Catching up for the holidays
Wow, has it really been three weeks since my last post? Once the Thanksgiving holiday passed, I saw an opportunity to finish editing the remainder of this year’s weddings ahead of schedule and got a little carried away. I normally try to finish one wedding per week, which would have had me completing our last wedding during the first week of January. Instead, I will be wrapping up the last of our edits today! I can’t remember the last time I was all done before Christmas, let alone with this much time to spare. It’s always nice to surprise clients on the positive side by getting their videos done weeks earlier than projected, and it’ll be even nicer to enjoy the holidays instead of scrambling to complete projects. I might have to do something crazy like sending out cards and shopping this year!

I haven’t really talked much about it, but after all these years, this is the first year where I feel like I’ve really “figured it out” in terms of managing my time as well as the studio’s workflow. So in spite of a record year, I’ve actually been able to get home by dinner every night and even take Mondays off. Unlike many of my peers who are working literally day and night, as was I only a year ago, I have my work schedule down to a manageable 45 hours a week. What I never expected was that this additional time off has actually made me much more productive and focused during my time “on.” I can’t mention all this without acknowledging assistant editor Cathy Gerlach, who has been such a huge blessing this year. I still painfully remember the days when I might have had to wait for days or even weeks for my editor to show up! (I wasn’t a very assertive boss.) But Cathy preps these weddings for me faster than I can edit them, which is critical. I also have to thank my long-suffering wife Chris for bearing with me all these years and lighting a fire under me earlier this year to prioritize my life and balance my schedule better.

Now, let’s catch up with some highlight segments from the weddings I’ve completed over the past couple of weeks. I’m going to post these as links to the .wmv clips on our server just as I did prior to posting the last few clips as Flash video clips from Google Video. The downside of the Google clips is that they have to be posted as their own blog entries, so I can’t combine them with each other or add them to existing posts yet. It is pretty cool to watch a streaming video clip embedded within the blog though, so I’ll keep working on the ideal formatting and hopefully have it all figured out for 2007.

First up is a wedding that Laurie shot for Angela & Marty at the State House, which included a surprise gospel choir performance of a Beatles song. The reception was held at the Westin, complete with burgers and fries for dinner, followed by cookies and milk for dessert. Nice touch!

Angela & Marty’s Wedding Highlights – 10/14/06

On that same day, I covered Maureen & Don’s wedding at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church and reception at the Ritz Charles. The couple and I ended up staying in neighboring resorts in Kauai two weeks later. I should have shown up at their hotel with my camcorder and said, “You did book our honeymoon coverage, right?”

Maureen & Don’s Wedding Highlights – 10/14/06

The following weekend, Laurie videotaped Jody & Jason’s wedding and reception at the Bridgewater Club. Jason’s reaction to the officiant’s request during the ceremony for a “token” of their marriage was priceless. Laurie was a trouper that weekend, as we generally try to limit her to one wedding per month due to her busy schedule at WISH-TV. Not only did she work two straight weekends for me, but she also coordinated a wedding on 10/7/06!

Jody & Jason’s Wedding Highlights – 10/21/06

I have two additional highlight segments completed, but I’ll give the couples a little more time to enjoy their videos before posting those. In the mean time, I’m preparing to be in the first annual Holiday Bridal Show at Allisonville Nursery right up the street, which will be a good warmup for the Perfect Wedding Guide Bridal Show at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in January. I generally don’t do bridal shows, but it’s nice for the business once in a while to get out there and be seen by brides and other vendors. I hope to see you all at the Holiday Bridal Show this weekend!

Julie & Justin were married in an emotional ceremony at the Ritz Charles chapel in Carmel, followed by a beautiful reception in the Ritz Charles pavillion. Check out the creative use of apples in the decor, a great idea for a fall wedding!

Here’s the highlight segment from Emily & John’s wedding video. Their 9/30/06 ceremony took place at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, followed by photos at Holcomb Gardens and a reception at the Montage.

This is the highlight segment from Courtney and Zach’s wedding video. They were married 9/23/06 at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, with a reception at the Columbia Club. The father of the bride’s reaction to giving away his fourth and final daughter is priceless!

See you in St. Kitts!

I’ve known many photographers who have been fortunate enough to get booked for an occasional destination wedding here and there, and all I could ever do was envy them from afar while covering my own “destination” wedding in places like Louisville or Cincinnati. But an amazing thing happened over the past few days… I just got booked to videotape a wedding in St. Kitts in the Caribbean! Jill & Kevin were referred to me by Tonya Shadoan of Circle City Planners (can’t thank you enough, Tonya!), and during our meeting, I was telling them about a wedding that we had previously covered with their photographer Hether Miles. As it turned out, that bride is Kevin’s sister! (Here’s the video clip from Jennifer’s wedding in 2004. You might recognize her from the TV ads for Watson’s, which Kevin manages.) From that point on, it just seemed meant to be, and I could not be more excited to capture these unforgettable days in their lives coming up in April. To make things even more interesting, Jill & Kevin are going to wait until they arrive there days in advance to pick the spot where they will exchange vows. In addition to the various celebrations sure to take place there, the couple will also have a reception at the Indianapolis Museum of Art on 5/12/07, which we will cover as well. Photographer Angela Talley just happened to shoot a wedding in St. Kitts a few weeks ago, and she was kind enough to share the images with me at her home last Friday. (I hope she forgives me for drooling on her keyboard.) Here’s one of my favorites, taken on one of the island’s black sand beaches:

I was honored to be invited by Tracy Heine to her open house at LaBella Bride of Zionsville last night. Tracy and I met as booth neighbors at a bridal show a couple of years ago, and I was immediately impressed with her business smarts and fashion sense, not to mention her sweet demeanor. She’s been great to me ever since, so there was no way I was going to miss her open house. I had a wonderful time there with Tracy, and it was great to see Stacy and Mary and Jessica Strickland there as well. My eyes probably started glazing over when the ladies (I just now realized I was the only guy there) started talking about the gowns, but I can just blame it on that mysterious “punch” they were serving. Anyway, thanks for a wonderful time, Tracy!

I’ve always wanted to check out the Premier Bridal Connection weekly open house, so this was a perfect opportunity, since it was right on my way home. Not sure what I was expecting, maybe something like a formal bridal show with fewer vendors, but I was pleasantly surprised by the casual, laid back atmosphere. I can see why this has been such a successful, pressure-free environment for brides to drop in and scope out some truly top-notch services. I’ve only recently gotten to know Jeremy Gearries of DJs Direct, but it’s already obvious the guy has a new idea every minute bursting out of his head. Kind of like me, but with the personality to sell it. The best part, and main reason I dropped in, was to say “hi” to Brandon and Cybil New of B&C Digital Media, since we don’t get to chat nearly as much as we should. I have a lot of respect for them as artists, and even more so as people. I hope they didn’t mind staying the extra hour to chat. It can sure take a while to catch up!

Over the past few days, I’ve received a couple of very nice e-mails from some recent brides, starting with this one from Katherine Beiting regarding the video from her 8/26/06 wedding:

Bob, I’ve been meaning to sit down and write a lengthy note to you to express our sincere thanks for the amazing wedding video. We received everything so quickly….I was amazed at how fast you were able to edit our video and ship out the final product. The quality of the video was superb and was not sacrificed in the least for the speed in which we got it. My parents were in town the weekend I received the video, so they were able to see it while they were visiting. Everyone absolutely loved it! I remember way back when I was planning for my wedding and was becoming increasingly more frustrated with some of the sample videos I was viewing from other videographers in the area. The sound quality and the uniqueness of the editing were leaving something to be desired. When I got your email advertising your services I was immediately drawn to your website. I really appreciated how well laid out your website was with pricing information and tons of samples…since I was planning my wedding from out of town. Not only was your unique style what I was looking for, but the finished product was better than I could have imagined. Thank you also for including the rehearsal taping in your packages. I thought it was nice how you came the day before the wedding to “scope things out” and get some of those unique shots that you could have missed if you only came for the wedding itself. In our case, you got some great footage of the stained glass when the sun was shining through, which didn’t exactly happen on our cloudy wedding day. Thanks again for all of your hard work and your professionalism. I didn’t even know you were there for most of our wedding day, yet you captured the spirit of the day beautifully. All of our friends think the video is great and I will not hesitate to refer to you if I know anyone who is getting married in the area. I’m so glad we hired you to film our wedding and our video is truly amazing. We love it!

Thanks again,
Katherine Beiting

And here’s one from Christi Soule, who enjoyed the video of her 9/9/06 wedding:

Hi Bob! I wanted to tell you how much we love the video! It really captured the excitement and joy that Eric and I both still remember from our day. It was neat to see how the story fit together on film. You paid great attention to detail, and this video will help us relive the happiest moment in our lives forever! I will definitely be referring IndyVisual to all my engaged friends!

Thanks again,

I’m not sure how many other wedding videographers out there work out of a studio away from home, but from what I’ve gathered here and there, I’m one of the few. It all started about a dozen years ago, when after welcoming an umpteenth couple into my house to the sound of a dog barking and pots clanging, and then asking them to follow me up the stairs to my “studio” in a spare bedroom, I suddenly realized that I just didn’t feel very “professional.” Nothing they hadn’t experienced with other vendors, I’m sure, but my desire to present myself in a more professional manner and differentiate myself from my competitors led me to move the business out of the house. After a few years of paying rent (ah, overhead – THAT’s why I was working from home!), my wife and I finally purchased a small office building from which I have operated since 1998, and I haven’t looked back. It’s been a great situation – two other tenants have essentially made the mortgage payments for me, and I’ve been able to continue keeping home and work separated.

That is, until this week. There have been moments when I have actually missed the comfort of dragging out of bed and walking straight to my “office” down the hall, or getting some editing done on those nights when I can’t turn my brain off. On a few occasions over the past couple of years, I’ve unplugged the PC and brought it home for a day to escape the growing mountain of paperwork and just focus on completing a project. Focus was especially hard to come by last week, since as I’ve been telling most people, my brain was still in Hawaii. So for the first time since who knows when, I decided to camp out at home this week to work on a couple of weddings, and so far it’s been pretty fun. It’s been nice to run to the fridge to grab a snack, or to hang out with the kids while a video file is rendering. Best of all, I’m finally caught up to where I wanted to be editing-wise. I’m starting to get a tad anxious to get back to a real office environment now that I have my focus back. But this has been a fun experiment, and I’ll look forward to camping out here again sometime, perhaps on a few miserable snowy days this winter.

Right as I was ready to wind down from the busiest wedding season I’ve have ever had, I got a last-minute booking for Sandy & John’s wedding at Second Presbyterian Church and reception at the Broadmoor Country Club. While most of our clients book us about six months to a year in advance, we do get quite a few late bookings each year from brides who come to appreciate how quickly their big day is going to come and go, and therefore appreciate the value of having their wedding festivities professionally videotaped. Unfortunately, I have to turn most of these brides away, but thankfully, I had yesterday available. I’m kind of an internet nut, so I was tickled to discover that this was the first time I was booked purely as a result of a good “old-fashioned” Google search. Although most of our business stems from established relationships with clients and vendors, supplemented by some targeted internet advertising, I’ve put some effort into designing our website so that its search engine rankings would be maximized. Now I have proof that it works!

We’ve covered quite a few ceremonies at this beautiful landmark church (designed in part by the great-grandfather of videographer Laurie Buschmann, who assisted), so it’s hard for any wedding to truly stand out there – they’re all “big” at Second Presbyterian. But Sandy & John’s wedding was certainly appropriate for the grand setting, partly due to the huge size of the bridal party, but mostly because of the strong sense of family and community among their guests that has been nurtured throughout their 8-9 years of courtship. In the “small world” department, their reader turned out to be Laurie’s college roommate of four years.

The reception, in addition to being simply beautiful, was an impressive display of logistical planning. The Broadmoor CC staff and consultant Caren Pearlman found an ingenious way to fit what seemed like 300 guests into the limited space. It involved lots of long tables (which actually enhanced the feeling of community among the diverse guests) and by far the largest head table I’ve ever seen – a huge L-shaped table spanning two edges the dance floor which seated 40 people! The band Living Proof was fairly new to the wedding scene, but judging by the way they kept the floor packed with their energetic blend of classic and current R&B, they’ll be around for as long as they want to be. The best part of the day for me personally was hanging out and catching up with photographer and friend Angela Talley about her new baby girl Lucia. I felt like a kid in a candy store when she handed me her camera at the end of the night and let me snap a few shots with the fisheye lens.


Since October I’ve been trying to start blogging in a different format, where every stage of a client’s video production process is reported and updated in a single blog entry devoted to that client, organized by wedding date. So my report about the wedding day, as well as the eventual posting of any photos, highlight segments, feedback and other follow-up will all be conveniently located under one client’s listing instead of scattered over several posts. Hopefully that’ll make this blog a little easier to follow and more fun to read. That said, I have some scattershot catch-up reporting to do here with some pre-October weddings that I completed prior to my vacation last week, so here we go…

Katherine & Michael’s ceremony took place amidst the stunning architecture of St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica in Covington, KY, followed by their reception at the Drees Pavilion overlooking the beautiful Cincinnati skyline:

Julie & Paul were one of the first couples ever married at the beautiful new Coxhall Gardens in Carmel. Paul’s surprise serenade to Julie was the highlight of their reception at the Bridgewater Club:

Lynn & Nathan travelled all the way from their new home in California to exchange vows at St. Vincent de Paul Church in her hometown of Shelbyville, followed by a lively celebration in the fellowship hall next door:

Lynn & Nathan’s Highlight Segment – 9/9/06

Christi & Eric tied the knot at my church, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, before packing the dance floor at the Meridian Hills Country Club:

Christi & Eric’s Highlight Segment – 9/9/06