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Archive for ‘August, 2015’

Every wedding and video shoot has its own unique challenges and forces us to learn and re-adapt. Today’s post and lesson is, YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN!

Imagine my surprise yesterday evening at 5pm. Having sat at my house all morning listening to constant wind and down pouring rain I drove an house south to Ollala, Wa with my windshield wipers at full speed. The Edgewater House (the venue for yesterday’s wedding) was down a long winding dirt road, covered with fallen leaves and tree branches. I was shocked when I arrived at the venue and saw all the chairs and altar set up outside. “What’s your contingency plan if it rains?,” I asked one of the workers there. I thought obviously they must have a tent or some sort of covering they can bring out and cover the main ceremony area, or at worst move the chairs and such inside the residence. “We don’t have one,” he stated bluntly, “the ceremony isn’t that long anyways, lol.” A fine and respectable answer of course, but my video equipment nor the bride’s dress/hair can easily survive a constant downpour of rain for even a few minutes, let alone a whole ceremony!

I found out later that the groom had suffered many sleepless nights this week, having seen the weather forecast called for wind and rain on his big wedding day. He told their photographer and myself that he sat last night in sheer panic, worried about what they would do if it rained during the ceremony.

I’m happy to report that except for a few drops during the “first look” which caused us to push it back a few minutes (not a big deal considering the groom was still getting ready, imagine that! lol) not a single drop of rain fell during the entire ceremony. We were even able to get some amazing shots of the bride and groom on the altar with some spectacular storm clouds behind them to truly cap off a whirlwind of a wedding afternoon. It wasn’t until after we took the last picture of the cocktail hour before going inside for a quick break that the first drop of rain fell. I took my tripod inside and grabbed a glass of water, returning to the covered patio not two minutes later, the skies opened up and the rain began again. If we had done anything differently during the last 2 hours of ceremony/picture taking we would have been caught out in a monsoon!

Everything else was able to be staged inside for the rest of the night and although it wasn’t ideal, I don’t think anybody really cared. The food was great, the dancing was dry and everybody was able to celebrate long into the night surrounded by family and friends.

I’m so glad that everything worked out as well as it did for my most recent newly weds. Sometimes when people plan spring weddings and rain appears you think “well they certainly took that gamble.” But I don’t think most people would count on or expect rain on the weekend of August 29. Whatever forces at be were certainly in good favor that day and for myself and the couple I am extremely grateful!

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Every wedding and video shoot has its own unique challenges and forces us to learn and re-adapt. Today’s post and lesson is, YOU CAN’T PLAN THE WEATHER!

We in Seattle only have a few select months any given year in which to try to plan a wedding on a date where we can reasonable hope for sun. Late May through August and maybe early September is a small window with only a select few dates to choose from. The truth is however, living in the Pacific Northwest we never really know what mother nature has in store and sadly trying to plan a wedding around the weather is simply a roll of the dice.

Look at last weekend, a beautiful sunny affair, however the fires burning in central Washington left a haze in the air, filtering the sun leading to some of the most beautiful photos and video I’ve seen from a wedding in recent memory. You could never have planned or even “hoped” for it with the devastation the fires are causing to many of the local residents, but the amazing distilled light was just a weird coincidence that our couple could benefit from.

Fast forward to today as I write this blog, wind howling outside getting ready to head out to a wedding down in Ollala. The Edgewater House (the venue for today) apparently sets up its ceremony with rows of white chairs facing Puget Sound (“get married on the beach in Seattle” or something similar is their slogan). That’s all right and good, except I will be very curious to see if the rain or wind allows for such a breathtaking scene. I can’t imagine the couple getting married could foresee a year ago that the weekend of August 29/30 (traditionally another hot and dry weekend) would see storms passing through that could possibly disrupt their amazing wedding plans. I certainly hope and am quite sure that the venue has backup indoor plans in case of such unpleasant weather, but it will certainly not be an ideal situation for the newly weds.

Now maybe we will get lucky and the rain will hold out and we can get some amazing shots of the storm clouds, there’s always the possibility of that. Either way I will bring my sleeve of garbage bags (the best rain cover solution) and hope for the best as I head out on my next adventure.

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Pisupati Wedding on 8/23/15 in Kirkland, Wa

“Reid is a very professional videographer that I thoroughly enjoyed working with. Mine was an Indian wedding which required multiple event coverage and Reid did an exceptional job! Indian weddings tend to be long and I was impressed how Reid captured everything and created a truly excellent and concise video showing all the important ceremonies that we would actually watch.”

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Pisupati Sagai on 8/20/15 in Sammamish, Wa

“Other than his great work, I like how he was always punctual and very approachable. I would recommend everyone who is reading this to hire him for your event and you won’t regret it :)”

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Every wedding and video shoot has its own unique challenges and forces us to learn and re-adapt. Today’s post and lesson is, IT’S BEEN A BUSY WEEK!

With a few final edits, I’ve completed my 5th wedding video of the week, a multi-camera Indian wedding. I know how to save the best for last right? lol

But seriously this week has been rewarding in so many ways, so many chances to be creative and such kind feedback from my clients. I know not every week will end with a clean slate free of projects to work on but at least at this moment I can breath a little easy.

My “week” actually began last Thursday night which seems like a year ago, sitting in traffic headed out to Sammamish, worried about getting to our location on time. We were welcomed in with open arms to the couple’s sisters house and backyard, where an intimate family engagement ceremony was taking place between the bride and groom. Arriving 5 minutes before the ceremony was scheduled to begin, I was instantly thrust into work mode. Thankfully Dorothy was there to help with equipment, picture taking and instragraming! The family was so appreciate of our presence, practically leading us by the hand through their amazing Indian buffet as a sign of thanks.

Friday was another early morning over in Bellevue, working with the amazing Lazzat and her photography team. The bride was loving and caring, even receiving a phone call from Kenya (an elder family member) as she was getting ready. For them being a couple I had yet to meet prior to their wedding day, I felt an immediate connection to both of them and was so very grateful I could join along with them and capture their incredible day. The day finished off with authentic singing and dancing as well as over an hour of toasts, with the elders in the family giving stories and advice for the newly wed couple moving forward in their marriage.

Saturday as I have already blogged about was my 4+ hour Cambodian wedding. Not too much more to add except for the great note I received from the bride the following day, thanking me for enduring such a chaotic and action filled day. She included how happy she was that I didn’t starve to death, lol!

Sunday began with the previously mentioned Indian ceremony and concluded over in Woodinville with the (again previously mentioned) fantastically photogenic couple. I seriously said out loud during our video shoot “I think I’m going to retire after this” because I can’t possibly imagine encountering an easier to work with bride and groom ever again! lol

The best part of the week was getting to share their completed wedding video with them while they were still on their honeymoon, and the Facebook messages of joy and appreciation I received from Emily the bride. That is ultimately why I do what I do and where I receive the most pleasure in my work. It’s knowing that my time and energy spent preserving their memories is appreciated and results in something that they can cherish forever. I also believe that this is my strongest work to date and a wedding video I could not be more proud of.

I should mention that all 5 video edits were completed this week (in addition to 2 corporate shoots I had on Tuesday and Thursday) and I know that although I won’t be able to match this feat most weeks due to other shoots and events I have to coordinate and attend, it is a goal I set for myself to have each couple’s video ready for them to view on their honeymoon and I intend to do my best to stick to it!

Tomorrow we are back at it again, a Gig Harbor wedding on Saturday, up to Standwood on Sunday, and then I join an already in progress tour of investors from Los Angeles as they visit various space and technology businesses in the greater Seattle area on Monday and Tuesday. Thanks to Reza for covering the Sunday portion of the tour in my place. Looks like it’s going to be another busy week again, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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Bolen Wedding on 8/23/15 in Woodinville, Wa

“Absolutely Amazing!!!!! Oh my word! We are so so so happy! Definitely your best work ever not that I’m biased or anything!!!! I think we’ll be watching this again, and again… And probably the rest of the night really! You captured so many wonderful moments, like Ally in the room and Sean wanting a re-do. And of course Jakey boy and my grandma made my heart melt!!! So incredibly in love with this video! Must have watched it hundreds of times already.”

“Had the best experience working with Reid for our wedding and we absolutely love the video we received while still on our honeymoon. Reid of Best Made Videos first made a positive impression at Brides Against Breast Cancer and made himself available when I decided I wanted a video at the last minute. I love that we have an amazing video I have already watched over and over again, and I am so happy that Reid was a big part of making that happen. Thank you Reid & Best Made Video, for everything!”

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Every wedding and video shoot has its own unique challenges and forces us to learn and re-adapt. Today’s post and lesson is, EMBRACE THE EXPERIENCE!

I showed my fiance my most recent wedding video last night, the Bolen Wedding. See below.

She loved it, and her feedback was – “Wow that looks like it was a lot of fun, I love how you put in all the funny sounds of them!” And you know what?  It was fun!  All weddings and wedding videos are fun, but some are elevated by the excitement of the couple getting married.  The couple featured in the video were the epitome of an excited couple, dancing, running, laughing and overall just being playful and fun, and it really shows in their video!

If you’re going to go through the effort of hiring a wedding photographer and/or videographer to basically stalk you for your entire wedding day, you really need to embrace it.

As a videographer, I usually feel like I’m the second string anyway when it comes to “most” but not all wedding experiences. The main priority is usually placed on the photos and the photographers (this is a very very very important part of the experience as well) and I’m usually left to just capture whatever I can. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, nobody knows the importance of a wedding video until afterward when they A) Don’t have one, or B) Realize that for the most part they are going to watch and revisit either as much or more than their wedding photos.

I’ve written in previous blog posts (hire vendors who know each other) about how I really try to work well with the wedding photographers I encounter in the field. We’re basically a tag team (or should be) all day going back and forth with ideas about what would look cool or fun or whatever when it comes to capturing moments with the couple. Some couples embrace these ideas and some people do not.

I COMPLETELY understand the couples that merely want the photographer and/or videographer to simply follow them around throughout the day (maybe photo or video isn’t a super high priority). They want to enjoy and experience their one and only wedding day free from distractions of a photographer pulling them away every 30 seconds to pose or dip their partner in some dramatic pose. But if you’re going to place a priority on photos or video and you want to find a “creative team” that you really want to work with, you need to embrace it 100%!

Here’s a couple points to remember –

1. Don’t be afraid to look silly!

2. You’re going to get sweaty, it’s ok! Hopefully your wedding planner (see other blog post) has set aside time for you to prep before the big ceremony.

3. We welcome your ideas as well! Sometimes the best inspiration for photos comes from the couples themselves because they care more about that specific shot.

4. Get along with your creative team! You’re going to be with your photographer/videographer YOUR ENTIRE WEDDING DAY! Make sure it’s someone you like.

5. And finally, REMEMBER YOU HIRED US! I always remember a wedding we did where the photographer (who I remind you was paid for and hired to drive up from Portland to Seattle for a wedding) had taken the bridal party for literally 5 minutes after the ceremony for a few group pictures. Upon the bride being asked by another family member when she would be done taking pictures, her response was to scream “HOPEFULLY SOON SO I CAN GET BACK TO HAVING FUN!” Again, I understand pictures may not be the most fun thing to do during your wedding, but if you’re going to pay the money for a person to come and take pictures, you need to at least give them the benefit of posing for 5 minutes without acting like it is some huge imposition. Embrace the experience, remember we’re just trying to do our jobs, you hired us!

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Chhim / Thim Wedding on 8/22/15 in Des Moines, Wa

Music Courtesy of Cam Star Band

“Very responsive, flexible, and calm through a hectic day. The wedding was mostly not spoken in English, so all the ceremony must be challenging. Nothing ran as smooth or as scheduled, but Reid worked with the flow.

Sarin”

This video was one of the most interesting and complex I’ve had to do thus far in my wedding videography career. A 4 + hour Cambodian wedding ceremony was something I have never experienced before. I had to take great care to make sure I included all of the important customs, symbols, and traditions that took place even though I didn’t necessarily know what they all meant. Luckily (as I wrote about in an earlier post) a family member was nearby to guide me and explain what some of the things meant. A language barrier like this one is difficult when it comes to editing, because you can’t necessarily go along and cut and paste like you would in an English speaking ceremony. You’re worried about cutting off sentences or butting together phrases that don’t make sense in context. Luckily I had some great original Cambodian music that I could use in the background to help the video flow as I was unable to included much of the spoken words. That audio is there however for the client in their raw video (which is something that many clients love to have and view on its own) but for editing a “highlight” video that the general public is going to view, in my opinion you just have to edit the actions and not worry so much about the dialogue. At the end of the day the client was very happy and surprised with the quick turnaround, and ultimately that is all that matters!

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Every wedding and video shoot has its own unique challenges and forces us to learn and re-adapt. Today’s post and lesson is, PERSONALIZE YOUR VIDEOS!

Today I am tasked with a great undertaking, taking a 4+ hour Cambodian wedding ceremony which was part of a 12+ hour wedding day and editing it into some sort of a understandable and comprehendible wedding video. Luckily I have plenty of amazing assets to help me in this task!

The bride and groom hired a live Cambodian band to play during their reception, a dream for any videographer. I have tons of songs in various tempos and styles to use without fear of copyright laws! lol This allows me to really customize their video to their own unique style and perspective. Obviously a lot of time and energy was given into selecting and hiring the band they wanted to play during their reception and therefore great time and energy will be given by myself into incorporating the music into the video.

Another interesting aspect about my couple from Saturday’s wedding, is the fact that they are both huge cosplay (dressing up after characters from anime shows/movies) fans. They even met at a cosplay convention where he later proposed to her years later. The bride’s room is covered in cosplay posters (she even joked that she recently took some down) and they both dressed up in cosplay to celebrate their first dance. All of these little details that I’m allowed to capture help me to create a richer and deeper narrative of the couple and the amazing day that they experienced.

This goes back to my earlier posts about capturing details and the getting ready shots, all of which allow both the photographer and videographer a greater window into what makes the couple tick and makes them unique individuals. I encourage any couple with the available budget to pay for and allow your creative staff to be with you as much of the day as possible. The more information and assets they have to create and provide you a greater finished product in the end!

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