5) It’s About Relationships

Two weeks ago I published a long overdue blog post on the lessons I learned in 2012. But I realized that I forgot to include one very important lesson, and I would like to take this opportunity to fill-in number 5:

Julie and me at Cy and Mavil Loreto’s Renewal of Vows. Photo by JR Pena Photography (http://www.jrpena.com).

5) It takes relationships. Nothing that James Lee Films accomplished in 2012 (and will ever accomplish) would have been possible without the people who cared and the relationships we made.

With our couples, we took it to heart from the beginning that we needed to get to know couples as people (and not ‘cattle’ – thanks stillmotion!). From there sparked friendships that allowed us to capture moments that wouldn’t have been made available to strangers! Thus came films that were not cookie-cutter videos but stories that anyone could watch and feel a personal connection with the couple and attendees in the film.

With out fellow vendors, we took it to heart early that it was crucial to get in touch with other vendors before the day to go over the details together and stay in clear communication throughout the whole day. This also led to a much higher quality film; the films we made would not have been possible without the relationships we had with fellow photographers, DJ’s, venues, presiders, planners/coordinators, etc. – JR Pena Photography, Wayne and Angela Photographers, Elite Rhythms Entertainment, and My Bellissima to name a few.

And for those of you who do video or filmmaking of any kind know that it is never a one-person job. James Lee Films would never have been possible without an awesome crew. Youmin Woo and Mike Huang helped as shooters on one or more occasions, and I can say I trust their talent to capture moments where I’m not there. My brother Josh Lee and photographer Scott Tsai assisted us as well in the details of the day. And my beautiful and awesome wife Julie; she really makes James Lee Films stand. Her roles have been – and are definitely not limited to – cinematographer (she has shot most of our weddings with me), creative consultant (no wedding film goes out without her ‘okay’), business consultant (Our finances are managed together), lead ‘packager’ (Every package to our couples is personally designed and wrapped by Julie), and quality control manager (She verifies that our branding is consistent throughout). If I’m the person with a crazy idea, she’s the one who makes it a reality. Above all else, she’s never doubted my passion and always encouraged me to pursue my dreams. Thank you Julie. πŸ™‚

And dear crazy (and even not-so-crazy) fans, James Lee Films would not have been possible without your love. After all, our line of work is not high-volume work, and so word-of-mouth will always be our main source of clientele. Again, it’s all about the relationships. Stay awesome guys, and we’ll continue to challenge ourselves to create innovative films.

If you’re joining the club, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Keep them coming! πŸ™‚