Videographer Al Albay speaks to Gura Gear about his career path and inspirations
How did you get started in videography?
I started my videography journey after I bought my first camera. Unlike others who bought a camera to take photos, I bought mine because it can take videos. I find motion pictures to be a lot more interesting than still photos. I think it was my love for movies that really fed my interest in making short films when I was young. When I turned 18 was the first time I held an actual DSLR camera. I was so amazed by how much better the video quality was that came out of these cameras back then, almost similar to the movies I used to watch. I used it to make short videos for our church and cover different church activities. Then one day, a friend of mine asked me and my older brother to shoot their wedding video. With no prior experience, of course we said yes! At that time all the camera knowledge we have, we got from watching Youtube videos. So my brother and I started watching a bunch of wedding videos to get some inspiration. We also built DIY sliders made from PVC pipes to help add some dynamic shots and movements to our video. The wedding video turned out good, the couple loved it! That was the start of our wedding videography business. We created wedding videos for almost 5 years as our side hustle, before we decided that it was time to move on to other things. Fast forward 10 years, I moved to British Columbia from Manitoba. I still have my camera and some of the equipment we used to use in our wedding videography business. My love for videography came back, but instead of weddings, I found a brand new niche. I found that real estate is a big industry in the city I moved to, and there was a big market for real estate videographers. Now, after 2 years of working as a real estate videographer part-time, I was able to quit my 9-5 job and do this as my full-time business.
If you had to describe your videography style in 1 word, what would it be?
"Hybrid". When I made the transition from wedding videography to real estate videography, I still tried to incorporate the story telling style of filming I used to do on my wedding videos into my real estate videos.
What was the first camera you ever owned? And what are you shooting with these days?
- The first camera I ever owned was an action camera actually. It was the Kodak PlaySport Zx3. The reason why I bought this camera was because it can shoot videos and can also shoot underwater, and it wasn't as expensive as the bigger DSLR cameras. I didn't care about the video quality back then, as long as it can record a decent video, it was good enough for me. Now I'm currently shooting with a Canon EOSR6 and a Canon EOSR, capable of shooting 4K videos.
Al fits his Canon rig into Gura Gear's City Commuter 18L backpack
What videographer has inspired you and/or continues to?
When I was just starting out, it was Jason Magbanua who really inspired me to turn this passion into an actual business. He's a Filipino wedding videographer in the Philippines and I used to watch all of his videos back then to gain some inspiration and learn the techniques and the style of cinematography he was using that made his videos different from others. Now, I'm getting inspiration from Peter Mckinnon, a Youtuber and content creator. His videos and love for photography, videography and camera gears is so much fun to watch and makes me want to continuously learn new ways to make my craft more unique and creative.
What or where inspires you next?
Right now, my inspiration comes from messages and comments I've been getting from my Instagram followers. From other creators who send me messages thanking me and telling me how they were also able to start their own real estate videography business after following and watching me for some time and seeing the contents I post. I always try to give value in all my posts and help others as much as I can, and getting messages like these, really makes me feel that I'm able to inspire and help my fellow videographers.
How would you describe your creative process? Where do your ideas come from?
When it comes to real estate videography, I don't really have a set creative process when I shoot. Every property I film is different and I always try to adopt my style based on how each property looks. If I'm filming an older home with a lot of characters, I make sure to highlight those small details and show the character of the home through my videos. If I'm filming a more modern property then my style would also change and showcase the property in a much different way. Be it with the choice of music, shot selections and editing style.
What are some of the most interesting changes in videography that you've observed over your career?
Definitely the evolution of consumer drones. The way camera drones continue to improve not only in video quality but also in its size and price point has become a real game changer for videographers. They allowed us to capture shots that weren't available to us before. With these drones, even the smaller under 250g drones like the DJI Mavic Mini series, we're now able to add aerial shots to our videos and increase the production value of the contents we produce.
How far do you go to capture a truly unique moment? and what is the craziest thing you've done to capture a video?
When I was still a wedding videographer, I remember having to work long hours in a day to provide amazing wedding videos for our clients and really tell their story through our video. We would start early in the morning to capture footage as the couple prepared, and stay till the end of the reception to make sure we never miss any special moments.
Where can we find more of your work? Can you tell us what you’re currently working on?
Can you tell us about the project(s) you're currently working on?I'm currently working on creating a community for real estate media content creators with my brother. We now both have our own real estate media business and our goal is to help others start or build their own business. We want to bring creators that are interested in the same niche we are in and help each other in growing in this particular field.