Nice to meet you.
This is my first go at (hopefully) triggering a landslide of entertaining and helpful posts where you can get to know me a little better, and dip your toe into a space curated to be helpful to you. I want this space to include little nuggets of business gold that otherwise would get lost in the mass of ‘to dos’ that us small business owners find ourselves swimming through on a daily basis.
As you may or may not know, my business is focused around crafting stories for people just like you. My skill is storytelling and my instrument is my camera, the use of colour, music, angles, lighting and constructing the perfect environment through my lens to translate and communicate.
When I first thought about writing a blog, I thought long and hard about what I like to read about, including who and what inspires me. First things first. I want to know who I’m talking to. So, let’s start there. It felt slightly hypocritical to me, talking about storytelling, without actually having actually told my own story. My natural creative outlet is video so bear with me whilst I attempt to explain ‘me’ in a nutshell.
A few years ago I found myself stuck at a crossroad. I’d had enough of where I was, and when looking forward, the landscape seemed hazy. When faced with difficult decisions and questions of ‘what’s next?’ I noticed a common pattern in those trying to help me… “Ladis, just follow your passion”. Like it’s that easy. Most people were asking me with a preconception that passion is something that A) all people have, and B) that all people know what it is. In a world where we are required to make decisions about our future at the age of 13, it is not uncommon for our younger selves to make decisions that may not reflect our ‘passions’. I sure as hell had no idea what mine was back then.
Don’t get me wrong, I have lots of hobbies. I love to climb, board (snow and skate), dive,
adventure, travel, cook and so on. But you know what I’m getting at, I’m talking about the ‘change your career to pursue your dream passion’. Looking back, it all started when I was 16, skateboarding with my mates after school. We put hours, days, weeks into each skill and I really thought we (and the tricks) deserved some limelight. This was the first time I picked up a camera to shoot. Slowly, the time I spent on tricks slowly transitioned to shooting and editing. During those last few years of school I became desperate to capture the skills, the triumph and got my head pretty stuck in the edit quicksand.
I have a pretty adventurous spirit and looking back that’s what stopped me choosing the obvious path after school. Like many young lads looking for something a bit different, I joined the military. I started in the army as an Ammunition Technician, and then transferred to the Navy as a Bomb Disposal Diver. The years ticked by and as the opportunities for travel rolled in, so did that itch to record them. I purchased my first professional camera in 2017 where I was lucky enough to film aerial and on the ground shots in all seven continents. Military restrictions prevent me from sharing the good stuff, so my style adopted a more generic travel focus. Which of course, meant bigger and better kit.
Despite all the travel, after 12 years of service, my feelings of unfulfillment and injuries peaked, and I faced the harsh reality that a change was necessary. This was my crossroad. I felt like I’d lost who I was in the sea of uniform, and I needed to find myself, as cliché as that sounds.
I knew I wanted to leave the military, but it wasn’t until I found myself working on a small passion project with some friends in the Lake District that it occurred to me that I didn’t just love videography and storytelling. Standing up there in the freezing cold, grinning, wanting to just do it over and over and realising that actually I probably could, was exactly what I needed to realise... this could be my dream career, if I chose it. I think most small business owners have had that all consuming moment where your stomach drops and you feel like you’re about to depart on a whirlwind expedition or jump out of a plane. That’s exactly what it felt like to me. An expedition and serious feelings of… f*** it. Let’s do this.
I started investing in myself, taking video production courses, spending thousands of hours watching tutorials, studying commercial cinematography, investing in drone flying, practising, burying myself in new software, understanding camera settings, lighting, sound and purchasing all the kit I needed to kickstart this idea of mine. Turns out this idea started when I was 16, I just had no idea.
That’s part of my story, and the beginning of TOLD.
So… how does my story impact your story? Well, I’ll take a bet at what you’re thinking… “Okay, yes Ladis, we get that you’re bang into videography, you seem like you love an adventure, you’re a passionate guy and you’ve lived a bit of an atypical life. But… Why, TOLD? What makes you different?”
It’s a fair question and you’re right, there are lots of video production companies in the market that offer engaging content. Sure. What there aren’t many of, is companies that will take the time to appreciate the mammoth effort, sweat and tears that got you to where you are. There aren’t many that focus more on the why, just as much as the what. There aren’t many that will genuinely go above and beyond whatever your story needs. That I’m confident of.
I’ve been there
The long nights.
The gritty determination.
There aren’t many companies like TOLD.
And there aren’t many people like you.
We all have a story to tell.
I’d love to yell about yours.
Chat again soon,