Hi! I’m Sarah
I’m a decade old wedding videographer and started filming weddings when I was a 17 year old kid who got picked up by a big time team at the time. So picture me, 17 in college in the 2010’s. I had skinny jeans, converse, flannel, swoop bangs, and that artsy, hipster vibe. So naturally an acquaintance of mine assumed I was a photographer. Fair, but alas, I had never touched a real camera in my life (yet…). This friend asked me to help them film a wedding as a 3rd assistant. I didn’t need to know how to work a camera, I just needed to help them cary gear and man a stationary camera – I could do that! That day gave me a whole new life. I loved it! I loved the speed, the pace, the gear, the strategy, the energy, all of it! I was a hopeless romantic and now I finally had a way to live out a Hallmark movie every weekend.
After a few years, the team moved on to other ventures, but I still wanted to work weddings. They had taught me so much and I felt ready to take on my first wedding by myself. So I set out on my own! I shot my first wedding for $700 which officially made me a business woman. I didn’t have hardly any equipment, so I rented an extra camera, lenses, and stabilizers and filmed my very first wedding all on my own. It went well, but stepping out on my own was insanely scary! I don’t think I told anyone just in case it was a whole disaster. I could disappear from the wedding scene without a trace and no one would even know I was a failure! Obviously that didn’t happen but that how I felt!
When I started out in weddings, I looked to everyone else to tell me what a ‘good’ business looked like. All these established photographers and videographers who had thriving businesses told me to quit, that I’d never make it, the industry is too saturated, there’s not enough money or couples to go around, and that the climb to being profitable is hard. I want to say that they were wrong about it all, but they were right about a few things. The climb is hard and the market is saturated. It’s hard to make money in the wedding industry. I found a lot of ‘educators’ promising one year plans to $100,000 and people throwing out unreal numbers that were not my experience or anyone else’s that I knew. So I wandered around collecting random information from those who would pass it along, none of it fit together or made any sense, but at least I was trying! I spent the majority of my career (about 7 years of it!) working a full time job, doing this on the weekends, and spinning my wheels trying to get traction. Most people I talk to, this is their story as well! You’re not alone, but I sure felt like I was.
Everything changed for me when I had finally built up my business to where I could go part time at my day job and focus more time and every into my business. That all happened in 2018 and then 2020 happened. I almost quit. My business was taken away. My mental health suffered, I had no energy to keep spinning my wheels on my business, and being stuck at home was miserable! I was working so hard in my business that I was burnt out and dreaded sitting in front of my computer. It’s when I almost wanted to give up that my business actually took off. I had been leaning into destination weddings and only taking on clients that valued me instead of everyone who came through the door. I was preparing to go back to work because I was sure my business wouldn’t survive, and I honestly didn’t know if I wanted it to. I was ready to let it go and start a new season in my life. My business didn’t hold any power over me anymore. That was the lightbulb moment for me. My business needed to work for me, not vice versa.
That’s when I spent time figuring out how to build a sustainable business for me. I developed processes to reclaim my time, keep my business profitable, build a team, travel, and educate others. I don’t believe that success in your business looks like anything other than how you want to define it. That’s what I want to teach others and what I wish someone had told me in the beginning so I didn’t waste 7 years of growth! I pains me to imagine where I could be today if someone gave me real advise to scale and grow. That’s why I educate others on how to start and run a business that will work for them.
As for weddings, I travel more, take on less weddings each year, and have found a happy balance in outsourcing various tasks to my team! I’ve built a life I love and it only took me 10 years – lol! I hope that I can help you skip that 7 years of wandering around aimlessly with my tips, tricks, and advise to get over the hump and get started building a business that works for you!
Check out my resources for new wedding videographers to get started making your business work for you! If you want to learn how to be a wedding videographer, specifically check out the How to Film Weddings 101 Guide at the top of the resources page!