David and Nicole Reeves Wedding – How To Make A Wedding Video

David and Nicole Reeves Wedding - How To Make A Wedding Video

David and Nicole Reeves Wedding – Photo by the Amazing Sean Earl Photography 

The wedding of a father’s daughter, especially if she is his only daughter, is a wonderfully special occasion. Of course, I had all the normal dad thoughts of, is this the right guy? Is this the right place? Is this the right time? But fortunately, the day was perfect in every way! But there was more percolating in my mind as this day played itself out. I found myself thinking of, and seeing, the entire event from a photographic perspective.

There wasn’t a chance in the world that I would have actually shot the event. I needed to be “in the moment”, and experiencing the entire event as much as possible throughout the day. But whether or not I am shooting, I am always thinking like a photographer.

Selecting The Photographer

Nicole and David were in charge of the budget for the magical event, and they decided they would have a photographer, but no videographer, for their wedding. They selected Sean Earl, an amazingly artistic photographer, so I could rest easy that the event would be captured beautifully.

The Wedding Song

Something you may not know is that both David and Nicole are gifted singers. I knew that they were going to be singing a song together at their wedding. When I heard this, I knew immediately I wanted a decent video of that performance for posterity sake. So being they were not going to have a videographer, I took that on myself to make it happen.

Carrying A Small Camera

Many of you know I shoot Canon for much of my professional work, but recently I decided to buy a small high-end Panasonic Lumix Camera for the sake of portability. In fact, it was the only camera that I brought on my trip to Cuba this past spring because I knew I wanted to pack very light for that trip. Also, I was at a concert earlier this year and I had an opportunity to sneak up into the mosh pit and grab a video using my Lumix which shoots 4K video. I was shocked by the audiovisual quality of the video and its stability even though it was hand held. With those thoughts in mind, I decided to do the best I could to capture David and Nicole sing with my Lumix. What did I have to lose? Right?

Shooting Impromptu Video

Once I knew that I was going to have the camera with me for much of the day I decided to just shoot impromptu videos. What’s the worst thing that could happen? I could capture all junk and have to delete it, no big deal.

Throughout the day, as we were setting things up, I would pull out the camera and hit the shoot button and start capturing content as the day went on. Some people were surprised that I was pointing a camera at them but relatively quickly they got used to it and became more natural.

The Amazing Venue

The wedding couple had selected Stonewall Farms in Willmar Minnesota as the venue for their wedding.  It is a beautiful rural destination complete with a forest, lake and circus tent for the reception. It really was an amazing place.

The weather for the day turned out to be spectacular. The venue was gorgeous with the wooded area for the ceremony, a tent for the reception, and a barn for the dance. Frankly, I can’t imagine it getting any better than that.

The Ceremony

The ceremony was beautiful and Incredibly meaningful. David and Nicole did a wonderful job singing their song together. They sang the song “Secret Place” by Phil Wickham. I had never really heard this song before, but it was perfect for the occasion.

Making of a Wedding Video

After the perfect day, I had a camera full of video content with no real idea of what to do with it. I posted a video of David and Nicole singing “Secret Place”, and the response overwhelmed me. You can find that video here:

David and Nicole Reeves Singing “Secret Place” ~ Phil Wickham

That encouraged me to consider editing together all of the video clips into a story of the wedding day. I didn’t have any real video editing experience. I was thinking, “how in the world was I going to figure this out”?

Video Editing Software

I searched for some of the free video editing tools online and nothing jumped out at me as a useful tool that I’d want to put significant effort into learning and then keep as a long-term tool. So I decided to take the plunge and download Adobe Premiere Pro video editing software and learn enough skills to create a movie that captured the day. Yikes, was I crazy?

I asked some of my photographer friends for some help and of course, Rebecca Zenefski jumps in right in with all kinds of great ideas.  One of the best places to get help to get going quickly is of course right on the Adobe Premiere Tutorial site.

Selecting an Audio Track

Before the wedding, David and Nicole had professionally recorded four songs as a gift for each of the guests of the wedding. So the song that they sang together, “Secret Place” had a wonderful recording for me to use as the base audio track for the movie. All I had to really do is find content that went along with the song and told the story of the day.

Editing a Compelling Story

It turns out I actually had way too much content so my real task was going to be selecting the clips that were telling a decent story and cutting those down to the shortest little clips possible that would help build a meaningful story.

Pulling It All Together

So I stayed up until 1 a.m. the day after the wedding editing my video files into a story. I was exhausted but exuberant at the same time. I knew the story was coming along nicely.

The last thing I had to figure out was how to put titles and credits on a video. I got up early the next morning to figure out those pieces and it all came together. Dang, I was excited and proud! You can see the results of my work here:

David and Nicole Reeves Wedding Video Stonewall Farms Willmar MN

What To Learn Next

As I continue to work on the learning process for video editing, the next thing I need to learn is, how to create better transitions, using a stabilizer when necessary.

All that is great, but from this first attempt, I can tell that I’ll be able to tell compelling stories in the future. That’s the most important part of video work! Sure all the technical stuff is important, but a compelling story is by far the most important piece.

Next Step Drone Photography

Everything I learned in this process is interesting in itself but it becomes more interesting when you decide it’s time to jump into the drone photography world. Very soon I will be buying the DJI Mavic Pro drone, which is perfect for landscape photographers and videographers. I will be getting licensed as a commercial drone pilot. Flying the drone and capturing content isn’t the most important part of the process of drone photography. Putting together a compelling story and doing the video editing is even more important. This recent experience is a giant step into that world.


David and Nicole’s wedding was a personal, family, and community experience. Even though I was not the official photographer for the day, in one way I was still the photographer. I grew as an artist, photographer, and videographer from the experiences of that day.

Even on days when you’re not actually photographing you can still have the opportunity to expand your photography skills. This particular wedding day was a perfect example of that, and I encourage you to think in terms of learning and expanding your skills even when you are not really shooting.

As a photographer, you are always a photographer even if you are not expecting to be. I hope I have encouraged you to see with new eyes and to see things with a bigger perspective.

And as always, get out and capture the adventure!

Written by Wayne Moran - Visit Website