Hello There! This Ben or you can call me Mr.Bee! Mrs.Bee has already elaborated on her journey to becoming an “Artist with a Camera”. So now I want to be my own storyteller, and tell you about becoming an author with film.
Sharing with you some insight: into why I went from watching movies to exploring nature to capturing landscape photography, working in IT Support, and helping with my then girlfriend’s photography ventures. Then finally creating a business with my now wife– which led me to become an author with film and a storyteller.
Or as you know it as a videographer.
As I’ve been working as a cinematographer, and an author with film, and if I may say so, I have come a long way. With the goal of not creating a Romcom of you, with cheesy non-believable lines. I’m here to be a storyteller of your Lover’s Tale without the negative connotation of what love has become.
Bringing back the vintage old-timey feel of love, through this 5-year adventure learning to be a storyteller of Visual Arts.
After listening to my tale, I have free tips for anyone who sees themselves starting their own video journey.
Now like Loki, let’s go back in time to hopefully prevent an offshoot in your timeline.
Do you ever wonder
your life would be if
that one thing
did not happen?-Pinterest
Getting to know Mr. Bee: a visual art storyteller, an author with film.
Your director of your Lover’s Tale film has his own backstory. So it is time for my history.
This one is going to be a long road here that we are covering. So I’ll go ahead and separate out points to make it easy to read. Or skip to the good parts. So take your pick, as I jump from hating pictures to taking pics. Short version, Becca moved in and I saw an opportunity to speak on something I have always wanted. Next, she gave me the space to learn what I wanted. I then realized I wanted more. So I stepped up.
Growing up to now, experience as a young storyteller…
Growing up my family past time was watching TV. What I didn’t know at the time was that it was giving me the skills I would need to pinpoint mistakes in my own video creations. In the late 90’s early 2000’s there were plenty of issues to do so. Whether it was CGI green screens, missing items/people that were there before, and plot line flaws.
With films being a huge part of my life I wanted to explore making them myself. So one year for Christmas I asked for my first video camera. The technology was not as great as it is now. Compared to what I capture moving stills on currently… my first camera definitely was no more than a glorified flip phone camera! That camera shifted my focus away from pursuing my want to create videos further. It wasn’t until later that I would pick up another camera which would be my next step into finding a footing in this passion of mine.
Let me tell you why.
I would borrow my parent’s point-and-shoot film camera. Took it with me on hikes with my friends. It showed me that yes I was a novice. However, I still learned that taking photos, of the nature around me and portraits of friends hiking, was something I wanted to pursue. The limitations of what I had at the time, really put a damper on furthering my expertise in learning more about taking landscapes and videos. What I didn’t know was that train was going to come full circle.
So moving forward, I believe that if I had invested a better video or a digital point-and-shoot camera earlier on I would have dove into making art sooner. When I didn’t, I had to search myself find a career that would match my want to problem solve and the opportunities that were offered to me.
Just like that, I picked up a mouse instead of a camera, for a different kind of click.
So you want the gritty details of the long version?
Then they are below.
First up, I.T. Tech Support: Storyteller in Reverse
Being the listener to determine the solution to the issue.
As I stated before, I chose a different type of click. Growing up, my dad had built his own computers. Ever since then computers left me mystified at how they worked. Without a camera, I decided to go into Technical Support instead. Between my dad and my friend’s dad who was a computer programmer for a company in Denver (and my role model), tech support seemed like a viable option. Graduated from college in 2015 and quickly landed my first job.
So what do I like about tech? I almost never get bored as there is always a new problem or piece of hardware to diagnose/set up.
Then what I don’t like about tech? Is printers seem to have a mind of their own and the software that goes along with them is always hot garbage.
Anyhow, here I am 8 years later.
Tech support has been integral in how it started this journey.
Why have I stuck around for 8 years? Being the first job I got out of college I feel secure knowing all of the quirks that go on from time to time. I also have 4-day weeks. I took one year off, worked on cars long enough to understand them, then went back to tech. Then got offered my old job back. Those four-day weeks definitely are easier to balance two careers.
Why do I bother balancing two careers? Besides 4-day weeks allowing 3-day weekends easier to balance than 2 days. Making for time to go scout for elopement destinations or capturing them. That’s only one out of the three days. The other two days are spent doing housework, cooking/baking, and having game nights with our friends. As well as the occasional side I.T. job. We stay busy. This makes have to stick to limited booking and use a waitlist.
Without having a full-time job that I could easily balance creating with, I don’t think I would have stuck with it.
More of that is below.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow; Learn as if you were to live forever.– Mahatma Gandhi
Secondly, Becca created an opportunity to act on a long-time want, of expanding my skill set.
With the IT jobs weekends and the ability to utilize the three-day weekends, I basically begged Mrs. Bee (then Miss Bee) to start letting me help out some with her sessions when she moved up. So like a less flattering cape, I dawned the camera backpack. Held reflectors, helped show poses, gave water… I was essentially her assistant. And like any assistant, they want to move up in the food chain. While asking to help Becca with her photography sessions, I reminded myself about an old want.
It was a long time want to get into photography. Those two things combined, I asked if I could learn photography from her, helping more during sessions and ultimately asking for a video camera. When I was promptly told the camera she was letting me use actually did video-recording. But being the biscuit I was I stubbornly said no way but tried it. Apparently, newbies don’t get to use the newest tech, they learn with what they have.
So the first video was created, Belle the Jedi.
My Storyteller adventure came with many roadblocks either personally made or learning different tools (software or gear) to suit my needs.
Mrs. Bee’s passion for it had me re-wanting the same passion I had lost and found again. So I started expanding my skill set, with a teacher that I couldn’t have been given in a college or school. Becca made it so easy to learn but I’d be lying to you if I didn’t have to relearn a few techniques on separate occasions…I also needed to find more than just a “want” but a reason why I was doing this. Sure time with my then-girlfriend now-wife, a fun weekend exploring, and overall a fantastic setup for a life well-lived. When things get hard, you need that passion to pull through. It makes you use stubbornness in a good way.
You can’t be a storyteller, either author with film or artist with a camera, without passion.
From assistant to a new role, my journey was just getting started.
“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face … we must do that which we think we cannot.”– Eleanor Roosevelt
Thirdly, this role came with growing pains like all new lessons do but first the backstory of the first video.
I stepped into the role of video partner. I was able to create a new role in our business as a videographer. And with my newfound superpower, I realized that I was only a padawan. I was in sore need of a master but more on the tips and tricks I found later. Storyteller, author with film, I was not.
What did I do next, in my journey?
The search was afoot, like Sherlock I used deduction to move onward to the next program for me.
In any journey, you have to take the first step.
After the earth-shattering realization that the Nikon D3200 could record video and we captured our princess (Belle), I opened up iMovie for the first time to edit my first film. This is where more force training was needed. Due to the video looking like all the old movies I watched– flaws were easily spotted. I knew Imovie was not the end all be all.
Starting off that tester film of Belle… definitely had me go “oh sheet! I need more force training!”
You see I had jumped in with just iMovie! People had said that it was a great beginner video editor. I assumed it came with bells and whistles… however, dated they were. Hey, at least I started the transition from photography to videography. It was my first step into creating my visual art and will always keep a spot in my heart. But iMovie was definitely not the one-stop shop that I had been looking for.
So again, in any journey, you have to take the first step.
“When people say ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ it’s not true, because you can reinvent yourself and learn new things whenever you want.”—Jonathan Van Ness
Fourthly that role only furthered my want to learn new skills and have my own space.
I had created a role and space for myself. In doing so I felt more and more at home in the hive, not that I wasn’t already. It just felt more me. Photography will always be the first step I will suggest to anyone looking to get into videography. As photography is just still frames creating a scene of a memory. Videography is just rapid-moving frames to create what used to be called a picture show, from the scene that photography stills.
Moving into a role as Storyteller has taken practice as well as research to understand methods that worked for me. That also applies to our Custom Visual Arts color grade. There was a period of time when I wasn’t confident enough to utilize Davinci Resolve’s fullest potential. I used it like iMovie and quickly realized that Davinci had way more to offer than what I initially used it for. That prompted me to learn even more skills in this new space in Worldwide Elopement Visuals at the time B+B.
Lastly, after I felt confident enough to step into a new role.
My confidence came with time and learning that without a storyline your video won’t make sense. After I learned about the program I ended up on fully, it leveled up my confidence because nothing is worse than wanting to fulfill your vision but not knowing how to do so. The other progress I made to bring my video closer to what I think up in my mind is storyboards. It took me a long time to even start them but once I did I could never go back.
After I felt in line with the basics of what I could bring to the table I was able to make like a bandit, learning transitions and advanced skills in my editing program to elevate my skills in this new role. Included free in this blog includes tips on how I managed to learn and grow in my craft. These tools were integral to my journey without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Mr. Bee’s lessons as he grew as a storyteller, and author with film.
So I became confident in a new role. However, what I didn’t know at the time was how complex it was about to become!I know I’ve ragged on iMovie, however, the problems that I had with that program… definitely lit the passionate side of me to find better. Newbies don’t get the latest and greatest, so how did I find my way through my lessons?
To not be a newbie anymore, but be confident outside of a program?
After all I am not a robot, I might work on computers during the day… but I am all about romance, just ask Mrs. Bee!
Author with film might be an artsy way of saying cinematographer or videographer or storyteller.
As mentioned above, it is no shock I turned to video storyteller ways. Due to how many films and movies I watched before Becca entered my life. Heck one of our first memories of movie watching is Becca, eating gravel as she tripped on our way to watch a movie. Years later, on our first date together, we watched a movie that date night. Big movie person, here. So is it a shock that I went into videography? NOPE. However, it was a shock to me, HOW much went into making moving frames make sense AND enjoyable. So without further ado, let’s dive into these lessons.
However, that does not take away from the role: films are meant to tell a story AND display it in a way that makes the watcher feel… moving frames of art so to speak.
With more and more practice communicating with clients, editing videos, and creating storyboards that reflect my vision. I’m feeling less like a newbie and more like a pro. With anything in life, practice gets you closer to your dreams. I practiced on Mrs. Bee during our own content days of what I wanted to get better at. And if you know my wife well, to get her to look calm in front of a camera is no easy task.
But it made me good at get honeybees comfortable.In storytelling, I try to get our honeybees into a comfort zone where they are comfortable with PDA. I also ask them questions about their relationship and let them create their own space from there. Afterall, it is their lover’s tale and Mr and Mrs. Bee are just here to make it art.
But like a good muesum piece, you can’t tackle video from one angle to tell a tale. You have to get several. In video perspective, getting different angles of the same scene to highlight the reactions of both individuals. Along with adding audio that brings those thoughts together really puts the cherry on top of the Visual Arts Storyteller!
The missing puzzle piece, is an editing program to put it all together in.
Then my life turned into Goldielocks. Trying different video editing programs… to find the perfect fit.
You already have heard plenty about iMovie, so it’s time to move onward!
To be the little bear searching for the correct consistency of honey.
So I now had to find new editing software. Finding something that kept video-editing fun and easy to use. Especially for all the long hours it requires to perfect storytelling of your love. That brought me to a google search that led to one of the biggest rabbit holes of my life.
“What is the editing program that movie makers use?” was the first search that lead to many more.
Well, that took me to a super expensive program that was in no way a viable option AVID. When I looked at it then there wasn’t an option to do a subscription and I believe it was in the neighborhood of $1500 but don’t quote me on that.
Then was Premiere Pro from Adobe, they offered it by subscription only. But since Becca used Adobe Lightroom Classic and I had troubleshot a bunch of the issues that she had come across before she moved in with me as well as afterward. So I really didn’t want to jump into software that would probably be as buggy as Lightroom.
Onto the next honeycomb to see what fits my taste buds best.
So although compelling I decided to keep looking.
Final Cut Pro entered the chat, I overall liked it. Final Cut has a lot of similarities to Adobe Premier. But I refused to pay $300 for it as I knew there had to be an option out there for me that was free like iMovie was. In the short time I used it I didn’t dive deep enough to see what it had to offer, so I kept looking.
Landing us at the final and last editing program I will ever use. Davinci Resolve 15 (17 now), first of all, it was cheap coming in at FREE, toting all of the features needed for a beginner and more. With the option to upgrade later for a one-time fee of $235. Until that made sense to me, I rolled with the free version. At the time we had already sprung for a 2015 Macbook Pro which both Becca and I shared to edit on. Then as our programs needed a computer powerful enough to run smoothly we upgraded to a 2021 iMac. In 2020 I also upgraded to Davinci 17 Studio edition which came with a Speed Editor for free too! I couldn’t be happier where I ended up finding software that can serve my needs. As well as a computer that can do the same.
Not to mention my darling Mrs. Bee, easily figured out some color-grading tools in Davinci.
Taking me to school a few times when I thought something was not possible. I asked her if researched or studied anything, she sassily said “No this looks like lightroom, kinda so I am treating it as such. But what does this button do again?” So that’s a perk as well for those worried about the transition between programs. Honeybees, marry a smart partner, when your smarts aren’t working right… it’s nice to have a secondary brain.
Now you have been through all of my Bears and their porridge. Settling on the option that made the most sense for me, as a storyteller.
“Remember you are in control of how you show up in the world…”
Becoming more confident in not just being a storyteller but rather an author with film, took time.
Enter in the video, being self-taught, adult life, AND marriage. I needed WAY more time than I anticipated. Due to balancing with work I felt like I couldn’t get to speed fast enough. Gone were the days of “Oh I have time and this fun (read easy) working with someone!”
It felt like there was not enough time to learn and perform the way I wanted to. Heck, even today sometimes there is not enough time to get things done. But that is a blog topic of time management better left for another day. Now however with good time management and confidence from years of learning, I get to say I enjoy my work. Tech and Video work, both bring me joy. The opportunity to work beside my wife, go on adventures to new locations, and meet new and interesting Bee’s like yourself make for a career that I dream could be full-time.
Let’s take a glimpse of the tools I found searching the multiverse or as you, non-wizards would call the internet.
What did I find in the Storyteller Multiverse to help me on this adventure?
After I learned the scope of work behind my moving frames, storytelling, and editing, I took to the interwebs not too different than how Doctor strange took to the multiverse. I set out to learn skills that would further aid me in my continuing journey.
For capturing film and editing youtube is the golden nugget for editing/tips on filming information in Davinci. One channel that has helped tremendously MrAlexTech as he gives tutorials, feature updates, and goes in-depth on a wide range of Davinci’s capabilities. If I ever get stuck on a feature that isn’t working quite right or at all, to his channel I went!
I also post my completed Featurettes on youtube, on the Worldwide Elopement Visuals channel. I owe a load of my recording knowledge to Mrs. Bee as 80% of video can be taken from photography, as previously touched on, the videography base is photography.
In addition to that, I use the Zinnia journaling app on my iPad Air to sketch out stick figures with descriptions below for my storyteller boards. If I find it too difficult to draw I will search for a photo closely related to what I have in mind.
All Trails and Google to find locations that would fit our aesthetic. As well as can help describe the story we are trying to portray.
If I did some research maybe I would have started to utilize all of these tools sooner but that leads me to the next topic!
However, these are the few things I would have done differently along the way knowing what I know now:
- I sorely underestimated the amount of time it would take to learn what I needed to.
- From recording styles and finding my own, marketing, and editing. I’m still learning almost nearly 7 YEARS after my first video in 2016! I knew that was probably going to be the fact since in IT, standards/ Tech changes every 4 years so it’s a constant learning experience.
- I have grown so much in storytelling, if I could do it again, I would have broken more boundaries I set for myself.
- Why? I stuck to the chronological order of my videos for far too long. I also didn’t plan out Visual Art Sessions well or at all. That hindered the amount of content I recorded and the lack of a clear storyline. So it’s definitely a goal of mine to continue to be innovative in my video work.
- What would I do differently about software? I would have tried to dive in deeper and learned Davinci Resolves terminology/tricks they have quicker or played more till I got it down.
- Since Becca uses Lightroom primarily, I was getting confused about the differences between the differences and similarities. It made for a different experience that led me into freezing up on some projects and taking magnitudes longer for me to complete. But that was also because I was fed up that it wasn’t simpler, but I was bored with the simplistic nature of the other programs. So an internal war began with pushing through instead of working with Davinci. Now that I have expanded that knowledge it’s a smooth sailing experience.
All in all this Storyteller, author with film, has loved his journey here.
Now I am here eagerly waiting to tell your Lover’s Tale authentically.
Some would say that balancing two jobs, and a marriage and a life would be considered a lot.
I’d agree and so would our therapist.
However, this is why we have a waitlist, and only take 12 couples a year for sure. If we have to swap out dates on a couple, our waitlist allows you a chance to hop in when this happens. It also allows us to plan years in advance! This allows us to connect with each couple fully without rushing. Even if I didn’t have a full-time day job, I would still need to take on less honeybees per year due to how much longer video takes.
So this is my balance game. My full-time day job, our marriage, and my life along with being a storyteller and fur dad and a human. Even if I didn’t have a full-time day job, I would still need to take on fewer honeybees per year due to how much longer video takes.
I wear a tall hat, okay!
My journey has just begun, and along with all of the ups and downs, I’m excited for the next Bee to fly home to our hive. To have a blast, enjoy their session, the lovers’ tale you share, and being an Author with Film.
ALOHA LOVERS, WHERE IS YOUR LOVE TAKING US NEXT?
Did you enjoy hearing the backstory from your author with film?
Tell us about it in the comment section below!
(Follow us to the next adventure^^^)
Now it is time to go make art from love, as your author with film and artist with a camera duo.