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happy photographer smiles while she makes video

I am a happy photographer who smiles when she makes video and flies her drone, whilst tapping out her favourite tune on her knee. We love this work. (FYI – in case you did not notice, this post is all about me – but in the process it’s about your journey too. You – oh fellow creator of life changing, human improving content!)


Being a happy photographer means you’ve balanced work that generates payment with work you love to make. Means you make photographs because you love the work, and you have the creativity and energy to continue learning a little each time. And sharing. And bringing love into people’s lives. (and I can shoot photo even when a migraine is in full swing…something about being behind the lens…it’s magical healing powers)


Being a smiling video maker means you’ve (hopefully) charged enough for the work you love to make, and you still love it, 18 hours after your edits are still not done. And you still love it after the client asks for more edits than you were paid for, and you still love it when the work you do is shared and cried over and watched by thousands. And you still love it when your family hire other people to make video for them. (!!?!!) Even then!

BIGGEST POWER BOOST – watch other people’s work. Look for challenging shots and duplicate. Master that one technique..and slay the skills one at a time!


King Arthur & The Legend Of The Sword – running from the Black Legs through Londinium – there’s Arthur, Percival, Rubio, Bedevere – the tiny hemmed in lanes and the camera is on their wrist or shoulder mount and you get this insane up close up of their facial expressions as they yell ‘move’ ‘move’


Opening Scene of King Arthur Legend Of The Sword CGI – i know but the swinging elephants trunk as it crushes a tower, and the horse galloping under it just before it crumbles!! And the music!!!!!

Adobe Premiere Pro – Final Cut Pro – Red – Arri – Sony – Iphone: it’s about lighting and composition in the end. Whatever device is in your hand.

I am a smiling videographer. Fore sure. Why? You know, if you make video, it’s because it is raw and real and tells the story. And YOU are the creator. And being the creator is an honour and a privilege and one that can not be replaced lightly. You should consider yourself an exceptional person in the sense that to tell our story it is first a skill with the eye of the beholder and secondly a skill with the camera.

Don’t underestimate your talent! Being a video creator is a creative journey that can not be given as a skill, it has to be learned and truly utterly earned.


Hiring a post production team is a great idea, then you get more people who love what they do and are working because they love it. And want to do it more. Right? We hope so. But I’ve only ever hired three people to work with me. Each time their work was absolutely exceptional. And I think we all learned alot.

if you send us some money we will be available to listen and respond to your pro requests, questions and send you regular creator information. whether its how best to learn to fly a drone, which drone to fly or what side the logo should be on your photographs, wedding photo, real estate videos or million dollar yachts promos…we are pros and we knows..and we get the motion graphics and the subtitles and the intro and the outro

happy photographer smiles while she makes video


elopement – 4 vendors, 4 hours to shoot. 24 hours to edit. friends for life – and featured in wedding magazines, 100%

The video above was shot by myself and my husband. I also shot photographs for this couple, they are being featured in the online magazine @whatifweelope in December. When you let the editing go, whether it is photo or video, you give up the creative process. Yes. You do. BUT….

GIVING UP PHOTO EDITING You no longer decide the framing, the tone, the color, the cropping, the spot removal. But you get all the time you need to go shoot more photos and video.

GIVING UP VIDEO EDITING You no longer have control over the story, someone else creates the magic. With the work you have shot. Let’s hope they don’t call you and say, I can’t work with this…that’s never happened to me. But I am very aware of quality now, since I look back over my older work and see terrible mistakes.


When you embark on a journey saying I want to make a difference in people’s lives with my skills, make their memories legendary and help them capture the meaning in a moment. That is when you are truly alive. When you are being true to your inner drive. But can you afford to live on it? I make the content in order to make more content…if I have enough income that month to replace a broken lens, fabulous…I can rarely afford editing services. But a broken lens needs fixing

Whether you edit in house or send it away is up to you. If you are BURNED OUT and not getting enough sleep (hello….anyone?) then maybe send the content away this one time…you never know that may be the beginning of a great partnership in visual content production.

Sign up for the news about our content production and how we do it. All in house, with a little help from our friends around the world, when things are busy in the busy season.


happy photographer smiles while she makes video

If you truly want to talk business i’m happy to do so. Simply like and follow the blog and drop $2 a month in the contribution box. You can cancel any time or keep the cash flowing in so the creators can get a little sleep around here! maybe..

meanwhile here is a golden shower
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Really Good Film & Pretty Good Photography

January has been a whirl wind month, while we determinedly continue to make really good film, the trend that began in 2018 towards pretty good photography, has become a constant parallel path upon which we find ourselves. Improving both fine photographic skills with family portraits and engagements, and weddings, as well as yacht film, business promos and featured wedding films.

Photographic and Film clientele are about the same in frequency now. In the wedding world, we have had some big wins with featured stories in wedding magazines, and the first engagement shoot, on the beach at the Hampton Inn, and our first family photo shoot for a famous nutritionist and celebrity chef, Katherine Mattox.

When I say photography is keeping pace with the film production. I pinch myself. I asked a very famous photographer (no names) what he would do, when I have this talent for film but love photography as much, he said pick one. I said I can’t. He said, well pick one for now, then pick the other in a year.


– anonymous famous photographer

Our tech has kept pace with the demands of 6 hour hot sun, ocean, sand, drunken wedding guests, wayward dogs, 100’s of thousands of miles of air travel. Wanting to share this almost end of January post to help anyone who is into this business, get a comparable view of what we use. Also, if you have a comment that would help us improve our work, please please share it in the comments. Only useful and positive comments are allowed here. We have a standard of polite and respectful behaviour.


THE best film and photography. Since January 1 2020 no drones have flown away or sunk beneath the waves. (Actually since January 1 2019 also) but Murphy’s law says something rubbish will happen eventually, but until it does this year has been a 100% visually creative winner.


The equipment is still all Sony Alpha 7RII AND A9 – lenses of note are the new Sony macro lens for the studio jewellery photography, and the drones are still the DJI Inspire 1 with the Zenmuse X5s and the Mavic 2 Pro with the Hasselblad Camera and the GoPro Karma Drone with the GoPro Hero 7 on board.


The biggest change this year was the addition of ‘Maglites’ to the collection. Magnetic lighting system, keeps the white diffuser (and any other magnetic filter) strongly on the flash so you don’t get that harsh shadow blasting in the face. I use my flashes a lot for people and dog portraits. Lovely soft light is a magic specialty that we are always testing and perfecting, fine tuning. Light is the key to everything.


Audio has been boosted by the new technology of digital audio recording with the Tascam line of products. I remember one wedding when the groom sweated so much the mic unit shorted and I lost all the audio. Except the back up, which was thankfully good enough. Tascam is a solid digital audio recorder small enough to go in a tight jeans pocket and is worn by the speaker. On board sd card records it all so even if it dies from salt immersion the sd will still have the content. SD’s are surprisingly water resistant.


Bought with the promise I’d return it before the return by date, I had one job after another following the purchase of this machine of magic. So I justified keeping it, since I needed to keep editing, since then I’ve been asked by all our Christmas holiday skiing gang from Vermont, everyone wants to know, ‘do you still have it, are you keeping the MacBook??’

Gosh. Human behaviour 101. I failed to live up to my word. But I’m afraid I don’t care this time. Because, another revelation; a MacBook Pro is fabulous for editing mobile.

It isn’t cheap and it isn’t so small with the 16″ screen, but it’s a powerful beastie. I tried editing on the road from Key Largo to VT with a Surface Pro but that was uncommonly slow and painful. That took 1 day to edit a 10 minute clip. It took me one afternoon to finish the entire hour of footage into a beautiful 10 minute 3 minute and 1 minute edit on the MacBook Pro. I LOVE this machine; YES you’ll need an external storage ssd. I have 2TB it’s fantastic. Get the quality SanDisk with the USB C and your problems will go away. I seem to burn battery fast.


Premiere Pro full 90 minutes of film content edited into 3 minutes and Lightroom CC 1500 photographs edited into 240 perfect shots uploaded to our gallery. That is basic day of editing for me. But I find the battery dies quite fast. Often see the end of the battery, completely, before I’m done editing. I want more juice guys. So, I’d say about a 2 out of 5 on battery. I don’t care if it isn’t supposed to last that long. FIX IT.

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Hyper Lapse Film

We used hyper lapse for the first time in a commercial film


Real Estate aerial and interior story with hyperlapse & speed ramping from Nada Khalaf-Jones Productions on Vimeo.

All hail the hyper lapse. Compare this to the same film below, without hyper lapse. Your mission should you choose to accept is to answer the questions: 1) Which one works to sell the home? And which one do you like best?


The same commercial film without hyper lapse

#4 17 Center Lane, Key Largo, Fl NOMLSB from Nada Khalaf-Jones Productions on Vimeo.

For some reason changing the speed of the everyday, mundane, normal makes it special. Timlapse is when a stationery, or minimally moved camera films something for a long period of time, compressing the hours into a seconds. Hyperlapse compresses, similarly, but you can move the camera. If you want more technical than that go here to and read the blog by Beckett Mufson

Super Excited About New Filming & Editing Tools

Hyperlapse, using the GoPro Hero7 on the Karma Grip, and the speeding 1000% increase and slowing down to 10% speed or less, or the use of 120 frames per second in the original film, we’ve been working on what best works for different situations: our camera frame rates must allow this super slowing. Which means you set them before you start filming…yes you have to know what this all means.

and allows the coolest ‘ramp’ trick which allows the rate of speeding up and slowing down to be set as desired.

Why – Ultra Slow Or Ultra Fast?

These are for the movement from one end of a hallway to another, or down a long pathway, descending from above to a place below, or leaving a place on earth and ascending fast, or the balcony, which, in this case was wrap around. And would have taken a whole 60 seconds to walk if we had wanted it at normal speed. Sometimes the client doesn’t like the way it looks, so we remove and replace. Above is the same film without the hyper lapse for the balcony and the downstairs. Your comments would be appreciated. Which one do you like best? Which one would sell the house the best?

Production versus Filming versus Film Editing & Film Post Production


Production: making the subject matter happen. Getting the people, the places, the things, the reasons for their presence all flowing. And setting up the times, the lights, the sounds, the crew. Once production is flowing and organised then filming can begin. And if production runs out of cash, filming can’t just stop. Oh no! We keep going.


Filming: when we turn the camera on all our knowledge of frame rates and depth of field and stabilization falls away and becomes secondary and all that is left is the subject matter and the motion of the story. The end. When we upload the content we hope all our production efforts paid off and that the light was good enough, or that we framed the shot perfectly, followed her focusing all the way and got in standard frame rates as well as getting the slow motion just right when the girl ran down those stairs….

Film Editing & Post Production

Film Editing and Post Production is all about making best compromises whilst maintaining the level of production that exceeds expectations, not going below your own baseline of acceptable standards and pushing the boundaries to do better and faster. Well, for me. I do all of the above, and all of the below.

Film Editing

Film Editing is starting with two new projects: the first is the main event, the long film, the second is the short film, which I think of as the poor sousing, but which ends up being all the most favourite bits strung together for the 60 second bite. Once you are loading the story, using proxy or original media, then comes naming it all, each clip gets a title, this alone takes 2 hours for a wedding 6 hours of filming.

Then in it goes into the time line and to work. For me it’s first hack and cut and come out with a living monster. Frankenstein, stitched together with transitions and ramps and speeds adjustments and stabilisations and colour grading and audio corrections.

This first run on all the content is the first rough cut and edit. No one sees it. Not in my world. Only me.

When it’s time to finesse the beautiful clips that tell the story, then it’s time to call it Post Production…..

Post Production

I do this all by myself. In either Final Cut pro or Adobe Premiere Pro…or both, for fun. Post Production is handled by teams, in bigger film companies than mine. Someone does audio, someone does coloraturas grading, effects, graphics, transitions. I do it all. Whether it’s the wedding ceremony, the speeches or the simple musical accompaniment to a real estate listing. It’s all yours truly. One day someone will be doing it for me. I’ll have the income for that. But i’ll miss it.


I have my own standards and won’t go below them. The skill and learning here for using hyper lapse and time lapse or slow motion and pulling focus well are all important to other aspects of film production. Weddings and Events, Documentaries for example. The creative opportunity there is much broader than Real Estate.

We are learning how and when to use it. Learning and hungry all the time changing, greedy for knowledge and the chance to gain more. New projects coming soon. But always only use your best clips people, that is the mantra. And I’m happy with it.