It is not enough to simply film an event.
Memories are not literal. Our experiences are deeply coloured by mood, nerves, hunger, love, tiredness, excitement... All incredibly vital, visceral sensations. These sensations dictate how we react to what we see, when we laugh, when we cry. Memories aren't triggered by the bigger picture, but by details: a sound a smell, a gesture. A film that simply plays back the events of a day is inevitably disappointing. How could it be anything but?
What does this mean for how I shoot weddings? Well, the key point for me is this: the role of a wedding film is not to slavishly document a check-list of events. Instead I set out to capture unguarded moments that trigger key memories and, in so doing, rekindle the sensations of the day.
Before becoming a wedding film-maker, I spent years documenting the creative process of some of the UK's leading Arts organisations. It quickly became apparent that, for my films to have impact, it was essential for the actual filming to have as little impact as possible: nothing kills a moment like self-consciousness. Consequently, I have honed a shooting style that is discreet and unobtrusive.
Nothing is staged. No awkward posturing, or precious moments wasted setting up elaborate camera moves. The day of your wedding should be spent with those you love. It is my firm belief that there is beauty enough in that.
More recently, interviews have added another layer to my process. They provide valuable context and a personal perspective that is more wide-ranging than just the day of the wedding. And they are always a great source of warmth and humour.
I shoot everything myself and edit everything myself. Nothing is ever farmed out to a third party. It may mean your film takes a little longer to complete, but I couldn't work any other way.