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Hidden Gems: Meet Ellen Bee

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ellen Bee. Them and their team share their story with us below:

Understandably, many potential clients believe the company is operated by a videographer named “Ellen Bee” when in fact, Ellen Bee is a husband and wife team. The name Ellen Bee was birthed at Howard University in 2004 by Lavon Surratt, who was smitten by his girlfriend Brittany Bell. Ellen Bee is the combination of the initials “L” and “B” for the first names of Lavon and Brittany.

In 2014, Lavon and Brittany tied the knot and when planning their wedding Lavon and Brittany had a difficult time finding a quality videographer that was within their budget. Ultimately they decided to forego having a videographer and it is still a decision Brittany regrets. In 2015, Brittany recommended that Lavon put his film degree to use and start his own videography company. Like a good husband, Lavon listened to his wife and Ellen Bee Productions was established.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Aside from the pandemic, which was difficult for everyone, it has been a fairly smooth road since the start of the company. When establishing a company, capital can be a challenge as it takes money to make money. One of our toughest days occurred after we dropped an external hard drive containing weddings we had recently filmed. Today we back weddings up to multiple hard drives, but when we started, we could only afford one.

After we dropped the hard drive we no longer had access to the footage from those weddings. We had delivered highlight videos to those clients but we hadn’t begun editing the full feature video. We had to inform those clients of our mishap and refund monies. That was very difficult and we wish we could go back and do things differently. Having capital is so important when establishing a business. We started out with one lavalier microphone, two cameras, a couple of tripods, and a lot of prayers. Slowly and methodically, we’ve increased our gear over the years and today we typically film weddings with four cameras, multiple microphones and we even have the capability to live stream weddings.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Ellen Bee Productions is a professional wedding videography team serving the Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia regions. However, we do branch now and again to film corporate events/promos and we have worked extensively with nonprofit organizations in the area. We are a husband and wife team that produces professional and fun videos that fully cover epic events. Ellen Bee Productions was founded after we failed to secure our own videographer for our wedding due to finances. We decided to offer professional videos at a price range that was very approachable. We are committed to assisting couples in reliving their big day through video. There truly is no better way to relive a wedding than by watching our videos.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
I think one of the biggest trends in weddings will involve the inclusion of viral social media challenges during the wedding day. As many Generation Z adults begin to get married, I think many weddings will feature moments that are dedicated to participating in social media challenges. Many Millenials remember a time before social media, but social media has raised many Generation Z individuals and I believe as a result, it has become embedded in all aspects of their lives.

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