Ten Things Still Photographers Need to Know About Video

1.    Buying a DSLR is only a start.  Choose the right tool for the job.  A DSLR might not be the right tool for many video productions.  And keep in mind that most shooters spend sometimes twice as much as the price of these cameras on add-ons to make these cameras a viable solution.
2.    It’s more than just the shoot. There are many facets to video production. In fact positioning yourself as just a camera operator may not be the best business model.
3.    Shooting video is a different mind set than shooting still images.  I think differently when shoot video.  I think in sequences and in storyboard mode – not in moments in time.
4.    Audio is everything.  You can have the best visual in the world but if you don’t capture your audio properly – you’ve got nothing.
5.    Shoot horizontals.  There are no vertical TV sets – yet.
6.    Editing – Again the shoot is just one part of video production.  Editing is just as important and there is a steep learning curve that comes with it. But learning to edit and editing your own material will make you a better shooter.
7.    There’s no standardization of codec’s and formats.  It’s like the Wild West when it comes to standardization of codec’s.  There is no standardization!  Every time a new camera gets rolled out – it seems like there’s yet another format.
8.    Output – Here’s where a lot of people get confused.  How are you going to output it?  What type of file?  What platform – TV, web, big screen?
9.    Interviews – A lot of video productions require on camera interviews.  Many times the interviews drive the story – or create the backbone of the audio track.  Pay attention to good interviews and interviewers to learn the art  of getting good sound bites.
10.    Collaboration – Video production is ripe for collaboration.  Still photographers are more independent creatures.  Learn to surround yourself with people that will make you look god.

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5 Replies to “Ten Things Still Photographers Need to Know About Video”

  1. Hi Gail, just a caveat on #5) shoot horizontals: Mall displays, point-of-purchase, motion ads and in the future some editorial motion (covers) could be vertical format 🙂

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