When establishing your business it is often a great idea to look at the industry and market you are venturing into, and then find out how you can innovate the market to stand out! BG Productions has done just that. They chose to go against the grain and find ways to pop out opposed to blend in and duplicate what was already happening. Trends are fabulous, but making your own are even better!
Cathie: Al and I started BG Productions Photography and Videography 9 years ago. He had already established his corporate video side with Flat World Media Productions a couple years before that. I had been doing film photography since I was in HS and really fought the whole “digital “ age! Lol!! He encouraged me to get back seriously into it, even buying me my first Nikon DSLR as a wedding present. Then after we got married we joined forces and Formed BG! And we haven’t looked back since!!
We knew we wanted to do things a little differently than what we saw out there. We wanted to do it “our way”. I come from a long history of political activism and knew I wanted to run a business that was both environmentally and socially responsible. Al couldn’t agree more. We also knew we wanted to run it out of our home (saving on overhead office/studio space costs) and run it like a small boutique family business.
To us everything we do is based on the relationships we have with our clients. We really do welcome them to the BG Family and honestly treat them like family. And we are so thankful for them daily. We just wouldn’t be where we are today without them. And to us it isn’t just being cliché-. To thank them we host a Client Appreciation Party every year (this is our 7th one!!) and host monthly brunch potlucks called Pan-archy that is mostly made up of past and present clients (both on the wedding and commercial side). Not to mention just the amazing true friendships we have formed with so many of them. We love to give gifts through out the planning process leading up to the BIG day and then go Above and Beyond in every way we possibly can. Our reviews really do speak to who we are!
We have spent the last several years really developing and honing in on our style. We don’t look at fads and trends- though we are always excited to play with new ideas we see and think of. Like I am stoked to play with colorful smoke bombs! So much color- so much fun. After all- my hashtag is #rainbowbritephotog lol!!! People always say our work stands out and looks and feels different than most others they looked at. A highlight of this year was having Bambi Cantrell do a short portfolio review with me and she Loved my work and its quirky style and the way I edit. She also told me how refreshing it is!!! I was floating!!
At BG Productions we believe weddings should be stress free and fun! And it is NEVER about us!!! Our motto is there are only two Rock Stars at every wedding and it is our couples. Too many egos out there. While most people think we only cater to the Offbeat, Unique couples- that’s not totally correct. We cater to people who aren’t high maintenance and just want to have fun on their wedding day. We cater to people totally in Love and who are totally being themselves. So while we do do a ton of offbeat, non-traditional, geeky, quirky weddings- we do our share of churches and country clubs too. They all have one common denominator- they are the perfect BG couple!! And that’s the way we LOVE it!!
We often get asked for help and advice and I even mentor a few different photographers. Here are a few tips we live by…
-take only clients you feel are a match. With us like I said it’s about the relationship. This is never based on how someone looks, what their details and style are, or where their venue is. We aren’t taking (or not taking) weddings just to be pin worthy! We want to work with people who love us, love our style and value our art. This isn’t to say sometimes someone sneaks in who really turns out Not to be the perfect BG match. If it is really just not a good relationship, we will fire them. Really! There isn’t enough money in the world to be around nasty people on a day that is supposed to be their “happiest”. Of course we handle everything with as high a level of professionalism as possible.
-Outsource what parts you aren’t good at. Right away we hired an accountant to handle our book keeping and taxes, a great insurance agent for our home and business, have professional cleaners do the house two times a month, and now have a great part office manager who is also a great 2nd shooter. A lot of people out source editing. That is something we do in house. Al finalizes all video projects and I edit every photo the BG team takes. I love editing and see it as the other half of my art. But others feel differently- and that’s what works best for them.
-surround yourself with a great team. We are blessed to have such great folks who are part of the BG team. We schedule all our 2nd and primary shooters at the beginning of the year (and add on as we book). We feel our clients deserve to have the best we can provide and unless there is an emergency (or we are expanding) you wont see us on FB trying to find last minute shooters. I am way too organized and I will admit- too controlling to not know who is shooting with and for us well in advance!
-always have fun and play. Shooting weddings and other events should be fun. We aren’t the “dressed all in black not being seen photogs and videographers”. We stand out so why not just try to blend in with the guests and having fun just makes the whole day/night better!!
-Take time off of work. Al and I are blessed to work together and have no children. We do 85-90% of all wedding and commercial jobs together. If it is photos only for a corporate/commercial shoot-Al usually comes and helps set up lights and is a kick ass assistant! I’m the one who doesn’t go on most of the corporate/commercial shoots because I handle all the client correspondence and office type work we don’t have Melanie do. We love to travel and do it every chance we get. We usually leave the country or take some kind of epic road trip at least 2 times a year. We have even been paid to do photos and videos for some awesome companies in some amazing locations. But that’s for another post……
One final piece of advice- JUST DO YOU!!!