While there are SO many amazing aspects of running my own business, one of the sad truths is business ownership can be a lonely endeavor. When I first started out, I had the idea in my head that I needed to be an expert on everything, had to do everything on my own, to look and feel successful. Boy, I learned quickly I couldn’t have been more wrong! I don’t know about you, but studying tax law is NOT my idea of a good time. So once I figured out it takes a village to put together a couple’s special day, I started reaching out to say hello! One of my favorite ways to get to know new wedding vendors is to sit down and chat over coffee. While that’s not possible right now, I’ll take my cup of coffee and enjoy some virtual chatting instead!!
So in this Vendor Spotlight series, I’ll spend some time introducing you to the amazing vendors in the wedding industry I am lucky enough to call a part of my community. It’s the perfect way to brag on them plus it gives me the chance to provide my current and future couples with details to help build the vendor team of their dreams!
Wisconsin Wedding Videographer | Chaviano Creative
I’m dreaming of the day Danielle and I can shoot a wedding together!! We met and became friends through one of (or if could be multiple LOL!) the lovely Katelyn James photography education groups. Back in December we were excited to spend the weekend together when we attended the KJ Live Event down in Richmond! As a photographer herself, what I think I love most about Danielle’s work is the bright, vibrant style she shoots in. It’s a style I feel like I don’t see a lot in videography work and it definitely makes her stand out among the crowd! Here’s Danielle sharing about her work and why chose to do photo and video:
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS! HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE WEDDING INDUSTRY?
I started my photography and videography business back in 2012. I think it’s important to give a little backstory, because I never grew up thinking I wanted to be a wedding photographer/videographer! I’ve always been a creative person. I grew up loving music, theatre, and art. I vividly remember as a very young child listening to the instrumental soundtracks of classic Disney movies and when I listened to the music I would start to visualize stories in my head based on the emotion of the music. I had a sense of connection to music and storytelling that I knew wasn’t quite normal for a kid. So usually while listening to instrumental music, I used my creative talents first in drawing, and my specialty was drawing people. I loved finding the emotion in people’s facial features in creating those drawing. Now, were my drawings really any good? Not da Vinci level that’s for sure, haha, but I had a lot of support from my family to pursue creative things, and that helped me continue to push the envelope in my creative ventures. When I was a teenager, I started funneling my creative energy into band/choir/theater. When I became an adult and found that I couldn’t sustain an income in drawing, music or theater. Like how many of us photographers might have started, I purchased a starter DSLR camera for myself for Christmas in 2011. I used that camera everywhere, and I naturally found photography & videography as a way to continue funneling that creative energy. And if you recall my love of drawing people, I naturally gravitated to photographing and filming people as my subjects. I found a special connection with two people in love. I myself was a young newlywed when I first started my photo/video business in 2012. When I started getting attention on the fact that I was a girl with a camera, I naturally started attracting real couples who were getting married and willing to pay me for my time. I jumped into the wedding business both feet first. Looking back on how I started, I’m a little amazed that I went in so fearless. I am a calculated and cautious person by nature, and I kind of started my business guns a blazin’ which is the exact opposite of my typical behavior, haha. I think I was just so excited to figure out something I was good at and develop that into a nice side hustle. That was back in 2012 and throughout the years I did eventually get some proper photo/video education along with a few good mentors, and that has really elevated my brand and the way I run a business. Even though I’ve dabbled into other types of photo/video clients like families, seniors, babies, etc., my niche has definitely become couples/weddings.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE DOING WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHY?
I love being able to tell a couple’s love story in an impactful way. I use each wedding as an opportunity to challenge myself into creating a beautiful video that can represent my client’s wedding day well. Every wedding and couple is unique, and I love finding creative ways to document that on video. I also love making valuable connections in the wedding industry and developing friendships with other vendors, especially other photographers. I’ve received so many amazing wedding video opportunities from my photographer friends referring to me that I would’ve never been able to obtain on my own.
WHAT SHOULD COUPLES KNOW ABOUT YOUR PROCESS AND ABOUT WORKING WITH YOU?
I think couples should realize that even though I’m a bubbly and energized person, I take my craft seriously. There’s a lot of prep work involved when working with a couple that gives them important knowledge about what to expect from me on their wedding day. All of my interactions with the couple help guide them along in the experience. I am always thinking about how to make the couple the hero of their own story and not drive my own selfish ideas onto them if it doesn’t fit their vibe. Sometimes I share advice about how to help them make their timeline fit all the wonderful moments they are seeking in their wedding film. Other times it’s just listening to them empathetically when they’re trying to navigate a difficult situation (like right now with the coronavirus). Every couple is a little bit different in personality, but the great experience I give each client is the same.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT WORKING WITH COUPLES AS THEY PLAN THEIR SPECIAL DAY?
Other than the actual filming of the wedding day, I love the time we get to spend in person or over a video call when we do our 4-6 weeks out meeting. This is usually the first time I am speaking face-to-face with a couple because there is no engagement session like you’d get for photography. So it’s very important for me to meet with my couples beforehand to watch how they interact with me and with each other while we get to know each other and I learn about their wedding day plans. It might sound a little strange, but I do watch their body language and see how their personalities shine during the meeting. This usually gives me a good indicator about how the energy and flow of the wedding day will be. There are obviously other factors like venue, decor, etc. that affect the look and feel, but the core of my videos stems from a couple’s personality and how they express their love for one another. This also goes so much deeper into what kind of music I select for their highlight video. Sometimes I look at a person and think “your personality feels like a quiet piano or guitar” or “you have the high-energy of an upbeat song”. That’s not something I would usually tell a couple straight out, haha, but it’s things like that I think about when I interact with them. I think learning about them in that way is the best part of working with couples.
HOW EARLY SHOULD COUPLES REACH OUT TO BOOK YOU TO ENSURE YOU’RE AVAILABLE FOR THEIR WEDDING DAY?
Since I balance my time between photographing weddings and filming weddings, I definitely recommend reaching out to me at least 6 months in advance, ideally a year out, to ensure my best availability. I think in the Midwest it is common to book your core vendors a year in advance. Coronavirus has definitely shifted the industry temporarily, but I think my 2021 season is already looking a lot fuller than my 2020 season did at this time last year, so it’s more important now than ever to book your vendors right away if you’re planning a 2021 wedding.
WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO COUPLES FOR THEIR WEDDING DAY?
Plan your wedding day exactly the way you want to, not what others are pressuring you to do. Styles and colors will naturally change over time, so don’t feel like you have to do exactly what Pinterest tells you what to do. This should help alleviate unnecessary pressure because you’ll be making decisions that feel more true to yourself. Also (and I know this is more than one piece of advice!), don’t sweat the small stuff. If something happens on your wedding day that you didn’t plan for, it’s OK! Things happen. I tell my clients that if by the end of the day you are officially married, then that’s all that matters!
Much love friends,