Capturing a couple’s wedding day is an important job, every moment – beautiful, emotional, passionate – matters. Here, Holly Wicks explains the lengths she’ll go to for the perfect shot and what it’s like making wedding videos with her best friend…
Kerry and I met on our first day at secondary school, and were inseparable during our teenage years. We didn’t see so much of each other while at college and uni but kept in touch intermittently, while Kerry started a family and we both began working hard on our careers.
We’ve always been creative (our teenage weekend projects often included painting, lino printing, photography shoots, and candle-making). And we enjoyed sparking ideas off each other, although it wasn’t until fairly recently that we realised we could turn this creative spark into a business.
Making wedding videos
After studying graphic design, Kerry decided that photography was her calling. She cut her teeth as a wedding photographer in 2008, covering weddings in the South West region, and made the brave decision to branch out into wedding videos 2013. Having become fascinated by the cinematic quality of art films she’d been researching, Kerry wanted to push the boundaries of her artistic potential while expanding and challenging her photographic skill set.
I, too, have a lot of experience as both a filmmaker and working at weddings. As a student, I spent many summers behind the scenes at a stately home wedding venue catering for a host of eccentric characters. I garnered a robust ‘bomb-proof’ mentality and propensity to keep calm and carry on in the face of unplanned wedding misdemeanours. I’ve witnessed fights, blood, oceans of tears (and plenty of happy moments too!). Nothing could ever surprise me at a wedding.
In 2008, while trying to get into the TV industry, I made a series of short films and documentaries to boost my portfolio. Kerry provided production stills for my comedy short film Pernickety. Since then I have worked as a researcher/assistant producer/co-ordinator on various broadcast productions, including commercials, internet virals, factual and documentary programmes (singles and series) for all the major terrestrial TV channels.
When Kerry told me she had invested in a range of film camera kit, I was naturally curious to check it out and hear more about her new venture. At the beginning of summer 2015 I was delighted when Kerry asked me to assist her at a series of weddings, acting as second camera operator.
At that time, I was in the midst of a frantic spell working on a medical documentary series for Channel 5, but I had some annual leave to use up, so these wedding days didn’t interfere with my bread-and-butter production work. The weddings were a welcome glimmer of light compared with the intense human drama associated with hard-hitting documentary production.
Wedding videos are important
A business venture into capturing the most monumental day in a bride and groom’s life on film would probably send most people into a panic-driven seizure, but this is a very familiar environment to both of us. When you’re behind the scenes at this type of event there’s a lot that can potentially go wrong, but when you’re prepared for every eventuality, you come through with a satisfying outcome. And a few sprinklings of cinematic gold dust, despite whatever force majeure you may have faced.
Strong people skills are essential in casting and building trust with documentary contributors. It’s the same in wedding videography; you need to make the bride and groom feel relaxed and at ease in order to produce footage that is elegant and natural.
Unsurprisingly, Kerry and I work well as a team and we always aim for a relaxed, comforting and accommodating relationship with our clients. We have a laugh but we know when to put our friendship on the backburner. We put in long hours in order to gather quality footage to cover the big day from the morning bridal prep to the evening party. We can often be seen setting up GoPro cameras in unusual places (ie. highland lakes, letter boxes), testing our physical endurance in order to capture the perfect panning shot across a high-growing maize field with a cumbersome crane at sunset.
We thoroughly recce the locations long before the guests arrive – looking for that prime backdrop that somehow encapsulates the bride and groom’s personalities, without taking them too far away from the party they’ve been planning for months.
Included in the wedding video package is a short non-dialogue music video that captures the emotions and key elements of the day. The style is cinematic, elegant, intimate and ethereal.
I’m amazed at the standard of Kerry’s film work and her speedy mastering of Adobe Premiere Pro as well as editing to music. I’m proud to be involved and hope that we go from strength to strength as a partnership.
Although Kerry admits that photography will always be her top priority, (and I don’t think I’m prepared to give up my day job either), we both agree that narrative-led artistic wedding films are a brilliant sideline to supplement our main careers. It’s also a great way for us to extend the creative partnership that’s kept our friendship strong and dynamic for 22 years.
What are your thoughts on wedding videos? Did you have one? And were you pleased you went ahead?