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15th February 2017

OK, apologies again for not updating my blog regularly. Some photographers and videographers seem to spend hours every day ‘bigging themselves up’ on social media but I much prefer actually doing the work rather than talking about it. Wedding videos have taken up the majority of my time and they are something that I absolutely refuse to rush. I have also taken on no fewer than 7 new dance show clients in 2017 and in order to maintain a reasonable life/work balance I have decided not to take on any more broadcast work or new corporate clients. From now on my wedding and dance show clients will have my undivided attention.

4th June 2016

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Fireworks are notoriously difficult to film properly and I have even seen the BBC completely screw up their coverage of the New Year celebrations in London with all the fireworks appearing to be bright white rather than red, blue, green etc. The problem is exposure and the need to balance the dark landscape and spectators with the extremely bright explosions. The tendency is to over expose and bleach out the colour in the fireworks. If there are any videographers out there wanting to know how to do it, they could do a lot worse than watch our video of Henrietta and Craig’s wedding fireworks shot in Scarborough last weekend by my partner Joanna…..perfect!

21st May 2016

Much of this week has been taken up with corporate work for a Dutch company laying a pipeline off the Scarborough coast but I am already looking forward to a busy time next weekend. On Saturday I am filming a wedding in Scarborough and on Sunday I have teams out covering 2 other events while I drive to Swindon for a big dance show. Needless to say I will have a lot of editing to do in the following weeks but June is pretty well rammed with weddings so there will be little time to spare for cycling and nature watching around the moors.

13th May 2016

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I just noticed that Rise Hall near Hull are using my ‘finale’ of Sam and Martin’s wedding video on their web page. It is nice to be associated with a prestigious venue like this and shows that I must be doing something right!

I have just finished editing my most recent video shot at Carlton Towers, Goole and in 25 years of wedding videography, I can think of only one that matched it in terms of raw emotion. The fact that the bride was given away by her young son and that the main speeches were delivered by the bride’s sister and the groom’s sister goes some way to explaining the emotional mix of love and loss felt on a very memorable day for Chris, Sally and their family of four.

19th April 2016DSC05297

My brain hurts! I am gradually getting to grips with my new iMac and editing program and it will certainly boost my creative editing possibilities (and speed). The editing program really is very different to the one I have become comfortable with and it is a very, very steep learning curve for me. My partner, Joanna and I managed to get a week long break in the Scottish Highlands in March and I took the computer along, convinced that the weather would trap us in our loch side cabin for days on end and allow me plenty of time to get my head round things. Wrong! The weather was fantastic and we spent almost every day exploring the hills and the wildlife on our tandem. We had 5 Heron nesting just 100 yards from the cabin and regular visits from seals and Otters. I was shooting mainly stills rather than video and a more powerful zoom lens has just shot to the top of my wish list. The one I have my eye on is £10,000 so I might have to wait a while!

Meanwhile, the wedding I am shooting at Carlton Towers on 30th of this month will, hopefully, be the first one to be edited on my new program (fingers crossed).

8th January 2016

3 months between blogs! I really am not very good at this social media game. As usual, I have been prioritising actually doing the work rather than talking about it. It has been a bit of a battle to get all the weddings shot in 2015 edited for Christmas. I must admit though, that I have become a little frustrated at the long rendering times demanded by my 7 year old Mac and so I have taken the plunge and ordered a new high spec iMac. The downside is that I have also ordered a new editing program and looking at my diary I really have no idea where I will find the time to learn how to use it.

Wedding bookings are rolling in for 2016 and I also picked up quite a few new corporate clients last year. It is a good job that I enjoy my work because I might not have time for much else this year!

7th September 2015

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OK, I know that I am not the most prolific blogger on earth but given the choice between blogging and editing a client’s video I am afraid I choose the latter. If I am honest, I am only writing this because my computer needs to render some footage I have just edited and I have already had too much coffee. The workload is a mixed bag of dance shows, weddings and corporate but the result is that I am busy, busy, busy. I am going to have to take a few days off later this month when Jo’s family come over from Canada for a big birthday party but after that, I will be back in front of my computers to keep the flow of work going out of the door.

I have been hearing reports of doom and gloom from several experienced wedding photographers and videographers but just at the moment, for me business is booming – perhaps the fact that I charge considerably less than anyone producing even close to my quality might have something to do with it!

26th May 2015

DSC00962islaOn sunday we made our 3rd visit to Wooton church in Lincolnshire to film a christening. Parents, Chris and Amy completely filled the small village church with friends and relatives and little Isla behaved impeccably throughout. After the church service there was a reception at the Oaklands Hotel near Grimsby where the adults could mingle and their children could tire themselves out playing endless games of hide and seek. When the children were finally exhausted they were entertained by a really good magician.

One of the problems with living in the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors is the temptation to enjoy the countryside whenever the sun shines but with editing work building up I suppose I had better pray for rain!

19th May 2015

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Phew, it has taken me 2 days to recover from a hectic weekend of weddings and wedding fairs. On saturday we were in Beverley shooting Jen and Phil’s wedding at St. Mary’s Church and Tickton Grange. It was our first opportunity to use the new cameras in a real life situation and the verdict is….incredible! The quality of the footage in low light i.e. the church, the speeches and especially the disco is absolutely incredible, a real game changer.

The wedding itself was a brilliant day full of fun and laughter and I am really looking forward to editing the footage in the next couple of weeks. One of the highlights was our ‘video diary room’ which went down a storm, so much so that I might have to put it on a separate DVD.

New Kit

It is not what you have got, it is how you use it is an old adage but there really are too many amateur videographers who seem to think that owning a camera with lots of pixels means that they produce ‘broadcast quality’ wedding videos. As any true professional knows, the number of pixels is a relatively minor consideration for wedding videography. At the top of my list is ergonomics, the ability to take full control of the camera quickly and effectively. A close second is low light shooting ability and in this respect we have taken a giant leap forward this year with the purchase of 2 ground breaking cameras. The Sony A7s will not replace our existing cameras for use outside but for dimly lit churches, candle lit dining rooms etc. this camera produces unbelievably stunning pictures that are leagues ahead of anything else on the market today.

The Sony A7s really is a ‘game changer’ in videography, there is simply nothing out there that even comes close to matching it’s low light shooting ability and for weddings it is a ‘must have’ piece of kit.sony-a7s-cage-newsshooter

11th April 2015

Next month will be dominated by weddings but it is choir’s that have been keeping me busy over the last few weeks. NHS Hull CCG have sponsored several ‘inter-generational choirs’ who have been practicing hard to put on a “Gareth Malone’ style performance at Hull City Hall. It was a truly inspirational night culminating in the massed choirs singing a new song (holding hands together) written by Laurence Rugg.

The evening was kicked off with my 6 minute video tracing the progress of the different groups as they practiced and I organised a 5 camera shoot for the performance itself. If the number of DVDs sold is anything to go by, there is certainly enough support to ensure that the Inter-generational Choirs will be back next year.

2nd March 2015

Talking to the couples at Tickton Grange and Cave Castle’s wedding fairs, it struck me just how many had not even considered  wedding video. OK, I might be slightly biased but I cannot understand why couples spend hundreds of pounds on seat covers that are sat on for 20 minutes, cars that are sat in for 20 minutes, flowers that are dead next day, favours that are forgotten next day etc. etc. but will not spend a similar amount on a DVD that will be enjoyable to watch after the wedding and will increase in value from generation to generation.

The most common regret among recently married couples is that they did not have their wedding filmed. Thankfully, after the wedding fairs, there will be several couples who do not suffer the same regrets and on sunday I will be exhibiting at a relatively new venue ‘The Stables’, Whitby. Come along and see us.

2nd February 2015

In preparation for the upcoming wedding fairs at Tickton Grange and Cave Castle I have been updating my showreel and re-living some of the weddings that I shot last year. Most memorable was one at which the guests were extremely well ‘refreshed’ even before the ceremony. The photographer had such difficulty organising the photo-shoot that he effectively gave up and went home with less than half the shots he had planned. The hotel management had their problems too. Children were running riot and so many of the diners were smoking or visiting the toilets during the meal that each course took twice as long to eat and the schedule was in tatters. The band arrived on time but only had time for one set rather than two. It was mayhem!

Of course, mayhem makes excellent footage from our point of view but when editing a wedding video you have to be conscious of who may watch it in the future. The solution was 2 DVDs, an official wedding video that could be watched by all and a second video of out-takes that might be best watched and then hidden away!

Needless to say, this wedding video will not be appearing on our showreel…….but it was memorable!

26th January 2015

If I was to be completely honest I would admit that I have always been uncomfortable about the need to ‘sell’ myself but I have recently attended a successful wedding fair at Crathorne Hall, near Middlesborough and there are 2 more coming up at Tickton Grange and Cave Castle near Hull. I always recommend that anyone booking a wedding video judges videographers by the quality of their full length productions rather than specially edited short clips so it is important for me to hand out DVDs for couples to watch at home. This inevitably means that few (if any) bookings are taken on the day but at least it allows me to explain the huge difference in production standards that separates the best from worst. I have a particular dislike for videographers who claim to use ‘broadcast’ quality HD camcorders and intimate that this will result in a ‘broadcast quality’ production.

Firstly, there are strict criteria laid down by the European Broadcast Union as to what constitutes a ‘broadcast quality’ camera and their use in wedding videography is very, very rare. The overwhelming majority of claims to use ‘broadcast quality’ cameras are deliberate lies!

Secondly, the only way to guarantee ‘broadcast quality’ is to employ someone who has worked in the broadcast industry. The old adage ‘it is not what you have got, it is how you use it’ has never been so true as in wedding videography and I despair at some of the rubbish that is being passed off as ‘professional’.

OK, rant over! See you at Tickton Grange or Cave Castle.

16th January 2015

This is the time of year when couples are looking hard at their finances and making difficult choices in their preparations for the big day. Sadly, all too often, the wedding video is crossed off the list but it is also acknowledged as the most common regret after the event. On a day when so much expenditure is ‘gone in a flash’ the value of a video increases enormously as time passes by and memories fade. Photographs alone cannot capture the emotion of your vows, the hilarity of the best man’s speech or the fun had by your family and friends. A well produced wedding video is an investment for the future, a legacy that will be enjoyed by your family for generations to come.

19th November 2014

I have just shot the final wedding of this year at Cave Castle and am on course to let all my clients have their DVDs within the next 3-4 weeks. It has been a hectic year for us but at last I might be able to start doing the jobs around the house. Next year will be very important as I intend to cut down on my broadcast and corporate work to concentrate my business almost solely on wedding videography.

There is a growing trend towards ‘cinematic’ wedding videos but whereas our competitors are typically offering a 20 minute montage of the day, because of our experience and the fact that we use better cameras, we capture far more useable footage and can still offer full length films. Call me old fashioned but I think a wedding film should tell a story and that story includes the full cast rather than shot after shot of the couple posing for photographs. All too often the old adage ‘leave them wanting more’ is taken to extreme and only part of the story has been told.

Needless to say, our unique offer of ‘cinematic’ style and full length films is proving rather popular.

10th September 2014

After a prolonged battle with planners and builders we have finally moved from South Cave to Cloughton, near Scarborogh. My new studio is a large room in a gorgeous converted barn just 300 yards from the cliff top, 200 yards from the Cleveland Way and just 100 yards from the disused railway (cinder track) to Ravenscar and Whitby. For nature lovers and keen cyclists like Jo and I, it is an absolute dream. Wild deer are abundant,  we have a barn owl that sits on our gate post and there tawny owls all around. A mile down the cinder track lies a great pub and there are fabulous sea views all along the Cleveland Way. Not so welcome is the very large wasps nest in the loft (the second largest our expert has ever seen) but hopefully that will be sorted out soon.

It has been a fine balancing act fitting the move around work commitments but I am back into ‘wedding mode’ now and am beginning to catch up with the editing at last. Angela has exceeded all expectations and has already shot her first ‘solo footage’ at a wedding at Gisborough Hall. We have just 3 weddings this month, the first of which is in Goole on saturday and I have no hesitation in giving the assistant camerawoman job to Angela as her video footage from Gisborough hall is superb.

26th June 2014

Recent weddings have seen my team expanding to include Matt, Luke, and John, all of which have broadcast experience and are friends I have worked with for several years. A new addition to the team is Angela, a keen photographer who wants to prove that she can also master the art of shooting video. Judging by the footage Angela shot at a wedding at Crathorne Hall last weekend she has very little to prove and I am confident that she will be a tremendous asset for us in years to come.

I have just posted the ‘finale’ to our wedding at Carlton Towers some weeks ago. Wow !

10th June 2014

Last weekend saw my full team covering the ‘wedding of the year’ at Carlton Towers. Big names from the world of West End Shows and International Theatre production mixed with TV Personalities, Comedians, Singers and Musicians to make this a wedding to remember for all those privileged to attend. Joanna, Maria, Adrian and myself have come away with some fabulous footage, some of which we hope to share with you in a few weeks time.

In the meantime we will be moving house (all going well) to a beautiful converted barn on the coast at Cloughton, just north of Scarborough. It will be business as usual after the mayhem of the packing and unpacking with Hull, York, Leeds, Harrogate being our main area of operation. We are, nevertheless, seeing a big increase in demand for our wedding videos from Newcastle and the North East and our new location puts us just a little closer to take advantage of that.

Do not expect too much blogging and uploading etc. from me in the next few weeks….I am busy!

21st April 2014

I really do not know where the last few weeks have gone. I am beginning to get to grips with my new editing programme and my new camera is an absolute dream, giving me fabulous de-focussed backgrounds and a real ‘cinematic’ look to my wedding footage. The weather has been kind to us for the all the weddings to date but I now have 2 weekends clear for house hunting. Corporate work will keep me busy shooting during the week but I hope to have some new wedding clips to upload shortly.

11th March 2014313197

I am quite excited today having just ordered my new ‘cinematic’ camera. Shallow depth of field (blurry backgrounds) is a style that is often over used by  videographers using cameras designed for stills rather than video and the inevitable result is lots of out of focus shots and key shots that are missed altogether. Most videographers get round this by offering a much shorter video, more often than not concentrating on static or posed shots because anything that moves is thrown out of focus. I have resolutely resisted the temptation to go down this route and the camera I have chosen will give me shallow depth of field when I want it but is also capable of maintaining focus in fast moving situations. By ‘pimping’ the Sony NEX EA50 with a variable ND filter I am confident that I will be able to produce full length wedding videos with the same ‘cinematic’ feel seen in the 10-15 minute montages produced by the those still shooting video on cameras designed for stills.

Another advantage of the Sony NEX EA50 is that its pictures will cut in perfectly with my Sony NX70s which did superb work last year and really lend themselves to being thrown around (not literally) in a fast paced wedding.

I have also bolstered my sound recording armoury with some new kit but I have to admit that it is the new creative opportunities presented by the camera that excites me most.

7th March 2014

FANTASTIC NEWS – WE CAN KNOCK OUR HOUSE DOWN. After nearly 3 years and £10,000 in fees we finally won our planning appeal that will let us demolish our house and build 3 big new ones on the plot. The plans include donating land to the village tennis club for 2 more courts and a much needed turn round area for Bacchus Lane which will avert the need for lorries to reverse 300 yards to turn. It may still be several months before we move permanently to our new home in North Yorkshire but business will be unaffected and everyone will be notified of our new address when the time comes.

For many years now, we have been a regional rather than a local business, operating throughout the North East as our reputation spread beyond our East Yorkshire base. The move to North Yorkshire will place us firmly at the centre of our geographical operating area, more convenient for Newcastle, Durham, Middlesborough etc. but still within an hours drive of South Cave. Financially, of course, it is great news for us but I must try to resist the temptation to blow it all on new kit!

28th February 2014

Tuesday evening was spent shooting an awards ceremony in Hull with just enough time for 2 hours sleep before setting off for London. Surprisingly, the security men at Bank of America were helpful and the job went without a hitch. The video show at Excel was good but I needed to be back early to catch up on sleep before heading off for Sunderland to film some pre match TV footage for Al Jazeera Sport. My work will be shown in the Middle East where football fans follow their countrymen playing for the big Premier League clubs. Trips to Wembley do not come round too often for Sunderland fans and the whole place is buzzing before the big match against hot favourites Manchester City on sunday. I know which team I will be supporting ‘Haway the Lads!’

Of course none of this has much to do with weddings but between shoots for broadcast TV I am learning my new editing system and am looking forward to ordering my new wedding camera very soon. 3 new wedding video bookings this week…2014 is looking good.

24th February 2014

Well attended wedding fairs at both Cave Castle and Tickton Grange but I am quietly confident that I will win the prize for generating the most business at Tickton Grange. I am busy later today shooting some more material for Cave Castle’s new website but will not have time to edit it before I leave for London and a shoot at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. It is a relatively simple ‘green screen’ shoot that I have done many times before but getting through security is always a complete hassle and I always seem to get lost because my sat-nav does not work properly in among the tall buildings of the City. Still, it pays well and I can stay in London for the big video show the next day. I will be buying a new camera soon so I hope to get my hands on the 3 that are on my shortlist.

21st February 2014

Today I am busy making preparations for 2 wedding fairs on sunday. Jo will be manning a stand at Cave Castle while I will try to drum up business at Tickton Grange near Beverley. If past experience is anything to go by couples will attend both wedding fairs so it will be interesting to see which one of us comes back with the most interest.

15th February 2014

An interesting day yesterday – taking the role of TV Sports reporter to help my friend Paul shoot interviews with Manchester City fans for Asian TV Channel Al Jazeera prior to the match with Chelsea later today. It was wet and windy at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester so I was happy for Paul to have all the camera related problems while I waved a microphone about and pretended to be far more knowledgeable about the match than I actually was. I think I got away with it but I suspect that a new career as a TV sports reporter might still be some way off!

10th February 2014

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I must apologise to anyone who has had difficulty contacting me recently but my better half Joanna dragged me, kicking and screaming, to this gorgeous castle on the Isle of Mull as a birthday surprise. While the rest of Britain suffered terrible weather we were treated to midge free sunshine, fabulous walks and even better bike rides through stunning scenery and wildlife most people only see on TV. Within Glenmore Castle estate we saw Golden Eagles, Sea Eagles, Sea Otters, Seals, Stags, and so many Heron, Buzzards and the like that by the end of the week they did not warrant a second glance.

It is back to reality today, freezing cold house and a mountain of junk mail to sift through before I can get back to learning my new editing software in time for this years weddings. As for Jo, she is spending all her spare time on the internet house hunting on Mull!

22nd January 2014

I do not know whether to laugh or cry! I have just spotted a wedding videographer advertising that couples no longer need a photographer as he will give you an album of stills taken from the video footage shot on his 4K camera. Yes, that is the same 4K camera that is very poor in low light, will not be using flash and will be operating at totally the wrong shutter speed for stills. Idiots like this videographer get us all a bad name and I can only hope that his dissatisfied clients take him to the cleaners. It is true that the technology of still and video photography is converging but it is still a compromise and for a single wedding videographer or photographer to pretend that he can do both jobs to a high standard is simply not credible.

As a videographer, the stills cameraman is my best friend, setting up situations that I can take advantage of and diverting peoples attention so that I can shoot the candid footage that really captures the essence of the day. Stills taken from HD video can look OK if the subject is not moving, if they are shot in good light and the prints are kept small, but they will never, ever compare with the stills shot by an experienced professional with a camera designed solely for the purpose.

Recently, I have also spotted some stills photographers advertising that they will shoot video. The quality of the pictures should be fine but unfortunately stills cameras are wholly unsuited to the type of ‘run and gun’ shooting necessary to cover a wedding effectively and their offering will invariably be a short video montage of people stood around posing for photographs. Personally, I think a wedding video should be far more than a photograph album on DVD!

16th January 2014

A couple of years ago I recall a discussion with a potential client who insisted that his wedding be shot in 3D to ‘future proof ‘ it. No amount of persuasion would convince him that 3D on a small 42inch screen was hardly an immersive experience and that people would soon realise that wearing special glasses around the house was impractical. The killer for me was that the 3D cameras available at the time were totally unsuitable for the demands wedding videography (and still are) but the manufacturers hype had done it’s job and this potential client went elsewhere.

Today, the future is claimed to be 4K. Essentially this is HD with 4 times the number of pixels. Ridiculously overpriced 4K TVs are now in the shops for those gullible enough to fall for the hype and the manufacturers have actually brought out some half decent 4K cameras aimed at people like me. Unfortunately the manufacturers neglect to mention that there is no technology currently available that will enable us to deliver the full 4K pictures to our clients. Blu-ray players cannot play 4K and the broadcasters are struggling to find the bandwidth to deliver normal HD never mind something with 4 times the number of pixels!

I have noticed one or two wedding videographers boasting that they will shoot on 4K but they neglect to say that this will be downscaled to HD for delivery on Blu-ray. Worse still, they neglect to say (or are blissfully unaware) that these cameras are very, very poor in low light and that they are so ‘memory hungry’ that they cannot run for more than a few minutes without the need to change cards. The vast majority of weddings will involve shooting in low light situations and the performance of the current crop of 4K cameras are simply not up to the job. Even 4K footage shot in good light looks little different to HD footage on anything other than very large TVs and the fable of ‘The Emperor’s new clothes’ springs to mind.

Within the next few weeks I will be buying a new camera for this year’s weddings but thankfully I am savvy enough to cut through the hype surrounding 4K and I shall be buying the camera that is best for the job.

12th January 2014

I have just booked space for wedding fairs at Tickton Grange and Cave Castle near Hull, but to be honest, we are getting booked up rapidly with a rush of bookings in County Durham and Northumberland. In June we have already got 5 weddings within the space of 7 days!

7th January 2014

Our final wedding of 2013 on new years eve proved to be wet and windy in Winterton, North Lincs and then Tickton Grange near Beverley. It was a day when our rainproof cameras proved their worth with some great footage in conditions that would have drowned  virtually any other camera. To prevent the possibility of condensation affecting the cameras, we used our big ‘broadcast’ cameras for the church service and benefitted tremendously from their ability to shoot excellent footage in low light. All in all it was one of those days when having the right tools for the job proved absolutely invaluable. This will be the first wedding I attempt to edit on my new computer and new software. I will let you know how I get on!

30th December 2013

Time passes quickly when you are enjoying yourself! Looking back at 2013 it has been another great year and we have been busy filming weddings all over the North of England. Bookings are up for 2014 but thankfully we have got a quiet January in which to re-charge our batteries and work out how we are going to improve our service to maintain our position at the premium end of the market. Much of January will be spent learning some new tricks on my new editing software but I will also be looking to offer something different, something of real value to clients and something they can only get from us. Watch this space!

21st December 2013

I am filming the the last of the four ‘Flexdance’ dance shows in Hull today and am then looking forward to a few days of last minute shopping and ‘chilling’ before my final wedding of 2013 which is on New Years eve in North Lincolnshire. It will certainly make a change to see the new year in sober.

17th December 2013

Back from death’s door! We have filmed 3 out of the four dance shows in Leeds and Hull and thoroughly enjoyed them – well done Flexdance! I am now editing my final wedding before Xmas and then I really must get down to some serious last minute shopping.

10th December 2013

Man flu has struck me down! So much to edit but thankfully nothing too challenging to shoot (4 dance shows before Christmas). Back to bed!

2nd. December 2013

Jo and I filmed a fabulous show put on by 3 local ‘Stagecoach’ schools at the prestigious Laurence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield last night. It was a full house and the children sang, danced and acted their hearts out. Absolutely fabulous!

27th. November 2013

Olga & Igor’s wedding went without a hitch. The sun shone when we wanted it to and it rained when it did not matter. The Russian photographer came up from London where she shoots for Vogue and the Oligarch community but we worked together well. The reception was at the Westwood Restaurant in Beverley. It was my first visit there and I have to say the place looks great and they also happen to have a very good veggie menu (I have been a veggie since the age of 8). Next time I take Jo out for a meal the Westwood will be top of the list.

15th. November 2013

I have been burning the midnight oil editing weddings since my last blog but the shooting has not stopped and we have weddings right up until new years eve. Next week I am shooting a very small Russian wedding in Hull and Beverley, just a dozen guests most of whom do not speak English so it should be interesting.

6th September 2013

Rockcliffe Hall near Darlington really is among the top wedding venues in the North East. The last time we were there we filmed a pop promo for Jeff Dingle and the Moodswing Trio (4 guys who can really make your party swing) but this time we filmed the wedding reception of Dawn and Gary Takhar. The music (provided by Delsonic) was a mix of pop and bangra with the asian music packing the dance floor. The car park was overflowing with Aston Martins, Range Rovers, Maseratis, big BMWs and Mercedes but the most impressive was a wild Lambourghini…totally impractical but you cannot help but want one. Maybe if I put my prices up?

27th August 2013

I have just received a phone call from a distressed mother of the bride. It appears that the videographer filming her daughter’s wedding on Saturday has contacted her to admit that his camera suffered from condensation and shut down after filming her arrival in the rain and then being taken into the warm church. Evidently the camera recovered in time to film the speeches but the service, the confetti and all the family photo session was lost.

A sorry tale indeed but also a warning to people who are tempted by cheap prices. This videographer has an impressive looking website but he operated alone and without a second camera. He is a bus driver by trade and has only been filming weddings part time for 2 years. In similar circumstances an experienced professional would have anticipated the likelihood of condensation and had a second camera already set up in the church rather than attempt to bring in the wet camera. This disaster was completely avoidable. He may charge considerably less than the professionals but this videographer  claims to deliver broadcast quality despite having no experience of the broadcast industry and using a camera that is incapable of delivering the 50mbs that is demanded by the EBU for long form production. At the risk of sounding like a bitter old man, I get annoyed by ill equipped, inexperienced amateur videographers masquerading as professionals and taking peoples money under false pretences. Personally, I hope this videographer gets the book thrown at him – but then the likelihood of him carrying professional negligence insurance is very remote!

25th August 2013

Relief all round! Despite the dark clouds visible to the west, the rain held off long enough for us all to be dry and happy in the marquee at the Star in Sancton after the wedding of Lucy and Richard in Newbald. The shots of groom and father in law dancing ‘gangam style’ should be worth waiting for!

23rd August 2013

With it’s lake and woodland, Otterburn Castle is a fabulous wedding venue….except when it rains! Nothing dampened the spirits of the wedding party though and we left the bride, Sandra’ taking lead vocals with the band accompanied by Craig on drums. It was along drive back and an early start to film our wedding in Doncaster the next day. This time the weather was good to us and totally bonkers ( I mean that in a thoroughly 100% complimentary way) photographer Alwin Greyson made the best of the sunshine with his creative and relaxed style. Being Chinese, bride Yiran was not going to marry David unless he passed certain ‘tests’ but once they were over the wedding went smoothly and I am really looking forward to editing some great footage.

I am filming a wedding in Newbald tomorrow. The weather forecast is terrible…..I am charging the batteries of my waterproof cameras!

14th August 2013

Bolton Castle has got to go down as my favourite location so far this year but there are so many steps to climb all day long that you are truly knackered at the end of it all. No such problems at the wedding we filmed at Lazaats near Hull last weekend but wait till you see the groom ‘stage diving’ during his rendition of the Queen song ‘Don’t stop me now’. I am just about keeping pace with the editing at the moment but it will still be a few weeks before it appears on my website.

We will be filming two weddings this weekend, one up in Otterburn, Northumberland and the other in Doncaster. As always it will be hard work for Jo and I but both venues are new to us and we really do enjoy the challenge of making the best of whatever the venue and the weather can throw at us.

I have just added the Leeds Mansion wedding finale to my video gallery so check it out.

1st August 2013

Whenever I go quiet for a few weeks you know that I am absolutely manic with work. Since my last blog we have shot wedding videos at Welton, 2 at Raithwaite Hall, 2 at Cave Castle, Rise Hall, Ox Pasture Hall, Langley Castle, and Scarborough. On top of this we have shot 8 dance shows and a couple of corporate videos. This weekend we are looking forward to a wedding at Bolton Castle and then they come thick and fast all month. Much of September will be spent huddled in front of my computers editing before the winter weddings start in October. 2013 will be yet another record year for us…we must be doing something right!

15th May 2013

OK, ok, I know it is nothing to do with weddings but I was lucky enough to be filming this feature for the BBC Late Kick Off show at the KC Stadium when Hull City finally secured their return to the Premier League. Having spent 16 years covering Hull City, I have witnessed them rise from the depths of despair to glittering displays against the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs etc. Fans like myself know that we will be favourites for an immediate return to the Championship but we will enjoy the journey and hope that they remain financially secure if it happens. It was due to City’s financial problems 4 years ago that I was switched to wedding videography and this has proved to be a very good move for me. If you see me sitting in my car while you are enjoying your wedding breakfast you will know that I am probably tuned into local radio listening to the match! Up the Tigers.

24th April 2013

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I have been busy tidying the stables for our new residents, Selina’s horses. It is 12 years since we last had horses in the stables and it is amazing what junk we have thrown in there and a real eye opener as to the eating habits of Britain’s mice. Golf balls, cricket pads, plastic tubes and virtually anything other than metal has been consumed by the pesky little rodents. Now, after 8 trips to the tip and thanks to Selina and her gang of helpers, the stables are looking good again and the fencing has been repaired and renewed. The horses love their new home and it is wonderful to see the enjoyment they bring to the neighbour’s children. This, of course has nothing whatsoever to do with wedding videos but perhaps the horses are partly responsible for me being in a particularly mellow and romantic mood when editing the finale section of Kat and Kevin’s wedding at Sledmere Hall. I have posted the result on my gallery page.

9th April 2013

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We have shot 3 weddings since my last post and many days editing lie ahead. The Mansion, Leeds (above), Sledmere House, and Durham Castle are all very impressive locations and have been perfect to show off the capabilities of my new wide angle lens. I never rush the editing but watch out for some clips on my video gallery page in the next few weeks.

3rd April 2013

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For the next few weeks I will be editing wedding videos in our house here in South Cave. I have spent the last few days making repeated trips to the tip in an effort to clear a couple of our stables for the imminent arrival of Selina’s horses. It is a while since we had horses in the field and the neighbours kids are all looking forward to seeing them. With 3 wedding videos to shoot in the next 4 days in Durham, Leeds and Sledmere, neither Joanna or myself will have much time to spare for the horses but at least the weather seems to be looking brighter.

Last weekend we filmed Richard and Claire’s wedding in Cottingham in the snow and ice. With 200 guests all wanting to stay indoors, wedding photographer Ian Spencer had his work cut and it is in situations like this that a photographer’s skill and experience comes to the fore. Anyone can shoot good looking wedding photographs (or wedding videos for that matter) on a gorgeous day with a gorgeous bride and good looking groom posing in front of the medieval castle with the rolling hills in the background and the white fluffy clouds above but try shooting 200 guests in a tightly packed and dimly lit marquee! Well done Ian.

 

15th March 2013

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At present we are working from our existing house in South Cave ( between Hull and York ) and here at our cottage in the North Yorkshire Moors. We cannot wait to move here permanently and this photo taken yesterday might go some way to explaining why. We are cut off in the middle of nowhere and there really is no better place to snuggle down to some creative editing.

 

13th March 2013

Blu-Ray or standard definition? Despite Blu-ray being around for almost a decade, standard definition DVD players/recorders  are still outselling their blu-ray equivalents. With feature films now being streamed into peoples houses rather than being delivered on tapes or discs we are not convinced that blu-ray will ever achieve numerical dominance over DVD. Our own HD cameras are capable of recording at the very highest definition supported by blu-ray (1920 x 1080p) (which is actually a higher resolution than that used by the major broadcasters) but many wedding clients are confused by technical issues and prefer their video to be delivered in the well established, proven and 100% compatible DVD format. Many videographers boast about filming in ‘glorious high definition’ but neglect to say that this is only 1440 x 1080i and that they then lose more quality than they gained when having to down convert the footage to standard definition for delivery on DVD. To avoid this issue we believe it is better to film in standard definition and maintain the original quality for delivery on DVD. Resolution (the number of pixels) is not the most important factor in determining picture quality but it is certainly the most quoted factor, simply because it is the easiest to understand. In actual fact contrast ratio, dynamic range and colour saturation are far more important but much more difficult to quantify. The technical nightmare that dictates how good your blu-ray disc will look is best explained at <http://reviews.cnet.com/hdtv-resolution/>.

 

9th March 2013

It seems that there were lots of you enquiring about wedding videos at the recent Stadium of Light wedding fair and the number of bookings we are taking makes me think that our determination to be ultra competitive in these hard times is paying off. We are pushing quality up and working harder for less money, a scenario familiar to many in these austere times. Unlike some, however, we are not complaining because we love our job and the busier we are the more we love it. This year we reduced our base price by £100 so there is absolutely no excuse for brides to settle for second best!

 

28th February 2013

Just back from the big London Video Show. It was good to catch up with old friends from my days on the Executive of the Institute of Videography but to be frank, the show was a little disappointing from an equipment point of view. Nothing really new or exciting in the way of cameras from Panasonic or JVC and my favorite manufacturer, Sony, seems to have lost the plot with their latest offerings. It is alright designing cameras specifically for wedding videographers but there are some of us that can see through the hype and recognise cheap rubbish when we see it. Sony is obsessed with cost cutting, using lenses designed for stills cameras and missing off vital functions (ND filters and decent viewfinders) to cut costs. Some of the ergonomic disasters that they have on offer at present are totally unsuitable for anyone wanting to take full manual control and I wonder if that is indicative of their perception of the average wedding videographer. There are always people out there who must have the latest gizmo but until that gizmo is better than the one I already have, my wallet will stay in my pocket. Come on Sony, don’t lower your standards, I want something that is not compromised by the desire to be cheap!

Wedding bookings are coming in thick and fast now and it looks as if I will be a very busy man this year. As usual I will be driving the quality of my wedding videos ever higher in the coming months and cannot wait to get into the thick of it.

 

19th February 2013

Another dismal day for the wedding at Tickton Grange could not spoil it for Victoria and Russell who surrounded themselves with friends and lots of children to cement their relationship. It was all a little too much for their 18 month old daughter who was only happy in her mother’s arms, but photographer Steve Armishaw was masterful in orchestrating events and the photo’s will be fabulous despite the ‘off camera’ screaming. Most of the photos were taken indoors in the dimly lit piano room. My big broadcast cameras could handle it but I would love to see the dull, fuzzy, washed out shots my local competitors would have got in similar circumstances. I might charge a little more but this was a wedding video disaster waiting to happen for anyone using cheaper cameras.

 

7th February 2013

Going back to my previous blog, I did not get lucky at Rowley Church and instead of snow we got pouring rain. It did mean a great shot of the bride putting on her bright red designer wellies before walking down the track to the church and the entire day was a good (and successful ) test of my rainproof cameras. My bad back is not quite so bad as it was – good job because I have another wedding at Tickton Grange this monday.

 

5th December 2012

This month sees me editing weddings for as long as I can stay awake ( and for as long as my bad back allows ) to make sure I get as many DVDs as possible to my clients before Christmas. There is still a bit of shooting to be done, namely 4 dance shows and 2 more wedding videos. One of the wedding videos is for my friend Luke who is getting married at the very picturesque church in Rowley. Luke used to work for me when my business was centered around Hull City Football Club so my work will be under very close scrutiny. The church would look great nestled in a snow covered landscape….let’s hope I get lucky.

 

19th November 2012

Sometimes things just do not turn out like you thought. There I was looking forward to a fun day  filming ‘Children in Need’ last friday when in actual fact the BBC decided my time would be better spent filming the Police Commissioner election results. Talk about boring!

I suppose it was a break from all the wedding video editing I have been doing lately but to be honest I enjoy editing weddings almost as much as I enjoy shooting them. There is genuine satisfaction in doing a job well and it is this that makes me eager to push the boundaries and stay at the cutting edge of wedding video production. The BBC work can be a welcome distraction at times but last friday was not one of them!

 

12th November 2012

I have always regarded myself as being at the cutting edge of wedding videography and have been very interested in the growing use of DSLR stills cameras for shooting video. There are some fantastic looking short montages and clips on the internet but what you are unlikely to see is a full wedding. At present there are just too many problems regarding focus, shutter speeds, sound, monitoring, overheating, running time, moire and rolling shutter. It is almost inevitable that some important action will be missed or botched due to inherent technical issues and in my opinion this is unacceptable for anyone who wants a full record of the day rather than just a 3 minute flashy montage made up predominantly of contrived scenarios and the photographers poses.

Having said that, I have just added a DSLR to my armoury and next year I will be using it sparingly to capture some big, beautiful, shallow depth of field shots to complement the footage shot by my existing HD cameras. In a couple of days time I will be at a big TV and video show in Manchester looking at new kit but the old acronym remains true ‘it is not what you have got, it is how you use it’.

 

3rd November 2012

It is a long time since my last blog which is a reflection of just how busy I have been both with weddings and other work. I have to admit I also managed a 10 day canal boat holiday on the Leeds and Liverpool canal. The weather was iffy (no surprise this year) but what did surprise me was just how many locks there are and how long and how much physical effort it takes to get through them. I am now fitter than ever and dreaming of what life would be like living on a widebeam canal boat permanently (as many people seem to do). Next time Jo and I are out on our tandem we may well look at the moorings available in Ripon and dream a little more.

Work-wise we have been to so many superb wedding venues throughout the North of England I have lost count. Most recently we have been to Goldsborough Hall, Nostell Priory, Branston Hall, Fountains Abbey, Rudding Park and (for the first time) Judges in Cleveland where I must complement the staff for being extremely helpful and efficient.

My diary is not as full this month so I will be burning the midnight oil to catch up with the editing.

The BBC have just booked me for ‘Children in Need’ on the 16th Nov….should be fun!

 

6th August 2012

This year our unique style is attracting clients from wide and far. Perhaps they have heard that our cameras are rain proof ( true! )

We are just back from a beautiful wedding in Ravensthorpe near Northampton. The rain tried to spoil it as usual ( but failed ) and we were treated to a lovely service, nice meal, excellent speeches and a fantastic band. Can’t wait to edit the footage.

Just got a last minute booking for this friday for a wedding at Nostell Priory near Wakefield. It is great to be so busy but our garden is suffering from neglect and the grass will soon need a scythe rather than a lawnmower!

 

28th June 2012

Wow, what a month! Three weddings on consecutive days was a tough task not to mention four weddings in a week. The weather tried very hard to wreak havoc at Slayley Hall and did succeed in washing out the teepees erected in the grounds for the reception. It rained heavily for a wedding at Mr. Chu’s, the famous Chinese restaurant in Hull but we were very, very lucky with the others. We were at Swinton Park in beautiful sunshine on the monday of the Queens jubilee and had great days at Sledmere and Lazaat’s in Cottingham.

Coming up we are filming a show at St. Georges Theatre, Bradford this saturday and two more shows and a wedding the following weekend. Needless to say I have a mountain of editing in front of me and have been turning down the broadcast work so that I can keep on top of it. Busy, busy, busy!

 

9th May 2012

The BBC have been keeping me really busy recently. Much of what I have been doing was broadcast live on BBC Breakfast News form various locations including ABI at Beverley and election footage from Bradford and Wakefield. I have also shot a 2 minute piece for the Sunday Politics Show and a lengthy piece with the playwright John Godber that might be shown later in the year. Throw in a few stories for BBC Look North, football for Sky Sports etc. and I have been very, very busy

OK, so it is time to get back to weddings with a trip to Slayley Hall in Northumberland this weekend, a great venue and one from which I am expecting some stunning footage (if the weather co-operates). I have ‘pimped up’ my smaller cameras and am really beginning to enjoy throwing them around and getting shots that simply would not be possible with the big shoulder mounted cameras I use for the broadcasters. For the last wedding at Beverley Minster and Rowley Manor the big cameras stayed in the car boot – everything was shot on the small, unobtrusive Sony NX70’s and it looks great!

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