One guy, one camera, wedding videos that don’t suck.
Editor’s Note: for this Best Wedding Videographers in San Francisco Spotlight, we had the pleasure of interviewing Graham, from Final Frame Studios.
Where have you been featured?
I have been featured in the hearts and minds of over 600 couples.
Why do couples love working with you?
My couples love me because I shoot every wedding by myself with one camera. I simply document the wedding day. I don’t turn their wedding into my personal movie set.
What do you love most about filming weddings?
My job is going to parties! What’s not to love?
How did you get started?
In high school, I got a job at the Oakland Public Schools TV station. They taught me to shoot and edit video and I felt like I had a knack for it so I started my own business.
What 3 words best describe your company?
Ninja. Documentary. Craftsmanship.
What budget range do you cater to?
Most of my couples spend less than $2000.
What is your favorite part of the wedding day to film?
I like shooting the dancing because people finally let loose and it often looks like a badass music video if the DJ does a nice lighting setup.
I wasn’t the little girl who dreamed about my wedding. I was the little girl who dreamed about having my wedding made into a music video and Graham did just that! My husband and I have watched our highlight reel a bajillion times and every time, we can’t believe how well Graham captured the vibe of our wedding. We could not have found a more perfect person to capture our epic day! Trust me, I’ve looked at every videographer I could find in the Bay Area and every time I clicked on a video that started with panning over the venue into vows and slow music with people crying, I closed the tab because they all started to look the same. We wanted something different, something fun, something that didn’t suck.
Another thing that’s different about Graham is his documentary edit which was about 2 hours long for our wedding. It contained raw footage from the whole day and you’ll be amazed to see all the moments he captured that you completely missed on your wedding day. We watched the whole 2 hours of the documentary edit with our extended families and none of them had any idea that their super cool dance moves were caught on camera! It was a pretty intense and fun watch party. Watching the documentary edit seriously felt like living the day all over again!
Also, he really is a ninja (he mentions this on his website). He’s never in the way and honestly, you won’t even notice him filming so the footage all turns out to be very candid and genuine. If you want to know more about him, read everything on his website. IT IS SUPER ACCURATE.
My husband and I got married in Novato back in October 2018 and hired Graham to document our special day. We were lucky to have worked with an amazing team of vendors–everybody was wonderful! With that said, one thing that I must say about Graham is that he was THE most on-time vendor out of all. He is also very professional and knowledgeable about filming weddings. The day was extremely busy, but I did not have to worry about Graham because he’d communicated with the DJ beforehand and was familiar with the venue. It was such a relief to know that we can just enjoy the day and trust our videographer to document the important moments.
Not only was he professional, but he was also very punctual. I visited his website and sent an email to inquire about his services. I received a response the very next morning to set up an in-person meeting at his home office. We had the option to do a phone interview, but my husband and I wanted to meet him in person to get a better sense of his personality and style. When we arrived at his home, we were happy to find that he’s also a family man. He was prepared for the meeting and walked us through the process. He talked about the timeline, lighting, sound, etc. We decided to hire him right then and he emailed us a contract. We paid a 50% deposit as a retainer and to save the date, then the balance on the day-of. We were promised a delivery date exactly 2 months after the wedding and he sent follow-up emails after that to assure us that it will arrive by December. He sent us instructions on how to download the video properly and made it super easy!
We are so glad that we hired Graham! We asked for drone coverage and he delivered that! We LOVED the “interviews”. If you are thinking of hiring him and he asks if you want him to conduct interviews with the wedding guests during the cocktail hour, do it! You won’t regret it! We had no idea who he interviewed and what they said. When we got the video, we were laughing and crying at the responses. (Some of our guests even sang to us!)
In addition to that, my mother-in-law fell during the Mother and Son dance. We asked if he could possibly edit that out in the video and transition it seamlessly. We knew that it would add extra work, but he did it without hesitation.
If you are worried about the sound, don’t be. I’ve been to a lot of outdoor ceremonies where you can barely hear the bride and groom when they speak. On top of that, you hear a lot of interference with the microphone. That was not the case with our video even though our ceremony was outdoors and it was very windy that day. The sound was amazingly clear! Graham was the one who clipped the microphone onto my husband’s lapel and it was enough for it to amplify the sound for both him and I during the readings. His equipment was superb. My father-in-law teaches Audio/Visual (for concerts) at UC Davis and when he watched the video, he was impressed with the sound.
Graham definitely has a can-do attitude and will make things happen. We cannot wait to make copies of our video to share with family and friends!
Working with Graham was truly a pleasure. As I started researching potential options for a videographer, I was struck by the transparency of Graham’s website: he was clear about the services that he offered and passionate about the elements that made his work product different from that of other videographers. I have often found wedding videos to be excessive on the showmanship, resembling movies that seem overdone and a bit trite. I knew that if I were going to invest in a videographer, I wanted someone who could take footage that would allow me to rewatch the material and be moved by something different each time. In short, I wanted to relive the special and fleeting moments of that day forever.
Graham was the professional that we needed. With his “one-man, one-camera” style of videography, he was capably present during the day when we needed him to be without being intrusive whatsoever. Graham ensured that he captured both critical and candid moments as they occurred. When I held an initial consultation with Graham to evaluate whether he was a good fit for our needs, he indicated that many clients sometimes forget that he is there actively filming for eight hours. This is a far cry from so many weddings featuring a movie style with disruptive lights, large equipment, and a host of staff, which in my opinion really detract from the intimacy and the joy of observing an innocent, unadulterated, undoctored event. Graham is also very experienced. He understands how being videotaped can be uncomfortable, let alone at a setting that evokes such strong emotions and invites organizational chaos like a wedding. Graham’s calming presence is a quality that cannot be understated, which quickly allowed everyone featured in the video to feel at ease and act as naturally (with excitement and anticipation) as possible. Even when an awkward moment or pause might have started to arise, Graham made sure to ask questions and encourage certain actions, angles, and activities so that he could film moments that he knew his clients would value.
Put simply, Graham’s documentary style is spectacular and watching it offers a delightful experience. The small sounds, rustles of the wind, birds chirping, and shuffling of feet as the bridal party and close family members anticipated the upcoming celebration, are just a few of the memories that allow me to relive the wedding in both conscious and subconscious ways. His documentary style truly depicts the wedding in all of its raw beauty and intimacy, without themed music or unnecessary flair that detract from these virtues. And by raw footage, please know that Graham’s work is a professional and highly edited product. In other words, the documentary style is a true work of art, free from any shakiness or broken sequences.
The work is carefully streamlined to allow for a real-time revisiting of the day in its entirety. Not only is the artistic quality of Graham’s work superior to the movie-style videos that my friends have commissioned at higher prices, but Graham is able to effortlessly capture the small and fleeting moments–ones that add context, candid delicateness, and a true commemoration of the event–in such a way that can only be effectuated by an individual with a minimalist approach. Graham shot the fluttering of hair, the forming of tears, the crinkle of smiles, all with an artist’s eye to create a fantastic wedding documentary. As to logistics, Graham was prompt with his delivery and provided the videos in a variety of options, resolution, and segments. I particularly appreciated how Graham divided up the footage into six smaller and logically-divided clips, which allowed for easy downloading and retaining on a USB Drive and for facilitated sharing.
If you are considering going with Graham King to shoot your wedding, do not hesitate. He makes booking transparent and easy, is confident and poised, and will provide you with a unique wedding video that will bring you continuing joy for the rest of your married lives.