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Getting Started as a Wedding Videographer/My First Wedding Video

A question I'm asked often but never tired of answering is, "How did you become a wedding videographer?" The story is unusual, and a little scary, but one I hadn't heard before.

It all starts about four days before the wedding. I had no idea that I would be filming or even attending a wedding that week. I was five hours away for a summer internship in Chicago at a theatre company when I received a text message from a former supervisor.

"Hi Katie! I hope you are doing well. I was wondering whether you'll be able to make it to our wedding on Saturday?"

I had been in Chicago for just under a month, and already made the trip back and forth a couple of times, so I wrote off attending that wedding. After explaining this, he texted back a kind and understanding note.

Less than an hour later, a mutual friend texted me, "Do you know how to film a wedding video?"

All of a sudden, I felt awful for telling him that I wasn't attending his wedding. His videographer had dropped out just days before, and here I was saying that I wasn't willing to travel home one more time. I immediately scrambled with our mutual friend, and we drafted a plan to film a wedding for the first time. We would bring any and all equipment that we owned (or our parents owned) and I would take a MegaBus from Chicago to Cincinnati and avoid driver's fatigue.

The next two days, I watched wedding videos non-stop. I'm pretty sure I stayed up till 2AM that Thursday studying what other videographers do: capture every little detail, have the couple kiss... A LOT..., and do not miss the big moments. Now looking back it's hilarious how although many technical skills play a bigger role in the quality, those baseline requirements I picked up on are still pretty essential: I capture the little things, I've done my best to not miss big moments... and boy do I tell my couples to kiss a lot.

Fast forward to that Saturday, and it's go time. I probably started shaking from the nerves the second I woke up that morning. But then once I arrived to the church to film the bride's finishing touches, it all started to feel comfortable and exciting. The bride and her bridesmaids were all kind and welcoming, which was a huge bonus. They were all just so excited to celebrate the couple, and I was excited to capture it all.

Little old me on the day of my first wedding video

When it came time for the ceremony, I don't know how I was able to push through those nerves... but it involved mentally blacking out for the hour. Seriously. I could not tell you what was on my mind other than, "DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT MISS THAT FIRST KISS IT'S THE BIGGEST PART OF THE ENTIRE DAY IF YOU MISS IT YOU WILL BE A FAILURE". No pressure right? It's funny looking back at how nervous I got about that one moment because nowadays I have 2-3 camera capturing the first kiss and any other big moments of the day, so there's no need to worry. But when it's all new to you and this couples' fondest memory literally rest in your shaky hands, panic is natural.

The reception was a breeze to capture, just as most are. I got to take a breath and find a bit more joy in the chaos, as I could walk around and capture the little details around their venue.

At some point during that reception though is when it hit that wedding videography was something I would absolutely continue. I believe it was when I saw the newly married couple swing dancing on the dance floor, surrounded by a crowd of people but just enjoying each other's company as if they were alone. It was this little intimate moment where in the midst of their friends and family celebrating their love, they were celebrating it all on their own. Everything else melted away and they were just with each other, full of joy and no care in sight. That moment is still one of my favorites out of all the weddings I've captured. The visual is stuck in my head and the feeling is in my heart. Love is the most precious thing we will ever experience in our lives-- for each other, our friends, our family and children-- and capturing weddings means I get to solidify a memory and feeling of that love for a lifetime. I am beyond grateful that this story was just the beginning of that journey, and I can't wait to share more moments in the future.

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