Why I Became a Wedding Videographer

Why I Became a Wedding Videographer

I could list a hundred reasons why I became a wedding videographer. But the simple truth is that I love telling stories through film

Seven years ago I picked up a camera and haven't looked back. I started shooting a little video work here and there in high school, then in college I got a little more serious and found an internship in film. The company I worked for shot weddings and I learned the basic skills of how to edit and tell stories. Then I graduated from college and started shooting weddings on my own.

Fast forward a few years and in 2015 I shot close to 20 weddings

I had no idea filming weddings would be my full-time gig, but I've fallen in love with being a wedding videographer.

Here are a few reasons why:

Getting to know the clients, their wedding is one of the most important days of their lives. Most weddings have a similar format, but it's the individuals that make the stories. I've never filmed a wedding with two couples that are alike. Being able to follow their story and learn more about them, capturing their day based on what I know about them is always a challenge and inspiration. Doing it in a way that feels authentic and individualized for them is the goal.

I get to make short films for people they'll keep and share for the rest of their lives. Below you can see some of the videos I shot this year for clients. Every time I upload one of these videos to Facebook, I get to see the reaction of the bride and groom as they share them with a few thousand of their closest friends and family (I say a few thousand because that's typically how many views it will get).

I'm constantly entertained. People at weddings never disappoint. There's always the awesome groomsman who never gets off the dance floor or the bridesmaid who won't stop crying (happy tears). 


How I Make Your Wedding Look Like A Movie

How I Make Your Wedding Look Like A Movie

You've spent countless hours working hard to plan the perfect wedding - between the Googling, reading reviews on The Knot, and meeting with your vendors, you have a big question on your mind: "Why choose this vendor?" 

I answer that question very simply for all my clients - I approach your wedding just like I would a feature film.  Your story is unique from every other couple I've worked with, and I want to feature y'alls story in a creative and unique manner!  I spend time getting to know you and your fiance in-person (when possible!) or by Skype/Phone before your wedding, so I can come in with my crew on your wedding day and get straight to work. 

So what makes my films different than others in the industry?

I'll film your wedding using technical methods and techniques I've learned over the years in the film industry.  Think of the difference between what you see from your camera phone and on the screen at a movie theater - that's the difference I'm after.  I've invested in high-quality and modern camera equipment and audio gear to make sure your day is captured at the quality you expect and deserve!

wedding-videographer-tools

Additionally, I use many specialized tools from the film industry to add movement and added quality to your film! You'll see me lead-shooting your wedding day with a pretty cool camera stabilization rig (See image to the right), which allows me to get perfectly smooth cinematic shots you see in all my trailers.  Each of my crew will be filming on various other specialized tools such video monopods, sliders, drones, (and even large jibs at times) to get awe inspiring shots of your venue, ceremony, and all the little details you've worked so hard on!  

My team is well trained on the technical aspects and techniques with all my gear, to ensure you get the absolute best film. 

Take a look at some of my favorite films and contact me to talk more about videography for your big day! 

 

Nick + Corinne's Wedding at The Lodge

Nick + Corinne's Wedding at The Lodge

Here's my newest film from Nick & Corinne's wedding in Fredericksburg, TX! This is one of many upcoming weddings featuring my new camera stabilization system, camera drone, and signature coloring!

The Lodge Event Center is a modern, elegant, and picturesque venue in Fredericksburg, TX.   This area is a short drive from Austin and San Antonio and the heart of the Texas Wine Country.  The venue offers many amenities and plenty of unique spaces for your wedding reception.  Nick and Corinne's ceremony took place a short walk (or horseback ride for Corinne!) from the main hall on top of the hill at Sunset. There's also plenty of other options of indoors for a rainy day, out in the field, or on the back patio of the venue. 

The inside of the venue's main hall is elegant and grand in appearance, giving plenty of room for weddings large and small.  Nick and Corinne's dinner was inside the hall with some delicious Salt Lick BBQ, and then moved outside to beautifully lit patio to dance the night away. 

Enjoy their film! 

Fredericksburg Wedding Vendors: 

Photographer - Caroline Studios

Catering - Salt Lick BBQ

Linens - Class A Rentals

4 Reasons to have a wedding website

Having a wedding website is a great way to simplify your wedding planning, centralize information for your guests, and show off your love story.  Setting up your wedding website is easy and usually as simple as dragging and dropping your text and photos!  The Knot (Free) and Wedding Wire (Free) provide hundreds of templates and planning management tools, or if you're looking for a little more customization, SquareSpace ($8/month) has a great site builder.  Here are a few reasons having a wedding website is worth it:

1. Manage your guest list and save on return stamps

Among the items on your long list of wedding planning to-do's is sending out save the dates, invites, and figuring out how many people are coming to your wedding.  Instead of including a RSVP card, return envelope, and stamps, direct your invitees to your wedding website where they can submit their Yes (with bells on) or their regrets.

2. Links to your registries

Once you've created your dream wedding registry, post those links for your guests to easily find!

3. Wedding Information

This is one of the best parts - being able to send information to your guests.  By the time you reach the week of your wedding, there are sure to be a few people who have lost their invitations or are requesting the address for the venue, start time, parking information, etc.  Having a centralized place for all the information makes it simple to quickly text, email, or Facebook them the link.

4. Show off your love story & wedding party

People love hearing more about the first time you met, the proposal story, and seeing your engagement photos.  Feature them on a page of your wedding website with a brief story and images to go along.  Also, have the people in your wedding party write little bios to include!

How to plan for rain on your wedding day

I've found myself in quite a few rainy weddings as a videographer over the years.  However, as I think back through some of the stories, my favorite memory was actually the time I was the best man for my best friends wedding.   It had been pretty sunny throughout the day, and there was a slight chance of rain for the afternoon, yet moments after the ceremony started, a torrential downpour began. The wedding party was covered by a gazebo (fortunately), however the guests went running for the overhang of the nearby building. Some tears were initially shed, however the wedding went on and it was absolutely beautiful.  While you can't control the weather, you can certainly plan for it!

Texas wouldn't be it's normal self without a little bit of unpredictable weather, and if you've planned your wedding ceremony to be outdoors, be sure to make a backup plan for rain on your wedding day.

For starters, no need to fret! Your beautiful wedding day will go on and you'll get to spend it with your family, friends, and new spouse! You'll need to consider secondary plans for everything from transportation from your preparation room to the venue, alternate wedding venue sites, post-ceremony photography locations, and when to make the call to go to plan B.

The Plan B

1. Make a plan and stick to it

I have filmed at many outdoor weddings over the years where rain sneaks it's way into the forecast.  The one thing I can't stress enough is to make a good plan - and stick with it.  Knowing exactly what you want as a backup will make your day much more enjoyable, as you won't be scrambling to figure out the next steps

2. Let your vendors help

You hired professionals for a reason - We've worked through these situations before, and know exactly what to do to make your wedding day great.  First, talk with your wedding venue. Most venue's that offer outdoor sites will already have a backup plan in place for inclement weather.  This could include moving to their indoor spaces, putting up a canopy, or some other arrangements.  Any well-run venue should be capable of handling these situations without causing you much stress!

Obviously, your photographer and videographer will need to make some adjustments as well for lighting, sound, and keeping our equipment dry - but again, we've been there and are prepared to make adjustments.  These situations allow us the incentive and freedom to be more creative when a challenge is thrown our way.

3. Embrace it!

While you can't change the weather, you can make the best out of your rainy plans!  Bring some extra umbrellas, and don't be afraid to get a little damp!  Some seriously awesome things happen in the video and photography world when it's overcast. The colors get more saturated, things glisten in the light, and everyone laughs just a little more through the comradery of running through the rain.

Tips for choosing a wedding videographer

Couples planning a wedding know how critical it is to find a vendor that is a good fit for them.  Often, couples don't know what to look for or where to even start their search, especially when choosing your wedding videographer. The painstaking process can take months of searching, phone calls, and interviewing individuals and companies to find someone who is going to provide exactly what you're looking for.

When searching for a wedding videographer, there are many things to consider in the process. First, you should consider what style of wedding videography you prefer.  The short-film style tends to be very hands-off from with your videographer where highlight moments are captured as they happen.  The wedding short-films capture the best moments throughout the day and are edited into a format that is great for sharing online with family and friends.   The documentary style is much more intensive and detailed focused.

Documentary videography typically requires a larger team of videographers, and will feature many more details of your big day.  The documentary film will feature "chapters" of each part of the wedding day. Some couples prefer this, as it provides a glimpse into parts of the day that they didn't get to experience much of, like the cocktail hour and venue preparation.  I've been told by many couples that in the rush of getting from one agenda item to the next, they don't get to fully enjoy portions of the day, but can relive those moments in their film.

I consider the most important part of the process to be finding a videographer who is a good match for you.  Some of the things to consider while interviewing various vendors are personality, understanding of your specific wedding plans, and willing to go the extra mile for you and your spouse.  If you're looking at a videographer who is local, be sure to meet in person before your wedding to ensure that they are on the same page as you.

Michelle + JP - Balmorhea Wedding Venue

JP’s father tells it best in the video – this couple may just have the sweetest “how we met” story I have heard! They first met in middle school in their basketball league, when JP was adamant about drafting Michelle as his third-round pick. Being a full head taller than him, his father who was coaching the team, agreed. Over the years up through high school and college, they were great friends and eventually started dating.

Michelle and JP wed at Balmorhea (Pronounced Bal-mor-ay) in November of 2014. Balmorhea is a secluded and peaceful wedding venue in the northwest part of Houston. The huge property boasts a beautiful lake, bridges, a reception venue, and a separate venue for the bridal party and groomsmen to get ready. Michelle and JP’s outdoor wedding took place under the iconic, beautiful oak trees as the sun set behind them by the lake.

The beloved couple spent the night surrounded in love with twenty—yes twenty!—people in their bridal party, JP’s dad serving as the officiant, and close friends playing the music for the ceremony. Friends and family celebrated together with an outdoor cocktail hour, followed by dinner, and even a surprise choreographed dance with JP and his mother. The full live band had guests dancing from the moment the floor opened until the final send off for the newly wedded couple.

Michelle and JP’s wedding will remain one of my favorites because of the evident love and joy their friends and family felt for them on this magical day.

Vendors:

Catering: Cafe Natalie

Florist: The Blooming Idea

Dress: Brickhouse Bridal

Photographer:Kelly Hornberger Photography


Ross + Caitlin - The Grove Houston Wedding Video

Ross + Caitlin - The Grove Houston Wedding Video

Ross & Caitlin said..
"James did a great job working within our budget and with our schedule! Very professional the whole time! He captured the beautiful moments of our wedding in the best way"

I befriended Ross and Caitlin a few years ago in college and considered myself honored to film the momentous day when they finally wed. The couple wanted a classic church wedding and chose to wed at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas. Gloria Dei offered a stunning chapel for the ceremony where the couple devoted to love and serve each for the rest of their days. The bride, along with everyone in attendance, wiped tears of joy from their eyes as the vows were spoken.

After the touching ceremony, the party began at The Grove in downtown Houston. The Grove is an upscale restaurant with an events pavilion upstairs with an exquisite view of downtown. The best man and the father of the bride delivered sentimental champagne toasts to the newlyweds with the father of the bride calling the celebration the “proudest day of his life.”  Guests enjoyed a night of endless dancing and delicious cake. For their grand exit, the couple descended a flight of stairs surrounded by the smiles and cheers of their family and friends.

 

Kara + Garrett - Kali Kate Ranch Wedding Film

The city of Austin is surrounded by sprawling hill country perfect for an outdoor wedding. Kali Kate Ranch in Buda, Texas served as the spectacular backdrop for the stunning wedding between Kara and Garrett. The bride and groom spoke their own romantic vows while the sun gently set behind them. The couple celebrated with a mixed Protestant and Jewish wedding that included breaking glass and being hoisted into the air in chairs as part of the grand celebration.

Kali Kate offers one of the best setups I’ve seen for guests to enjoy a sunset wedding, followed by a reception under an oversized open-air pavilion.  You’ll see in the wedding film just how unique and perfectly decorated this venue is.  It features a natural wooden bar for cocktail hour and a massive stone fireplace for warmth during the chilly October night of Kara and Garrett’s wedding.

The thing I loved most about this wedding was the enthusiasm and energy of all the guests. Every toast and every smile displayed how deeply happy it made everyone to see Kara and Garrett wed.

Vendors: 

Photography - Michelle Lonconto

Venue - Kali Kate