Simeon Quarrie made his name in his dramatic, iconic depictions of Indian weddings. Now, he’s bringing the same captivating skills for visual storytelling to corporate marketing.
On the 32nd floor of 1 Churchill Place, one of the newest and most striking of the glass and steel monoliths overlooking the River Thames, wedding videographer Simeon Quarrie swallowed nervously as a Barclay’s Bank global department head beckoned him into the meeting room. The moment marked another pivotal moment thousands of strategic hours in the making, having grown from a single videographer into a team of creative storytellers.
The global head turned to his team and asked, "Have you watched the wedding video in Venice?" They had. "Did you watch the one in India with that wedding dress?" Every exec in that top floor suite had, of their own volition, watched Simeon’s entire portfolio. The man turned back to Simeon and asked, "Can you do that for our business?"
Simeon could…and did. In doing so, he turned the corner on a long road to his dream. The moment validated the years of trust he’d placed in his own vision and partners, such as G-Technology®, and confirmed the map to success he’d so carefully crafted.
Simeon’s origin story begins at age 15 in a Business Studies class, where he found himself in charge of the design and marketing for a newly created company that persisted even into his college years. Graduation from secondary education came with an offer to establish a Web design agency, which in turn led to setting up an Internet service provider. Even as his technical proficiency grew, his heart remained with marketing and branding—until it all finally ground to a halt in the post-2000 tech recession.
"I went back to my bedroom in my parents’ home to do graphic and Web design," Simeon recalls. "It was…slow going. Eventually, I looked at my Mac computer and thought, 'What else can a Mac do?' Well, it does video editing, right? So, like an absolute madman, I went and bought myself a Canon XL1 and Final Cut Pro."
After months of self-directed learning, Simeon landed his first small business video client, and he was hooked. Everything seemed to be falling into place. And then, for a 100 small reasons and nothing in particular, his work evaporated.
With ample time for soul searching and planning, Simeon realized that he enjoyed shooting weddings, even though typical wedding gigs didn’t pay enough to cover his expenses. But what if he had two companies operating out of his home office? As soon as a couple of design jobs materialized and supplied some sorely needed capital, Simeon decided to invest the money into developing a second revenue stream as a wedding videographer. While his friends still toiled away in universities, young Simeon had two companies up and running, determined to figure it all out on the fly.
Of Story and Specialization
After several years of doing corporate design work, Simeon knew the caliber of production creativity and quality that professional buyers expect. He also believed that, in general, creatives were not bringing this caliber of work to the wedding market. He resolved to focus on not only technical mastery but also the emotion and drama of his scenarios. Not surprisingly, the video side of his operations blossomed.
Simeon brought in a full-time editor, and then, finally relenting to ongoing customer requests, began delving into still photography. Once again, he wasn’t exactly sure what he was doing, but he knew what he wanted. Every time he paused to look up and admire a billboard, he would think, "I want my images to look like that. Why not?" And onward he would dig into learning or refining another element of craft, all the while searching for the right strategy that would help him to stand out and excel.
"I decided to focus on a very specific niche market: Indian weddings," Simeon notes. "I understood who I was marketing to, the product that I was creating, and how to disrupt that marketplace. Yet, even from the beginning with weddings, my aim was to pass through the industry, leave my mark, and then move on to my end ambition: to work for businesses. Weddings were just a stepping stone to where I’m aiming to go."
Why Indian? Part of the decision was financial. Indian families tend to book three sessions for various aspects of the event rather than just one. More importantly, Indian weddings abound in vibrant colour and a full spectrum of emotions, from jubilation at dawn to suspenseful sobbing at the moment when the bride must decide whether to leave her parents. For Simeon, the drama was like stepping into an alien battle zone ripe for journalism. Indian weddings offered a lucrative, specialized market that was underserved by professional-class creatives. On a larger field, Simeon was nobody. In the niche world of Indian weddings, his talent and acumen turned him into a star.
The Invisible Key to Success
Consider every wedding gallery you’ve ever seen. Cutting the cake. A close-up of his and hers ring fingers. The tossing of the bouquet. All mandatory—and all quite ordinary. For the wedding photographer/videographer, that way lies mediocrity.
"I would never let wedding clients sit down and flip through wedding albums," says Simeon. "No, I extract the story, then I tell the story. That’s why I was successfully booking weddings at a much higher price than the average. I understand as much about a couple as possible so that I could create an image that told a story. There were thematic elements woven in there that the family would recognize and understand. I mean, people already know the end result of every wedding, so without story, how can you possibly hold their interest?"
Simeon captured those stories through trust. Couples would confide shocking details with him, such as how one pair had been seeing each other for ten years, but their parents thought they’d only been acquainted for one. Simeon’s shoots have involved billionaire families and guest lists including prime ministers. The amount of pressure tied to these assignments could become phenomenal, because there are no second chances. Simeon worries with every job—and for good reason—that any compromise to the quality and safety of his files could spell the end of his career.
"I’ve been through bad experiences with hard drives," he notes. "Sometimes, I’ve had to send devices off to recovery, which costs loads of money and time. Once, we had a heatwave. We were working in 30-plus degree heat in an office with no windows or air conditioning. Our hard drive went down. I ran home, got the offsite backup, and plugged it in. We didn’t know it was the heat. So the second hard drive went down…and there went our backup. No surprise, I’ve got air conditioned offices now, and I use G-Technology drives with improved cooling in them."
Failures with other brands led Simeon to G-Technology. Within his collection, he has over a dozen G-DRIVE® and G-RAID® units spanning from 1 to 4 terabytes, several mobile G-DRIVEs, multiple 1TB and 2TB Evolution Series G-DRIVEs with an accompanying G-DOCK ev®, and his latest prize, a G-SPEED® Studio XL. Simeon rarely deletes anything, so assiduous asset management with DiskCatalogMaker helps to keep files managed and always within reach.
G-Technology drives play throughout the various stages of Simeon’s workflow, from post-capture duplication through long-term archiving. Naturally, everything gets backed up. Wedding clients in particular have a tendency to rematerialize months or years later, asking for additional files or editing. Simeon dreads encountering a day when his clients’ trust might be betrayed. This is precisely why he partnered with G-Technology, the name he trusts in storage above all others.
"My reputation at the moment is key, and it’s fragile," Simeon muses. "Knowing that I am imperfect, I do whatever I can to make sure that we remain as protected and as safe as possible. Banks call this 'resilience'. Does your equipment have resilience? Are you a resilient business? Can you cope with a certain amount of failure? With G-Technology storage, we’re in the best position possible within economic reason, because the clients I want expect me not to cut corners in the wrong places."
Today, Simeon leads his VIVIDA firm on the same course he started for himself many years ago. On the inside, he remains that kid staring up at billboards, asking, "Why can’t I do that?" Only now, through determination, integrity, talent, and smartly chosen partnerships, he’s progressed far beyond billboards. On the top floor of Barclay’s headquarters, Simeon promised the people he’d always wanted to help that he could deliver. He did. And with companies such as G-Technology helping him to scale and evolve as his abilities climb, one can’t help but wonder if the vertical jump from weddings to 32nd story is only a short hop compared to where he’ll land next.
G-Team members are leaders in their respective fields who use G-Technology products in their day-to-day work lives. G-Team members are compensated for their participation.
G‐Technology external hard drives serve as an element of an overall backup strategy. It is recommended that users keep two or more copies of their most important files backed up or stored on separate devices or online services.