When other wedding videographers voted Amare Stories the best wedding videographer in Ireland

The post that almost never happened after we attended a 2-day conference for a wedding videographer in Athlone!

I debated about this post for over a week, mainly because I am not always comfortable promoting myself and due to a slight bit of “imposter syndrome”.

However now it’s sunk in I am of the belief that every success should be celebrated, no matter how big or small.

Also, this award had a generous prize of €500, sponsorship of the prize came from the lads at Camerakit to the tune of €500 and that deserves to be acknowledged properly. You can read more about the sponsors further down.

Almost 2 weeks ago on the 21st February 2020 Amare Stories were voted “Wedding Videographer of the year 2020” by a large selection of other Irish wedding videographers who had gathered for 2 days of learning and collaboration.

Also voting were some of the most well-known photographers in Ireland including Gareth Lima-Conlon ( winner of 🏆 Irish Wedding Photographer of the Year 2019 AND
🏆 IPPVA Wedding Photographer of the Year 2018 )
Gareth took this photo of me ( which I had included as one of my slides earlier in the day during my presentation talk ) at a wedding in 2018 in the midst having some fun with 2 guests……

That slide only had one note: Don’t forget to have fun along the way.

As a wedding videographer I just enjoy the journey

weding-videographers

As David from Awake and Dreaming said to me at the time I posted this photo on Instagram, for anyone who knows me it sums me up.

Never take life too seriously and let your personality shine!

Wedding videographers of the year: my winning film

The wedding film below is the one that one the award for me  It’s an Instagram edit I did for Mallory and Michaels elopement in Northern Ireland.

To be honest I had 4 or 5 films I thought I could enter with but in the end, I chose this one due the amazing light, the strong story element and some of the closing drone shots were pretty epic!

Finding The Best Wedding Videographers in Ireland

Most people are probably wondering:” What criteria did we use to decide best wedding videographer in Ireland is?

Well for the last 3 years we have had an annual meeting of videographers from the whole island of Ireland ( north and south ).
With a good representation from all corners of Ireland we always meet in Athlone as it’s the center of Ireland.

Wedding videographers Ireland

This year, the main organiser Richard from BigDay decided to do one extra thing and that was a suggestion that we run a “wedding videographer of the year” award with the winner announced at the conference.

The difference with this award compared to any other ever before was that it would be voted by ourselves, judged by our peers, some might say our competitors but in my opinion they are just colleagues ( some who have become friends ) who I meet through work.
-There is plenty of work for everyone so I always try and keep an open mind and be as helpful and collaborative as possible.

Who judged it and what was the criteria?

The process was simple in design. Late last year everyone on our forum of videographers ( over 300 in total and setup by Keith Malone ) was asked if they wanted to nominate a potential candidate for the award.

The candidates would then be asked if they wanted to put a 1 minute Instagram Film forward which would be played on the day alongside the other finalists and then the attendees at the conference would choose a No.1 and a No.2 ( just in case of a tie ) .

I think I was the only candidate that was nominated by more than 1 person.

It turns out 7 people were nominated and 6 of us said yes we would love to pitch our best work against each other and let our peers decide the best.
Special mention here goes to Ricky Linton from Rabbit and the Fox who sadly had to decline after the passing of his mother.
When stuff like this happens it keeps any award; and life in general, in context.

The moment we won - genuine surprise!

Thanks to Keith Malone and Cathal Farrelly (who introduced me to wedding videography – thanks Cathal) who recorded the winner being announced and captured my complete surprise and shock with some camera phone footage.

Thanks to the sponsors - Camerakit.ie

A lovely bonus to winning the coveted title of Wedding Videographer of the year was a wonderful voucher for €500 from Camerakit .

The guys also sponsored the drinks reception on the first night and I know everyone really appreciated having such a generous sponsor.

I had a good chat to Colm after winning the award and he warmth towards not only me winning, but also the greater community was clear to see.

Thanks a million lads, we will get a nice photo whenever I drop over to buy something nice from the winning voucher.

A slide from my presentation that day

amare stories brand

My presentation at the conference: Switching brands.

I was one of the speakers at the conference, having previously presented at the first conference 2 years ago too.

The reason I was asked to speak at this conference was to share my experience of switching brands.
Coming up to 10 years in business I had decided to review everything in my business.

I decided to make the bold move to strip everything back to the core and rebrand my business in order to better allow me fulfil my new 12,18- and 24-month plans.

Whilst there was nothing wrong per se with Quinn Video the truth is that I created it at a time when I knew so little about the business.
Although it had served me very well it became abundantly clear that I had outgrown the old brand and it could no longer represent my work properly.

Who were the other finalists?

The standard of finalists was crazy and really and truly anyone could have won.

Obviously there was ourselves and then the other finalists were:
– Rafal from D.Art Wedding Stories – last years I.P.P.V.A Video awards runner up.

– Jason from Jason McGarrigle Wedding Films – a fantastic storyteller.

– Kevin from Little Bear who is producing some beautiful work in such a short space of time in the industry.

– Michael from Story of Eve, in my opinion Michael is the best in Ireland – he got my vote!

– Clive from Pigmint Film who won last years I.P.P.V.A Videographer of the year.

What does winning the award mean?

The award in the culmination of 10 years of work, going through many changes and constantly trying to improve my craft as a storyteller and videographer.

The reason I used the photo at the very top of this post from our own wedding is because it was the first slide in my presentation.

I have been to lots of conferences and workshops all over the world in the past 10 years as I tried to learn as much as possible about business and my craft.
During most talks the speaker would show a “best of” slideshow or film usually in case people didn’t already know them.

But after 10 years I know my work does not define who I am so I opened with this slide ( photo by the amazing Alejandro Diaz on our wedding day in 2018 ) of Lida and myself walking down the aisle after getting married.

As I said during my presentation, it’s a frame I could look at for hours on end as it captured one of the most important moments in our lives. The joy on our 2 kids’ faces.
Pure happiness.

This photo represents everything that is important to me.

Winning the award is recognition from my peers that all my hard work is paying off, that my craft has improved and that I am a positive contributor to our community.

As wedding videographers of the year we will continue to strive for the best standards.

What's next for Amare Stories?

Whats next?

Well back in September last year we were already planning improvements so we had already booked a 2-day mentoring session in February with Michael Toman from Story of Eve to focus on the next phase of our development.

Michael helped us create the new Amare Stories brand and has become a mentor now and has always been a role model due to his amazing work and unwavering modesty about his ability.

You learn as much about a person by watching “how” they go about their work as much ask asking “why” they do certain things.

The reality is that the future for everyone is an unknown, but the only certainty is I will keep striving for improvement.
That includes learning from our peers and also sharing back into the community with love and respect.

If you read this far, I thank you and I can’t wait to see what the next 12-18-24 months holds for Amare Stories.

Ronan

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