Things to keep in mind
Custom vows or letters
Many of my films are narrative driven as you know, this could be from parts of the ceremony to toasts presented by your Maid of Honor or Best Man. What we don’t know is what those toasts will be until given on the wedding day. What I suggest to a lot of my coupes is that you both write a special letter to one another and present them on the morning of. I like to simply audio record you reading the letter you wrote in a quiet space some time during prep, wouldn’t take much longer than a few minutes to do. This will add a lot of value to your final film. If you want to even go the extra step of writing it on the morning of to really get your emotions on paper that is even better but I do know sometimes the mornings can be hectic. Option two would be to have you read your vows on the morning of allowing me to get nice clean audio of those, again, during a quiet time while prep is happening. If you have any thoughts or questions about this just let me know, would love to talk about it with you.
You’ll notice that I love using light to create dynamic films that are filled with depth, soul and emotion. The BEST light there is, is natural light to a filmmaker and photographer. This is something to consider a few times throughout the day. First is during Bride prep moments. When I arrive, I may ask nicely that some lights be turned off, this isn’t because I’m weird haha it’s simply because artificial lights (Tungsten) usually found in overhead bulbs or lamps create a yellow or orangish hue on skin tones. In order to achieve the best looking skin tones, natural light is key. This means setting up the hair and make up artist near a window in the room. I won’t ask that the lights be off the whole time, but for a few moments to grab some footage and then we can turn them back on.
Almost always, reception happens when the sun has gone down or it’s inside a ballroom and all natural light at this point has gone away.Depending on the venue and set up and location, I may or may not need to use small lights to help. These moments would be during dances and toasts and briefly during dancing. I have a few lights that I bring with me and I may need to pop them up in order to capture quality footage. This is something that photographers don’t need to worry much about because they will be using flash and their flash will overpower any lights that I may need to use. Also, many photographers are quite happy when they see I have lights because they will use them too! I am always aware of guests and I will quickly take down the lights the moment I no longer need them. The last thing I want to do is ruin the guest's experience.
When it comes to ceremony, I like to mic up the officiant as well as the groom. The “mic’s” are simply just audio recorders and do not project the audio anywhere. They are meant to capture clear audio of vows and all speaking parts during the ceremony which is used for your films. Even if you are already mic’d up by the DJ, I will put my mic on because I can never trust someone else’s set up for my product. Occasionally priests sometimes request to not be mic’d in which case I can’t force them, so we at times need to be flexible and do what we can given the specific circumstances. Providing the contact of the officiant is the best way so I can touch base with them prior to the wedding.
“What kind of weddings do you have experience
I have experience filming a variety of cultures and variations including Greek, Jewish, Lebanese, Catholic, Christian, Indian and Persian weddings as well as hybrids where some traditions from each are pulled into one ceremony. Having filmed over 120 weddings in my career I have yet to find a wedding that I wasn’t able to capture appropriately.
"What if my wedding isn’t local to Washington DC?"
While I mostly film in the DC metro area, I am happy to film anywhere. Destination’s often come with unique challenges such as travel and limitations in terms of gear as opposed to filming locally. Depending where your wedding is, will require specific planning to make sure the challenges are met appropriately. Destination events are often priced according to location and will be custom built on a number of factors that we’ll only know after further discussion.
“Do you need to visit the venue prior to our
Simply put, no. My approach to filming weddings is story based and people based, two things that are absolutely paramount in my films. As beautiful as your venue will be, it will serve as a backdrop to my images. You’ll notice that I incorporate clips of the venue as scene setting shots which display the venue in all its glory and find ways to capture those establishing moments during the wedding day itself rather than needing extra time days before.
"What goes into the cost for
Pricing is determined by a number of factors & vary from business to business. First, the experience that we offer, then our experience that we have in the wedding industry, our technical skills in operating a camera(s), audio, lights and editing, all the way down to our demand as a professional. In addition to this, a our expenses can be anywhere between $15,000-$30,000 wrapped up into our gear and overall business needs such as subscriptions to various video hosting accounts, online servers for backing up loads of footage to having insurance for all of the gear. After filming is done, we use our artistic and creative skills to develop a story along with music discovery. The editing process for a skilled wedding videographer is intense and requires skills that are hard to find. Editing takes hours upon hours to complete. There are of course other aspects of the business that require time and skills but these are some of the major components to how pricing is determined.
"If you're there 8 hours,
will I receive 8 hours of footage?
Surprisingly a lot of people think this, but without thinking too much I can understand why. Experienced videographers know when to press record and when not to. Someone just starting out is afraid of maybe missing something so they'll record every moving thing and end up with a ton of footage that doesn't tell the couples story. Experienced videographers know when moments are happening, know when it's not necessary to film at certain times. We are surely not rolling non stop the moment we arrive. I am very intentional with what I film, and won't press record unless I have a pretty good feeling that what I'm getting is quality in every sense of the word. Knowing when and when not to film expedites the entire post process which results in a better overall product & experience.
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