Tips on how to make a wedding video (for none professionals)

24 May Tips on how to make a wedding video

When your budget won’t stretch to paying for a videographer or wedding video company, it is still possible to capture your special day on video. You may even prefer a more ‘raw’ artsy record of your wedding. You may want the making of your wedding video to be part of what your guests get involved in doing on the day – use one camera and pass it around or ask people to video with their own cameras as and when they want to and ask them to send their video to you.

Clearly designate a person (or people)

Whatever the reason you’re doing your video this way clearly designate the one person you’ve chosen to record your wedding. Make sure they know you’re relying on them to film it but make it very clear that you’re not expecting a cinematic result. Make them feel special – it will mean more to you that the person has done it for you rather than the end result.

Here are my tips for the amateur wedding videographer:

Use Whatever Camera You Can Get

Whatever camera you’ve got – use it. But whatever it is, make sure the battery has enough charge to get what you want. And, if it’s done on a mobile phone, please turn it on its side, so it’s a widescreen.

Use a Tripod

And whatever camera you do use, please use a tripod whenever you can. Don’t move about any more than you have to. Try and plan where you have to be and stay there.

Move Slowly

If you do have to move, move slowly, move smoothly – try and make it feel that your movement is part of the shot.

Speak to Your Photographer

Most people always have a professional/semi-professional photographer. Speak to that person. Let them know that you’re having your wedding video filmed this way. Ask for their help and support. And let the photographer know that some of the filming will take place when they’re setting up their own shots.

Stay Close Enough to Hear

Hearing the wedding is just as important as the visual shots – it’s part of the atmosphere. So keep as close to the ‘action’ as possible – especially the ceremony and the speeches. Don’t step so far back that you’re zooming in all the time – especially if this may mean the image and/or so the happy couple are too small in the screen. But also make sure the videographer’s not crowding out the couple – getting in the way on the first kiss or first dance.

Keep Recording

Whatever you do, when you start recording, don’t be too quick to stop – again, especially the ceremony and the speeches. Make sure you record everything and a bit more – sometimes there are some real moments to savour when the pressure’s off.

Make Editing Easy

If everything has been recorded, plus a bit more, then the editing is made much easier. You can then make a choice what you can leave out – not the videographer. If you haven’t got it, you can’t use it.

Just Because

Photographs are great records of your wedding. But a video, especially the voices and the noise, are great records too – they’re the atmosphere of your special day. Even if the videographer is pointing at something specific – someone may say something, off camera, but still recorded. These moments are priceless. They’ll be things the videographer sees and records that you wouldn’t have known happened.

People say and do lovely things at weddings. People say funny things, not just in their speeches. Give yourself as much chance as possible to have these things as a record of the special day – they’re priceless and didn’t cost you anything to have.

You may want to read my: SIMPLE TIPS FOR BETTER VIDEOS

Trevor Cottam
Keystone Digital
Video Production, Photography and Digital Marketing

Keystone: Wedding Videos


Videos are Good for Your Website

9 May

Website Videos

You have a website – make the most of it by including videos in it. Think about it. If you were going to advertise in a full colour magazine or on TV, you’d be silly to place a text only advert. Everything that people see your website on, also plays videos. All websites host videos. So, utilise the potential of your website and videos – don’t show a text only advert.

Your website, as your shop window, needs to grab visitor’s attention, very quickly. Your site needs make visitors realise that they have found the right place, hold them there and make them want to come in and look around further or contact you. Otherwise, with just one click, they’re off, looking somewhere else – you’ve lost them. You also want to make them want to come back for more.

Videos are a great way to fully engage visitors on your website – videos even play a significant part in helping them find you in the first place.

The majority of website visitors don’t read through your text, they scan it first. They need you to grab their attention. It is widely reported that only 20% of people visiting websites will read the whole of the text they’re presented with on a website. But 80% of people will watch a whole video.

So as an initial attention grabber, videos are absolutely great. Then, dependant on the video, you can give out and convey so much more than writing about it and, by keeping it short, sharp and to the point, give your website visitors just what they came to your website looking for.

Videos, especially on YouTube, also help people find your website in the first place. Videos are searchable by the top search engines like Google – made better with good video titles, descriptions and tags on your video. And YouTube is at the top of Google’s list – Google owns YouTube, so it looks after its own.

Videos are also good for your SEO. People watching videos on your website stay on your website for longer. So, this helps your website rank higher on Google as the duration of website visit and bounce rate (bounce is when people click onto your website and then immediately click off it) are measured by Google as part of their ranking criteria on their search engine. So, a video increases the duration of visitors to your website and reduces the bounce rate – both great for SEO.

Your videos can also then be uploaded to different social media platform channels such YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Google+ etc,. Plus your videos can then form the basis of your social media posting.

You can use videos to:

  • Show visitors the people in your company – website visitors see people not just written words
  • Present a product – see your products in their full glory
  • Show people how a product or service works
  • Enforce your brand – enhanced with good graphics and captions
  • Show clients, customers and users giving their real testimonies – show you care about your customers
  • Demonstrate a manufacturing process
  • Show off an event you’ve organised
  • Communicate key messages to staff and stakeholders

Let’s face it. Videos can be seen anywhere – mobile phones, tablets, laptops, PCs, TVs, etc,. So apart from being on your website, they can become part of your sales and marketing arsenal – shown, shared and seen wherever your customers are and wherever your sales team go. So, enhance your brand and endorse your corporate identity by showing your video in your reception area, at staff briefings and meetings, at exhibitions and conferences, an integral part of a presentation, shown in your email marketing campaigns – there are endless options.

Videos don’t need to cost the earth. OK, if you want the works, you can have it – motion graphics, full lighting, animation, voice-over, soundtrack etc – although I think you’ll be amazed at how even these can be achieved without costing the earth. But any video, any ‘reasonable’ video, is good for your website and good for your website visitors, stakeholders, potential and existing customers.

Keystone Digital: video production, photography and digital marketing

Original post on: Keystone: Video Production, Photography & Digital Marketing

#Cheshire, #Chester, #Malpas, #VideoCompany, #VideoProduction, #Videographer, #VideosForWebsites, #Whitchurch, #Wrexham

Simple Tips for Better Videos

27 Apr

Today’s phones, tablets and small compact video cameras are really great for making videos. They mainly shoot video in high quality, usually HD and look really sharp – especially if you’re uploading them to your website or onto something like Facebook, Google+ and YouTube.

But here are just a few quick tips on how to make your video look as ‘professional’ as possible.


If you’re filming on your mobile phone – please make sure you’re holding the camera in ‘landscape’ – so it looks like a wide screen TV, long sides facing up and down

Eye level

Film at the same eye level as the person/animal you’re filming or lower, if you can, when filming children and pets. Bend down, get down on your knees, sit on the floor or lie on the floor to get yourself at the same eye level. Looking up at a child whilst he or she is playing is a view we don’t normally get when we watch our kids playing – it looks so charming.


Even with the ‘image stabilisation’ features on most cameras nowadays, if you’re shaking about when you’re holding your camera, the end result will suffer. So, if you’ve got a tripod, use it. If you don’t have a tripod lean against a wall or a tree, rest on top of a bag on a table, rest on your knee if you’re sat on the floor – lean against something and it will make a difference.

Digital zoom

Do NOT use your digital zoom feature on your camera – you can usually turn it off in your camera’s settings. All it does is make your digital image larger and therefore lose quality. Just walk closer to the thing you’re filming.

If you are using the zoom, try not to zoom in too much all the time. The more you zoom in the more difficult it is to keep the image steady when you are recording – as the slightest of wobbles or shake is magnified if you’re zoomed in.


Having a well-lit subject is a key to better looking videos. Whenever you can, get the subject to stand facing a window or near a window. You then stand in between your subject and the window with your back to the window – getting full light on your subject and film away.

This is the same if you’re outside – film with your back to the sun.

The only rider to both of these is if it is a bright sunny day with direct sunlight. In this case your subject is likely to squint and the light will be so harsh, that it will look a bit too flat. In this case, move so 3/4 to 2/3rds of your subject is in the sun. Create a slight shadow on your subject.

Just experiment. You can create some fabulous effects – even when the light is not too bright.

Exposure lock

Auto exposure is great when you’re filming something quickly and\or lots of action is going on around you. But if you’re filming someone talking to camera or a talking head talking to someone else, set your exposure on the brightest part of the person – usually the face. This will keep your exposure constant throughout your filming and won’t keep searching for the correct exposure – this makes your image keep going lighter and darker.


Quite simply – get as close as you can to the sound source. The better the quality of sound, the more it will enhance what you’ve filmed. Even if the visual part of what you’ve filmed isn’t great, that can be ‘forgiven’ if you’ve got great sound quality.

Also, don’t be afraid to move close in to your subject and fill the screen with a child’s face or a pet or a birthday cake. Don’t let the subject get lost in the picture. You’ll then also be closer to your subject to help your microphone record good quality sound.

Slow-motion & time-lapse

If something happens quickly (a dog jumping and catching a ball, someone riding past on a bike, children throwing water) it can look great in slow motion. Just make sure you are filming at 120 or 240 frames per second.

If you’re filming an event or a venue filling up or a busy railway station – things can look great as a time-lapsed shot. Put your camera on a tripod, set the shot, lock the focus and exposure and record away – for as long as possible. You may have to put your phone in Airplane mode.


Make the most of the great editing apps that are available but, if you can, edit on a computer. Transfer your footage to your software and edit away. Don’t go too mad with special affects or use too many wacky dissolves between shots – keep it simple and stylish.

Just one additional tip for editing. If you know that you’re going to edit your footage – if you can, set up your shot and film for 3 to 4 seconds before the ‘action’ starts. And then keep filming 3 to 4 seconds after the ‘action’ finishes – don’t be too quick to move the camera away and stop recording. This gives you more to play with when editing. Also film away as much as possible – it doesn’t have to be in the finished video but if you haven’t filmed it – you won’t have that choice.

Got a camera, use it

Whichever camera you’ve got – use it and make the most of it. Don’t go and buy an ‘upgrade’ to the camera you use before you’ve tried all of these tips – these might make all the difference you’re looking for.

Keystone: Video Production, Photography & Digital Marketing

Original post on: Keystone: Video Production, Photography & Digital Marketing

#Cheshire, #Video

Which social media for business?

22 Apr

One of the first things I get asked is ‘which social media platforms should I use for my business?’. And there is a long answer and a short answer – I’ll give you the short answer.

I’m usually talking to someone who’s hasn’t got any social media set up for their business or hasn’t really been using it if they have some set up. In which case the answer is to initially set up a solid group of platforms that are usually good for businesses. Then to run those platforms for a few months (about 3 to 6 months) – 1. to populate your social media with content and 2. see which ones are working best for you – through some appropriate posting, working each platform and advertising if that’s within your budget.

This initial group of platforms is:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn (if you’re business, products or service is geared towards other ‘business’ people)
  • Yelp &/or Foursquare (if you’re involved in/connected to the drinks/food trade)

Each platform has their own set of merits and need to be approached in slightly different ways for each one – frequency of posts, type of content etc.

But please don’t be put off by this! I’m outlining a purist approach to social media. Dependant on your business, your target audience, your social media resources & budget, your IT ability & experience and other digital marketing activity (such as your website) – this may seem all too much.

My main response to this is more about frequency and quality rather than the investment of massive amounts of time. Don’t get me wrong – if you’re going to do it, and if it’s got the potential to work for your business, you need to do it well enough to be able to gauge the success of it. And, this may involve some trial ‘paid for’ adverts. But if this investment is going to give you a ‘cost effective’ return, especially compared to your other marketing/promotion activities, then why wouldn’t you want to do it.

It is then a bit of an evolving process to carry on with those platforms that work for ‘your business’ – in terms of inputs and outcomes. Reduce or stop working with those platforms that are not as successful for you and possibly adding another platform and start working through the same process. But never just look at your social media in isolation. Ideally it should be all working in conjunction with your website (e.g. fresh content, links to and from your site and landing webpages on your site), your blog (if you run one), your email communication with potential customers and existing customers.

So, if this is your first step into the world of social media, think about setting it all up properly, make it as easy as you can to do it, be as creative as possible, put time aside to do it, analyse your results, compare this to how much time or direct money you have spent on it and calculate whether it works. But, as I’ve said, if it works – why wouldn’t you do it?

Most businesses, products and services have a ‘social media’ potential – some do struggle. But if it does have potential for you, then claim that potential in as cots effective way as possible.

I will, in the near future, go through each of these social media platforms in more detail and how best to initially approach them for your business.

Keystone: Video Production, Photography & Digital Marketing

Deafness Support Network

22 Jun

We’ve just produced an ‘In-vision’ signer video for Deafness Support Network as part of their ongoing social accounting programme.

Bradford Adoption Panel – Training Video

31 May

We are working with Holliday Creative Marketing to produce a video for Bradford Council’s adoption training programme for social workers.  The video features interviews from people on their adoption panel and will be used in part of a bigger training programme for their social workers about the adoption panel process.  The panel all gave their own individual views and comments about the panel process.

In Vision BSL Signed Videos

5 Apr

20120416-111223 AM.jpgWe filmed the ‘in-vision’ signing sequences for Deafness Support Network’s Social Accounting Report video.

This is the second of their Social Accounting reports and we used three signers for this video to give viewers a variety of signers to watch to break the information up into bite size sequences.

You’re a Star Awards 2012 – Bradford NHS

27 Mar

We photographed the 2012 You’re a Star Awards for Bradford NHS staff held at The National Media Museum in Bradford.

We also produced the videos for the 15 nominees being nominated for 5 categories of awards.

Views on NHS Commissioning Support Services

21 Mar

This was the second of two interviews we filmed for Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral Commissioning Support Service (CWW CSS).

The interviews were with Simon Whitehouse and Alison Lee, two managers of recently formed Community Commissioning Groups, both giving us their views on what they need from a commissioning support service.

The interviews, when edited, will feature on CWW CSS’s website and be included in their next marketing video.

Our first ‘In Vision’ Signer Filming – The National Centre for Mental Health & Deafness

9 Mar

Today we filmed our first session of ‘In Vision’ signing for the patient information videos we’re producing for The National Centre for Mental Health and Deafness at the John Denmark Unit based at Greater Manchester West NHS Foundation Trust’s site at Prestwich, Manchester.

We’ve already carried out a practice session and screen test before filming this first signing session and both signers settled into their new ‘camera roles’ as though they’d been doing it for years.

We filmed all the In Vision footage for two of the videos – General Patient Information DVD and a Recovery Plan. The patient information video will have supporting cut-away footage edited to it and the recovery plan will have text and illustrations edited as the backdrop to the in vision signer.

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