We are Cleveland wedding photographers for the couple that values legacy and authentic moments captured. We love telling wedding stories in a way even your grandchildren will feel like they experienced your day with you. We also photography a select number of senior pictures and information can be found on our SENIOR PHOTO page here. Dragonfly Photography is based in Cleveland, Ohio with destinations world wide.
This is blog number two in my ‘chat with the experts’ series. You may recall the first one where I sat down with Jen from Fabuluxe and chatted about why a wedding planner is essential. If not, do check that out first. You can find it here. I am passionate about the wedding industry as a whole because I believe that the better the industry is, the stronger we will all be as professionals to serve our couples. I have some incredible friends that have so much knowledge about their particular neck of the woods. I wanted to do a series hearing from them both for us as wedding professionals and brides as they’re planning their wedding.
I think I can get a resounding amen from all my photographer friends when I say that if you plan on including video on your wedding day, finding the right filmmakers is beyond essential.
I happen to think videographers are sort of like superheroes. Also, side note, I’m sure that if I wasn’t a wedding photographer, I would be that person that makes previews for movies. I think my favorite part of going to see a movie are the previews… so the fact that these superhero people get to show up at a wedding and create movie magic… stop. Why are they so cool??
I am fortunate enough to count Mary and Jamie as good friends. They are as kind as they are professional and talented. The kind of people you want to sit and share hummus with (inside joke, having to do with the fact that Mary and I have really weird diets and generally can only eat one thing on the menu when we’re hanging… which is always hummus. Well now, it’s an outside joke I guess…)
They run an incredible company and I thought it would be so fun to sit down with Mary and hear a bit about the industry, video, and all things wedding from her perspective She was kind enough to agree to chat. 😉
Mary, so tell me about where are you from, where are you now and what do you love about it? I’m from South Florida, my wife and I spend half the year in West Palm and half the year in New England. I absolutely love living the ‘Endless Summer’ with warm days and cool breezes.
I can definitely see that! Side note, if you are looking for Mary in a crowd look for something Lilly Pulitzer and you will find her easily! Endless summer makes total sense for your personality! Give me a bit of the history of Key Moment Films, how did it start and what made you fall in love with videography to begin with? We have been filming weddings full time for 9 years now. I asked for a video camera for Christmas in college and started filming my adventures. I created a video on a family trip and sent it to my mother-in-law who called me for three weeks straight crying about how beautiful it was. Right then, I realized that creating something had really impacted someone else’s life. I realized how powerful preserving memories in video was.
Now you own two companies correct? Tell me a bit about the difference between Key Moment and Calypso Wedding films? Key Moment Films is the big sister brand, who started it all. We realized that we couldn’t be everywhere at once. So we took what worked with Key Moments – great customer service, high quality, fast turn around time and created Calypso Wedding Films. I think it would be naive to think I was the only talented videographer out there. Our team consists of incredibly talented people who don’t need or want to run their own business.
What is your favorite thing about creating wedding films? I love knowing that the value of our couple’s wedding film will grow with each passing year. That they will be able to use the film to re-live their day, listen to the toast, and when loved ones begin to pass on, they will have a loving memory of them.
What would you say is the biggest misconception as far as wedding video that you would love to educate the industry about? I see this big fad with drones, and while the wide sweeping shots look amazing, I have noticed that some videographers are not doing it the proper way. The camera operator is required to be federally licensed and insured. Normal insurance does not include drones, it’s an addendum of $2k+. I see fly by night videographers, offering it for free, and it is a huge liability for the venue and physical risk for the guests.
Answer 2: The biggest thing is that what one company calls something may not mean the same thing to another company. For example, the definition ‘Cinematic’ can get thrown around quite a bit. To me, Cinematic, means movie like. We require more time setting up shots, and more equipment as well as more time in post-production.
Tell me the funniest moment you’ve ever seen at a wedding? Recently we had a couple getting married overlooking the ocean outdoors. During the ceremony, the bride eyed a seagull and jumped out of the way just as the seagull began dropping bombs towards her and the bridesmaids. We have watched this moment over and over- even in slow-mo. The best part was the bride laughed it off and took it in stride while regaining composure to finish the vows. Talk about, ‘for better or for worse’.
How about the most emotional? We had a bride this past summer move up her wedding when she found out her father had terminal cancer with only a few months to live. The father struggled while walking her down the aisle, there was not a dry eye in the crowd. We even had a short interview with him just before the ceremony. He passed away less than a week after the wedding.
When brides inquire with your studio, what are a few qualities in a bride that just make you light up and know they’re going to be an amazing fit? I love when a couple can connect with us. We try and put ourselves out there, and when we know a couple has been on our Instagram or about page and mentions our pups, we know they are gonna be sweet. Brownie point with anyone who has rescued an animal and mentions it. 😉
Tell me, for a bride that is very budget conscious, why would you consider it essential to still invest in a video? Everyone has a budget, even the royal wedding has a budget (perhaps larger than our own). I believe you should focus on your priorities and make decisions from the top down. I believe if you are investing in a pro photographer, then you should really consider investing in a pro videographer. You will get your memories (sights and sounds) captured better and will have an overall better experience of your day.
I know I generally shout from all the rooftops I can find that choosing a videographer based on the “best” price you can find is about as wise as doing that with a wedding photographer, generally, you get what you pay for (sorry Thumbtack). 😉 I have not only heard horror stories but seen many of them first hand when a bride finds “such a good deal”… I know as a wedding photographer (like you just mentioned) everyone has a budget point that they are comfortable in. I love the concept of making decisions from the top down, that’s what I encourage my brides to do as well, so from your perspective why is it essential to invest in the right videographer? This industry is really you get what you pay for, just like photography. We are artists first, our personalities and personal values reflect how and what we capture. I believe that photo and video is an investment in your future. We are the gatekeepers of the memories of others and it is a large responsibility and taking some time to consider a budget on your memories is vital.
And lastly, and only because one of my favorite podcasts does that and I think it’s so much fun… tell me what 3 food items are that you can’t get enough of or you’ll never be without? Cucumbers – they hit the reset button on my body when I’ve been eating badly. Ice Cream – because it’s ice cream! And cheese – when I had to go dairy free I dreamed about eating cheese in my sleep.
Mary, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. I loved hearing your perspectives and vision for your neck of the wedding industry.
Take some time to go say hi, follow, low key stalk Mary and Jamie, you’ll find them over at Key Moment Films and Calypso Wedding Films they are both, clearly, the kind of people you should hang out with. 🙂 Below is a little taste of a wedding film… dare you not to cry. 😉