Wedding season rolls on through the fall, and my latest wedding videography experience took me to a gorgeous lakeside location in White Pine, Tennessee.
The ceremony and reception for Ashton and Stephen Byrne were held at the bride's house, which was especially fortunate for the parents paying for the evening. It's also easy to see in the highlight video above that the mountains overlooking the lake made for a picturesque wedding experience for all who attended, and because the Tennessee football team played earlier that week on Thursday night, no one was missing the Vols during the wedding. Smart scheduling there.
Once again, I shot the ceremony with the help of my wife Martha, but I was by myself with two cameras for everything else. I shot primarily with my Canon 70D during the earlier part of the night and switched over to the 5D for the low-light situations. I really tried to take advantage of having two cameras during the first dances, toasts and fireworks display. And yes, the fireworks were just as impressive in person.
The bride had asked if I could give the video a bit of a bluegrass theme so I decided to use that for the reception portion of the video. Fortunately, they had hired a bluegrass duo for the night so I just spliced together some audio from songs they played during dinner. Add that to the strong soundbites from the pastor and those giving toasts, plus the quick interviews with the bride and groom, the video turned out probably as close as possible to what I had envisioned.
Kudos to all for putting on a great night. Enjoy the look through my lens!
As promised, here's the first wedding highlight video of the season: Mathew & Leelan Whaley. What a great, easy-going couple to shoot! They were so expressive with their emotions toward each other. My job was easy: keep them in frame and in focus and let them them tell the story with their face.
You will see early on in the video that Leelan wrote Mathew a lengthy love letter to read when he arrived at the venue. Whatever it said, it got him crying for the first of several times that day.
They event was held at the gorgeous Swann Plantation, which is a bit of a hidden gem in Sevierville, TN. Homeowner Shari Coleman told me they are relatively new to hosting weddings, but they do an impressive job. At this wedding, the whole family seemed to be working whether it was coordinating, decorating, cooking, doing make-up, shuttling people to and from the parking lot, etc.
Thanks to my wife, Martha, for helping with a second camera for the ceremony. She was on a Canon 5D in the back while I roamed around with a 70D on a monopod. There was also a GoPro Hero 4 Session mounted high up behind the pastors. Speaking of, the ultimate thanks goes to Sharrion Payne, the pastor who hired me to shoot the event!
More wedding videos to come...
Anyone who knows me and my wife knows we're always up for a party. And what parties consistently deliver free quality food and beverage for guests ages 25-and-up more than weddings?
My wife and I have attended dozens of wedding together. So much so, we will even make side bets: Who will be the first bridesmaid to cry? What's the over/under on the length of the sermon? Will "Uptown Funk" be played at the reception? If so, how many times? etc.
So after considering myself a bit of an expert Wedding Guest, the transition to Wedding Videographer has become a fun and seamless learning experience. So far, I have shot a wedding each of the previous two weekends with a few more on the horizon this fall.
In many ways, weddings are like shooting sports. You have one chance to get the shot., and every ceremony is like a game in that you can prepare where to position your camera to get the best shots but have to be ready to adjust on the fly.
I've been able to cover the ceremonies with a Canon 5D on a tripod in the back on crowd, a GoPro placed behind the minister facing the bride and groom while I move around with my Canon 70D on a monopod to vary up the shots. I've also been able to cover most of the key points of the reception with the 5D on the tripod while I shoot with the 70D until the light gets too low and I switch up to just the 5D. Again, I've learned something with each shoot and am confident I'll have the routine down pat.
Congratulations to Matthew & Leelan Whaley and Stephen & Ashton Byrne on their beautiful weddings, and thanks so much for letting me be a part of them!
I'll be posting videos from them soon.
Okay, so maybe it hasn't been too long since I've rushed to meet deadline for a local TV station.
This is a feeling where a little goes a long way. When you face that stress four or five times a week, it becomes burdensome and burns you out. That certainly happened to me in my TV career. It's like the old saying of, "Do you love ice cream? Ok, then can you eat it everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner?"
The beauty of doing what I'm doing now is in the variety. One day I'm shooting sports, the next day a wedding and then TV news the next. So I actually look forward to the deadline rush when I get it so infrequently now.
This is all a roundabout way to bring up that last week, thanks to a freelance gig for WRCB out of Chattanooga, I once again got to put on the TV news photog glasses (in the form of an old-school Panasonic P2 camera borrowed from the station). The reason for the shoot was completely cringeworthy. If you dare, just google "Ooltewah basketball" and you will quickly see the juvenile court case that was being tried at the Sevier County courthouse.
Anyway, we had our first of several live shots scheduled for 5pm. Problem was, the verdict of the case did not happen until after 4pm and we got our only interview with one of the attorneys around 4:30. Maybe later.
The reporter, who was perfectly nice, was a starting to get more than a little concerned about making deadline. Perhaps in her mind, she would have to navigate through the editing/FTP/LiveU process herself. After all, we had just met that morning. She had never seen me in action. Not that I'm the Usain Bolt of turning content, and I was slightly out of practice, but this was nothing compared to the deadlines I would face everyday covering sports (especially as a one-man-band in Raleigh).
Of course, everything went smoothly. Her laptop had Edius for editing and FileZilla for FTP, all things with which I was more than familiar. And the new LiveUs are simple enough for a 3rd grader to use (press a couple buttons, plug in a cable, and BOOM, you're live on the air).
We knocked out every live shot while feeding content in between, and when it was over, the reporter was incredibly thankful for making her day less stressful. And I was thankful to be part of TV news rush for one day.
Just not everyday.
Jason Jennings is a freelance videographer based in Raleigh, NC. He previously spent more than a decade covering sports for television stations in Florida, North Carolina, Texas and Missouri.