Photographers Need Motion
You don’t need to tell professional photographers about the impact of digital processes on their industry. (Goodbye, Kodachrome.)
For this article, I would like to focus on a lateral move many professional photographers may be considering - moving into video. Many have added it and some have been successful for years. Many new digital still cameras can do a fair job of video. So here are some suggestions.
Start by forgetting about video.
Begin with the concept of “motion graphics.” Why? For one thing the actual definition of “video” is a morphing set of standards and technical specs. Don’t even get me started on the whole HTML5 vs. Flash video issue. Then you have the dizzying array of choices of video gear, editing software, etc.
Just use what you know.
So let’s start with the basics. Let’s say you’re a pro photographer working in a creative and highly competitive business. You have knowledge of lighting and styling (or managing stylists). You may have a talent for portraits, working an event, and making subjects feel comfortable and look good. You have an eye for great composition and you can make products look like heroes. Hopefully you have made some sort of transition to digital and are comfortable with Photoshop. These are pretty good skills.
So my suggestion is forget learning video (at least for now). Focus on learning motion graphic tools that leverage all those skills right from the start. Then maybe add some great HD video gear.
When I teach workshops in After Effects, I never call it a video workshop. Sure video pros may need to learn motion graphics, but so do photographers.
For example, you could create a masterful motion graphic from your photographic work and never touch a video camera. You could make a composition that is square, vertical or 10,000 pixels wide. Your creation may never be made into a DVD or played on a Blu-Ray player - these are important video delivery standards but not required for things like web content, computer presentations or a banner ad.
In addition, take what you know in Photoshop, put it to use and add dynamics. Specifically After Effects software imports layers and many effects you are already familiar with when you add a .psd file.
If you take this approach, you may want to integrate video footage as a supplement to your photography in a creative and holistic sense instead of seeing it as a different business move.
What’s your opinion?