Where We’ve Been. Where We’re Going…

What a year for Life Stage Videography! In a year most people want to forget, we want to take time to count our blessings and thank the Lord for all he gave us both in our business and family. We have had some AMAZING accomplishments this year! We would never had been able to acknowledge most of them if we hadn’t set goals for ourselves and recorded our success. We highly recommend doing this for both your business and/or personal lives so you can always look back and see how far you have come! We can’t say enough how excited we are that we get to do what we love for a job everyday! Its not even a job most days! That’s not to say we haven’t learned some hard lessons and made big mistakes. But that’s the risk we take in creating a business and a product people want. We are grateful we were able to learn from our mistakes and create a better business and product for our clients. Without further adieu, here are some of the things we accomplished in 2008. Let us know if you think we are forgetting something!

1. Created a successful blog and a daily blog following in January of 2008.
An AVG of 18,000 unique hits a month! We’ll take it!
2. Launched our Legacy Video website, to document people’s lives
and pass on a legacy to future generations.
“When an old man dies, a library burns” – Senegalese Proverb
3. Trained 2 new videographers/editors and expanded our shooting team.
4. Created a whole new image and branding
5. Shot 45 total weddings, a 165% increase from 2007!
Melissa and I shot 22 of them, which is a
testament to the talent of our team!
6. Introduced HD Packages and bought 2 new cameras
7. 50% of our weddings were outside of Wilmington, NC. We love to travel!
8. Google rankings are #1 for all of our major keywords!
Even “Destination Wedding Videographer” and “Wedding Video”. Check it out!
9. Won a WEVA International Award for our Love Story Videos
10. Attended WEVA and my brain exploded with
tons of valuable tools and techniques!
11. Created Sales and Editing Systems for our
business for us to be more efficient.
12. Scripted our Company Vision so we can remember our “purpose”.
13. Implemented an awesome Leads/Client
Database Manager with ShootQ
14. Didn’t have anything drastic go wrong at a wedding!
That’s a relief for high stress work such as this. No 2nd takes!
15. Launched our Business Videos (www.yourbestsalesperson.com)
Unique Sales Videos for Business’ websites.
16. Accepted into Style Me Pretty’s Little Black Book.
Only the cream of the crop in each industry get invited!
17. Won 2nd Consecutive Bride’s Book Award
18. Hired first full time employee, Jamie, our sales/marketing “guru”!
We love her and you will too!
19. Built and moved into our new studio. We converted our garage into our home office.
Video coming soon!
20. Learned all new techniques to make our videos stand out
21. Helped assistant edit a missions podcast (Congocast.org)
22. Joined WEDfact, created relationships w/ dozens of
videographers around world to expand our craft.
23. Created new and improved Demo, as well as 1 min commercial, all in HD.
24. Used Twitter and built a fantastic network of people. Follow us!
25. Started using facebook more to share our work and personal lives with everyone.

Be Our Friends!

Personally
1. We were able to travel to 9 different cities for weddings and get to spend some vacation
time while enjoying work at the same time! We are privileged we get to do that for a job!
2. We had a baby! Beautiful Penelope!
3. Lead a married couples small group/bible study that has formed incredible friendships.
4. Ran a Half-Marathon!
5. Did a great job of not working myself to death and setting boundaries for working. Family is more important to me than work, and I needed my schedule to reflect that. Not perfect but working 80+ hours a week in 2007 was not fun!

I think we learned that building a business and maintaining it obviously a lot harder than starting one and merely working in it. 2006 was our first year in business and we did only 7 weddings! We are hopefully building Life Stage into a business that runs efficiently with a team of employees and sets the bar high for the standard of wedding videography. We learned new lessons this year in managing people, which is a skill in itself!

What to Look for in 2009…

We are not slowing down and look to create an even better product for families out there looking for high quality videography. But we also want to do that with a simplistic mindset, of keeping our priorities with our family and personal lives in check. Here is a list of things I am going to keep top of mind this year as I grow as a person, and keep our business evolving.

We have already booked 13 weddings for 2009! At this time last year we only had 5 booked for the next year, so we are extremely excited that the word is moving fast about our services. We urge brides to book their videographer and photographer at least 6-9 months before your wedding date before your date gets filled!

Offer more educational services to others in the videography industry. We want to be a catalyst for change in a seemingly stagnant and outdated industry. Its coming along though!
Book a wedding outside of the US.
Be a speaker at a National Videography Seminar or Local Videographer’s Association.
Film a wedding at the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC . Photographers, feel free to help us with this goal! ;)
Become more knowledgeable and creative in motion graphics and After Effects.
Hire another full time videographer with a creative style like Life Stage (Interested? Email Us!)
Spend more time promoting our Legacy and Family Biography Videos
I get to film a missions trip documentary in Sudan, Africa in Nov of 2009. So stoked! Melissa is not.
Attending Re:Frame 09 in Austin Texas. An intimate group of 50 of the top videographers in the country growing their skill sets and growing in creativity.
Run 2 Half Marathons! (Working up to a full marathon in 2010) Iron Man by 2012. Anyone wanna run with me?
Read more books, and journal more.
Focus more on my spiritual walk.
Enter our work into more International Competitions. Win at least 3 awards.
Spend time everyday watching Penelope grow and learn. Its going to happen so fast!
Offer Same Day Edits (You’ll Learn more about this exciting video product soon!)
Attending 3 Bridal Shows! You’ll see us both in Wilmington and Charlotte this year. We usually only do one!
Evolve our videos a step closer to true film by using photography lenses on our cameras.
Plan the outline and get funding for my first feature length documentary in Acapulco, Mexico regarding abandoned street children. So excited! This was why Life Stage was formed! To do greater things!

We are so thankful for the blessings we have been given and the ability to do this work and glorify Christ. We wouldn’t be where we are today without our wonderful clients, our faithful blog followers and our friends and family. Keep us accountable in 2009 to stay the course and make it our best year yet!

2 comments

  1. ryan koral says:

    you guys are an inspiration, my friend. thank you for sharing your vision and your wisdom.. and friendship.

  2. Jane says:

    Wow. I am in a similar business in California. I love your website! I doubt that I could do half what you did in 2008 in double the time! Thank you for sharing.

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