Should we avoid the ring shots, shoes, cake cutting, and dress shots as Places in a wedding film?

James Blankenfeld asked: I'm taking away that, as you mentioned previously that no wedding should be interchangeable, to not do ring shots, avoid the shoes, the cake cutting, don't showcase the dress? And if for example they are getting married in the woods rather than a church, what should we do with that? Obviously showcase it to let the uniqueness of the couple shine that they are doing something you don't see very often, but do that by showing off shots of the forest, setting up the ceremony space in the woods? Obviously I'm coming from a very programmed mindstate from the wedding industry, one where when I do a wedding shot, I some times piggyback the photographer where if she sets up a nice shot with the rings and shoes they're wearing that day, I'll come in with a nice slider shot of that. I'm assuming you are saying to get away from that because it doesn't propel the story forward at all, but you are merely giving motion to an already existing photograph? Correct?

We're not saying that you should never shoot the rings, never shoot the shoes, or never shoot the cake cutting—but we are saying to only include these shots if they're relevant to the story.

We want to move away from shooting these Objects and Situations that we assume should be a part of every wedding film, and instead, move toward shooting those Places that actually mean something to the story, that provide value in showing more about who the bride and groom are.

For example, perhaps a bride is wearing her mother's wedding dress that she had altered, and from your understanding, you know that the bride and mother's relationship is something that's very important to her. Perhaps even her mother's marriage was always a role model for the bride growing up. In this case, we can see that the dress is much more than just a dress here, but it's a symbol. It shows a piece of the bride's Complexity, it represents how much she values family and these relationships.

A really simple way to test if what you're shooting is contributing to the story is to simply ask yourself: why? If you don't have a reason story-related reason why you're shooting a Place, then you probably shouldn't be including it.