There comes a time when I think we reflect on our life and evaluate how we are doing. I do this a lot and decided to write about it. This blog post is not about a camera, microphone, or video I shot, but rather the course of my career as a videographer. I am hoping to inspire those who want more out of life to follow their passion and to not settle.
As a teenager, I wanted to make films. I wanted to be a director. It soon dawned on me that that role would be hard to fill so I considered video production. I declared video production as my major and learned about the industry. After five years at San Francisco State University, I graduated Cum Laude and received my degree in Television and Radio Broadcasting.
Breaking into the video production biz was very hard to do. They wanted you to have experience, but how can I get experience if no one hires me? So, I decided to take on a photographer/editor position at KMPH Fox News, where I made many mistakes and learned quite a bit on the job. Learning from the books was on thing, and learning hands on was another. I had several jobs throughout my news careers where the hours were not favorable. I used to wake up at two in the morning just to go to work. I stuck with these jobs so I could continue to learn, and provide for my family.
After being in the news industry for several years I wanted to do something more than hard news. New cameras were coming out (dslrs) which allowed filmmakers the flexibility to own their own cameras without selling their left arm. I mean this new technology was revolutionary and spawned a whole new outlet for young and old. With this new technology, I could make short films, promotional videos, shoot weddings. There was one problem though, I was working in news and could not rely on the flexibility that was needed to do what I wanted. Another obstacle was the conflict of interest.
Let me explain what I was doing at the last station I worked at before I move on. I was hired to edit the six and eleven O’ clock news and eventually edited the 10 O’ clock news as well. There were times when I was asked to shoot some news pieces but that was rare. I filled in as a photog when folks were on vacation and or ill. The thing is I really wanted to shoot, not edit. I felt that I had what it took to shoot like I had at my previous jobs, however I was used as their editor. I really couldn’t complain because I did take on that role, but throughout the years I yearned to be used as a photographer. Mind you, I was working from mid-day till eleven at night and never saw my wife or child. When I went home I slept. I would wake up to see my family off to work and daycare for about 30 minutes and then I was alone. Was this all worth it? There had to be a better way.
I soon left news and started working full time as a videographer for a large employer in Fresno. I slowly started buying camera gear to do what I truly wanted to do. Soon I was shooting weddings, promotional videos for local businesses and non-profits. I can tell you this: I have not been happier than I am right now.
If you are settling for a job and you really want to do something else I would like to encourage you to do it. What is the sense of going to a job which you despise? Especially if you feel you can benefit from the change. Can this new job open opportunities for you? Is it a better fit for you and your family? Will you be able to help others in need? Can you teach others your passion? The list goes on and on. My main point is, do not settle. Do what you love, and what you know you can do. Sometimes we must go with our gut feeling and believe in our talent even though others might not see it. We only live once, and we need to utilize the gift’s God has given us to better serve those around us.
I have been working in television/media for over 16 years. My experience includes news photojournalist, editor, and storyteller. It is my belief that you have a chance to better your skills each time you pick up the camera. I strive to be better than I was yesterday.