Vendor Spotlight // Aaron Daniel Films
There is something so warm and genuine about Aaron that excited us here at Vineyard Bride from the hop, and once we had the chance to met him in person, all was confirmed! Aaron is a lovely soul and his films + images speak for themselves -- a true storyteller, we are excited to feature Aaron Daniel Films today!
A short description of what you do: I'm a wedding filmmaker born-and-raised out of the gritty, charming, and sometimes wholesome city of Hamilton, Ontario. I have a love for love. A passion to capture the purest of emotions. And a drive to craft your story into a fine art wedding film. It's not just your wedding that's recorded, it's your unique love story that's skillfully stitched into a film. Your love story that's shown to the world in a unique and very customized way to who you are.
How long have you been working in the wedding industry? For the past 4 years, I've been shooting events and weddings professionally, and I'm always super thankful I get to surround myself with such loving and supportive people. The witnessing of love, the words of love, the authentic curiosity and wonder of love is what touches my heart. Every single time I ask a couple how their relationship came to be, I live for their answer…their hesitant reply that always starts with a smile, an undeniable burst of emotion, and nothing but happiness.
What makes your business unique? What defines my business, production style, and personality is that I always strive for the perfect craftsmanship between the visuals of your day, the audio of you and your closest circle, and the selected cinematic background music. These three elements lay the foundation for building your film. After piecing and polishing everything together, you'll be able to look back at your wedding film in 20 years and feel as exactly overjoyed as you were on your wedding day. This means every film is distinctively unique and really highlights the two of you. So please please please get to know me so I can get to know you!
Favourite part of your business? During one of my latest pre-wedding shoots, this absolutely adorable couple asked me if shooting weddings gets old. Right away I said no. And I had to think about why that was – because it's never less than stressful running around churches, monitoring audio, directing for authentic smiles, finding the best lighting, dealing with broken hard drives, repairing equipment, agreeing on the best package, scheduling, and sometimes getting stuck in the worst traffic.
What inspires you? The biggest inspiration for me is good music. A heart wrenching, tear-jerking, eye-opening soundtrack. I know that may sound weird if I'm supposed to be a cameraman…but nope, sound and music have been part of my life longer than visuals (I've played the piano since I was 5, the saxophone since I was 12, ukulele since 17, and guitar since 19).
Regardless of genre, a good track makes a film 100 times better. There are so many musical artists that inspire my visuals. Pavarotti, Hans Zimmer, Us The Duo, Sleeping At Last, Bocelli, Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, James Bay, Kina Grannis.
This artistry inspires my art.
Who is your mentor/hero in the industry (your own industry or the Niagara wedding industry)? Ooouuff, my heroes in the wedding film industry are definitely Riccardo Fassoli of Kreativ Wedding, and Remi and Pui-Yuk of Maru Films (all located in Germany). They're different in film style, but it's how different they are from American filmmakers that stand out to me. And makes me want to move to Europe, haha.
Their aesthetic and style… the way they can get their couples to be so intimate, moody, in love, and heartfelt on camera. Let alone being able to take them to phenomenal locations!
The films by Kreativ Wedding and Maru Films are what I get my inspiration from.
On your day off...where would we find you? If I'm not seen editing with a large black coffee in Centennial Parkway's Coffee Culture, the Starbucks in the Meadowlands, or on McMaster University campus, I'm probably out somewhere for fun with my camera in my bag. I could be driving to Sherman Falls blasting some Bocelli on the speakers, walking along the Bruce Trail with The Beatles in my ears, or near Confederation Park wishing James Bay could do a pop-up show during golden hour. And if I'm not catching up on Peaky Blinders or rewatching The Godfather Part 2, the evening usually sees me tickling the ivories or attempting some Ed Sheeran on guitar.
But if the weather isn't nice, I'm still probably out somewhere. I could spend the whole day in an Indigo looking through the business or art section or in Long & McQuade attempting to play all the instruments while looking at microphones, or in Henry's/Vistek trying to justify buying new equipment.
If you weren't a wedding vendor, what would be your dream job? If I wasn't working in the wedding industry, I'd still be in the video business somehow. I used to think I wanted to do corporate videos, but I realized it isn't something I'd want to be known for. If I could stay in the video realm, I'd love to do short drama films or music videos of that type.
But if I had to move away from cinematography, and if I could comfortably make this change, I'd probably like to use my Honours Bachelor of Science in some way. Specifically, Herpetological research surrounding turtle/tortoise ecology. I graduated from the Integrated Science program at McMaster University, so a lot of the way I think and process things comes from my background in research methods.
And who doesn't like turtles?! I used to have a pet Russian tortoise and a pet leopard tortoise. That type of ecological research would be so cool to be part of. (It would most likely be studying in the states somewhere near Arizona or California though…but that would also make for some epic couple video shoots).
What are great wedding trends you seeing this year? Hmmmmm, but probably the need for videography! I can't really confirm that because I wouldn't have known about the weddings if they didn't want videography, but what I'm realizing in my own bookings and what everyone is telling me, wedding films are becoming more and more common. Which I'm really excited for!
Other than that, maybe weekday weddings?? I'm noticing myself needing to ask for Fridays off from work, haha.
Do you have any practical advice for couples planning a wedding?
Advice before the wedding:
Trust it! You can only do so much. Trust the people that are helping you, and trust that whatever happens, everyone will have an amazing time.
Advice on the wedding:
Pretend I'm not there! Don't get caught up being on camera! Your closest circle of family and friends are all with you on this day, so bask in that. Stay smiling, stay happy, and stay genuinely feeling the emotions on this day. Don't be afraid to cry.
All images captured by Aaron Daniel Films.