Pioneer Media Hudson Valley Weddings

The Most Common Regret Couples Have About Their Wedding

Wedding videography. It’s one of those decisions many couples struggle with. Do you hire a videographer or do you not? It really is a love/hate relationship with many couples and is one of those elements that couples question until the very last minute. If you’re like me, you’re probably asking all your friends if they hired a videographer if they watch the video, how much did they spend on it, etc. In fact, tell me if any of these thoughts crossed your mind at some point in the wedding process…


Thought #1“We’ve already booked a great photographer, so we know we’re going to get amazing photos. A video is nice, but not necessary.”


Thought #2“We’ve already ‘spent’ a lot of money not only on our photographer but our venue and everything else to make our wedding special. We don’t want to spend more money on a video.”


Thought #3“We don’t need a video. We hate being on camera and we’ll never watch it. It’ll just sit on a shelf or in a box collecting dust. It’s a waste of money.”


If any, or all those thoughts have played out in your head, you’re not alone. “Many sources show that the top regret of brides after their weddings was not getting videography”, says Bryndon Romero, Owner of Pioneer Media. “If you Google “biggest regret in weddings” the first three search results point to “not hiring a professional videographer” as the number one regret of real brides.” Google search it yourself, you’ll see.





Who wants to live life with regrets, especially on the biggest day of your life?

Unfortunately, I fall into that regret category. While we have video taken by family members, it’s still not the same as having a beautiful quality edited video.


Why is videography such a back-and-forth decision?


Well, first off, videography can add an additional $500-$1000 (or more) onto your budget. “Weddings are not cheap,” says Romero. “Most often it’s one of those ‘If -there’s-room-in-the-budget-at-the-end’ type of decisions. For some, a video is not considered a must-have, like your DJ or photographer. Many consider it a luxury, not a necessity.”


Emma Cleary, owner of Emma Cleary Photo & Video agrees. She says that it’s not always a last-minute decision but certainly comes after booking your photographer. “Sometimes the couple will wait until they know how much they have left in their budget before booking videography,” she says. “Couples often like to secure their photographer first and have the option to add video to their package at a later date.”


Why is videography so important?


Cleary says that, while it sounds cliché, a wedding day goes by VERY fast! There are so many moments happening throughout the day that you might miss, and while you think you may not watch a video, at some point, and in some way, you’ll want to relive the day over and over for some time to come.


She says that while photos are great and are certainly a very important investment, there is one thing video can provide that photos can’t. That’s sound and voices. It’s one thing to see photos of people dancing, it’s another to actually hear the music, hear the cheers or clapping, see people in active motion. It’s great to have your grandparents in your photos, it’s another to actually hear their voices and hear what they have the say to you on your wedding day. In years to come, your kids will want to see you as a young couple. They’re going to want to hear all about your wedding day, and how special will it be for them to actually hear you recite your vows to each other instead of just seeing photos of it, without really knowing what you said?


What type of videography is right for you?


Hudson Valley Wedding Photography

Photo Credit: Pioneer Media

Ok, so you’ve decided that you want to invest in video, but have horrible flashbacks of when you saw your parent’s weddings video. Videos, where the cameraman goes from table to table with a microphone and has each guest, say a little congratulatory message to the new couple. Well, if you’ve been on social media at any time, you’ll know video has come a long way. They’re more like mini motion pictures.


“In weddings, there are basically two types of videography,” says Romero. “Documentary style has traditionally been the most common form of videography. Its purpose is to provide information through visuals; it tells the viewer what is happening. Typically longer clips are used that show the beginning of an action until its completion.”


“Then there is cinematography,” he says. “The goal is to entertain by structuring the story like a movie. Shorter clips are used, not necessarily in chronological order. A combination of shorter clips, music, high-quality audio, and camera movements are artistically used to engage the viewer and to entertain.”


What is a highlight reel?


“A highlight reel simply is a short video of the best parts of the day,” says Romero. “Often times, the key traditional moments of the day are put in the highlight reel: walk down the aisle, the kiss, the vows. Personally, we like to take whichever clips are most epic, cinematic, whatever footage looks the best, and combine that with the best audio we captured. For those three to five minutes that we have your attention, we want to blow your mind. The best way for us to do that is to combine the best shots of the day with the highest quality, personal audio.”


Have you decided on investing in video for your wedding day? What made you decide to do so? On the flip side, are you not investing in video? What made you decide not to?


Featured Photo Credit: Pioneer Media

Read More

Photography Trends and Highlight Videos – What You Need To Know

Editor’s Note: The Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit is a weekly post where the some of the Hudson Valley’s top wedding photographers and videographers share their insights on the most commonly asked questions about wedding photography and videography. Each week through December, learn from the very best so you can make smart and educated decisions when it comes to preserving your special day. Click on any photo to be taken to the photographer’s website. This is not a sponsored post; no compensation was received or exchanged for the purpose of this blog post or for the promotion of the photographer.

Today’s contributor is Lynette Romero of Pioneer Media

Photography and videography go hand in hand when it comes to your wedding. Photos are great for capturing snapshot moments of the day, while video captures the sound, movement and the essence of your wedding day. Photos are a must when it comes to capturing your special day, but your memories go up a notch when you have video capturing your conversations, your voices and everything that makes these precious moments such a great legacy and a treasured heirloom.

Hudson Valley Wedding Photography

Photo Credit: Pioneer Media

Today, we spoke to Lynette Romero (photographer), who, together with her husband Bryndon (videographer), co-own Pioneer Media in Newburgh. In our conversation, Lynette discusses current photography trends as well as explains the difference between a traditional wedding video and a highlight reel.


Photo trends


Photography trends change over time. Just look at what you’re seeing on Pinterest compared to what your parent’s album looks like. Today, couples are asking for more intimate and personal moments to be captured and not so much of the formalized portraiture you saw 15-20 years ago.


Photographers love capturing those special moments on film because they not only make each wedding unique but also creates a really special keepsake that’s so much fun for the couple to look back on. Many of these special moments happen the morning of your wedding (or during the ‘getting ready’ phase of the day).


WCHV: What are couples doing the morning of their wedding that makes for such memorial moments? 

Romero: “Many couples mark the unofficial start of the wedding day by exchanging gifts or cards and reading their notes to each other for the video and photo. Since the morning of the wedding sometimes can be stressful or busy, reading love notes from each other focuses the couple back on each other. It sets the tone for the first time they see each other, and adds great content to their wedding video and photo album.”

WCHV: What are some ways couples have personalized that moment?


Romero: “At a recent wedding, our groom wrote a love note on the bottom of his bride’s shoe. We saw a variation of this idea at another recent wedding, where the whole bridal party signed and wrote little notes on the bottom of our bride’s shoe.”





Hudson Valley Wedding Photography

Photo Credit: Pioneer Media

When it comes to videography, there are two main types. There’s documentary style which is more traditional and captures longer moments. Think of this as the type of video you would take on your phone. You are capturing the moment live, without edits. Then there is cinematography style, which is video edited with the addition of music for entertainment value to make your day look more like a movie.


Cinematography style is one of the hottest trends, and most of the examples you see online are highlight reels. Think of them as the “movie trailer” for your wedding


WCHV: What exactly is a highlight reel and how is it different than a regular video?


Romero: “Our highlight reels are typically one song length, three to five minutes. They are very cinematic and include the most emotional and entertaining content from the day. Our full videos are much longer, normally at least a half hour, but have the same cinematic style, with shorter clips and set to music. In both cases the audio (can be the card readings, the vows, the toasts, etc.) drive the story of the video.

What are some of the moments you want to be captured on your wedding that goes beyond the traditional? What special moments do you and your spouse-to-be have planned? We’d love to know. 


Please join us next week when we hear from another great Hudson Valley Photographer answering the most common photo/video questions couples have

Read More

What you need to know about wedding photos taken and images chosen

Editor’s Note: The Ultimate Wedding Photo & Video Summit is a weekly post where the some of the Hudson Valley’s top wedding photographers and videographers share their insights on the most commonly asked questions about wedding photography and videography. Each week through December, you’ll learn from the very best so you can make smart and educated decisions when it comes to preserving your special day. Click on any photo to be taken to the photographer’s website. Bios are featured at the end to give credit to the photographer for their time and participation. This is not a sponsored post; no compensation was received or exchanged for the purpose of this blog post or for the promotion of the photographer.

Today’s blog post is written by Jeremiah Shaffer, Photographer

Photo Credit: Jeremiah Shaffer

As a professional who has himself experienced a wedding of his own, I know how important it is to capture every special detail of a wedding day. That being said, I spend a lot of time clicking away as events unfold, and then sorting through to select all the photographs that best represent the magic of the day as it actually happened. How many pictures I take is a very loaded question filled with ifs, ands, and buts. There are a lot of factors that go into how many pictures I take during a wedding day and I’d like to break it down the best way I can, in relation to how I shoot.


Now please keep in mind, other photographers may not do things like I do, which is great. Variety is the spice of life. There are certainly a lot of really fantastic photographers in our beautiful Hudson Valley, and I know that they all do their own thing a little differently and have very happy clients. They might take more photos or fewer photos, depending on their shooting style and what they guarantee their clients.


What determines how many images are taken?


For me, there are three big factors that will impact how many images I will ultimately take.


First, I generally always shoot with a second photographer but sometimes at smaller weddings, a second photographer might just be redundant. If I shoot alone, I naturally have about half as many photographs at the end of a wedding.


The second factor in how many images I take is for how long I’m booked at a wedding. You’d be right to think that I take more images when I’m booked for 10 hours compared to an eight-hour booking.


The third factor is the size of your bridal party. Obviously, if you have six bridesmaids and six groomsmen, you’ll receive more photos than someone with two and two.



How many photos are taken and why so many?


Photo Credit: Jeremiah Shaffer

Generally during a wedding day — from me arriving, to me packing up — I will snap anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 pictures. But please beware, this is a very skewed number. Every time I take a photo of people (which is primarily what I’m doing all day) I take three or four shots of that one photo. Why? Because someone will ALWAYS blink. This is something that I learned very early on in my wedding career. I’d get home and start editing a wedding and in some of the best portraits of the bride and groom or guests at the wedding, one or more of the people I was photographing in a shot was blinking. Or mid-blink. Or about to blink. Or sneezing. And we can’t do them again. EVER. So, a trick I learned was taking three or four snaps each time I took a photo of people. So, with that being said, there are maybe about only about 1,500 to 3,000 actual individual shots. I don’t set limits for myself on how many photographs I take, rather I leave it up to how the day plays out to ensure I capture all the memories that may occur.


Do we get all those photos?


Not quite. Of those, maybe my camera’s focus was off for a shot or maybe the shot was a bit too dark. Maybe Uncle Tommy has a piece of cake hanging out of his mouth in the background of a picture. Those images will never see the light of day (unless it’s one of those “too good” pictures). I don’t give couples a “magic number” of photos that they will receive. What my clients will get is 500+ fantastic images of their wedding day.


If there are more, they get more. I see no advantage to me holding onto awesome pictures and not releasing them. So, if I’m your photographer, and you book me for 10 hours with two photographers and you have a medium-sized bridal party, you could expect to receive 600 to 800 final great images.


How many images do I need to pick for my wedding album?


Again, another loaded question and here’s why: Typically, when a client gets an album from me, I have them choose 30+ images to put in it. That’s about 20 pages worth of photos. However, your album can be as many pages as you want and there are a bunch of sizes available. They can be anywhere from 6” x 6” to 12” x 15”. And you’d be right again to think that I can put more images in a 12” x 15” album than I can a 6” x 6” album. 

Please join us next week when we hear from another great Hudson Valley Photographer answering the most common photo/video questions couples have


Read More

5 secrets to being an awesome wedding guest

Being a guest at a wedding is not as easy as you think. Being an awesome wedding guest is even harder.


You may think that as a guest, all you need to do is just show up with a nice gift, sit quietly, eat your meal and dance. But so much more goes into being a great wedding guest. The couple put in a lot of time and effort in making sure their wedding makes everyone happy. It’s easy, as a guest, to forget that; it wasn’t until I got married that I really understood exactly what goes into making an amazing day. Based on what I’ve seen and what I’ve experienced over the years at weddings I’ve attended, I believe If you really want to impress the newlyweds, there are 5 secrets you should know:


Secret 1: Be respectful of photographer and videographer space


We all love to take photos and videos at weddings for our own keepsakes, and some of you may be excellent photographers, but the couple didn’t hire you to take their photos or videos of their wedding. They hired – and made a big investment in hiring – professionals to do that for them. Does that mean you can’t take photos and videos at weddings? Of course not. What it means, though, is making sure you do not get in the way of the professionals who are there to do their job. So, no standing in the aisles, no cramming to get up front for a view of the cake cutting, no standing in the way of the first dance, etc. It’s all about just being mindful of your space and who’s around you. This also means not getting in the way of other guests who want the same photos. Remember, the couple will more than likely share photos with you once they get them back, so take photos with the understanding that you might not get the picture perfect shot; the professional will.


Secret 2: Share your photos with the couple


Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

As mentioned, taking photos at a wedding is encouraged, as long as you don’t interfere with the pros. That being said, couples won’t get their professional photos for some time after their wedding day. So, even if you don’t get the perfect shot, share them with the couple. Trust me, they are going to be really eager to see what the day looked like from a different perspective. Even though we knew our professional photographer was doing an awesome job, we wanted as many photos as we could get from that day because – guess what? – our photographer couldn’t capture every moment because, well, he was photographing us. Couples want to see what was going on while they were being photographed. Don’t worry if they came out too dark or were blurry or you only took a few. Don’t think your photos aren’t ‘good enough,’ because they are. Any moment captured that the couple might have missed is awesome and very much appreciated.


Secret 3: Do not post photos, stories, or videos of a wedding you attend on social media without the couple’s permission


Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

I just explained why sharing your photos is a good thing, but they need to be shared privately. It’s easy, in this day in age, to assume everyone is on social media and everyone is comfortable with it. That is not always the case. Even if the couple is on Facebook and other social media, a wedding is a very personal and private, invitation-only event. A couple may not want videos of a teary speech or a silly dance, or them reciting their vows being shared or be tagged in any photos (even if you can limit the privacy settings). In some cases, couples who are comfortable with you sharing photos will generate a hashtag for you to use when posting on social media. That allows the couple to literally search that hashtag along every platform and be able to find every photo guests posted. However, if you don’t see a hashtag listed on the invitation or at the wedding itself, do not share the photos online without getting their permission. Instead, send them your photos personally, either hard copy or via email. You can’t assume it’s OK to share on social media just because everyone does it.


Secret 4: Send the hosts a thank you


I know that sounds kind of weird, right, because the couple should be sending you a

Photo Credit: WCHV

thank you for coming and for your gift. But, when you think about all the time, money and effort they spent to make sure everyone had a good time, it’s nice to reciprocate and tell them how much you enjoyed being there. I’m kind of old-school and still think a personal, hand-written note is nice, but an e-mail would be just as good. Along with a thank you, send congratulations along with some memories of the day.  For couples who are especially sentimental, like we were, how awesome do you think it would be for a couple to receive a message full of memories and/or photos of that day? You can say something like “I don’t know if you know this, but during cocktail hour we were talking to (fill in the blank) and we were discussing how (fill in the blank).” Couples could miss these little stories because they are busy doing their own thing, but they’re items to cherish! I know I couldn’t get enough of our guests’ stories.


Secret 5: Save mementos


Photo Credit: WCHV

Couples, whether they had a professional create them or they did they themselves, spent a lot of time and money deciding what kinds of invitations, programs, menus, favors, and other various props to have at their ceremony and reception. So, grab an extra program or two, save an extra menu, or any other trinket given to you at the wedding. A couple might have saved extras already, but being able to provide those to the couple, just in case, is heartwarming. Let them know you saved a couple of extra for them in case they wanted to keep them.


What have you done as a wedding guest that you thought the couple might like? Couples, what would you want your guests to do? We’d love to hear your ideas.

Read More