Running a successful studio requires everyone in the business being 'on the same page'. We think Switzerfilm is doing a great job working together with the same vision in mind. Let's chat with them and see how they make it work~
We love that your company is built on a close knit team. And what a team you have! How did the four of you come together to create Switzerfilm?
It takes time. The company has been lucky to have amazing people in our past that helped us get to where we are today. To be candid with you the stars have aligned and we just got lucky. Lots of hard work too though! We all have a similar work ethic and a mutual respect and trust in one another. Over 10 years you create a lot of life changing relationships and many valuable life lessons along the way about who you are and what you want to be. Our team has the same vision - to have a blast & crush it in the world of photo + video.
What are your roles in the business? Are you all involved in shooting?
We have a photo/video team of 4. This means 2 of us are focused on photo 2 on video. Katie is our head photographer. She is solely responsible for all Switzerfilm photography. This means all editing, scouting, and taking all the photos. Ashley is Katie’s 2nd shooter but her primary responsibility is managing the wedding division of Switzerfilm. All sales and communication for weddings goes through Ashley. During the week Ashley spends time polishing final wedding video edits and albums. Kristin is in charge of all corporate edits, storyboarding, and filming all corporate and wedding productions. She and I (Joe) makeup the video team. Most of my time is spent managing current and new corporate video productions and filming weddings.
What’s in your bag?
Our goal is to travel light and of course carry a big selfie stick. :) This year we are using the Sony A7s for video and the Canon MKIII for photo. The lenses you will find in our bags are (3) 50 mm, (2) 200 mm, (1) 135, (2) 14mm, (1) 24mm, (1) 100 mm macro, (1) 85mm, and (1) 24-70.
Your work is extremely personalized to each client. We can truly feel the personality of each couple. How do you approach your clients in order to get to know them on a deeper level? Do you have them fill out a questionnaire?
We are super detailed with our clients and we do work on a wedding timeline with the couple that includes family photo lists, special notes, addresses, contact info, etc. More importantly than that it has and always will be about one thing with our clients. Developing a good relationship. We’re not just going to have someone fill out a form and show up at their wedding. One way we bond and connect with our couples is by taking them to dinner. You can’t just not know someone and expect them to feel comfortable around you. It takes a little time and effort. For most of our weddings, Ashley exchanges about 100 emails, Katie and Kristin have photographed their engagement session, and our entire team has had dinner with them. By the time they get married they can hopefully call us friends and can 100% be themselves around us. The photos and video will show that.
Your company has been incredibly successful. Do you have any tips or tricks for creatives just starting out in the industry?
Focus on initially building your business with the friends and family that surround you. Find talented people that are better than you to work with. Let go of 50% of the things you are doing now and outsource the things you are not good at so you can focus on what you love to do.
Switzerfilm, an international award winning photo-cinema business made up of four young creative minds striving to take the world of wedding cinema and photography to the next level. Traveling the world for inspiration, our team of friends will go anywhere and everywhere to top our latest work.
We find joy in teaching all over the world and help up and coming “ographers” lay the groundwork for a solid future. We have limitless amounts of information to share. Over the past 10 years, the majority of our clients have become lifelong friends. Our love is our life, our life is our work.
From a very early age I loved taking pictures and looking at them in magazines and books, but the art of photography captured my heart when I was a teenager, on my first overseas trip to Wales. From that point, I began shooting with a little film SLR and having my friend model for me. In college I took some digital photography and visual communication courses as part of my communication studies major, and decided to pursue a career in photography. I became a legal business and took my first paid client at age 20, and it's been quite a journey and adventure over the past nine years.
I secretly bought a mail-order 35mm camera when I was 15, and took lots of ordinary photos of animals and nature for several years. Although I majored in art and studied photography in college, my career started in marketing and advertising, from the client service end. Then I had the most beautiful baby, found my old camera and realized how much I love photographing people.