CINEMATOGRAPHY: THE BEAUTY IN MEANINGFUL MOMENTS

 
Written by Whitney of Handspun Cinema

Written by Whitney of Handspun Cinema

 I always assume that if you have found your way to The School of Styling, you are a fellow lover of all things beautiful. As a wedding cinematographer, I am too!!  I swoon over all of the little details that create beautiful moments. And I am not just talking about those weddings chock full of sweet, intimate moments (although let’s be real - I am teary-eyed just filming those!).  The most incredibly beautiful moments in any day are the ones that are full of meaning! We wanted to share with you how we make capturing that meaningful beauty in anything we film - it is easy to find beauty in every day, if you only look for it!  

 Weddings.  We are totally in love with love.  Weddings are at the heart of what we do, and we couldn’t love it more.  When we are filming weddings, we want to know what we can do to make each couple’s film the most beautiful it can be, and for us, that always comes back to the meaning.  Weddings that are thoughtfully and meaningfully planned make our job a breeze, and effortlessly create the most beautiful moments for us to capture!  You will catch us, camera in hand, with tears in our eyes as we film these precious treasures: the bride’s grandmother hooking the clasp of her own wedding day pearls around her gorgeous granddaughter’s neck; the father of the bride giving the groom a huge hug at the end of the aisle because he couldn’t be happier with whom his little girl has chosen; the sweet smile that lights up the bride’s face when her groom leans in close during that first dance…these are truly unforgettable, beautiful moments.  And they are so beautiful because of how meaningful they are! 

 Styled Shoots. Styled shoots are a rarity for us, simply because I think people forget that a cinematographer can be an asset!!  We love them - all the beauty you could wish for, without the pressure of a compressed wedding day timeline!!  It is quite easy to find beauty at any styled shoot, because you can create it, but the meaning is what is often lacking.  For us, finding the meaning in any shoot like this comes by identifying the personal connection.  If you have a real-life couple as a model, you can really relish in documenting the very real love they share, surrounded by all the beauty that has been created to frame them.  You can even infuse meaning into the details of the day - imagining that those earrings you are filming are heirlooms from the bride’s great-grandmother will instantly have you shooting them with a sense of reverence and admiration.  If you are REALLY lucky, then you will happen upon a shoot that has already been doused in meaning - we were head over heels for just such a shoot that was recently featured on Southern Weddings.  This was a real-life couple with a love people dream about sharing, and each part of the day was connected in some way to the two of them and their family traditions around Christmastime.  Not to mention the fact that we were in the presence of the most incredible and talented group of vendors, most of whom we met originally through The School of Styling!  Which brings me tomy last suggestion for finding meaning in the beauty - working with vendors who make your heart soar as you work and laugh together!  I cannot think of anything more beautifully meaningful than that.

 Workshops + Conferences. Ah, yes.  These tend to be our biggest, most varied shooting days.  There are so many people in attendance, all of whom go from silently listening to a speaker’s presentation, to suddenly milling around and chatting at a much higher volume!  It’s a lot of hurry up and wait, and those days are often so long, it can be hard to stay focused.  At such a corporate level, how do we find the meaning, or even beauty, in what we are shooting?  The key for us is simple: that meaningful beauty lies in the people!  Getting to capture those light-bulb moments where it all clicks for someone, seeing those smiles that light up the faces of two creatives forming a new friendship, filming the speaker who speaks so purely from her heart that her eyes well up with tears…THESE are beautiful, intimate moments, even when they are surrounded by a room of a hundred people or more.  And they are beautiful because of how meaningful these moments are!

Are you sensing a pattern?  For us, the beauty in any moment captured is the meaning behind it!  You could film beautiful things all day long, but they will retain a sense of emptiness if there is no depth behind them.  We all love seeing a gorgeous bride all dolled up and aisle-ready, but it isn’t until we witness them sharing that quiet moment just before with their father or mother, or a nervous, excited giggle with their maids that we find there are tears in our eyes.  In short, all the beauty in the world lies in the meaning of the moment you are witnessing.  And isn’t that a beautiful thing?

e are so excited to have Josh + Whitney join us at TSOS Nashville in March! Take a peek at the beautiful videos they created for TSOS Charleston: