Professional Still Photographers as Amateur Videographers

These days many still photographers are frustrated when their clients decide to take their own pictures or get photos from amateurs who take photos that are good enough. And sometimes “good enough” is not only good enough – it’s pretty good because technology has enabled just about anyone to take a reasonably good photograph.

Indeed technology has lowered the bar to the entry into the realm of professional photography. But any pro knows there is more to “making” a good photo than the actual execution of an image. There are many problems to solve, and there’s the matter of being able to consistently make good photos.

But I must tell you, over the past year I have seen still photographers exhibit the same attitude that they abhor in their clients when it comes to the medium of video. As more and more still photographers embrace video because of hybrid cameras like the Canon 5D Mark II, many fall victim to the same line of thinking and that is if they buy a “good” camera that shoots “HD” video – that’s all they need to throw out the “video shingle” and they’re in business.

The problem is they lose sight of some very important things:
1. Shooting motion requires a different thought process
2. Audio is everything
3. Post production is very different for video than for still images
4. Video is a collaborative process

So when I get a question from a still photographer as to “what is a good video camera?” – I bounce the question right back at them and say – when an amateur photographer asks you what still camera takes good pictures – what do you say? Most quickly get the analogy and realize that while they are pros in the still photography world – buying a video camera or an HDSLR doesn’t make them professional a videographer. Motion is a wonderful medium, but get to learn the craft because it’s more than just the camera.

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