Why You Need a Wedding Videographer in Silicon Valley
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
My youthful passion for weddings coupled with my experience helps me to capture my clients’ most important day and create a video that they will cherish for the rest of their lives.
I am Jaydon Nolasco, the lead wedding videographer for Spiral Moon Weddings. I shot my first wedding in December 2017 and instantly fell in love. I never planned on becoming a wedding videographer, it was something I stumbled into. When I graduated from college with a filmmaking degree, a friend asked me to shoot his wedding. At first, I was reluctant. I had never shot a wedding before and did not know what to expect. There are no retakes during a wedding ceremony and the possibility of missing or ruining shots terribly frightened me. There were moments when I panicked because I couldn’t remember if I had pressed record or not. It was quite stressful. After the first wedding, I realized the whole process wasn’t as bad as I imagined. It was actually quite fun! The video wasn’t up to my high standards, but I was happy with it, considering it was my first one.
After that video was shared with the world, another friend hired me to shoot her wedding. Then, a well-known photographer from my hometown started showing her clients my videos and I received many bookings through her. Now, people are finding my work through Instagram and referrals and hiring me based on the quality of my work. Even though I am relatively new to the industry, I have mastered the steep learning curve of wedding videography. My youthful passion for weddings coupled with my experience helps me to capture my clients’ most important day and create a video that they will cherish for the rest of their lives.
How did you become a videographer?
I find that through weddings, I get to share real stories that connect with people and help them relive their wedding day, which are accompanied by strong emotions.
It helps that I love shooting weddings. I find that through weddings, I get to share real stories that connect with people and help them relive their wedding day, which are accompanied by strong emotions. It makes me feel great to create something that is meaningful and impactful to a newly married couple, their families, and their loved ones. That’s all that I can ask for as a videographer.
How would you describe your style?
I describe my wedding videos as cinematic highlight films that encapsulate the most important parts of a wedding. The videos are 4-15 minutes long and are meant to be exciting and emotional, not just a complete rehash of the ceremony. Gone are the days of the wedding videographer who sticks a tripod in the back of the room and creates a four-hour video that’s boring to watch. In the past decade, the wedding film industry has completely changed. I was on the phone last week with a maid of honor who got married 15 years ago. She said that after looking around for vendors, she realized that the landscape is completely different. As she was asking about a wedding video for her little sister, I explained to her what I create. It is completely different than her wedding video from 15 years ago.
Do you think a wedding videographer is a must or overrated? Please, explain why.
A photograph can say a thousand words but a video can tell a story and evoke emotion in a deeper way.
Wedding videographers are underrated if anything. Many couples spend thousands of dollars on wedding photography but don’t know what they are missing by not having a videographer. The outdated idea of a slow, four-hour wedding video is what a lot of people still believe the industry is doing, which is why many people don’t consider hiring a wedding videographer. Potential clients who are shown the cinematic highlight films want to book me because they fall in love with this cinematic way of storytelling.
There are many things that a video can capture that a photo cannot - the tear falling down the groom's face when he first sees his bride, the sound of laughter, or the voice of a significant other or parent as they give their toast. After a loved one has passed away, clients have told me that they are thankful that they have a video of a loved one to see them and hear their voice. A video is also great to show future children and future grandchildren and something that can be passed along through generations. A photograph can say a thousand words but a video can tell a story and evoke emotion in a deeper way.
What is the purpose of a pre-wedding video?
The pre-wedding video can be used for a variety of different reasons and in numerous ways. It’s a video that is created prior to the wedding day to tell the story of the couple. Some couples want their wedding day video to be more about the wedding and their guests instead of them, which is great! A pre-wedding video tells the love story of the couple and can be used as save-the-dates, invitations, on their wedding website, or even shown at the rehearsal dinner or the reception. It gives their friends and family a window to connect with the couple.
How much do wedding videos cost?
Based on the needs of our clients, we are happy to create a package that meets those needs and also willing to work with them to find ways to fit wedding videography within their budget.
The cost of a wedding video can range across a huge spectrum. They can vary by:
- Equipment used
- Number of videographers
- Packages, final products and edits
- Lenght of videos
- Additional video add-ons
- And most importantly, the experience of the wedding videographers.
I’ve seen beginning videographers charge $1,000 to $3,500 and well-established wedding production companies from $7,500 to $15,000. Production value also varies across the spectrum, but there is a wedding videographer available in all budgets.
Our Spiral Moon Weddings packages are a deal in this competitive marketplace, ranging from $1,300 to $3,500.
Our goal is to high production value at an affordable price. Our most popular wedding package, the Full moon, comes with two videographers for up to nine hours of coverage. The two videographers shoot with a total of three Full HD cameras in 1080p and can also have an aerial drone capture gorgeous aerial shots. The final products are a 5-10 minute long cinematic highlight video which includes captured dialogue and the music license, along with a 1-minute social media edit so that the client can easily share their special days with their friends worldwide. We can also cover the dinner rehearsal and produce a video of the wedding ceremony if desired.
Based on the needs of our clients, we are happy to create a package that meets those needs and also willing to work with them to find ways to fit wedding videography within their budget. Price largely depends on the length of our time shooting the wedding, the length of the video requested, and the number of videographers. We offer a la carte items to the base packages as well. We are fun to work with and want our clients to be happy!
What locations, backgrounds, or places result in best videos?
Always, without a doubt, the best wedding video locations are places with much natural light. Think about big windows and open spaces outdoors. As videographers, it is our job to find the best locations at every venue. With creativity, I can make a dull space look beautiful, as long as I get enough natural light. There are many times where I’ve had to shoot in a stuffy church that the family of the bride has been getting married in for years. Consequently, there are no windows, it is dark and dim, and the lights emit an unattractive yellow tone. This scenario is a nightmare. The footage will not come out as appealing but we do our best with these locations.
In my opinion, must-have shots are the process of getting ready (dressing up, putting makeup on, etc) prior to the ceremony and the romantic eye-candy shots of the couple. These two shots are what takes the most time and are the bulk of the video. The ceremony usually lasts 30 minutes, in which the most significant moments make it into the highlight film. During the getting ready process, that’s where I get the B-roll. I also like to interview the couple or have them read love letters written to one another during this time. Most likely, this is where I will find the main story of the film, which can create a narrative backbone. Sometimes I find the story in vows and speeches. For those epic eye-candy couple shots, I’ve learned that the best shots are at golden hour, right before sunset. Trust me, these shots will come out absolutely gorgeous with the right videographer. This formula is what I use when shooting a wedding: 30% preparations, 10% ceremony, 20% epic eye-candy session, 20% reception, and 20% variable time of the in-betweens and random moments. This is also dependent on the wedding schedule and events but will give you an idea when planning.
Part of my process when working with the bride and groom prior to the wedding is to help schedule time for the videography, let them know what to expect and find out if they have any special requests that I can accommodate. As it is their important day, I work with them to make it happen and make sure they are comfortable and ready for the filming.
This formula is what I use when shooting a wedding: 30% preparations, 10% ceremony, 20% epic eye-candy session, 20% reception, and 20% variable time of the in-betweens and random moments.
What does the process look like after the wedding day, and what do couples receive (website link? DVD? USB memory stick?).
The final video for me takes about four months to edit. I want to make sure all the shots are perfect, color corrected and graded to my liking, audio is synced and sounds crisp, and every puzzle piece is put together in the correct place to best share the story. This takes time and I want the video to be the best it can be. If couples are hiring me, they are trusting my skill, talents, and abilities to tell their stories with creativity. They hire me for a unique style and direction. They trust that I will tell their story the best way possible. I offer a Dropbox link so that the couple can download their film and then share it with everyone. I haven't received any requests for a DVD, CD, or USB stick. This technology is a little outdated and often gets lost over the years. With the download link, the couple can download it and put it wherever they want. They can store it in the cloud so that it’s never lost. It’s easy and they don’t have to worry about anything physical.
I offer a Dropbox link so that the couple can download their film and then share it with everyone.
Which parts of a wedding will be filmed and which ones will not?
I try to film the entire time I’m at the wedding. If I’m hired for a certain number of hours, I will shoot as much as I can during that time frame. However, there are moments that I selectively choose to not film or stop filming. The photo session with the photographer is one of them, especially with the family. Videos of people posing for photos look unnatural and they are looking into the photographer's camera. I like to use this time to film the reception table settings and venue before anyone arrives.
Another important aspect to note is the dancing. I only film 20 minutes of dancing because I notice that’s all you need to get a variety of shots. Footage of people dancing does not aid in telling a story and does get boring after a while. I also find the need to mention the bride’s hair and makeup process. This could take hours and I only need the final hair and makeup touch-ups. Brides do not want to remember their face half put together and their hair in curlers. I need to capture when it's 90% done for the film. Finally, I must mention meal time. No one, absolutely no one, wants a video of them eating. That’s why I make it a point at weddings to eat when everyone else eats. It’s also usually when nothing critical happens.
What was the most memorable wedding you filmed?
I don’t have a single wedding that sticks out as more memorable as the others - each wedding and couple are unique. No two are the same and each offers something special.
I don’t have a single wedding that sticks out as more memorable as the others - each wedding and couple are unique. No two are the same and each offers something special. The best is when they treat you like family. These couples are easy to work with and are comfortable around me, which helps me capture beautiful shots and moments. They make the day go by quickly and it feels more like fun than actual work. They’ll even invite me to the dance floor and pass over a glass of champagne. I love all my clients and still stay connected with them through social media.