Johnny and Melissa booked us for their wedding just after we started our business in 2017, when we were still located in upstate New York. In February, 2018 we moved up to Maine with the excitement of knowing we would return to the Finger Lakes to film. Their wedding took place on stunning Keuka Lake (the one that’s shaped like a wishbone). Returning to New York put into perspective how much has happened in the past year; we got married, bought a house, and filmed so many beautiful weddings.
We arrived at the lakeside cottage where the bridal party was getting ready and immediately got to work. Melissa and her bridesmaids were listening to music, sharing stories and enjoying the company of Melissa's family, including her two adorable nieces. We chatted with photographers Ty & Kate from Lovewell Weddings, laying out our game plan for the day ahead and, of course, comparing cameras. At the last wedding we filmed in New York, we were using older Canon cameras; despite their high quality, they weren’t great at capturing darker rooms and required a lot of finangling to switch from standard capture to slow motion. This time we were shooting with our Sony a7sii cameras and Sigma Art lenses. This was our third wedding using them and they were a complete game changer. Low-light settings are no longer a problem for us and the switch between slow motion and standard capture is as easy as the click of a button.
We prepared for FOB’s (Father of the Bride’s) first look and worked with Ty and Kate to set the stage on the dock overlooking the lake. Abigail had just finished pickup shots inside and I was very excited to share our plan for the first look...too excited as it turns out. I lost track of my footing and as I gestured around I tripped. I tripped hard. As someone who has worked in the industry for many years, my immediate concern was for the camera and not myself--especially since it was new. Like a receiver catching a low-thrown touchdown pass, I tucked the camera into my chest as I fell. Unlike a pro-athlete, however, I didn’t look very cool doing it. I managed to protect the camera but my pants suffered the consequences and ripped across my knee cap. I was a bit scraped up, nothing too bad, but the important thing was that the camera wasn't hurt. Mission accomplished. Touchdown scored.
A wedding day waits for no one so I cleaned up and went back out to film, waving off the very considerate concern of Melissa and her family. They mentioned how surprised they were that I managed to protect the camera. Maybe I did look kind of cool after all.
But probably not.
We captured the first look, a touching moment between Melissa and her father, picked up the last of our shots at the cottage, and then confronted my now-naked knee. The tear in my pants was glaring and the last thing I wanted was to draw attention to myself throughout the wedding; we pride ourselves on blending in and this tear was a neon sign reading "VIDEOGRAPHER WITH RIPPED PANTS HERE! PLEASE ASK ME ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED!"
Ty and Kate saved the day with a sewing kit. They always have one on hand after experiencing a similar emergency--lesson learned. I was anxious when we parked at the winery. Abigail took my hand and told me, "I'll cover the guys, you focus on fixing those pants. You got this." Whether or not she believed I could actually sew my own pants, I’ll never know. Abigail set out to film pickup shots of Johnny and the groomsmen and I made my way to a nearby picnic table to repair my lacerated pants.
I looked at the tear and back at the sewing kit. Then back at the tear. Then again at the sewing kit. I had tried sewing once or twice before in my life with little to no success, but there was no time, no back-up pants, and no nearby stores. But high-pressure situations are where I thrive. A few YouTube tutorials and threading the needle (several times) later I managed to sew the tear back together. It wasn't pretty, but it was holding together and my knee had regained its decency. Seriously, though, threading the needle is the hardest part.
To decompress and focus I took to the skies, flying my drone around the winery and swooping in for a shot of Johnny and the groomsmen. I brought the drone back down and finished our setup for the ceremony with a few minutes to spare. Johnny and Melissa's good friend officiated the ceremony and talked about the challenges that the couple would face in the future. I looked over at Kate who was readying an awesome shot, I looked at Ty, at Abigail, and then Johnny and Melissa. It was all a potent reminder of why I love this job, the couples we film, and the professionals with whom we work. There's a shared understanding that it's going to be challenging at times, but you have to remember two things: keep going and keep learning.