November 2020 Feature Story: Jonah Paulhamus

Jonah Paulhamus | Wedding Filmmaker + Cinematographer | Jonah Paulhamus Media

I first met Jonah when we started organizing our Fall Elopements this year in an effort to give back to the community during the global pandemic. Jonah joined us as one of the videographers and I'm so glad he did!

When we asked him to join us, he didn't even hesitate. He wanted to be involved and give back. Vendors who are willing to give like this without hesitation are the ones you want to surround yourself with.

This year was crazy. There's an entirely different level of service and organization that comes with planning an event/wedding during a pandemic, and Jonah was one of the amazing vendors who was completely invested in it all. We all knew these events would be difficult, and yet that didn't push him away. In fact, it was a driving force behind what we all were doing. Just as it was going to be difficult for us, it was going to be as difficult for our couples and this was our way to take a little pressure off.

Jonah's work is unreal. Usually I would give a little intro on his background but I'm going to share a little snippet of what he sent over, because it's truly remarkable. Enjoy!

"My passion for making films originally began when I was young. I studied filmmaking since I was a kid, learning most of what I know on my own through experience. This passion for movies eventually led to me becoming a professional cinematographer. Creating short films and marketing pieces for colleges, organizations, athletes and recording artists. It wasn't until 2016 when I was asked to shoot my first wedding. I had no background in the industry and was much more focused on my career as a filmmaker. But I found that my eye for cinematic storytelling that I gathered from shooting movies and music videos, brought a whole different look and style to wedding videography.

So I transitioned to wedding films and have been full time for the last 2 years! Occasionally, I'll go back to my roots with directing films and incorporating new techniques or camera gear into my wedding films. But when I get asked why I switched my career path, it's really simple. Telling stories and making movies is awesome and I love bringing ideas to the big screen. But there's something much more to capturing irreplaceable moments and bringing joy to so many couples through my films. Because for them, it's more than a video, it's being able to relive one of the most important days in their life. And for me, that's more important!"

~ Jonah Paulhamus

Enjoy his story below.

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Tell us about yourself - Where are you from and what did you wish to be when you grew up?

I grew up in a little rural town in Northern PA and knew from a young age I wanted to make and direct movies, but I never knew it would lead me to the wedding industry!

What brought you to where you are today?

Dedication to learning everything I can about filmmaking and never disregarding a creative idea.

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What do you do professionally?

I am a full time wedding filmmaker and professional cinematographer!

What is the number one struggle you find in owning and running a business?

There's definitely a lot of struggles to running your own business, but I think my number one issue right now would be having a steady marketing strategy.

What does a day at work look like?

I get emails and contact requests out of the way first, then sorting footage, finding good music for my videos and then editing! I am definitely most creative and productive later in the day, so I don't normally shut everything down until around midnight!

What do you spend the majority of your days doing?

EDITING. I can spend 1 day shooting an entire wedding but take up to 3 weeks to craft all that footage, audio and music into a wedding film I'm proud to present!

What year did you start your business and how long did it take to acquire a consistent client base?

I shot my first wedding in 2016 and only went full time with it last year, so I would say it took a solid 3 years to build my client base.

What do you do to stay involved in the community?

I'm very involved in my church, I shop local and I try to connect with other creators in my area regularly!

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What do you enjoy most about running your company?

Financial freedom. Not in the sense that I'm able to buy anything I want or afford the most expensive things. It's the ability to work on my own terms, work as little or as much as I want, and be able to live on an income doing what I love.

Where do you see your business in 5 years?

In 5 years, I'm planning on taking on only a select number of clients per year! Servicing only creative, adventurous and travel based elopements and weddings that fit my style of films!

Cassidy Lynne Photo

What advice would you give to people your age looking to start their own business?

I get asked this question a lot because I'm only 24, but I have 2 pieces of advice: 1) Make sure you're not doing what everyone else is doing, it's hard to appeal to a general audience when the market is so saturated. You'll attract a much more dedicated client base doing what makes your business specific! 2) It's okay to have a second job at the same time. It doesn't make you less of a business owner! Having a part time anything, that helps pay the bills, will make starting off and sticking to your business so much less scary!

If a child walked up to you and asked for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?

I would tell them that they're amazing and wonderful just as they are. How important they are is not conditional to how successful or smart or good at something they are. So if some person like me thinks that of them, how much more should they be proud of and loving of, who they are.


Jonah Paulhamus


Instagram: @jonah.paulhamus

Youtube: Jonah Paulhamus Media