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2018 recap

We’ve filmed some truly amazing weddings this year with wonderful couples.  I have to remind myself how lucky I am to do this full time for a living.   

I strive to entertain and inspire in everything that I do , and I feel I’ve done just that this year with the quality of my wedding films.  

Here’s to next year, whether I am filming locally in rockford , chicago , or traveling across seas- each wedding is special to me, and the moments that we are so fortunate to capture.  

 

Ive found that almost all creative people need to have a rotating schedule of hobbies to stay inspired.  I’ve rekindled my joy of creating artwork and music production.  Having spent my whole life drawing, attending art school, and touring in a rock band.  I can’t tell you how good it feels to be pushing myself creatively with my career and my hobbies.  

 

Now get out there and do something that gets you fired up and ignites your passion!

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WEDDING DAY EATING

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WEDDING DAY EATING

SNACKING CHECKLIST:

-FRUIT AND NUTS*
-WATER, WATER , WATER
*asking around for nut or food allergies are important to check ahead of time.  Epipens are 'spensive!

STAYING HYDRATED IS VERY IMPORTANT.  ESPECIALLY DURING THE WARMER MONTHS.

All that hydration has to go somewhere.  Have a pee plan.  A pee buddy if you have a big poofy dress or long train.  If there are long car , trolly, bus, limo drives, etc - factor in some extra time for everyone to pee if need be - especially if they're drinking.

Managing food can take up precious time,waste precious food.  If you are serving food or meals for breakfast or lunch.  Have a plan on how to store the food, save for later, or who is going to clean up the mess.  Less is usually more with getting ready.  

 

Booze and kids.  Kids are curious.  Jello shots are very colorful and sometimes tasty.  Drunk people are basically large children.  Use caution not to over serve or have too much of a good thing on hand.  Try to limit or avoid alcohol if possible on the night before and morning of your wedding.  

BRIDAL BUDDY AS SEEN ON SHARK TANK Have a plan for when nature calls and you're in your dress.  If you have some money to burn, consider having a second , more bathroom stall friendly dress for the reception if you are really worried about having to pee or mobility on the dance floor.

 

 

 

WHAT'S ON THE MENU?:

If you take away one thing, it is this - feed your photo and video vendors a good hot meal, many vendors have it in their contract to have a hot meal because the "vendor" meals are just so bad and often stale for some reason; and most of all, a waste of money on your part.  

Food is a big part of a wedding.  People argue about food, they obsess over it.  Diet restrictions, picky eaters, over eaters.  "Aunt Sally doesn't like vegetables!" "Uncle Jim only eats red meat and has high cholesterol!" "Grandpa Bob will need two meals because he likes to eat, so let's just do a buffet!" Food waste and taste is a big factor when putting a menu together.  You don't want to spend money on something that nobody will enjoy. So read on!

On the flip side, when things go well; people applaud the efforts of a good meal and obsess over just how good the food was!  Planning food for the day doesn't have to drive you mad!

PICKEY EATERS: This can be a tough one.  If anyone has diet restrictions or is a picky eater.  Create a list; and one by one - simply ASK them - "Hey Uncle Jim, what would you like to eat at our wedding?" Chances are they won't be as picky if you ask ahead of time, but will appreciate the thought and hopefully help you out when selecting your menu.  People's dietary choices and beliefs are important.  If it is not important to you to take this extra step, consider not inviting that person to the wedding.  If you've already invited them, bite the bullet and find out what they like.  You are paying for their meal.  A common scenario is a vegetarian guest who can't eat the salads because they have meat, for their entree, they receive cold overpriced noodles or some mystery concoction that the kitchen slapped together the day of.  Again , you are probably paying good money for this food- why would you want to spend $50+ on a meal that your guest probably won't eat or won't enjoy?  Some people with dietary restrictions are used to eating before events because the food options for them are either unpleasant, untrustworthy, or both!  You may not even have to feed some of these people!  What an easier solution!

We don't film people eating food.  It's unflattering in almost every scenario, no matter how good the food is.  Usually you can't tell just how good the food is on screen or in photos, but it's nice to feature somehow.  Usually the cake, cupcakes, or desert table is the "eye candy" that we are filming.  We love seeing (and tasting!) fun and unique desert options like "donut trees"

 

 

So to recap:

 

-feed your vendors, they will thank you

-try to have some down time for your vendors to enjoy and more importantly FINISH their meals - often we are served last and have to stuff our faces to get ready for toasts or first dances -  

 

usually someone will recommend to you, "hey just have the toasts and speeches as salads are served or when the last plate of dinner is served."  this is terrible for us - first off, we can't eat, the wait staff takes our meal away after taking one bite - your toasts will have a bunch of distracting people who are stuffing their faces, clinging forks , when the attention should be on the person speaking and the couple's reactions.  I will post soon ish about timeline and scheduling toasts, a very important part to a good wedding film -

to recap - schedule for reception should flow something like this -- cocktail hour, intros, cake first dances- dinner is served - peoples bellies are full and they haven't gotten plastered just yet -then toasts should start- toasts should start either before or after dinner, but not during dinner.  who wants photos or video of people chewing ? waiting too long for toasts or having toasts on and off throughout the night is a nightmare for everyone, people get drunker and drunker and ramble and say stupid things and the video crew desperately scrambles to get lighting and tripods back to where they need to ---toasts are important for your film  

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Playing with Fire

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Playing with Fire

As fate would have it - I have met some truly amazing and inspiring people in Rockford IL who have helped me tremendously and in very small but also important ways as well. From countless wonderful couples who've entrusted their wedding films to me, to local businesses who need video production.

  These past few years I have met some of the hardest working individuals who put themselves in harms way for our protection.  Fire and Police departments of Rockford , IL.  I have made several videos and TV commercials for the departments and even some cool work for fire department coffee, which I am proud of everything.  Here are some behind the scenes works and some finished products.

 

PS.  Literally playing with fire was one of the coolest shoots I've done yet.  Props to Luke Schneider of Fire Dept Coffee for letting us trash his backyard!  Extra props to the New York Band Mother for letting us use their new and awesome track "Medicine" for our product shoot and local Rockford IL native, Daniel McMahon of The Midwest Sound recording studio for use of his music in the Instagram teaser below.  

 

Also a special thank you to Frankie Fabre, Aaron Powers , Igor Kasyanyuk,  Tom Doherty, Jordan Sjostrom, and Gary Knauer for helping out and all their hard work, especially Frankie, almost getting burned a bit playing with fire!  Respect the Fire!

password fire

 

 

 

 

 

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2016

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2016

above photo by Luis Hermosillo

Well we've done it!  Another year in the bag.  I've had the opportunity to work for some truly amazing and wonderful people this year.  Not to mention some amazingly talented photographers and other vendors.  I wish I could write a post for each one, but there isn't enough time in the world to share just how grateful I am.  We sincerely hope that everyone has had a great year and a happy holiday.  2017, here we come!

Sincerely, 

Laura + Frank

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Giving a Speech

*Memorization is hard, but memorize at least the bullet points of your speech

  key points

-write your speech and memorize it*

-stand in one place, don't pace

- say something nice and from the heart


THESE ARE ALSO GOOD THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:

-have a beginning, middle, and end - all revolving around a theme; THE COUPLE!

-don't sing, dance, or recite poems if you're not a singer, dancer, or poet

-don't bring up embarrassing stories or anything to do with previous dating

-Don't hold a crumbled up paper in your hand, hold a drink instead - it is tastier than paper

-But please don't get drunk

-Reading off of a cell phone will cast a blue or yellow and unflattering light on your face.

-Reading off of a cell phone looks ingenue and like you're reading a text message or checking facebook

-You can connect better with your audience without having to read at the same time


The more prepared you are with your speech, the more confident your delivery will be, and you will enjoy the moment better.  Just plant your feet firmly in the ground, speak with confidence , and it will be over in no time!  You got this!

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Rockford Fire 2016

Congrats to the Rockford Fire class of 2016!  

Its always a treat to film and hang out with firefighters.  They are some of the most down to earth people , hard working, and heroic individuals you will ever come across.  Watch our recap film that takes you down the path of becoming a firefighter in Rockford, IL.

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Blogging in Rockford, IL

So we're into June 2016 already of our 5th year of filming weddings and we couldn't be happier!   We have a strong brand and style going and are more focused than ever in terms of the types of films we are producing.  So much goes into making a quality wedding film but we wouldn't have it any other way.  We've made some amazing friends along the way in our journey to deliver you the absolute best wedding films that we can provide.  We consider all of our brides and grooms our extended family and just wanted to share how truly thankful and honored we are to capture such cherished moments for a living!  Here's to 2016 being a stellar year! 

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CPR TRAINING SAVES LIVES in rockford, il

As we head into the wedding season this year, we were approached to create a film about a loving Rockford dad who had a cardiac arrest incident and thanks to fast thinking and ultimately cpr training for people on the scene, he has made a speedy recovery.  We wish him all the best and if you or someone you know would like to become CPR certified, you can learn more here:

https://www.osfhealthcare.org/saint-anthony/services/emergency-services/cpr-classes/

 

 

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hiring a videographer in rockford il

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hiring a videographer in rockford il

There's many talented film makers out there, so how do you choose?  The only time you hire a crew of people to film you and your spouse for a whole day is your wedding, so you want to be informed and comfortable with the people who you will be hiring.  When shopping around for a wedding film maker, you’ll want to know how many hours are spent editing your film.  Are you in search of a artistic story teller or someone to journalistically and candidly document events as they unfold? What exactly is the difference? 

 

We offer basic videography and beautiful cinematography.  The difference between the two is documenting vs storytelling.  One is a bare minimum approach while the other is "spared no expense".

 

When you see a movie, the film makers pull you in to the story by showing the drama or comedy of the scene. We see our hero’s emotion from several focal lengths and sweeping camera motions that help drive the story line and embellish the ambience of the setting of time and place, thus pulling us into the story.  On the other hand, when you turn on the news you can see an event unfold as a document of what is happening or has happened. The facts are presented in an easy to understand manner, the reporter is being documented on the scene by their camera person.  Image if that camera person starting doing all sorts of crazy camera movements, showing extreme close ups of the newscaster;  it would entirely change the dynamic of what you were watching.  Now imagine seeing a movie where the camera was still and motionless, like a security camera.  You may want your wedding simply documented and be happy with videography.  Just understand that it may look like something that aired on the news.  We try to take our basic videography a step further with some interesting camera work here and there, just to spice it up a little, with minimal equipment and editing time, just like a news crew.

 

If you haven’t figured out by now, we are crazy passionate about telling a great story through video.  We refer to them as films.  If you’re still not sold on the idea of an artsy fartsy wedding film, we do provide basic videography services with less equipment and cost.  We spend less time editing the straight forward wedding videos.  Editing consists of pulling all the footage into a timeline and delivering videos of each part of the day.  We can spend up to 20 hours compiling and putting this footage together.  However, a wedding film is carefully curated, edited,  and set to a custom soundtrack.  This process takes us about 40 hours over the course of several weeks.  We also try to include as much dialogue from your day as possible.  We want you to hear your loved ones voices crisp and clearly.  Oftentimes there is substantial background noise, so our best shot at getting quality sound bites are during the prep at the start of the day.


 

Sometimes wedding cinematography isn’t in the budget, but any professional video is better than no video at all.  I sincerely hope this helps you find the right fit for you, even if it isn’t with us.  So when comparing vendors , ask them how exactly they edit the footage and if their shooting style is more like a movie or like the 10 o’clock news and then decide who is the best fit for you. Peace be the journey, cool runnings!

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Bridal Expo -rockford, il

Today I was invited by Aaron at White Shutter Photography and my good friend Jesse from Catalyst Photography (definitely check out their amazing work!)  to check out “Something Blue” , a bridal expo at Prairie Street Brewhouse.  Hosted by Accent Events, who did a great job by the way, I recommend them if you need your event to be taken to the next level. Being a lover of all things beer and brewery, I sampled 7 tasty beers and enjoyed talking with some vendors about their thoughts of the event and saying hi to some familiar faces whom I’ve worked with in the past.   

I will definitely be showcasing Frank Slow Films at next year’s event and look forward to seeing some familiar faces and making new friends and getting to know our industry better and better.   They kept the atmosphere very laid back and enjoyable.   It's always a pleasure to be at the brewhouse.

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Hello rockford, il

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Hello rockford, il

Hi There! Thank you so very much for checking out my work.  After several friends kept telling how great squarespace is , I finally made the leap and starting to rebuild my website.  Check back for fun updates and behind the scenes shenanigans of my event film making career.  If you'd like to guest post on the blog I would love to have you!  Just drop me a line. Thank you. Special thanks to Loomis Video for helping me out! I wish everyone a safe and happy new year.

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