarily follow a linear structure of the day’s events — the goal is big emotional impact here. A theatrical trailer-inspired wedding video will be about 4-5 minutes in length and can be provided to the couple as an add-on or as the main wedding video. You want to be sure to creatively capture the little details, such as the wedding rings and the dress, as well as the big moments like the vows.

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Capturing the moment with a freeze-frame style

Consider the freeze frame style. A few years ago, a viral video trend took the internet by storm — The Mannequin Challenge. This somewhat silly “challenge” involves the subject(s) “freezing” in place while a camera pushes in through the shot. If you have a good stabilizer and a cooperative wedding party, this can be a genuinely fun technique. You can also achieve this effect in post-production if you plan ahead. Shoot high-resolution still images of the background or scene/location, as well as isolated images of the subjects. There are great tutorials out there that will help you achieve this style.

Producing a “trash the dress” video a year later

The wedding might be over, but the couple’s journey together has just begun. A new trend that has been emerging in the world of wedding video cinematography is the “trash the dress” video. It involves the bride ruining the dress in a fun way. While many brides want to preserve their wedding dress, there are also those who who are willing to “trash” the dress for the sake of a great shot.

Let’s say the couple lives close to the ocean — wouldn’t it be amazing to get a shot of the newlyweds running through the waves? How about a romantic kiss in the sand? How about setting off some color bombs as the couple embraces? Maybe the couple is particularly outdoorsy and they go on a muddy nature hike. You get the picture. The memories created in this video will last a lifetime, even if the dress does not. 

Now that you are in the know on the latest in wedding cinematography trends for 2020, get out there and shoot fabulous wedding videos! 

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