About Handcraft Pictures
London-based filmmaker; Toby Sleigh-Johnson travels the world documenting weddings in a style reminiscent of classic cinema; elegant and, emotive.
Inspired by the style and grace of the couples he captures, and the romantic settings their stories take place in Toby imbues his films with a timeless simplicity ensuring they age with heirloom quality.
Toby’s love of the organic nature of film; the grain, the colors, the imperfections ensures his work captures the stories of people and places in an honestly heartfelt manner.
Behind The Brand
How would you describe your videography style?
I strive to create stylish and nostalgic films, telling the unique stories of my couples in a graceful way that I hope will stand the test of time and I do this without staging or posing, preferring my films to be authentic mementos of a moment in time. I use minimal equipment, just a few small cameras and audio recorders so that my footprint on the day is as minimal as possible.
It is in the editing process where I can really breathe life into the stories, and I endeavor to craft unique pieces of work for each of my clients, personal to them while imbuing them all with some cinematic flair!
What is it that makes a wedding film magical?
A wedding film is the reflection of a moment in time, recorded for posterity. It is an heirloom to be passed down through the generations, but most importantly, it is the story of two people celebrating their love for each other in their own inimitable way, surrounded by all those they hold dear.
I feel honored to be the one to capture that once-in-a-lifetime event.
How do you select music to accompany your footage?
Music is a big part of my life. It influences my mood more than any other art form, so I know what an important part it plays in informing the tone of a film – for that reason I spend a long time choosing the perfect piece for each of my films, a track that I feel truly helps tell the story of the day.
Once I have the right piece of music I take a holistic approach, weaving the film around it, following its tempo and tone, so that both music and image complement each other.
Do you travel interstate or internationally?
Ever since my backpacking days, living in a tent on the West Coast of Australia, hiking through Asia, or road-tripping across the US, I have had an insatiable wanderlust, so I feel eternally grateful that I get commissioned by couples all over the world.
The travel has also informed my style over the years, allowing me to now work with very minimal equipment, so that I can follow you wherever you choose to hold your celebration!
As an estimate, how long does your editing process take?
As the saying goes, you can’t rush perfection. However, I realize couples are keen to share their day with all of their loved ones as soon as they can, so I try to make sure my turnaround times aren’t too long.
My clients receive a short teaser film within a week or two of the wedding to share while they wait for the longer films, which are generally ready within 12 weeks, though often sooner.
Describe a magical moment from a wedding you’ve captured…
Probably the most magical moment was capturing a proud father’s speech to his daughter at her wedding when he had defied the odds and survived a medical procedure which no one had assumed he would.
In a wheelchair, he led his daughter down the aisle and then later, quietly and in his own time, gave a heartfelt speech. It was a beautiful event, and knowing that he has since passed away, I can only hope those precious moments of him in the couple’s film will bring some comfort in the years to come.
Why we love it…
Cinematic, artistic and classically romantic, every frame is intrinsically timeless and anchored with feeling.
For the couple…
For lovers of the classics – film, photography and art. For couples seeking a visually beautiful wedding video steered by emotion that spills with an ageless allure and sense of nostalgia.
If the thought of being filmed instills a nervousness within you or your partner, then working with an unobtrusive videographer is the surest way to avoid any anxiety on your wedding day. Expertly blending into backgrounds using inconspicuous filming tactics and minimal equipment, filmmakers like Toby and the team at Handcraft Pictures, approach their work like a fly on the wall, allowing you to relax and be fully at ease.