One of my all time favorite questions people ask me when they find out that I’m a photographer is, “Why do you love photography? What made you start?”
For me there is no ‘one right answer’ but there are about a hundred reasons! This is where my “Why, How, What” blog series idea came in and I can’t wait to share it with you! For the next few months you’ll see me post every Thursday about WHY I love photography, HOW I run my business behind the scenes, and WHAT I do on a day-to-day basis as a natural light wedding and portrait photographer.
This week I’ll be sharing how my love for being my family’s designated videographer sparks fire for my love for photography. Click here to read last weeks “Why I Love Photography Blog Series No. 1” post and get some incite on what lit the fire in my heart for photography 😀 IF A PICTURE IS WORTH 1,000 WORDS WHAT IS A VIDEO WORTH? This question is the wood that keeps my fire going! There is no better feeling of joy than hearing your favorite person’s laugh or the way they talk on video if you haven’t seen them in a long time or if they’ve passed away. The moment that solidified my love for videography was Christmas Day in the early 2000’s. I was about 10 years old and had just gotten my first video camera for Christmas. Back then we spent Christmas Day at my MawMaw and PawPaw’s (the same house that’s in Blog Series No.1). I had not idea at the time but on that day I took footage of a member of my family that we will treasure forever.
I had videoed my Aunt Catherine sitting next to one of my sister singing “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone” by Brooks & Dunn (because she lived in Virginia at the time). This was a super crazy coincidence that she was singing that song because shortly and unexpectedly passed away in 2008 when I was only 15 years old. I remember the moment my sisters and I were sitting downstairs in our old house when we were watching old home videos and this part came on. As we watched and cried together in the living room we felt at ease because it was like she was serenading us that it was going to be ok and reminding us that everything happens for a reason.
Video is such a special tool for an artist and my favorite thing about it by far is that it doesn’t have to be perfect! Shaky, low light, poor audio quality, it doesn’t matter – if you recorded a moment that was special to you, admit now that you’re going to rewatch it at least a dozen times! Now imagine having moments and days documented every few months with your favorite people in the entire world. That’s what the videos I create are for me and my family 🙂 The most perfect and imperfect moments saved in time 😀
In the fall of 2017 I met a talented videographer who introduced me to Casey Neistat’s work on YouTube and the rest is essentially history! I spent hours watching Casey’s videos, admiring his creativity and editing techniques. Certainly living in NYC has its advantages of beautiful scenery but I love how he creates a captivating story of his life out of the normal everyday hustle and bustle
I was mesmerized learning how Casey tells a story within a 10 minute video, how he brings his audience in and shows them his world using different angles and cutaway shots. I love the authenticity in his work and his passion for creating something every day. Above all I admire the dedication he has for creating and how he uses his goals and aspirations as a guiding compass to the person he wants to be.
I was also introduced to Gary Vaynerchuk in the spring of 2017 and was mesmerized by his love for “documenting vs. creating”. To him this means not letting yourself get caught up in the, “I have to make this perfect before posting it!” to, “Perfection is the enemy of progress, document your life each day and the content you produce will be 10x stronger and more meaningful than when you’re trying to make it perfect.” He also is a huge advocate for documenting the process because the journey is where the joy comes from and I couldn’t agree more with that , especially with family!
I took these motivational moments and ideas from Casey and Gary and applied them to my own life. I know that when I grow older my memory will fade and the “Good Ol’ Days” of being young and reckless with my family and friends will be long gone. That’s where my love for videography comes into play! My family is my driving purpose for wanting to create videos and I’m so thankful for them!
This week I’m sharing a quick 3 min. video where I’ve combined of all the times my family and I use movie quotes as conversations + the other videos I’ve created for them throughout the years. By far one of my favorite things about my family is our sense of humor and how we can laugh for hours without even saying anything! I’m so grateful for all the times we’ve been able to all get together. I know in the future when we’re all old and wrinkly we’ll have the best time sitting around watching these old home family videos. Enjoy! 😀
When I took the below footage I had no clue how to edit videos! The only thing I did know about creating videos was that once the moment was gone it could never be recaptured. The footage is from summer 2017 at my nephew’s 1st birthday but I didn’t actually edit it until his 2nd birthday in summer of 2018. I still have footage with my family in the queue waiting for me to edit when my nephew was 6 mo. during Thanksgiving, Christmas this year, Memorial Day from last year, and a lake day trip during the summer! It’s my goal to have all of the above edited by the end of 2020 so feel free to hold me accountable! lol My favorite thing I learned when making this video was putting timestamps throughout the day. I think it brings another layer of interaction in the video and helps tell the story line 🙂
Below is the first video I’ve ever edited for my family and I’m super proud of it! This was around fall of 2017 and I think I had watched only a few of Casey Neistat’s videos on YouTube at the time so I didn’t have a true idea for how vlogging “worked” yet. This is a 15 minute video of me, my sister, and nephew hangout out on a Saturday in October 2017. Going into this project I knew that my main goal was to produce a video for that day that when you watched it you felt like you experienced our day.
This video below was from a January weekend spent with my nephew, two sisters, and brother-in-law. I recorded 9 hours worth of footage to create a 1 hour video of this day. 9 hours -“yikes! – Emily, that seems excessive!” – I know lol but my goal for this day was to create a video that captured every laugh from my nephew, and all of his funny quirks and interactions with us. He was 18 mo. at the time and I knew that these days of him being little and only knowing a few words were fleeting so I wanted to capture the whole day in it’s entirety for my sister and brother-in-la with their first born. I’m incredibly proud of this video and can’t wait for the day (I mean I can wait, slow down time!) when me and my family are old and get to watch these movies together! 😀
Memorial Day Weekend 2018: Part 1. This year my dad celebrated his 60th birthday so my sisters and I made a weekend trip down to their property! There will be a few other videos from this weekend but during this busy season all family projects has been moved to queue.
Below is the first video I made where I was introducing and establishing my photography business as Emily Louise Photography! A HUGE MILESTONE FOR ME! 😀 This was taken January 2019 in my backyard on my Canon SL2 with my stock kit lens and since then I’ve not only upgraded my camera equipment but have really dug deep on what this business is about. I plan on creating a new version of this video explaining what I believe to be my purpose is behind the lens and I can’t wait to share it with you! Side Note: look at that little baby 50 mm lens! It’s so much fun looking back where I started and where I’m at now even in a years time. To think of what I’ve done in one year and know that my ideas for this business are just getting starting is like a kid stepping into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory! If you’re still reading this, I’m so excited you’re on this journey with me! 😀
Below is the epic dance party I captured towards the end of my first wedding I photographed! I have known the bride since middle school and knew that “All The Small Things” was one of the B+G’s favorite song – when I saw all of their friends dancing around in a circle I knew that I wanted to switch from photo to video for a few minutes and create this little clip for them as a bonus gift! 😀 I’m so thankful to have joyful and fun-loving clients!
If you’ve read this far please know that I appreciate you and it means the world to me that you’re reading my story! Without your love and support I wouldn’t be able to make my dream of being a full time wedding and portrait photography a reality! Now it’s time to hear from you – what’s something that is a small fire to your big fire passion? Whatever it is, I wanna hear it! 😀 Leave a note in the comments below and stay tuned for more reasons as to Why I Love Photography – love y’all!
Emily Louise Photography