Using The 5 Love Languages For Wedding Filmmakers
More Directing Tips Based On Gary Chapman’s Book
The following post is a collection of Instagram captions on the topic of the 5 love languages, aiming to help the wedding filmmaker best provide for their couples.
I ask all my couples if they’ve heard of The 5 Love Languages, and what their love language is now. On top of some other get-to-know questions, the 5 love languages really gives you an idea of how they best interact for those genuine candid shots. While directing, you may set up moments like:
In one ear, can you whisper something you absolutely love about him/her/them? [Words of Affirmation]
Let's play some ring-around-the-rosy, spinning as fast as you can together [Quality Time]
In 15 seconds, find something around here that your partner would really like and tell them why you picked it? [Receiving Gifts]
Lead/lift your partner and guide them through this path [Acts of Service]
Hold each other tight, and pretend your first dance song is playing [Physical Touch]
1. Words of Affirmation
"Love makes requests, not demands."
Unless you have long engagement shoots with a couple, it's difficult really getting to know how they interact on camera. What would bring out genuine reactions for the camera? What are they comfortable with? What makes them uncomfortable?
Requesting people to do things is far more effective than stating/demanding it. If it isn't something their comfortable doing, then it probably wouldn't look good on camera anyway. Developing your relationships with people (whether there's a camera or not) requires leadership through gentle and clear guidance, not an iron fist of words. Let them know what you're looking for with a polite attitude.
"Are you comfortable doing this?"
"Did that make sense?"
"That spin was perfect, can we try it a few more times?"
Requests offer the choice to either accept or deny. And what makes love or affection so meaningful is that freedom to choose.
How do YOU best convey affection through your words?
And how do you best shield yourself from not-so-affectionate words?
2. Quality Time
In the book The Power Of Attachment, Dr. Diane Heller speaks about the importance of emotional connection with people, specifically when trauma occurs. And by trauma, she means "what results from experiencing an event over which you have little control". In other words, what most of our lives consist of -- which means we all need strong emotional connections. And I believe Quality Time with anyone can facilitate the best connections.
Whether that be through:
Shared conversation (e.g. - listening attentively and emotionally engaging),
Shared activities (e.g. - hiking, swimming, playing a sport), or
Shared emotions (e.g. - diving deep into their feelings and bringing it out for both of you to share).
You don't need to solve all their problems right away (or at all), the point is to be able to share experiences for an indefinite moment in time.
How do YOU like to best spend quality time with your partner/family/best friend?
How do THEY like to best spend quality time??
3. Receiving Gifts
Understand that physical reminders leave stronger impressions than ones that require a screen and internet connection. Don't just use sight and sound as your finished product -- use touch, smell, and taste as points of contact. Physical packaging, favourite wine, coffee grinds, restaurant gift cards. This may be tough depending on how you operate/brand your wedding videography services, but make it known that your clients are worth a physical investment that they can feel with multiple senses.
4. Acts Of Service
Everything we do is in service to our couples.
The way we design our websites to be easily navigated. The process of getting and staying in contact. Collaborating with their wedding day schedule. Acting out our plans to best capture their day. Directing and serving a helping hand when things go out of whack (which they tend to do). Editing their story into a watchable reel. And then delivering their polished product.
And not to mention the industry. We don't just act in service TO the wedding industry, but WITH the industry. Helping our fellow vendors. Referring and encouraging those we work with. Wedding planners. Photographers. Musicians. Officiants. Venues. Although there can be some saltiness amongst peers, we can't forget how many hands it takes to put together a wedding.
A rising tide lifts all boats
How do you show love through acts of service??
5. Physical Touch
Physical touch is one of the hardest ways to keep up with both your wedding couples and co-vendors. It's easy to keep in touch through Instagram, but a physical message of affection can be difficult to convey.
After gauging their openness to touch, tactfully show them you trust them with their touch, then reciprocate. We have very limited time to really get to know the people we work with. Rapport can only grow through positive touch.
Also referring back to Receiving Gifts, the act of physically touching your products can only increase your connections. Use as many points of contact as you can to show your appreciation. Not just "here's a dropbox/google drive link".
Study the 5 love languages. Not only will this help with your own relationships, but the way in which you can effectively serve your couples.