When is the time? The time is now.
Have you ever wondered about your identity? How do you determine who you are?
This is a quandary many women face in their careers, when they get married and then again when they have children.
My name is Emma Wilson. Or Emma Massey depending on which of one of those you know, work with or follow on social media.
I am BBC. I will always be BBC. Twenty five years working as a Broadcaster for such a world renowned corporation means I have no choice in that.
I’ve worked in programming, current affairs and in news. And I have loved every moment of that career.
But on a cold February morning in 2012 a friend and former BBC colleague Cat Hepple, who was once Catherine Marston (are you following the theme?) came to my house to take photographs of my family and latest addition Ed.
At the end of the session over a cup of tea, Cat told me all about her new life as a wedding photographer, a career move I couldn’t quite understand.
She happened to mention that as a Video Journalist for the BBC with years of filming experience I might just make a good wedding videographer.
More importantly one she would like to work with. At the time I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather do less. But the very next day a friend called me from work and asked if I’d film their wedding the following May.
And that’s where it all began.
Yet if someone had told me then how my life would change and ultimately mean me resigning from the BBC as a newsreader and reporter I would have never believed them.
As Emma Massey at the BBC I know for a fact that I was high maintenance and demanding. But I was also told by many producers I was worth it.
In front of camera I was confident and impressive, reporting on stories with such gravitas I made the most unbelievable stories believable. There were times I was nervous… if autocue failed and there was a hole in the programme or when I was on location and I lost my footing on a complicated story.
But I never showed it. In truth I was alive.
When I became a Video Journalist I surprised even myself at my creativity behind the camera and things couldn’t be better as I was getting the best of both worlds, filming my own stories and reporting on them … basically taking total ownership of my stories.
But I was even happier when I was mentoring others, teaching newcomers the ropes, going into colleges and enthusiastically telling students about my job and helping them achieve similar goals.
And then the wedding filming took off. And I mean really took off. The name Story Of Your Day came about from my role as a journalist.
I didn’t want to make wedding films which were just full of pretty moving pictures, I wanted to tell a story, couples’ individual story at each and every wedding.
This is Marilou’s and Andy’s trailer: It captures the moment that Andy discovered his wedding ring had been inscribed and ‘flashes forward’ to his favourite moments during their day.
Up until six months ago, so sure was I that in the end I’d finished my working days at the BBC, I continued to juggle a job in news with long hours, with being a wedding videographer and a not-very-present mum of two gorgeous boys. As for my husband. He didn’t get a look in.
I kept telling myself the wedding filming passion would fizzle out but at the same time I was investing more into it both financially with new cinematic cameras, physically by taking on more and more commissions and emotionally … it was starting to take its toll.
Sadly the drive and ambition I had at the BBC started to wane but my passion for my own business that I’d started from scratch was becoming greater and greater.
I was working with more and more fabulous industry experts on fantastic collaborations, a few even taking me to France with Monique Truelove from French Wedding Style.
Credit: Cat Hepple Photography
I was learning from amazing inspirational cinematographers like Jeff Wood and Argentian Alejandro Calore from Real & Short and I was becoming more and more confident in my craft.
I came to realise that, actually, I am really rather bloody good at this.
Something had to give and I had to ask myself some very serious questions…
But I didn’t know where to start.
And then, thanks to Cat, Charlie Kingsland-Barrow came into my life and I became one of her ‘Shining Lights’ in The Female Photographers Association, following her mentoring programme of development.
Meeting other like-minded ‘Lights’ helped me focus, dig deep to find my niche, evolve a new filming philosophy, rebrand and launch a wonderful new website and ultimately reach where I am now.
Travelling all around the country and throughout Europe filming weddings.
We define our own success. Success is in us all. You too can achieve it.
Finally making the move and leaving the BBC on September 11th this year was ultimately down to me finally having belief in myself.
Being unafraid of knowing I can achieve it, under my own terms, is liberating and a reason to feel very proud.
Where is that place?…. nowhere near where I’m going to be but I, Emma Wilson, am an entrepreneur, a filmmaker, a mentor and an ‘inspiration’ to other woman not yet quite brave enough to take that step.
I am no longer hiding in front of the camera but I am shining from behind it and best of all I am helping others bring out the best in themselves. If that isn’t the best purpose in life, I don’t know what.
By Emma WILSON
Let me know if you’ve ever faced similar dilemmas in your work, home or even love life. I’d love to hear your story.