Aaron Wilhite, a junior marketing major from Spanish Fort, has started his own photography and video production business.
Wilhite’s passion for film began as a hobby after he received a camcorder as a present for Christmas. He and his next-door neighbor began creating videos of parodies of commercials or other silly videos for fun.
“This is when YouTube first came out, like back in 2006,” Wilhite said. “I just loved uploading videos to YouTube, no matter what it was. We were like 12 at the time making these dumb videos.”
From here Wilhite began to use these skills for school projects.
“Some projects would allow you to make videos for projects, so I took that as a stepping stone to make cool videos,” Wilhite said. “I wanted to have the coolest video in the class. That was just my goal—I just thought videos were so cool.”
Wilhite then created what he called his first “real” YouTube channel, where he created gaming videos, earning up to approximately 2,000 subscribers.
Because the videos were receiving so much traffic, a network reached out to Wilhite and offered him a partnership to make videos and get paid for it.
“So I did it,” Wilhite said. “I didn’t make much. I probably made like 25 bucks a month, but it was still money, and I thought it was cool. I wasn’t doing it for the money.
“I was doing it because I absolutely love making videos.”
He used his money to buy equipment and continued his filming. After this venture, he made another YouTube channel to utilize specifically for photography and videos.
He released a video titled “Do What You Love,” expressing his passion for filming and dreams for a future career in it.
Overnight, the video received about 6,000 views, which led to his first photography gig. From this point on, Wilhite’s business has taken off.
To date, Wilhite has worked weddings in December and February, the latter earning him several gigs.
He has received constant support from his fraternity brothers through his recent ventures.
“I’m fortunate enough to see most of his work during the production phase,” said Hayden Pulumbo, a junior social science major from Skipperville and one of Wilhite’s fraternity brothers. “His work ethic is unmatched in the industry. Never does a photographer or producer shoot a wedding on Saturday and have the work finished by Monday at noon.”
Wilhite explained that Pulumbo was his biggest helper, helping him to get started, gain clients and anything else he might need.
“He was always there to support me,” Wilhite said. “It’s just the fact that I knew I had people to support me like him and everybody else in FarmHouse. They have all been supportive like 100 percent.”
Wilhite has also partnered with Troy University several times to create promotion videos for various events.
Some of his creations this year include the 2016 Homecoming Video, a hype video for the Troy vs. South Alabama football game and a promotion video for the Sorrell College of Business.
“We have been very impressed with his work and the way he is very professional,” said Tara Morelock, the department coordinator for economics and finance, who has worked with Wilhite in the past.
She spoke of his passion for filming and his dedication to make it a career at Troy and in the future.
“I think that’s something that’s unique about this generation of college students,” she said. “… We’re seeing more and more of our students being entrepreneurial and actually starting their own businesses.”
“My goal is to tell other people’s story,” Wilhite said. “… I want to tell other people’s stories because stories are what make the world go round. Everyone has a story, and I feel like that story should be told because that’s how you make relationships and connect.”
Wilhite hopes to continue his work in filming and believes he can make a sustainable career out of it in the future.
“He can and will only progress — it’s in his DNA; it’s who he is,” Pulumbo said. “I believe that his company is unprecedented as an average college student. Hence, his work now is a small glimpse of the success that he will achieve.”
For more information about Wilhite’s work or for any business inquiries, individuals can visit his Facebook page, “Aaron Wilhite Productions.”