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I just returned from Palm Springs, where I went to shoot a wedding. It was a really cool occasion (though HOT out in the Desert!)–even in spite of it being a holiday weekend. I normally wouldn’t work a holiday, but the groom was an Air Force pilot, and he chose the Palm Springs Air Museum for his wedding venue!
Lots of people were efficiently scurrying around–all working their butts off to make it a memorable occasion, and it occurred to me that it is important to acknowledge the teams that make weddings happen as smoothly as possible. We’re talking about the wedding planners, venue planners, officiants & clergy, food and beverage providers, florists, cake makers, DJs, bands and other music providers, and, of course, photographers and videographers. We all have our respective tasks, but our goals are mutual: to make an extraordinary day for the bride and groom! And I don’t really like the term ‘vendors’ because it often diminishes the role we all play…I prefer the term ‘partner’ because that’s who we are in making the event special!
Thank you all for what you do!
Now before you start reaching for the “Off” or other brand of insect repellent, I’m talking about the little logo at the bottom of your video. MTV was arguably the first media outlet to use branded video content, way back in the dark ages of the 1980s, and over the decades, it has now become unusual to not find the little logo (sometimes called a “bug” or a “snipe”) in one of the lower corners of your screen. Next time you’re watching TV, take note of the logo and how/where it’s placed!
Branding is an important component in your marketing and it is fairly simple to apply your logo to your videos. Here are 3 still image examples from videos with “bugs” on them…check out the lower right-hand corner:
Call me for more information on how to brand YOUR next video, and enhance the continuity of your brand. And remember, I won’t break the bank shooting it for you!
Ahhh…Spring isn’t far away! In fact, we just shifted to Daylight Savings Time* this past weekend. And with Spring, it’s often time to freshen things up. When I started First Impressions Video, I used a graphic image as the company logo that was OK at the beginning, but in need of upgrading for better application in print, online, photos, wearing apparel, and, of course, video. With that in mind, I am pleased to introduce the new logo for First Impressions Video!
The designer provided me with three distinct looks and an additional set with fully transparent backgrounds to further extend the use into video and photography. I am pleased with his work and even my apparel embroiderer gave the new look a “thumbs up.”
I will be applying the new logo over the next few weeks, so watch for the change!
*Note: For my grammar conscious friends who would be quick to correct my reference to ‘daylight savings time,’ I have accepted the more commonly used term, though the proper spelling is to not use the second “s” in the word ‘savings.’
I shot a wedding this past October. The couple and their family couldn’t have been nicer! I got this wonderful note shortly after the wedding:
“Terry, thank you for being my videographer. I don’t even need to see the video to already know you did a great job, I can’t wait! Even my guests commented on how they could tell you genuinely enjoyed your job and that will show in the quality. Your pricing was also very reasonable and the video will be the most cherished item for me so I can relive my special night, thanks again, we can’t wait to see the video!”
The wedding venue was one of the most challenging in which I’ve ever filmed, with extremely severe contrasts between the late-day western sun blasting into the windows and the interior of the venue which was quite dark. Even with my own extra light fixture, it didn’t help much, but I persevered. And because the final product didn’t meet my strict expectations, I gave the couple some of their money back. The great news came when I received the following comments from the very happy bride:
“Thank you Terry, you did a great job, made me cry. And I appreciate your professionalism, I had a feeling the venue would be difficult to work with, thank you for the refund. I will surely recommend you and provide positive reviews!”
Well, thank you, Lisa…you just did!
…I have a question: Got video?
Let’s get something on the schedule this year!
2014 was a great year for First Impressions Video and I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to the clients that are also my friends. I value you and welcome the opportunity to serve in 2015.
Got video? Need video?
Videology posted a cool looking infographic about the incredible innovation in television development. Television and video share this evolution!
Attribution: Videology, eMarketer, Nielsen
When you run a small business, you wear a LOT of hats! One of the things that must be done in contemporary business is to ensure that your business can be found when people are searching online for the product or service you offer. So imagine my elation to discover this today, when doing a search for “video production”
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an ongoing activity and many business owners use outside agencies to help get these kinds of results. I am fortunate to have spent the last decade in digital marketing before launching First Impressions Video. SEO is also very fluid and tomorrow my rankings can change–good or bad. But after working at this for quite a while, it’s nice to see Google “smiling at my website” today! Full disclosure: there were three listings that preceded First Impressions Video in the search results, but one was a generic Yelp listing with no specific company cited; the second was for Costa Mesa Television, which is not a video production business and the third was a directory page of the “top 15 video production services in Costa Mesa.” None of those was a stand-alone business.
This post is dedicated to people that choose to shoot their own video. On occasion, I have been asked to take on editing assignments where, in order to save cost, a client has provided video footage they’ve captured. Nothing can be more disappointing to any editor than to find hours of footage that is barely usable because of poor camera technique, including pans, tilts, zooms and rack focus, that are caused primarily due to an unstable base from which to shoot. And while I too have watched “Modern Family” and “The Office” which popularized the “mockumentary” style of cinematography, with “whip pans” and “snap zooms,” I would argue that stable videos with smooth movements are far less jarring to the eyes. For the do-it-yourselfer, there is a simple solution: a sturdy tripod!
Tripods have been around since cameras were the weight of a Volkswagen—and almost as big, and you needed a very strong platform to support them. Now, cameras are super small and we’ve all seen them integrated into today’s smartphones and even watches. Are tripods going the way of the dodo as a result? No!
Think about this: Say you’re watching your son or daughter singing in the school choir and you’re in your seat 50 rows away from the stage trying to capture the proud moment when your child steps forward for a solo. You’ve got your Galaxy or iPhone zoomed all the way out and now your body starts to shake from fatigue in the hands and arms. You get home to see what you captured, only to discover a blurry mess because you weren’t able to keep the device steady. Bummer!! And don’t be fooled by the claims of the device’s manufacturer about “image stabilization.” At high zoom settings, any body movement will be amplified, so give yourself the best chance of getting the shot right, and use a tripod.
Tripods come in many shapes, sizes and price points, but to not use one is to invite disappointment. At the very least, get one with strong legs and a “fluid head” so that camera movement is as smooth as possible. Also make sure the tripod’s head can lock. Nothing will cause more panic than being 10 feet away from your camera when it topples over because the head wasn’t locked and the whole rig became unbalanced. The good news is that tripods can accommodate most any camera made today, including the aforementioned smartphones and watches.
The takeaway: Make the investment in a good tripod…your videos will be much better because of it!