I’ll admit it. I LOVE talking about Minty Slippers to anyone who will listen. Friends, family, our training attendees and even our 2-year-old daughter. So when Pro Moviemaker asked if we wanted to share some pearls of wisdom with their readers we jumped at the chance. Here we talk about starting up a new wedding video business and some of our tips and pitfalls to avoid.
In the Spring 2015 issue of Pro Moviemaker magazine (free with Photo Professional magazine or available on the iOS and Android app stores) we talk about how we took Minty Slippers from the husband and wife team we started in 2007 and turned it into the success it is today and about the launch of our sister studio A Hint of Mint.
For us, starting Minty Slippers wasn’t just about making some extra cash on the side, it was about a fundamental change to our lives. We had to decide if we wanted to be stuck in the 9-5 daily grind or become the masters of our own fate. As it turns out being self-employed initially wasn’t the dream you think it will be as you find yourself putting in longer hours and for less than minimum wage (well, we did start by charging £595).
In the article we talk about how we fell into filming weddings by chance. In 2006 we filmed our good friends wedding on a little handycam and a borrowed tripod. We then set about editing on a 30 day trial copy of Sony Vegas (our prefered editing platform to this day) and created something we were truly proud of. We have since seen what we created and still cannot fathom how we managed to get bookings from that early work but I would like to thank our first paying couple, Maria and Jamie O’Neill (I know! Same surname and no relation, spooky huh!).
The problem with a business like ours is that you are always limited to how much work you can take on by how much you can do. Not only film but also the months of editing after. We were always racking our brains on how we could grow and develop but were always caught up in the running of our business and production of our films.
It wasn’t until our daughter came along that things really changed. A few months before Julie was due to give birth to our wonderful Evie we had to start relying on our shooters more and more to fill Julie’s super talented shoes. For a couple of years we had used a talented gentleman called Nathan on our larger shoots. Now was the time to really test his mettle by moving him from 3rd shooter up to primary. Right up front on the ceremonies and doing everything Julie used to do. As it turned out we weren’t the only ones capable of doing what we could as Nathan had come a long way over the years.
After running our Society of Movement training workshop we realised that in that room was a lot of talent. Some of which had the capacity to help us out on our shoots. It was around this time the subject of expansion came up again. Except this time, we had the confidence in our new team that we could handle more than one wedding a day. And so A Hint of Mint was born. A studio which follows the same core principles as MintySlippers, using the same gear that we used the previous season and headed up by our own rising star Nathan.
A huge part of doing what we do is not just the being creative and having ‘the eye’ but also the business. Which thankfully Julie is a wiz at. It’s very difficult to be successful in business if you are no good at being in business (if that makes sense).
For a more in-depth look at how we went from our day jobs as an IT Manager and Facilities Manager to running one of the best and most respected wedding film studios in the land then pick up your copy of the magazine on the shelves or from the iOS or Android app stores.