Interview with videographer Christine Preisig
Find out how becoming a mother gave economist Christine Preisig the time to explore her true passions – and become a videographer.
What’s your career background?
I used to work as an economist for financial regulatory institutions. The inflexible and long working hours made maintaining a harmonious work-life balance difficult. So, when my youngest child was born, I took a career break to be able to spend more time with my children.
Having more time at hand opened me up to reconsider my career options and explore other possible paths. For the next few years, instead of going back to my previous job, I worked various freelance jobs as a journalist, a researcher for a consultant, and a grant writer for a charity.
When did you get the idea for your business?
What I liked best about my journalistic work was interviewing people and writing about them. For the magazine I was writing at the time, I portrayed artists and artisans.
I often thought it would be nice to complement descriptions of people and their work with video to add a visual element to the text. This was my initial motivation to sign up for my first film making course, which eventually led me to become a videographer.
How did you move from idea to actual business?
This was an entirely organic process. After my first film making course, I knew I had found something extraordinary. I’ve always been crafty and creative, and film making provided endless opportunities to explore and visualise ideas and content. I was hooked immediately.
I continued taking classes and used my new skills to work on personal projects. I also had the opportunity to work with a professional film maker to learn ‘on the job’. From there, I started taking on small video commissions while also still working as a freelance researcher.
I realised that film making is what I wanted to do, and two years ago, I set up my own business. I’m still excited about how much I love doing this every time I shoot or edit a video.
What’s your USP?
My videos are affordable, and turnover time is quick. I’m a self-shooting producer-director, which means I do most of the planning, shooting and editing myself. This makes it possible to keep production costs down.
Filming with me isn’t an intimidating procedure. I have a calm manner and work with minimal equipment. Clients quickly feel at ease when filming with me and forget that they are standing in front of a camera.
I also help clients edit the script of their video so that their message is summed up in a nutshell and comes over clearly, in an authentic way.
Who’s your target audience?
I specialise in two types of videos – promotional videos and personal biography videos.
My target audience for promo videos is mainly small businesses who want to introduce themselves and what they do to a broader audience on their website or social media. Previous clients also include schools and charities.
Personal biography videos are for everyone who wants to either tell their own story in the form of a film or for people who want to preserve memories of their parents, grandparents, or other loved ones in a filmic portrait about them.
How do you spread the word about what you do?
I do that online through my website and social media but also offline. I’m surprised again and again how opportunities to network and connect arise everywhere – sometimes, in the most unexpected situations.
What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?
That’s been the moments of doubt when changing careers: Is it a good idea to give up an established and financially secure job and start something new entirely? Can I stand out and attract clients in a crowded videography market? Am I good enough?
I wouldn’t say that I have completely overcome that obstacle. Doubts are still regular visitors. The difference is that I learned to deal with them – accept that they’re there and then get on with the job.
And your proudest moment so far?
That I was courageous enough to prioritise passion over financial security and that I succeeded in carving out a career for myself that is fulfilling and gives me enough flexibility and time to be with my family.
Why is work so important to you?
There are many reasons for this! It feels good to be productive and see when different elements of creating a video come together in a final piece that makes a client happy.
Work is also essential for providing me with an income. But it also gives me opportunities to connect with people I wouldn’t necessarily meet otherwise. Work inspires and motivates me and keeps me on my toes. There’s always more to learn.
Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by people who achieved a high level of success who send the elevator back down and give others behind them a helpful lift.
No one makes their dreams come true without a mixture of hard work and others occasionally opening and holding the door for them. I admire those that remember the opportunities given to them and who return the favour by giving their time supporting others around them.
What are your top pieces of advice for someone wanting to do something similar?
Be patient. Believe in yourself. Look around and see the many opportunities to get involved and get creating. They are everywhere. Don’t over think things; just do it!
Find out more about Christine Preisig.