Design Aglow Cinema: Meet Arroyo Films

Today we're getting to know Josh, one half of the husband and wife team that is Arroyo Films.  

It’s so wonderful to see a husband and wife team. How do you split the tasks?

It changes up a bit because we shoot both films and photography together. For elopements, it’s generally my wife, Samantha, shooting photographs and myself shooting video. When Samantha isn’t photographing, she’ll assist me as a second videographer. We love working together and over time have developed a straightforward way of communicating on a shoot. A simple tap on the shoulder, a “Did you get your shot?”, or “Is it ok if I walk in front of you?” can make a big difference in getting solid material and can help you avoid the frustration of having a shot messed up.

When Samantha is my second shooter, I’ll typically cover the groom getting ready while Samantha covers the bride getting ready. Throughout the rest of the day, one of us will be getting wide coverage while the other is getting close-up shots. During the bride and groom portraits, one of us will go with the couple while the other hangs back and gets details.

How do you blend your footage in order to have a seamless look and feel?

I find it’s good to already have the edit in mind as we shoot throughout the day. Composition and camera movement are important to helping your edit flow smoothly. Think about the story you are trying to tell. Study some of your favorite movies, try to pick out what you like about them and then see if you can incorporate that into your work.

What tips can you offer other videographers to create a consistent and polished portfolio?

Show the work that you want to do. Create personal work that matches what you are striving towards and use that to build up your portfolio. Approach every job with 100% effort and make it the best piece of work that you’ve done. Always keep learning about your craft and build on the skills you’ve developed.

What new trends do you see in future of the industry?

From a technical standpoint, 4k has been the big buzzword and if you are delivering 1080p, that added resolution can help with stabilizing and fixing framing issues in post-production. The added detail really is quite amazing.

From a creative standpoint, I love seeing how the “wedding video” industry has evolved from being someone’s camcorder-toting uncle recording the ceremony and then has changed into these really cinematic films that are being put out now. That creativity will continue to grow as individuals push boundaries. I’m looking forward to watching wedding filmmakers build more collaborative communities and groups, much like you already see in the photography world.

Tell us, what’s in your bag?

I’ve recently switched from a Canon 5d Mark III to a Panasonic GH4 but my goal is to always simplify as much as possible and keep things light. It’s the worst when you miss a shot because you are fumbling to get your equipment together. I’ve always had shaky hands so if I could use a tripod, I totally would. Unfortunately, a tripod just isn’t practical for most of my shoots so a monopod is the way to go. I get decent stability and great portability, allowing me to shoot a bunch of different angles and distances very quickly.

Gear List:

  • Herschel Supply Co. Little America Backpack
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4
  • SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-II Memory Card
  • Panasonic DMW-BLF19 Batteries w/ Charger
  • Metabones Nikon G to Micro Four Thirds Speedbooster
  • Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens for Nikon
  • Old Nikon Quantaray 28-80mm f/3.5-4.5
  • Tiffen ND Filters
  • Manfrotto 562B-1 Monopod w/ MVH500AH Fluid Drag Head
  • Allen Tool for Monopod
  • Rode VideoMic Pro
  • Auray WSW-VMP Windbuster
  • Zoom H1 Digital Audio Recorder
  • Polsen OLM-10 Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone (not pictured)
  • FotodioX LED Light
  • Gorilla Tape
  • Black Diamond Headlamp
  • Pearstone Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
  • Nalgene 38oz Stainless Steel Bottle
  • Clif Bars & Snacks

Also, what’s in your editing room?

Because of my IT background, I’m experienced with using a PC and like being able to upgrade components over time. I’m currently using a machine that I put together a few years ago. I edit in Premiere Pro CC. For color correction & grading, I use Premiere’s built-in tools (Fast Color Corrector, RGB Curves) coupled with FilmConvert. I currently have two 24” Monitors (ASUS and Samsung) that come in handy when editing. I will usually have the Project window open full screen on my side monitor so I can quickly look for clips and the Timeline (along with Program Monitor, Effect Controls, etc.) will be on the primary display in front of me. I have a pair of studio headphones (Beyerdynamic DT-990-250) that help me accurately monitor the audio.

Thanks so much for your time, Josh! We are big fans.


Josh Arroyo, of Arroyo Films, is a computer nerd-turned-filmmaker based out of southern California. He loves to travel and go on adventures with his photographer wife, Samantha. Josh is passionate about nature and specializes in capturing outdoor elopements and weddings. Using both documentary and artistic filmmaking styles, he creates compelling and emotion-driven films.


Samantha Arroyo is an elopement, wedding and portrait photographer. She lives in southern California and travels around the world working side by side with her filmmaker husband, Josh. She strives to create photographs that are honest and convey strong emotions. She loves to roam the desert and feel the sunshine on her face.

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