Santa Barbara Courthouse Couple
My first time shooting a wedding on still photography only was also the first time I was the signing witness for an elopement. Though their family did know they were getting married, the couple chose to be the only ones in attendance in addition to myself. I later found out that this is a photographers dream. There are no guests or family members to keep track of and pose. Your only focus is the couple. It;s almost like doing a multi location portraiture shoot. It was great. Full creative freedom to shoot how I please, and even suggest locations.
I was blessed to have shot for this couple on my first go round with wedding photography. Doing the mock preparation photoshoot at the University Club really helped as it gave this couple an example of my still photography work. Filming weddings is similar yet entirely different to photographing weddings. As the videographer you can be somewhat of a fly on the wall. As a photographer you are the director. There is a bit more stress on the photographers shoulders to set everything up. It's a fun skill that I'm excited to work on and improve.
This elopement was a great balance between being able to Capture the Moment and direct the action. Next time I want to try doing video fusion in which I take photos and capture some video. That way more couples who choose this route can get photos and some video without having to hire a photographer and videographer.
Christina and Graham!
When having your wedding at The University Club of Santa Barbara the bridal preparations take place in The Park Room which over looks Alameda Park. What better place to do a test shoot/ collaboration photo-shoot for Bridal Prep then the actual room the brides use to get ready in on their big day. I enlisted a few friends, model Paige, MHUA Cheryl, Bethany's dress and all else fell into place.
This shoot was held to use the photos and footage as examples of the quality of work I can deliver for wedding videography. Though I have been so inspired by wedding photography lately that I jumped right into taking photos of fun bridal prep poses. Which do you like better? Well you don't have to decide as I edited them all together in the above music video. I hope you enjoy the photography, videography and music in "Santa Barbara Bridal Prep at The University Club."
Photos and Videography by Melissa Laine of Capture the Moment, CapturetheMoment.video
Make up and Hair by Cheryl Nacario at cherylnacario.com
The Bridal Preparation Music Video is set to Tyler Ward's acoustic cover of One Direction's "What Makes You beautiful."
Shot inside the Park Room and the grounds of The University Club of Santa Barbara.
Wedding Rehearsal Dinner at Santa Barbara's Canary Hotel Roof Top
A Kimpton Property, The Canary has beautiful 360 views of Santa Barbara. Comparable vistas to that of the courthouse clock tower yet with a pool and bottle service. If I had to choose, I would save the clock tower for photo shoots, when you can have just about any top notch event held on the Roof Top of The Canary Hotel.
This wedding rehearsal dinner was held in August 2015, and it was my first time second shooting with a high end destination wedding videographer. Hearing about all the locations she has been able to film at was an inspiration for me and a tipping point to reach a new goal with wedding videography.
Most of the guest were from Texas. The lone star state has an interesting custom that differs from typical weddings I have shot in the past. The toasts happen at the rehearsal dinner not at the wedding. Or if there is toasts at the wedding there are very few and not from the main bridal party or parents of the bride and groom. Therefore it was very important to capture every moment of their dear friends and families toasts.
I enjoyed shooting at golden hour, working with the sunsets light challenges and beauty is a fun tango to dance. The young couple were touched and I was impressed by the speeches coming from their bridal party. Intelligent, heartfelt and thoughtful toasts were heard throughout. The sophistication and elegance of the couple's style was reflected in their wedding rehearsal dinner on the Roof Top of The Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara California.
November 2015 at the Biltmore Montecito was the last wedding of the season for me yet it was a wedding with a lot of firsts. This was my first time filming a black tie wedding. It was also the first time I filmed a wedding with a well know celebrity in the family.
Without being briefed on the couples celeb family guest list, I showed up to second shoot the bridal parties preparations. Right after being handed a camera a familiar face walks by me to help out the bride. I register who it is and carry on. It's not my first time working with 'celebrities' on 'set' so I take a breath, mentally note how cool this is, calmly start shooting and ask for direction from the lead videographer.
No matter who is there, the day is reserved for the three biggest celebrities. Number one The Bride, celeb number Two The Couple, and last but not least celebrity number Three The Groom. The entire day is set up for the couple to feel grand, royal, important, supported, like they matter. Every service that goes into creating the day, from the flowers, table settings, to the food are there for the couple to feel comforted. Every service worker from the florist, wedding planner, caterer, event site manager, DJ, Photographer, to Videographer they are there to make the couple feel special.
I don't think I even shot the 'celebrity' once because there wasn't the right angle for them, and mostly because the focus is on the couple. It's about them. It's their wedding day. That is how I perform my trade every time, every wedding. Remembering what's important to Capture The Moment.
This Santa Barbara October Wedding was held at a Private Home in the exclusive neighborhood of Hope Ranch. I was the second wedding videographer shooting for the day. I enjoy second shooting as I get to become more and more familiar with my favorite photo/ video camera the Canon 7D Mark 11. I grabbed a few screen shots of my work on this wedding for social media.
What I liked about this wedding was the drone they had filming. Even though the noise from the propellers of a drone can be fairly distracting, the operator flew it discretely considering how much of a nuisance it could have been. They did a fly away shot at the beach during sunset. Other than a few over head property shots during cocktail hour, the post wedding couple photo shoot should be the only time a drone flies at a wedding.
I also appreciated that this couple stuck to tradition and didn't do a first look. I feel like the moment the groom sees his bride from the alter and she sees her groom standing up there, is the whole point of the wedding. It exists for that moment. Our job as photographers and videographers, is to capture that moment. I see why couples now agree to create this moment so that it's not missed. But now it has become a little too staged. I've noticed in weddings where the couple decides to see each other before the wedding, that it takes out that extra twinkle in the eye at this moment during the ceremony. As well as that the reactions during the first look may feel a little contrived. The best photos and video come from the moments in a wedding that are not planned, not staged, that are authentically captured in the moment. Which is why I named my wedding videography company Capture The Moment Video. I named it back in the year 2000, long before this 'first look' trend was started. I was only 16 years old and I knew then as I know now, what's important to filming the magic of a wedding.
In this highlight wedding video Shelley & Gareth get married at the Santa Barbara Zoo. They got the opportunity to feed the giraffes after their ceremony. Flamingos walked along side of the couple and their guests. The evening concluded upon cabrillo lawn under the stars.
* Dress by The Dress, Downtown Santa Barbara.
The moments on the job, shooting and filming. A behind the scenes experience.