Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in wedding videography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michael Duhamel, Founder of Michael J. Duhamel Films, located in Barrie, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Hey there, I'm Michael, and I'm the lead filmmaker and editor for Michael J. Duhamel Films, which focuses on wedding films. I've been filming weddings since 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, and surrounding areas. My couples are difficult to place in a category as I have been fortunate to have captured a great variety. From backyard weddings to The Globe and Mail Centre, the location becomes just a setting, and it's the people and their story I focus on. What I love about this profession is that every person and every couple has a unique story, and the wedding day is the pinnacle of that journey. I love bringing their story to life.
Tell us about yourself
As someone who's always been interested in video and filming, I actually never thought of wedding filmmaking. That is, not until close friends asked me to film their wedding. I had to rent all the gear and learn everything I needed to quickly to survive my first wedding. Once I finished the wedding and completed the first wedding film, I was hooked. To create a piece as important as a wedding film was such an honour, and I really enjoyed all aspects of shaping such a personal film.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Like my children, I don't have a favourite or grand accomplishment. Every couple that has trusted me to capture their wedding day is its own accomplishment. I take great pride and responsibility in creating these memories for others. Thinking of a couple sharing their wedding film with their children one day or watching it again on their 25th anniversary is the dream.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Landing the next wedding. Like any form of freelance, some months you could be backlogged, and others find yourself staring at an empty inbox. Trying to navigate advertising, social media, and word of mouth to find your way to that next potential couple is difficult. Maybe next year, I'll stand outside a fancy restaurant on Valentine's Day with a booth playing wedding films!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Study cameras, filmmaking, and weddings. There is so much content available online, and I am a proud student at YouTube University. Reach out to videographers and filmmakers you admire with questions. I leaned on a few incredible talents who graciously answered questions I couldn't figure out. Film your friend's wedding for free. Practice is the only way to put knowledge to work.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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