After 14 years in the business, I need to slow down. I have a full-time job, I have a wife and two kids, and I need a break. I enjoy weddings, I really do, but I also want to spend time with my family. As a result, I am taking a step back from recording wedding videos. But, I don't want to walk away from the business because I really do love it. My new goal is to pass along the things I have learned over the years to the next generation of vendors and couples. This is the first episode of many where I will give advice.
Here are some highlight videos from last year. 2017 was a lot of fun and 2018 is shaping up to be a great year. Looking forward to the first wedding of the season in April!
2017 was a good year for me. I enjoyed be a part of so many great weddings and working with so many great couples. It was the first year I had an assistant on almost every shoot, and what a difference that makes! We added drones into the mix this past Summer, which was loads of fun and what great video it takes. On a personal note, my wife and I welcomed our second child into the world in September which is very exciting. It has slowed down some post production work a little. And my wife also past a certification exam that she spent the better part of a year studying for.
I am hoping that 2018 is will be full of happy couples, good times, and amazing videos.
Now that I officially have me Part 107 Certificate from the FAA, I can fly my drone anywhere (that I am legally allowed to). With this, I am expanding my services to include aerial photo and video services. Location and weather permitting, I will be including it with my wedding video services. Beyond that I am available for aerial photo/video services for anything you can imagine (within the law). Contact me today to plan out your next aerial photo shoot. Great for real-estate or using as part of your promotional video for your business.
Here are some shots from last week's wedding.
Drones, they are the cool new thing that everyone is playing with to make cool video clips, cut away shots and making money. But don't be so quick to ask for a drone shot for your wedding cause there are some things that you should really think about.
Even though drones are fairly in expensive these days, and you seem to see them everywhere, there are actually a lot of regulations surrounding them. Chances are many of the drones you are seeing flying around don't always meet certain requirements or are breaking the law. Example, this 4th of July, I was enjoying a nice day at the beach with the family when all the sudden someone decided to fly a drone of the crowd. Some people thought it was cool, some were annoyed cause they do make noise, and well it has a camera that can take pictures of all the people sun bathing. First thing I thought of? Unless he for a waiver from the FAA, he is breaking the law. What law? The one that says you can not fly directly over a crowd of people. Actually, you can't fly over anyone that is not directly part of the filming unless you have prior authorization from the FAA.
Another big point is that all drones over a certain weight, which almost all that have a camera on them, have to be registered with the FAA and the rPIC (Remote Pilot in Command) must have a Part 107 Certificate from the FAA. This is a fairly new law this year, but it was put into place to prevent the skies from filling up with people that don't know how to fly a drone safely.
Why am I taking the time explaining all of this? That's because I am on track to be a certified rPIC. Next week, I will be sitting down to take my exam, and will hopefully pass and have my official Part 107 Certificate. Then when you come to higher me to do a drone shot for your video project, you will know that I can legally fly the drone, know the laws regarding flying the drone, and will of course get a great shot.
Thank you to Creative Concepts by Lisa for having me on wedding therapy show "Teal Couch Tuesday". I was invited on along with Arnold from Barnberry Productions to talk about wedding videos. We talked about our philosophies for recording weddings, and answer Lisa's questions. It was a fun time and I hope to be on again in the future.
Over the past decade, both photography and videography has been making a digital shift. When digital SLRs first came out, I knew pro photographers that were completely against using them over their film cameras. Now, those same people are taking 1000s of images at a wedding without the worry of running out of storage cause memories cards are so cheap these days. And with video, a similar shift happened. When I first started in this business, I would have 5 pre labeled MiniDV tapes ready to go. Had to manage video time with the tapes and so on. Now, I use 1-2 memory cards per camera to capture hours of video without worry. I have invested rather heavily in hard drives though.
Now that is how the experience of the pro has changed as far as capturing the video and photos. But what about delivery? Let's take a look at the photo side of things. Photogs used to give 4x6 prints of all the photos, then the couple choose what they like for an album and the photog designs an album and has it printed and charge a nice fee for it. Fast forward to now, and I can choose from sites like Pixeset, PASS, and Smugmug, just to name a few, to deliver my photos to my clients. These sites make beautiful galleries, easy sharing options, print options for the clients and their family and friends and so much more. The printing option might be the best because it off loads the print work from the photog to the printer. Even full image delivery is made easier because the entire gallery can be downloaded by the client. No more printing every image, no exporting to a disc or usb drive and mailing. Everything is online, and people love it.
But what about video? Well, for the most part I am still making DVDs. The best thing I did in this regard was to start using a DVD printer to do the finishing after I publish it. Since I started doing that, not one failed disc. But I'm tired of making DVDs. It downgrades the resolution of the video I recorded to SD, and DVDs don't last. DVDs have a shelf life of about 25 years. I want to go completely digital, so what do I do? Yes, YouTube has been around for decade now, but up until recently you could not put long form videos on there. And even then, most clients don't want their wedding day on a public platform used to share cat videos. There are private share options within YouTube, but let's be honest, when a couple spends good money on a professional video, they don't want it delivered on a free streaming service.
For the past couple of years I have been using Vimeo, which is great cause it's more private that YouTube, and I can put a lot of different privacy options on my videos. And I can also allow clients to download the video on their end. Now I have a true delivery system! Except there are couple of things I don't like. I still like having the menu structure of a DVD, giving people the chance to skip around the chapters. The only way to do chapters in Vimeo and YouTube is by putting them in the comments which although does work, I don't think it looks clean.
Well, after this long winded backstory, I am pleased to say I found my answer. And to be honest, I only found this by reading and watching other people's blogs and they have been talking about this. I am talking about MedialZilla. This site will allow me to delivery a rich DVD like experience to clients all on the internet. No DVDs to mail, and lose or get broken. Everything online, and the client can share and download the video. And unlike a video sharing site, there are no distractions or recommended videos when done watching. Today, I will be sending my first ever online DVD to my first wedding couple of 2017. I think that this will be a great experience for all of my future couples and for me as well. Embrace the digital age everyone!
Another new item on the market that everyone is raving about is probably the smallest thing in my bag. The Tascam DR-10L is nothing short of a life saver. What is it? Why do I love it?
At every wedding, I put a wireless mic on the groom and have that send it's signal back to a camera or other recorder for the ceremony. I have gone through a couple different ones over the years, but they have their limitations. They can have wireless interference, and during a live event like a wedding, you can't stop and change settings.
The DR-10L is a lapel mic without the wireless part. It is a microphone and recorder in one. It is powered by one little AAA battery and records to a microSD card. Since it is it's own recorder, I can turn it on, start record and put it in the Groom's pocket and know I'm good. No more worrying about wireless interference or being out of range.
After shooting with my new setup this past week, I am super excited about shooting more weddings with my new gear.
It is currently 32˚ and raining outside while I write this. It's a cold bitter day, and maybe not the time you are thinking about your wedding plans. But this is the best time of the year to get in touch will all your vendors to start planning your wedding. For us, this is the time of the year where we have finished up the work from last season and have a month or two before the weddings start up again. This leaves us with plenty of time to talk with you.
Want to save on stress, then try planning way ahead, I mean like more than a year. Now is the perfect time to plan for your 2018 wedding. Get all of your vendors lined up and then relax... as much as you can until your wedding day. This will also give you more time to budget and maybe find some extra money for that one extra thing you want on your wedding day.
Getting married this year? No problem. I still have dates available for this year, and I'm sure other vendors do as well. I find that most people tend to find their videographer near the end of their planning (I have even been booked on the same day!).
No matter when you are getting married, this time of the year is great for talking with us. Time to get on the Internet, do your searches, make your lists and start setting up some meetings.