Experts: The Film Buff

By Austyn Ellese Mayfield | Boston Weddings |

WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHY WAS in its nascent stages when Kathy Horemiotis cofounded SH Videography with her husband, Steve, nearly 20 years ago. Cameras were heavy and awkward, editing was time-consuming, and the industry was still figuring out the best way to put the technology to use for couples eager to capture the live action of their big day. Two decades and numerous awards later, Horemiotis is still behind the lens and in the editing room, documenting countless weddings and telling the love stories of her clients.

So what do videos do that photographs can’t?
They’re both very significant media for remembering your wedding day. You definitely see more of the real action with videography, whereas photography is a frozen, beautiful moment. Many brides we run into later say they love that they can hear audio of family members who have passed on.  

Why choose a videographer when you can just recruit a friend or family member with a handycam?
We have years of experience, and you want quality footage. We’ve heard many horror stories as far as that goes—like someone forgetting to press record, or that the audio wasn’t proper. You don’t want to risk that on this day.

What is your approach to videography?
We’re a combination of documentary and cinematic style. We’ve been through all modes of video over the past 20 years. We’ve seen things come and go, so we like to do a combination.

What are the options for couples with a smaller budget?
We offer packages, and I always encourage the bride and the groom, even if it’s basic coverage, to get one. We don’t have to get intense with the editing and the montages or have more than one videographer. While you’re budgeting for your photographer, budget for your videographer. We hear so often now from couples who say they regret not having made it a priority.

How do you ensure quality sound?

If a professional microphone is being used, you’re not going to have any interference. We can be several feet back so we’re not imposing, but can pick up even slight whispers. During the ceremony, only the groom and the readers would need a lapel microphone. We don’t want you to notice us. Your day should be natural.

What type of video quality should couples ask for?
You definitely need to go with HD video, because the clarity is just so much more significant. It’s a beautiful picture with great color. Also, if you want, you can convert that HD footage onto regular DVD, or you can go with Blu-Ray, which is where you get the best playback quality.

Do people really watch their wedding DVD years later, or does it collect dust once the novelty wears off?
Couples watch it so many times, and obviously on anniversaries they tend to pull it out. I have yet to have a bride say, “I barely watch it.” I’ve even run into grandparents who say they play it when they babysit for their grandchildren.

Ever experienced a tense moment at a wedding when you thought it might be better to power down the cameras?
That’s where editing really comes into play. Sometimes the bride and groom forget they have mikes on, but we have multiple tracks for sound when we edit, so we can work with that. That’s why it’s so important to put in the hours and watch and listen to everything. You can’t just look at the footage and not be meticulous about the sound.

Are there any identifiable trends in wedding videography right now?  
More-condensed versions in which things are a little faster-paced are more popular. And that includes a lot of natural sound in your montages to show the true feel of what’s happening. Graphics, slow motion, and dissolves were very popular, say, 10 years ago, and slowly they’ve become passé. Now it’s more about the quality of the footage and the storytelling.

SH Videography, 162 Newbury St., Boston, 617-840-4119, shvideography.com.

Expert’s Tips: Horemiotis explains how to get the most out of your videographer.

>> Don’t assume that all videographers are alike. It’s not like purchasing a pair of shoes off an assembly line. You need to meet with videographers and see their style of work. It’s a visual art form and cannot be judged by price alone.

>> Ask for an additional cameraperson to follow the groom around beforehand, too. It will tell a more complete and detailed story of your day.