I’m fulfilled by the work I do. And I think that’s true success.

04 Jun 2021

Titus and Jocelyn Carlson are not just a happy husband and wife. They are a photo and video team. They capture beautiful intimate weddings and elopements in all kinds of destinations.

Jocelyn, how did you get the idea to start a wedding videography business?

 Jocelyn: I actually never thought I would be in a creative industry. I got my master’s degree in business administration in 2018. During that time, I got engaged, planned a wedding, got married and graduated all in the same year. Our engagement was short. So we planned a wedding in two months and got married! It was the experience of being a bride myself that birthed the beginning of my wedding videography business. We loved our wedding day! We had a large 400+ person ceremony.

Oh really, you had a lot of guests! Do you have so many relatives and friends? Who were those invited to your wedding?

 Jocelyn: You see, my husband’s father and grandfather have planted and pastor a large non-denominational church in Moreno Valley, CA. Beyond inviting our own friends and family, we decided to open up our ceremony for anyone in the congregation who wished to attend it. Wow, the day was crazy and chaotic. I felt like I missed it. There were so many people I wanted to see, thank, spend time with… So when we got our wedding video back, I had no idea how valuable it would be to me.

Great! So it was your own wedding video that inspired you to start filming weddings?

 Jocelyn: Exactly. In fact, I had completely underestimated the value of my wedding video to me.  I watched it for hours in tears, thinking, “yes, this is how every bride should feel!” It was that very emotional experience when I realized that I want every bride to feel the same as I did in that moment. Before that, I had never picked up a professional camera in my life. I purchased a course called Full Time Filmmaker and taught myself how to use a camera.

How many weddings do you film a year?

 

Jocelyn: About 15 weddings in 2019, and 30 weddings in 2020. Among them were several international weddings. This year we have 60 weddings on our calendar.

Have you met any obstacles on your way? Or would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?

 Jocelyn: It’s hard to imagine life without obstacles. Especially when you’re just starting your business.

2020 was my first full year of an up and running business. I was extremely excited. I had high expectations for the kinds of places and couples I’d be serving. But suddenly there was the pandemic. And we all know how that’s gone.

I decided to focus on filming elopements since large gatherings were no longer allowed. This is how we broke into the destination intimate wedding and elopement niche. My husband has been working from home since March 2020. This provided us with a perfect opportunity to travel and film weddings together. Right now, we are traveling a lot during the week and at weekends.

What’s the hardest part in your job?

Jocelyn: Well, I’d say it’s the process of editing weddings.

Jocelyn, is there anything that sets you apart from others?

 Jocelyn: A wedding and especially an elopement is a very intimate day. Since the pandemic, we’ve served a lot of couples who couldn’t decide which family members to tell they couldn’t attend their weddings due to capacity requirements, covid restrictions. And they ended up choosing to elope just the two of them so that it was fair for the entire family. It’s hit me hard each time to see that a couple’s family could not be present at their wedding or elopement.

Oh yes, really.

Jocelyn: Alas, nothing can be done. And because of this situation, I’ve signed several marriage licenses as the main witness. To me, it’s a privilege to capture and witness a day as intimate as these. That’s why we put a lot of our efforts into our couples. My favorite term I use when people book us is “friend-or” instead of “vendor.” I ask our couples to think of us as “friend-ors who are excited to begin this new friendship.” I think this is the biggest thing that sets us apart from others.

And what’s your favorite part of this business?

 Jocelyn: I’d say that getting to know our couples and building authentic friendships with them is our favorite part of how we run our business. Some of my favorite friendships started out when the couples filled out our inquiry form.

I’m sure you have a lot of friends now.

 Jocelyn: Yes, you’re right. We have many previous clients who we still meet up for dinner, have game nights with, and make time to show up for baby showers and later on meet their new babies as they are welcomed into the world. We love investing our time, money, and energy into our couples and their marriage and not just into their wedding day. We are friends and I value that.

What does success mean to you?

 Jocelyn: I define success as the feeling of being fulfilled. I believe I’m successful because each day I wake up and love what I do. Of course, there are days that are hard. But every job and every situation have hard days. It’s quite natural.

I’m fulfilled by the work I do. And I think that’s true success.

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