The moment of leaving a normal job and jumping into a passion without a safety backup may sound scary. The best and most satisfying plunge is just that. I must admit, I never really had a normal job. For a time, I worked with my father at his jewelry store, I always was thinking about the filming I could do in my spare time. I one day, then, quit working with my father and pursued working for myself doing videography services. Hey, I was filming and getting paid. I was happy... This was freedom. I was pursuing my passions and filming beautiful stuff (what I thought then). I did this for a couple years.
At the start, I was willing to do anything for work. I was happy just to be filming for a job. Later on, that thrill diminished and I realized some of the gigs I was taking weren't satisfying. In fact, it felt like I was just following the crowd. I would watch what others did and follow. That is a "big no no." This seems to be normal though, it is fine to try and figure something out by trying to do what another does. So many beginners do just that. They then get stuck doing just that and don't find their own voice until very late. As an artist I wasn't satisfied with the voice and style I was portraying. I wanted to stand out.
People were hiring me for services and not really my art during the beginning. I was doing wedding videos that didn't have much context. They were simple highlights of the day. I wanted to be telling stories and really creating a voice for my work. I wanted my work to be known. When someone watches a film they could say, "Oh, that is Jared's work."
It began with a couple interested in having me experiment and try the things I have wanted to try. I went for it. I tried something that hasn't been done around the local scene with weddings. I actually told a story. You know what, that boomed my short wedding videography career. From that one video it sparked my business like dynamite. People wanted it. Couple's would request, "I watched your so-and-so video.. Could you do one like that for us?" It was a video that was so satisfying as an artist. To have a voice, to have a style that is unique and that is wanted. Then, others started to follow what I had done.
photo cred: Geoff Duncan Photography
Now, after feeling happy filming for a career, and feeling more satisfied with my weddings, things felt like they connected. After a couple years I wanted to make my wedding stuff more unique. My approach and inspirations were from different categories and even from different creative realms. I created L'amour, and Boda Boho. Both were videos that were satisfying art pieces. I achieved this satisfaction from a huge key, preparation. I find that preparation is what will take your film to the next level to be noticed. What kind of preparation do you do?
Get to know your clients.
If this is a wedding, you can do a questionnaire or just simply chat with them. Discover why they chose you, what music they like, ask about the details of the event. Know the theme, the colors. Find out if they would like a unique masterpiece, something new and exciting. Find what is most important to have documented that day. From questions like these and much more, you will feel much more confident in what you're able to do with that project. Be sure they know too what you have in mind.
Prepare the REAL Story
In weddings there are the same stories that happen. A couple is joined together, and two families join too. However, there can be something much greater aside from the mundane. Find out the REAL story in that day. Example, The Bride is a single mother and the groom is about to join into that family and become a father figure. Imagine if you told the story through the eyes of the young son of the Bride. This would add more meaning. Another example is from a story of a friend. He was at a wedding, and it was pouring rain, it seemed like a disaster of a day. As he was in the bride's room getting details, he saw the bride looking out the window and say ever so slightly, "I hear you mom." He was curious, and asked what she meant. She explained that the day her mother died it rained, and on every special occasion, since, it has rained on those very days. She said she could feel her mother's presence on her wedding day. This then ignited the story to the artist. He then began documenting the day with an additional theme in mind, water, rain. He then incorporated many detail shots of the rain, and tried to utilize that as much as he could in that day.
Use the right tools
When preparing for L'amour I prepared certain shots I wanted to get. I wanted to give a richer look and knew the tools I had to use in order to achieve the look I envisioned. If you watch Boda Boho, you should be able to tell I tried something new. Not every wedding would have those kind of effects... All in camera too. The tools I use vary. I honestly use many different cameras, lenses, filters, camera supports, etc. depending on the job and what I feel it needs.
photo cred: Geoff Duncan Photography
Why do you need to find a voice?
Satisfaction as an Artist. (Molding to something that doesn't appeal you, hurts you creatively.)
You'll get the clients you want. (You attract the niche of people you have been wanting to work with.)
You'll get hired for your voice and style. (More work of what you love.)
You'll stand out from the crowd. (The Purple Cow, continue reading you'll understand.)