Interview with Kendra Smith

Time for another interview, this time with a local videographer and entrepreneur!

Interview: Kendra Smith

Kendra Smith has not been a videographer for long. After working in the restaurant industry for 10 years, she re-ignited a love of film she first discovered in high school and says she has been a serious videographer/entrepreneur since June.

Smith, who is from Cape Cod, moved to Portland, ME two years ago and helped launch MAINERMEDIA, a media, creative, and IT consultancy organization built to solve problems, empower local communities, and grow businesses.

She creates a variety of products, from commercials, promos, and ads to clips, interviews, and short narratives, including telling the stories of business owners and entrepreneurs.

Her goal is to foster a mutual partnership: helping her clients grow their businesses and convey their ideas and helping her strengthen her own skills and network.

Recently, Smith has been working on interview projects, mostly about local entrepreneurs and friends, and “learning why other people are the way they are.”

She loves using video to relive moments and is inspired by “seeing my own personal memories because memories are lost by the second.”

At first, she was shy about pulling out her camera; it felt unnatural and awkward.

For a whole year, I would carry my camera around and bring it with me somewhere but not take it out because I was so bashful. It took me a long time to get over the fact that I’m the person that’s going to pull out the camera,” she said. 

However, this nervousness has since changed.

For one project about her mother’s store, which sells bird seed and feeders, “I dressed up in a bird suit and ran around the town and tried to feed the birds and crossed the finish line of a road race, and it was hilarious. I was like, I can do anything I want with this.”

The creativity of video was freeing, and Smith believes in the power of comedy.

“I think that comedy and being goofy is the best way to get your message across even if your message is serious. With comedy, people can relate so much more, and you want to leave people with a good feeling,” she said.

Because she is so new to the field, her current focus is cultivating her skills, especially audio.

“If you have shitty audio, you have a shitty video,” she explained.

After years working in the restaurant industry, Smith has strong interpersonal skills and loves talking to people and telling their stories. She encourages others to build community, act spontaneously, and talk to each other.

“It’s about being with the people that you live with but you don’t always have time to meet up with or are too afraid to introduce yourself to,” she said.

She continued, “More people than not would actually like to have a conversation; they just don’t know how to have it.”

In the future, she plans to open her own vegan restaurant, but for now, she wants to focus on one goal at a time, especially since her streamlined focus on video as a career path has not come about easily.

Smith said that her whole life, she has always tried to do too many things at once and ended up feeling lost. She has always felt, she said, “that I’m meant to be famous” but wasn’t sure what direction that would take.

In the restaurant industry, she was never happy “because I wasn’t focused on any dream.” Now, in her new field, “I feel so purposeful.”

Check out Kendra’s website here.


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