When you're booked with us, read this page!
Okay okay okay...now that the contract is squared away, what do you have to worry about now? From an itinerary to getting your pictures to us for a montage, it could seem like a lot. Follow the easy steps below and the process is painless!
This page basically lays out what our studio will need from you to complete your video in a timely fashion. Some of you are having a Photo to Video Montage done to be included in your video and to be shown at your reception. Some of you need to get a Love Story out of the way. Others need to coordinate Rehearsal or Pre-Ceremony times. You'll find the answers to all of your questions right here!
We ask all of our clients to read through this entire page to understand how we attack a day of shooting and what to fully expect from us.
IMPORTANT: When you're finished reading through all of this, click on the link just below that coincides with the package you booked with us. You can print it out and answer the individual items in your planning binders or once you know all of your info is finalized, you can sit down and simply fill out and submit the form online. Either way, we'll need you to submit your form no later than one week before your wedding date so Matt and his staff will have all of the information they'll need for executing filming on the day-of, as well as what Matt will need for editing after filming. This information is crutial in completing your video and if it's not taken care of, it can delay the delivery of your video. Average turnover time, once all information has been collected, is 2-16 weeks.
If you need to mail Matt Pictures or anything like that, his shipping address is:
702 Idlewild Rd., Bel Air, MD 21014
Matt's Cell (for your records): 410-459-1273
Let's get started! All forms are 100% secure so your information will be kept private and safe with Matt.
|-The Works Package|
What we'll need from you before hand (if something doesn't apply to you, ignore that particular section):
You're going to want to include an itinerary with your form (if you have one).
If you have your own itinerary put together, you'll have the opportunity to upload this with your form. Or you can email it to Matt at any time. All we need are exact times and addresses for the different events we may be covering...meaning if your ceremony is expected to start at 3pm, that's the time we want. We'll be there a little ahead of time to get set-up and film guests arriving and things of that nature. For Pre-Ceremony stuff, a good rule of thumb is to have us arrive about two hours before your actual Ceremony time. If there will be other important events going on during Pre-Ceremony activities we will work with those needs on an individual basis:) Even if on our contract everything is laid out already, it's nice to get a confirmation so if we ask for the info again, please understand we just want to make sure we're all on the same page! This is the biggest day of your life, we don't want to miss anything because of a written mistake in an address or something along those lines...and never have!
Pictures for your Montage
Not to be confused with the 'mini-photo montage' (36-40 picture, in the video-only) that comes with most of our packages, this is the full-blown photo montage option that we can show at your reception. If you're not having this done, skip ahead to the next section.
If you are having a 100 picture Photo to Video Montage done, we'll need your pictures at least a week in advance of your wedding. Remember, a good lengthed montage would be between 75-100 pictures long. Think of it in thirds or 90 pictures...30/30/30. 30 pics of the bride growing up through the years, 30 of the groom, and 30 of the two of you together. 90 pictures amounts to be about 12 minutes in length with more pictures obviously adding more overall time, so the limit is 100 pictures total. They can be any kind of picture you want, the sky's the limit. Most include pictures of family and friends with them. Whatever floats your boat! USPS, FedEx or UPS overnight does the trick for shipping. Make sure they're in order with each third in their own envelope with the song you want played for each segment written on the envelope. Picture size also is not a factor. We'll return the pics with your video or if we're coming over for Pre-Ceremony footage, we might drop them off then as well. Ideally, you might be better served to have your pictures scanned to JPEG. You can do this at many photo places... the two that are the most cost effective are Target or Kinkos. They'll do it why you wait and it's not expensive at all (in most cases 100 pictures cost about $25 or so). Just make sure you take all of the scans and number them in the order you want them in and put each different part into their own individual folders (her, him, together). In most cases, the photo place will do this for you. The benefit to doing this is you won't have to worry about the actual hard copies getting lost in the mail and it's always a good investment to have your important photos digitized!
Now, let's lay out what to expect from us on the day of your wedding:
If you're having Pre-Ceremony footage done, we're going to come to wherever the bride is getting ready about two hours before kick off. That time can vary from wedding to wedding depending on individual circumstances. Two hours before coming down the aisle is generally about the time the bride-to-be, with her girls, is about to get into her dress. Most like to capture footage of the tail end of that moment where the bridesmaids either button or zip up the back of the dress itself. From that point on, we're going to capture candid scenes of you and the girls posing for the photographer or whatever else that might go on, from formal photo shoots to last minute preparation. Whatever you want us to do, we'll film it.
If you have one of the upper end packages with an additional videographer, or the Groom is getting ready in the same location, we'll capture those precious scenes of him and his men drinking a beer cheering for their favorite team on television to win on their wedding day!
Most of the time, footage of the bride-to-be is all that's necessary for Pre-Ceremony footage as we will get more appropriate Pre-Ceremony stuff of the groom at the Ceremony location itself. When we're with the bride, we'll also get footage of the Pre-Ceremony location, bouquets and other 'staging' type shots. Also, instead of following you around like we should be another limb on your body, we stay in the background and keep to ourselves for the most part. There's no need to converse with your bridal party nor does your bridal party want to talk to, for the most part, some dude with a camera on this...your big day. There's also no need to film for an hour or two when only ten minutes or so is going to make it into the video. With that said, we're in and out in about fifteen to twenty minutes depending on if you're doing formal photos or not (that obviously takes a little more time).
Ninety-Nine percent of you are having Ceremony and Reception footage done. This section will explain what to expect from us for both.
For the Ceremony, we'll show up about an hour ahead of time to meet with whoever's in charge at the Ceremony location. Usually a priest at a church or a coordinator at other sites. We'll find out what we can and can't do when it comes to shooting at your event, but most find we're not going to be in the way anyway. Refer to the 'being another limb' reference above. We'll also meet with your photographer then as well (if we haven't done so already at any Pre-Ceremony shoot) and make sure he or she has the ground they need. You only get one chance to get a good shot as a photographer, so we like to work around them since we get continual footage from different angles.
After getting a mic on the groom (an MP3 recorder that will not interfere with any house system) and shooting some more staging scenes, this time of the facility, your guests being seated and some 'behind-the-scenes' shots of the bride, the groom and others of importance, the big show is about to begin! We start with an angle from the front of the facility, usually on a knee leaning around a pue in front of the photographer, to capture your bridal procession...from your parents and grandparents being seated, to little flower girls and ring bearers, to the bridesmaids and finally to the bride herself! Once the bride is about three-quarters of the way down the aisle or so, we bail from up front and that's the last you'll notice of us...if you've noticed us at all to that point. We then float in the side aisles to capture different angles of you, your wedding party, parents and guests (if the facility lets us get that far up the side aisles).
The whole time that process is going on, a central camera either in a balcony or located somewhere in the back of the facility, will be capturing the main event from start to finish from it's particular angle. With the second camera, we'll roam the side aisles and get a bunch of different angles to tie into that main camera footage. Ultimately, the finished product will look like it was filmed from a dozen or more different camera angles. Both cameras can also be a good ways away from the important stuff and zoom in to make it look like we were right there next to you, so there's no need to get up-close and personal. Again, refer to the 'being another limb' reference in the Pre-Ceremony section. Likewise, this is where a second videographer comes in if you've booked a package that includes the extra person. He or she, by manning the main camera, free's up the main camera person to be more creative and patient getting great shots with the second 'floating' camera.
After discreetly capturing the Ceremony, we'll capture any post activity including receiving lines, formal photo shoots and rice tosses (or bird seed, or bubbles, or...well you get the idea) . From there, it's off to the Reception!
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING WIRELESS MICROPHONES:
Some venues will not allow the use of wireless microphones (the USNA Chapel comes to mind here). If this is the case at your facility, don't worry! We use MP3 recorders that film 'on-board' the very unit (about the size of a flip cell phone) that has no wireless signal.
If you're having your ceremony outdoors, wind (over 15-20mph) can also reek havoc with any type of microphone platform. On windy days we request our clients to allow us to use a 'mouse', as we elequantly like to call it. It's a golf-ball sized fuzz ball, black in color, that we can put over our wireless microphone that will significantly cut down on wind noise. We'll likewise use a 'dead cat' on our shotgun microphones on the main camera which will also significantly cut down on wind noise as well.
For the Reception, we'll get plenty of staging scenes of the facility, your guests during any cocktail hour (time permitting), your cake before it's destroyed, your gift table, food, floral arrangements and table setups, etc. Then, we'll get all of the important stuff in the beginning from your introductions, to first dances, toasts and so on with our camera mounted on a shoulder harness for fluid shots that allows us to be very mobile getting from one place to another quickly. A second camera person (if your package comes with one) can get reactionairy shots of guests during toasts and things like that, as well as help film other random stuff at the reception (dancing, etc.). With the Gold package, the second person can also man the optional Interview Station, where your friends can come over and toast or roast you on film.
Also, we DO NOT use blinding, white hot lights! If you've been to a few receptions, you probably know what I'm talking about here. If we have to use lights at all, they'll be very soft halogen bulbs that won't look like the space shuttle lifting off at night. With the software and cameras we use, just enough light allows us to brighten things up when editing if necessary and in many cases, no lights are required at all at receptions as long as they're lit decently.
Anyway, after the initial blast of important scenes, there's usually an hour-long down time during dinner. This is usually a good time to show a full blown Montage if you have one done. Or, we can loop the montage on a facility video system throughout the night (many venues have TV's in the bar area).
After any montage presentation, we'll capture candid shots of your guests having a good time making fools of themselves on the dance floor and of course get all of the other important events of the night, including bouquet/garter tosses, cake cuttings and so on.
Once we capture all of the footage we need, and as long as you follow the guidelines here in preparation for the video, there is no reason why you shouldn't get your video back within 2-20 weeks depending on the season. If your wedding is in the Spring, you'll get your video back pretty quickly. If your wedding is later in the year, it'll take a bit longer. Average turnover times are 10-12 weeks.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING LED LIGHTING:
An absorborant amount of LED lighting at your reception (or even ceremony) can give cameras fits in todays wedding world. LED lighting is bright, cool to the touch and have up to 256 color options. The problem? DJ's, bands and/or wedding designers can have LED lighting everywhere for effect and mood. LED lighting is not a bad thing, but if it's the primary light source it can make subject matter look that color in your video and even wash some subject matter out all together if they're being illuminated directly by LED lighting.
The issue lies in the fact that we see things differently than a video camera does. When we walk into a room that is lit with LED lights, our brains automatically correct what we are seeing to something that we perceive as looking natural. A video camera can't do that. If we walk into a room that has a purple color from LED lighting, our brains are going to even things out for us, but the video camera is going to see everything in purple.
Another issue with some LED lighting is that they flicker. Technically, LED lights pulse at a certain frequency per second and the video camera's shutter opens and closes a certain amount of times per second. If the LED pulse frequency is not a number that is a multiple of the video camera's shutter speed, then you can have flicker from the LEDs as well... although this is much less common.
We're not saying LED's are bad, we in fact offer LED lighting upgrades and think they're awesome! But a good mix of halogen lighting (normal ceiling or lamp type lighting) and LEDs will look both great to your eyes in person on the day of, and look great on film (as the halogen cancels out the 'washed out' effect LEDs can cause).
If you're okay with the effect the LEDs may give off if they're the primary light source, no problem! Ignore this issue. If you'd like the subject matter in your video to look more natural, ask your DJ/ band coordinator/ wedding coordinator or designer to make sure LED lighting will not be the primary light source and see if they can offer a good mix of regular halogen and LED lighting. It would be both beneficial to us as videographers, and to your photographer as well (although their flash compensates for the overuse of LED in most situations).
Below are some visual samples that we're talking about for your reference. Send your planner/DJ or whoever's in charge of your lighting to this page to see what we're talking about if you have any concerns about the overuse of LED lighting.
Here's a still example of 'washed out' video due to the overuse of LED lighting:
If your reception room is going to look like this (in any color), you'll probably encounter the 'LED Effect' (as we've dubbed it) because LED lighting is the primary light source:
Here's an example of a great blend of LED lighting and regular lighting that will make for the best lighting conditions for videographers and photographers alike. There's even more regular halogen lighting in this example than is really even needed. The goal for good lighting conditions is to have some halogen light to offset the LED lighting:
Love Story Shoots, Save-the-Dates & Rehearsal Shoots:
The Love Story Shoot is pretty straight forward. You pick a day anytime before your ceremony. If you're having us come out for your Rehearsal, sometimes this would be a good time to shoot. If you want to do it months in advance, that's cool too! Whatever you want to do. Basically it only takes about a half an hour or an hour to shoot. We'll interview you both separately asking questions like how you met, where was your first dinner and so on. Then, we'll bring you together and if you both answered any of our first set of questions differently than the other, we'll ask the same questions again and let you guys work it out:) Usually funny, to the point and set in a location of your choice, the Love story adds a great intro to your video or could even turn your 15 minutes of fame at the reception into 30 minutes if you wanted to! And please don't coordinate how the two of you will answer our questions before hand...that's cheating ;-) Optionally, to cap off each individual segment, I'll have you write a letter to one another expressing your feelings and life's dreams. If this doesn't get the tear ducts in overdrive, you're not human!
Rehearsal Coverage really should only cover your actual Rehearsal at the facility and part of your Rehearsal Dinner at the restaurant. Some like candid footage from the Dinner, some like to see what went on during the actual Rehearsal. It's up to your tastes. If you really want footage from both, we'll come out and film some of the actual Rehearsal, and hang around for a half an hour or so of the Dinner. Only about ten to fifteen minutes of this footage is going to wind up in the video as a montage, so there's no reason to get a couple hours worth of footage and get in the way more than is necessary. If you don't want interviews done at the reception, as it breaks away from our non-obtrusive style, the Rehearsal dinner might be a good time to interview your close family and friends... you know... the people you actually may want to hear from:) You basically get us for two hours. If you desire more coverage let us know and we can work something out price wise for more time:)
A Save-the-Date if a video we'll do for you to share with guests via online social media to, well, save your date! This has to be set up right away if you're booking well in advance of your wedding. If you're booking last-minute, it's pointless to even get this option. Confer with Matt personally to set up a time and location to knock-out your Save-the-Date video!
We want this to be an enjoyable process for you, and more importantly, we want you to cherish your video forever. With your help in the process, rest assured your wedding video will be the best investment you'll make on your big day! Of course, if you have any questions at any time, please email Matt:)
NOTE: Matt will usually confirm with his clients that he's received your form submittal, as well as copy the results and mail them to you for review within 48 hours of submitting.