As a way to better serve our couples, over the next few months I will be highlighting and interviewing a few of our favorite wedding vendors as well as others in the community who directly impact the new life of the young couple. I want to ask them why they love what they do, some tips for couples navigating this new territory and pitfalls that can be avoided.
This week I want to highlight one of my favorite humans on the planet. Damien and I met at a Bat Mitzvah two years ago and it's been quite the adventure ever since. He is one of the most genuine, kind, and cheerful people I've ever had the pleasure of working with. He never has a harsh word for another vendor or a client, he's easy to work with; if I want to try something a little crazy he's totally down whether he's DJing or holding the camera. He has the same mission I do...to work well together so we can serve the clients better.
Patrick and Madi are part of his video team and are equally amazing to work with. Professional, lighthearted and so very talented.
Once, we were doing a Bar Mitzvah together and one of my off camera flash batteries died right as Damien was getting ready to start the Hora dance... he and I locked eyes and he saw the panic in mine. Without a second's hesitation he backtracked and announced it would actually start in just a second then asked me what I needed. He gave me time to swap the batteries out and get back in place so they were able to get the best photos. Being a videographer too he is so knowledgable about everything the photographer needs and goes out of his way to accommodate, which only helps to serve our clients better. I would have him at every wedding I shoot if I could.
Here are just a few of the questions I asked about how he works and what couples need to know, he is always ready and willing to answer any and every question you may have though, just contact him on his website here.
Q: How do you manage to DJ and Video at the same time at a wedding? What do you delegate to your team and what do you do yourself?
A: A lot of planning goes into a wedding as you know and when we are providing both DJ & Video services great teamwork is essential alongside all the planning. There are three main parts to the wedding day when we provide both services; Bridal Party prep, Ceremony and the Reception. I will shoot for the first part of the day before transitioning into a DJ and my two other videographers will take over full time from that point. It is very seamless and I am lucky to have an amazing team in place. Two of our team members are also FAA licensed drone pilots for our aerial videography. We work at our craft constantly to ensure things happen, as they should on the wedding day.
Q: Why is it important for a couple to have a cinematographer capture their wedding when they already have a photographer?
A: It’s funny but I hear it all the time from married couples who chose not to have one that they regret not having a wedding video. There is so much the couple will miss during the day. Photos & video tell the same story but in a different way and both if are done well, they are amazing keepsakes. A great video becomes something that you’ll watch over and over initially and then every anniversary you’ll get to revisit that incredible day in a special way. This isn’t your parent’s wedding video anymore either. We specialize in short-form wedding films, which means we focus on making amazing cinema style productions that you’ll want to watch over and over again. We use only the best possible cameras & lenses along with real storytelling techniques in our editing to make our films unique to whatever event we are filming.
Q: What do you think a couple will regret the most by not having a cinematographer?
A: So much of the wedding day will be a blur especially with everything that is going on so fast and a great wedding video can bring that amazing day back to life. To me there is nothing like capturing the emotion of day with not only video but with the actual audio. To hear the vows, people laughing, to see all the places you couldn’t be, it just brings the entire day to life in a fun, emotional and entertaining way.
Q: What are some of the biggest hurdles couples face when choosing a DJ that fits their unique style?
A: First and foremost: is this someone I want to work with on one of the most important days of my life! Will they listen to my detailed requests, can I choose my own music, do they work well with other vendors, are they professional sounding, do they use top sound equipment, etc. Every couple and wedding day is different and a big part of my job to be really good at listening to what couples want or don’t want. We take into account their venue, guest list, music tastes and what kind of party flow they want. We want to make sure that the reception is a blast with the music they want to hear and done in a style that fits in, without being over the top.
Q: What do you do to ensure that you play music the couple will love as well as the mixed crowd of guests attending?
A: One thing that experience does is give you the ability to read a crowd quickly, use the couple’s requests along with what you know will work to keep the dance floor popping! We have two very helpful online wedding planners that couples can use before the wedding to select music and plan the reception details. We try to stay as organized as we can so things come off as they should. These are things we go over with couple’s beforehand so they are comfortable and can look forward to having a great time. Guests requests are also important; and as long as those songs go with the energy on the floor I am all for it.
Q: What do you do if you get a crowd that just doesn't seem to want to dance?
A: Great question and again this is an area where experience and honing your craft make a big difference. Whether it’s by playing a really familiar fun song, one of the many interactive fun dances, bridal party requests or even a great slow song to get the floor packed. Once you got people up build on it and keep it going!
Q: What brings you the most joy at a wedding and brings you back for more week after week?
A: Its kind of cliché but this is a real passion for me. I hosted a morning show on radio for several years as well as acting, doing voiceovers but there nothing like a live event. And what’s better than being a part of a celebration? Seeing how happy these couples are and how much fun they are having during their wedding day is incredible and I feel so lucky to be doing this for a living. We started providing the wedding video part of the business about 5 years ago and that just opened up a whole new level of excitement and fun. I truly look at each event we do as unique and different. It’s a major reason why I decided to keep the business small so we can give each wedding the attention that it deserves. I love it!
I hope you find this helpful and you see why I give Damien all the stars! He, Madi and Patrick are so great to work with and I know they won't disappoint. I also wanted to include one of his highlights from the most recent wedding we all did together, enjoy!