New From GP FIlm & Photography

What's new. What's on my mind. Latest work.

The Witmer Group

When I learned that we would be helping a construction company with some video work I was excited.   The goal was to create a recruiting video for existing students in trade and other secondary schools. I knew it would offer lots of great opportunities for intense footage.  Then we found out it was specifically a masonry group, and I was even more amped up.  It seemed like a great mix of construction and artisan talent with some personality to it.  The Witmer Group did not disappoint.  Employees were excited about their careers, proud of what they’ve accomplished and hungry for education and training.

Working with The Witmer Group was an exciting and new experience for us.  Every day was a new construction site, technique, material or work dynamic.  Learning about the different processes was crucial to filming the sequences of action, but it was also naturally interesting to see how large scale construction still requires brick by brick physical labor.

From the office to the field, the comradery was apparent with The Witmer Group.  Everyone seemed to enjoy each others company throughout the work day, even while we interviewed them after a full day on the job they were fun and laid back.  From the interviews it was clear that people working for The Witmer Group strive to help each other learn and progress in their respective fields to help retain the standard of excellence that they subscribe to as a company.  

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SENT Festival

The SENT Festival is organized and held at First Presbyterian Church in Lancaster, PA.  It was created as an avenue for members and non members alike to discover their own paths of ministry using their unique talents and skills.  Everyone is at a different stage in their life and has different opportunities to use their gifts for good.  Some people are caring for family members, some have interests in volunteering locally, and some choose a more global approach, taking their ministry abroad.  With so many different opportunities, the SENT Festival helps participants focus and gain a better understanding of ways they can help.  It also helps connect potential volunteers to local community organizations, giving them time to meet with representatives, ask questions, and hopefully find and opportunity that excites them.

September 2016 will be the 2nd annual SENT Festival.  This video was created to help potential attendees better understand the energy and excitement by hearing from some of last years participants.

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Hiring Wedding Photographers for Films

I’ve been filming weddings alongside wedding photographers for 4 years now. Every single wedding I’ve filmed, I’ve been asked by guests to take their picture while filming.  Understandable. We dress like photographers. Our cameras look exactly the same. Here’s the big secret that no one wants to talk about…we’re completely different.  Asking me to take a picture during a wedding is still funny to me and my crew.  We giggle and snicker that people can’t tell the difference like a bunch of nerdy kids with jailbroken iPhones.  In fact, your iPhone would probably do a better job taking the drunk group selfie as I don’t have a flash attached to my camera.  Please don’t ask me why I don’t have a flash hooked up for filming, I can’t afford to laugh that loud during someone’s wedding.

The Scam

It gets worse.  I’ve noticed in the past 2 years that quite a few wedding photographers are starting to offer video services as part of their photography package.  WARNING: IT’S A SCAM!!!!!  These groups are just out to make a quick buck (or couple thousand…)  They regularly offer the packages acting as if the work is done internally and with their oversight.  It’s not.  They hire independent filmmakers like myself or my team to work the wedding.  They become a speed bump to communication and what’s worse is they expect to be compensated for overpromising services to the bride without understanding the technical details.

Real Life Nightmare

The worst case scenario happened to me this past summer.  A bride hired a husband and wife photography team out of Philadelphia for her wedding.  They touted wedding films as a service that they offered without having a single video professional on staff.

When I was approached about taking on the job, I was very clear with the photographer that there was absolutely no way to promise a full ceremony as a solo shooter.  I also explained that it was important to spend time in the morning with both the groomsmen and the bridesmaids to be able to tell the whole story.  The photographer, acting like a video professional, proceeded to promise the ceremony in it’s entirety along with a 3-5 minute highlight film and a 10-15 minute recap without understanding the technical details or number of shooters it would require.  On the day of the wedding I was appalled to see the photographer show up with a 3 person crew while leaving me in the dust as a solo shooter.  His attitude was condescending, as if I was simply his pawn, and his expectations were unrealistic if not fanatic.  I did my best to run multiple cameras along with direct audio feeds. I ran my ass off through downtown Philadelphia, dragging 3x as much equipment as the photographer with no help. We finished our night arguing with each other in the middle of the dance floor.

In the end, the bride was ecstatic with my work.  She posted the video almost immediately after receiving it and got rave reviews from her friends and family.  6 months later, my worst nightmare was brought to life.  I got an email from the Photographer complaining that the bride was in tears over my awful footage and lack of a full ceremony. That was the last straw.  I immediately found the bride’s information online and contacted her with my condolences and offered any help that I could provide.  We opened up our first direct line of communication and the web of lies that her photographer fed her started to unravel.   The photographer charged the bride more than 3x the amount they paid me to do all of the filming and editing.  She paid nearly $4000.  I got paid a mere $1000.  The photographer promised her footage that I specifically said would not be included.  The photographer made $3000 to my $1000 for doing less than nothing.  My client was now in tears.  She finally realized that she had been ripped off.


Moral of the Story

Dear Wedding Photographers,

Stop trying to be something you’re not.  Stop telling clients that you make films. Stop promising services you don’t fully understand.  Stop upcharging our services for a quick buck.  Stop putting brides in tears. We don’t want your job, stop trying to steal ours.

Dear Brides and Grooms,

It’s not your fault.  You’ve been tricked and lied to.  Instead of asking photographers to be filmmakers, ask them for referrals.  They work alongside us all the time, and they know who does good work and who doesn’t.  Be sure to get at least 2 companies that they have worked with to be sure they aren’t scoring kickbacks as motivation for referrals.  Don’t try to hire your event planner to be your florist, your officiant to be your DJ, or your photographer to be a filmmaker.



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Lindsay + Graham

Lindsay and Graham called upon us last minute to capture their December ceremony at the General Sutter Inn.  The reason I say ceremony instead of wedding is they plan on hosting a reception in April.  The ceremony itself was a very small, intimate gathering of family and close friends.  This video was important to them for the sake of sharing the ceremony with a much larger group of guests at the reception in April.  Graham also happened to be the first groom that we’ve worked with to be so anxious to kiss his new bride that he almost jumped the gun!  Best wishes to Lindsay and Graham on their worldly adventures!

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Extraordinary Give 2015

The Extraordinary Give 2015  raised over $6 million for local nonprofits in just 24 hours of online giving.  That tops an already astounding $4.4 million in 2014 and $3.2 million in 2013!  We couldn’t be more proud to be part of such a charitable community here in Lancaster, PA.  Our mission for the day was to follow the Give Mobile for the day, starting just before sunrise at the Lancaster Amtrak Train Station.  Despite the early timing and the freezing temperatures, the group was upbeat and greeting morning commuters.   The truck proceeded to a number of stops throughout the day across Lancaster County.  By the time it arrived back downtown at its final destination in front of Lancaster Central Market the town was abuzz with philanthropy.  The lounge of the Lancaster Marriott was transformed by Atomic Design to host the event for the final 6 hours leading up to the midnight deadline. For a better look, enjoy the recap video below!

This project was a collaboration between Opus Films, Lamphouse Films, and GP Film & Photography.  Thank you to the Lancaster County Community Foundation for including us in this very special event year after year!

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Monica and Pat Wedding Film

I was brought on by a photographer in the Philadelphia area to help Monica and Pat O’Brien remember their special day via wedding film. The bridesmaids and bride’s parents were the first group I got introduced to. The ceremony was at St. Bernadette Church,  a mere 3 blocks away from the house the Monica grew up in.  The bridesmaids  got ready at the Monica’s parents house before we met up with any of the groomsmen at the church. You could tell  the couple was full of energy and excited for their big day.  The church was magnificent, as you will see from some aerial footage.  They had a traditional ceremony, but the photo session in downtown Philadelphia was anything but.  Monica even showed off her athletic skills, executing a perfect split for a group photo while atop a set of marble stairs. The group then converged on The Ballroom at the Ben for cocktail hour and the reception.  This was my first time filming at the venue and it certainly lived up to it’s reputation as a first class facility.


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Great Social Enterprise Pitch

The Great Social Enterprise Pitch is a collaboration between Assets Lancaster and the Lancaster County Community Foundation.  The event facilitated the creation of 10 business ideas from local thinkers, entrepreneurs, and leaders that were designed to be sustainable, profitable, and address a social need to improve our community. With more than $42,000 raised from 700+ donations during the crowdfunding phase of the competition, the 2015 Great Social Enterprise Pitch brought together hundreds of people from all sectors of the community for the purpose of promoting businesses that operate with a triple bottom line of People, Planet, and Profit, making it the biggest Pitch yet! We can’t wait for next year!

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Jason & Ashley

I had the pleasure of helping my dear friends Ashley and Jason remember their special day. Family and friends ate, sang, and danced the night away at Landis Valley Museum to celebrate their union. A typical wedding crew consists of at least 3 shooters, and I have worked with crews of up to 9 people for a single wedding. This is the first (and hopefully last) wedding I’ve ever done solo. One man shoot, one man edit.

Mumford & Sons – Lover of The Light

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Let’s Rock Cancer Recap

Let’s Rock Cancer Recap

The “Let’s Rock Cancer” event was held at the Pressroom Restaurant on April 21st as part of Stacey Steffe’s bid for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society (LLS) Man and Woman of the Year contest. 5 men and 5 women from Lancaster, PA were chosen to participate in the 10 week fundraising contest. Each participant utilized their own unique resources to hold events, host fundraisers, guest bartend, and ask for donations to LLS.

Congratulations to Stacey Steffes and her incredible team at Envy Studio on raising over $20,000 at this single event!


Leukemia Lymphoma Society

Envy Studio

The Pressroom

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Women In Business

The Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Women In Business Mentoring Program pairs up young ladies from local high schools with prominent women from the local business scene. They attend shadowing days, a fashion show, and the annual business expo for the LCCI during their year of participation.

Hear what some of the participants, their mentors, and school affiliates had to say about the Women In Business Mentoring Program!

Learn more about the Chamber!

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