Ian DeFreitas: taking videography and photography to the next level

Brides and grooms are always looking for the best ways to capture their perfect day and all the moments within, even more so as technology advances. Filmmaker and photographer Ian DeFreitas is one of the persons who can give them that ideal experience.

A video can capture things a photograph cannot, like emotions and action. Looking at a picture may bring happiness or sadness but it is not quite on par with the effects of watching love play out before one’s own eyes and that is what Ian tries to create. 

Born in Georgetown, Ian attended Stella Maris Primary and continued his education at Richard Ismael Secondary School. Though he had an eye for detail, he chose the technical stream and later completed a diploma in Electrical Engineering. “I had just finished GTI [Government Technical Institute] when a friend and I went to hang at a studio. The photographer and I were talking about computers and how well my knowledge was and I told him I know a thing or two. This led to me editing the photos for the guy during the August holiday. That is where the enthusiasm came from to be creative. I love the creative freedom, which is why I left my full-time job. I don’t think creativity should be surrounded by walls, stifled in an office,” Ian said.

Sometime after this experience, Ian began working in graphics and video editing at the National Communications Network and after that as an editor at the Guyana Learning Channel. While working at the Learning Channel he decided to take up photography and began working part-time which he did for a year until two years ago when he decided to go full time into photography. Within a year, he managed to purchase even more equipment and opened Ian DeFreitas Productions. 

His love for shooting weddings stems from his love for the Guyanese culture especially the Indian culture which would often have celebrations for three to four days and sometimes more. “Everybody celebrates together. Nobody is bothered with race and politics but just about having and a celebrative time; they blend so nicely together. Of late, a number of my customers are from overseas. They like the idea that not only can they get their weddings at an affordable price, but the quality is exceptional. Coming back here to host their weddings brings them back to a familiar atmosphere where they can connect with family and friends. It has been my passion to capture emotions through videos and photos.”

Weddings, Ian shared, can be hectic for the couple and most of the time they are worried about pulling off everything in the best way possible. As a videographer/photographer, Ian recognizes this and therefore he does his best to remain calm. To create a more relaxed atmosphere, he would sometimes make a few jokes to lighten up the couple because whether calm or stressed, it reflects in the photos. 

Ian has had his own run-ins with bridezillas, who are hysterical and on the verge of breaking down yet the eventful day has always pulled off well. He has never once had a client who was unsatisfied. Ian has admitted to having missed a moment or two but nothing that made his customers discontented and of course these were in the earlier part of his career. Now he knows what and when to expect certain moments and is always prepared to capture them. He does an average of two weddings per month except for peak season (July/August) when he is completely booked out. On various occasions when events are huge, he has to get up a team. While he videotapes on the ground, another photographer is taking photos while someone else operates the drone in the air to catch all that is happening below. It is just this year, he said, that he has gone big with having the drone.

Prior to filming a wedding, Ian, like most other photographers, does photos and if the couple wants it on DVD then he puts a string of them together and plays a song in the background, but he has long since moved forward. A look at two of his videos showed a bride being dressed for her wedding, while her mother tries to assist for probably her last time for a long time. Fast forward to the bride making her way down the aisle, she and her groom catch each other’s eyes for the first time and keep their gazes locked until they stand side by side. Frames after this show the couple arm in arm for the first time as husband and wife while all those around them celebrate. For weeks and months they were preparing for this day, they took pride in getting the best décor; they spent hours finding a pattern and suitable colour for the bridesmaids and groomsmen; much thought was put into getting the perfect bouquet and in the setting of the tables and lots more; then their wedding day arrived and they are too caught up to notice the little things they put so much time and effort into getting. They would have been too caught up to notice who was present and who wasn’t, what dishes were prepared and to remember what their well-wishers had to say. But a few days later, they can sit down with Ian and watch the whole thing. “The greatest moment is when my clients sit down beside me and we watch the film of that day and then they are crying, happy tears of course, and are beside themselves that we were able to capture it all,” a satisfied Ian said. 

Ian has within his two-year span done more than 100 weddings, which have taken him countrywide. Having accomplished all this so far, Ian hopes to one day be able get into destination weddings and take his passion beyond these borders. 

He credits his support to friends he built his production with – Vickash Katwaru and Henry Bredner along with his sister Amanda DeFreitas-Baichandeen. 

Although videography and photography can be rather expensive and exhausting, the thrill of travelling, meeting new people and experiencing different foods and culture by far surpasses any cons of the job. 

The self-taught videographer said he spent a lot of his time watching tutorial films and is inspired by Ray Roman’s wedding tutorials. Ian is also inspired by Guyanese photographer Fidal Bassier. 

The Aries born young man enjoys gaming in his free time. 

He has worked as a videographer on projects in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Guyana Tourism Authority and is currently working on another with Movietown. 

Ian can be contacted on Facebook at Ian DeFreitas Productions, at email iandefreitas88@gmail.com, his website – www.iandefreitas.com and on 601-0788.

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