So… What Is A Highlight Video?

In this post I’m going to talk to you about why I decided to shoot highlight videos as well as photography for my couples, how I do it and why it may be something you would like to consider.

First thing is first, though: 

What even is a highlight video?
A highlight video is a 4-6 minute cinematic video set to background music. It tells the story of a wedding day in a beautiful, romantic way. It’s long enough to capture all of the special moments but short enough that you (and you friends and family) can watch it again and again without getting bored. It’s a modern alternative to the old fashioned 2 hours+ wedding videos and it accompanies the wedding photographs wonderfully. To see a few examples of a highlight video, click here.

Why I decided to offer highlight videos to my wedding couples
Time and again I was finding myself in meetings with engaged couples, talking about their wedding plans and how I could photograph it perfectly for them. Time and again I would ask them whether they were planning on hiring a videographer and time and again I was hearing variations of the following answers:

  • We would really like one but we just don’t have the budget for it.

  • We like the idea but we’ve been to so many weddings where the video guy is in people’s faces all day or has loads of equipment in everyone’s way.

  • We don’t want a 2 hour long video, we’d maybe only watch it one time ever.

After hearing these same points raised again and again, I couldn’t help but think there was an obvious solution here. I was already going to be photographing the wedding anyway, using cameras that are capable of recording HD video, I already had video editing software and so it just became clear to me that I needed to offer an alternative to the many couples that wanted a video to remember their special day but found themselves unable to have one.

How I shoot both photo and video at the same time 
A question I frequently get asked when talking about my unique highlight video solution is ‘how can you do photo and video on your own?’
It is true that while I do offer packages that include a second photographer to work with me for the day, you can still get a highlight video even if you book a package with just me. How can I shoot photo and video coverage alone? Simply put, I know my cameras inside out. On a wedding day I have two cameras on me all day plus a spare in the car - all three are exactly the same make and model and I’m so familiar with them by now that I can switch settings and modes without looking. I can therefore be taking photos, quickly switch to video mode and record 4 or 5 seconds of video, switch back and start taking photos again, all without removing my eye from the view finder. It’s quite likely that you won’t even be able to tell if I’m taking photos or video. I do this throughout the entire day and so by the end of the evening, as well as all of the photos, I have around 300 little video clips. I load all of those clips into my software and make your highlight video from them.

Is a highlight video for you?
If you are looking for a traditional long-form video of your wedding, then a highlight video probably isn’t for you. You’d be better served hiring a dedicated videographer.
However, if you don’t want a full two hours+ video of your wedding but still want the story of your big day on video, then a highlight video may well be exactly what you are looking for. If you really want a video but don’t have the budget for (or don’t want the inconvenience of) a video team at your wedding, then a highlight video is a great solution for you.

To learn more about highlight videos or to talk to me about anything else at all, you can contact me here. I’d be happy to chat.

Worried About Posing For Your Wedding Pictures? You’re Not Alone!

Did you know that up to 8/10 brides worry about how to pose for their wedding pictures?
Does that describe you?

If it does then, good news! 
I’m here to tell you why you absolutely do not need to worry…

I know it’s scary, I talk to brides about this all the time. I get it - you’ve spent ages planning the happiest day of your life and you want your memories to be perfect. That means perfect pictures. You don’t want to look awkward, wooden or cheesy in your wedding pictures because they will be how you re-live your day over and over again.

You don’t need to worry, and here is why:

  • It is your photographers job to make sure you look great in your pictures, and if you’ve picked the right photographer, they will ace this! Nearly all of my couples aren’t keen on the heavily posed style, and that’s great because I specialise in a natural and un-posed style. For this reason, I don’t ask them to ‘pose’, I just lightly direct them, keep things breezy and fun and they get the relaxed and natural looking pictures they had their heart set on. .If you’ve followed the advice on that first email, you too will have a photographer that knows exactly how to make sure you’re posing in a way that you’re comfortable with and delivering the pictures that you want.

  • You’re already going to be happy - the smiles will be natural!.We’ve all got those pictures with the big, false smiles plastered on our faces and we all hate them. Of course you are worried about that happening on your wedding pictures. No need though, because you will be happy. You will be the happiest you’ve ever been. There won’t be any fake smiles and - again - if you’ve picked the right photographer, they won’t be capturing fake smiles anyway. As an example, I never ask my couples to ‘smile for the camera!’ Ugh - hate that stuff! I still get plenty of pictures of them naturally smiling and laughing and having the best time though. Getting people to look happy and smile on the happiest day of their lives isn’t difficult so there’s really no need to do the ‘okay, now big smile!’ thing.

  • A good wedding photographer is so great at knowing when to push that button and when not to. As long as you’ve got the right photographer for you, they will work in your preferred style naturally. They will be on the same page as you the whole day and you’ll get the pictures that you want.

Weddings are stressful to plan, you have enough to worry about as it is. Spend some time making sure that you hire the perfect photographer for you and then looking great in your wedding pictures is one thing you won’t need to worry about.

If you’d like to talk to me about these points or anything else, you can contact me here.

Top 5 Tips When Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

First of all, congratulations on your engagement! 
Whether you’ve been engaged for 5 years or 5 minutes, the fact that you’re reading this means that you are (at the very least in the early stages of) looking at wedding photographers. 

You’ve probably noticed, it’s something of a minefield out there! Hundreds of photographers, all different kinds of styles and all different kinds of prices. How on earth are you supposed to find the perfect one for you?

That’s something I can help you with...

I know you’re probably thinking ‘but you’re just going to tell me that you are the perfect photographer for me, aren’t you?’

Well, no, I’m not actually. Statistically speaking, I’m unlikely to be the perfect photographer for you and (please don’t take this the wrong way, but) if we aren’t a good match, I actually don’t want to shoot your wedding. It won’t be fun for either of us and the whole point of this is to help ensure that you get the right photographer for you.

Here are, without doubt, the top 5 things you can do to make sure you get the perfect photographer for your prefect day.

  • The first thing you need to make sure you do is to not get scammed! It’s difficult to believe but there are hundreds and hundreds of scammers out there looking to use wedding photography as a means to con money out of couples. It’s disgusting, but it happens regularly. I won’t go into huge detail on this email, but I did write a blog post about this very subject and what you can do to avoid it happening to you - and you can read that here.
  • The next thing to do is to think about what you actually want from your wedding pictures. I know that sounds obvious but I ask that question all the time and not too many people have thought about it. It’s one thing to know that you want great wedding pictures but another entirely to know what you want from them. For example, do you want to look like you’re in a magazine or do you prefer natural and relaxed pictures? Do you want more focus on posed group-shots or do you just want a few posed and more candid shots? Do you want super-romantic-gazing-into-each-other’s-eyes pictures or is that not your style at all? Do you want lots of dancing shots from the reception or do they make you cringe? It’s important to think about these things because different photographers specialise in different styles. For example, while I specialise in a natural and no heavy poses style, others will specialise in couple posing. Therefore if you decide that you want your pictures to look like a wedding in OK magazine, I’m not your guy, but there’ll be someone else that is very much your photographer.
  • Once you have decided what you want, look for those kinds of images in photographers portfolios. If you want your pictures to be light and airy for example, there is little point in contacting a photographer that has a website full of mostly black and white heavy contrast images. They aren’t for you and you aren’t for them and should you end up hiring them, you aren’t going to be happy with what they deliver.
  • Once you’ve found a photographer that you’re pretty sure you like, try to imagine yourself in their pictures. If you get those happy feelings in your tummy when you imagine you and the love of your life in those pictures, you should be contacting that photographer.
  • If you’ve found the perfect photographer for you and then you see their prices and they are above your budget, that doesn’t mean it’s over. Lot’s of photographer’s offer payment plans and other solutions. I can only speak for myself, but I offer very flexible payment plans, gift codes so that friends and family can contribute towards your photography, and different packages to suit different budgets. If you are in love with a photographer’s work but they are out of budget, still contact them to see if they can offer options. What’s more important than the memories of the happiest day of your life? It’s worth an email to see if your perfect photographer can help you.

  • If you’d like to talk to me about these points or anything else, you can contact me here.

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