Category: Entrepreneur

Day 64: Bootstrapping & Passionate People

This Friday I’ll be shooting my first wedding both in general, and of the summer. The past week has involved multiple trips all over the city to gather the gear needed for the shoot and I have to say, it’s incredible what you can borrow when you find people just as passionate as you are about a certain thing; in this case filmmaking.

My Gear List

  • One Ball Head Tripod
  • 55mm Takumar f/1.8 prime, 50mm Yashinon f/1.9 prime, and 24-105 f/4 Canon L Lens
  • Canon 6D DSLR
  • H4N Zoom Recorder
  • 2 Sennheiser G2 Lavaliere Microphones
  • 3 Piece Lighting Kit
  • Canon T3i DSLR
  • Canon T2i DSLR
  • Glidecam HD 2000
  • Manfrotto Video Tripod

People Who Care

This is a pretty standard list for a lot of basic weddings (I didn’t include memory cards or batteries in the list just because it would take up a lot of mundane space, but I have many as well). The gear in bold is my personal gear. The rest has been borrowed from multiple people, of which I am truly grateful for. Gear like this usually isn’t being used every day, so most of my friends where willing to lend out their gadgets to help me shoot my wedding, and get started.

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Day 52: Sell Yourself Not Your Gear

So, what if you’re someone who doesn’t have a lot of money, and wants to break into a new trade or profession? You want to move from hobbiest to professional, but you don’t have the money to take the plunge. Well, that’s what this post is about.

Last Friday I was able to finally upgrade my DSLR from a Canon T3i, to a full frame Canon 6D, and the upgrade has been stunning thus far. While I was in Whistler over the weekend, I was stunned at how much of an improvement this camera was with low light shooting and sharpness, in comparison to my old one.

Investing In The Future

Sure, not everyone needs a full frame prosumer camera, but I figured it’d be wise to equip and orient myself with more professional gear. Especially, before this summer’s wedding season starts. Like I said in my previous post…

After paying it off within the month, I’ll have a higher quality portfolio filled with content my old gear couldn’t achieve, along with a nice arsenal of professional equipment. – Saving For The Future vs. Investing In The Future 

The Rule Of Deposits

So, how was I able to make all of this happen? I did it through using the rule of deposits. Whether you’re signing on for a programming contract, recording an album for a client, or booking dates to film someone’s wedding, the rule of the thumb is 50% up front. Remember that. The rule of thumb is 50% up front.

  1. This helps decipher whether or not your client is truly serious about working with you.
  2. It lets you have some cash up front to put towards things like new equipment, rentals, and/or hiring out extra workers before the gig actually happens. 

But Sean, how do I get these gigs without already having pro-gear? Good question, but it’s as simple as finding someone who has pro-gear, working along side them, and creating a small demo reel to showcase your ability, not your gear.

Sell Yourself Not Your Gear

This is where I see most people fail, and it’s because every magazine, television ad, and website, has sold us the message that it’s the gear that makes us great, and not our own ability. Sure, the gear is a huge tool in creating great work, but it’s just a tool. New gear comes and goes. Things go from standard definition, to high definition, to 4k, but what stays consistent is You! If you can make a demo reel with someone else’s gear, that’s just as good as making it with your own, or with some gear that you rented.

In all honesty, people just don’t care about how you did it. In wedding videography, this couldn’t be overstated enough. People aren’t looking at your gear, they’re looking at you as a person, and what you can accomplish. For instance, most music producers don’t even have their own home studio setup (I’m the odd one out). So, they literally have to sell themselves to the client, hoping they’ll believe that if they walked into a fully equipped studio they’ll know how to use it, just by saying “Here. Look. Check out my portfolio. Trust me. I know what I’m doing.” That’s some serious pressure!

If you’re someone who can make great content, and is able to build trust with your potential clients, then you’re in the same position as me. Go out there and find someone with pro-gear; make a demo reel, book some gigs, and get some deposits. Now you’re on a roll.