Why hire a cinematographer?

In the past hiring a wedding cinematographer was a luxury that wasn’t necessarily a top priority vendor to be hired first.  It was sometimes added on if there was extra room in the budget.  Throughout the years wedding cinematography has evolved and become more of a necessity.  Weddings have evolved as well with so much more detail that having adding on cinematography has become essential.  In the past wedding, films were delivered in a documentary format with hours of sequential footage of every detail.  Nowadays wedding films are delivered in a short form that highlight the best parts of the day.  Highlight films are anywhere from 4-8 minutes long.  Cinematographers offer longer films that go anywhere from 10-20 minutes long.  Cinematographers today artistically produce films that highlight a wedding day. 

A wedding we worked together at Halter Ranch in Paso Robles, CA

Here is some of my advice for couples looking for a cinematographer.     

  1. Learn the different styles and decide what style you like best.  We are all very different.  Some cinematographers utilize audio from the ceremony and speeches and some use mostly music.  Some artists use very static and prefer a more stable shot. While others are more dynamic and give a more first-person point of view style.  There are more static cinematographers that use tripods and gimbals that give a smoother look whereas the dynamic cinematographers use shoulder rigs that mimic a human point of view perspective.  There are some cinematographers that are very minimal and use one camera the whole time whereas some use multiple cameras and lighting gear.   I like to shoot from afar and others shoot really close up.  You can tell a little bit when you watch sample videos of where cinematographers shoot from.  The shots that looked “zoomed in” with blurry backgrounds are from far away and cinematographers are closer with wider looking shots that are up close.  
  2. Let us put a mic on you.  As artists, we love to hear your vows and everything that is said during your day.  That’s what tells your story and it needs to be recorded in the highest quality possible.  Our mics have become very discrete and we can hide them well.  Please let us know everyone that will be speaking and make sure they use the mic even if they think they are good at projecting.   They will also help tell your story so we need to make sure we capture it the best quality.
  3. Introduce us to your photographers and DJs.  We need to work closely with them throughout the day. 
  4. Hire us.  There is still a hesitation to hire a cinematographer because it doesn’t seem like a necessity.  What I always tell my couples is I was also on the fence when deciding on getting a videographer for my very own wedding but I am so glad that I did.  When my kids were around three years old, we watched our wedding film with them.  They questioned why we looked so much thinner and why we were crying a lot.  And why we were crying while watching the video.  And we told them that they were happy tears of the first day we officially started our family.  I didn’t remember what I said on my vows or what my best man said on his speech but after watching my video I can relive those moments and my daughters can feel like they were there as well.  Having pictures of that day is amazing.  We have a picture on our wall and once in a while we pull out the album and look over the pictures.  But hearing our promises and watching our friends and family laugh and cry is irreplaceable.  Of everyone I ask that didn’t hire a cinematographer for their wedding, regretted that decision.  And of all the couples I ask that did hire a cinematographer, they have no regrets.  
A Styled Shoot we worked together on at The White Barn in Edna Valley

Patrick Ang | 408-781-2006
patrickangphotography.com | patrickangblog.com


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