The wedding industry as a whole is heavily dominated by female business owners. Perhaps its the femininity associated with weddings and the romance.
No doubt you will have noticed the film industry is heavily dominated by the gents. The lack of female film-makers is commented upon at every year at The Oscars and this is no exception in the wedding industry. This is one realm within the wedding industry that is heavily dominated by the gents.
Gender stereotypes continue to be rife in our society. We’re all guilty in some way of making an assumption based on a person’s sex when we book a service. We teach it to younger generations from such an early age. Putting contributing to stereotypes in the workplace aside, indirectly we may limit what we can become or more importantly what we ‘think’ we can become.
It reminds me of this brilliant video I saw on Upworthy earlier this year…
With people automatically still asking for a “cameraman and cameramen” for cinematography services, one half of Nu Bride Ambassador; Urban Cinematography; Jo wanted to set the record straight, bust some myths on being a cameraperson and share her perspective of working in the film industry.
Hit it Jo!
The film industry is very much a male dominated industry. It always has been. There are so few women in the film industry in general, from Hollywood right through to short films…Now I am not comparing weddings to Hollywood! (Nu Bride: Why ever not! LoL!) But the idea and psychologically behind stereotypes stem from a wider context.
I ADORE this shot of Jo!
A lot of sexism still exists within our industry and society as a whole. It’s common for some girls to be brought up to believe they can’t do a job because it is associated with men. (For example; playing football, being a gardener, teccy or builder etc…) This in turn can limit their horizons and they can end up bypassing a career that they could enjoy, thrive in and be equally as successful as their male counterparts.
I often encounter strange attitudes to my job myself. Recently whilst working at a wedding, a man asked me if I just dealt with the administration side of things! I could only assume this was because I was female. I don’t think he meant it in a bad way, he just thought maybe I was the assistant, which no doubt are because of pre-existing stereotypes.
I began filming myself by accident!
I had no formal film or editing qualifications. Everything, I do is self taught.
Regardless, the love and passion for a job has to be there from the start and I just happen to love weddings. When my husband and business partner Apos started filming I used to get really interested in what he had shot and quickly learned how to edit just so I could watch the footage he had filmed.
I have always been interested and appreciative of the image and beauty in a photograph. Composition (the placement or arrangement of a visual element) is hugely important to me, I like to get the angle and the aesthetics of a shot just right. It matters to me how the end result and the outcome of the finished film looks. With that in mind, I am consciously planning the narrative of film, as I shoot. This is where the storytelling comes into play, the spontaneous shots are just as important as the ones I have planned, perhaps for the opening or closing of the film for example.
Technically there shouldn’t be any comparison between a male and a female shooter both should have the same technical abilities and skill set. Where a difference can come into play is when the technology overpowers the emotional narrative and we lose the sensitivity and emotional connection with the person in front of the lens.
As a female shooter, I honestly feel my gender influences how I ‘see’ wedding details. I purposefully seek out the little intricate details and the indiscriminate little things that often get overlooked.
There is an unspoken emotional connection I feel I am privileged to experience from one female to another getting married. Not to mention the benefit of ‘modesty’ when brides may be getting dressed, quietly instilling a confidence and comfort. You will always get the best from someone if they feel comfortable and relaxed in your presence.
Key Ingredients to Capturing Emotion
To ensure the emotional captures are there, I love to get to know my couples during their planning process. To encourage them to open up to me about their expectations on the day. To discover how they met, what they love about their each other and how much certain members of their family mean to them. This gives me a huge insight into what makes them tick and what I need to focus on during their wedding to create a memorable and emotional film of a really special day for them. Getting to know my couples in advance also helps to build trust. You will always get the best out of someone if they feel comfortable and relaxed in your presence and part of my job is to create that.
If you’re wanting to explore becoming a shooter or editor don’t be intimidated by all the different kit out there! Ask questions and learn , it’s such a wonderful career that’s interesting, and extremely creative you can become immersed in other people’s lives, but from a distance. Weddings are so much fun and you are part of a day where everyone is happy and smiling, it is very contagious and rewarding and if you love tech even better!
It should never matter if you’re a man or woman doing a job that you love to the best of your ability. Gender stereotypes in the film industry (and beyond), is definitely an age-old problem, but I do believe things are changing. I can see that things are moving forward in the wedding industry with more women emerging as videographers running successful wedding and event filming businesses, there is a genuine interest.
Photography unless otherwise stated: Plenty to Declare