We had the good fortune of connecting with Cara & Chris Burk and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cara & Chris, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
This question is a bit tricky for me… I feel like to personalize it a little, it should read “What was your thought process behind starting ANOTHER business?” I have already started 3 businesses in my life, all 3 photography businesses and the first 2 failed miserably. It was not easy to decide to start another business after 2 failures. But it has proven to be SO worth it… I have been a photographer for well over 10 years, it is what I have my degree in, but it wasn’t until a little over a year ago that I really realized my true passion. My husband actually pointed me in the direction of videography and filmmaking and since then the love for my camera and this art has deepened beyond what I ever could have imagined. To take a step back, I have a daughter who is 3 named Bobbi Ann. She is the light of my life. At the time she was born, I had petty much set down my camera. I had already had 2 failed photography businesses and I was burnt out, to say the least. We were living in Colorado and I was working at Starbucks. I still did a few shoots every now and then but when I did I felt like I was dragging, and editing took me way longer than it should because my heart was not in it at all. Chris and I decided to move back to Texas 2 months after my daughter was born. When we finally got moved back and settled, I had a heart to heart with Chris and told him I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. I felt like my degree was a waste. I remember this day like it was yesterday… He looked me dead in the eye and said, “Cara, stop taking photos to make money and just do what you love. What is it that would make you happy to shoot if you didn’t have to worry about money at all?” I knew the answer as soon as he asked it because it was all I ever thought about shooting… Lifestyle. From there Chris mentioned a course he had seen online that teaches lifestyle videography. Since Chris was already familiar with making videos for youtube, I thought, what the heck, let’s see what it’s about. When we started off, we were just making videos of our own daughter. Making these videos has brought me so much peace and comfort as she grows. Even though I don’t want her to grow up, knowing this journey is well documented has put my heart at ease. Knowing this, and with the feedback we got from our friends and family when we put our videos out into the world, there was no way we couldn’t try to do this for other people. Getting to give that same feeling to other mothers in the DFW area, is such a fun adventure. I KNOW how much these moms will treasure these films down the road… Heck, even in just 6 months because these kids REALLY DO grow like weeds… I know the importance of these videos because I look at the videos I took of Bobbi 6 months ago and I am in awe of the change she has made… Now that I have started doing this, I can not imagine doing anything else with my life. I feel like the luckiest woman in the world. Being in a creative field is never easy but every ounce of hard work is worth it when I get to see the tears of happiness from grateful mom’s around DFW after they get their family films.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
We are Chris & Cara Burk. We are Filmmakers and Photographers in Fort Worth. I think our films set us apart most of all. We create cinematic home movies for families in the DFW area. The story of your life together as a family is rooted at home, in the beauty of the everyday. We come to your home and help you slow down – even for just one day – so that you can hear their tiny voices and see their sweet faces and revisit this time for years to come. Life moves so quickly and we get to bottle up one day for you to keep forever. We have the best jobs in the world, getting to create precious heirlooms for your family! The road to finding this passion was not easy at all, We had a lot of ups and downs. But once we started down this path of filmmaking, everything has kind of snowballed. I still wouldn’t say that any part of it has been easy. A lot of work and effort goes into not only each film but the back end of running a business. We are not business majors. We had no formal education on learning how to run a profitable business on our own so we spend A LOT of time reading books and taking online courses and listening to podcasts, to make sure that we know how to keep ourselves afloat. It is not enough to just create pretty videos and photos, a lot of people can do that… You have to know how to market, manage your finances, and sell yourself too…
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
So as a Mom, my top 5 places to take the kiddo are: 1. The Fort Worth Zoo – probably my favorite zoo ever. It also has an AMAZING splash pad so that is a huge bonus in the summer. 2. Stockyards for the Cattle Drive – This is VERY “Fort Worth” to do and the kiddos love it! Real Texas cowhands drive a herd of Texas longhorns down East Exchange Avenue in the Stockyards National Historic District twice every day at 11:30 AM and 4:00 PM. 3. The Fountain in Sundance square – From 2 PM – 6 PM MON-FRI and 1 PM – 6 PM SAT-SUN the kids are allowed to run through the fountains in Sundance square. It is free and so much fun! Plus there are tons of places to eat and grab a drink within walking distance. 4. Dream Park – This is the coolest park I have ever seen. It is a park that was made for children of all abilities. It is massive and there are SO MANY fun things to do! 5. Melt Ice Cream – The. Best. Ice cream… And I know my ice cream! Speaking outside of my “mom” hat my top 5 places are: 1. Taqueria San Luis – Anyone who knows me has probably hear me talk about the food here… The best Tortas I have ever had plus they sell horchata and I am down for that ANYTIME! 2. Cowtown Brewery – Amazing food AND amazing beers! 3. T&P Tavern – Great drinks and Awesome food! 4. Stir Crazy Baked Goods – Just go like them on Instagram and you will see why they are in the top 5! YUM!!! 5. Vaquero Coffee – This has been a go-to spot for local meetings – great drinks and pastries! As a bonus, West 7th area is a great place to hit up because there is SO MUCH to do in a small area. Trinity Park Duck Pond, Foundry District, Arts District, Montgomery Plaza, TONS of bars and local places to eat. You can’t go wrong there!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I think, first of all, our families deserve a shout out. Owning a business isn’t easy especially when you have a toddler. Our parents are ALWAYS there to take her when we have shoots and meetings. They are a lifesaver, I don’t think this would have been nearly as successful without them always being there to help us out when we need it. (Not to mention that my parents paid for my Photography degree too… that might be worth mentioning, ha!) We also live in an amazing community. I feel like the encouraging amount of feedback and love we got when we started this business really gave us the boost we needed to keep pushing through all the hardships of starting the business. We have had some AMAZING cheerleaders on our side from the start that we didn’t even know before we launched. Last but certainly not least, a shout out to Courtney Holmes, who is the inspiration behind our business. She taught an AMAZING Creative Live course that introduced us to the idea of Family Films and I hope someday I get to tell her how she changed our lives for the better…
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