those three words | kenny + meena

So how do you go about filming a wedding photographer's wedding? We must admit, filming this wedding was incredibly surreal. We've worked with Kenny Kim on numerous shoots before. We've stood side by side, capturing the anticipation and joy of other couples, but now here he was—no longer behind the lens but in front of it. While it was strange to see Kenny without his finger on a Canon trigger, that's actually not what made it surreal for me. We've known Kenny for a long time. We met at the University of Illinois, attended the same church, and eventually became friends. We knew him when he doubled as a Starbucks barista/aspiring wedding photographer. Years down the line, after he started making waves in the wedding industry, he began photoventuring around the world and set his eyes on Italy.


Having been to Italy, we had a shared appreciation of the beauty and culture that Italy afforded to its visitors. The slow pace, rolling hills, medieval towns, ancient architecture, and let's not forget the food, the wine, and the people. If there were a place where a wedding photographer would choose to get married, Italy would be it.

So the question of where Kenny would get married was answered early on. But the question of whom he would marry is one that we all would continually wonder about. Who would be the one to stop Kenny "GO-GO-GO" Kim in his tracks?

Fast forward to the wedding week. We find ourselves in the company of a small group of friends and family, walking around the idyllic scenery of Cortona, strolling along the banks of the Arno River in Florence, enjoying private wine tastings in Spello—thinking, yes, this is exactly how we imagined it to be.

For all its breathtaking sights and experiences, it was witnessing the answer of whom he would enjoy the rest of his life with that would leave an indelible impression.

Meena is one of the most genuinely kind people we have ever met. You don't have to spend too much time with her before this truth sets in. Witnessing her effect on Kenny on their wedding day is very telling of the type of person she is. I don't know Kenny to be a very emotional kind of guy—fun and adventurous, yes, but not emotional. From what we saw on their day, it's clear that Meena is more than the perfect fit for Kenny.

So how do you go about filming a wedding photographer's wedding? Put the surroundings behind. Put the people in front. Sit back and experience it. Raise a glass, and say that olden time Italian phrase, "Evviva Gli Sposi!" "Hurray for the bride and groom!"

Location: Cortona, Italy | Wedding Photography: Mike Colon assisted by Kenny Nakai | Wedding Planning: Cristiana Chiacchierini & Max Brunelli of Very Italian Events | Accommodations: Villa Marsilli

where the sky and earth speak | a vignette

"The process of creating art renews my spirit, and I find myself attuned to the details of life rather than being stressed by being overwhelmed. I find myself listening rather than shouting into the void. Creating art opens my heart to see and listen to the world around me, opening a new vista of experience." - from "Refractions" by Makoto Fujimura  

We recently attended Masters in Motion, a filmmaking conference that took place in the weirdly-creative/creatively-weird Austin, TX. Aside from meeting some awesome, like-minded kinfolk, we walked away with a little extra pep in our step to create something entirely for ourselves.

The time needed to create a personal project is something of a rarity in our lives these days. Between shooting, editing, and running the business, it's something that we've had to curb for the time being. However, the golden opportunity reared it's glorious face while we were filming a wedding in Cortona, Italy.

This piece is a combination of live footage, timelapse, stop motion, and HDR photography.  With only one practice shoot day before leaving for Italy, I ran several timelapse tests around town to see if what we had in mind could be achieved.

On a whim, we decided to go for it! We carved out whatever free time we had in between shooting for the wedding, to try this out. At the end of each day, we downloaded the footage and pieced it together to see what worked and what didn't. Unsurprisingly, there were some shots that ended up not being usable.

We were mentally prepared for idea that timelapses take a long time, but these timelapses in particular were very tedious. As a frame of reference, it took about an hour of intense shooting per 5 seconds of footage. You also can't take a break in the middle--which can be especially challenging when curious locals want to chat and ask questions.

While this is one of the more technical pieces we've shot, we always wanted to keep the heart and soul of the film--the beauty of the land--at its center. We feel like we've achieved that with this piece we've created. A piece that we can at long last call our very own.