Sunday, December 27, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Last night I wrapped up my last official wedding of the ’09 wedding season at Pasadena’s Rococo Room (congratulations Caryn & Mike!). This fact didn’t really dawn on me until I was putting my equipment away, crossing my T’s and dotting my I’s. So, I decided to take a walk down memory lane and I pulled out my list of clients for the season … to remind myself of where I’d been and who I’d shot. I suddenly felt like a post-nuptial bride. How did it go by so quickly? It’s all just a blur.
Amongst my list of clients, there was Bridget and Bjorn married back in May. Just the sweetest, cutest couple … beautiful wedding all around. They also had very memorable toasters – the bride’s father being one of them. When it came time to put a recap together of their day, Bridget’s father’s words stuck in my head. Because those words were so incredibly touching I decided to let the father tell the story for the recap video.
So here’s a wedding story told from a father’s perspective.
Photographer: Scott A. Nelson
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
It was a windy Tuesday night as I was driving thru the hills of Hollywood. The further up the mountain I went, the more desolate it became. I wasn’t used to bumpy, single lane roads. What kind of event had I been invited to participate in? No signs, no lights. “Am I here?”, I thought as I drove into a dirt lot. No way. Keep going. And I did … only to arrive right back to where I started. Fate? Who knows? But these are no times to be questioning such things …. after all, gasoline prices are way too high. Are those twinkling lights I see up ahead? Yes indeed! Joy! I wasn’t lost after all. I meet up with some kind folk – Carissa of JL Designs – couture floral and event stylist! Civilization is not lost! In fact, this is where it takes on new meaning.
I sign in at the registration table at the bottom of the hill … and then I’m directed up the path – the dark, predominately unlit path. Is this the part of the movie where I call out for the proverbial Steve? In a high-pitched manner … “Steve? Steve? Where are you Steve? ….This isn’t funny!”
I ventured forth with camera in tow. There’s no such things as ghosts, goblins, Jasons or Freddies. Up the hill I trekked. More lights up ahead … oh joy, joy, joy! Fun and merriment and strange and beautiful costumes abound! I was safe and happy.
Enjoy the light at the end of my scary (albeit very short) tunnel.
Beautiful still photography below by Meg Perotti
Leila Khalil – Be Inspired PR
Kellee Khalil – Who What Weddings
Monday, October 26, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
For those of you that have taken a quick peek-see at my blog, you’ve found that I’m a relative newbie … an infant in the art of blogulism … err, blogocity … blogging! (See what I mean?) Because I’m new at this skill, I have to ask – what are the rules on blogging what someone else blogged if it’s a blog about you? Got that?
Recently, [The FABULOUS] Ms. Amber of Amber Events asked me a few questions about myself and my views on the biz o’ weddings. So, to reblog or not or reblog? I throw caution to the wind people … here is A Videographer’s Perspective.
P.S. Why do I describe Amber as FABULOUS?
A) She is.
B) That’s what she creates – fabulosity.
C) That’s how you’ll end up feeling once you’ve worked with her.
D) All of the above.
Well, D) All of the above, of course.
Friday, September 25, 2009
How do you live life properly? In The Now baby, In The Now. That’s the name of coordinator Amanda Auer’s stellar company – In The Now Weddings & Events, and she recently had the grand opening of her studio located in the cool Santa Ana arts district. Even cooler? The studio design, the lighting, the atmosphere, the signature drinks, the delicious desserts, the music, the photo booth … ya get the idea? Amanda knows how to throw a good party.
Thanks to Amanda for the invite … and for not kicking me out when I brought my camera. :P
Recently I was surrounded by some serious talent. Cat Benner of Next Exit Photography hosted a little afternoon soiree. The guests? About 15 of the awesomest female photographers around. Had I been a bride in search of a photographer, I would either have been in wedding heaven or confused out of my gourd … so many choices. Instead I had a plethora of yummy food to choose from. To avoid any frustration in deciding what to eat, I went the easy route – one of everything!
In between my munching, I shot the footage below.
Special guest appearance by Fat the Cat (minute 2:00).
Friday, September 11, 2009
Ok, so normally I’m not a fan of hot weather unless it involves a cabana, a fruity umbrella-christened drink and a pair of flip-flops but on this one particular day heat didn’t phase (or daze) me.
Cecile and Julian broke up their wedding into two parts – the I Do’s on Saturday and the reception on Sunday. Made sense especially since the ceremony took place in Lancaster – a desert town about 75 miles from downtown L.A. – and the reception at the Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach, 110 miles away. As I aptly put it on Facebook, it was love California-style - from the desert to the sea.
Because the ceremony was a more intimate affair and was a little restrictive for guests due to distance, Cecile and Julian wanted to make sure that those that weren’t able to go to the ceremony could relive the day on Sunday. That’s where I come in.
I got to capture them getting ready early Saturday morn, the emotion-filled ceremony and the way cool photo shoot afterwards. What made the photo shoot so cool, you ask? (Ok, maybe you didn’t ask but let’s just pretend.) The post-ceremony photos were shot on a movie set out in the middle of nowhere. Well, it felt like nowhere.
Imagine the Bates Motel Kill-Bill style …. saaa-weeet. The visuals were awesome. I can’t wait to see what images Candice from Mark Brooke Photography got. And the heat gave it that extra umph. You don’t see the temperature in the video but you can feel the heat …. hmmm, or was that the chemistry Cecile and Julian had going on? Oh my!
After the shoot, I made the trek back down to Long Beach and to my edit desk to marry some of C&J’s favorite songs with the video shot just hours earlier. Below is an example of a happy marriage. :-) The next-day edit was shown prior to Cecile & Julian’s grand entrance into a style-filled reception room – kudos to Amanda Auer of In The Now Events and Weddings.
Cecile and Julian – thanks for allowing me to be a major part of your day. It was an honor.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I remember my mom showing me old Super 8 films on a clunky old projector off of our living room wall as a child. I remember staring at the little figures that were being projected on the wall. I could make out my mother as a young person … my grandfather – with hair! Wow. How special to see what they were like back in the day. How I wanted to jump into the picture to experience even more of what it might have been like for them, what they must have felt.
I also remember that the projector had to be handled just right otherwise the film might melt due to a too-hot bulb or snap in half due to a weakness or small tear in the film. I knew then how important that film was. It was my glimpse into my family’s life. I glimpse I could have seen no other way.
Fast-forward several years.
I stand in a church as a bride and groom say their vows as I watch them thru the viewfinder of my camera. This time I’m the one creating the images that will be experienced by this couple’s family, future children, grandchildren, etc. Maybe no longer projected on a wall, maybe now on a 42-inch flatscreen. Old switches now replaced by remotes.
What draws us in has less to do with the technology used but everything to do with the story. The medium has changed, the emotions haven’t.
Not everyone considers video a necessity for his or her wedding. Whether it is because they remember cheesy star-wiped videos from the 80’s or because the budget just doesn’t allow for it. All valid. People may have a dozen reasons why they shouldn’t have a video but sometimes they fail to remember why they should…
... to hear the emotion in your spouse’s voice as he or she utters their vows to you
... a grandparent smiling at you and your new spouse as you begin your new life together
... your parents’ heartfelt toast telling you how they've never been prouder
All these moments plus many, many others come together to create a story that is uniquely, sublimely yours. Your story is not a solitary point in time but many weaved together to include the sights, sounds and emotions of the day.
An experienced videographer knows how to capture these moments, knows how to piece them all together to evoke an emotion. Aside from the obvious benefits of hiring an expert – professional equipment, experienced eye, dedicated shooter, editing skills – a wedding video has the magical ability to make those ethereal moments tangible all over again and what was once tangible is now ethereal.
As I watched those old Super 8’s, I poked fun at my mom’s high-teased hair, all the time thinking how beautiful she was. I don’t know if your children will tease you about anything but I can guarantee they will see their parent’s beauty and the love they share in the video that captured it all.
Today’s videographer goes by many titles … filmmaker, storyteller, visual artist. Whatever you want to call them, they all have their own unique way of telling a story. Matching the talents of the artist with the vision and story of the bride and groom will be covered in an upcoming blog on finding the right videographer.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
07.07.07 – Probably the busiest day in the wedding industry … ever! The luckiest day of the century? Maybe. It was for Larisa and Chris anyway – my beautiful, joy-filled bride and groom. It was for me as well because I was given the opportunity to shoot their gorgeous event.
The triple sevens were on their side the entire day, no doubt about that. One special moment that comes to mind when I think of their wedding occurred during the reception. Chris surprised Larisa by having some musician friends perform John Lennon’s ‘Love’. It was quite beautiful.
So, here it is … a scene from one of the luckiest days of the century.
Happy Anniversary Larisa & Chris!
P.S. Another favorite – the Carolyn Bessette and John F. Kennedy Jr. kiss on the hand moment. (sigh)
Monday, July 6, 2009
The Date: June 23, 2009.
The Occasion: Mixer for Beverly Harris’ Leave It To Me Events.
Another opportunity to hobnob with wedding industry professionals. Although I didn’t do too much hobnobbing myself since my skills were required behind the camera.
When viewing the world through a small viewfinder, life can become a little more concentrated ... beauty is much more obvious … talents more apparent. This was the case with Beverly. You can tell by the reactions of the attendees that this event planner has a fan club in the making.
Enjoy the video of this fun little soiree.
(Grab a mic everybody!) ... It was a good night (woohoo) … let’s do it, let’s do it again.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
I recently had the chance to participate in a great little event - Wedding Happy Hour (WHH) at the oh-so-cool Foundry on Melrose. WHH is a chill get-together for brides and grooms that still have a few things to check off of their wedding to-do list.
What better way to end a Monday evening than to unwind with a cocktail (or two), yummy food and the opportunity to pick the brains of some the wedding industry's best. I was shooting for most of it so I didn’t get to try all the delectables being passed around, but I did get to try these little tater tot thingies … kinda like the tater tots you used to have as a child except way tastier. It definitely appealed to the kid in me … ok, ok granted, a big portion of me is all kid but gosh, is there any other way? ;)
So here’s a quick snapshot of the evening’s happenings. if you have a chance, try to make it to the next Wedding Happy Hour …. it’s gonna be good. Here’s hinting at the fabulousness of the event – it’s going to involve martinis and a pool … ‘nuff said! Check in later for more details on the August 12th Wedding Happy Hour.
Many thanks to the stellar coordination of Marcia Vidal of Crystal Clear Weddings.
Here’s a fun challenge: There was a TV celebrity in the crowd. Can you pick that person out? (Contact me for the answer.)
Friday, July 3, 2009
Grand, touching, joyous … these are just a few words that describe the wedding of Pearl and Yousef. What a love story. Don’t take my word for it, catch a glimpse of their trailer. Each shot tells a story all its own, each shot - its own emotion.
There was no place to turn where you couldn’t find beauty, thanks to Design Coordinator Shideh Shahraies … from the Sofreh Aghd (an elaborately decorated spread set out for the wedding ceremony) to the grand location – The Langham in Pasadena … to the abundant amount of eye-popping colored flowers … but most importantly, in the eyes of the Pearl and Yousef when they would look at each other. Now there was the true beauty.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
“A naked woman with blond, frizzy hair stands covered in clear, plastic bubbles with soapsuds at her feet and curtains surrounding her. She has got her lips pursed coquettishly. Her legs bent and her wrists locked in large clear cuffs. She is my most recent fixation.”
That’s how Ryan’s valedictorian speech began at last week’s commencement ceremony for Campbell Hall’s 2009 graduating class. You see, while about 90% of my shooting is weddings, on occasion, other celebratory events sneak their way onto my roster. In this case a high school graduation. But it’s not like any graduation most of us are used to. Forget the cramped gym or auditorium. This graduation took place at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. (If you’ve never been, I highly suggest it.) And the students who spoke … so articulate, so funny. Hey, I don’t remember anyone like that when I was in high school. What ever happened to geeky and awkward?
You’d think that the beginning of Ryan’s speech had started off on the wrong foot and there’d be no place to go but, well, down the fast-track to S&M-ville. Eek and delish - all at the same time!
“And those who know me, well, know that I’ve traveled twice across the country in attempts to see her live and in person. Born Stephani Germanotta – better known as Lady Gaga. She is a true success story.” Who’d a thunk that a 17-year old man with a GPA of over 4.5 would think of Lady Gaga as a success story … hmmm … ok, never mind.
After all the laughter in the concert hall died down, he proceeded to quote the pop queen, which he affectionately referred to only as Gaga. “I operate from a place of delusion … I used to walk down the street like I was a star. I want people to walk around delusional about how great they can be – and then to fight for it so hard every day that the lie becomes the truth.” Ok, so maybe I’ve got Lady Gaga all wrong. Maybe it’s not just about a poker face p-p-poker face.
Ryan ended his speech by saying “Gaga’s words, on the one hand, seem ludicrous but, on the other, are all altogether fantastic. It’s about finding the confidence within yourself to embrace and project whoever it is you want yourself to be… I am handsome. I am intelligent and I am compassionate and I am successful and as I stand here looking into all of your eyes, I see in you all the same qualities … you are beautiful, you are intelligent, you are compassionate and you are successful. Thank you.”
Wow, I felt uplifted after that. Not only am I a sucker for a good wedding, I guess I’m also a sucker for a good commencement ceremony.
As I watched this coy, genuine young man thru my camera’s viewfinder conclude his valedictorian speech, I felt a little buzz.* And to think he was channeling the wisdom of the one and only Lady Gaga, excuse me - Gaga. I guess I’ll never listen to her music the same way again.
*No adult beverages involved. ;)