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Archive for ‘September, 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, I GOT A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY!

This past weekend I had the pleasure of filming a wonderful wedding at Salty’s on Alki.  The wedding was for Paul and Shellie and I cannot WAIT to share their video with you all once they have the privilege to view it first.  They are a fun, easy going couple and their wedding video is absolutely one of my most favorite videos that I have had the chance to work on.

When I booked their wedding over six months ago, I didn’t even know that you could get married at Salty’s or at least I had never heard of anybody getting married there. I thought, “what a fun idea” and immediately became jealous that they would have such a unique venue to get married at.  Living just minutes away from Salty’s myself, once I discovered it could be used as a wedding venue (a venue with such a spectacular view) my fiancé and myself immediately put it in the list of potential places for us to get married.

Well as many of you may know, we are indeed going to get married at Salty’s next August and we could not be more excited. What is extra cool about this whole experience is that fact that we got to work/attend a wedding last weekend at the same venue we will be getting married at next year.  It was a fantastic opportunity to basically give our venue a test run, finding out what we like and what we don’t like (nothing, lol because their wedding was pretty perfect).

Probably the BEST part of the whole experience was honestly just how great everything went at Shellie and Paul’s wedding. I could very conceivably see myself going up to the event manager at Salty’s and basically saying “yeah do that whole thing again the same way,” just because of how much we liked every aspect of their wedding (venue specific things that is, i.e. dance floor placement, tables, DJ set up, etc.)  I can’t think of too many couples who would ever have the same experience that we had, and for that I feel quite lucky!

I will be forever grateful to Shellie and Paul for obviously hiring me and allowing me the privilege to celebrate their amazing day with them, but also for allowing Dorothy to attend as well just so that we could get a first hand experience of our future venue in action.  Although we had already put the deposit down to hold the date, it certainly alleviated a lot of stress on our part to see how great the venue was and how much fun was possible to be had there.  We grow increasingly excited each day as we move forward to our wedding, and we cannot wait to celebrate with all our friends and family at Salty’s on Alki next summer!

Thanks Shellie and Paul!

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Wallway Wedding on 9/25/15 at Camas Meadows Golf Course in Camas, Wa

Music licensed from –
The Music Bed – themusicbed.com

I don’t get to travel out of town as much as I would like (well travel REALLY far out of town that is) so when the opportunity arises I like to jump on it!  This Vancouver, Wa wedding came up a little last minute a couple of weeks ago.  Apparently the couple had decided to plan the wedding over the last couple of months which led to a couple late vendor additions.  “No worries!” I say, happy to help.

The first thing that struck me arriving to the venue was just how kind everyone was.  From the bride, to the bridesmaids, even the mother of the bride, everybody was so happy and thankful for me to be there and it really helped put me at ease.

A beautiful venue and weather that hinted at rain yet produced none led to optimal conditions for a lovely outside ceremony on the golf course grounds.  The reception was set up under a tent although thankfully it was only for backup as it remained dry during the evening there.

A key highlight to me in the wedding was just how much FUN everyone seemed to be having.  Our schedule didn’t allow for hours of picture taking after the ceremony/before the reception but the bridal party certainly took advantage of every moment they had, laughing and dancing and jumping along the way.

It doesn’t take a lot to produce a great wedding video, you just need to have fun.  A couple of loving moments with your new husband or wife, a few laughed shared between family members, just a fun moment or two is really all you need to produce some great lasting memories on your wedding video, a video that you can keep with you and cherish for all time!

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Murray Wedding on 9/18/15 at Main Chapel Post on Joint Base Lewis – McChord

This is by far one of the most personal video projects I’ve ever had the pleasure of working on.  When Arlene first approached me about this project about a month and a half ago, I was immediately drawn to her story.  Hearing about the hurdles that she and her now husband Dennis had to overcome to find themselves together today is truly remarkable.  It is a story that must be experienced either first hand (by Arlene’s emotionally charged words) or by viewing this video (in which I hope I did an adequate and worthy job of conveying her and Dennis’ story).

First meeting in High School, Arlene and Dennis attended prom together although they never considered themselves “boyfriend and girlfriend.”  When Dennis (who was 2 years older) graduated High School, he decided to join the Marines and honestly thought he would never see her again.  When the letter writing stopped, they both slowly started to drift apart although they never stopped thinking about each other.  When Dennis moved back home he discovered that Arlene had moved and he had no way of contacting her.  Through a lot of detective work on Arlene’s part (talking to a friend of a friend of a friend) they finally were able to regain contact with one another and set up a dinner date some 25 years after they had originally met.  After meeting at the restaurant and spending 4 hours catching up, they decided to never leave each other again, and thus we find ourselves here today with their beautiful marriage at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. 

My brief words here don’t do their story justice however, and I sincerely encourage you to click the link above and view their story in its entirety.  I remember sitting in the hotel room with Arlene the night before her wedding after we had just wrapped filming her interview.  The emotion in the room was strong and there were tears in both of our eyes.  The love and admiration she has for Dennis is truly remarkable, it’s a love that has stayed strong in her heart her entire life as she traveled the world never knowing if she would get the chance to see Dennis again. 

Dennis shares as much commitment for Arlene as any husband I’ve ever seen.  He wants to be a rock for her, someone she can count on when times get bad or laugh with when times are good.  Hearing his story about being in the Marines and the horrors he experienced while never losing sight of his past love with Arlene is inspiring and something I hope is conveyed well in the video.

This is certainly a more personal and in depth wedding video than I normally do, mostly because of time and participation from the client.  Arlene told me over and over again how important it was for her to make sure her story was captured and shared, she sees the importance of stories like this being preserved and also shared with people everywhere.  We need a little inspiration in our lives sometimes, something that shows us that eventually everything will be ok.  I only hope I did justice sharing her and Dennis’ story with you.

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Faber Wedding on 7/9/15 at the Robinswood House in Bellevue, Wa

Music Courtesy of Good Co. Music

“Reid was such an amazing videographer! His professional manner, creativity, and skill were all fantastic. We met before the wedding to discuss what we wanted in a video (and what we didn’t want!). The day of he was on time, extremely organized, and everywhere. He had a great eye for catching beautiful moments and was very sneaky and considerate. We didn’t feel like we were being followed around by a camera, even when we were! The final video was gorgeous and sweet and the perfect keepsake for all the best moments of our wedding. :)”

What a fantastically fun wedding this turned out to be for such an amazing couple.  I booked this wedding at least 9 months or so in advance.  I remember it was one of the first times I had to “blindly” meet a couple and try to book them for a wedding.  I approached it like a sales call, nervous that I would mess up the pitch and lose the booking.  Little did I know what for the most part, if a couple is going to drive somewhere to meet you at 5pm on a weeknight, there’s a fairly good chance they’re going to sign the contract with you!  lol

I had my fiancé come along for support, I figured if they didn’t like me perhaps her charm and personality would win them over. They were warm and welcoming and we got along together great.  They ran down all the fun little extras they were planning for their wedding, they were both huge comic book and board game fans and wanted to find a way to incorporate these special things into their big day.  I remember listening to all their big ideas (personalized legos for the guests, a board game at every table) and wondering how many of these idea would actually come into fruition once their wedding actually came around.

I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into their venue, the Robinswood House in Bellevue, that not only were there board games at EVERY table, but they were in the process of setting up their legos right next to their Captain America gift basket.  To top it all off they had a live “swing” band doing covers of all of their favorite songs, a huge plus for a wedding videographer!

The wedding was a smaller affair, with maybe 50 or 60 people present.  Laughter and good times were certainly in the air as the couple went table to table greeting all of their guests.

Their photographer was another plus as they hired Steven Dangerfield a gentleman I had the pleasure of meeting at a couple of networking events.  He and I had a blast documenting every wonderful aspect of the day.  We finished the evening off with an intimate photoshoot out in the fields, with the couple laughing and dancing all the way.  The sun was setting behind the trees as we finished up and the couple walked back to rejoin the reception.  Seeing them hold hands and joke amongst each other as they walked off in the distance, I could see how truly in love they were, and I found great joy knowing that I couple help document one of the most important days of their life, and share a little bit of their joy as well!

Photographer – Steven Dangerfield

Venue – Robinswood House

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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 ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE YOU MEET!

Working in the video industry has allowed me to meet a wide range of people, back when I used to work in TV news that range was almost TOO wide if you know what I mean!  lol   But that really is the spice of life, and what keeps every day and week fresh and exciting as a business owner.  You really never know who you’re going to meet next!

Take this week for example.  At this time I’m currently working on the wonderful love story / wedding video (I’ve previously blogged about it, the one with the couple who met in High School but were separated by him going into the Marines and she marrying an Army soldier,) a series of web videos for a public speaker / nutritionist, a set of corporate videos for Green is Good radio, and on top of it all, I’m currently editing a video for a gentleman from Haiti, who has a rap song and previously recorded footage that he wants edited into a music video.

During any given week one of two of these things would be interesting enough to keep me busy, let alone getting to tackle all of these very different projects all at once!  To be honest I really couldn’t even tell you where I met most of these clients, I imagine most were either craigslist or through the website, but every once in a while I really have to step back and wonder how all these wonderful individuals came into my life.

Meeting these people, learning their stories, their motivations and goals for their individual videos is a very eye-opening and enriching experience.  No two people are the same, just as no two clients are the same.  Sometimes they have a very definite goal for how they see the project turning out, sometimes they want to hand over creative control to the professional.  Sometimes you can’t wait to work with a client again, and sometimes you just want to wrap things up as quickly as possible and send them happily on their way, lol!

Later this week I will have the pleasure of meeting even more new people, as I have the opportunity to film 2 weddings over the weekend.  These couples and their stories will just be the latest that I add to my long list of clients, a list that always seems to be changing, and always seems to be growing.  It is this list that keeps me motivated, keeps me interested in my work and career, and most importantly keeps me employed!  For without such an eclectic mix of individuals in my life, I wouldn’t have any video to shoot or any stories to share, and that would be a sad life to imagine indeed!

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Staggs Wedding – The Edgewater House, Olalla, Wa

Music licensed from –
The Music Bed – themusicbed.com

“Reid was very easy to work with, very responsive to all of my questions, happy to help on the day of, and overall provided my husband and I with remarkable service and created a beautiful product. We are so happy that we decided to hire Reid, and I would recommend his services to anyone looking for an even videographer.”

What a one of a kind wedding! Talk about one of THE most majestic wedding venues I have ever experienced. The Edgewater house is a beautiful home with sweeping lawns and a wooden altar located right on the edge of the Puget Sound. It certainly was no easy feat to get there, an hour + drive through Tacoma, across the Narrows Bridge by Gig Harbor and Olalla and down a winding dirt road right to the water’s edge, but once you get there it is certainly worth the trip! I know of no where else where a couple can say “I DO” literally feet from the water without having to drag your entire wedding party down a sandy beach somewhere. The tide comes in and narrowly misses touching the altar, making it appear as though the couple is literally standing on the ocean.

The couple was one of a handful I hadn’t met prior to their wedding date. All correspondence was handled via email so I really didn’t know what to expect when I arrived on site. Figuring out who the bride was by the large pin she had on her sweatshirt, I was immediately greeted with a hug and a “welcome!” I got a brief rundown of the couple and their history, both were in the military, both traveled around a lot and most importantly, both were very much in love. We joked around quite and bit, (I even included a small portion of our banter in the wedding video when we were trying to decide which leg the garter belt should be worn on) and both her and her husband made me feel entirely welcomed and at home.

The big question of the day was the weather. The day before (if I remember correctly had rained and stormed), and it appeared as though that day would be no different. I drove though down-pouring rain and fallen tree branches on my journey to the venue and was very scared that the wedding ceremony would not take place as originally planned (on the beautiful lawn outside). The venue I found had no alternative plan or location for the ceremony, so both the photographer and myself were quite relieved to have the rain hold off from about 5 min before the “first-look” until 5 min after we completed post ceremony pictures.

Probably one of the best memories for me from the Staggs wedding was the amount of fun and joy the entire wedding party had during the dancing portion of the reception. Including everything from having people dance to “Watch me whip” to the groom attaching the garter belt to a shoe so he could “hike” it like a quarterback while the DJ played the NFL theme song, it literally had it all. It’s a wonderful time as a videographer to see everyone finally have the ability to cut back and relax. Getting married is obviously a stressful process, and I have to imagine being able to watch your newly married husband dance and embarrass himself dancing along to “Whip it” has to be a marvelous way to relieve stress. If nothing else, it’s a great thing to include in the wedding video! lol

Photography – Meredith McKee

Venue – Edgewater House

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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, THERE ARE LOTS OF DIFFERENT WAYS TO SAY I DO!

Throughout the last few months and 30 or so weddings I’ve shot/attended, I’ve seen and experienced quite a few different wedding ceremonies. From the Egyptian ceremony I recently blogged about, to the 4 + hour Cambodian, and everything in between, I can positively say there’s no two same ways to say I do! lol

I think it’s important to craft your own ceremony to fit into your personality and obviously religious beliefs. Maybe you want to have a family member officiate (as my fiancé and myself are considering) or maybe you want to incorporate poetry or a song or blessings from family and friends, any of these things can add to the lasting memory of your big day.

I always tell clients when they have questions about their wedding / wedding video, “there’s no right way or wrong way to get married, just as there’s no right or wrong wedding video.” Whatever you decide to do on your big day is the right way that you were supposed to get married. Customizing your wedding ceremony is no different than picking the colors on the table cloths or the vases the flowers go in, it all comes together to craft the story of the couple that you are, and the couple you hope to be going forward.

Most of the time when people decide to add creative flairs to their wedding ceremony, they decide to hire a videographer to document it as well so they can have a record of it forever. I think that’s a good idea, because it takes the time and energy that you’ve devoted planning a 15 or 30 min ceremony, and extends that into a wonderful wedding video that you can share with friends and family across the nation/world, or every save to share with children that are either too young or haven’t been born yet. It’s a wonderful feeling experiencing a beautiful heartfelt ceremony first hand, knowing that you are helping to preserve this moment for years and years to come.

I would encourage any newly engaged couple to put a little bit of thought behind how they want to go about saying I do, and think of a little special moment or two they can add to their own ceremony. It’s a great way to get family and friends involved in the moment and it’s just another way to add lasting memories that you will remember always.

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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, THE WEDDING EXPO!

Attending wedding vendors expos is always a gamble.  You never really know what kind of turnout there is going to be, or if there is going to be any turnout at all.  The first one I ever attended as a business last year was scheduled opposite a Seahawks game on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I think in 4 hours 8 couples attended.

I have also attended daylong wedding expos at various hotels and convention centers around the area, the ones where you feel like a zombie standing in a room staring at other vendors literally counting down the hours until you can breath fresh air again!

Today we had the opportunity to attend a vendor open house at Black Diamond Gardens in Black Diamond Washington.  I was already well familiar with the venue, having previously shot their promotional video.

It is a beautiful venue located just a few minutes south of Lake Wilderness in Maple Valley, another popular wedding spot.  I wasn’t sure how the turnout was going to be for today’s event, as sometimes newer venues have trouble attracting guests to give up a few hours on a beautiful weekend day to travel out to check out the venue (and the other vendors who have been contacted to participate in the day’s event).  I must say I was pleasantly surprised with not only the amount of newly engaged couples who attended today’s event, but the quality of the guests as well.  I think it shows the amount of time and energy the venue spent getting everyone excited to come and tour their open house, I would also like to think our highlight video might have helped out a little as well! lol

It’s always tough talking to guests who pass by your booth at a wedding show.  You want to seem engaging without being overbearing; you want to sell your product or service without shoving it down their throats.  Having been through a year of this last season as practice, both my fiancé and I are far better equipped this year to converse with the brides and grooms than we were this time last year.

I think it’s very overwhelming for brides and grooms to attend shows like these.  You have 20 or so vendors all basically asking you the same questions.  What is your wedding date?  Where are you getting married?  Have you thought about X-Y or Z yet?  Most of the time, people attending these shows might not even have a date finalized for their wedding and are still in the early planning stages.  It can either be an enjoyable experience or it can be a stressful one, it all depends how you approach it.

I would encourage any newly engaged couple to attend at least 1 vendor open house, just to get a sense of all the various products and services that are out there.  Maybe you weren’t originally thinking about wedding videography or a photo booth, or maybe you didn’t even know chocolate lockets were a thing one COULD order for their wedding, (yes we sat for 8 hours next to a chocolate locket company at a show last year).  It’s a good way to experience all the different products and services the wedding industry has to offer, and who knows, maybe you’ll pick up a chocolate locket for yourself along the way!  lol

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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 ALL ABOUT THE STORY!

Yesterday I had the chance to experience the most touching ceremony I’ve ever been to. It began two months ago when I got a call from Arlene Murray. Arlene was an older lady, who was in the process of getting married to the love of her life, Dennis. What’s made Arlene’s story stand out in my mind, was the fact that she had originally met Dennis back in 1973. They went to prom together, fell madly in love and then didn’t see each other for over 25 years. Dennis joined the Marines, and spent the next 2.5 decades of his life traveling the world, while Arlene got married to another military man and did the same.

Their paths crossed numerous times throughout the years, although they never realized it. At one point they both lived in different army bases in the same state, but they were never able to reconnect. They had even tried writing letters to each other early on, in an attempt to keep their love alive, but the distance between the two of them was merely too great and their love fizzled, or so they thought.

About ten years ago Dennis received a call from Arlene. She had moved back into the Seattle area and had used some “good old fashion detective work” to track Dennis down. They agreed to meet at a restaurant down South. Dennis admitted to me in his interview yesterday before the wedding that he got to the restaurant almost 2 hours early. He sat by the door so he could get a good view of everyone entering the restaurant. After a few close calls, he finally recognized Arlene as she walked in the door, “She hadn’t aged a day,” he said. They spent almost 4 hours at the restaurant catching up, having never lost a beat.

Yesterday some 10 years after their 2nd, “1st” date they tied the knot together at JBLM in front of family and friends. It was a life-long experience that found them both together, some 25 years after they never thought they would see each other again. I had tears in my eyes as I interviewed Arlene the night before her wedding, capturing every heart-felt moment of their story. This emotion carried over for me into yesterday, and I too erupted into applause as they exchanged their vows and had their first kiss as husband and wife.

I cannot express how excited I am to begin the edits on this wonderful wedding video and to be able to share their story with the rest of the world. Their story touched my heart in a very deep way, and I can only hope everyone else will feel the same!

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Botros Wedding on 9/12/15 at The Bellevue Club in Bellevue, Wa

Music licensed from –
The Music Bed – themusicbed.com

This wedding was a lot of fun for tons of reasons.  Besides getting to witness an Egyptian wedding ceremony which I already wrote about in a previous blog, the day was just really enjoyable and memorable.  The groomsmen were constantly throwing jokes and ribs towards to groom, even erupting into applause when we finished tying his shoes!, lol.  You could really sense the love in the group and how excited they were to be celebrating the groom’s big day with him.

The bridal party was no slouch either, with everyone getting ready at a salon down the road, there was plenty of room for laughter, dancing, singing, and chanting.  The bride’s dress was beautiful and we (the photographers and myself) had a lot of fun finding fun and unique places to hang it, as to achieve the most creative images.  I think they settled for a striped wall inside the salon, while I utilized one of their previous idea of hanging the dress from a tree outside.

Speaking of the photographers, what a great group of people.  Arlene Chambers and her team are certainly at the top of their game, both on a technical level (of achieving some amazing images) but also on a person level (handling the bridal party, other wedding vendors and even working alongside myself).  I’ve been really fortunate this past summer to have the opportunity to work alongside some amazing photographers, and it was nice to finally put a face behind the name (I’ve heard of and been following Arlene for some time) and add Arlene to my list of favorite photographers to work with.

Overall, just an amazing day.  The love between the couple was evident during our picture taking session, the laughter and smiles shared between the two really helped to put a smile on all of our faces.  It’s the reason I do what I do.  I get to share a small part in one of the best days of a couple’s life.  A day that’s hopefully just the beginning of a wonderful life shared together, one full of happiness and joy!

Photographer – Arlene Chambers

Venue – Bellevue Club

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