Jackie & Mike | Small Ceremony In Boston

A little over a month ago I got a Facebook message from someone I met back in high school. She was getting married; having a small ceremony for their close family in Boston and she was looking for a photographer. It was not your typical 8 hour wedding day, but I was available and I happily agreed to do it. It took place at the Old City Hall in Boston, which is now Ruth Chris’ Steak House. The outside is awesome and makes for a great spot for photos.

We took some right out front of the steps as you see above, and we took some in this smaller area off to the side as well. It was pretty cold out as it was February 23rd, but Jackie and Mike were troopers.

Jackie & Mike braved the cold for almost an hour, props to them honestly.

Funny story about this photo right above here; I didn’t think I was going to like it when I took it. The light coming from outside was obviously daylight and the light inside was very yellow, but I ended up really liking it in black and white. Anyway, once we did the family photos and their portraits outside, we went inside for a few more family photos and for the ceremony.

That’s all! I hope you enjoyed this set and this article, let me know what you thought.

If you or someone you know is searching for a wedding photographer or videographer, have them reach out, I’d be happy to talk.

My email is mike@mikeneilan.com and my work is all over my website.

Thank you.

Wedding Videos: What Happens After The Wedding

A wedding video can be 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 8 minutes, 10, 20, 60, 120. You might get 1 videographer, you might get 2. Some companies even offer 3 videographers. You might need 6 hours of coverage, you might want 8, maybe 10? Some couples even just want 4 hours. You get the point; a wedding video can really vary depending where you go.

One thing you might not completely think of is just how much time is spent after the wedding to make your video. Whether it’s a short 5 minute video or a long 60 minute video, there’s a lot of work that happens behind the scenes to make your video come out the way it is. Here are a few samples.

I’ll spoil this article and tell you how many hours it takes now. Nah, maybe not. Keep reading.

So after the wedding is over, the first thing I do when I get home is take the memory cards and back up all the footage to a hard drive at my desk. All the videos, the audio, everything. Depending on how long the wedding day was and how much we shot, this takes about an hour. That night I might even back it up to a 2nd hard drive so I have it in two places. If I do that, it’s another half hour. Other times I’ll back it up again the next day instead of that night. Point is, I want to make sure all the media is safe and on my hard drives so I can clear my memory cards and have it stored properly. Now it’s ready to edit.

The next thing I do is sort through all the video. Every clip we shot gets looked at, every single one. We are usually at a wedding about 8-9 hours. Now, we aren’t recording every second of the day but we are shooting a lot, and we have multiple cameras, so there is a lot to go through. I go through all of it and pull out the best pieces of every clip. Some clips have nothing I see that I want to use, some have 3 or 4 good parts, it all varies. This process takes about 10-12 hours. Now I have gone through all the clips, found the best pieces and I know what I like. The next part is putting the ceremony and reception together.

We usually shoot the ceremony with 3 cameras, sometimes 4. We also have audio from wireless mics. This needs to get synchronized so we can easily switch between camera angles when we want, and see the ceremony all put together with each camera angle. Depending on how long the ceremony was and how many cameras we used, this takes an hour or two. Then there’s the reception. Now we don’t record the entire reception but we have the introductions, the formal dances, and the toasts that need to be synced up. Similar process to the ceremony so this takes another hour or two to organize that and get it put together. Now we’re at about 12-16 hours.

Now the footage is sorted through, ceremony and reception are organized. Time to find music! No joke, sometimes this takes me 30 seconds, sometimes it takes me 2 hours. I might find the song that sounds right the second I start looking, and I’ve also had times where I played through songs for almost 2 hours and didn’t find the right one. It’s one of the most important pieces.

Next up, edit the video! Now it’s time to take that music, and put some video over it. What I’ll do is listen through the vows and the toasts for the best pieces and I pull those aside so I know what I want to use. That takes about and hour or two. Then I start putting clips over the music, and I mostly go in order of the day. I’ll put in some clips of the bride getting ready, her bridesmaids, getting hair done, makeup, etc. Then I go through and put in pieces of the toasts and vows that match and make the most sense to me. I might show the actual footage from the ceremony or the reception of them speaking or I may keep it on them getting ready. Then I do the same thing for the groom. The way I edited my videos is basically two halves; I show the bride and groom getting ready, go into their first look if they have one, then to their ceremony, and that’s the first half. If you’ve never seen my videos, it might seem like the video is over at the end of the ceremony. But it’s just a short 2 second pause and then I go into the 2nd half of the video.

The 2nd half of the video is the reception; so I show some footage of decorations, the cake, the venue, then the introductions of the wedding party, and then the bride and groom getting introduced. Then some clips of them dancing, then their parent dances, the cake cutting, and then the video is finished off with a 2-3 minute montage of people dancing and having a blast at the reception. This whole part takes about 10 hours. Now the video is edited from start to finish.

Last but not least, similar to the icing on a cake, I do the color correction. Throughout the day of the wedding we are changing settings from indoor to outdoor, changing lighting settings, etc. So the footage might look off in color, or be dark in some areas, too light in other shots, things like that. Color correction is where that all gets fixed. We brighten up things that are too dark, tone down areas that are too bright, and fix colors that are just not set right. For a 5-10 minute highlight video, this takes about 1.5 hours. For a 20-40 minute video it takes close to 2-3 hours. Now the video is done! About 25-28 hours later, the video is ready to send to the couple.

(If I’m doing a longer video in addition to the highlight, it’s another 6-8 hours of editing. This is the time of adding more ceremony footage, removing certain parts and adding more in other areas, adding more to the reception.)

It’s quite the process. When I first started doing wedding videos, it actually took me 35-40 hours to edit the video. That’s a whole work week for most people, pretty crazy. But after many times of doing it, figuring out better ways to do things, getting more efficient, I got to where I am now.

I hope you enjoyed this article. This is a craft we as wedding videographers take our time to perfect and we really put our heart into it. At least speaking for myself, it’s something we do because we love it. Getting the reaction emails of “OMG this is amazing I cried! Thank you so much!” or “Thank you so much Mike, we are truly grateful we had you capture our day this is more than we could ask for” is something that really means a lot to me. It makes it all worth it and it truly brings me joy. I actually did a screen recording and voice over of me editing a wedding video once, if you would like to see it, go here. If you have any questions for me or if you are looking for a wedding videographer, reach out to me at mike@mikeneilan.com and check out my work on my wedding video section.

Thank you for reading.

A Weekend In Bangor, ME

In early January, Monica and I took a long weekend trip up to Bangor, ME. I hate the cold weather so you may be wondering why we went to an even colder location during Winter? I don’t know. But we have fun going on weekend trips to different places and my best friend Marty had recently painted the inside of a brewery in the town over from Bangor, Orono.

So we went up on a Thursday and stayed until Sunday and we had a blast. They have a casino in Bangor called The Hollywood Casino Hotel. We went there after we got there Thursday night. We gambled for a bit and then made our way to a nearby bar called “Seasons Lounge and Grill” where we had a few drinks and some food. Say what you want about chicken fingers but their chicken finger and fry basket was killer. After a few drinks we called an Uber and went back to our hotel. Oh funny story about Uber up there. We went during college vacation (unplanned) and all the bars and restaurants were dead all weekend. This area is filled with college kids so it’s super quiet otherwise. Anyway, the Uber who brought us to the Casino earlier in the night was the same guy who picked us up later.

The next morning we went to a breakfast place called ‘Governor’s Breakfast.’

This place was great; a real classic diner feel. The service was very friendly, food was delicious, and prices were reasonable. After this, we explored Downtown Bangor and did some window shopping.

Downtown Bangor was pretty cool. Definitely an old town vibe with small thrift stores and antique shops, but a nice change from a city like Providence where we live now.

We even bought some wine in this antique shop that was made right in Maine. The wine was made by Savage Oakes and it’s called Ruffed Grouse, actually a very good wine.

We kept walking around the town and I shot a few photos of different areas and the sunset from our parking garage.

Later on, we went to a few breweries, one being Sea Dog Brewing Company which was great. They have a ton of beer that can accommodate anyone’s beer preference. That night we went to dinner at Woodman’s Bar & Grill in Orono. The owners of that restaurant also own Orono Brewing Company, where my friend Marty painted the inside. Woodman’s had some amazing food. We highly recommend it. We had pulled chicken egg rolls as an app, Monica had the buffalo chicken salad and I had the Patty melt burger. All delicious. After dinner we went to Orono Brewing Company in Orono, ME. Here’s what the inside looks like.

Marty did an incredible job painting the inside; I highly recommend following him on Instagram, as well as Orono Brewing Company.

The next morning we got coffee at this tiny diner, like real tiny. They didn’t have different flavors of coffee, no lattes, no espresso, just hot or iced coffee, black or with cream. It was very old school. Bangor has a small mall, for those of you that have never been, think like a smaller version of Warwick Mall or Walpole Mall in Mass. Small and very quiet. Then we got lunch at this bomb mexican place. It was called Las Palapas and it was right by the mall, super good food, huge portions, and great service.

I had never been to a trampoline park so we went to one of those, I felt like a 10 yr. old kid again. We bounced around for about an hour and then went back to the hotel. I haven’t used that much energy in a long time so I slept great that night.

But anyway, that night we went to dinner at this place called Blaze in downtown Bangor. We had some chicken wings for an app and these wings were probably the best chicken wings I’ve ever had.

Blaze is known for it’s wood-fired pizza so we of course tried the pizza. We got this one with ham and bacon and sausage I believe? And arugula. I forget the name but it was super super good.

We finished it off there with one of the adult milkshakes which was delicious.

We went to a few different bars after this and had a great time. What was great was everything is very cheap up there, so at one bar we each had 1 or 2 drinks and we each had 2 shots, so about 4 drinks and 4 shots, and the total was $48 I think, which down here would have been much more expensive. The next bar we went to was $18 for 2 shots, a beer, and a cocktail, unbelievable.

All in all, it was cold but it was a great time. If you’ve never been to Bangor and you like exploring and seeing new places, it might be worth your weekend. It’s a long drive, about 4 and a half hours from Providence, but it was a fun time. I don’t think I could entertain myself for a week but a 3 day weekend was just enough time to see what we wanted and not get bored.

Hope you enjoyed this article! If so, leave a comment and pass it along. Thanks for reading.


What's On My Home Screen?

Hey friends. I thought this might be a cool post, hopefully you do too. I’m going to show you what my home screen on my phone looks like and go through some of the most important apps I use. Hopefully this could help show you some apps that might help you!

So first off, here’s my home screen.

2019-01-27 12.17.56.png

So I have an iPhone X 64GB in Space Gray and it’s great, it does everything I need and I’m a big fan of it. I wish the battery life was just a little better but I do use my phone a lot so I can’t complain.

Most of these apps you probably all recognize; LinkedIn, Facebook, instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Google Maps, Waze, Uber.


I keep most/all of my social media on my home page because I use them a lot. I run a company, Focus Forward Media with a partner and we do video production, photography, and social media for companies. So I am managing our Instagram, our Twitter, our Facebook, as well as my own and some of our clients.

LinkedIn I keep up front because I’m trying to be more active there, I think of it as the Facebook of Business. It can be an effective way to interact with people you might want to do business with or see business news/headlines, connect with new people, etc.

Dropbox I keep up front because it’s how I get social media content to my phone. If I create a graphic I put it into Dropbox from my Mac and then take it from the Dropbox app on my phone. It’s where I put my photos too. Super helpful.

Nuzzel - Nuzzel is a news app I really like. It can log in to your Twitter or FB and it pulls headlines from top news sites, headlines from big accounts you follow and links to articles you might be interested in. From Nuzzel you can then share the article right to your Twitter or Facebook without leaving the app. It’s a great source in finding news so I’m a big fan of it.


The email app I’m using at the moment is ‘Email - Edison Mail’ I’m very picky with my email app. I use to use the Gmail App, and then switched to the iOS mail app. I liked the gmail app but it got to be too much for me and I wanted something simpler; hence going to the iOS mail app. It was very clean, very basic, and sort of text based in my opinion, which I liked. But after a while, especially after iOS 12, there came to be bugs with the notifications. For example, I would get a notification 10 minutes after I got an email even though that account was set to ‘push’ notifications. Another thing that annoyed me was I would get a notification for an email, I would swipe to open that email, but the email app would open in another account inbox. Then I’d have to navigate to that inbox for that email. So I did some research and found the Edison Email App. It’s actually very similar in look to the iOS mail app; it’s very clean and simple. It’s a bit more organized, faster, and the notifications work great. If you’re looking for a new email app I would recommend it! It can organize your emails into travel, packages (for deliveries), bills and receipts, subscriptions, entertainment, and security. It’s pretty sweet.


Sometimes I’ll do a quick edit of a photo on my phone and the Lightroom mobile app is awesome. It has all the tools you need to edit on the go and more. If you’re a photographer and like to edit while traveling, it’s a great app and if you have an Adobe subscription, you can get it very easy.


Foursquare is a cool app that can help you find places to eat and things to do in your area. I keep it to occasionally look for a new restaurant or bar, or to write reviews myself. If you like to review places, it’s a cool app because it can keep track of where you’re going and will prompt you to review places you’ve been. With every review you get points, levels, etc. it’s cool, check it out.


My GPS choice varies. I use to use Waze almost all the time, but often times now when I open it there’s bugs or it takes forever to load, or it says it can’t find the place I’m looking for/there’s no connection when I have no problem with service. So I’ve been using Google Maps more lately. I still use Waze sometimes but not as often. What’s your GPS of choice? I have almost never used Apple Maps because I hear it’s terrible but if any of you use it or love it, let me know, would love to hear your thoughts.


Lastly, my mobile browser choice is Google Chrome as opposed to Safari. I’m curious to hear your thoughts, leave a comment here or shoot me an email on why you use one or the other (mike@mikeneilan.com). I don’t have anything against Safari actually, i just prefer Chrome and have been using it on desktop forever so naturally I use it on my phone. Any benefits to Safari over Chrome? Or vice versa? Let me know.


What’s on your home screen? Did this post help you find some new apps or make you think about your apps? Let me know. If you have any questions for me, my email is mike@mikeneilan.com

If you or someone you know is looking for a portrait photographer or is looking for wedding video/photo, send them my way, I’d be happy to talk with them.

Thanks for reading, have a great day.


Two Thousand Eighteen.

Well, I must say, 2018 was an incredible year. I started a new business with a partner called Focus Forward Media, where we focus on video production and advertising for businesses, I moved into Providence, and I shot a lot more weddings than I did in 2017. I also did a lot more photography for weddings than previous years and I really enjoyed that. I shot many weddings with Wendy Hewes out of Rhode Island and I got to really expand my portfolio and continue shooting more than I had in the past, which was awesome. Side note; if you are looking for a wedding photographer and I don’t seem to be your fit, check out Wendy’s work at WendyHewes.com, my company designed her website and we did some social media for her as well.

In 2018 I shot at various venues in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Maine. It was awesome getting to see new locations and experiment with places I’ve never been before, and of course with new faces!

To wrap this up, I want to share this video I put together. This is a highlight of all the wedding videos I did in 2018, I hope you enjoy it!

If you did, pass it on and leave a comment. Feedback is always appreciated.

If you or someone you know is getting married, or in need of a new headshot or portraits for their brand/social media, please feel free to reach out at mike@mikeneilan.com and view more of my work here on my website.

Thank you.

Why Do I Need a Wedding Video?

I can only imagine how much goes into planning a wedding; booking venue(s), finding a dress, picking a cake, finding people to do hair & makeup, maybe a hotel to stay in, finding a florist, getting a caterer, picking a DJ, a photographer, and much more. But you forgot one thing, a video!

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 8.53.09 PM.png

Sure you have a photographer and those pictures will be awesome and you'll laugh and cry looking at them in 10 years, but remember how hard your brother or sister or best friend laughed during their speech? You MIGHT be able to remember it in your head. Or did you see how your husband or wife cried reading your card when they got ready? If you didn't have a second photographer shooting that, then you won't ever see that. Could you see how nervous they were as they got ready for the ceremony? Most likely not. There will be A LOT going on during your wedding and the day is going to fly by.

Pictures can be awesome, like I said, but a video is really something else. You can hear your vows again, hear them say I do, hear those toasts again and hear the emotion in them. You can watch your first kiss as many times as you want, you can see how he or she was tearing up while walking down the aisle, or that moment when your mom or dad first sees you dressed up. You can basically re-live your whole day; all the laughter, the smiles, the tears, the dances, the happiness, all of it. Why would you choose not to? It's one day, and you can almost re live it, so why not?

Of course, the answer often times can be the cost. Weddings are extremely expensive and I think any vendor can understand that. I sure do. It's not pocket change, that's for sure. However, don't lose hope or give up so quick! Maybe you or your spouse can work a few extra hours next week, maybe there's something else you can cut back on slightly. Also, don't be afraid to ask your videographer if they offer payment plans! I do, and I know many others do too. It can definitely help make it easier for you so it's not a big expense right up front. 

One common way people avoid hiring a professional is having their Uncle John take video throughout the day. Well the problem there is that Uncle John is also busy enjoying the wedding, seeing friends and family, and at the reception he wants to have fun. It's hard to be present as a family member while trying to get nice video too. Another way is buying a GoPro or two and passing it off to people throughout the day. The problem with GoPro's is that you're only getting one field of view, the 'fisheye' look. It's far away and doesn't look great for the whole day. And maybe Uncle John passed it to Aunt Deb for the ceremony and she forgot to hit record. A true professional has multiple cameras and lenses to give you the best look they can, and they will certainly hit record, let them handle it and you will be so happy you did!

Disclaimer - Uncle John and Aunt Deb are not real people, but their stories have happened to real people. Don't let Uncle John and Aunt Deb film your wedding, let them have fun. Hire a professional and they will take care of it. 

If you have any questions about what to expect from a videographer, or would like to talk to me about your wedding, please don't hesitate to reach out, I'm happy to help! Fill out a contact form or email me directly at info@neilanvideos.com. And check out my wedding videos HERE!

Thank you for reading :) 


If you are in the Film/Video/TV industry, or even if you aren't, you might be familiar with the NAB Show. NAB standing for the National Association of Broadcasters. Every year they have a show in New York City and in Las Vegas. 

I was lucky enough to get free tickets to the show through a website that I'm a member of. I brought my friend and colleague Mike along, and we had an amazing experience.

What is the NAB show you might ask? It is a show put on by the association where hundreds of companies such as Sony, Panasonic, Canon, G-Technology, Avid, and many more set up booths showing current and new products, technology, software, etc. Along with that, there are classes, info sessions, keynotes, and meet ups throughout the two days covering various aspects and topics of production. Some of the topics include live streaming, social media, commercial production, news and TV production, lighting, audio production, and much more. Thousands of professionals from the industry come from all over the country and connect with other professionals, learn from these classes and sessions, and enjoy New York City of course!

Mike and I attended about 10-12 sessions between the two days and we learned some incredible information from leading professionals, saw some amazing technology, met some very cool people, and overall had a great time. 

Seen in the pictures above, there were people from some of the biggest companies and TV networks. If you use Snapchat a lot, you're probably familiar with Mashable. The president of Mashable spoke at one session about the current age of the industry. There was also a woman from TruTV who talked a lot about their rebranding a few years back. After the first day of the show, there was an open bar networking party put on by Brightcove. We met a few people here and enjoyed some great drinks and great food. 

If you have the time and resources to go to the NAB Show in Las Vegas in April of 2018 or again in NYC in October of 2018, I highly recommend it! It was a very worthwhile trip for Mike and I. Although we took 2 days off from our work, we made several connections and we had 2 days of immense learning about new trends and technology that we can now use to better our work significantly. 

If you have any questions about NAB or anything else, feel free to fill out the contact form or shoot me an email at info@neilanvideos.com! Thanks for reading!

Went Missing

Hey everyone! 

It's been a while since I've done this. This Summer has been crazy busy! Back in June I helped shoot videos for the Special Olympics of Rhode Island with a few guys, then I went on vacation in LA. 

LA skyline from Griffith Park Observatory

LA skyline from Griffith Park Observatory

Once I got back I worked on a commercial for an HVAC company. We worked 2 - 10 hour days and got it all filmed and had a great time. On my way there one day, I blew a tire, that was fun. July I shot a few weddings and started shooting some fun stuff with Southwicks Zoo through the agency I work with. 

August came around the corner very quick and I spent most of August editing and doing some more stuff with Southwicks Zoo. This past weekend was busy with 2 new weddings to welcome September and every weekend this month I have a wedding as well! 

September is going to be very busy, and so will October editing these weddings! I hope you've all had a great Summer so far, it's not over yet! But I'm very sad that September is here. Anyway, have a great day and I hope you enjoyed this! 


First Time for Everything

Hey everyone!

So last week a great family friend of mine Beth asked me if I would be up to take some photos of her new baby. I have never done newborn photos but I'm up for anything so I said yes of course. 

So this right here is the beautiful Brooke Denise Travers. She was very cooperative and only threw up once on Mama Goodrich (best friend's mom). She didn't throw any tantrums and wasn't camera shy one bit! As you can see...

My best friend Matt (Brooke's uncle/Beth's brother) is in the Navy so this shot goes out to him. Love you Matt. 

Like I said I've never shot newborn photos before but I am pretty happy with how these came out! I hope you guys like them.

We were even lucky to get a smile out of her! (above) Huge thank you to Beth & Brian for giving me the chance to expand my work into new fields, you guys rock!

If you or someone you know is interested in newborn photos, please let me know! Fill out a contact form or shoot me an email at info@neilanvideos.com. Thanks for reading!

Fresh Look

Hey everyone! I have a cool announcement to make.

I recently had my logo re done by an old friend from high school who deserves a huge thank you. A friend of mine is a graphic designer for a magazine and she offered to help me put together a new business card/logo last week when I was playing around with some designs. She ended up building a whole new logo for me and I'm super excited about it. 

It started because I was trying to design a new business card and I was asking her advice on certain aspects and she offered to mess around with it herself. After a few ideas, she came back with this one and I knew right away I loved it. And here it is on my new card. 

I ordered a set of new business cards and I'm super excited roll out this new look to represent my business! My friend's name is Liz Delaney if you're wondering, and she is an EXTREMELY talented graphic designer. Thank you Liz, I owe you big time. If any of you reading this need her services, I would bet 100% that she could help you and exceed your expectations. Check out her work and contact her at lizdelaneydesign.com/ 

I hope you guys like this new look as much as I do! Thanks for reading!

A Day in the Life

Hey everyone. So I thought it might be cool to give you a glimpse into an average day for me. It does change constantly but I have a pretty standard routine for most days. Hope you guys enjoy reading!

1:30/2AM – Sleep. Can be later if I'm up working on an urgent project but this is the normal time. 

7:30/8AM – Wake up. Check my phone. Briefly look at any emails/texts/calls I received and see if anything seems urgent.

8:15/8:30AM – Shower then coffee. Coffee is the most important part of my day. I can't really have a conversation/think straight until I start drinking my coffee.

8:30/9AM – Sit at my desk and fully read emails. (This time of year, I get several emails about weddings for the coming season.) Check social media. Share some of my links on FB, maybe post a photo on Instagram. Open Slack and see what's going on with a marketing agency I work with, looking at statuses of projects, connect with a few people on the team, etc. I'll also check out my whiteboard on the wall and look at all the current projects I'm working on and figure out which ones I need to finish soon. If I have a shoot, it's often in the morning so I might be heading out to a shoot at this time.

10AM – Either continuing editing on a video project, a conference call with the agency, editing some photos, or on a shoot maybe. By this time, my brain is fully ready to be focused, I've checked in with people, checked emails, I know what I need to do. I'm probably done with my first coffee now and might have another one soon.

12PM – (roughly) Lunch. (Sometimes I'll try to eat a late lunch so I can go to the gym comfortably around 6 or 7 without being starving or full from just eating.) I'll stop and make something to eat. Some days if I'm really busy I'll eat lunch while I work, other days I might just turn on the TV and relax for a few minutes. If we had a morning shoot, I'll typically grab lunch with a guy Mike I work with, or grab a beer before heading home. If the shoot is still going, then we're just stopping for a few minutes to eat.

12:30PM – Back to work. At this point I might stop the current project and switch to another projects. Right now I can be working on anywhere from 3-7 projects at once, so making sure I balance them all is important. But if one particular project is very urgent, I might spend the whole day on it. I'll also go through my emails again at this point, check social media, etc. If I'm coming back from a shoot, it takes me a bit to get settled and be back at my desk working. 

3/4PM – I might switch to another project again or have a conference call with the agency, or just stop for a few minutes to get a mental break. Editing video/photos can be very strenuous on your eyes so taking breaks is helpful. It's also a very intense on your brain so mental breaks are good.

5PM – If I'm not crazy busy on too many projects, I'll start slowing down around this time and gradually stop working. I might reach out to the agency and go over what I did for the day, talk about what we need to do the rest of the week/month, etc. If I'm just getting back from a shoot or had a really busy day I might have a beer around this time. (and take a picture of course)

6/7PM – I've been trying to get healthier lately so I'll try to go to the gym around this time. 

8/8:30PM – Make dinner. I've been eating sort of late dinners recently and it seems to work well with my schedule. 

9PM – I'll watch TV. Lately I've been on an Impractical Jokers kick, but Blue Bloods is my favorite, so I might grab my computer and watch an episode or 2 on Netflix while I eat. 

10PM – Might go back to my desk, check out some emails, social media, etc. A lot of guys on the agency will work late so I might have a few new messages on Slack or an unread email. (I don't always answer messages/emails/calls this late because while I do work nights pretty often, I don't want to give off the idea that I am always available because I do like to enjoy my time off, some people will take advantage of the fact that you work from home/have your own business.)

10:30/11PM – If I'm super busy or if I'm just up for it, I might do some more work on a project, but nothing too intense. I might think about some blog post ideas or general updates for my website, or find a picture to post on Instagram or something. 

12AM – If I'm working on a really urgent project and feeling stressed, I'll have a beer around this time. It helps me relax and surprisingly keeps me awake. (My favorite beers are IPAs.)

12:30AM – If I'm not crazy busy I'll probably stop working, maybe watch TV for a few minutes, relax in general. I'll usually clean up my desk a little, organize, look over my list of projects for the next day, I might send an email or a Slack message to update any projects with the team before I get ready for bed. 

12:45/1AM – Water. I always open a water before I go to bed and drink about half the bottle. I'll keep the rest near my bed. I try to drink a lot of water throughout the day too. These days, I really only drink coffee, water, and beer. Coffee to keep me focused, water because it's healthy and I like it, and beer, well...that's self explanatory. I'll get into bed around 1 and check my social media again before I fall asleep (sometimes I fall asleep while still on my phone), social media is important for someone like me because I'll often find leads/see jobs posted on various website/apps I use, and staying active/staying on top of that stuff can put you ahead of other people. 

Like I said, my schedule changes day to day but this is a pretty normal day for me. I hope you guys enjoyed reading this! If you have any questions about anything I do, don't hesitate to ask. Or if you have ideas for future blogs, let me know! Thanks for reading everyone!


5 Things You Might Not Know About Me

Hey everyone, I thought I would share a few things about me that you might not know. Some of you who follow me on social media or are friends with me might know all or some of these things but I thought it might be cool to share. 

1. - I'm addicted to coffee.

I'm probably not alone on this one but I have at least one coffee every day. I was never really a coffee person until the end of my senior year of college. Looking back, I'm not sure what I did to wake up. I would enjoy an iced coffee in the summer or every once in a while, but it wasn't regular and I never liked hot coffee. However, senior year is when I really got busy with work and taking on bigger projects to prepare myself for after graduation. I was going to bed late very often, and waking up early, so I started having hot coffees in the morning and it was a big help in waking me up and getting my day started. Now, I am a very cranky person in the morning without a coffee and I love trying new and different kinds of coffee everywhere I go. 

2. - I enjoy beer. 

I am a big fan of craft beers. I always thought beer would be gross when I was younger but once I turned 21 and started trying beers, I really started to enjoy it. I love trying new kinds of beers whether it be local or a craft beer from the West Coast. I am a big fan of IPAs and wheat beers in particular, but as I said, I love trying all different kinds of beers. A friend of mine is a sales supervisor for a craft beer company so I get the advantage of an insider's perspective and he lets me know of what's new and what's the best. I've also been told that a beer a day reduces your chance of heart disease, diabetes, lowers blood pressure, and boosts creativity, so I'll drink to that!

3. I don't sleep much.

My first few years of college, I loved sleeping and would sleep in whenever I could. If I had to be at an early class, I would even sometimes sleep in that class because I was so tired and wanted to sleep. Once senior year came, I got busy with my video and photo work and was forced to be up late working, and going to class early the next day. I actually enjoyed it though, I felt really productive and that I was working hard at something I wanted to do. Since then, that's been my sort of lifestyle. I still go to bed really late, and I like waking up around 7 or 8 to start working for the day. I thrive off getting the most out of every day and less sleep makes that happen. I will sleep a bit more on weekends but not as much as many people I know. 

4. I love to travel.

I guess who doesn't? But I do know many people/friends of mine who hate flying and like staying local. Not me. Most of my friends know this, but I love traveling, exploring, and seeing new places. Luckily for me, my job allows that to happen and I can even get paid to travel at times. New York City and Los Angeles are currently my two favorite cities but I have yet to leave the country and I would love to do that. I really enjoy seeing a new city, seeing their way of life and really just sightseeing wherever I am. I love always being on the go. 

5. I love meeting people.

I am an extremely outgoing person and part of traveling, I love meeting new people. I have always been a friendly person and easy to talk with, and my business revolves around talking to people. I like sharing stories with others, hearing who they are, what they do, etc. As I said, my job revolves around people so it helps that I really do love meeting new people. If you ever see me out somewhere or at an event, come say hi! I'd love to talk.

Hope you guys enjoyed this article! If you liked it, check out the rest of my site, share this article, and leave some feedback. As always, if you have any questions for me or would like to work with me, shoot me an email at info@neilanvideos.com or fill out a contact form, they come straight to my inbox! 
- Mike :)

5 iPhone Apps I Couldn't Live Without as a Freelancer

Hey everyone. So being a freelancer, I'm on the go a lot. My schedule can change at a minute's notice and every day is really different for me. I need to be able to adjust to my always changing schedule and my phone is one of my most valuable tools that I have. Here are 5 apps that are essential to my life as a freelancer and that I definitely recommend using if you are also a freelancer!

1. Quickbooks Self-Employed

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Quickbooks is an essential tool for me for several reasons. Being a freelancer, taxes are very tricky. You have to keep track of what you buy for your business, miles you drive for business, deductions like home-office, vehicle for work, etc. Quickbooks makes all of that extremely easy. The Self-Employed version has a desktop site/dashboard and a really nice app for iPhone and Android. You can link all of your bank accounts, debit cards, credit cards and Quickbooks automatically identifies your transactions and lets you swipe left or right to categorize it as a personal purchase or a business expense. You can upload a receipt and type in notes about the purchase too. The app/software is $10 a month but they run a special occasionally where the first few months are $5 a month. 

One of my favorite tools of the app is it's mile tracking function. Driving is an everyday part of my job and tracking my miles for business is something I need. Many apps will track your miles but you have to pay monthly for it, you have to remember to open the app when you start a work trip. And I don't know about any of you, but my memory sucks and I would never remember to open the app everytime I drive. But anyway, what's nice about the feature in Quickbooks Self Employed is that it tracks every drive you make automatically. You don't have to open the app or tell it to track miles, it tracks every trip. Then, like transactions, you swipe left or right whether it was business or personal. Now I know what you're thinking, that's a lot of trips to categorize. Yes. It is. However, as the old saying goes, "it's better to have too many/too much than not enough." I'd rather categorize 100 trips that were automatically done for me than be sitting there trying to manually enter trips and remembering where I started and stopped. 

You can also create invoices and receive payments through Quickbooks which is nice. I definitely recommend this app to any freelancer. Taxes are a hassle in my world and this app makes it 10x easier. 

2. Timely

Timely is a time tracking app for individuals and teams. This is what the main page on the iPhone app looks like. I love this app. Tracking my time is really important because I need to know how much time I'm spending on projects so that I know how much to charge moving forward. This app has a free plan which allows you up to 5 projects or for $14 a month, you can get unlimited projects. What's cool about timely is that you can put in each client, add projects to each client, set a budget for each project, enter the rate that you are charging/getting paid, and at the end of a week or a month, you can export that week/month's time as a PDF or Excel sheet and it breaks down the time in a way that lets you send it as an invoice. The iPhone app doesn't let you view by week, but by day and by month. The desktop app is nice and has several different views, including by the week. 

if I didn't know how much time I was working every week, or on certain projects, I'd be lost! This app is essential to me and if you want a great, reliable time tracking app, Timely is the way to go. 

3. Google Calendar

As I mentioned before, my schedule is always changing and I need to be able to adjust to it. I've tried many calendar apps in the past and the best, in my opinion, is Google Calendar. I use Gmail so the integration is nice but it's very user-friendly. I NEED to know what I'm doing every day, I need to book appointments out weeks/months in advance and Google Calendar is awesome. There are several views, you can see your day by itself, there's a 3-day view, week, and month. I prefer the month view but they are all great for certain purposes.

Say you get an email about a job that includes a date and time. Gmail will recognize that and you can click on it and automatically create an event from it and it goes into your calendar. Or if you're flying somewhere for a vacation or for work and you get an email confirming your flight, it recognizes that too and can create an event. You can then go in and have it remind you an hour, 2 hours, 24 hours or 10 minutes ahead of time so that you don't forget. 


You can also click on the locations in events to open up Google Maps and find the best route there. Google Calendar is one app I can't do without and I don't think I ever close the app. 

4. Gmail

As I said right there, I use Gmail for all my work email. Obviously email is a huge part of my business and I need a reliable app that can go anywhere with me. Gmail has proven to be that app. I have a few email accounts and you can easily switch between them right in the app. There are several ways you can organize your inbox so it's best suited for your taste. Like I mentioned, it integrates perfectly with my calendar so that is a big help. 

What's also nice is you can create your own categories of email and separate them however you like. It's really customizable which is nice because everyone processes their emails and views them differently. The most recent app update is very clean and makes the whole process quicker. There's a button on the top right when you open an email that marks the email as unread and goes back to your inbox view. If you're like me, I open emails all the time but can't act on them until later. So I can mark it unread so that I see it later and don't forget about it. Lastly, I use Google drive and Google docs for file sharing as well, the integration with all the Google Apps is priceless. I recommend Gmail and the Gmail app to any freelancer. 

5. Waze

Last but not least, Waze. Everyone knows Waze. I've found it to be my favorite GPS app out there. I do so much driving it's not funny so having a good reliable GPS is key for me. 

Waze sets itself apart from the rest with it's many cool features. I'll highlight just a few. One major feature is that it warns you of traffic, road blocks, construction zones, and police that are ahead, thanks to other Waze users who can report all different kinds of road hazards like these. And with this, it calculates traffic and factors that into your drive so that you know how long your trip will take even with traffic. 

Like many apps, it will give you the best route but it also will show you alternate routes to take and it shows you the length and distance of each trip compared to one another and it will tell you which has the most traffic/hazards/etc. 

However, my favorite feature is the ability to "plan" your drives. Often times, I have a photo or video shoot or a meeting early in the morning and before I go to bed, I want to know what time I have to wake up and leave. I can go in and enter the destination and enter the time and date I need to be there, and it will calculate it with traffic and tell me what time to leave. Then it notifies you leading up to that time saying if there's any changes and how long the trip is going to take. It's great. 

You can even have it sync your events from your email, your calendar, or Facebook to plan those drives too. 

There are many other apps I use for work that have proven worthy to keep and great for my work. Some of those include Venmo, Paypal, Square, B&H Photo, Slack, Asana, Vimeo, YouTube, Lightroom Mobile, WeWork, and a few others. But these 5 are definitely the ones I use and need most!

If you have any questions about these apps or how I use them, feel free to shoot me an email at info@neilanvideos.com or submit a contact form. Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week! :) 

Where are you working now?

This is the question I get asked at almost any social event. Whether it's a family party, out with friends, or talking to an old classmate or professor, someone asks me where I'm currently working.

In college I studied Visual Media Production. I took classes graphic design, animation, photography and of course video. Right now I call myself a Photographer and Video Producer. I don't really work anywhere in particular, I work for myself. During school I started doing freelance work shooting/editing videos for companies and/or taking photos. I loved every minute of it so when I graduated, I officially registered a business named Neilan Videos. I called it that because my main focus and skill is in video but I do a lot of photography work as well.

I am currently an independent contractor or a freelancer and I get hired by companies or people for individual projects, short term work, or sometimes long term work. Right now, I do a lot of work with a digital marketing agency called Envision Digital Group helping to manage the video and photo aspect of the company as well as actually shooting and editing those videos and photos. I also have a close relationship with a production company in Framingham, MA called MediaBoss Television. In addition, I have clients of my own that I create videos and photos for; some more often than others, and I also shoot weddings. Over the time, I've had the opportunity to do a lot of different projects, travel to cool places, and meet a lot of great people. 

This is a profile shot of what my desk looks like before I first start my day. Below the picture are several hard drives where all the media lives. 

Hopefully this helps shed a bit of light on what I do or "where" I work. I work at a lot of places and I do a lot of stuff! But if you have any questions more in depth about what I do, or would like to talk to me about a project, feel free to check out my contact page or shoot me an email at info@neilanvideos.com!

Thanks for reading :)

How Much Does a Wedding Video Cost?

The question I get asked more than anything else! “What is the cost for a wedding video? What’s your pricing like? What do you charge for a video?” No matter how the question is worded, I always say that it depends on several things. The cost of a wedding video overall could be anywhere from $500 all the way up $10,000. For me personally? It can range anywhere from about $1400 up to about $3000. Whatever the cost, this is your wedding day, and everyone we talk to says “IT’S WORTH EVERY PENNY.”

The 3 biggest factors that go into pricing a wedding video are location, date, and what you are looking for in the final video(s). The amount of time we spend at the wedding is actually one of the smallest factors. That is because, it typically doesn’t matter how long we are shooting, the editing still ends up to be about the same amount of time. 

One of the first weddings I ever shot, we were there for about 5 hours. Almost every other wedding we have shot, we were there for 8-11 hours. In every case, the editing still took roughly 40-50 hours. Now if you’re just looking to have your ceremony recorded and we’ll be shooting for an hour or two, that’s a different story. But generally, most people are looking to cover the majority of the day.

Location is obviously a factor due to travel. Generally speaking, if we only have to drive up to 2 or so hours, we don’t charge anything extra. But if your wedding is more than 2-3 hours away and we’ll be there late, or if we have to fly, we may have to charge a small travel fee so that we can get a place to stay. It’s a long day on our feet and we love it, but driving for 3 hours late at night after an 8-10 hour day can be dangerous. 

Date is a factor because our knowledge and skills are constantly improving. We are always learning new things, finding ways to improve the work we do and service we offer, and/or getting newer and better equipment. So if your wedding is in a month, chances are the cost will be less than if your wedding is in a year or two. But every situation is different.

The final factor is the kind of video you are looking for. The two videos we “advertise” are highlight videos and full day videos. Some couples want both and some want just one of the two. The highlight video is anywhere from 4-10 minutes and the full day videos can be anywhere from 20-50 minutes. It all depends on the length of the ceremony/reception and what you’d like to see in them.

The highlight videos are just as it sounds, a highlight of the day. They include some fun shots of the bride and groom getting ready, highlights of the first look if there is one, pieces of the ceremony, and then a highlight montage of all the intros and fun dancing. Over the whole video are audio and video bits of the toasts. To illustrate this explanation, check out some of the highlight videos here.

The full day videos start out very similar with a highlight montage of all the preparation/first look. They then usually include the majority of the ceremony, if not the full ceremony. After this are the entire intros, full toasts, and then it ends with a fun dancing montage. To see some full day videos, there are a few here!

After the day of the wedding, it takes approximately 40 hours from start to finish to edit the highlight video. I sit and go through every clip we shot, pick the best pieces, find music, sync all the audio and video together, and then edit it all together with the music and toasts. Some have taken 35 hours while some have taken 45 hours. To edit the full day video on top of the highlight is an extra 1-2 days of editing time. So the price difference is not huge, but we understand that weddings are expensive and we know that every few dollars can make a difference. If you are looking for just the full day video, it’s about 45 hours of editing work. These numbers are based on the time spent on all of our weddings to date that I track with an online app. 

We love shooting weddings and I always say that if I could do them for free, I would! We seriously have a passion for what we do and we would love to sit down and talk with you about your big day. However, we understand that sometimes our price or style might not be what you’re looking for, and that’s okay. If that’s the case, we know several other people/companies that we can refer you to. If you’d like to talk with us about your wedding, feel free to shoot me an email at info@neilanvideos.com with your info, or fill out the form on this page or this page. Hope you enjoyed this! Feel free to share it on all your social media! :)

What's a good camera to get?

This is a question I get asked somewhat often so I thought why not write a short article about it.

If you know me, you might know that I sometimes buy a lot of stuff. Since I’ve been into video and photography, I’ve owned several cameras. However, it has given me a lot of experience and knowledge, so that when I do get this question, I am pretty confident in answering it.

Before I got into photography, I owned several cameras that only shot video. I’ll start with my first DSLR. In 2014, my Junior year of college, I got my first DSLR. It was a Canon T2I. I got it because I signed up for a photography class and this was a reasonably priced camera for me at the time. It turned out to be quite a good camera for it’s price. (Right now you can get a T2I body for about $150-$200) It is a small, 18 megapixel camera that also shoots full HD video (which was perfect for me). This was also my first camera that shot HD video and I loved it. If you don’t already know, DSLR’s require lenses. Different lenses are good for different things, but this camera was a great starter into photography and HD video for me and I would recommend any of the Canon Rebel series to someone starting out. It offers great picture quality while still being affordable and pretty user friendly as well!

This is a wedding I shot mostly with the T2I

My next camera was a Canon EOS 60D. It is only a slight step up from the T2I, but a step up nonetheless. A 60D body is a bit pricier; it can go anywhere from $400 up to $800 brand new. This is also an 18 megapixel camera with full HD video but it offers a few nice advantages. It can shoot 5.3 frames per second where the T2I only shoots 3.7 FPS. One great advantage that I liked was the flip out LCD on the 60D. This came in great handy when shooting video; I could pull it out to shoot tricky angles or to easier show someone the framing of the shot. The 60D has a slightly better autofocus system, longer battery life, and a brighter viewfinder. One other minor advantage at least to me was it’s size. It was a bit bigger but it felt much better in my hand; it felt much more durable.

Here’s a video I shot on the 60D.

After this, I upgraded to one of the main cameras I still use and that is the Canon EOS 7D. Price wise, it is another slight increase but not by much if anything. The body can range from $450 up to $900 brand new. I bought this camera when I started realizing how much photography I was doing. It is still an 18 megapixel camera with full HD video but it can shoot up to 8 photos per second! If you are shooting sporting events or anything with motion; this is a great camera. It’s autofocus is much better than the previous cameras and it’s viewfinder is also improved! I mainly use this camera for video now but it shoots great photos. I have had many of my photos from this camera printed pretty big and the quality is still awesome! There is now a newer, better version of this camera, the 7D Mark II. It is a bit more expensive but a great improvement.

Here are a couple videos I have shot on the 7D!

The nice thing about Canon is if you have more than one camera, you only need one type of lens and that is the Canon EF mount. All the Canon EF lenses work on all the Canon EOS DSLR’s and even the Canon C100 and C300’s.

To wrap this up, I want to talk about my current favorite camera, and that is the Sony A6000. It is one of the mirrorless cameras that Sony released in the past couple years. The body for this camera is only about $400-$550, which is incredible for the quality it puts out. (This is currently one of the main cameras I shoot weddings with along with the 7D and Colleens Nikon D7100). Anyway, this camera is small, affordable, and use friendly but the video and photos it produces are incredible. It is a 24 megapixel crop sensor but shoots up to 11 frames per second and has one of the fastest autofocus systems around! It has built in Wifi so you can transfer photos to your phone within seconds. It also shoots incredibly well in low light. I have shot photos at ISO 1600 that have very little grain. And I have shot video at weddings that I then used for the final videos at ISO 2500! (which is excellent for a crop sensor body) The lenses for this camera are mostly very affordable. I currently shoot with the Sony 50mm f1.8 and the Sigma 30mm f2.8. The 30mm is great for shooting landscape photos while the 50mm I use for portraits and almost all my video work. I can’t say enough great things about this camera.

This is a video I shot on the A6000.

I know this is a lot to read but if you are buying a camera, it might be worth your time! I hope this helped you. And if you have any further questions at all, don’t hesitate to fill out the form and ask me a question on my contact page or my FAQ page!

Don’t let this decision leave you looking like this. 

Thanks for reading!

Why You Need Your Wedding Professionally Filmed

Everyone knows that photography is a must-have when it’s time for your wedding. However, a video is often times overlooked because of other wedding expenses. For example, according to Lifestagevideos.com, only 50% of brides-to-be consider video in their top priorities. In reality, a wedding video can be one of the most valuable memories of your wedding right up with the photos you will get from your special day. 

Did you know that 98% off all newlyweds recommend future brides have their wedding professionally filmed? And after those 50% of brides-to-be get married, 75% then consider video at the top of the list. 

Your wedding is ONE day, and you will never truly re-live it. Think about how many hours go into planning this special day; wouldn’t you want to see and hear things that you might never hear again? The vows, the facial expressions, the dances, the smiles, the laughs, and everything in between. A video captures all these pieces that the photographs won’t. 

I myself have heard countless times about new brides who either regretted not getting a video done, or did get a video done and were extremely glad they did. 

“Oh my god Mike I just watched it and cried, I lovvvveeee it! Amazing! I absolutely love it! Perfect!”
- Beth Goodrich

“Hey Mike we think you did an AWESOME job on the video!!! It’s making the rounds now with our family. Thank you! You perfectly captured the important moments (the I do’s, wedding toast, and dances) of our wedding day and delivered an amazing video that we will cherish forever.”
- Lisa & Scott Burke

Your wedding day is extremely important and it’s something you’re going to want to remember and look back on forever, and also something you will want to show your children some day. Of course weddings are expensive but there are always ways of getting a video done. This is not something you want to skip out on.

If you have any questions about wedding videos regarding my prices, packages, or anything else, check out my wedding video section or submit the form on my contact page and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

Massachusetts Film Tax Credit

If you’ve never heard of the Massachusetts Film Tax Credit, it’s basically an incentive program for movies that are produced, in whole or in part, in Massachusetts. These companies may end up being eligible for Sales and Use Tax Exemption, transferable 25% payroll credit, and/or transferable 25% Production Expense credit. It’s basically an incentive for companies to produce their films in the state of Massachusetts.

Well, since it was enacted in 2006, there have been multiple attempts to limit/cut the tax credit and luckily, so far those attempts have failed every time. There is another attempt currently going on in the legislature by Governor Baker to cut the Film Tax Credit and invest more in the earned income credit for low income families. 

There are people fighting for both sides and on March 30, 2016, I had the pleasure of sitting on a panel of students, teachers, and recent graduates in support of the Tax Credit. I talked about my experiences in the industry; from my internship freshman year to my freelance work with local companies and to a recent position with a local production company, MediaBoss Television.

All of the panel members had great things to say about their experiences and reasons why the tax credit should stick around. Getting rid of this tax credit would offset a big industry, put a lot of people out of jobs, and relocate many people as well. The hard working people in this industry have families and happy lives here in Massachusetts and disrupting that is not something the state should do.

Overall it was a great experience and if you have any questions about the tax credit, feel free to shoot me an email or search it on Google!


One for the books.

Hey everyone!

Last night I attended an art show in Boston for a very good friend of mine. His name is Marty Reynolds and he is an incredibly talented artist. 

Marty likes to paint what he sees and what he lives. He has a way of showing his life through his paintings that is so down to earth and so normal, yet so mind-blowing. He is your average college student but at the same time, he isn’t. He spends hours and hours on these paintings of what some of his nights look like and the amount of detail he puts into them is almost unbelievable. 

His website is MartyReynoldsArt.com and I would highly recommend following him on Instagram @martyreynoldsart and on Facebook! His page is Facebook.com/martyreynoldsart

Thanks for reading!