Gayest & GreatestGayest & Greatest 2022Special Sections

Gayest & Greatest 2022: Wedding & Events

Jay Clark loves to capture a couple’s special moments on film.

Jay Clarke (Photo by Frank Hernandez)

 

BEST WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHER
BEST COMMERCIAL VIDEOGRAPHER

“I take my work very seriously, and there’s no room for error on my end.”

That is the passion Jay Clark, who identifies as gay/queer, brings to every wedding he films and edits for clients. Clark is this year’s Gayest & Greatest winner for Best Wedding Videographer, Best Commercial Videographer, and a finalist for Best Wedding Photographer.

Clark’s work begins as soon as he meets with his clients and learns what they are looking for in their wedding film. “I ask them, ‘What are the most important moments to you?’ [They might mention] the first look, the ceremony, or the first dance.” 

Clark captures the entire wedding day, of course, but he uses the clients’ input to prioritize the narrative he builds for their wedding film. “As long as [I capture] those important moments, that’s what they care most about.”

Filming a wedding is not as simple as pointing a camera, though. It requires creative visual storytelling, knowledge of editing, and a deep understanding of each couple’s personalities and desires. 

“Every wedding is different. You always deal with a different venue, different couple, different personalities,” Clark says. “So I just go with the flow, and see where the footage takes me.”

Clark perfected his skills through a mentorship with his friend and wedding photographer Bryan Anderson. He also offered to do a few weddings for free, just to practice and build a portfolio. “Those clients loved [my work] so much they actually sent me checks in the mail,” he recalls. 



From those humble beginnings, Clark’s business began to grow through word-of-mouth referrals. “My clients trust me and my vision,” Clark says. “They love my work and editing style, and they love how I tell stories. 

“One thing I learned about weddings is that you can have fun with it. Sometimes I’ll take risks and maybe go in a different direction with the editing style.” 

The exacting editing process is where Clark gets to shine and set himself apart from his peers. “The way I approach it is to draw the viewers’ attention within the first five to ten seconds,” he explains. To pull this off, he’ll start with a “wow” moment that may showcase a particularly emotional scene, a collection of his favorite photos from the day, or dazzling aerial shots of the wedding location. 

“From there, I go about telling the story.”

Yet, according to Clark, the secret ingredient in a quality wedding film is the music selection. “It’s kind of a joke within the wedding filmmaker community,” he says. “We spend 99 percent of the time looking for music, and 1 percent of the time editing. The music really sets the tone for the whole film.” 

Sometimes clients will request a specific song that doesn’t always work well with the editing. “I like for my songs to have high points, low points, some melodies, and some parts where it’s just instrumental,” he says. This allows him to play with adding in audio clips of the vows or speeches from the wedding day.

Although Clark has filmed hundreds of weddings in the last eight years, he hasn’t yet had the opportunity to work with a same-sex couple—something he hopes to remedy soon. “I don’t see [a same-sex wedding] being too much different from any other wedding,” he says. “It comes down to just talking to the couple, seeing what’s important to them, and learning what their needs are.”

For information, visit jayclarkfilms.com. 


WEDDINGS & EVENTS

BEST PLACE TO POP THE QUESTION
Pearl Bar
Finalists: Eagle Houston, Houston Botanic Garden, Mecom Fountain, Menil Park, POST Houston

BEST WEDDING/EVENT PLANNER
Rexberry Luxury Weddings and Events
Finalists: A Day to Remember, Event Elementz, Mariana Lemesoff, Dewayne Hinojosa Ross, Robert Shipman

BEST WEDDING OFFICIANT
Rev. Diane McGehee
Finalists: Dewayne Hinojosa Ross, Anton Igdalov, Johnny Peden, Tiffany Scales, Pastor Sven Verbeet

BEST WEDDING/EVENT VENUE
AvantGarden
Finalists: The Ballroom at Bayou Place, The Bell Tower on 34th, Bering Church (UCC), Crystal Ballroom at The Rice, Spread Oaks Ranch

BEST PLACE TO RENT/BUY FORMAL WEAR
Men’s Wearhouse
Finalists: Al’s Formal Wear, Balani Custom Clothiers, Festari for Men, Indochino, Jos. A. Bank

FAVORITE LOCAL FORMAL WEAR DESIGNER
Festari for Men

BEST WEDDING/EVENT CAKE BAKERY
David Alcorta Catering & Custom Bakery
Finalists: Angel The Cake Chef, Jodycakes, Leona’s Bakeshop, Susie’s Cakes, Who Made the Cake!

BEST WEDDING/EVENT CATERING FIRM
David Alcorta Catering
Finalists: Event Elementz, 210 Fusion Cuisine, Legacy Events Catering, Mason’s Catering Services,
Chef Soren Pedersen

BEST WEDDING/EVENT FLORIST
Robert Shipman Flowers & Events
Finalists: Chad Cornwall, DeMartino Design Group, Minerva’s Blossoms, Rexberry Luxury Weddings and Events

BEST WEDDING/EVENT DJ
DarKer Side DJs
Finalists: Dillion Allen, B&B Entertainment, DJ Krazzy Kris, DJ Ukemi

BEST WEDDING/EVENT LIVE MUSICIAN/BAND
Harmony Strings
Finalists: Tianna Hall & The Houston Jazz Band, Hayden Jones, Third Floor Strings

BEST WEDDING/EVENT PHOTOGRAPHER
Kirk Surber Photography
Finalists: Jay Clark, Sebastian Gutierrez, David Truong, Tristan Turner

BEST WEDDING/EVENT VIDEOGRAPHER
Jay Clark Films
Finalists: Brandon Fincher, Lozano Studio, Tristan Turner

 


For a full list of winners, go here.

This article appears in the October 2022 edition of OutSmart magazine. 

 

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David Clarke

David Clarke is a freelance writer contributing arts, entertainment, and culture stories to OutSmart.
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