I’ve been wanting to do a promo reel for my business ever since I first saw one done for another photographer. But that was over three years ago and I knew I wasn’t ready. I honestly had no idea who I was at the time.
It was late in 2011 when I felt like I finally began to find my true voice as a photographer. That story is something I will tell at another time. Today I want to talk about this video and how it’s the culmination of everything I’ve done with photography and my life up until this very moment.
Last year I was paying a lot of attention to what my friend Alejandra from Imaginale Design was doing with video. She posted this wedding reel…there were no words, just music and beautiful storytelling. I remember getting choked up watching complete strangers get married. I thought…”Wow, that was incredible.” And then in mid-October she did a short film on Phoenix Fashion Week and I emailed her later that day. That was it. I knew I had found the person to do this for me. I don’t know what it was, but I just knew.
I am fairly certain God is behind stuff like this. He asked me to wait until I found my voice…and then he asked me to wait a bit more until the right person came along to tell my story.
Because as much as I felt like I knew who I was…I had no idea how to tell my own story. Zero.
So Alejandra and I met for coffee. And she told me her idea. I swear…I got choked up just hearing what she had to say. The story she wanted to tell…was exactly perfectly who I was. It was amazing. I hadn’t thought it would be that simple but it was.
And so the filming began. It took awhile. We started with a family session in November and ended in our own home in April, shooting Jina and I putting packaging together and hanging with our kids. Alejandra came along on an engagement shoot, a mock wedding session and even journeyed with Lyla and myself out in some stormy weather. We had things not work out that we wanted to do, but in the end, everything we did was perfect.
Alejandra called us up on Saturday and invited us over to screen the film for the first time. I was almost too nervous to do it. What if I didn’t like it? What if it wasn’t what I expected? But truthfully, I think I was scared of my emotions and how I would respond to watching it. Because seeing your story told in a video like this is kind of overwhelming. Above all though, I tried to remember that it was God that put this together, so of course it would be perfect.
Jina and I sat there…and from the first words…”Twinkle, twinkle little star“…Jina started crying. And then I did. And it was one of the best moments of my life. I think what even made it more meaningful to me is how much it meant to Jina. This wasn’t just for me and my business. This was for US. She has just as much invested in this as I do. And I could see that plain as day after we finished watching it.
We’ve only watched it over 40 times since Saturday. I shared it with a lot of close friends and family, not to mention everyone who helped make this movie. The feedback has been incredible.
What I love about it….I can’t even begin to tell you. But this is who I am. Yes it’s for my business, but it’s also my life. My love for my wife and kids, how Jina is involved in the business, how Lyla and I go chase storms (And Eli soon too!), how I am with clients…all of it. This is me.
I want to thank Audrey, Matt, Emma, Brian and the Kruckenbergs for being so amazing and willing to help me out. They were the perfect models for the shoots we filmed and I can’t tell them enough how appreciative I am.
To Alejandra…you have such an incredible gift from God to tell stories and I thank you for what you did for us. I’m not sure you have any idea how important this work you do is for people. But I hope you do now.
If anyone needs their own video done…ummm…call her already. She’s probably going to be booked solid soon, mark my words. She might be already.
Thank you to my wife and kids. Like I said above, this is about our family, not about me. It’s really about who WE are and what WE do. I wouldn’t be who I am right now without my wife’s incredibly unrelenting support. And my kids have changed my life. If it wasn’t for Lyla, I’m not sure I would have even gotten into photography 4 1/2 years ago. I owe them everything. And thank you to God for his perfect timing.
I hope you enjoy the film and please share it if you want and share Alejandra’s name as well. She’s a rock star.