I didn’t set out to become a wedding videographer. How I became a wedding videographer is an interesting story. In 2010 YouTube was becoming increasingly popular. I had a background as a musician, comedian, actor, and educator. I had a consumer grade Sony camcorder and editing software, and had experience making family videos and sketches for fun.
At the beginning of the year I decided to create a YouTube channel that combined my various talents. It would be part sketch comedy and part music instruction. To be taken seriously, I knew I’d need to invest in professional video equipment. I bought a bunch of gear and started writing scripts. I began teaching myself everything I could possibly learn about video production from YouTube, forums, books, and local videographers. In a very short time I began getting professional videography jobs from Craigslist. My first paid job was actually filming a speech by former President Bill Clinton. My day job was working as a music teacher at a music center. Colleagues, students, and the store owner started hiring me to film various video projects. I filmed music recitals, music videos, teacher profiles, and more.
The year I started doing video professionally, my sister had plans to be married in April in Jacksonville. I convinced her to let me film it. She was hesitant, but I told her I’d filmed all sorts of other projects, so I could definitely handle a wedding. That’s a statement I would later regret haha.
I knew I’d need a second shooter with me and I had two professional video cameras, so I asked my friend to help me. He had no videography experience, so I gave him a quick primer two days before the wedding. I gave him my dad’s old rickety photo tripod to use. My roommate at the time helped me build some DIY video gear like a dolly and steadicam, which I brought with me. The dolly track consisted of two long pieces of PVC pipe, which I strapped to the top of my car. They bounced heartily along the drive to Jacksonville.
I was in no way ready to film a wedding for a multitude of reasons. Prior to this I’d only been a guest at two weddings. They were ages ago and I wasn’t working them. I didn’t realize how hectic they are! You have to be on your toes at all times! As can be guessed, my second shooter with no experience even operating any sort of video camera wasn’t exactly getting stellar shots on his end.
I wasn’t that much more knowledgeable myself. I had recently purchased wireless microphones, but clearly didn’t know how to operate them as all I got was static in the microphones. By some miracle they briefly cleared up to capture the “I do’s” from my sister and her fiancé. Being that I’m the brother, I had to report to familial duties like family portraits and dancing. This left my second shooter in charge during those times…
Fortunately I worked out the biggest kinks from filming that first wedding. Now that I understood how quickly the day moves and how my equipment works I was ready to move forward. It wasn’t an easy road, but I was determined. I bought some online wedding courses and got a couple of mentors who took me under their wings. They ran me through the ringer as I learned how to film all sorts of weddings. How I became a wedding videographer was a matter of just committing myself and doing it. I fell in love with it through the process. At first I was focused on the technical aspects of filming. Once I got that down I honed in on the emotional side. I learned to not get caught up with amazing shots, but to focus on capturing amazing moments. There’s nothing more satisfying than hearing about the emotional response from the couple upon watching their finished film.
After years of lead shooting and editing weddings for other companies, I started my own brand that has taken off. Due to the nature of weddings, unexpected things occur. I’m now more than experienced to know how to navigate them. Now my primary focus is delivering the best experience possible to my couples. I aim to establish a friendship leading up to and after the wedding. I want the day of the wedding to feel super relaxed and fun so I can deliver the best film. That’s how I became a wedding videographer and why I love it.
I ended up creating a YouTube Channel, but instead of musical comedy sketches it’s my wedding films 😊
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