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Tags archives: dji phantom 2

We were recently contacted by TheDroneInfo.com requesting an interview on drone videographer. Naturally, we obliged. It was a lot of fun discussing the current state of drone videography and how we apply it in our work. The interview can be found here. You can also read it below:

Q. Daniel, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Could you tell us a bit about your business?

I officially started Matter Video in 2011 and have been doing it full time since then. We create wedding videos as well as projects for non-profits and businesses. We love telling people’s stories through a visual medium. We primarily work in the San Francisco Bay Area, but we also on projects around the world.

Q. How did you get started in using drones for your business?

In 2013 we shot a wedding in Santa Cruz with a photographer named Philip Lima. Philip happens to be one of the best drone “pilots” that I know. He brought his drone to the wedding and captured some video for me. It was the first time I saw a drone used at a wedding. I knew I had to get one. We purchased a DJI Phantom 2 and a GoPro, and used it for about a year (20+ weddings and various other projects). It completely changed the way we approached videography. It sounds cliche, but suddenly every type of shot was possible. The drone was a dolly, jib and provided perspectives we had only previously dreamed about. We sold our Phantom 2 at the beginning of the year and bought the DJI Inspire 1. The Inspire is yet another game changer. Its functionality is insane. The fact that you can completely control the video controls in the air is amazing. It is so smooth and fluid. We used it on a wedding last week and it provided some of my favorite drone footage to date. It is insane.

Q. How have your customers reacted to the use of drones?

Customers love the drone footage. I have several wedding clients who have booked us based solely on our drone footage. To be honest, only a small percentage of the footage in a given wedding video is of the aerial variety. I primarily use it for establishing shots and unique accents. I try not to overuse it. That being said, it gives our videos a unique look that our customers have raved about.

Q. Do many other videographers that you know use drones in their work today?

I wouldn’t say there are many, but there are a handful whose work I love. Philip Lima, as I previously mentioned, is one of the best drone pilots I’ve seen. Vinny Minton from Imperial Productions (Bay Area), White in Revery (Florida/Colorado), and Aqua Vivus (San Diego) are some of my favorite videographers using drones today. They push the limits on what is possible, without over-saturating their videos with aerial footage. It’s easy to go overboard, but they have great balance and creativity.

Q. Do you have any tips for others trying to use drones for photography or videography?

My 2 basic tips would be to practice a ton and don’t go overboard in the amount of drone footage you include in your projects. Because the drones (especially of the DJI variety) are essentially ready-to-fly when you buy them, it’s easy to get a false sense of confidence. It’s vital that videographers practice flying their drones in open spaces a ton before using them on projects. Learn how to fly without GPS and FPV aide. Learn how to safely follow subjects and how to pan smoothly. Practice is essential, not only for safety reasons, but to ensure that you are creating the best video content possible. When I edit, I try not to over use the drone footage. It’s easy to get carried away with sweeping landscape shots and captivating skyscapes, but I think that the cliche “less is more” is quite apt when editing. Use drone footage as a a creative accent in your videos, but focus your content of the video’s subject (a wedding couple, business, etc) rather than the cool aerial footage you captured. People value story over sweeping drone footage.

Q. How does the accessibility of drones to the average consumer affect professionals?

I think that talent and creativity will always rise to the top. That’s why practice is essential. Learn how to fly safely, while capturing content in the most creative way you can. Look at other people’s work online. Allow others to inspire you (excuse the pun). I think competition is great. I welcome it. It makes me better.


If you could choose the weather and picturesque backdrop for your wedding day, it would probably look something like the beautiful November day the Lynch’s were wed. Between the ceremony at St. Mary’s and the lovely Fall reception at Blackhawk Country Club, Chris and Tara’s wedding was near perfect. As an added bonus, having gelato and a live band at your wedding are the ideal way to keep your guests content. Shoutout to our friends at Lindsay Lauren Events for arranging the details for this great couple.

Details:
Shot/Edited: Dan Bowen
2nd shooter: Tony Santoro
Photography: Aaron Texeira baywed.com/
Event Planner: Lindsay Lauren Events (They’re the best!) lindsaylaurenevents.com/
Location: St. Mary’s College, Moraga & Blackhawk Country Club
Music (as chosen by the couple): “Feel Again” – One Republic; “Your Song” – Ellie Goulding; “Do You Love Me” – The Contours
Camera/equipment specs: Canon 5D Mark iii, Canon 7D, Canon 6D, 70-200 2.8, 50mm 1.2, Sigma 30mm 1.4, 24-105 f/4, Rhino Steadycam, DJI Phantom 2, GoPro Hero Black 3+

Aerial Videography Highlights

In the Spring of 2014, we purchased a DJI Phantom 2 and have since incorporated it into most of the videos we produce. Needless to say it has added a unique element to our wedding and corporate videos and has become a staple feature for our clients. One of the producers we often work with asked us to put together some highlights from this year.

NBC News reached out to us about using some of our drone footage for a segment they were doing on new wedding technology. They used 4 of our shots in the video above (starting at the :43 second mark). We are grateful for the national exposure. 2014 has been an awesome year.

Ford Wedding Movie


It’s difficult to imagine a more beautiful setting than the one Eric and Meghan chose for their June wedding. Surrounded by close friends and family, the couple was married by their longtime youth pastor. Needless to say, the property was the perfect landscape for sweeping aerial shots and copious amounts of ice cream. It was pretty much the perfect day.

Details:
Shot/Edited: Dan Bowen
2nd shooter: Melissa Bowen
Music (as chosen by the couple): “Sky Full of Stars” – Coldplay; “Hearts on Fire” – Passenger; “Wildfire” – John Mayer

Phototographer: Kelly Boitano www.kellyboitano.com

Camera/equipment specs: Canon 5D Mark iii, Canon 7D, Canon 60D, 70-200 2.8, 50mm 1.2, Sigma 30mm 1.4, 24-105 f/4, Rhino Steadycam, DJI Phantom 2, GoPro Hero Black 3+

McNally Wedding Movie


This wedding was a dream to shoot, for a number of reasons. Not only did Aaron and Lynsie (who are fantastic people, by the way) get married in the beautiful Carmel Valley, I was finally able to incorporate the Oakland A’s (the couple’s, and my, favorite baseball team) into a wedding video. The McNallys were married at the Carmel Valley Ranch on June 21 in front of an intimate group of their family and friends. The couple met while working at Starbucks, which is fitting because their wedding was cozier than a vanilla latte and sweeter than a mocha frappuccino.

Details:
Shot/Edited: Dan Bowen
2nd shooter: Travis Bell
Music (as chosen by the couple): “Everything” – Michael Bublé; “Can’t Help Falling in Love” – Ingrid Michaelson; “Good Life” – One Republic

Phototographer: Mike Steelman http://www.mikesteelman.com/
Venue: Carmel Valley Ranch, Carmel, CA http://www.carmelvalleyranch.com/

Camera/equipment specs: Canon 5D Mark iii, Canon 7D, Canon 60D, 70-200 2.8, Sigma 30mm 1.4, 24-105 f/4, Rhino Steadycam, DJI Phantom 2, GoPro Hero Black 3+

Loughran Wedding Movie

When you picture a UFC fighter, you probably envision a brutish fellow who is a bit stand-offish and perhaps even unfriendly. Nate, the groom, happens to be a professional fighter, but he breaks every stereotype you might have had; he’s kind, intellectual and madly in love with his new bride, Michelle. Michelle, a videographer herself, had every details of the day down to a tee, including some of the best food I’ve ever had at a wedding (food trucks!). The reggae-tinged ceremony and reception against the beautiful backdrop that Hopland provided made for a beautiful day.

Details:
Shot/Edited: Dan Bowen
2nd shooter: Travis Bell
Music (as chosen by the couple): “You and I” – JohnnySwim; “Valentine” – Kina Grannis; “No Other Love” – Common Kings

Phototographer: Taralynn Lawton taralynnlawton.com/
Venue: Contento Vineyards, Hopland, CA brutocaoschoolhouseplaza.com/contento-vineyard-site.html
Cake: Gia Snyder (friend)
Flowers: Andree Snyder (friend)
Catering: Pizza Napolitana, Fork Catering and Charlie Bruno’s Chuckwagon
Dress: Casablanca Couture
Shoes: Audrey Brooke

Camera/equipment specs: Canon 5D Mark iii, Canon 7D, Canon 60D, 70-200 2.8, Sigma 30mm 1.4, 24-105 f/4, Rhino Steadycam, DJI Phantom 2, GoPro Hero Black 3+

Failla Wedding Movie


Nick and Gina are both nurses and are among the kindest couples I have been around. In fact, if I ever get injured I hope it’s somewhere near their hospital because I have a feeling they take great care of their patients. Their May 30 ceremony at Palm Event Center was a near perfect day for this San Diego couple. It was a fun celebration of family and friends, which also featured some of the best dancers I’ve seen at a wedding in a long time.

Details:
Shot/Edited: Dan Bowen
2nd shooter: Tony Santoro
Music (as chosen by the couple): “I Choose You” – Sara Bareilles; “Use Somebody (Cover)” – Tyrone Wells; “Feel So Close” – Calvin Harris
Venue: Palm Event Center palmeventcenter.com/
Photographer: One Love Photography (we love them!) onelove-photo.com/

Camera/equipment specs: Canon 5D Mark iii, Canon 7D, Canon 60D, 70-200 2.8, Sigma 30mm 1.4, 24-105 f/4, Rhino Steadycam, DJI Phantom 2, GoPro Hero Black 3+