Creating and Capturing Memories

Advice From Pros and Brides

BVTLive! dancing

No worries. This happens to the best of us. That’s why you hire the professionals to help you create and capture those memories for you – permanently.

As a bandleader working in the special events industry, I consider it a privilege to create those moments that will later become cherished memories for my clients. I find that some of the best moments tend to come from interactivity between the entertainment and the guests. For example, whenever Jellyroll plays at an event, I make sure to get our singers integrated into the goings-on at said event. Sometimes, they will go and sing to Grandma and Grandpop at their dinner tables. Other times, they will go and tear up the dance floor with the bride and groom. In these ways, I can kill two birds with one stone by setting up a great photo or video opportunity and by making sure that we are putting on a wonderful performance for partygoers.

However, my view isn’t the only one that matters at these events. In order to get a different perspective on the creation of fantastic memories at events, I’ve asked noted photographer, Gabe Fredericks, and videographer, Tim Sudall to offer me their valued opinions on the matter.

Gabe Fredericks is one of the most sought after wedding photographers in the industry. Gabe runs and operates the esteemed Philip Gabriel Photography outside of Philadelphia, which has earned itself a sterling reputation with clients as well as WeddingWire’s Bride’s Choice Awards for the years of 2009, 2010, and 2011.

As owner and president of Video One Productions, Inc. in Havertown, Tim Sudall prides himself on providing his clients with unique and beautiful films of their special days. Video One Productions has received numerous awards and has been recognized by Event DV as one of the top 25 Wedding Film Companies in the World.

Both Gabe and Tim had their own helpful comments to make in regards to the creation of special moments at events they have worked at. Gabe was up first!

Philip Gabriel Photography

Gabe Fredericks, Philip Gabriel Photography

Gabe: My job is all about taking advantage of important moments. Sometimes, I’m in the middle of the action because I want to be able to capture moments of great emotion up close.

At other times, I’m actually responsible for helping to create special moments. During photo shoots, for example, I help to guide the process along by telling some clients to move into the light and others to shift to the front. But a wedding reception is a wedding reception. That’s something that’s going to unfold no matter what I try to do to shape it. So, I just let it be and watch for those moments that are going to matter in the future.

It’s during times like those that I rely on a kick-ass band and entertainers to get the party going and help guests have fun. It’s particularly great to work with other professionals who are aware of what needs to get done. I love when the band and clients are integrated and doing things with one another because it helps to create distinct moments.  For example, I love to capture reaction shots at events that I’m hired for. I had one wedding where the groom got up onstage with the band and sang a song to the bride. Naturally, I took plenty of pictures of the groom singing but I also got several shots of the groom’s parents as they watched their son perform onstage at his own wedding. It was a special moment and it’s something that I’m sure means a lot to them even to this day.

All in all, working a great event is a team effort from everybody involved. We all rely on each other and that chain of communication is a must because without it, we wouldn’t be able to work together to give our clients the best experience imaginable.

And now to Tim with his input:

Tim Sudall

Tim Sudall, Video One Productions

Tim: When you work with video, you become a documentarian of life. You learn not to ever create a moment, but to experience them as they happen. My job is about interacting with people and working with them to help them tell their story.

Days go by so fast. Often times, the hosts of the events themselves aren’t actually in the party room. They could be chatting with guests outside or off seeing to some other aspect of the event. That’s when it becomes important for me to be the eyes and ears for them, so that I can capture the moments that they are going to want captured for the future.

There have also been times when I have had to work extra hard to get certain moments to happen. For example, say the Mother and Father of the Bride aren’t feeling up to dancing at the wedding reception. Clients generally want to see a balanced story and they will miss it when they go to watch their wedding film and realize that nobody captured video of their parents dancing. It’s times like those that I may want to talk to somebody close to the family and hint at the idea of them getting the parents on the dance floor. In that way, I can ensure that I’m capturing every important aspect of an event.

Like Gabe said, everyone at an event has a role and works together with the goal of being teammates with everybody. Everyone has their own challenges to work out. The band has a tough job because it’s mostly up to them to manage time and make sure that everyone is having the time of their lives. There’s always going to be hiccups but we all work out the bumps together. And for us, it’s not all about playing great music or recording great video. It’s about learning how to throw a party. When you have a band that integrates with guests and you work with professionals who can communicate and help one another out, then the event is flawless.

I love when I can leave an event and know that I’ve done my job in the best way I know how. My clients can leave the venue knowing that they have just experienced something more than just music, more than just moments. They can leave with memories. And video can provide them with more than just a visual representation of those memories. They can re-watch their videos and actually hear the reception speeches, experience the music of the bride and groom’s first dance. I’ve provided my clients with a way to re-experience the night’s memories by going back and pressing ‘rewind.’ And that makes me proud to do my job.

Well said, gentlemen! Stay tuned for more helpful tips on how to make your event the party of the decade! And, that’s all folks!

Kurt Titchenell is the founder and President of BVTLive! He is also the bandleader, and co-creator of the award-winning dance band, Jellyroll and has been performing with the band since 1980. With thousands of private performances under his belt, his experience has lead Jellyroll to become the most in-demand party band in the tri-state area and BVTLive to become one of the areas foremost leaders in wedding and private event entertainment. Kurt's dedication to his profession is evident in every aspect of his professional life. As President of BVTLive, Kurt is committed to making your event a success.