South Indian weddings are packed with traditional rituals. We usually associate a classic ceremony seeing the south indian wedding stage decoration, floral arrangements, the banana leaf entrances – these are all images that can never be erased from our memory. To appeal to the generation of today, most couples off late celebrate their wedding with a concoction of modern innovative themes with older traditional rituals. However, the weddings we will be talking about today are the purists, where all the rituals for the couple are completed on stage- witnessed by a hall full of close friends and relatives. The beautiful, time tested customs are more than enough to set the mood for the audience as all these rituals bare an interesting story.
To produce a candid wedding film is a big task since most of these rituals are conducted on stage with less scope of movement by the cameramen. No couple would want these rituals to be ruined by cameramen setting up their tripods in the center of the stage just to complete their shot, without any concern for the family/relatives who have traveled far to watch the wedding rituals.
So how do we manage getting all our shots to produce a candid video, without disturbing the peace and sanctity of these functions?
Use the Telephoto Lens:
Long lenses are great to achieve closeup shots of the groom and bride, even from a distance. You can station a Tripod with these lens at a strategic place where there is enough room for your own movement so you can adjust when incase your shot gets blocked by family members who stand in front of the couple.
Know the rituals before-hand:
This is crucial to know so you and your team are always aware of the movements on stage and they are better prepared to capture all rituals instead of last minute scrambling for shots. This shows a professional approach by your team as against an unprepared, messy, get-out-of-my-way videographer.
Watch your Equipment:
If all bets are off, get into the scene to get your shot but always look out for the family members' safety first. Ensure that your Tripod legs don't stick out as you make your way into the crowd, which can cause a lot of nuisance to the people around.
In the mandap area, where the place is packed with people, try getting in with a single legged monopod instead of a 3-legged Tripod.
If you need your shot, don't forget to be polite as you request the person in front to clear the frame. One impulsive, arrogant move from you can define your reputation in that instant. Be gentle, and they will be more than happy to move out of the way.
Any traditional wedding can be a long grueling process that will tire out anyone, even the enthusiasts. That's when the natural smiles diminish. Get the couple to smile from time to time, or at least try. In a place which is packed with one traditional custom after the other, their facial expressions can go a long way to make an interesting wedding film.