Getting into photography early in college I knew it was an expensive path to take and at times you think GEAR is everything as many do. To purchase my first DSLR, I opened my first credit card and bout a canon rebel t5i, weeks after that I started a internship in order to graduate college and the guy let me rent to own a Nikon d3s. The reason that camera was great for me was I fell in love with sports photography and Id like to say it came natural to me but that’s not what I am covering today but check out my IG: http://www.instagram.com/DLsports to see some of my work over the years.
Back to the subject at hand. It’s expensive, rent to own my first PRO body and sports took off for me. Sports is a hard thing to get into if you want to cover pro or even college sports. Having a couple d2 colleges around sure helped out and ive covered a few D1 games for basketball. My gear was slowly aging and my interest started to shift from sports to portraits and wedding videos and video in general to be honest.
I then purchased a 5d mark iv to allow me to shoot wedding video and have a newer body for portraits and everyday use outside of my sports gear which was my Nikon d3s and Sigma 120-300 f2.8.
As you can see here ive had some gear and there is more gear when it comes to lenses and tripods, sliders. Whatever I thought I needed I found a way but it was always so hard to spend the money. My career never really made big hops and revenue wasn’t the best despite all of my hear I had. Chump change is what it was. Newspaper was $50 a game to give you an idea and so the money I was spending was my everyday cash, savings wasn’t a thing.
Then came along 2020 and I knew changes had to be made. To preface, I had been shooting wedding films for another photog for a couple years at this point. Back to 2020, I decided I would get into wedding videos as Derek Livingston Media. I start looking at what gear I have and what I might need to make this a running deal. I booked my first wedding nice and cheap and months before C-19 came into the world.
Yep, everything is on hold. Dates are pushed around and then I book another wedding and that is pushed around. We hit a spot and weddings sizes changes and I shoot my first wedding and put out the video and it was a big hit. That is when everything changed for me and my eyes were opened to the possibilites.
What started out as a test has started a future, a bright future for my video career. 2020 gave me 4 weddings and 2021 I have 3 booked already. No promotion on my end, just the power of social media and people sharing their videos from my facebook page. You can say I am beyond blessed to be where I am now.
Some info on me, I am a full time videographer for a education company, I also freelance sports photography still and capture every moment that I can with my nieces and family. Wedding video was just another side hustle to get where I want to be. I want to be independent and able to help with my wife and I’s financial situation, just daily bills of life and also maybe someday have a full running business capturing moments for people whether that is photos or videos.
Over the years I have bought gear that didn’t pan out, gear that has panned out and now I know it’s part of the process in anything you do. You make mistakes and you also succeed. The moment that really made this all come to mind was the fact for once in my life, I have been able to purchase a camera with cash. No credit card debt, I didn’t have to sell any gear or borrow money. I was able to buy my new Canon Eos R6 brand new with wedding video money.
2020 wasn’t a year anyone expected but if anything, it really made me work for what I wanted, realize what I have and see what I need to do to keep going. I changed up my work, I started reaching out to other creatives, pushed more and more onto my social media, my youtube and staying consistent with my blog posts.
I think I got off a bit but long story short, I never thought I would get to where I am today and I am still not where I want to be but I think that is because we as people compare ourselves to how well others look to be doing. We need to stop comparing ourselves to the other person with 4k, 10k, 1m followers on IG or the person that gets 100, 500, 1k likes on a photo.
Just do you, invest in yourself and keep creating. I also realize this post didn’t end up how I wanted it to be but thats 100% of my blogs here. I start on something and I just type away and call it good. I am not a good writer and can’t focus on anything for more than 10 seconds so this is how it goes.