They say that your wedding day goes by in a blur, but thankfully there are talented videographers who can turn that blur into a cherished film that can be enjoyed long after the day is over. Finding your style and determining how you want to see your wedding in film can feel like a daunting task, so we’ve enlisted the help of Vanessa McKellar, owner of The McKellars, to help answer your most pressing questions.
As part of a husband and wife team that has been creating beautiful wedding films for 16 years, she has the insights to help you walk through this process successfully!
Video // The McKellars
What all is involved in capturing a wedding on film?
So much! It’s most of the things a photographer has to do, PLUS audio acquisition (vows, toasts, letter readings, ambient audio) PLUS movement and stabilization (tripods, monopods, sliders, gimbals, drones) PLUS hours and hours of post-production and editing. Finding the story or the “angle”… Picking music… Whittling down toasts. Turning an eight-hour event into a 5-minute movie takes a lot of time and finesse!
What would you say to a couple wondering if a videographer is right for them?
It’s not, “if a videographer is right for you” it’s, “what kind of videographer do you want”? Honestly, there are so many reasons to get a videographer, and it would take me too long to list them all, and I think people have probably heard most of the reasons. Basically, if you get someone good, you have an amazing movie of your most amazing day. And who doesn’t want that?
What should couples do [or know] before contacting a videographer?
Quality videography isn’t inexpensive. Budget as much for your film as you do for your photos. Of course, budget and availability are going to be primary components in picking your videographer, but beyond that, it should boil down to who has the style that you like. Here are some things I would look for when comparing different companies:
Color grading: moody vs. natural vs. boho/vintage/faded etc.
Slow motion: do you like tons of it, none of it, or a mixture of both slow motion and real-time footage?
Do you like a super creative editing style or something more straightforward and classic? (Pro tip: generally speaking, the shorter the edit, the more creative it can be. So an Insta teaser will be more unique than a 12-minute feature.)
Gender of shooters: it can be nice to have a female in the room while you’re getting ready.
Do you like a more storytelling style (where the moments of the day are woven together with relevant sound bites from toasts, vows, letters, etc.) or a more music video style? Tip: Watch a good handful of films from a videographer, and if they all “feel” the same, then they have a predetermined style that they work from. If they all feel different, it means the films are informed by the couple’s unique personalities.
How can a couple get the most out of their wedding film?
1.) If you have it in your budget, invest in lighting at the reception, especially uplighting. (We recommend magenta, aqua, pink or purple.)
2.) Tell the photographer that the video is super important to you, so they’ll enthusiastically cooperate and share the space and moments with the videographer.
3.) Add 15% extra time into your couples portrait session so the videographer can jump in to grab some shots without stressing the timeline
4.) Trust your videographer and their creativity. The more freedom we have, the better the work.
5.) Truly, the most important thing is to have fun and be in the moment. Raw, poignant, lively moments are what makes the most compelling film.
How can a couple prepare [themselves and their wedding party] ahead of time for being filmed?
I don’t like couples thinking or worrying about their videography, or being hyper-aware of us, so I don’t want them to have a to-do list of preparations. Providing a solid timeline and letting us know of any surprises is the most important. Like I mentioned before, being in the moment is the most important thing you can do!
What do you love most about working with couples on this type of project?
I have LOOOOVED weddings since I was a little girl. I collected Martha Stewart Weddings magazines and designed wedding dresses when I was like 11, so to be able to attend, and be in the core of, weddings is truly such a joy for me (and Brent loves it too). Everything is so darn beautiful, and everyone is so darn happy! And then we get to distill that day to its essence and create something ELSE beautiful that the couple absolutely cherishes. It’s incredibly rewarding. We’ve been doing this for 16 years, and we have always had the best! So many of my past clients are friends now, and that is so special to me.
How do you try to make this process a pleasant experience for them?
I really value customer service and am quick to respond to correspondence, and I try to keep the booking process straightforward and easy. Frankly, I don’t want them to have to think about their videography very much (beyond how excited they are for it!) We will show up and quietly work hard, direct when we need to, help out when we can, then go home and create the coolest, prettiest movie for them. It’s pretty simple, and folks are always ecstatic about the results.
A special thank you to Vanessa McKellar, owner of The McKellars, for sharing her expertise and insights for how to get the best wedding film. To learn more about how The McKellars can create a beautiful film for your upcoming wedding, visit their Brides of Austin vendor profile to contact them directly.