By Kristen Miller
COKATO, MN - Angela Meredith of Cokato has had a passion for videography ever since she was a young teen videotaping her first wedding at age 13.
Up until 2006, this was just a hobby for Meredith, formerly a Raisanen. She worked in massage therapy for five years before turning her hobby into a business, Milestones In Motion.
For Meredith, her art developed through photography. She remembers getting her first camera as a little girl.
“Everyone knows that everywhere I went, I had a camera,” Meredith said, with photo albums to prove it.
Meredith believes she’s just following the footsteps of her father, Gordon Raisanen, who, before becoming a lawyer was doing photography out of his home.
“I’m similar to him in a lot of ways,” she said.
In high school, Meredith worked part time at a photography studio in Hutchinson, Sharilee Studios.
She remembers her boss joking that she shouldn’t be teaching Meredith her techniques since someday, she could be a competitor.
Meredith didn’t agree, though. For some reason, something about photography “didn’t quite fit,” Meredith said. She liked videography better.
In 2004, she decided to give it a try and bought her ownvideo camera and editing equipment.
Since she never edited before, Meredith spent many hours and nights learning the software, equipment, and techniques that go into creating a video montage.
She began doing local weddings through word-of-mouth.
Three years ago, Meredith recorded the wedding of her friend, Larissa (Ortquist) Hoftyzer, daughter of Chuck Ortquist.
“She did it all and did it well,” Ortquist said about his daughter’s wedding video.
Even early in her career, Meredith was very professional, creative, and thorough, he said.
Soon, her hobby became a growing business.
Meredith likes how, when taping a wedding, for example, she can capture the emotions and the people, and by editing and adding components such as music, she can make the video into a wedding story.
Before the big day, Meredith talks with the bride and groom either over the phone or in person to see what they would like to capture in their wedding video and what package best suits them.
For added convenience, since many of the weddings are out of the area, Meredith has a detailed web site, www.milestonesinmotion.net, where the bride and groom can print off a contract. Samples of her videos are also available online.
Meredith is also now a member of the Minnesota Professional Videography Association, where she found many of her colleagues are impressed with her work. Through this association, Meredith also receives continuing education, she said.
With videography, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the technical aspects of it, Meredith explained. She tries to look at it more as an art and wants to capture the true essence of the event to make a story out of it.
“I love creating something out of a special time in someone’s life,” Meredith said.
A business that started through word-of-mouth has grown to where Meredith’s Milestones in Motion is now the preferred videographer of David’s Bridal in Maple Grove has been getting leads from there.
For now, Meredith is working out of her home so she can be with her three almost four kids, and husband Mark.
Depending on how large her business becomes, she may start thinking about her own studio outside of the home and hiring an editor. Already Meredith has had several offers from people wanting to edit for her because of the quality of work she produces.
When asked if she likes this better than massage therapy, Meredith said, it’s hard to say because the two are completely different lines of work; one is medical and physical, and the other is artistic and creative.
“I’ve always loved art,” she said. “[Videography is] a talent I’ve been lucky to have.”
Meredith doesn’t limit her talents to only weddings. She also records funerals, birthday parties, anniversaries, family reunions, and other milestones.
For more information, samples, and package details, check out www.milestonesinmotion.net or call Meredith at (320) 224-3263.