Crewing for Airleaf, I know this much – when that phone rings, you never know what it’s going to be.

Recently the job was filming at at Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach, just south of San Diego. It was a wedding.

Beautiful day. Check. Bride and groom showed up. Check. Ground cameras and aerial camera, check. We would be notified by the event planner when the bride was about to come down the hill. Oops. Not exactly. Time to jump into action without feeling particularly prepared!

The location was on a bluff over looking the ocean, dramatic. But this presented some challenges… wind, blowing sand, blazing sun, all contributing to the situation. The couple had a team of still photographers there as well and we had to be mindful of their shot lines.

Everything went great except the seagulls didn’t get the memo.

Given a one hour tutorial about some new equipment I would be using, a three-axis gimbal stabilized camera, I reminded myself of the most important things to remember: make sure the battery is charged, the camera is turned on, and the video button is a square, not a circle, when shooting, duh. I can do this!

Things happen fast at a wedding, and there are no second chances.

I got the guests as they gathered, using the wind to my advantage. Some great shots of the flowing dresses, the couple taking their vows in the background. It was a lovely ceremony and a colorful scene. 

The cherry on top was when we flew the drone at the end of the nuptials for aerial views. A flock of sea gulls thought the drone was an intruder and attacked it! Bonus footage of the sea gulls up close and personal.

This was a great experience for me. I’ll tell you a little secret: I would have had a good time filming even if it was lousy weather. But I love to be able to say, ‘clear skies on a picture perfect day in San Diego… check’!

Richard Hawk

Producer at Airleaf Media

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