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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old August 29th, 2009, 08:53 PM   #1
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Success Stories

This has been a tough week for me - some discouraging remarks about starting this business from family really tore me down these past few days. I would absolutely love to hear some success stories. If you would share them I would be truly grateful. Send them privately if you wish, or post them here. Thanks, I really do appreciate it as I start this venture myself.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 03:05 AM   #2
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Hi Bill

If you truely have a passion for shooting weddings then it doesn't matter what others think. Let them go to their menial jobs that they detest while you can enjoy what you are doing!!
If you have the passion then you already have created a success story yourself!! As long as you can create something that the bride is happy with, which I'm sure you can, then your business will be successful.

I love what I do, even though I normally stick to the lower budget weddings not the creative masterpieces and every new gig is a new experience, a chance to meet new people and do something that will make a couple happy.

We look forward to hearing from you after you have a few gigs under your belt!!

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Old August 30th, 2009, 05:54 AM   #3
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Thanks Chris, I sincerely appreciate your encouragement. Sometimes you just know when something feels right - and from the moment I started doing the research, I've felt like I have found my future. Since then I've started getting everything together and preparing for my first job. There have been signposts along the way that have reinforced my decision. Most people have been very helpful and encouraging. It's just a couple of people that have been less than positive.

Hopefully once I have done some work and have something to show for all the time and investment, they will come around. Even if they don't, I'm not going to let that deter me.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 06:05 AM   #4
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family and friends will almost always be the most negative about someone doing ANYTHING out of the ordinary. Starting a business, jumping out of an airplane, running a marathon, anything. It's human nature. The reasons are many. Some are afraid for your personal safety, some for your financial safety, some just think you're nutsbut MOST din't want you to do it because they are afraid that you will SUCEED and leave them behind. They certainly don't want that because then their failures would be highlighted. Human nature.

As Chris said, if you really want to do it, then do it. Money be damned, what others say be damned (I've never cared what ANYONE has ever said, EVER but that's me. I'm just very hardheaded) if you don't try it how will you ever know what you're capable of doing? And then you end up going to your grave angry that you didn't try. Personally, I would rather try and fail then not try at all and believe me, I've failed at a lot things in my life but I've been sucessful at a few as well. I'll go to my grave knowing I at least tried.

I always ask myself (when trying a new venture) 1) will anyone die or get hurt if I try this?
2) what's the worst that can happen if I try this?
First I'm asking if anyone in my FAMILY will get hurt and then I know the worst that can happen is I lose some money. Well I've done that plenty over the years and here's what I found out. It's only money. There is an endless supply out there. The government keeps printing it, it up to US to get our share so IF I lose some (and I have-lots over the years) I know that I know how to get more.
My early AM pep talk but serioulsy, if you feel passionate about doing this then do it and forget what others say and do it. If keeping peace and saving face is more important then don't. Your choice but remember, no matter which way you go you'll dissappoint some people and there's a 50/50 chance you'll fail so what do you have to lose?
Good luck.
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 06:06 AM   #5
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Hi Bill,

So you're starting a wedding video business and you hoped for a little more support than you're getting - you're not alone.

I recently said to my wife that I was getting enquiries for 2011 and she said "you better be serious about this" - Gee thanks for the support!

People will always tell you how things will fail, why an idea won't work, encouragement is a commodity in short supply.

You only fail when you stop trying - if this is something you want to do then go for it - your success will be that much sweeter because of their attitudes.
Cheers - Paul M. :
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Old August 30th, 2009, 06:12 AM   #6
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The best philosophy is that you must always think in present tense. Write the following words in a piece of paper and keep the paper with you all the time and say these words every morning and repeat them 2 times a day ( even if you haven't started yet your business): " I have a successful videography business and I enjoy what I do"

My Blog:
"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free" Nikos Kazantzakis
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Old August 30th, 2009, 07:40 AM   #7
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Hi Bill

Well you certainly know where to come for support now!! I just think it's sad that people are so fixed in their ways. "Honestly Honey, isn't about time you got a real job???"
I'm a rebel just like Don!! Shooting weddings ceratinly isn't going to kill you and no-one will get hurt either.

If you think about it carefully, we get bookings often a year in advance which means I know that I have guaranteed work this time next year AND I have already been part paid for it!! Ask any skeptic if they can guarantee they won't be fired in a few months time??? We have an income way ahead of the "real workers" (ask them to get their boss to give them 1/3rd advance on next year's pay!!!)

As Don says, the worst that can happen is you lose a bit of fact over the Global Slowdown when people here were getting laid off, I was getting more bookings than normal.

Keep heading towards your goal Bill and remember you have a pretty large community behind you for support.

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Old August 30th, 2009, 08:58 AM   #8
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nobody said it will be easy. It's not at the beginning and it's not easier later on when you try to grow. But don't give up. The most rewarding part of the business is to be part of very special day in ppl lives. My last wedding wasn't special - very small, simple preparations, very dark and tiny chapel - but the couple was glowing from happiness. They were never upset, always smiling. And it was all honest feelings. I had shivers going down my spine during the ceremony (and I thought that after 3 yrs of doing weddings nothing will surprise me anymore).

I know it's hard and time-consuming job, but just wait till you deliver your finished product - you deliver memories and seeing B&G smiling when watching their video is the best reward for you work.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 09:36 AM   #9
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Just do what you love to do and dont stop. Everyday learn something new, progress and learn from others and yourself.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 10:10 AM   #10
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Bill, I'm sorry to hear about this. What you are experiencing is quite common in families. There are an assortment of professions than tend to be "safe" choices from the perspective of family members - doctor, lawyer, engineer are a few that tend to be universally acceptable to family members. There are a couple of reasons that less "safe" professions are rebuffed. One is a genuine concern for you and your future income and security. The other is less focused on you but on them; that is the "brag-worthy" side of things. Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, cousins et al like to brag about the emerging doctor, lawyer or engineer in the family. Anything that doesn't have brag-worthy value is roundly criticized.

Do you best to not let it break down into a war of words in which people wind saying things that they regret. Let them know you appreciate their concerns but also let them know that you have carefully evaluated you decision and that you are confident in your career choice. Then work very hard at developing your business to insure its success. After it has become a reality rather than a vision, the family members will come around.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 10:26 AM   #11
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Ok, I won't be as encouraging now.. I'll be realistic in a positive way..

Once you're in it, you're in it buddy. There's no turning back. I'd probably suggest you to try it on a few weddings. see how you go. Cause it is hard work and lots of sacrifices.. your weekend for example.. is gone.

you also have to develop these key elements:

1. deal with clients
2. need to get your own jobs
3. manage your own business (cashflow, investments etc)
4. need patience (nothing comes in instantly)
5. need to constantly teach yourself with any new skills and information
6. be thick-faced and sell your self.. in a good way. not like insurance people..
7. create balance between art (creativity) and business (making money)
8. Be prepared of wrong decisions, bad clients, equipment failure etc
9. be disciplined. no one is gonna be telling you to edit those video!
10. never give up!!!

There is a lot more actually but if you think you are up to all 10 of them.. you're on!

My 2 cents.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what about motion picture?
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Old August 30th, 2009, 10:46 AM   #12
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Wow, there have been so many great replies already. Thanks very much for all the great advice! The best thing about this is that I'm no stranger to working with clients, shooting live productions, or being under pressure-cooker deadlines, or having to get it absolutely right the first time. I've been in those situations many times, so that does help me to prepare and feel at least somewhat more comfortable going in.

Honestly, the best thing I can think of when I ask myself why I want to do this is because for years and years I've been making video for corporate interests that is used once, maybe twice, then thrown away. It's appreciated for about a week, maybe. At least with these projects I know that my work will be (hopefully!) appreciated by some people for the rest of their lives. My wife and I will be part of a very special day for these people - and we will be providing them with a living memory that they can keep. I think that's a lot better than doing a financials webcast, or cutting up reality shows into mobile device-sized pieces, both of which I've done in the past!

Thanks again... I really do appreciate all your posts.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 02:44 PM   #13
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And you can ALWAYS do the corporate cash cow stuff while you're getting started... if you already know that end, keep it going enough to pay the bills while you pursue the WV side... best of both worlds - bills are paid, AND you've got a positive outlet! Not many jobs provide that!
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Old August 30th, 2009, 06:23 PM   #14
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Hey Bill,

Do you know the difference between a dream and a vision? A vision is a dream that you pursue. Dreams never become reality on their own.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 10:23 AM   #15
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My partner(soon to be wife) and I took our business from a part-time thing and turned it into a business where we both work out of the home full time. I love it, won't work for anyone else ever again if I don't have to.

It's tough. But doable! We've also been blessed with support from our families. I'm sorry to hear you didn't receive the same full support.

If your willing to work hard, you can do it!
__________________ - Modern Wedding Films based in Michigan - Michigan's dedicated wedding blog
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