On several occasions, I’ve been asked where (or how) I came about the name for First Impressions Video. The answer is simple: In the world of non-scripted event productions, there is rarely—if ever—an opportunity for a second take. You can’t get a wedding couple to stop in the middle of the ceremony and repeat their vows, or ask a corporate CEO doing an annual presentation to do it over again because you missed the most important part of his or her speech! That would be an “epic fail!” But the question has more to do with the genesis of the name.
The saying, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression,” is attributed to many folks, as I have learned: Oliver Wilde, Mark Twain, Will Rogers; heck, even Walt Disney! Given their histories and personalities, it would make perfect sense for any of these esteemed people to have said it. But the real attribution for this phrase goes to Hannah Tatum Whitall Smith (1832 – 1911), an evangelist, author and an activist in both the Women’s Suffrage and Temperance movements. Smith was considered, among many of her talents, a motivational communicator—quite an accomplishment, given the historical time period. The original phrase was, “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression,” and the word ‘good’ was dropped in more contemporary use, though the inference remains.
This statement promotes responsibility in how we approach our work because if you’re shooting a live event, there just may not—and probably won’t—be a second chance, so we’d better get it right the first time. Good words to live by—in videography, or any other field of endeavor. Thank you, Mrs. Smith, for the inspiration!