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Archive for ‘November, 2015’

Cofield “Surprise” Wedding on 11/23/15 at Mama Stortini’s in Puyallup, Wa

Music licensed from –
The Music Bed – themusicbed.com

This was one of the most unique weddings I have had the opportunity to help out with yet!  When Mallory shared her idea with me almost 2 months ago, I knew it would be a blast.  She and her soon to be husband Mike wanted to throw an “engagement dinner” with all of their family and friends.  The pretense would be that they planned on announcing to everyone key elements of their wedding day (i.e. bridal party, officiant, date, etc.)  Unbeknownst to everyone but a few key people, they planned on actually getting married, thus surprising everyone in the process!

The video above does a better job of describing the night than I ever will here in writing, so I encourage you to click the link and experience their story.  I will share a few key details of the night however.

  • It really was a surprise!  I would say except for myself, the photographer (Jessica of Seven of Hearts photography – sevenofheartsphotography.com),  maybe 3 or 4 other people who helped set everything up, no body else knew what was going on.
  • It really was a special moment.  When Mike and Angela (their officiant) finally made the big reveal, there was a special feeling in the room, a very emotional feeling, that I was honored to be a part of.
  • Her mom really didn’t know.  I actually found myself speaking to her earlier in the night.  I assumed she was a family friend or relative (not the mother of the bride!)  She came up to me asking about why a video person would be present at an engagement party.  “Oh you know, in case anybody gives any toasts.  I’m here to capture people mingling, that sort of thing.”  (I just blurted something out in small talk.)  Believe me, if I had any idea that I was actually lying to the mother of the bride, I would have thought much harder about my cover story and not just blurted out the first thing that came to mind.
  • I wouldn’t recommend this for everyone. There are certainly pros and cons to every type of wedding ceremony and this one was no different.  Everybody there had a great time, enjoyed the surprise, and overall it made for a shorter wedding day.  With a shorter wedding day you lose a little bit of time to mingle with wedding guests which could be considered a slight disadvantage.
  • Overall I really did think it was a complete success.  Mike and Mallory played their parts perfectly, they certainly got the reaction they were looking for and they are headed off to enjoy a happy married life together!

Photographer – Seven of Hearts Photography

Venue – Mama Stortini’s

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Soto Wedding – Centralia Square Hotel, Centralia, Wa

Music licensed from –

The Music Bed – themusicbed.com

“He was super nice, helpful, and responded super fast! He was so funny and was never in the way with bulky cameras or getting in the way of people dancing. I love that we chose him!!!”

This was an interesting wedding for me because I had very little communication with the bride / groom before their actual wedding.  I got an email in late September from the bride titled “Wedding EMERGENCY!” where she informed me that the videographer they had previously hired was now unavailable for their date.  We emailed back and forth a few times, locked down the date, and really didn’t communicate a ton more until the day of their wedding.

When  I knocked on the door last Saturday morning, I was greeted by an 19 year old bride, dressed in a bright blue onesie, you know the kind of pajamas with the footies in the bottom?  She was getting ready with one of her girlfriends and was BEYOND excited for me to arrive to begin filming her big day.  She was a little loud, a little scattered, but overall VERY excited to be getting married to her fiance and overall fantastic groom Fermin in a few hours.

Because she hired me for the full day, I was able to spend ample time with her and her family as they got ready.  This lead to me capturing some very special moments (her grandpa getting lost and her giving him directions, her overall inability to have mascara applied to her in her excited state) and just further solidifies my belief that longer videography coverage is always worth the extra investment.

What followed was a touching wedding ceremony and a fun afternoon of picture taking in downtown Olympia.  Fermin (her husband) was very hands on with the picture taking process, throwing out lots of potential locations and ideas that he thought might work out nicely.  I’m totally open and encouraging to grooms wanting to have involvement in the wedding photography and videography process.  It’s usually not the case and it’s a welcome surprise to have a groom be so excited about it all.

After picture taking we headed south to the Centralia Square Hotel for their reception.  Once we arrived, the bride and groom joined their family and friends, and engaged in a night of dancing, laughing, and even singing, when the bride serenaded her new husband to end the night.  It was a very touching moment and lead to a fantastic ending to an already fun and unique wedding video.  The wedding and especially the wedding video, could not have turned out better!

Venue – Centralia Square Hotel

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The LWTech Foundation supports student success and educational excellence by raising critical funds for student scholarships, program support and the student emergency fund.

This was an early morning but a fun and very rewarding project to work on.  I was approached by a recent bride whose wedding I shot (the Bolen Wedding) about taking part in a fundraising event that her company was volunteering with.  It was a breakfast over at the Lake Washington Technical College’s Kirkland campus and was aimed at raising money for the LWTech Foundation. The LWTech Foundation offers a variety of merit and need-based scholarships for students enrolled or enrolling at Lake Washington Institute of Technology in the Fall and Spring of each academic year. The goal is to provide these students with the education and degrees necessary to successfully enter the workforce and be a productive employee.

Listening to the stories of the students who had been granted scholarships and the progress they had made was truly an emotional experience.  The highlight for me was listening to Paige Houston one of the keynote speakers of the breakfast who spoke of being so proud of her scholarship and the degree she had earned that she was planning to frame them both and display them proudly.  It brought the room to tears and really helped pack an emotional punch that I believe led to the strong number of donations that the foundation received at that breakfast.  I hope my video continues to give the foundation the proper spotlight so they can help many more students find success in the years to come!

Read more about the LWTech Foundation at their website,  it’s an amazing cause and I felt so honored to be invited to help take part in their great event!

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Recon Tripod Head Kickstarter Video

This is the most recent in a bunch of Kickstarter and crowdfunding videos I have worked on lately.  The Recon is a DSLR tripod head designed by the people over at Pillar Design, a local West Seattle design company. Although I’ve partnered with them lately to produce videos for some of their design clients, (the Foldz wallet was an example of this), I was very surprised when they called me up to film their own Kickstarter video.

It’s really fun to work on videos like this because of the excitement of everybody involved.  They’re obviously passionate about the project (having spent years sometimes working on perfecting it) and the excitement really carries over to the video.

I’m not sure when they are launching the project on Kickstater but I will keep my eyes posted and share the link when they do.  It’s always good to support a local company, especially one that’s right down the street from me in West Seattle!

*UPDATED – The Kickstarter campaign has gone live as of November 25, 2015

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Foldz – Money isn’t simple but your wallet can be.

This was a fun video to work on.  Peter is a local small business owner himself who joined forces with Pillar Design (a local West Seattle business down the street from my house) to perfect his minimalist wallet invention, the Foldz wallet.  I always like working on crowdfunding / kickstarter videos because you are really helping someone else achieve their dream.  Although Peter is a successful businessman in his own right, he’s always found himself tinkering with products and inventions trying to improve his everyday life.  His idea for the Foldz wallet came from him witnessing his buddy struggle with his thick, overstuffed wallet, very similar to George Constanza on Seinfeld.

After many years of product development and numerous amateur prototypes, he now has a finished, polished final working design. He’s gone to Kickstarter to raise the final necessary funds to produce his wallet on a larger scale and test the market for interest.

I encourage you to check out his Kickstarter page and consider donating to his cause!

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Cedar Cove Inn Bed and Breakfast in Port Orchard, Wa

This video is the first of hopefully many high-end real estate videos I plan to produce around the greater Seattle area with a new drone videographer I’ve begun working with.  Riding the ferry out to Port Orchard we really didn’t know what to expect.  Once we finally come across the property, a 7 bedroom, 7.5 bath Bed and Breakfast we were blown away.  A husband and wife team had owned the property for many years, but after the husband passed away the upkeep was too much for the wife to handle, thus their need to sell this amazing property.  I’m trying to bring the creative flair and cleanliness that I approach wedding and event videos with and apply it to real estate.  I hope that my quick turnaround and eye for detail (aka mild OCD) can help me find the same success I found in wedding videography in real estate videography, which I believe is a rapidly expanding market.

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“FlatBike – Biking Made Easier”

This was certainly a fun little video to put together.  I met Bob (the client and male actor in the video) a few months ago.  Bob had a ton of fun ideas when it came to improvements that could be made to improve bicycles for everyday people.  Rotating handlebars (so you can store a bike flat), foldable bikes (so you can carry your bike in the back of the car), and even removable bike pedals (so you can walk safely along side you bicycle) are all little improvements that can be implemented into the everyday consumer bicycle.  It’s my understanding that a lot of these “improvements” have existed for a little while now, but nobody has taken them all together to establish a sort of “brand” like Bob plans to do with FlatBike, thus the need for the video. I believe it is his intention to show the consumer the need for each of these products, and then work to implement his own designs and products in this emerging industry.

In terms of actually putting the video together, it’s nice to work on something where you can show a little creativity.  Whether it was strapping a lawn mower onto the top size of a car and driving it down the road, or driving 5 or 6 times over a speed hump (not a bump…lol)  in an attempt to get a bike to “naturally” fall off of a bike rack, it was a fun day’s work and something that was just really fun to do.  Being able to deliver the final video to the client by day’s end (probably 3 hours after we wrapped shooting) is always something I’m proud of as well!

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“The Black Education Strategy Roundtable is a volunteer-led coalition of African American individuals, groups, organizations and other committed individuals that have been actively advocating for and providing information to policy makers at all levels about the disparate conditions of educational achievement for Black students in the state of Washington.”

Moving out of wedding season, I’ve spent the last week or two putting together two different videos for the Black Education Student Roundtable (both this longer promo video and a shorter second second PSA).  This was an interesting and very unique opportunity for me as someone who went to a fairly privileged private school, to see what challenges and struggles students of color can face trying to achieve their education.  I worked closely with Stephan Blanford, a local school board member as well as various board members of the BESR and even the President of North Seattle College to put this video together.  It’s a reminder that not all people have the same luxuries in life, and that we all have our own struggles to overcome.  For students of color in the Greater Seattle area, this is where the BESR aims to help.  Hopefully my videos will help them get the funding and visibility they need to help make a difference in the lives of students moving forward!

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