I've worked on one wedding with Sarah of Luminance Wedding Films. Their work is absolutely beautiful and Sarah and her team are very discreet for cinematographers, which seems to be very rare. They definitely have a high professional quality, which is a must for video. Now days it seems everyone is trying to do video because they can with the 1080 abilities, but it truly does take the right eye and knowledge to be a good cinematographer. I do truly feel Luminance Wedding Films has this. I also love that they take the time to get to know couples. I myself do this and love when vendors take the time to actually get to know their clients. After all it is your wedding day, not just another wedding. ;)
The catch to Luminance Wedding Films is they are based out of Albuquerque, but Sarah said she would travel up here to Denver to film a wedding. So, if you need a great cinematographer hit up Luminance Wedding Films!
Here are a photo from the wedding I shot with them at Los Poblanos, an adorable Albuquerque by the way. (To see more photos from this wedding go here.)
And here is the film Luminance Wedding Films took from Tracy & Roger's wedding:
Ok for Sarah's interview questions.
Can you tell me what your job title is and what that means to brides?
I am a wedding cinematographer. We are different than wedding videographers in the sense that we craft every shot. Through use of different lens choices to different equipment for stabilization, each shot is cinematic and should give you that feeling of watching a beautiful film. Videographers, tend to document what is going on. There is not much planning to the shots, they simply roll and record.
What makes a good cinematographer in your opinion?
I think what makes a good cinematographer is someone who knows their equipment inside and out and is creative with how they use it. When you have a plan as to what the feel or look should be, you need to know what lens, frame rate or camera setting is going to best showcase this. I also feel that planning and getting to know the couple is imperative. Each couple is different and even though much of the same events take place on the wedding day, the couple is what brings the uniqueness to the film. If you don't know them very well it's hard to portray their love story in the proper light.
What is one thing that separates your business from other similar businesses?
I am very committed to staying current and maintaining client relationships. If you have the technology or the creative eye, but ignore your clients by not responding to their needs right away then your company will not be a success. However, having a great reputation is not the only key either. If you are not constantly trying to improve your service or grow then your style can loose it's luster and become dated.
What is your favorite part about being a cinematographer?
I love meeting with the bride and groom one on one. I love getting to know them and figuring out how I will shoot them together. The wedding day is an insane rush as we work to capture all that we want. There are always surprises on the wedding day and I love the challenge of working that surprise into the film. I never know how the film will be put together until I sit down in the edit suite. It's just as much of a surprise to me watching their final film as it is for the couple.
What is the most common mistakes most brides make in planning their wedding?
I think with some vendors you have to book early. I am always getting calls a month or two months before the date and we are already booked. I hate turning away brides but I am a small company and we don't outsource our weddings. Another mistake that I hear from past brides or parents of the bride or groom is that they felt pressured to go with a particular vendor and didn't know much about them. The service ended up not turning out so well. Couples really need to learn all they can about a vendor. It truly helps to read their past client testimonials to make sure you are fully informed of the quality of work and service they provide.
Is there one aspect of the actual wedding day that could go smoother? If so, how would you suggest changing the traditional format?
The times that are most rushed are usually before the ceremony and before the reception. Couples don't leave themselves enough time for photography/cinematography. It can get rushed and this is the time that the couple should be reflecting on what they are about to do before the walk down the aisle and once their ceremony is over, they need that time to enjoy the moment they just shared. First looks are becoming very popular. We love doing this as it gives the couple time to truly relish in each other before all the craziness happens. It also gives the photographer and cinematographer plenty of time to shoot so that after the ceremony the formalities are already over and everyone can go and enjoy their party.
What's your best advice for brides working with a tight budget?
I've always been a big believer in budgets. It's important to know how much you want to spend and stick to it. Many couples don't know what a cinematographer will charge and the rates can really be drastic from one region to another. I've always felt it is important to invest in the moments that will last...for instance what will generations after generations get to experience of your wedding day. The decorations? The cake? The food? These are things that are either consumed or generally go out of style. Don't get me wrong all areas are important to create that magical wedding, but if you are on a tight budget think about putting your money to lasting mementos.
If you could change one thing about the wedding industry as a whole what would it be?
To tell you the truth, I really try to stay out of it. It can be a very cut throat industry and I kind of liken it to Hollywood. If I were an actress, I'd be the one who lived outside of California and made appearances on a "as needed basis". My goal is to focus on the couple and get my films to move them. I try not to consume myself with the latest "trends". I get my inspiration from films, photography and music. I keep current with what is going on in our world in relation to these three mediums and not necessarily what is current in the bridal industry.
With this change how do you think it could get improved?
I think people would listen more to what their bride and grooms truly wanted rather than trying to keep up with their peers or the industry itself. It's not just a day to me or a big party. It is a lifetime commitment and I think couples and the younger generations exposed to all the wedding hype feel pressured to have an exotic wedding. They can loose focus on what is truly important. It's funny but as I'm writing this, the movie, "Bridal Wars" is playing in the background. Case and point! It's a good laugh though.
In finding a cinematographer,what are three things brides should look for?
When choosing a cinematographer, brides really need to see samples of their work. It is so important to know the type of quality they are getting. They also need to be sure to ask if the individual does all their own shooting and editing or if they outsource it. It's important to know that the quality you are seeing is what you will be getting based on the individual you hire. Another important aspect is to check their reviews not only with past brides but with photographers who have worked with them. The photographer/cinematographer relationship is very important as the two work closely together and you want to make sure they are respectful of the other vendors. By reading past reviews you will gain a sense of how friendly, easy to work with, discreet and quick to respond to the couple they were. Finally, be sure you know what you will be purchasing so hidden fees don't spring up unexpectedly. Some might think that they should have top of the line equipment? My thought is, not so much. It's not the equipment that makes you good filmmaker, it's your ability to tell a great story while capturing amazing shots. The truth is in their samples and if you love their work, then their equipment is great for what they are able to do with it.
If you could give one piece of advice to every bride what would that be?
Enjoy this day. Enjoy all the planning. Don't loose site of each other and get lost in all the details. It's a big day and a big event but all those months of planning cumulate into one day and then it's done. Be sure that you enjoy every moment of the process with your fiance and family.
You can find Luminance Wedding Films website here: www.luminanceweddingfilms.com/
Go check out their work! :)
P.S. Here is a film that I love, and Sarah wanted to share with you all too. Its a Luminance Wedding film from a mountain top wedding...which I know all of you would love to do, if you could. ;)