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Archive for ‘September, 2015’

White Wedding on 9/6/15 on Capitol Hill in Seattle, Wa

Music licensed from –
The Music Bed – themusicbed.com

“Reid did an amazing job filming our wedding and creating a lovely wedding video. He made a point of communicating with me pre and post wedding, which I appreciated. He’s talented, fun, and laid back in his approach. He will only add to your big day!”

This was a really fun and unique video for me to tackle. Unlike most of my recent wedding videos (which tend to take place at remote locations like a beach or mountain resort) the venue for this wedding ceremony was smack dab in the middle of Capitol Hill off Broadway in Seattle. I decided that I would use the “sights and sounds” as I always do, although instead of the water cresting on the shore or a mountain wind passing through trees, the sounds I captured were cars, pedestrians, even a street performing singing a song and laughing with her dog. I knew it was a bit of a gamble to take the video in such a direction, but I hoped the easy going nature of the couple combined with the fact that they wanted a true “Seattle” wedding and this would be a “Seattle” wedding video, would mean that my choice in editing creativity would be well received.

I found a fantastic song on Music Bed (www.themusicbed.com) “Pretty Face” by the band PUBLIC, a fast-paced punky like rock song that I thought really complimented the slightly off the wall editing choice of the video. The fast beats and somewhat strange lyrics allowed for some unique editing decisions – multiple flash frames, rewinds of video, and even overlapping shots with other mirrored or backwards shots. I really went to town in terms of throwing everything I could think of at the video, and I’ll tell you what, I’m really proud of how it turned out.

To me this video is the definition of what I do as a wedding videographer and how I try to help myself stand apart. I really don’t think there’s another videographer in the market, who would capture sounds of a street performer and weave them into a wedding video, or even imagine that it would be ok to do, lol. I really try to add creativity and passion to everything that I do and I really hope my couple’s enjoy it. I give my heart and soul into every wedding edit, living and breathing with the couple on video for the 24-48 or 72 hours I spend on it. It really is an emotional taxing experience and one that leaves me with a product I can truly stand behind at the end!

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Every year Space Angels Network members converge upon a major aerospace hub for a unique, first-hand look inside the emerging private space industry.

Music licensed from –
The Music Bed – themusicbed.com

This was a fantastically interesting project that I’ve gotten to work on the last few weeks and I’m so proud to finally be able to share it with everyone!  I was approached by a group of “angel” investors from LA about a month ago.  They informed me that they would be coming to the Seattle area to tour a bunch of tech and aerospace companies in the region to hear presentations from them to decide whether or not they wanted to invest.  They wanted to hire a videographer to come along to take pictures and shoot a highlight video of their adventures.

This adventure found be riding shotgun in a tour bus for 2.5 days with a group of extremely successful and intelligent individuals.  We traveled all over the region from Everett to Tukwila and the Eastside, touring various businesses and locations (from the Space Needle to the Museum of Flight) engaging in some very eye opening conversations about the future of space exploration and even listening to talks from some of the major players from the past history of NASA.

We even received a tour on the NASA trainer shuttle at the Museum of Flight by a real life astronaut, Greg Johnson.  Listening to his words explaining where he slept, where he ate, all while looking at the actual module he trained in was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that was certainly not lost by any of the attendees.

It was fair to say that everybody involved as a participant of this tour was a “space junkie,”  I couldn’t be further from that.  In talking with these people over the course of a couple of days it was really amazing for me to discover an entire world that obviously I had thought about before, (I know a little about the space program) but had never really spent any great time learning about.  It’s a benefit of working in news or in this case video production, where you can (from time to time) step into another world, become totally immersed in in for a week or so while working on the project, and most likely never tackle it in as great of depth again.  It allows me (or lots of new videographers and reporters) to know a little bit about a lot of things.  To take a deep dive into some crazy worlds or cultures or groups from time to time that you would never experience any other way.

Who would have thought 6 months ago, I’d be sitting in a room listening to Charles Simonyi (a billionaire and 2x space tourist) talk about his past experiences with the space program, or be standing on the observation deck of the Space Needle, rubbing shoulders with some very elite company?  I certainly didn’t foresee that, but that sort of experience keeps me excited and keeps me thirsty for more, bring it on!

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Cizmar Wedding on 9/5/15 at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Wa

Music licensed from –
The Music Bed – themusicbed.com

“Reid was amazing. He was so easy going and a pleasure to be around. Our wedding day was extremely stressful with obstacles left and right and he made it better. He was able to capture so many moments that I wanted and I didn’t even have to ask. He knows what he’s doing. I was so impressed with the video and turn around time. We were married on Saturday and received our video the following Wednesday! I will use him for any future events and recommend him to everyone.”

This wedding was a lot of fun. The weather made for some unique circumstances (the reception had to be moved a couple of different times) but overall the experience was fantastically positive. A very welcoming bride and an easy-going bridal party made the day a really fun one for myself and their photographer – Brooks Range Photography. I feel like I got a ton of beautiful shots as well as some really candid moments between the bride and her bridesmaids (when she was reading the note from her husband-to-be) as well as the boys goofing around at the bar and outside the venue.

I loved this venue and would absolutely go back there in an instant – tons of great locations for unique shots and video. Beautiful scenic views of the mountains, tress and more, as well as an epic hotel lobby with huge windows making for some other unique silhouette portraits. Hopefully the weather will hold out better next time but for one small thing we didn’t really have any control over (and the storm clouds DID make for some pretty epic sky shots) I would say overall – great couple, great video, great time!

Photographer – Brooks Range Photography

Venue – Suncadia Resort

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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, GET COMMUNITY SUPPORT!

Today’s blog post is where I do a little shameless plugging, but I also try to leave you with a good message.

I’m involved for the second year in a row with the King 5, Best of Western Washington vote – Voting Link.  It is a vote that honors top businesses of all kinds through the greater Western Washington area. I happen to be nominated for “Best Wedding Videographer.”

Last year we got 3rd place and had very little business even BEING in the top 3. I had just jumped into the world of wedding videography and really didn’t have the clientele to help push me over the top. I DID have a bunch of loyal clients and friends who I relentlessly petitioned to help garner support which helped me all the way to 3rd place, something I never dreamed of achieving. It shows that with a loyal client base and a few extra minutes on your hand can give you the necessary tools to get support in something like a community vote.

I didn’t have 1000s of clients, and I didn’t really need them, sometimes having a handful of loyal, supportive clients can be more beneficial than having a rolodex of people who no longer follow or support your business. Most wedding vendors I feel do a fairly large portion of their business through repeat customers and word of mouth. Obviously with wedding videography you don’t have too many “return customers” per say, but if you establish a credible business with a good reputation, you might get enough positive word of mouth to help your business grow even more.

The King 5 vote represents this sort of business philosophy. It takes solid businesses with good reputations, and honors them with people voting in their favorites and acknowledge who people really think are the “best” in any given profession or craft. Being a local business with a loyal customer base or at least a bunch of supportive friends and family is a great way to help boost my rankings in the competition. I’m hoping that with the support I had last year, plus the increased client base (of hopefully even happier and supportive customers) I will be able to at least match, if not BEAT my 3rd place showing this year. The competition has just started and I’m sitting at 2nd place, but I don’t know how many businesses have really started to campaign. I just hope that I did a solid job this year leaving a positive impression with all of my couples and clients, that they will feel the need to pay it forward and leave a positive vote in my benefit.

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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, KEEPING IT INTERESTING!

Yesterday I had a fantastic wedding experience. Not only were the couple fun and easy to work with (I met them many months ago and we have been eagerly anticipating their big wedding day) the rest of their creative team was excellent to work with as well! (shout out to Arlene Chambers). To top it all off, we got to attend and capture an Egyptian wedding ceremony at a local church in Lynnwood.

I’ve written about this before, but it really is a fun way to keep things fresh and interesting by booking clients of different ethnicities and religions. Obviously you can’t really control what kinds of clients come your way (except maybe marketing to specific groups) but I think it’s really important to jump at the opportunity to experience and observe a different custom or tradition than you would normally encounter in your everyday life.

Besides the church being absolutely beautiful, it was a treat to witness the hour long ceremony that included a pair of “priests” I guess you would say, performing various acts that concluded in the couple being married. The couple was dressed in beautiful robes or “cloaks” got family blessings and even wore symbolic crowns. At the end the one priest pulled back a curtain to unveil the sacred area in the back of the church, an area where apparently women aren’t allowed to enter. From what I could tell from my vantage point near the altar, it contained some sort of baptismal area as well as huge murals of Jesus and other symbolic figures. The couple’s knelt in the back and received a final blessing in front of the entire church before being announced as husband and wife, celebrating in front of family and friends.

What was the most interesting about the whole experience was how it seemed to blend normal Catholicism (with the Our Father prayer and other various chants and songs) as well as foreign traditions with the priest speaking Arabic and a choir of men singing along and playing various percussion instruments. I’m probably doing a terrible job of explaining and I hope I don’t have too much of the terminology wrong, but as a complete outsider stepping into this kind of situation for the first time, it really was eye-opening and honestly really neat.

Being a wedding videographer leaves me most of the time filming and attending traditional Western wedding ceremonies and that’s interesting in its own right. Having the ability to sprinkle in a few various non-traditional (at least to me) wedding events throughout the year is a great way to open my perspective as a wedding vendor, and make me all the better for it. It gives me a greater knowledge base that I can use to attract and book more clients in the future, and that’s never a bad thing!

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Goldenberg Wedding on 8/30/15 at Tazer Valley Farm

“Joshua and I loved the videos that you made. Nice work!”

“Reid was awesome to work with! He was quick to reply to emails, fun to work with and produced an amazing wedding video within a week of our wedding. What else could you want in a videographer?! We highly recommend him for your wedding. :)”

Photography – Jenn Tai

Venue – Tazer Valley Farm

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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, SOCIAL MEDIA IS FUN!

I was a little late getting into the whole Instagram business. I didn’t really understand why you could only post square photos (and apparently neither did many other people as the company recently changed that) and I didn’t really see the point. I’ve already blogged about my constant attempts to improve my social media game and I guess Instagram is another stepping stone to that.

I love the new trend of each wedding having their own unique hashtag for wedding guests to post photos to. I think it’s fun that the bride and groom will have an instant little snap shot of their day to check out via their phone after everything is said and done, whether they’re back home or heading off to an amazing honeymoon. I like sprinkling in little photos from myself throughout the day as well, so they’ll get a “semi-pro” photographer’s perspective to get some idea of how their photos and video will turn out. It’s a little teaser and I think it’s great!

One of the most creative hashtags I’ve seen was from this last weekend. The bride was marrying a gentleman who’s last name was White. Trying to think of the various hashtags you could use, “WhiteWedding, WhitesOnly…” you could see how this could quickly spiral out of control. The one they settled on was #WhitesAfterLaborDay a play on their new last name and the fact that their wedding was occurring on Labor Day weekend. It was thoughtful, creative and certainly unique and I really thought it fit the mood of the day perfectly.

It was fun for me to snap a couple of pictures of my own alongside the 2 pros they had doing the photography and it was especially fun to see many of the bridal party either favorite or repost the various pictures I had taken throughout the day. It’s just another way to add to the excitement and to make sure that not a single moment from a bride’s wedding day goes undocumented! lol.

The bridal party was especially fun running around with their selfie stick and constantly trying to get photos of themselves with their best friend (the bride) in the background. It’s really enjoyable for me to see friends with such love and excitement for their girlfriend and she embarks upon her next big adventure. It only adds to the mood for the day and I think encourages everyone (myself included) to really embrace the joy and to try to do the best work possible for everyone involved. It’s just another reason why I love working with couples on their wedding days and experiencing all the fun that comes with 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, GIVE GOOD TOASTS!

Toasts are a super important and very memorable part of any wedding celebration. A lot of times it’s one of the main reasons the couple wants a videographer, (again as related to my earlier posts, if you’re going to spend the time and effort coordinating and having people take the time to give toasts, you might as well get somebody to record it so you can watch it again after the fact).

Toasts can be bad however, just ask the bride of a wedding I attended a few years ago. I wasn’t doing wedding videography at the time and just came as a guest. It was super awkward as the gentleman who was doing the toast was completely out of line and basically turned it into a roast of the bride, directing negative attention at her, embarrassing both of them in the process.

Toasts can also be boring too. Most of the time people have just finished eating and are ready for cake or dancing. If the person giving the toast includes too much insider information or jokes that don’t resonate with most of the other guests, they can lose the crowd in the process, causing everybody to sit there checking their cell phones.

I always think the best toasts, no matter what the focus, should always come back to the bride. Sure you can talk about the groom and what a weirdo he was in High School, but make sure you conclude the speech with “but then she came into your life and man you are a way better person because of it.” Nobody wants to sit and listen to frat stories for 30 minutes, nobody.

The best speeches I recorded recently have usually come from the best man, in most cases either a younger or older brother of the groom. These gentleman have had the courage to speak openly and honestly about the relationship between the two men. Maybe the brother resented the groom growing up, but now views their relationship in an entirely different way, or maybe like last night the younger brother has looked up to his brother his entire life and is honored to cheers him on his wedding day. Being vulnerable and honest will resonate with anybody in the audience, ensuring that everyone in invested and attentive to the toast being given.

It’s ok to do a couple of jokes, but remember to speak from the heart and ultimately keep in mind that this is not YOUR day, it is the couple’s day, and no matter what you say or do you shouldn’t take any of the attention off of them. I’ve seen plenty of people try to take the spotlight and it is never fun or flattering. Talk about the bride, your love of the groom, and you should be ok!

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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, CAPTURE YOUR SURROUNDINGS!

I’ve begun to notice myself recording more and more of the location or venue that our weddings take place at. Maybe it’s my new equipment, (my slider has really improved the B roll I am able to capture), and maybe it is just me going through the process more and more and more. It’s honestly another way for me to individualize and personalize the videos I create.

Whether it’s the most recent video I competed (link coming soon) which took place at the Edgewater House in Olalla, Wa or my farm wedding from Sunday at Tazer Family Farms in Stanwood, every location has a story to tell.

The waves lapping along the shore, the sun reflecting off the sand or the horse trotting around to play with children and an old apple tree with some fresh fruit, I try to look for anything and everything I can capture (visually and with sound) to include in the videos I try to create.

This practice has also helped me with the music I select for each video, because I really try to marry the song to the environment. Sometimes the forecast for the day wasn’t spectacular (just like the Olalla wedding) and the song talks about not minding the rain, or the groom received a stopwatch that used to belong to his grandpa (and the song talks about stopping time) all of these small details (whether or not they are noticed by anyone but myself) all come together to create the tapestry that is a wedding video.

Of course capturing the clients always comes first and always will, but the place you choose to get married has a lot of significance and should be featured prominently as well. My fiancé and I took great time and care selecting our wedding venue (Salty’s on Alki) for next summer. It’s near where we live and a place we visit regularly.  I for one hope our location is spotlighted as much in our wedding photos and video as I try to do in the videos that I create. Lol. After all, we all know most locations cost an arm and a leg to rent to get married, so you might as well get as much out of it as you can!

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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, TAKE CARE OF YOUR EQUIPMENT!

Well it finally happened. I had to take my camera into the shop today to have it looked at. 1.5 years without issue but I finally had a problem I couldn’t fix myself and I need professional help.

It started on Saturday, during our rainy porch covered reception. I was using my top light because the lighting on the dance floor was so poor. The fitting on my mount hasn’t been locking right for months now but I rarely have been using my top light recently so it really hasn’t been too much of an issue. I went to pick up my tripod and the mount slipped off the back, falling onto the back part of my camera. It’s connected to my tripod via my Sennheiser wireless receivers and a couple of XLR cables so it didn’t go anywhere, it just made a loud bang and was kind of embarrassing. It wasn’t until a few minutes later when I noticed that part of my LCD screen was actually scratched. Luckily it stills works, but the scratches are annoying and now constantly remind me that my camera is lightly used and not as perfect as it once was.

Things got worse however Monday morning. I was booked to follow around a group of LA tourists throughout the greater Seattle area. Knowing I would have no way to pack a tripod around for 2 days, I hurriedly went about attaching my Revo shoulder mount so I would have an easier time manning my camera for the next 2 days. It must have happened at this time, although I didn’t realize it until later, but I accidentally broke the plug that attaches my camera grip (what allows me to electronically zoom in and out and another place where there is a record button) leaving it in a non-working state.

When I arrived at breakfast and began recording, I instantly noticed that my camera would not record. Was it something wrong with the format? The memory card? I finally realized that my grip wasn’t controlling anything because the plug was bent. Fortunately I could still start and stop the record function from my camera body itself but it was certainly cause for alarm. I kept fiddling with the plug thinking “well it’s broken, how much worse can get it?” Well it could get worse, the plug could break off in the jack, that’s how it could get worse. I realized I needed to stop messing with anything and just focus on the day, there would be time to address the problem later that evening, fortunately at that point part of the plug was still sticking out of the port and I was thinking I would be able to use a pair of pliers to pull it out.

4 hours on a rocky bus and 5 uber rides later and I noticed that the remaining part of the plug that was sticking out of the jack had snapped off, leaving the plug inside flush with the port whole and unable to pull out. I did some research and read that potentially applying some krazy glue to the end of a toothpick would be one possible way to grab onto the plug and pull it out of the whole (once the glue dried). I tried about 6 different ways when I got home, with toothpicks, q-tips and tweezers and had no luck. I even tried to dismantle part of the camera myself in order to access the port but after 2 hours sitting on the kitchen floor after an already long day, I had to call it quits.

After calling various Seattle area camera shops yesterday I believe I found one that could potentially help, so I dropped my camera off there a few hours ago. I told them I need my camera back by Friday, so if they couldn’t fix it, I would have to pick it up and drop it off again next week, what a pain!

So what to do to prevent this? Dorothy told me I should be more careful with my equipment, and she’s probably right. But I do ultimately think it’s the cost of doing business. If you’re going to be shooting 1, 2, or 3 wedding a weekend, or chasing tourists around town for 14 hours a day, your camera’s bound to get a little beat up. I did learn however to probably not mess with anything by myself and to just take it into the professionals first. I think you can really mess yourself up and end up in a worse situation than you started with in a hurry, and that’s no good for anybody!

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