21 Apr 2015

Ajay & Iesha Sneak Peek

Philip Avellana, adventscape, iori, Mount wilson, The Avenue, Ajay Cruz, Iesha Sanchez, Pre Nuptial, video, cinematography, picnic
Ajay and Iesha Picnic

A few months back, I made a bold move of going to cinematography.  I don't know, I just made that decision.  I browsed the internet relentlessly to educate myself towards cinematography.  I read articles and watch videos online regarding gear and composition.  I'm particularly interested on those photographers that made the move from stills to motion.

But in the end, you just have to do it.  

I heard that one of my friend's daughter is getting wed.  The wedding will be on October 2015.  So I courageously grabbed this opportunity to capture a video of their wedding (oh dear...).  I also organised a pre-nuptial video shoot.  Since fall is coming, I organised it to be mid-April at Mount Wilson, NSW.



The Couple

Meet Ajay Cruz and Iesha Sanchez.  This amazing couple trusted me to deliver videos for them.  I wanted to do the pre nuptial video shoot.  This way, I'll know the couple and work with them before I actually do a wedding video for them.  It's like, getting to know your cinematographer & the client at the same time.




The Love Story

Everyone loves a love story.  The wedding won't be complete without a love story!  Yes, we will go to the wedding, we see them all the time and they love each other.  But how did they managed to get together?  How did they meet?  Are there struggles?

The best people that can tell a love story is the couple themselves.  To give more juice, below is Iesha & Ajay's love story:

Ajay and I met originally years before we got together.

I had only just turned 18 so my friend and I decided to go out for drinks.  While my friend and I were outside, she was approached by his cousin (his best man) and so they started talking. While I was in a relationship at that time, Ajay approached me too and we so spoke briefly.

He asked me my name and age and where I was from, he had even asked for my number which I rudely declined as I had a boyfriend, although I remember being infatuated with his smile. His smile and that moment from that night, I would never forget.

After that night, i stayed away but remembered asking about him to my friends who we had in common and left it at that.

A few years later we met again purely by chance.

We had just gotten out of long term relationships and were definitely not looking to enter a new one. Because my friends knew I had my heart broken, they put it upon themselves to attempt to ‘set me up’ with someone. I remember that for a long time I refused to meet this guy who they believed would be my ‘perfect match’. Our friends spoke very highly of us to one another and eventually curiosity kicked in. They would tell me how sweet, genuine, funny and how much of a respectable guy he was. They told him I was smart, loyal, stubborn and confident which was enough for him to wonder who this girl was.

After a few weeks, curiosity kicked in and I asked who this mystery guy was, I remember the exact moment hearing them utter his name and having flashbacks of the night we first met. I remember logging into Facebook again to reconfirm that it was the same guy from those years ago... Finally I said I was ready to meet him. I remembered his smile and his cheeky personality and remember being infatuated by him.

One night, we went out for our friend’s birthday and we finally had the chance to be reintroduced. I confidently put my hand out to shake his hand which caught him off guard. Except this time, he was shy, intimidated and quiet which led me to think he was no longer interested, which of course broke my heart.

A few weeks later, I realised that I didn’t want to give up and so I started talking to him on Facebook. We talked about everything and anything and it made it so much easier to get to know him. I found out that he wanted to join the army which concerned me but I wanted to make it work. I was relentless. I knew he was shy so I jokingly pressured him to finally ask me out on a date and surprisingly he plucked up the courage to do so. 


From our very first date we have been inseparable. He courted me for a few months before he moved in; we purchased our first car together within 2 months. He secretly bought my engagement ring at 3 months and proposed to me at 6. Now, we are set to get married just over 2 years from when he first proposed.

It's interesting that they met before by chance.  Coincidentally, they also got single at the same time.  This paved the way of them meeting each other.  But the breakup from the long relationship prepared them for each other, to know each other deeply on this new relationship they have (that led to a wedding!).



Date and Location


Since it's the start of fall, I decided to do this shoot at Mount Wilson.  Initially I was planning to have some beach shoot.  But the Call of Fall is strong, so I decided to do it where the leaves are red and yellow.

Below is a map where I marked where Mout Wilson is.  We did most of the filming at The Avenue.  In particular, between Church Lane and Waterfall Road.




I wanted to go to Breenhold gardens but it was close that time.  I wanted to show Iesha and Ajay the beauty and simplicity of this garden.  Probably some other time then.



The Filming

The start of this day is really a challenge.  Since Mount Wilson is 2 hours from our place, I need to travel early.  During autumn, Mount Wilson is a popular tourist destination place.  Thus I suggested to go very early in the morning.  I saw Mount Wilson during busy times and instead of leaves at the side of the road, it's full of cars.  They don't only destroy the natural beautiful ambiance, they also mess up the fallen leaves as their tires move.

We came at 7:30am.  I think Iesha came in a bit earlier.  Before we film, I laid all important items before them.  I want them to be easy and relax.  I assured them that the last thing they'll do is to act.  I want a natural movement that needs to be captured by my camera.

The bulk of this film was taken at The Avenue.  Good thing we're early as there are no parked cars yet.  We managed to grab films of the guitar, bike, picnic and casual conversations.  There is a carpet of fallen leaves that we used to have Iesha and Ajay lay down to each other.  There are benches that we used to give depth to the film.  

After the Avenue, we moved to Cathedral Reserved and continued to film.  But only have 30 minutes for this place.  Larry wished that we cut our time at The Avenue and spend more time at Cathedral Reserved.  But it's hard to control time as there are so many locations we could film.  I could easily spend 5 hours on one location.

I allot 30 minutes to visit a garden.  But the garden I chose, Breenhold Gardens, was close that time.  It's really a bummer since this garden has the lined up trees - an amazing video to capture!  Probably it's not meant to be, oh well...

I reviewed the footage at home.  There are so many money shots!  But these shots are only good for 1 video - the pre nuptial.  I wished I film more so that I can have enough to create a beautiful teaser video.





Final Thoughts

If you're looking for an amazing place to shoot and it's fall, Mount Wilson is the place to be.  I couldn't recommend this place enough.  I've been here every year and it always mesmerise me!  I'll definitely go back here again next year.

I need to take more shots.  I took more shots on this pre nuptial video compared to my last pre nup, but I think I still need to capture more!

I love Iesha and Ajay.  Thank you guys for being so flexible and understanding!  Thank you for giving me this great opportunity to take the video.  I hope we can film more before your actual wedding day.  



Special thanks to Larry Anda (http://www.larryanda.com.au/) for helping me in creating this video.  I hope you enjoyed this day as I did.  Thanks again!

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