My Journey Into Videography and Why I’m Taking the Leap

Ever since I got the Canon 5D Mark II in 2010 with its incredible video capabilities, I’ve been eager to learn how to create videos. Never did I actually put this feature to work (other than for play during family get-togethers), until this past January at the Becoming Girls Conference when I was approached by Crystal with My Refuge House. She had an idea to work on a documentary in efforts to fight human trafficking across the globe. It was at that moment when I thought to myself, “I can do this. And Wow. Whether or not we do this specific project or it fuels the desire for another, I have a HUGE purpose in life: to touch the lives of others with my gifts” This purpose is not for the achievement great things for some career-driven popularity contest, but for a purpose to be used for the benefit of others’ lives.

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I’ve always felt a strong calling to take something of my gifts and put them to work on “big things.” This whole notion is what fueled my efforts to drop photography and pursue nursing in 2009. However, I quickly realized I could never drop photography, because no matter what else I set my mind to, photography was always right there, tugging on my heart. It’s my passion, and it has been since I assisted at my first wedding in 2006. I just never understood that having a skill to use a camera could be such an impacting thing in today’s world. My thought was always, “I’m just taking photos.”

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As all of these thoughts about video documentaries began to run rampant in my mind for the next several weeks, March quickly approached and I headed to Las Vegas for WPPI, a wedding and portrait photography conference that is hosted annually to bring professionals from all over the world to one place for news on the latest trends, technology, and an incredible source for education and inspiration. It was the very first platform class I attended that made the biggest impact on my heart and my career: “How 10 Photographers Changed Their World and You Can Too” organized by Kevin Kubota. It was in this class that I realized I’m not just taking photos. The way we can use media to reach people and move them is unreal, and it’s my job to put that into action. One very meaningful verse that came into my mind as I sat and listened to these 10 photographers share was this:

“And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor…” 1 Corinthians 12:21-23 (NKJV)

It’s this beautiful abundance of talents and gifts amongst the many beautiful people in the world that can be brought together for one greater purpose. How wrong is it of us to think that we might be insignificant, because someone else might have greater or more useful talents? No. There is no such thing as a more meaningful talent. Each talent has it’s own purpose, and it can’t be compared to another talent in the same way we can’t compare an apple to an orange.

The most powerful thing that can stop us from taking the most meaningful actions in life is fear.
Fear that what we do isn’t significant enough. Fear that something bad might happen. Fear that we might fail.

I’ve grown to appreciate the power of videos today. A photograph can move people; it really can, but what intrigues me about video is that it has the power to affect you on so many new sensory levels. And the primary reason I never made the jump to video was my fear that I just wouldn’t be great at it. I didn’t even give it a chance, because I didn’t want to fail. Still, I had long desired the ability to tell a compelling story with the powerful use of visual art paired with emotionally moving audio through music and words.

After Kevin’s class at WPPI and so many others, I confirmed the notion that I want to make this happen. Within a very short time I began shooting small videos and films for friends and tackled this exciting new art form. I’ve fallen even more in love with photo and video since.

One of my latest projects was for my friends Sara France, Rachel Jay, and Jessica Van over at France Photographers.  These three ladies are an awesome all-female wedding photography team that I love working with. They came to me wanting a short and sweet video showing who they are as a team and a little bit of them on a personal level. We shot this in one day and they now have it up on their website, which is such an honor of mine! You can view the video below.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfZsR1f-HFs

I’m also so excited to be working on a new promotional video for Rachel Jay, I’ve been shooting some live video clips of my fiancé’s new music project Upon the Water (if you have any interest in heavy music, definitely check them out.), I made a little side project video with a lovely musician Madi Walsh, and I threw together a fun proposal video for my dear friends Sean & Natascia!

I couldn’t be happier or more grateful that all of these new projects are starting to unfold. But the bigger lesson here is this: don’t let fear cripple your future. If it wasn’t for that moment I finally stepped outside of my comfort zone and started working in these new, unfamiliar territories, I’d never be able to offer this world something that may be able to touch the hearts of others. I have so many ideas on ways we can bring hope into dark places through the use of video, and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

Where do I see this headed in the next year?

First of all, let me tell everyone I am STILL photographing weddings! As I mentioned before, it’s my passion and I will always being doing that. I’m just so excited to be adding a new element of photography to my career.

I am also so excited to be announcing that I’m offering wedding cinematography through the studio of France Photographers, and you can get all the info about wedding cinematography from our amazing studio manager Jessica at studio@francephotographers.com!

In addition to weddings, I am excited to work with creative individuals and nonprofit organizations to tell stories about their cause or business, because I believe nothing is more compelling than a well-told story. If you’re a creative and want your story told, send me an email at contact@jennaphoto.com!

I’m so looking forward to this next year, and I can’t wait to share it all with you.

xoxo

Jenna

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