wedding videos

Wedding Vendors & National Chains

Found a Wedding Videography Business Online? Look Closely At The Details

Planning a wedding can be a challenging and exhausting search, albeit one that can have awesome rewards. Referrals can be great, a friend who recently was married and loved their DJ or photographer (yes, even video!), and were flattered by the results? Heck yeah, sign up! Ever attended a wedding and fell in love with the venue and thought ‘”This is where I wanna get married!”, it can help a massive amount of time and visiting with venues, taste testing foods etc. Literally weekends are saved. My cousin, she fell in love with my brothers chocolate cake:)

However sometimes, you’re just left flat. No recommendations, none of your friends provide you with glowing reviews of a particular vendor. Often for various reasons, you don’t get much feedback on a few. Maybe they felt the rates were too high, maybe no one danced the night away, or maybe the Photo Booth was stuffed in the corner and kinda lame, whereas they wish they had video to relive their day.

Typically, couples go to sites Google, The Knot, or Wedding Wire to begin their search. Which is the obvious choice, most industries have become this way. However, there’s a caveat: Alot of these companies are not located near Philly.

Yeah, may not be earth shattering to you, and likely you kinda knew that, which is fine. However let me tell you why I feel this is a detriment to the industry. Wedding videography is a tedious process, keeping up with the bridal party, lugging gear around (tripods, which photographers don’t carry), setting up from location to location. Photo sessions, 1st dances, toasts (audio, which photographers aren’t concerned with), first look etc. Everything requires being there in advance, a steady camera, and ready to go. Rarely is one offered a ‘Oh, wait a minute’, one or two of these becomes a major turnoff the the couple, and possibly other vendors (photographer, DJ, Maetre Die). Then the dance floor opens up, you cut the cake, and its just fun time from there.

However, that’s just the first half of the workload. Then, it becomes editing. Now, let me explain, editing is not simply polishing it up, or trimming it here & there. In fact I once read where a couple purchased a unedited video package then was devastated it wasn’t that good nor set to music. Editing is shooting 2 or 3 takes (if possible) of various scenes, then later choosing the best of them, assembling clips and segments of the day (bridal prep, first look, ceremony, bridal party photos, entrances/1st dance/toasts) and then dancing, and setting it to music.

Myself, I try to give the extra and time the edits to the music.

However what do these national chains do?  Well, it’s not exactly an industry secret that the videographers tend to be just that, videographers. Once the wedding day is over, they ship off all the clips from your day, and that’s the end of their workweek.

So who edits it?

Dunno. In house editors I presume. They may be really skilled at it. And fast. Admittedly they are possibly faster than me, although they are likely editing numerous wedding per month. Definitely don’t base your decision on speed. It is a question I get asked often, what’s your turnaround time? (For me, 6-8 weeks). Wouldn’t you want your editor to be the person who attended your day? Or at least have pretty significant input? To know who the funny bridesmaid was, the moment the groomsmen cracked a joke during the toasts and to cut to a reaction shot of the bride laughing? To know grandmom was out on the dance floor around 9:30? 

Now you wouldn’t want your editor to miss these events, would you?  I’ve actually seen a few of these ‘edits’ and I gotta say, more than anything, the dance floor segments, which I love, and love to edit btw, come off as lame. Just extended 12 second cuts with little excitement, lasting about 3 minutes long, fade to black. Weddings over. I once did an afternoon wedding where the dancing started around 1pm. People slowly migrated out to the dance floor, and by 4pm they were still partying, guests were undecided if they wanted to leave or keep going. Guess what? They kept going. Stayed till 5pm ending and danced their rear ends off, having fun. In that full length video I had 200 different clips in the dance floor scenes alone, 2 song choices were used, nearly 9 minutes long. It was epic! And I was so glad the couple got the chance to relive nearly every moment of their day.

 

That is what I like to provide. Cause I’ll tell you what you can’t get with a national vendor. Me. Me, someone who cares about your day, carefully plans out the shoot and shoots nearly every moment knowing how it might be of use in the final edit, then crafts a carefully developed wedding video to best reflect upon your wedding day!

So What’s It Like?

I get asked, on occasion, “So what’s it like? Being a wedding videographer”. A layered question, because to the couple, it’s one of if not the biggest day of their lives. Best way I can describe it is it’s like being responsible for setting up and shooting the entire Monday Night Football game by yourself.

Neang & Johnny’s Wedding

Neang & Johnny

When meeting Neang & Johnny & talking to them, I noticed a desire for someone remotely familiar with certain cultural weddings. Being a 2 days event (Friday/Saturday), they are somewhat atypical as compared to most American wedding, and being so, difficult to book. It worked out I had a busy fall, and would mind stretching my 10 hour shift across 2 nights. And I was glad I did. I had mentioned I had shot a korean wedding previously, and in discussing the details of the house ceremony and reception (visiting each table), it turned out there were similarities. Similarities though, not at all the same.

Having said that, I was prepared. Neang did a good job defining what it is she was looking for from video, details of Cambodian weddings, and I was sure of how to cover it. Using a 2 camera shoot in the house ceremony in Pennsauken, NJ. I was able to get good detail and closeup shots, especially of the 3 gowns worn by the lovely bride and her bridesmaids. Beginning with a traditional walk of the groom approaching his brides house with his family and bearing gifts, made for a cool storyline to tell during the edit.

Onto night two, were during the guests entrances the bridal party again went thru a variety of wardrobe changes, greeted guests as they arrived. From there, Johnny and Neang stayed with Cambodian tradition of greeting and thanking guests at each table, and being congratulation by gifts as is custom. A crowded and fun dance floor was a good time and a nice mix of Cambodian (nearly Hawaiian luau sound) music mixed with American music both oldies and current, and Neangs fave, Maroon 5;)

 

 

Summer Madness

Summer Madness

As Will Smith once said “And this is the Fresh Prince’s new defintion of summer madness” in his famous song Summertime, well for wedding event professionals, that time is upon us.  So far, its been great, the humidity kicked in a bit high this past weekend, but having a lovely suburban wedding at the Springfield Country Club with an outdoor ceremony made it enjoyable. Oddly, as with last year the mid-late summer weddings tapered off a bit, yet the fall is picking up like gangbusters.  Not sure what to make of it.  So here’s to heat, humidity, leaving early to beat the shore traffic over the bridges into New Jersey, and numerous happy couples!  🙂

In Addition to the traditional Hello World!

In addition to the traditional Hello World!

Welcome to my site! I’ll keep the Hello World! post here as an inside joke I suppose (pssst, it’s automatically generated) but use this one to welcome you all. Friends, family, soon to be newlyweds and just casual web browsers chillin on a wedding videographers site.

I hope you like my site, and moreso my work. I’m happy to use the domain name ILovePhillyWeddings.com because, well I do love shooting weddings. I won’t say exactly why, it’s just a passion, and it clicked on for me one day at a shoot. After having a few under my belt I was out on a wedding shoot and I had the thought come to me, “That’s it. I’m gonna take this to another level for this couple” just to blow them away. And guess what, I did. It was a great weddiing and video, yet ever since I always strive to built it to another level as best I can.

I would love to work for you, to cover your day capturing moments you wouldn’t have otherwise realized happened. Feel free to peruse around and contact me with any questions or for availability.