Filming weddings on the side

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Yesterday I had the opportunity to film my 2nd Louisiana wedding in Homer. It wasn’t my 2nd wedding ever, but my 67th wedding!

People assume because I work for a TV station that I’m using the stations camera gear to shoot weddings, but that is not true in the least. You see, I actually started my wedding videography business in 2008 when I was a sophomore in college and I’ve been investing in my camera gear ever since. Now I have my own wireless mics, tripods, a camera slider system, 2 Sony FX 7 HD cameras, and 2 HF 100 cameras. All of which I paid for through the money I earned with my business, and some of which I’m still paying off.

Shooting a wedding in 2011

Shooting a wedding in 2011

I got involved with weddings when my friend David asked me to shoot his sister’s wedding, I borrowed cameras from my friend Rheannan’s dad and loved every minute of shooting and editing it. I took out a few credit cards, bought my own starter gear, set up a website and BOOM! I had 20 weddings booked for 2009. I think people liked the idea that they were helping a college kid pay for school and also like my editing skills. Spending a lot of time editing and spending weekends at weddings was pretty tough while still in school, but I loved being a business owner and having a little extra spending money. The next year, my Junior year of college I also booked and filmed 20 weddings, and my senior year in college I also booked and filmed 20. In fact, after college and while I was finishing up my last TV internship, I was able to live off of my wedding video money. For 7 months, I shot and edited weddings as my full time job. It was an awesome experience and it was tempting to just stay in Virginia Beach and run my business full time. Even people at my internships would watch my wedding videography work and say, “This is where your talent lies, keep doing it.”

Getting cool shots with my camera dolly system

Getting cool shots with my camera slider

But I had already been bitten by the journalism bug, I watched the people at my TV internships do their jobs and felt 100% certain, I wouldn’t be happy and feel fulfilled with my life until I found my way into the news business. I was right, but after nearly 2 years of working as a broadcast journalist, I found myself missing the wedding shooting experience. Also my thousands of dollars of camera gear (that I’m still paying off) was sitting in a closet and it just didn’t feel right. So earlier this year I renewed my website domain (www.victoriashirleyproductions.com) and begun getting calls and emails with potential brides curious about my work. Now I need to remind myself not to get ahead of myself like I did in college and book 20 weddings a year, with a full time job, I need my weekends to recuperate and edit the weddings I have filmed. But I’m still looking forward to booking a handful of weddings each year, just to make use of camera gear. It’s also nice to have the creative outlet that I don’t always get to have while editing news packages.
Here is a wedding promo video I shot and edited myself for my wedding business a couple years ago:

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