Today’s wedding videographer interview is with Andrew Gormley, founder of Silver and Spark, based in Philadelphia, PA! Enjoy:

Tell us about your company, how did you get started?

I had taken up second shooting for local wedding video companies back in 2011 as a side hustle from my day job as a web developer. It was a little jarring at first because there’s so much involved when it comes to video, but I worked hard and listened to the folks who had been at it way longer than me and picked it up pretty quickly. For the next two years, I was both lead and second shooter for several Philadelphia-area video companies, learning as much as I possibly could before taking on my first client.

Read the full interview after the cut!

Once I was able to develop closer relationships with the couples through the planning and phone calls and love story videos, the quality of my work greatly improved. Just like no two weddings are the same, there is no single cookie-cutter video that will work for every couple. Having those weeks and months leading up to the wedding to get to know people almost guarantees that the finished video is so uniquely them. I love the entire process of it.

I continued to pursue wedding videography as, essentially, a second career until just this year, when I decided it was time to leave my job and pursue this full time. It’s certainly one of the most fun and rewarding jobs I’ve ever had. For the record: yes, I definitely still second shoot for other companies whenever I get the opportunity!

What are some things couples should look for when looking for a videographer?

Someone who takes a genuine interest in your story and your wedding day. I’m always delighted by a particularly funny or charming engagement story, and that makes me want to work with a couple even more. I’d also look for someone who’s just a great storyteller in general. As a rule, I always insist on speaking to the couple either in person (coffee or beers on me!) or over the phone/Skype to make sure that we have good chemistry; I listen to their stories and I try to tell my own in a compelling way. If both parties are feeling energized and happy by the end of that first call, you’re on to something great!

What is your favorite part of the day to capture?

My favorite part of the day, by far, are the moments right before the first look when there’s just so much excitement and nervous anticipation. Beyond that, I love catching my couples right in the middle of a crowded dance floor, absolutely enjoying every minute while surrounded by loved ones.

How do you feel videography has changed in the last few years?

There’s definitely still some outdated perceptions of videography that I encounter regularly, probably from watching our parent’s wedding videos! The most common is that it’s just me with a big ol’ shoulder camera pointing it at the thing that’s happening and recording while zooming in and out.

In reality, we’re shooting with the same size cameras that your photographer does and almost all wedding videography these days has a comparable level of cinematography, audio, and editing to a documentary short film. It makes sense: what is a wedding video if not a documentary film focused on just one of the most important days of your life? That is definitely a welcome change!

The other thing that’s different is nowadays we’re crafting anywhere from 4-to-20 minute highlight reels that your friends and family are overjoyed to watch because we’re using music and toasts and vows cut together with visuals that recap the day beautifully. You’ll still get the uncut versions of your ceremony, dances, toasts, etc individually, but those are great to view privately with your partner while you break out the highlight film for everyone.

Do you have advice for wedding videographers just starting out?

I can’t stress how much knowledge I accumulated while working for other people. I learned what kind of gear I like to use, different methods for capturing audio, how to set up lighting throughout the day, shooting tips, and more. I was able to pick and choose the things I loved the most and find my own unique voice in the process. That’s actually part of the reason why I continue to second shoot for other companies: this is an industry that thrives on new ideas and approaches, plus it’s all great practice!

If you were to make a blooper reel, what moment that you’ve captured would make us laugh the most?

I actually DO create blooper reels for almost all of my couples. The thing that makes me laugh the most is when people mistake me for the photographer and stop to pose or smile, that and looking right into the camera are the moments of hilarity for me while editing. Here’s one that I did that the client absolutely loved:

What is the most challenging part of your job?

For shorter videos, the most challenging part is undoubtedly trying to capture the feeling or emotion of an entire day in just 3-5 minutes. It’s easy to do when you have 10-20 minutes to work with, but in short form, it’s a process of slowly removing what may have been some of your favorite shots or moments in favor of things that tell the story more effectively. It’s a balancing act for sure!

Any advice for couples?

Three things that I regularly tell couples as soon as I arrive: don’t get bummed out about rain/snow because it’s incredibly cinematic for photos and video, they won’t start the ceremony or reception without you two so there’s no need to rush, and make sure to plan little moments of down time where no one is around so you can really enjoy the day and feel the love—you’ll never experience a faster 12-16 hour day!

Thanks, Andrew! For more information about Silver and Spark, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.

Do you have any questions or comments for Andrew? Add them to the comments below!