I never really intended to be a wedding photographer or cinematographer. I’ve always had a huge love for movies, and the idea of getting into that industry intrigued me, but I didn’t really know where to start. When I graduated with a degree in communications in 2006 and figured I'd just be at a typical 9-5er for the rest of my life. In 2011 a friend posted on Facebook that she needed someone to videotape her wedding ceremony (happening the next day). I borrowed my brother's canon Rebel and that was my first official wedding. A year later I quit my day job and was shooting weddings full time.
Ahh.... such a tough call. I love them both equally but if you are putting me on the spot then I would have to say photography. So much more work goes into cinematography. Not just the storytelling aspect, but there is so much more gear needed with cinematography. I travel a lot for weddings and traveling with cinematography gear is so much difficult. With photography... all I need is a camera and a lens. Thank God I don't have to choose in real life though 😉
As similar as photo and video are, they are also very different. With video I am constantly looking for clips that will add to the story. I have a pretty good idea going into a wedding day what I am looking for in the film I'm going to create for my clients. Establishing shots for wedding films are very important in my opinion. I'm always looking for lots of motion from my couples during their portrait session. I love candid interactions that don't feel cheesy. With photography I also love movement but I'm looking to capture a single frame from a candid moment. Also, I think that with photography it's important to grab certain staged moments. Like the couple looking at the camera smiling and also family formal portraits. Those type of shots I avoid with video. I feel like getting video of people looking at a camera makes it feel more like a reality tv show than a movie.
My favorite wedding film I've made is Bo & Becca. There are no drones it, no 3 axis gimbals, and it's over 4 years old now.... but they are just the most amazing couple with incredible vows. They have actually become good friends of ours since we shot their wedding. I'm a strong believer that it's always more about the way you tell a story than the gear you used to shoot it with.
I make sure that everything (all my gear) is good to go the night before the wedding. I like to arrive 30 minutes before I'm scheduled to begin. As soon as the wedding is over and I get back home or to my hotel I start backing up footage. Then, I sort it into different folders (groom prep, bride prep, portraits, Ceremony Cam 1, Ceremony Cam 2, etc). Once it's backed up to 1 drive.... I back it up to 2 more. I always make sure it's backed up before I go to sleep.
When I started editing a film, I always start by editing together all of the speeches, ceremony, letters, vows, etc. Depending on what the length of the film is supposed to be I begin editing the pieces that I know will be in the films. When I get a good idea of what the film will look like I listen to music to see what will fit the film best. With the rough outline and music picked out, I then fine tune my production. Then, I’ll go through and do a final polish, making sure all of the audio levels are good and color grade it. I’ll send the couple a link to make sure they love it.
Don't get ahead of yourself. I took on way more than I could handle the first few years in business and I almost got burnt out. Wedding cinematography is a lot of work. Set realistic expectations for not only yourself, but for your clients. Under promise, over deliver. Never stop learning. This industry is constantly changing.
My name is Nate Puhr and I'm a wedding photographer and cinematographer based in Florida. My style is very candid and I hope that you can see that through my images. I'm not there to get in the way or run things, I'm there to tell your story through photos and video. See more work on my site and on Instagram and Facebook.
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