Best Tips For Creating Wedding Cinemagraphs

Ah, weddings. What a beautiful time to celebrate – and capture – the magic of love. Wedding photographers are the most responsible for preserving the moments that newlyweds will want to remember for the rest of their lives. Here’s a thought: why not create wedding cinemagraphs that will make those cherished memories live forever?

Cinemagraph by Phil Leblanc

You can make the subtle details of your client’s celebration come alive in landscape and portrait cinemagraphs. Capture the beauty of the ceremony, intimate moments during an engagement shoot or replace a traditional reception photo booth with a cinemagraph photo booth. Clients will love the idea of creating fun, shareable social media content that highlight the people and the smaller moments of their special day. Bonus: it’s very easy to include cinemagraphs into any multimedia shoot for a wedding. Take a look at Flixel Artist Scarlett Chen‘s wedding cinemagraphs reel for some inspiration:

We reached out to a few Flixel community members who have added cinemagraphs to their wedding photography business to learn about their recommended practices. Check out some of the best tips for creating wedding cinemagraphs below from photographers Oly Ruiz, Liz Snyder, and Hendra Aditya Kurniawan.

1. Plan Ahead For Your Wedding Cinemagraphs

Between the guests, the wedding party, planners and event staff, there is always a lot going on during a wedding. If you’re incorporating cinemagraphs into your wedding package, try to prepare in advance by thinking about your environment, schedule and skill level.

“Wedding shoots do not have the luxury of time so you really can’t make many mistakes and even more so try many times. Plan ahead and unless you are feeling very lucky, don’t go for unpredictable things like flight of birds or crowd behaviour.” – Oly 

Cinemagraph by Liz Snyder

Weddings typically have a very tight schedule to stick to as far as time spent creating portraits for the couple. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses in videography is something to work out before putting it into action on someone’s big day. Often wedding photographers are put into some very strange lighting situations and you need to know when to use video lighting and how much of it you need.” – Liz

2. Be Creative

On the other hand, you can find a lot of inspiration in the details of any wedding event, which means there will be plenty of opportunities to bring subtle moments to life with cinemagraphs. You’re going to help the happy couples and their loved ones remember this event for the rest of their life – so what would they want to remember?

The possibilities for cinemagraphs are endless, not just during portrait sessions. From the preparation and even during the ceremony, there are plenty of opportunities to create cinemagraphs that only wedding photographers have access to.” – Oly

Cinemagraph by Oly Ruiz

Think outside the box and come up with a unique scene that flows with the wedding day. The cinemagraph should compliment the story you are telling for the client. ” – Liz

3. Think About How To Shoot Your Cinemagraphs

For any traditional wedding shoot, you need to think about your workflow, resources, gear, shooting conditions and more. Ask yourself, “How will I utilize my team to ensure a smooth production?” and “How can I create the best deliverables possible within a limited time period?”

“I’d recommend using a 4K camera, ND filter for outdoor shot & live-view display for preview. When [it’s a] sunny day, ND filter is used to gain the shutter speed 1/50 when shooting 25 fps video. This will prevent flickering. Best to shoot several 10 second clips in both horizontal & vertical modes.” – Hendra

Cinemagraph by Hendra Aditya Kurniawan

Make the subtlety work for you. Weddings are one of the most elegant things in the world and the subtle effects the cinemagraph makes are perfect for them. So go for those understated movements like the flicker of candle flames, the sway of wedding veils, etc. These captivate the viewers even more.” – Oly

Bring an assistant. My assistant and I discuss where we want to film a cinemagraph so that we are on the same page. She then sets up my tripod and lighting for me while I am capturing portraits. We are able to flow right along into the cinemagraph directly and there is no wasted time.” – Liz

4. Editing Wedding Cinemagraphs

If you’ve followed some of the best practices in #1-3, editing your wedding cinemagraphs will be a much faster process. Once you’ve spent some time determining the subtle and beautiful motions you want to use to preserve your clients’ memories and have shot them, you’ll have completed the bulk of the work during the actual shoot. When you bring your footage into Cinemagraph Pro, you simply need to mask to reveal the motion, select the number of repetitions of your cinemagraph and export.

“[If] the motion is not too short and not too long, people will notice easily and not get bored. File size is relatively small, loading speed is fast when embedded on a website. Ideal for Instagram, Facebook & Twitter post.” – Hendra

Take a look at how pro photographer Lindsay Adler easily made her vision come to life in the wedding cinemagraphs below, created using Flixel Cinemagraph Pro:

Looking for more tips? Find inspiration from these 8 Portrait Cinemagraphs, and check out this guide on creating great portrait cinemagraphs.

(Marketing Specialist at Flixel)

Mehek crafts words, content, events and more for Flixel. She firmly believes that life is not life without a little spice, which is why she adds Sriracha to everything.