Episode 1 in a series of videos related to the event industry in Kauai, stories about wedding officiants, hair and make-up artists, coordinators, caterers and other artists. If you are having/ planning a wedding in Kauai, this video might be a valuable tool in your research, as you’ll see in action the best non-religious officiants on Kauai, ideal for elopement weddings, vow renewals, and events that require official services by a licensed officiant.
2019 bye-bye. You went by in a blink. And so much happened? Now look, 2020 is almost here.Yikes! I dare not think what will happen.
Yeah! So I was reading some boring stuff—I often do that— and then I came across this nifty article on the world’s best known wedding photographers. While I’m not one of the world’s best known, I wondered how I’d compare. I looked at their shots and I certainly saw some fantastic stuff; I saw big budget locations and big budget houses with spreading lawns and designer wedding gowns with stunning brides and more designer wedding gowns and more breathtaking locations. Yes, I was impressed. But you know, I seriously believe that my talent, skill, and experience would keep me in a level playing field with the very best of them. Each photographer in the article was asked some specific questions, so I’ve decided to ask myself similar questions. These are my answers.
What do I think about aesthetic? As a filmmaker, I strive for the impact shot. In Kauai it often means looking for dramatic backgrounds to frame an authentic moment with the couple. Sometimes it means finding a background that doesn’t overshadow or steal from the moment. Light and shadow is never out of my mind.
Specialties: Hybrid photography — a merger of stylish video and photography to tell a more complete story for weddings.
Ideal Client: Unique, a bit quirky, loose, lively, daring, coy—this pretty well sums up virtually every client. We’re all unique and I’ve never met two identical couples. Each has their own special qualities. By identifying at least one of them, I can style my photos to match the best of the client.
How many weddings per year? As I do more than film weddings you might find the number low: 20-25 per year. As a percentage of my other creative endeavors, it’s about 20%.
What makes me different? I hate this question. Number one, it makes for a bloated ego. Two, almost every photographer says stuff here that doesn’t make them different. But here it is: I’m game. I’m happy to get into the ocean to get the shot. I’ll hang out of a helicopter—I actually have! I’ll scale the mountain—hopefully won’t lose one of my lenses, as once happened. So there you have it. I’m an original!
Photo by David Marsh,Kauai Video Productions, on the grounds of the little green church, Wai’oli Hui’ia, Hanalei, Kauai.
She walked slowly, her thin shoes not completely shielding her feet from the hot sand. She was nervous… and excited in the same breath. Shore waves, about three feet tall, were crashing along the shoreline. Misty sea-spray was in the air. She took a deep breath, tasting the briny elixir that was on her lips. There wasn’t a shipwreck in sight. But she could see her man, faced away from, as he was meant to at this moment. He was waiting for her. Her heart began to beat even faster.
Not that I really knew what was going on in the bride’s mind at that moment; I just guessed it. I had been hired to capture these moments on video. It’s a typical scene that is experienced by thousands of wedding couples at this particular beach: Shipwrecks Beach. My mind drifted off for a moment, and I wondered, how many ‘shipwreck beaches’ are there? I know that in Greece there’s a Shipwreck Beach that some call Smuggler’s Cove. And I’ve heard that Oregon has a Shipwrecks beach, as does Washington State. In Hawaii there are at least two that I know of, the one at Lanai, aptly named Shipwrecks because it really does have mangled sea vessels littering its shore, and the one that I was on at that very moment: Shipwreck Beach, Poipu, Kauai. But here you wont actually find a shipwreck, not anywhere along the beach or along the spectacular coast. You will, however, see the iconic rock face—Makawehi Point—a sandstone landmark which the bride was presently heading to, and where her groom was waiting. You might have heard about this particular beach for another reason: This is where locals (and some brave tourists) leap thirty-five feet off the rock into the turbulent Pacific. Notably, Harrison Ford and Anne Heche jumped from it for the movie, “6 Days and 7 Nights.” It’s just a short walk along the sand from the Hyatt Regency and other Poipu resorts, which might also be why so many wedding couples choose this location. Waves smash again the cliff and when it’s really hot, wedding couples can move twenty feet from the water’s edge and find shade under the canopy of lush ironwood trees. It’s idyllic for dramatic photography and videography. The image below is pulled directly from the video, filmed by me at Shipwreck’s on November 11th 2019.
The groom turned…and gasped as he saw her for the first time that day. His heart was galloping at a hundred miles an hour. In his prepared vows, he told how she’d so profoundly changed his life, for the better; that God and destiny had made it so. When it was her turn, her eyes turned watery and her voice trembled lightly; this also made his eyes glisten.
Fifteen minutes later, the officiant proclaimed them husband and wife and they fell into each other’s embrace. There weren’t any violins but if there had been they wouldn’t have been out of place. Nice ceremony.
A footnote: there used to be an old weather-beaten boat lying at the water’s edge. It sat there for many years, and that’s where the pirate-like name came from, I guess.
If you know of another Shipwrecks Beach, I’d love to hear about it. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit my website: Kauai Video Productions
In movies and television commercials we see it all the time: the proposal that brings on instant tears of joy and the most passionate kiss in the history of kisses. In real life, I’m sure the moment really does brings on tears of joy—when it really happens. Reality is less than one in three proposals really come as a surprise, not that getting engaged is something less because the couple has had numerous candid conversations about marriage or that the decision has developed slowly, sometimes over a period of months or even years and it’s not really a violins and tears singular moment. But when it is a surprise, when it is a jaw-dropping, knees-shaking earthquake of a moment, it’s magical, not just for the couple but for any bystanders who get to witness it. As a photographer, wedding cinematographer, I often shoot engagement couples. Rarely am I asked to help plan the moment, “will you marry me?” When I am asked, I find myself acting life a covert agent, hiding behind a tree or lurking in the shadow of a building—after all, I’ve got two professional cameras on me, slung over my shoulders. I must not be seen until the exact moment; I have to watch for the special signal and then emerge and fire off my shots quickly so that I don’t miss anything: him kneeling, the ring, her shock and tears. It’s like a TV commercial moment, a Zales or Jared Christmas commercial only it’s real. Can I be a part of your magical question and capture the moment in photos or video? Please visit my website: Kauai Video Productions to see much more of my video and photography portfolio.
I’m David Marsh, a wedding cinematographer in Kauai and this piece is basically about me, what I do and why I’m different. So what’s “Cutaway, Reversal, and Don’t Cross the Line?” If you are a professional filmmaker, it’s everyday spoken nomenclature. Perhaps many wedding pros know these terms, although I’ve met plenty that don’t. But…ostensibly, film production protocols aren’t necessarily needed to film a wedding, right? That’s not what I believe! I believe there’s a story to be told in every wedding. On the HOME PAGE of my website I write: “I imagine first then shoot—having a script is how I produce high-end wedding videos that are crafted for originality and paced to be entertaining.” I also say, “a story has to have a story, you can’t call it a story when you show up at a wedding with a video camera and shoot some nice looking footage!”
These film philosophies run through me veins, as taught to me many years ago when I was a supernumerary/ apprentice at Pinewood Film Studios in England. Seventeen at that time, I’d quit school early because I hated school. My training started with brain fodder: knowing the difference between emulsion and celluloid, the difference between key numbers and reel numbering, to know butterflies, HDMIs, scrims, tying in, and a million other things—a training that lasted ten years. I worked my way up the ladder, becoming a film and TV editor, then a director of independent art films, before I decided to DP and write. After three decades in the film and TV business, I decided I wanted to be a writer of fiction. To facilitate my dream, I segued into wedding cinematography and wedding photography so that I could still earn a living. What I learned is shooting is shooting, however big, however small, it has to be done right or not at all.
To this day, I get really excited to go out and shoot. For photography, I like to use two cameras, one strapped over each shoulder, so that I can easily switch focal lengths without changing lenses. For video, I mostly shoot with three cameras, but sometimes four of five. You might be surprised to know that complex video shoots require fewer cameras.
wedding photography by David Marsh.
More about me at Kauai Video Productions
Fifty percent of marriages end up in divorce with the median length of marriage in the United States at eleven years. A huge barrier seems to be around the seven-year-mark where so many married couples find themselves mired in union misery, where they feel that they’re stuck in a loveless marriage and their vow “…until death do us part…” no longer seems viable. When we hear about married couples celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary, it’s like, “Wow! Unbelievable! Amazing!” The fact is only seven percent of the population have been married for fifty years. So when you hear about a married couple being together for over fifty years, approaching their fiftieth wedding anniversary and deciding to get married again, even though they’re not divorced, well, it’s mind blowing! Boy, was I thrilled to meet such a couple and I was delighted that they decided to come to Kauai and choose me to photograph their special occasion and make a special video for them. Congratulations Lorinda and George! Hugs to you! Photography and video by David Marsh, Kauai at Kauai Video Productions.
On April 14th 2018, the skies above Kauai opened releasing rainfall like I’d never imagined, a barrage of non-stop lightning and thunder like artillery fire shaking the foundations of my home. The storm raged for over a day. When it eventually left us, I saw first hand some of the substantial and devastating damage, the worst on Kauai since Hurricane Iniki in 1992. The rain had been record-breaking, over 50 inches, the most in a 24-hour period ever recorded on American soil. The landslides and flash flooding left homes in ruin, turned streets into rivers, and reduced a massive swath of the north shore into an unlivable shamble. The highway leading from Hanalei north was destroyed, mile after mile, and would remain closed for over a year while construction crews worked tirelessly to rebuild. All of the spectacular beaches on the north shore including Hanalei’s Black Pot and the pier were closed to the public, both residents and tourists alike. Tunnels beach, one of the most spectacular beaches in the world would not see a tourist for fifteen months. I ventured to Tunnels this month, my first venture back since the April storm. The sun had just risen. The beach was pristine. And my photo shoot was a blast. At last, the north shore is back!
If you believe that the bride and groom’s wedding is a celebration, and not a day to spend countless hours posing for photographs, which typically means walking away from family and close friends ( for an hour, often two or three) in order for the photographer to do his/her stuff, consider this: Photographers used to only capture candids then some 24 portraits on the steps of the church or temple or side of a building. 10 minutes! Admittedly, in our splashy media age 24 shots wouldn’t cut it, even if they’re fantastic; 24 is just piddly. This is why I always offer my wedding clients a 2nd day of media capture either before the wedding day or on a day after. There’s numerous advantages of a 2nd day. The pressure is off; there’s no need to clock watch; the bride doesn’t have to worry about her gown’s wear and tear; in fact she can even opt for a trash-the-dress photo session. In Kauai, another great reason to offer a 2nd day is: our island. It’s seeing more of it, because one beach, one forest, one location is awesome but two or three locations is even more awesome, a different beach, jungle spot, one of our sparkling blue lakes, a cascading waterfall, creating an added dimension to your fabulous wedding album.
The first 2 photographs (below) were filmed on day one. We spent just 30 minutes on portraits. The other photographs you see are from day two. In this 2nd day shoot, we spent ninety minutes and covered 6 different locations, another 100 dynamic photographs for the album. See more of the photo session of this Kauai wedding and the wedding video of Erik and Pui at www.kauaivideoproductions.com