Boast Post

Videography Interview for the Las Cruces Bulletin's Perfect Southwest Weddings

Today the Las Cruces Bulletin released their 2017-2018 Perfect Southwest Weddings magazine, and once again I am honored to have been interviewed for one of the many articles found within. I think writer Adam Palomino did a great job curating three interviews, between myself and two other local vendors, into an easy to read article so if you haven’t seen that yet be sure to check it out. It is on page 20, titled “Treasured Moments: Photography, Videography Packages Preserve Precious Memories”. This time, due to scheduling difficulties, I was interviewed via email rather than in person. Fortunately, that means I have a copy of the questions and my answers behind the scenes. So without further ado, here are the questions I was asked accompanied by my full responses.

1. What’s trending in wedding videography?

Wedding videography in Las Cruces is kind of like chalk paint. Chalk paint started trending in other parts of the country about three years before it was even available in Las Cruces. I feel like Las Cruces is finally starting to come around on wedding videography. Brides are really starting to see the value in having a motion picture as opposed to just still photographs. Same day edits, super 8mm film videography, and 4k are trending in other parts of the country right now, but in Las Cruces the value just isn’t there yet. I had one groom ask me “Why don’t you shoot in 4k?” I asked back “Oh, do you have a player that can play 4k video?” To which he bowed his head almost in shame and said “No”. I would love to shoot a wedding with a super 8mm film camera, it would give an organic vintage film look that digital videographers do their best to mimic, but it just never quite looks the same. But convincing a bride to want a 3 minute un-editable highlight video with no audio is a hard sale in Las Cruces. It’s sad really because anything on film will outlive digital data.    

2. What options are offered locally?

Locally, couples are starting to see their friend’s wedding videos on Facebook and Instagram, and that sparks an interest in having a highlight video from their wedding day as well.

Highlight videos, full length edits, and I have even heard that some videographers in town offer the raw video files. The last option is insane to me. I would never hand raw video files over to one of my clients and essentially say “Here you go, good luck!” I don’t expect my clients to have the software or experience I have with color grading, cutting, and audio editing, to make a full video that would be enjoyable to watch as opposed to short video clips they would have to open one at a time to view.

In my public accounting days, I had a co-worker show me videos from her daughter’s Quinceañera. She popped a DVD in her PC and showed me the highlight video. Her face lit up as she remembered the event. After it ended, she said “Then they gave me all the video files too”, with a disgusted smirk on her face. She opened up one so I could see, and yeah it was awful. There is a reason why not all of the videos shot that day didn’t make the highlight video. Videographers include their best video clips in the highlight video. Don’t talk yourself into thinking there is more value in having the files that didn’t make the cut.

3. What are the different types of packages one could get; engagement + photo session only? Photo + Videography? And what are the price ranges for packages, generally?

Taylor’d Photography is a family business, husband and wife photography and videography team. My wife is the lead photographer, and I am the lead videographer, and I use two of my brother-in-laws to second shoot video for me at weddings, who I trained personally. So we do offer both photography and videography to our clients. And we give a discount for booking us for both. Ultimately, we are trying to help our couples tell the story of how and why they decided to start a family together.

Pricing and packages are something we discuss with our clients when we initially meet them.

4. Digital only or prints? What other options, if any?

We deliver wedding videos to our clients on DVDs, Blu-Rays, USBs, and also make them available for digital download and viewing online. We also post sneak peek previews on YouTube at our client’s discretion.

5. What’s the process like? How early would you recommend a couple meet with the videographer? What considerations are there when deciding what’s right for a client? When and how often do the couples meet with the videographer to discuss plans/themes/pricing, etc.?

The first thing couples should do when looking for a videographer is watch videos from different videographers in town and determine which style they can relate to. The one that feels right to them is the one they should book for their wedding.

As far as timing, once you have decided which videographer you like best, book them as soon as you possibly can. We met with a couple that was getting married in 9 months. After meeting us they said they would let us know in a week whether or not they were going to book us. That same week another couple contacted us for the same date. They ended up booking us for their wedding, putting down a retainer to reserve the date. A couple weeks later, the first couple called us and wanted to book us. Sadly, we weren’t available for their wedding date anymore. With that said, if possible, couples should try to book their videographer six to twelve months out. I know for us (Taylor’d Photography), August, September, and October tend to fill up fast.

Since we do charge a nonrefundable retainer fee, it is better to lock in a venue or venues if different locations are going to be used for the ceremony and reception, before locking in a videographer/photographer.

Since we are a family business, we like to meet our clients, and get to know them before we just show up on one of the most memorable days of their lives. So the first we thing we require of our potential clients is to meet us to see what we offer and ultimately to see if we are the right fit. After they have booked us, we hash out more details of their wedding, help them with their timeline for the most photogenic experience possible, and keep in touch up to and after the wedding. We want our clients to feel that we are approachable, and we end up becoming good friends throughout the process.

6. How do couples help the videographer shape the narrative of their wedding video?

When a couple gets married they are really starting a family. Our approach centers on what that family is going to want to see. We tell the story of the wedding day for someone who wasn’t there, but wishes they could have been. And the best way we could tell that story is by knowing the couple. When I edit wedding videos I am thinking about what I would want to see if it were my parents’ wedding. I want to see the younger version of my Dad with the same mannerisms, looking at my Mom the way he still does with that beam of light in his eyes. And I want to see the younger version of my Mom shine like she did at their golden anniversary. I want to capture the bride and groom’s personality for their posterity.   

An old motel, vintage dresses, and lots of make up

Life is full of busyness, deadlines, and schedules. Which is why Nate and I both feel it is so important to carve out time to be creative in our own personal projects. I have been failing at this goal! I have actually been quite jealous of how much fun Nate is having with his vintage film projects (check out his Instagram @melodysdad). So when Nicole invited me to collaborate on a photo shoot with her I jumped at the chance.

Nicole is a photographer and one of my 2015 brides. You can check out her fabulous work on her website. Seriously though, go take a look, her concepts and creativity are thriving. Nicole thought up the concept and arranged all the clothing with her local contact, Miss Ruth's Time Bomb vintage shop.

Nicole recruited Abbey, co-owner of the art gallery, Art Obscura to be our model. Abbey, who is also a sustainable farmer (Brazito Farms) never having modeled or had professional hair and makeup done, hesitantly said yes, not really knowing what she was getting into. My kind of adventurous woman! 

Once Nicole and I had decided on the concept and location of a seedy motel, I knew Brenda Tarango was the perfect addition to the creative crew. And she absolutely nailed the 1960's look we were going for with the hair and makeup. I am a firm believer in putting the best people on your team and then getting out of their way to let them work their magic, and everyone agreed that's exactly what Brenda it. 

So here are a few of my favorite photographs I created at the shoot!

Creative Team:

Photographer: Elise Taylor, Taylor'd Photography

Collaborating photographer: Nicole Dube, SheSoPhoto

Model: Abbey Carver, Art Obscura, Brazito Farms

Hair and Makeup: Brenda Tarango, Makeup by Brenda

Dresses: Miss Ruth's Time Bomb

Location: Century 21 Motel, Las Cruces NM

A Time for Slow - Personal Photo Project

I have been stumped on which direction I should take with my next personal photo project. I loved working on the Project 52. Some of my favorite portraits of Skye and Melody were created during that project. 

When I saw this print from Merely Modern the message hit a nerve. I tend to get caught up in the addictiveness of crossing things off my to-do list, even when it may come at the expense of the simple pleasures of life. I am working on finding ways to slow down in my life. Slowing my mind, slowing my schedule, and slowing my need to hurry so that I can find the simple pleasures of life. 

After thinking of this idea of slowing down, I finally figured out what my next personal photo project should be. I am going to apply a process of slowness to my photographic eye by working with film. Because of the immediateness of digital photography it can be easy to fall into a routine of rush or hurry through the creative process of composing the frame. I am hoping working with film will encourage me to slow down and listen closer to emotions as I work towards creating thoughtful images. It has been awhile since I last worked with film in art school but I am excited to stretch outside of my routine and comfort zone.

I am going to be using a Holga camera and the old Canon A-1 my dad gave me. I am looking forward to sharing my scans with you. I hope you will take a moment to think about ways you may be able to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. I would love to hear what you come up with, please tell me about it in the comments!

*I am happy to be a brand ambassador for the lovely home decor shop Merely Modern.* :)

Our Family's Tradition of Framed Photographs

Do you remember these, those little foldable picture frames that can fit in your pocket? My Mom has one carrying photos of her parents. These are the only photos I have seen of them so young. And I only know about these photos because they are framed printed photographs on display in my parents’ home on a book shelf. Every time I visit my parents, I see these images of my grandparents. I didn’t ever meet them when they looked like that. My earliest memories of my grandma, mostly consist of her struggling with Alzheimer’s. She would yell out of the blue, she was scary for a six year old. My grandpa wasn’t much better. When we would visit them, he would wander around the house clearing his throat everywhere he went. I still can hear the sound of him mustering up a great ball of snot out of his throat with a deep grunt followed by a firm spitting sound. I just thought he walked around spitting everywhere, but I don’t remember ever finding any evidence of that, not that I looked for it.

Now that I am older, many blind spots I had as a kid let up. My grandpa must have loved my grandma so much, as he took care of her himself at home rather than putting her in an assisted living home like so many people do. He took care of her for years. She scared me. But I can’t imagine how painful it was for him, to witness the love of his life lose memory of who he was, and what he was doing for her. His sacrifice isn’t shown in these little pictures my mom is holding, but you can see it in her eyes.

I have thought a lot about this printing fad my parents were a part of. Now we just post photos online, in Facebook or Instagram, and store them on our phones. It is cheap and convenient even for my parents. But my parents still have printed photographs throughout their home. And what if they didn’t? This photograph is the only digital copy I have of these pictures of my grandparents. If these pictures were never printed and framed, I wouldn’t be reminded of them every time I visit my parents, or even know what my grandparents looked like at that age. In this simple way of making a photograph a keepsake, my parents keep our dead alive. Now what once was a fad due to limited technology, is now a Taylor family tradition. My kids won’t realize until they are much older, how much we decorate our home with our favorite family photographs.

Keeping the visual memory of our families alive through framed photographic prints seams dated to the generation I find myself in. Is it really that rare to have framed photographs of our parents? Elise and I have decided to make a short film highlighting this dying tradition. If you have a framed picture of your parents or grandparents, we would like to record you holding it. The older the better. On April 30, please join us at the handball courts by the tennis courts at Lion’s Park (701 W Picacho Ave). Dress nicely, but wear whatever you are comfortable with, and bring a framed photograph of your parents or grandparents with you. The first twenty volunteers to RSVP (in Facebook) and come to the video shoot will receive a $50 print credit from Taylor’d Photography (see more info in facebook announcement). I know I am not the only person out there that has a portrait of my young parents from the sixties. Bring yours and let’s record a little bit of history together. 

Celebrating Love Since 2009

Some people really hate Valentine’s Day. For me it holds a tender place in my thoughts. Valentine’s Day was the first “legit” date I had with Nate. We can just say his Chicken Alfredo won me over. But that’s not the only reason I don’t cringe when this holiday rolls around. On February 14th in 2009 I photographed my very first wedding. 

I was reflecting back on that time in our lives recently. So much has changed, we have grown so much and in so many ways. I was still in school and had very recently changed my degree from Journalism to Art so I could have the opportunity to take more photography classes. I really had no interest in wedding photography but was willing to give it a try once.

Since that eventful day six years ago I have fallen in love with creating portraits, especially weddings. I have also fallen in love with two munchkins. I guess it is not surprising that my two daughters changed the way I look at life, and love for that matter. Photography isn’t simply about selfishly creating beautiful scenes. It is a tool in our battle, and eventual failure, of remembering. I am deeply humbled to help families and lovers remember moments that would otherwise fade to gray. 

So cheers, to all of my clients, past and present. Thank you so much for choosing me to photograph your grandest and simplest moments. The future is full of adventure and I eagerly welcome continual growth and change. 

Here is a behind the scenes video Nate put together to celebrate the sixth anniversary of our business. :)