Today we’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Augustin.
Vanessa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Hailing from the Philippines, I came to America in the latter part of 2009. I had an opportunity to set out on my own and explore a new country that was somewhat of a contrast from where I was from (at least that’s how it was when I left). I came in thinking, I was just going to check and see what it’s like to live in California but I ended up getting myself an Associates Degree in Film in Los Angeles, a year and a half later. I was fortunate enough that having my OPT allowed me to work in the film industry. For a year or so, I had my foot in the Art Department, helping out Production Designers work on commercials, independent films and music videos. I met a lot of really talented and admirable individuals who continue to do great work. But after my OPT had ended, it got harder for me to get jobs. There were so many opportunities but none of which allowed me to take part because of what I had lacked in paperwork.
One day, I got a call from my cousin Ashley. She was looking for someone to shoot her friend’s wedding. Coming from the film industry, I didn’t know what it was like to shoot weddings. I thought it was the most intimidating thing due to the time constraints and having that one moment that will never happen again. I ended up watching tons of videos and taking on the job. I experienced how much fun it was (but still intimidating) and after a couple of weddings, fell in love with it. Along the way, I had met up with my flight attendant friend from college who had 3 days in LA. She was trying to meet all her friends so she told me she was bringing someone along. And that’s how I got introduced to my current partner. I was getting into the wedding industry and turns out, he’s been in it for a couple of years now. He needed some help and I needed a mentor so we started The Raconteur Collective together. Because of the company, I got my work situated and it felt like everything had fallen into place. Eventually, my business partner turned into more than just my partner and it’s been a good 3 years for us and the company.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Definitely not. I think one of the biggest struggles was finding a way to stay in the country and do what I love at the same time. I’ve always had a passion for art so I was attracted to all of its forms. Whether it be working in the Art Department, illustrating, graphic design, videography or photography; it had that allure I couldn’t keep my hands off.
I think with any kind of journey, it will never be smooth. But, that’s the best part! Learning from it all.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with The Raconteur Collective – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
The Raconteur Collective started out as a wedding videography company. We wanted to tell stories through cinematic visuals and accompany those with suitable audio. But now, we’ve been fortunate enough to expand our video work by working with corporate and non-profit organizations such as Surfrider, Coca-Cola and NBC Universal.
As a company, I feel like we don’t try to be different. What matters to us is being able to connect with various stories. And that requires us to be familiar and relative. We want people to identify themselves with us.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I would love for our company to expand so we could teach and share more stories! As of now, we’re working on that.
- Address: 453 S Spring Street #418
Los Angeles, CA 90013
- Website: www.theracollective.com
- Instagram: @theracollective
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theracollective/