"Through Glass" - Styled Shoot at The Light Room PDX

On Monday, we had the opportunity to be apart of a shoot that we had nothing to do with planning. The concept was glass and shadows; photographer, MacCoy Merkley, brought an immense amount of things to shoot through- from dollar-store plates, to prisms and mirrors, we had it all.

Dallas Merkley was the artist behind the easy, flowy hair and beautiful makeup on model, Hannah Pratt. 

Dorothea Dragomir of Kamea Events brought glass shower doors, ghost chairs, and bottles to add to the variety of breakables on set. 

Sea of Roses created the backdrop of flowers, foreground floral elements, and wild bouquet. 

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To cast various shadows on the wall, Dallas and Dorothea held the shower doors against the sun that streamed through the windows. The Light Room provides a varying set of lighting situations that a cinematographer can always pull inspiration from. 

The video we made is "Through Glass" and showcases the different elements from the shoot. For the wide-shots, we filled the studio with fog and Hannah danced with her chiffon dress and fabric. We also used our prism to get that rainbow effect and a few of MacCoys small mirrors to reflect the windows in the frame. 

The Light Room Photo Studio 30-Second Tour

We love MacCoy and Dallas, the photographer+makeup artist couple who owns The Light Room here in East Portland. Their natural light photo studio is an awesome blank slate for shoots, workshops, and events.

This bite-size 30-second video tour showcases the main features of the space. Their clients can get a sense of the room in advance for planning and inspiration.

Would a video like this help customers understand your space or business better? Shoot us a quick email or call us at 503-470-0010 to start the conversation.

5 Things Couples Regret After Hiring a Budget Wedding Videographer

Hey brides, it's time for some real talk.

In today's world of push-button online marketing and cheap cameras, anyone can call themselves a wedding videographer.

Every year, however, we hear horror stories from couples who decided to go with the cheapest price, and ended up unhappy.

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Here are 5 common things couples regret when they hire a budget videographer:

1. They end up with a montage, not a film.

Incorporating audio from a wedding day in to a film is a detailed process..

Whether from lack of gear or knowledge, audio from the day is usually the first thing that gets overlooked.

Examples of audio we use include:

  • The laughter and chatter in the room as you and your bridesmaids all get ready
  • The words your soon-to-be husband says to you the first time he sees you in your dress
  • Your vows and toasts, recorded clearly and without background noise
  • The cheer of the crowd as you have your first kiss

There are so many other sound-bytes cheap videographers don't know how to record or use. These sounds can make the difference between just watching a recording vs. feeling like you're at your wedding again.

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2. The film takes forever to arrive (sometimes it never does).

You've heard this story as often as we have: a couple books a wedding videographer for a crazy low price, pays the full balance on the wedding day, and a year goes by before they receive wedding film, if it comes at all.

As video-capable cameras have gotten cheaper, optimistic newbies will take your money and promise the moon.

Editing is a time-consuming process, and without experience and dedication, a wedding film can languish on a hard drive unedited for years. New videographers get overwhelmed and shut down, often leaving the couple in the lurch.

At Glitch, our contract guarantees we'll deliver your film within no more than 6 months. Usually we deliver in 3.

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3. Their videographer doesn't carry insurance.

The majority of venues in the Portland area require every vendor working onsite to carry liability insurance.

Couples call us in a panic every season hoping we still have their date available because they found out at the last minute their budget videographer doesn't carry insurance.

Tripods, lights, and unsecured cables all create risk when not secured properly.

Unfortunately, the same videographers that don't carry insurance usually won't know how to make things safe either.

Protect yourself and your guests, and make sure you only cry tears of joy on your wedding day.

4. When the conditions aren't perfect, the film suffers.

You've probably heard of "golden hour", the time in the evening when everything is lit perfectly and beautifully. Anyone can shoot a photo or video clip when conditions are perfect.

Everyone hopes for perfect wedding weather and nicely lit reception halls, but an experienced image-maker knows how to make things look great even when conditions are less than ideal.

Remember: cameras can't see nearly as well in the dark as our eyes can, so someone with the right gear and knowledge is crucial.

5. They have a bad wedding-day experience.

You'll never believe how we've seen unprofessional wedding vendors behave through the years. Stuff like:

  • Flirting with bridesmaids/treating your wedding like a speed-dating event
  • Helping themselves to the open bar a little too often.
  • Wearing a dirty t-shirt and jeans (no joke!)
  • Making inappropriate jokes that make everyone uncomfortable.

Don't get me wrong, we believe a wedding should be fun and we've been known to jump on the dance floor at the end of the night.

A professional knows how to do their job without detracting from the wedding day.

Affordable vs. cheap.

Weddings are expensive and you deserve to know what you're paying for when you hire a professional.

When you meet with a potential videographer, make sure you ask them about previous experience, insurance, and guaranteed delivery times.

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Beginner videographers have opportunities to mentor with experienced business-owners before shooting a wedding on their own. Don't risk your once-in-a-lifetime memories for the lowest price.

At Glitch, we offer a variety of packages, so even brides that are on a tight budget can afford quality wedding videography. Click the button below to see if we have your date available.

Laughter Looks Good on Everyone: Look Great in Your Wedding Film

When we meet with our brides and grooms before their wedding day, we like to give them a few last-minute tips. There are things that our cameras see differently than our eyes, and just a few adjustments to the way a wedding is set up ensures couples, and guests, look their best in front of the lens.

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Our tips include: getting makeup done in front of a large window that faces away from the sun, making sure the bridal party is all wearing something similar like bridal robes when getting ready, and liberal use of overhead strands of twinkle-lights for your reception. All of these techniques are meant to create broad, flattering light on the face, and they really do help. But.....

...there's one tip that is even more important than all of those. The one thing we've notice each season that makes the biggest difference to how people come across in their wedding films: smiles and laughter.

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Bear with us, this may sound basic - but you'd be surprised how many brides forget to smile. Too many times we've seen couples that try to micromanage every detail of their wedding setup when they should be enjoying spending time with their bridal party and the once-in-a-lifetime pampering the wedding day brings.

Stack the deck in your favor when you plan your morning preparations. Bring a good bluetooth speaker to play music you dig - have some snacks you really like on hand to keep your blood-sugar up, and make sure you put someone in charge of keeping the people who stress you out away from the makeup room.

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Above all, do your best to forget about the cameras and relax in to the day. Your wedding photographers and videographers want to make you look good, and will tell you what they need, so don't worry if we're getting your good side. Laughter looks good on everyone.

The Light Room South-East Portland Photo Studio Grand Opening Event

Wedding videography is a profession of extremes. During wedding season we tend to be extremely social, attending often two events per weekend (weddings, rehearsals, etc.) and meeting with brides and grooms during the week. In the off-season, we tend to hibernate for long periods of time as we're organizing footage, choosing music tracks, and editing wedding stories together.

Once in a while, even in the off-season an event is so exciting, it will lure us out of our editing cave, and yesterday's grand opening event for The Light Room, a gorgeous natural light photo studio in downtown Portland, was one of those events.

The studio, located in the historic Ford Building in South-East Portland, is owned and run by MacCoy and Dallas Merkeley, two of our best friends here in town, and some of the kindest people in the industry. MacCoy, with MacCoy Dean Photography is a wedding and portrait photographer, who lives and works in the city, and is always a go-to for recommendations when brides and grooms ask us for a photographer recommendation. McCoy's work has a clear focus on highlighting grand, epic locations and vistas. He works fast, and has a natural style that puts couples at ease.

Dallas, who's company is Merkely Artistry is one of Portland's premiere makeup and hair artists, We've had the good fortune to work with her several times on the same events, and there isn't a more professional makeup artist around. She always gets the job done on time, and with results the brides rave about, and she even brings her own high-quality lighting.

The event was made up mostly of photographers, and included lots of camera-candy, pretty things to shoot in the light-filled space. Model Anna Caroom (@annacaroom) had an exotic look that tempted lenses from all sides as she posed in a flowy bridal gown provided by a&bé bridal shop. A fresh look for a camera-friendly table setting, was crafted by Dorotheea Dragomir from Kamea Events, working with wares provided by Classic Vintage Rentals, For The Love of Floral, and Old City Mailroom. The intricate floral design featured behind the model was designed by the well-known florist, Katie Davie, of Ponderosa and Thyme.

We were so excited to see our good friend Monica, from Jane & Co. Photography. Every time we have the chance to shoot alongside her at a wedding, we get excited about it, as she is so collaborative and easy-going while she creates magic in front of the lens. She's always passionate and excited about trying a new technique or pose, and that makes all the difference.

Our little 9-month old Phoenix loved the space as well, he enjoyed meeting everyone, and even posed for a few photos on one of their classy modern chairs.

We're so excited, now that we've experienced how easy and inspiring the space is to shoot in, to book shoots there - both video and photography. Great studio spaces so close in to downtown Portland are tough to come by, and now the secret is out! Visit www.TheLightRoomPDX.com.

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Five of Our Favorite Portland-Area Wedding Venues for Videography

We love being based in the Portland area, and discovering the magic of new wedding venues every season. These are just a few of the incredible spots to get hitched the city and surrounding areas has to offer, but we thought we'd highlight a few of our favorite spots, from hidden gems to well-known standbys. Just to be clear, none of these venues paid or compensated us in any way for the mention here.

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The Sentinel Hotel

One of Portland's most coveted downtown wedding destinations, this hotel blends historic grandeur with slick modern amenities for your guests. Their penthouse bridal suites are spacious and have lots of diffused natural light, which guarantees gorgeous shots of your bride and groom preps. Your makeup artist will love it too.

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Our favorite wedding ceremonies have all happened in the long and narrow renaissance room, a deceptive space which can hold lots of guests while still feeling intimate. The room has great natural acoustics, but you'll still want to make sure to hire a DJ to amplify the sound. John Ross' audio team has lots of experience working there, and always does a great job making everything sound great.

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There are a couple of great spaces for receptions, the governor's ballroom being our favorite. The high ceilings and rich colors of the room make everything pop in photos and video, as well as being an impressive party space for your guests to enjoy toasts and dance the night away. We recommend investing in an uplighting package from your DJ or lighting company. Uplights can really make these ballroom walls pop. Jake's Catering handles food, and they get great reviews from guests. 

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Maysara Winery

This is the newest venue on this list. We'd still classify it as a hidden gem, but this family-run venue is getting discovered quickly, so we'd suggest booking a tour soon if a vineyard wedding is your style.

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Nestled down a quaint road on the edge of McMinnville, this manageably-sized vineyard has rolling hills, a beautiful view, and the most gorgeous light at golden hour for portraits and glamorous video shots. Hanna, one of the owner's daughters manages the wedding bookings and oversees events is sweet and truly cares about creating a special experience for couples. We'll never forget following her up to her secret spot on the vineyard with a wedding couple in tow at the tail end of cocktail hour and shooting some of our favorite shots of our career.

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They offer several options for ceremony sites, depending on the size of the wedding, the back deck being our favorite. Just make sure you schedule your ceremony at a time of day where the sun won't shine too harshly, as you don't want harsh shadows being cast on your face by your wedding arbor or any building overhangs.

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The huge barrel room reception space can accommodate huge groups, while leaving plenty of space for dancing, and the gigantic double doors that slide open allow for infinite lighting options for dramatic portrait shots.

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Mt. Hood B&B

This cute little venue is another family run business. They are off the beaten path enough to make you feel like you've stepped in to a quieter world, and are far enough from neighbors that your DJ can really pump up the bass on their cute outdoor dance floor.

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They have quaint, purpose-built buildings for bride and groom-preps with little decorations and features that make them great spaces to shoot photos and video in. The real star of the show is the view of Mt. Hood from the ceremony site out on the lawn, where you can get photos and video of your first kiss framed just in front of the mountain.

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The light this venue gets in the early evening is stunning and soft. Just make sure you tell your guests to bring a light jacket, as it can get chilly toward the end of the evening, being so high up on the mountain.

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McMenamins Edgefield

Located in Troutdale, the industrious little town just outside of Portland, these guys are wedding pros, and each time we've worked there, this really shows. The hotel rooms are unique and interestingly decorated, with mirrors placed in just the right spots, and a vintage color pallet that makes you feel like you've stepped back in time. We've shot some of our favorite bride and groom preps in these rooms.

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Make sure you ask your photographer and videographer to shoot some portraits and couple glamour shots outside on one of the classic plantation-style decks that reach out from each floor of the hotel. There are cute pieces of furniture that just beg to be lounged on out there. And if you have extra room in your portrait time slot, take a trip down to the basement barrel room, where it has a speakeasy feel. With the right lights, you and your photo/video team can create some unforgettable visuals of you and yours.

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We love featuring the awesome water tower that looms above the ceremony sites at this venue. The huge variety of cool little areas for brides, grooms, guests to explore is what has made McMenamins Edgefield one of the Portland areas favorite wedding venues.

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The Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club

This venue is a beautiful golf course, with a sweet ceremony site nestled down a shrub-lined path and into the trees. They've got some great locations for glamour shots and portraits, and an awesome tented reception area with plenty of space to throw a great party.

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What truly sets The Reserve apart, however, is its event staff. Yelena King, the wedding and event coordinator, and her team, are some of the finest wedding professionals we've ever worked with. She and her staff handle bride and groom, guests, and vendors with respect and shows a genuine passion for what she does. The staff can make or break a venue and the impression it leaves on you and your guests, and within the Portland wedding community, there's no one we know of with more universal respect than Yelena.

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If we're being honest, the standard bride and groom prep spaces are small and can be tough to light well with larger bridal parties, so if you've got a large one, or you want some exceptional shots of you getting makeup and hair done, consider getting ready offsite.

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Arcade Engagement Shoot w/ Autel Robotics

Our friends over at Autel Robotics profiled us during a highly-stylized engagement shoot at Quarter World, an awesome barcade here in Portland. The company wanted to showcase some of the ways we use emerging technologies (like drones) to separate ourselves from the competition.

Check out the short video promo they made during the process.

Tim and Andrew from Autel made the process easy, and made every effort to just let us do our thing and not interfere with how we'd normally shoot. Here's a shot we snagged of Andrew shooting with the Red Scarlet.

We shot video, as well as photography. The video is part of a larger project, but check out some still photos we shot with our awesome model couple Charlotte and Brad Blocker.

Can't wait to continue using the Autel Robotics products. We seriously recommend their drones. They have better offerings than DJI, for a much better price. No, we did not get paid to write that.