The questions we are asked most often…
What is a DVD Keepsake??
We combine your photographs and video clips with music that we choose together to create a digital movie you can show at a party, family event, or in the comfort of your home. We bring your images to life on VHS, DVD, digital video, iPod, et al, using sophisticated software, direction from you, and our own artistry and expertise. Our DVDs will last forever, which is just about for how long you will want to play them…
Do we hire you to photograph the event?
We are experienced photographers, and we frequently take photos to fill gaps in a project, but we are not in the event photography business. If you are planning a wedding, bar or bat mitzvah, or other big event, we recommend that you hire a dedicated photographer or videographer and then have us work directly with him or her or have you send us the digital files afterward. For smaller events, we find that this is no longer essential, as so many in attendance will be taking digital photos or shooting video. Our advice in that case is simple: Take hundreds of photos; you’re bound to get a few outstanding ones, many good ones, and dozens that we can use even if they’re not perfect. We are very good at isolating and using good parts of a photo that you might otherwise reject.
Do you create movies to be shown at big events or do you create them of the events to be shown afterward?
We do both…and sometimes we can do both at the same time. Showing a professional-grade slide show for family and loved ones is usually the highlight of a big event, and we have all of the gear to assist SF Bay Area customers in that: high-performance notebook, professional-grade projector, large screen, portable loudspeakers. These are typically lifecycle videos that begin with baby photos and progress through the years, and we love creating them.
We can also commemorate an event using the photos that were taken during it. These movies have a different feel to them — usually shorter and faster paced — and serve to provide lasting memories of the event. If a toast for an event is captured on video, we can incorporate it into the movie.
In the case of a wedding or bar/bat mitzvah, in which the ceremony or service is in the morning and the celebration is later in the day, we can actually incorporate photos from the morning into the movie that we show that evening.
How much lead time do you need?
If you provide digital content, 10 to 14 days. If you supply us with prints and raw video footage, we will need an additional week to digitize. The more time you give us, the more familiar we can become with the subjects in the photos, and the more personal the final result will be. That said, we have turned movies around in 48 hours for emergency projects.
Why do you not charge per photo?
We charge extra for projects with hundreds of photos, but for most projects we do not allow ourselves to count photos. Services that do charge per photo tend to look at the project in a linear fashion: Here are the photos to use, here is the order, and here is the music — assemble, burn, deliver, collect.
That just doesn’t work for what we do. We approach your project in a much more holistic fashion, determining what mood we want to create and how best to portray that mood. For instance, there is a movie on our Portfolio page in which a silhouette of two girls at the beach gradually brightens until you can see all of their detail. It is actually eight photos blended together and it was our artistic choice to pursue the effect. There is no way we could do something like that on a per-photo basis. How about the panoroma of a resort that was stitched together from seven photos — how would we charge for that? When you contract with us, you pay us to use every creative instinct and every resource we have to create a wonderful movie, irrespective of how many hours we spend in our digital darkrooms.
Which is better, photos or video?
Fortunately, we do not have to take sides, as we can incorporate both into our projects. In general, we find that video is most useful for explaining or describing something, but photos are better for capturing imagination and evoking emotion. Still imagery, brought to life with music and subtle motion, is unparalleled for stirring the senses and therefore it becomes the stock for our soup. If we had to choose just one type of content, it would be photos. But again, we don’t have to choose, and we routinely blend both into our videos.