Four years ago, I sat in my high school journalism class dreaming of what the future would bring and today it certainly is bright. I could not be more thankful for all of the incredible friends, co-workers, co-collaborators, clients, and most definitely you – the incredible art, design, and popular culture community that exists here and continues to inspire & push me closer to my dreams. It feels like yesterday I was just writing a reflection of 2011 and how it drove me to emphasis story throughout my work. This year out of all has been a roller coaster of experiences. From the twenty-eight incredible couples that we have had the privilege to work with to opportunities to tell stories for commercial clients like Pandora Jewelry, I am forever grateful that they could be apart of my story. I felt 2012 was the pinnacle of everything I have learned thus far, and I was able to discover myself not only as an artist, but also as a person. Today I want to look forward and share with you my goals for 2013 and beyond.
1) Life is a fine balance.
The most important aspect I learned throughout this year is that I needed to find a balance in my work. As someone that does directing, shooting, editing, and then running a business, it is hard to step away and relax. In 2013, I plan to change that by cutting my number of wedding commissions in half, and giving myself some time to take on more commercial and personal projects. My dream when starting this was eventually to become a director of photography for movies and commercials. In fact, that is exactly what I did on smaller scale before I shot weddings. I worked with many small businesses to share their stories on a personal level instead of developing mindless sale ads that rarely connect with their potential customers. It was great, but once I learned that the same could be done with weddings where a story is key, I jumped in. Since then, I have shot well over a hundred weddings, but what consistently brings me back is the incredible stories we have a chance to tell. By cutting our commissions in half, I cannot only focus more on a select few couples, but also have room to pursue my dream of collaborating with other talented filmmakers on a movie or documentary. I get so excited when I can share personal projects too, so 2013 will be a great year to refocus and expand.
Throughout the last four years, I feel like I have gained quite an education in running a business and managing clients. I have also had some incredible mentors along the way that have pushed and encouraged me to continue pursuing my dreams. I would love to give some of that knowledge back to those who are you just starting out and those who are interesting in learning this unique business. So far I have learned that it is mostly all in whom you know and that there is absolutely no defined path. I have a started a Tumblr, where you can ask questions, as well as see the stories of my personal images. I hope to make this a great resource for those looking to get into wedding cinematography especially. At some point, I also want to do a small workshop & mentor sessions for those who want to learn more about digital cinema and especially the workflow with the HD-DSLRS (contact me here if your interested).
3) Traveling & networking
My trip to Paris & London this year was an incredible and inspiring experience. As Tim says in his book “The 4-Hour Workweek”, I to take more “mini-retirements” to recharge and channel my creativity. Its no secret that I am most inspired when I am able to travel and I really want to see more of the world and this country next year. Los Angeles would be a start! I also want to meet up with some of my mentors from when I first started and network with more filmmakers throughout the country. I am not a one-man army and I would love to be able to collaborate more with some of my talented friends nearby and across the world.
4) Branding. Its time for a new website & blog.
Its time to be honest. I have been so incredibly busy with work this past year that I have not had time to keep this place looking fresh. I hope to start with eliminating the traditional website and creating more of a blog site where everything is easier to find. While I cannot promise I will post everyday, I do want to post every week – two weeks with new films, stories, and educational resources. I am going to start with posting our new studio soon, which has been a year in the making (mostly because I have been so busy).
I am humbled that everyday I can wake up and continue to create films. Thank you for all of your support these last four years and I look forward to sharing more with you in 2013 and beyond.