This is a quite a big topic, one that covers numerous elements of life and the experiences you have along the way. But I really want to be able to summarise it in just a few paragraphs so that hopefully someone will read it and get it, rather than just clicking elsewhere or falling asleep!
As a young child my parents separated, and we were quite poor. I was influenced by many to find a job which would lead to a secure, well paid career. Couple this with the fact that if I wanted something I had to find a way to buy it myself, so I gravitated towards obtaining a vocation rather than working out what I was really interested in. This story is probably quite common, and probably explains why at times I have found myself working with very talented, hard working people who appeared unfulfilled like me.
I never reached my potential from an academic perspective, too distracted by earning money and having fun, but looking back, not pursuing higher education was one of my biggest regrets, one that I am now trying to rectify. I was never particularly talented when it came to building or fixing, but I was a good problem solver, had a very practical mind, and loved working with people. Somehow the application form for the Police made its way in front of me and I filled it out among with many others for a variety of jobs. Fast forward 13 years I was a Police Sergeant working in one of the biggest and busiest cities in the country – I was good at it, but I hated it.
Why I was unhappy with my career in the police is another huge topic of its own, but I knew something had to change. I started to explore what else I might be able to do. I had always had a creative and passionate spirit, I had always loved photography, filming, editing and writing, but I guess my path through adolescence pointed me away from the gamble of finding success in creative employment. But now I was a little more worldly wise, and I could see an opportunity to utilise the people skills I had acquired in different way, and join them with the photography, filming and editing skills I had enjoyed as a hobby.
But you can’t just go into business can you? Yes, I have thought that myself, and there were also many others thinking it, some made their thoughts known to me, some kept them to themselves. It could have stopped at that point, but I knew I didn’t want to have any regrets. So I pushed my self forward, I stopped thinking about what others might think, and I worked out how I was going to turn a dream into a reality.
For anyone who has ever taken a journey like this you will know that it has its up’s and down’s, and it is not a short process. You are playing the long game, things don’t happen overnight, you have to adapt, you need to be prepared to try things and fail. Throughout I never stop learning, adapting, and growing as a person, this is what excites me – I love a challenge! I have long term goals to focus on, and short term ones to keep me motivated. I love being more in control of my own destiny, seeing reward from effort, and being able to decide what is important rather than being told what the priorities are. Don’t get me wrong, it is hard, it is a bit scary, and there is a long journey ahead until Your Story Films is exactly what I would like it to be.
Why weddings? Simple. People want to document their special day, and have emotional memories that will last forever. I want to be able to produce something that does that without stress and intrusion that some others may inflict on a couples wedding day. Yes, that might sound a bit like a low blow to other photographers/videographers, but I don’t say it to be nasty, I say it because it is true – I should explain.
If someone studies ‘art’ and becomes a photographer/videographer then they might have a particular attitude towards their art work and creative process. Thats great if you are producing images for an exhibition, making a film, commercial or shooting for a magazine. But thats not what your wedding is. Your wedding is about you, your loved ones, and having a fun/enjoyable day (or at least that is my idea of a wedding). So in my opinion the professionals you hire to help you on that day should fit into it, not expect everyone to fit into their world of ‘art’.
The photographer we hired for our wedding was bossy, miserable and tarnished an otherwise perfect day – and we paid him a ton of money for the pleasure. I have seen this time after time for other couples, and as I have learnt more about the technical/creative aspect of image taking I can’t understand why they feel this is the way to go about it. Lets be honest, what is likely to look best, hundreds of photos of a couple who have been worn out posing, moving, fake smiling and fake kissing for a couple of hours, or a couple madly in love, asked to be natural in front of someone who has a creative mind but likes to produce interesting, unique moving and still images.
So I wanted to give couples that option. Hire us and you get friendly people just like you, who have impeccable organisation, communication and decision making skills, super reliable, and want you to enjoy your day while we capture it – oh and they also know how to make great films and take great pictures. Or you you hire someone who probably doesn’t care if you have a good day, but they will give you a lot of nice looking photo’s identical to the ones they take of everyone else week in, week out. Honestly, if you prefer the second option then we would encourage you to choose someone like that.
And thats it. We love what we do and we hope it shines through in the stories get to tell, and we feel privileged to get to do this for a living.