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Meet Jeremy Foster

Image Credit: Wonder Tribe Photography

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeremy Foster.

Jeremy, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In college, I majored in journalism, but I was also interested in creative writing. I realized early on that while I could not write fiction, I could walk into many situations and find a story. I starting writing for newspapers in the fall of 2007, and I quickly found that my favorite things to write about were live events and people. I loved meeting a business owner or an artist and digging beyond the business and art into what shaped their passion and what continued to inspire them. I could show up to a live event and look for people who might provide a more intimate experience beyond the event itself. Today, I do this when I meet couples and film their weddings.

In 2016, I got started in wedding videography indirectly. I was curious about other forms of expression, and I saw a video a former colleague had produced about a non-profit organization. He filmed much of it with a very standard DSLR Canon camera. I saw an opportunity in video to report and show things in a new, exciting way. I think I reached out to an ad for a company looking for someone to assist with their wedding videography. It was exciting, but I didn’t feel that they saw the process as more than a gig for some side money. I wanted to start my own thing. I set up a craigslist ad in which I offered to film a wedding for free. Before long, I had a basic and ugly website with three wedding films and advertised in the tri-county area. By 2017, I had 35 weddings booked, and by the following year, 50. It has been a crazy fun ride.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I remember meeting another videographer in Moorpark, who told me that business was as important as filming. I had to climb that learning curve because the idea of running a business seemed to be less appealing to me than simply being an artist.

I would book a wedding based on the work, but I would show up and the couple and I were mostly strangers with each other. That was not a good feeling, and it didn’t help that I am painfully shy.

I learned how to move beyond that shyness and get to know couples better before their special days, as well as interacting with other wedding professionals so that the process of filming was fun and mostly seamless.

Educating couples was also something I realized I needed to work on. Wedding videography is still in its relative infancy, and half of my couples do not know what to expect before, during, and after the wedding.

Much of what I do now is education. A couple sees a wedding film on a friend’s social media feed, and suddenly they want one too but they have no idea how it works and what to expect! In the past, I may have overlooked the importance of educating them and not managing expectations. Now, I make it a point to reach out to couples so they not only understand what to expect but look at me as a member of THEIR team.

There was also the technical aspect of videography. A few years ago, I didn’t know how to turn on a camera. I had no idea you could take a lens off a camera body. That was exciting! So the last few years where the growth has taken place has been three-pronged: educating couples as best I can, understanding every aspect of what it takes to film a wedding — from the technology through the storytelling, and not only creating good content but making business decisions that enable people to find my work.

Covering a live event for a newspaper only required a pen and paper and maybe a recorder. Weddings is very technology intensive.

Please tell us about Jeremy Foster Films.
My company is me and a handful of dedicated second shooters. We all share a passion for filming in a way that is true to the day but also artistic. We all know what it’s like to be a part of high-pressure situations. One of my second shooters is an EMT. He says if you can film weddings, you can probably be a good EMT. The problem is, I am scared of hospitals!

The structure of Jeremy Foster Films is simple: I am the lead shooter, and I edit every wedding film. Editing, for me, is a big part of the process.

I love to capture toasts and use that as a way to tell the story of the couple. Capturing clean audio for us is as important as capturing clean video.

Some videographers like to showcase romantic imagery of the couple. Or they may impose an editing style that creates a specific vibe that may not be true for the couple.

I am big on creative control, but a wedding isn’t a set with actors. I love showing the venue, the people, the details, and everything that is unique to the couple. I recently filmed a wedding in which the bride’s mother had passed and she had her mother’s wedding dress was on display. That bittersweet detail was important to include.

In the edit, I decide how to bring the couple’s unique story as well as the actual wedding day to the fore so that in decades ahead, the couple can re-watch and remember it as being true to their day.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Naming all of the wedding professionals who have been pivotal parts of my story in wedding videography is impossible. But to name a few:

Fantastic planners such as Courtney Haynes of One Sweet Day, whom I worked with on my first wedding in 2016, Frances Steiner with Events by Fran, and Sarah Pugh with Vintage Heart Weddings & Special Events who constantly tells me to stop being self-critical.

Photographers such as Michelle Ramirez Photography and Montana Dennis, whose work I love and who have been champions of mine for a long time! Florists such as Tangled Lotus and DJs like Matt Graumann who have me appreciating their respective art in ways I never did before entering this industry.

What makes a wedding vendor a professional is someone who champions other people as team members, and that is how I strive to cultivate relationships in my journey.

Pricing:

  • I offer everything from short highlight films to 20-minute feature length videos. Prices range from $3,200 to $5,000. I also film elopements and coverage begins at $2,500.

Contact Info:

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Meet West LA Series Sponsor:

Megan Gallagher: Hi! My name is Megan Gallagher! I’m a 24 year old 2x TED speaker, #1 best selling author, afterbuzz tv host, mental health advocate & podcast host! I am very passionate about helping teenagers and changing the school system to have mandatory classes about self love, mental health and following your dreams! Growing up, I started struggling with anxiety as young as three. As a got older, I became more aware of my body and by 14, I knew that something was wrong and I needed help. It was really scary to be sitting in class(in High School) and all the sudden feel hot, sweaty, a fast heart rate and like I was going to pass out. These “episodes” happened every day, in all seven of my classes. After a few months of struggling, I decided to sit my parents down and vent to them. It was so scary and surreal, yet I felt so understood and safe. I then started therapy for three years and went on a journey to discover who Megan was. Now, having overcome it all and being in such a different place in my life- I have dedicated my life to being that person I craved as a teen. I speak at middle schools and high schools across the country in hopes of spreading positivity and inspiring teens to reach for the stars!

Image Credits
Image Credit: Stefanie Villers

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