The Making of "Off The Beaten Path," a Short Film for Inspired Memorys Photography
Jen Memory had a vision. When she took the leap from her day-job to start her company, Inspired Memorys Photography, she saw an opportunity to offer a new kind of high school senior portraiture, the kind that high school seniors actually look forward to. Long gone are (or should be, according to Jen) the days of cheesy poses with clichéd props that make parents tear up, but the seniors themselves cringe in embarrassment. Today’s high school seniors are all over social media, taking selfies, sharing videos, and liking and commenting on all their friends’ posts. They follow Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, and Vanessa Hudgens and curate their own accounts in similar fashion.
Observing how these high school seniors engage with social media, Jen wanted to shake up the senior photography experience. Why not provide the kind of senior portraits that seniors actually want to post and share with their friends? So, for the past year, Inspired Memorys Photography has built itself on that concept, offering high-end senior photography experiences, complete with professional hair and makeup and wardrobe consultation, right here in the Triad. The concept has paid off. Inspired Memorys boasts over 7k followers on Instagram and was voted the #1 Winston-Salem photographer in 2016.
In order to maintain that coveted title, Jen knows that she has to stay on the cutting edge of digital trends, which is why she approached us to produce a short brand film in Summer 2016.
“Video is becoming more and more important for small businesses. Especially in my line of work, where my target audience is high school students, I need video in order to stay relevant to the younger generation,” Jen says. “I wanted to create a video that would inspire these girls to aim for a higher-end senior portrait experience, where they would be freaking out with excitement to post my photos on social media.”
“I’m also trying to build more business in the pre-teen and early teen markets. I don’t use models – my subjects are real teens without any modeling experience. I help coach them during my sessions, and I find that getting teens started earlier builds confidence in front of the camera, and once they get to their senior portraits, they totally rock it without second thought,” she adds.
Jen, a self-proclaimed hippie-at-heart, has always been inspired by Woodstock, and more recently Coachella. Being in North Carolina, she wanted to create a video that would bring Coachella into a new environment, as if Coachella was happening right here in her home state.
Jen says she chose Shift Creative Agency to produce her video because she “saw that Sarah had produced a film for ESPN, so I knew that her production standards would be very high.”
During the initial visioning and brainstorming, Sarah and Jen talked fashion, photography, and sorted through boxes of old fabrics for artistic inspiration. “I could tell, from the first time I spoke with her that she understood my vision and had a clear sense of how to execute it,” she says.
“And when the crew arrived on set the day of the shoot, within the first 5 minutes I was completely comfortable. I could tell they knew exactly what to do. I was able to spend the rest of the day focusing on my own shots without having to worry about the film at all.”
After the shoot day, we turned around the edited product within 1-week. We used vintage prime lenses with lots of flares to create the carefree summer feel Jen was after. Quick cuts to an indie music track keeps the video fresh and engaging.
“When I saw the video, my first reaction was ‘OMG, I’m in LOVE!’” Jen says. “The reason was because the video was my vision. They took exactly what I wanted, the vision that I wanted, the music, and put on film. I couldn’t be more pleased with the result.”
The video received 2k views within 24 hours of posting, far exceeding Jen’s goal of 1,000 views total. In just one week, the video received over 6k views.
“The response has been incredible,” says Jen. “My Instagram is blowing up with client leads. I can tell that this is such a powerful tool for my business - it’s only been a week and I’m brainstorming for my next collaboration with Shift!”
She continues, “They were so easy to work with, extremely professional, and super fast with their turn-around. I couldn’t recommend them more highly.”
Jen, we enjoyed working with you, too!
Find out more about Jen’s work here.