San Francisco Wedding of Nick and Nadya

This is the story of Nick and Nadya’s unique wedding adventure in San Francisco. I say wedding adventure because they traveled from afar to get married in a beautiful city on the coast of California. So I guess this is technically a destination wedding, at least it is for them. Nick and Nadya arrived a few days before the day they got married on September 22, 2017. They flew all the way from Saint Petersburg, Russia. Yeah, totally amazing! I wanted to title this post (and the film) “From Russia with Love.” It totally makes sense, doesn’t it? The beautiful couple had a very simple and quick ceremony at the City Hall in downtown San Francisco. A few of their close friends also traveled from Russia to witness their special day and celebrate with them. After the ceremony, the photographer and I took them around the city to get some creative shots of the newlyweds enjoying the city at some of the many iconic locations. We went to Alamo Square where the “Painted Ladies” are located. Next location was Union Square, and last but not least, the Golden Gate Bridge. We had a great time capturing their special day and I know they enjoyed their visit to San Francisco. Thanks for checking out the wedding story of Nick and Nadya!

Tech stuff, for those interested:

I shot this wedding myself, no second shooter or assistant. Since I knew we would be all over the place in downtown San Francisco, I wanted to travel light so I only brought a monopod and glidecam. I shot on the GH4 with two lenses, the Voightlander 10.5mm f/0.95 on the glidecam with an ND filter for shots outside and a Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 on the monopod. Instead of shooting in 4K, I wanted to try out using the ex tele conversion feature on the GH4 to crop in on the sensor and get a tighter field of view. That way I don’t need to bring any more lenses with me. It worked okay but, when I looked through the footage, I noticed that it was a bit noisy on some of the shots which wouldn’t normally be that noisy in normal shooting mode. I learned my lesson on that one. Another issue I had was the picture profile that I chose. For some reason I wanted to try the CineLike D profile, after using CineLike V and Natural for most of my other projects. I did not like the skin tones that CineLike D profile produced. I had to spend an extra day correcting the colors and trying out different LUTs that would make the footage look good. It turned out pretty good in the end but I wouldn’t use that profile again. Better to stick to what works and produces good results. Regarding the drone shots, I wasn’t able to get a drone for the day mainly because the budget didn’t allow for it and time wise as well. I wouldn’t have enough time to get the shots. So I looked around for stock footage of San Francisco and found some decent and affordable clips. They weren’t the best quality but I think it worked out for this film. One thing that would have made this film even better, and something that I normally always try to incorporate in my films, is audio. Half of video is audio so it’s very important. And by audio I mean dialogue of either the officiant or the bride and groom vows. I tried to capture some audio for the ceremony but it was way too loud in the hall with hundreds of other couples getting married there the same day. I thought of capturing the bride and groom walk around and say some romantic stuff to each other but it felt awkward for them. There’s only so much you can do to make a great film and it takes a lot of planning ahead of time. Another lesson learned. Thanks again for reading this and checking out the film! Stick around and read more of our blog posts!

Cinematography: Splendent Films
Photography: Enigma Images