The Sweet Christian Bride

Featured Vendor: Nicholas Andrew Films

SCB: When did you first find yourself behind a camera?

Nick Sammons: I had a great head start growing up, because my dad ran a video production company and was interested in photography.  He never pushed it on me, but let me develop an interest by playing with his gear and taking me along on some shoots.  I think I was hooked when I sat with him in his office one afternoon while he previewed a video for a client from a non-profit.  He told their story well, and it led them to tears. It was this combination of visuals and storytelling that moved people, which got me and led to studying Film Production as my undergraduate.

SCB: Your wedding films look more like actual movies than real-time documentaries.  How do you manage to create such high quality, artistic films?

NS: Film school definitely helped with the skills of the visual and story, but there was another experience that was just as important.  A local professional wedding cinematographer took a few of us students under his wing teaching us more about editing and shooting.  This guy is the real deal—he did Chelsea Clinton’s wedding last year.  He really pushed us and helped us learn the industry and develop our own style.  Combining this with being a bit of a tech geek, I’m always on the newest cameras and techniques and trying to be a part of continuing all this progress of the past few years.

SCB: Do you have any signature shots or effects that potential clients can look forward to?

NS: The “slider” shots have become a bit of a signature you could say–it’s those smooth gliding shots in my videos, and I love using that tool.  It’s a new piece that before would’ve required a crew setting up rails on the ground and 2 or 3 people to operate it (all of which is impossible at a wedding,) but now I’m able to quickly add these shots by myself at weddings.  Other than that, I really strive for the personal and intimate.

SCB: As one with an intimate perspective on a couple’s wedding day, how do you ensure that you are a good steward of their story?  What can the bride and groom do to help you tell their story well?

NS: That’s such a good way to put it—I am entrusted with preserving their day and it’s something I’m honored to be doing.  It starts with getting to know the couple—everyone’s story is different and I love to meet and hear about each couple beforehand.  I’ve started doing “Love Story” pieces lately, telling on camera all the moments of first impressions, first dates, up to the proposal, and it’s been great to capture the up close and personal memories in this time in their relationship. 

On the day of the wedding, I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s a knack of knowing where to be in the right moment, of being focused and in the moment with them without bringing attention to me and my crew, and of letting them have intimate moments.  So, sometimes we are far away with telephoto lenses, letting the first meeting happen, capturing it but letting them have their time.  My priority is to never direct or pose, but just to be there naturally to capture it all.

SCB: What has been the most amazing destination you have ever gone to for filming a wedding?

NS: Last summer I was in Key Largo for a wedding. They rented out a small private hotel and venue and pretty much everyone was barefoot.  We shot on the dock some after the wedding and even the sunset seemed to be in no hurry.  They ate barbecue and played lots of backyard games, and sat around a fire after, I think it all fit them perfectly.

SCB: That sounds so beautiful!  And how does your faith in Christ engage with your occupation and craft?

NS: I think as Christians we are called to be excellent in all things, and so it always makes me glad when couples tell me how much they love my work.  I’d love to see a world where Christians were known for doing the best and hardest work, not because they were addicted to working or the pay but just because they didn’t know how else to function.

SCB: Have you ever had a wedding gig where God used your diligent work as an opportunity to pour blessing back on you?

NS: The “slider” I mentioned earlier—I had been wanting to try it for a wedding film and ended up just hiring the 3rd shooter myself and paying him to come shoot the Marcus + Ana film with us at no extra charge to the couple.  The wedding ended up being so unbelievably beautiful, and the shots came out great.  The video has been posted on multiple blogs and viewed thousands of times, and it is one of my top featured videos.  I can’t imagine it without those extra shots.

SCB: What passage of Scripture would you say best represents your work ethic or business model?

NS: I’d point to Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as if working for the Lord, not for men.”  I really think that no matter what we do, if we work our best and for God’s glory, He’s going to use us and keep us going.

SCB: Is there anything I haven’t asked that you would want potential clients to know about you or your business?

NS: Two things.  Once for a meeting with a couple, they invited me to a little French restaurant and we ate breakfast together, and I thought that was great.  They gave me a deposit check right there when we were all leaving, so part of me says they knew they wanted to book the whole time and just wanted to have breakfast.  I think that’s awesome and should happen more often.  Maybe I’ll tell the next couple who wants to set a meeting that I’m going to BBQ for us in my backyard and we’ll have some grilled tuna and wine.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that we can make this fun and that’s okay.  I wanted to rename my packages a few weeks ago from “Silver, Gold, Platinum” to “Legit, Too Legit, and Too Legit to Quit” but I didn’t out of fear it would turn some folks away.  Maybe I should take more risks.

The other is that I just want to stress that you’ll never regret investing in a well done wedding film.  I haven’t walked the aisle myself yet, but the thing I hear the most from couples afterwards is that the day is just a blur, and having a well-done film is invaluable for preserving it all, and completely different from pictures.  Even if you aren’t going to watch it a ton, it’s so worth it.  My grandparents celebrate their 50th anniversary this month, and someone in the family dug out and distributed an audio recording of their wedding ceremony that I didn’t even know existed.  I loved hearing their vows, and their young, innocent voices; I’ve seen pictures plenty but this was totally different—like I got the chance to be there.  So I’m just saying, you could give your grandchildren that.  Wouldn’t that be… legit?

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