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Michael Shepherd

Wedding Filmmaker

My journey began in filmmaking when I got my first digital camcorder at 13 years old. You'd find me at my local skatepark near enough everyday making videos in the summer. As college approached and skateboarding was becoming a thing of the past, I found more of an interest in photography and did it as an A-level for two years. When I finished the course, I actually found that my interest in photography was spreading thin and decided to take business management when enrolling at John Moores University in Liverpool. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do at this point, but I knew one day I wanted to run my own business.


In what was just short of two months, I found that the university lifestyle simply wasn't for me and returned to my summer job back home in Blackpool - a pizza delivery driver. After 10 months or so, I felt stuck and knew this wasn't the path I wanted to continue. I started experimenting with photography again and going out in between shifts doing odd jobs and events to see if this was something I could turn into a career.

After doing any freelance job or local event I could find, I saw a job opening for a photography company based at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, which entailed taking portraits of families, Hen Do's and the general public across the site. I applied, got the job and left my pizza delivery job, this felt like a step in the right direction.

My first year at Blackpool Pleasure Beach was great and I felt in my element. For six days a week I was taking photos, learning new skills and developing into a professional photographer. I stayed in this job for around three years, returning after I quit on more than one occasion. I tried to work for myself but fell short financially and went back with my tail between my legs. I would still shoot freelance jobs on my days off but this had to be lowkey or else it would be seen as a conflict of interest, which really did make me feel trapped.


One of my colleagues asked me one day "Why don't you give weddings a try?" I told them I didn't really feel they were for me. They then asked "Well how do you know if you haven't shot one before?" I couldn't argue with such simple logic and began filming a handful of weddings and fitting them in between my six day working week.

I started to see a development in my business and knew I needed to take one more leap of faith. Whilst I was working my final season, I thought to myself "If I don't make it work this year, I'll be here forever".

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As the season ended and the Pleasure Beach closed for the winter, I had a few months before the new season began and I didn't want to have to drag myself back there for another year. I promoted my business as much as I could and took any freelance job or wedding that came my way. I had some success but not enough to keep me going, the new season at the Pleasure Beach was fast approaching and I had around £3 in my bank account. I remember lying in bed one night thinking of new offers I could put on my website and strategies I could implement for the following day, I went to bed feeling defeated and losing hope.

The next morning, a miracle happened. I woke up to a text off a friend who I had shot some photos for previously saying "My brother has been let down and is looking for a photographer to work on a filmset with him in London, are you interested?" This honestly didn't feel real. I consulted with my mum who I lived with at the time to see if I should take this opportunity and could also borrow some money to cover the train ticket. Of course I said yes, booked the train ticket within 30 minutes and off I went.


For two months I worked on two different film sets as a BTS photographer, documenting each day as it happened and covered the whole process from what was sometimes a 6.00am call time to midnight.


I fell in love with everything that was going on around me and the filmmaking world that I had been introduced to. I was in awe of all the effort that goes in to making a film from the set design, planning, working as a team and everyone putting in the work to make it a success. This is where everything started to change.


Whilst I was asked to be there primarily as a photographer, I was also asked to capture video clips. I could feel my younger self who used to shoot skateboarding videos feeling like he had made it. On the second to last day of filming, we were running around London going from one iconic spot to another, filming what we could and I enjoyed the chaos that came with it. My old true passion of filmmaking came back and I felt I knew the path I wanted to go down - filmmaking and documenting.

This was a career defining moment for me and also a massive pivot. After the films came to an end, I returned home with a strong drive and determination to make my business a success. Although it wasn't a linear path, my business grew and I gathered experience across a variety of industries. I filmed luxury properties, promotional videos and live events until I realised weddings are what suit me best.


Although weddings and film sets are vastly different environments, the one huge similarity that I found when I began filming weddings, compared to my role working on the film set, comes down to one simple thing - to capture everything as it happens. Like the skateboarding videos I made when I was younger, capturing the action of a film set or filming two people get married and celebrate their love together, are all to me what make me feel fulfilled and have led me to where I am today.

Documenting life is so important to me and even when I'm not working, I usually have my film camera to hand capturing what's going on in my life. I almost see it as a duty to capture and document not only for my personal agenda, but also for others, and use the experience and skills I've gathered over the years to deliver a product that is deemed worthy of film standard to my clients.

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"Michael is the most wonderful person and such a talented creative!! He supported our wedding in May and was such a treat to work with from start to finish. He is so professional, and at the same time totally down to earth, calm, collected and definitely put us at ease. Nothing was a stress at all!! He was so, so lovely to have around on the day, and made everything look effortless!!"

Katie & Richard

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