Pro-Bono – Latin for ‘Work being taken on for no charge, being done for public good’.
It’s not often I would do work pro bono. Typically it’s a field reserved for those in the legal profession, although maybe my years spent as a (boring) deposition videographer rubbed off on me. Regardless I really never have, especially with weddings, or events. Nor would anyone really. They are long days spent mostly on my feet, with alot of run & gun, capturing scenery as best I can with about 1 or 2 minutes of setup time, few chances for retakes, and quickly packing up & catching up to the party as they all move along with ease. Then, after the event ends, one labors upon editing, setting to music, exporting & uploading. Numerous hours spent on that as well, which nobody else sees.
However, a couple of weeks ago a news story posted on Philly.com captured my attention. The story of a girl who went thru something beyond tragic, and had a ‘quincenara’ (Spanish version of Sweet 16) coming up this September. They had a gofundme page, and of course my first instincts were naturally to donate. $5, $10, $20 maybe who knows. Then it hit me that I can give so much more that that in terms of value. While I don’t typically shoot Sweet 16s, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs or Quincenara’s, this one will be an exception. And why not, she deserves it.
So I found the Mother on Facebook, and wrote her, offering my video services pro-bono. Without getting too into the details of the response I was glad that she did chose to accept my services, but I found that she was also flattered to have received such a request. No idea if any other photo or video people offered anything similar, and tbh I don’t care, for I’m happy to be the one to shoot it. If you’re wondering, yes I have already received an inquiry for a wedding on this date, and as a single shooter (I don’t farm out any of my work) I turned it down. Might happen once or twice more as it’s still a busy time, but I can say ‘No regrets’.
Looking forward to it, glad that Philly.com published such an article, to see the gofundme page spread, and volunteers like me offer their services for a good cause. Typically I try to take a bright/optimistic approach when meeting the bride on her big day. Congratulating her, noticing her dress, discussing if she’s excited. Admittedly a 25 or 30 year old handles it differently than a 15 year old teen. Also, there’s going to be some sensitive nature to the event as well. However as with everything, I’ll adapt, and I’ll bring all my kits & toys that put a great video together, and create the best darn quincenara video any girls ever had:)