I'm so very excited to present Katie + David's Highlight Film! The words spoken at their wedding were moving and beautiful, making the experience of both photographing and filming their day one I'll never forget. The Orme Family Ranch has seen many weddings in its 90 year history, and I may be a little bias here, but this one has to top them all in representing what family is all about.
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Arizona Wedding Video
There’s a really nice feeling you have inside when others trust you to “do your thing.” I think this is true with all aspects of life, whether work, sports, or in relationships (I don’t mean “Do your thing *wink wink*, but more so, “just be you.” Get your mind out of the gutter). To have others not just recognize your ability, but ask for it, unmoderated. I bring this up because Alisa & Andrew were explicit in letting me “do my thing.” In our discussions they understood the aspects of a film and what I’m continually trying do with my work. I am so grateful for their trust and that of my other clients, and it’s certainly not something I take for granted. There are times I’ll be driving in my car when recognition of this strikes, and I’ll let out a joyous yell in celebration (I don’t do this with passengers, as that would make it obvious what a goof I am. And I don’t think anybody reads my blog so I should be safe confessing it here). What I’m saying is that it’s a privilege to make my films and do what I do, and I want Alisa & Andrew to know how happy and thankful I am for their trust. Now, onto their film!
I spent quite a while simply thinking about the direction I wanted to go with their Highlight Film. I want things to ebb and flow, but there’s always a narrative backbone with a certain mood or emotion. This dances on a spectrum of upbeat celebration on one end to powerful emotion on the other. Typically with comedic and sentimental moments sprinkled throughout. In my longer Signature Films I can shift up and down this spectrum, but it’s much harder to do in the short span of a Highlight Film. However, Alisa & Andrew’s wedding day played strongly on both ends, with intensely emotional vows and one of the best reception dance-offs I’ve ever seen. So, I made the decision to start their film with an immediate emotional pull, and then witch gears halfway to a festive build and climax. This is certainly one of my more unique films and I’m so happy with how it turned out!
Filming at La Mariposa is one of my favorite venues in Southern Arizona. The large grounds and trees make for a beautiful backdrop in an otherwise desert landscape. They also shroud the venue to make it feel intimate and separated from the city.
*Gear talk* I had a commercial shoot scheduled for the week after Alisa + Andrew’s wedding, for which I had rented a Movi. It’s a motorized gimbal that keeps your camera nice and steady for shots with a lot of motion. Similar to a Glidecam, but more versatile. I had a lot of fun running around throughout the day with it. The most notable shots with it in their Highlight Film are during the processional, the dance-off, and the post-ceremony bride & groom filming session (something I always encourage couples to add to their timeline to get intimate shots. Typically about ~10 minutes).
Here’s wishing Alisa, Andrew, and their son a wonderful future! I know good things are in store for you guys.
Had an awesome time working with the vendors below:
William Olguin and The Ohhh Booth (Check out the gem below of me with my second-shooter Matt)
Jolene and Ken had a beautiful "destination wedding" in southern Arizona this summer. From Phoenix, they wanted to get away somewhere different (but close) to create their wedding memories. They ended up picking some of the best venues the Tucson area has to offer. The ceremony was at St. Augustine Cathedral is in the heart of downtown Tucson, which is always a pleasure to film at. The Spanish Colonial style adds a rustic romance to the Catholic ceremonies that is hard to match on the west coast. Preparations and the reception were at the J.W. Marriott at Starr Pass, which is nestled up in the mountains just west of the city. If you'd like to see cactus no matter which way you look, stay at the J.W. Marriott at Starr Pass.
Now gorgeous venues are important, but it's the atmosphere created by family & friends is what makes it a wedding. I had a blast getting to know members of their wedding party (many of whom are a hoot) and the reception had everybody on their feet. You can't really beat a choreographed first dance with confetti canons. Having an awesome vendor team definitely helps to ensure the day goes off without a hitch, and it was a pleasure working along side Lori O'toole Photography and all the awesome guys at Satyr Entertainment.
Filming their wedding exceeded my expectations, both in how beautiful everything was and in how enjoyable it was to work with Shaida, Michael, and their families. Shaida’s little sister, Shelia was a hoot (more on her later) and Michael’s little brother Evan gave me flashbacks when he talked about the “Thunderdome” of growing up in a household with all boys (I grew up with three brothers myself. I still remember us gluing lamps and other items back together and hoping mom would never notice). I am confident Shaida is going to inject some much needed civility and frontal lobe development into the Molloy Thunderdome. I also loved seeing the special gifts Shaida gave to both her mother and mother-in-law:
Seeing the reaction of Michael’s mom, I know she is so thankful to have Shaida as her new daughter. My time with couples is inherently limited, so I love seeing interactions like these with family members. Each time I learn a little bit more about the couple and the insights they grant can be incredibly helpful in choosing which path to take in creating their films.
Regarding the details of everything, this was an exquisitely gorgeous wedding. I’m a guy and so I can’t really comment on wedding dresses, but I do know that I really liked Shaida’s a lot. To me it had a classic aesthetic in a contemporary design:
And the venue (Villa Siena) was a videographer’s dream. Despite being in the middle of Gilbert, Arizona, it really looks like something transplanted out of Tuscany:
Their planner, Rackel Gehlsen, really did a fantastic job organizing and coordinating the wedding – attention to detail is so key if you want your wedding to run smoothly.
Throughout the entire day Shaida's younger sister, Sheila, was a fun bubble of energy. I loved her unique personality, and her penchant for performance and flair came to a culminating display at the reception. Now, I have seen a lot of creative and thoughtful wedding speeches, but this one takes the cake as the most epic. All you Disney Frozen fanatics will enjoy this:
The guys at Awesoos also deserve an honorable mention for allowing me to create the gem below with my assistant videographer, Matt. I do love a good photo booth.
To conclude: Shaida and Michael have an awesome relationship, they had an amazing wedding, and I hope I was able to capture as much in their film. Thank you so much for hiring me, you two!
Shaida & Michael's other awesome vendors:
Photography: Indie Image Photography
Floral: Posh Petals
Make-Up: KLM Artistry
Wahoo! Check out my new promo film explaining what it is I do as a wedding filmmaker. This is much better than having to read about it, huh.