Before I start; I have to say this one thing first: My wife is awesome! She's a dedicated and talented nurse and works really really hard to make sure her patients are well looked after. However, when it comes to things like digital content, she has no clue, but will still give me an opinion on it, usually negative. It's fine, I still value her feedback no matter how much it stings, but I am reluctant to let her preview my work. Which leads me on to my next family member, my son. The light of my life (he say's he's the favorite, but I love all my children with equal disdain, I'm joking, I love them all to bits), he too has took it upon himself to give me feedback, such as I received last night.
He appeared recently in one my first attempts at video blogging, or vlogging as they call it these days. It wasn't really a blog as such, more a visual vomit. I was just feeling creative and wanted to make 'something' so I took a stab at it. The wedding photography season is about to kick in for 2017 so things have been a little quiet of late. A few bits of photography work here and there, it's safe to say this is the booking season, so as I said, I was feeling creative and wanted to make 'something'.
My son was down for a weekend and I captured snippets of our day and put some other stuff together to do with a busted fridge, seriously cutting edge right? Anyway, the feedback he gave me after that little video was positive, he enjoyed it, though it needed more work. I showed it to the wife, and she just didn't get it, "who cares about our fridge not working?" was one of the comments. I was trying to explain that I was just practicing some techniques and I was bored. My beautiful wife just gave me one of those 'wife stares' that basically translate to "why did I marry this mouth breather?"
A few weeks go by, and I'm still haphazardly filming 'stuff' that's happening. Bits of this, bits of that, just... well... because really. Then last Saturday I tried to put it all together into 'something', then threw it up onto YouTube and went to bed (worse for wear, having had a few drinks whilst I worked on it).
The next day, the son rings "I've got some feedback on the new video Dad, do you want to hear it?" My newest critic - My Son
Now I'll be honest, I'm a proud man. I'm not arrogant, but I do take my photography very seriously. I've spent nearly 20 years honing my craft, but I can admit that video-blogging is more of a curiosity than a means to see me qualify for a guest spot on Celebrity Big Brother. I've tonnes of video gear (which I've already talked about) though I hardly ever get to use it professionally, as I'm still seen very much as a stills photographer, which is fine. I have made commercials, training videos, and produced promotional content for businesses, I'm even busy video editing and tweaking corporate videos for some well known named brands as part of the day job, it's just the vlogging that I struggling with.
Well, I love YouTube videos of people living on the open road in their vans, it's my guilty pleasure. That's why we bought the bongo, just to experience those feelings of freedom I see others enjoying, just until we actually do it full time ourselves, the wife and I, when the kids have finally left home. On YouTube there are thousands of vloggers sharing their stories, a fair few of these film-makers videos do suck though, but some are really awesome, and the awesome ones would use a lot of the techniques I'd employ if I was doing what they're were doing, which kind of lit the pilot light in me again after a dull winter. My problem is, I've no story to tell, it's just fat me.
This brings me back to my son's phone call, "Do you want the good bits or the bad bits first?' he asked. 'I didn't want any bits thank you very much' I thought, but through winced eyes, I asked for the bad bits first, let's rip that sticking plaster off fast!
He broke it down from the choice of music, the lack of dialogue and the lack of a story, plus a major missing element, not enough me. The funny me that is. The 'me' that he knows and loves. I guess bits of 'me' are being transmitted through this screen your reading now, you can get a sense of who I am when I'm writing, as I write it more or less the way I would actually say it out loud.
I don't write this for my ego, I write it because I actually enjoy writing. There's a book in each and every one of us they say. I guess my book will sit here, on this little auld blog of mine. I've bumped into people who have said they've actually read this too (Hi Barabara & Jonny), which is nice to hear, sorry, I've gone off on a tangent again...
Where was I? Oh yes, Family Feedback. So my son didn't like the last two music tracks, he didn't like how the video slowed down at the beginning just to see me park the Bongo, as he felt he should have been able to see me remove the GoPro off the side of the vehicle (I actually cut that out, my son said I should have left it in), the music in the latter half didn't actually match what I was done, even though the choice itself was good, just not in the right place. There was too much of me just walking the dogs, he suggested I should have talked more, not that you would have heard a word I was saying due to the high winds that day.
I learned a lot from that conversation, I don't just mean the feedback either. I learned that my son feels he can talk to his Dad and critique him. He's just turned 16 and he's doing revision for his upcoming GCSE exams. This is a pivotal moment in his life as he starts to make decisions about his own future. I, as his father, can only offer advice, it's not my place to give it or steer him. Of course, I would love to see him as a professional footballer, not cause I actually like football, but he's integral to my retirement plan, as I don't have one! Again, I'm joking! We've now moved away from a Parent/Child relationship, I hope he begins to see me as his best friend, whose advice he can trust, because I only have his best interests at heart, like he has mine.
If you're remotely interested in seeing this (crappy) video blog, check it out below. Subscribe to the channel, and (hopefully) watch as I improve my content, though it's essentially fat me at the end of the day, click here to watch it.