Tags archives: travel

We had so much fun in Barcelona (as you can see from the above video). Check out our family travel tips below, and read a bit about our trip. Check out some pics on our Instagram (@mattervideo) – www.instagram.com/mattervideo

In February we checked out Google flights and searched for the cheapest international nonstop flights from Oakland. Turns out Norwegian offers some amazing deals to Europe, so we booked 5 tickets to Barcelona. We spent a week eating our way through the Gothic Quarter and exploring the beautiful cityscape. We brought our 11, 9 and 4 year old and were also joined by our in-laws (parents, plus our brother and sister-in-law). If you are heading to Barcelona (solo or with your family), here are some things we would recommend:

Where to stay: Enjoy BCN – this property manager acted as a host and concierge(they arranged our transportation and helped us get football tickets). They were incredibly helpful and our apartment was amazing for 7+ people. They were super responsive to our emails and phone calls. We highly recommend them!

What to do: Go to a soccer/footbal/fútbol game. The FC Barcelona/Atl. Madrid match we saw (see video) will definitely go down as one of our favorite sports experiences ever. We paid around 185€ a ticket, and even though our seats were in the top deck we had an amazing view of the game. Plus, we got to see Messi (the goat) score a goal! Walk around a bunch. See the sites and be spontaneous.

Where to eat: Below is a list of some our favorite restaurants.

  • Arcano – Amazing steak
  • Tucco Real Food – Great Italian…you’re pretty close to Italy, once you’re there.
  • Demaisé – Cinnamon rolls. So many amazing cinnamon rolls. Maybe our favorite place we found
  • Mag by El Magnifico – Amazing coffee. Check this place out. Also, Nomad is worth checking out if you like hipster coffee.
  • Restaurante Somorrostro – Amazing paella and a really fun space. Must visit place, if you’re looking for seafood near Barceloneta.
  • Dux Bar – Incredible cocktails and housemade gin. One of the coolest bars I’ve ever been to.
  • Polo Loco – amazing popsicles (try the piña colada…not for kids)
  • Milk Bar – GO HERE FOR BREAKFAST! It opens at 9am and there’s usually a line. Order the Mediterranean toast.
  • Tapeo – Amazing spot for tapas (not super kid friendly).
  • Xurreria Laietana – fresh churros and chocolate made daily. Amazing place. Get there in the morning.

Tips: We made a list below.

  • Use Yelp. We Yelped every restaurant and ate at the top rated places in our vicinity for each meal. It didn’t let us down.
  • Don’t rent a car. The city is very walkable and public transit is super easy (even with kids). We did one of those super touristy on-and-off bus passes and use the metro for the football match.
  • Spanish is helpful (though they speak Catalan), but you can get by easily with only English.
  • Stay in the Gothic Quarter or the Born district. There’s nothing like it.

Refilwe Community Project

In November of 2016, I got to go to South Africa (for 2 days…talk about a whirlwind trip) to film for an amazing nonprofit called Refilwe Community Project. Located ~40km from Johannesburg, Refilwe works with orphans, families, women and children to provide education, meals, and housing.

The first video we created was to promote the orphanage at Refilwe. The nonprofit relies solely on donor funding, which makes promotion and eduction so important.

The second video we created (below) was filmed in the neighboring Joe Slovo community. Close to 1500 people live in Joe Slovo, an informal settlement, and poverty runs rampant. Refilwe is working to provide a better life for their neighbors through education and empowerment. We spent a day with a family in Joe Slovo, in an effort to tell their story.

Refilwe, South Africa


We had the opportunity to go to South Africa this week to film for the amazing people at Refilwe Community Project. We will be putting together 3 short videos for them to promote the amazing work they are doing with the orphans, children and families of Johannesburg. Check out their site (link above) and stay tuned for more.


Amanda, a Bay Area resident, grew up going to McCall with her family. Naturally, the lake is close to her heart and was a fitting location to marry the love of her life, Anish. Anish and Amanda’s destination wedding was about as pretty and elegant as it gets. If you are looking for a place to get married, your search should begin and end at the Shore Lodge in McCall. We had some fun with smoke grenades, stars, Indian dancing, and of course, the lake. The Bhasin’s are pretty much the best and their wedding is among our favorites we’ve filmed.

Details:
Filmed/Edited: Dan Bowen
2nd cinematographer: Tony Santoro
Wedding Planner: Soiree Weddings & Events http://www.weddingsbysoiree.com/
Photographer: Frannie, Ampersand Studios http://www.ampersand-studios.com/
Venue: Shore Lodge – McCall, Idaho http://shorelodge.com/
Music: “Love Her So” – Benjamin Dunn; “Lucky Stars” – Kayjez (Licensed through Music Bed)
Camera/equipment specs: Canon C100 Mark ii (2), Canon a6300, Sony A7S, 70-200 2.8, 50mm 1.2, 16-35 2.8, 24-105 f/4, Sigma 85mm, Sigma 50mm, Sigma 35mm, Letus Helix Jr, Rode Smartlav, Sony a6300, GoPro, DJI Inspire 1


In terms of the weddings we have shot in 2015, this one is pretty unique. You see, the groom (Tyler) happens to be my wife’s little brother and I have known him since he was 5 years old. I’ve watched him grow up and had a front-row seat as Tyler and Brittany began dating and moved toward marriage. Technically, as a groomsmen, I also had a pretty good vantage point at their wedding as well. It is always fun putting someone’s wedding video together, but there is something extra special when you know all of the guests at the wedding, your kids are the flower girl and ring bearer, and the bride and groom are family. October 24 will always stand out as a special day for our family and I hope that this video will help commemorate such an amazing event.

Details:
1st Shooter: Travis Bell
2nd Shooter/Editor: Dan Bowen
DJ – DJ-X https://twitter.com/michael_djx
Musician/Emcee – Lee Koch http://leekochmusic.com/
Flowers: The Bloom Bar Co. www.thebloombarco.com
Photographer – Nicole Renee Koch http://nicolereneekoch.com/
Location: Crooked Vine, Livermore http://www.crookedvine.com/
Music: “Generator ^ First Floor” – Freelance Whales; “Life In Color” – One Republic
Camera/equipment specs: Canon C100 Mark II, Canon C100 Mark I, Canon 5D Mark III, Sony A7S, 70-200 2.8, 50mm 1.2, 16-35 2.8, 24-105 f/4, Nebula 4000, Rhino 48″ Pro Slider, Rode Smartlav


There’s something pretty magical about St. Mary’s. Whether it’s the location at the base of the Moraga hills, which always seem to have these perfectly fluffy clouds resting on them or the gorgeous architecture of the campus’ church building, this place is pretty much the best. Brent and Gina (a St. Mary’s grad), picked a perfect October day to tie the knot among a festival gathering of family and friends. Gina let us know that her guests would be ready to dance at the reception and she was correct. It was a party.

Details:
Shot/Edited: Dan Bowen
2nd shooter: Grant Woodburn
DJ – http://djmikeparent.com/
Photographer – Elliott Rosette http://rossettiphotography.com/
Location: St. Mary’s College, Moraga
Music: “Life is Beautiful” – The Afters; “You Lift Me Up” – Mikey Wax (Licensed through www.songfreedom.com)
Camera/equipment specs: Canon C100 Mark II, Canon C100 Mark I, Canon 5D Mark III, Sony A7S, 70-200 2.8, 50mm 1.2, 16-35 2.8, 24-105 f/4, Nebula 4000, Rhino 48″ Pro Slider, Rode Smartlav


You know those weddings that you see in the movies? The ones where the bride dresses like a princess, wears glass slippers, and arrives at her ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage? You know those fairytale movies where the couple gets married on the cliffs overlooking the ocean? Turns out, this happens in real life as well. On October 4, David and Sandy made their love official in front of friends and family at the beautiful Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay. It was a day steeped in tradition and rich in love. It was also pretty dang pretty.

Details:
Shot/Edited: Dan Bowen
2nd shooter: Tony Santoro
3rd shooter: Johnny Lee
Photographer: Jay Hsiang jay-studio.com/
DJ – DJ Chris Webb californiadiscjockey.com/
Coordinator: Tami Corday
Carriage Rental: vintagecarriage.com/contact/
Location: Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/HalfMoonBay/Default.htm
Music: “Best Part of Me” – Landon Austin; “Tonight” – Secret Nation (Licensed through musicbed.com)
Camera/equipment specs: Canon C100 Mark ii, Canon 5D Mark iii, Sony A7S, Canon 6D, 70-200 2.8, 50mm 1.2, 16-35 2.8, 24-105 f/4, Nebula 4000, Rhino 42″ EVO Pro Slider, Rode Smartlav


John and Mesalina are in love. Like really in love. Their love began long distance, but neither oceans nor thousands of air miles could keep them apart. On a lovely September day in Northern California, the Barbuto’s shared their vows. The festivities were a fun blend of Australian and American sensibilities against the beautiful backdrop the Blackhawk Auto Museum provided.

Details:
Shot/Edited: Dan Bowen
2nd shooter: Tony Santoro
Photographer: Stefan Stifter stefanphotos.com
DJ – DJ Jon Carino mixcrate.com/djjoncarino
Reception Location: Blackhawk Auto Museum blackhawkmuseum.org/
Music: “All This Time” – One Republic; “Without You” – Ben Rector (Licensed through songfreedom.com and musicbed.com)
Camera/equipment specs: Canon C100 Mark ii, Canon 5D Mark iii, Sony A7S, Canon 6D, 70-200 2.8, 50mm 1.2, 16-35 2.8, 24-105 f/4, Nebula 4000, Rhino 42″ EVO Pro Slider, Rode Smartlav


Livermore Valley’s wine country is really underrated, when it comes to wedding locales. Luckily the Wierdas know about the East Bay’s best kept secret and made Martinelli Event Center their location of choice for their September 19 nuptials. Andy and Stefanie enjoyed the beautiful scenery among family and friends on this warm later summer afternoon. From the lovely outdoor ceremony to dancing in the courtyard under the stars, their wedding was one to remember.

Details:
Shot/Edited: Dan Bowen
2nd shooter: Adam Hillyer
Photographer: Brooke and Bryn Photography http://brookeandbryn.com/
Location: Martinelli Event Center http://www.garrewinery.com/martinelli_event_center.html
Music: “Running Around In My Dreams” – Tyrone Wells (Licensed through www.songfreedom.com)
Camera/equipment specs: Canon C100 Mark ii, Canon 5D Mark iii, Sony A7S, Canon 6D, 70-200 2.8, 50mm 1.2, 16-35 2.8, 24-105 f/4, Nebula 4000, Rhino 48″ Pro Slider, Rode Smartlav


The only thing more unpredictable than the weather is love. Luckily for the Evans, their love was solid and apparent on an unseasonably stormy September day in Glen Allen. At one point during the ceremony, things got so windy that all the couple could do was take a moment and have a good laugh (along with their audience). Amidst the blowing leaves and occasional drizzle, Justin and Jessica had a lovely wedding in the beautiful Napa Valley. We have filmed at many wineries, but BR Cohn definitely stands out among the rest. The place is beautiful. We’re certain that the Evans’ love will remain consistent, despite life’s many unpredictable elements.

Details:
Shot/Edited: Dan Bowen
2nd shooter: Tony Santoro
Photographer: Kevin Mora http://kpmora.com/index2.php#!/HOME
Event Planner: Ooh La La Events http://www.oohlalaweddings.com/
Location: BR Cohn Winery brcohn.com/
Music: “The First Time” – Michael Castro; “Until You” – Dave Barnes (All songs licensed through musicbed.com)
Camera/equipment specs: Canon C100 Mark ii, Canon 5D Mark iii, Sony A7S, Canon 6D, 70-200 2.8, 50mm 1.2, 16-35 2.8, 24-105 f/4, Nebula 4000, Rhino 42″ EVO Pro Slider, Rode Smartlav