FRIEND OF THE FRAY: Motion Reel Films


If you’re currently debating whether or not film is worthy of the expense to add to your wedding day vendor line up, we’re here to help answer your question: Yes, it is.

As photographers, we’d be remiss to not mention how crucial and timeless photographs are. But there’s something about the magic of film that helps give you your memories back from the day alongside a tingle up your spine.

When it comes to dropping coin on getting a music video highlight reel made about your wedding day, you truly need to trust the professionals (and we can’t stress that word enough). There’s an endless list of benefits from asking a pro over letting your cousin Jimmy use his entry-level SLR to document the speeches (-endless).

That’s where husband and wife Julia and Kouyou come in. Julia is an Aussie who worked in Japan as an interpreter for ten years. While she was there, she met her one-day husband Kouyou through an adorable meet-cute that involved Kouyou’s dachshund (it’s a seriously cute story that you should ask them about sometime). Now they live and work in Canberra together, making memories for couples in the form of beautiful wedding films, and raising their five month old daughter, Milly. Back in Japan, Kouyou’s family still has that ridiculously adorable (and now very old) dachshund.

Today, we sit down with Julia from Motion Reel Films to talk to her a bit more about why couples need to value film as a part of their wedding day memory.

How long have you been in the Canberra wedding industry?

Just under 2 years in Canberra and 14 years altogether doing videography in the wedding industry. We moved from Brisbane to Canberra in 2018.

What have you seen change about the industry in the last few years?

More and more people are getting a videographer as well as a photographer which is wonderful as they are both very different ways of capturing the moments of your wedding celebrations. We also see a lot more people posting videos and photos of the wedding and all the events leading up to it on social media – this is true for big weddings as well as small and intimate gatherings or elopements.

What’s the structure of your business now vs when you started?

We are a husband and wife team and we personally do everything to do with creating your wedding films. From when you first get in touch with us through to delivering your final films, we are there every step of the way. A recent addition to our team is our 12-week old daughter Milly – she hasn’t quite managed to pick up a camera yet but we’re working on it!

What’s a good thing for a couples to think about when they’re shopping for a wedding videographer?

Look for someone whose films make you go, “Wow! That’s the kind of film I want from my own wedding day!” In the same way that there are many different styles of photography, there are just as many different styles of videography. It goes without saying that it’s an absolute must that you watch films made by your videographer before you lock them in. If you don’t get a good feeling from those films then you are unlikely to be happy with the films that you receive from your own wedding celebrations. Try and have a chat with them over the phone to see if you feel a connection. Your videographer and photographer will be with you for most of your wedding day so it’s really important to connect with them on a personal level – you want to have fun and feel comfortable. Go with your gut instincts as they are usually right.

How much should a couple guide a videographer vs how much should they trust the professional to do their amazing work?

We always talk with our couples about how we film the day and what is important to them. We make a note of anything they really want to capture on film and make sure to film these moments. That said, if you like their films then we recommend giving them as much creative freedom as possible so that they can do what they do best –the longer the list of things you give them to cover, the less time they will have to spend being creative and capturing special moments that happen naturally.

Favourite attribute to find in a client in the lead up to a wedding?

We love the excitement leading up to the wedding – people spend a lot of time and effort planning their special day so it’s really nice watching the excitement build.

Couples most often worry too much about _____________

Couples most often worry too much about making everything perfect. It’s lovely to plan things and have lots of ideas about how you want your wedding day to be but it’s also really important to be able to let go of some of this and go with the flow. Enjoy the time with your partner, family and friends.

What do you love about living and working Canberra?

It’s such a fabulous place to be! I (Julia) grew up here and have always loved Canberra. We are surrounded by gorgeous nature, generally beautiful weather and people here are pretty laid-back – what more could you want? The traffic is good and it’s so easy to get around. There are some really amazing venues in Canberra and there is so much to choose from in terms of stunning locations for filming and photos.

What are you eager to see change in for the Canberra wedding market?

More blank canvas venues! There are already a lot of gorgeous venues but it would be amazing to see more venues that you can transform into a reflection of your own style and personalities.

Favourite thing about a wedding day?

It’s hard to pick just one… The vows and the speeches often leave us with tears (happy ones), but that moment when the bride and groom first see each other at opposite ends of the aisle is so special. There’s a lot of love and communication going on between them in that moment even without saying a word.

Are you married? If so, tell us about your own wedding day.

Yes – we are married to each other. We had two weddings – one in Canberra and one in Japan. For the Canberra wedding we were actually living in Tokyo at the time so Kouyou’s family flew over and we had a beautifully intimate outdoor wedding of 35 people on a friend’s private property just outside Canberra. Our photographer was the one and only Dan O’Day – best wedding decision we made!

Our Japan wedding was the complete opposite – it was a big cocktail wedding party style gathering of about 120 people in a very modern venue in the middle of Tokyo. It was so much fun having the two completely different styles of wedding (and I got to wear my dress twice!).

If you could do it all over again, you’d be sure to ____________

Honestly we wouldn’t change anything – they were both amazing days and we had a


As FRIENDS OF THE FRAY, Julia and Kouyou did us the kindness of making not one but two gorgeous videos, documenting our first pop up preparation and launch in October 2018. They’re talented little so-and-sos, I tell you. Take a look…