If you spend any amount of time online you’ll be well aware of the rapid expansion of access to video content that has happened over recent years. Being largely user driven, this content varies from professionally produced through to home videos of cats, puppies and everything in between.
With the increase in internet speeds and processing power of viewing devices, we have the ability to watch countless hours of video content where and when we like. This provides some interesting opportunities for you as a photographer to consider, either through creating video content, or using video as a platform to show your work in a different way.
Ultimately it allows you to connect with people differently, using elements of storytelling and emotional connection that can only exist through the use of motion and sound. Here are some reasons why I have embraced video as a way of communicating.
1. Video allows you to tell stories in a more immersive way
Anyone who has been to see a film or documentary and become heavily invested in the story and its characters will be able to relate to this. While still images can communicate much of a subject, the depth of which you can tell stories through motion is effective in a different way.
Hearing the person’s voice rather than reading a quote, listening to them describe a situation or speak to another person and feeling the emotion in what they are saying and how they are presenting it. There is the element of moving images that cannot be replicated through stills. It is not to say that motion is a better way, just a different way to tell stories.
It also allows the viewer to have a different experience in seeing environments through motion. Seeing the elements that exist move and interact is again difficult to replicate through stills. Wildlife photos versus wildlife footage is an excellent example of how your understanding of an environment can shift based on the way you are viewing it.
Case study: Karma Coffee
2. Music can introduce a different kind of emotional pull
Music plays a significant role in every piece of film or TV content, from the news to drama to documentary. It has incredibly strong pulling power with our emotions and this is something anyone can take advantage of. The immediate tone that is set with music helps to identify what we can expect to feel, the anticipation of a lion hunting its prey, the feeling of accomplishment for a climber reaching a summit, or a family coming together after a long time apart. The ability to pull your audience further into a story with the emotive power of music is something we should look at seriously if producing video content.
While we may not have the budget for commercial music or large-scale productions, there are a lot of options available through stock music sites that will give you the style of music you are after. By using music that is available for licensing, you are free to have your video projects available for public viewing with no concern of copyright infringement as long as the music is licensed for the correct use.
Case study: Mates in Construction – Kokoda
3. Creating slide shows of your images adds a more dynamic element to your portfolio
This is a great way to bring a collection of images together and show them in a more dynamic way. The collection of images may simply be your portfolio, or it could be from a wedding you have shot, an overseas trip, or a family event. There are many benefits to presenting still images in this way as it allows you to include music and some animation or movement of your images within the frame as opposed to just a static position.
It also means your photographic portfolio can now be viewed on platforms that would otherwise be unavailable for still images, such as YouTube.
Case study: Damian Caniglia Photography Slideshow
4. You can bring together a collection of images and video that are connected
Producing video content doesn’t have to include exclusively just video. Incorporating stills and animation can help tell stories in a more complete way, as well as utilizing content that may already exist.
An example of this may be a short story telling project about a person’s life growing up. Using old photos as part of the visual elements means you are able to give greater context to that person’s life, their story, and what they were like at this time. It also brings a greater level of authenticity to the person’s story as the viewer is able to see a visual representation of what they are talking about.
Another example of this is you may be telling the story of an artist. Using images of their art as they describe their motivation, process, and aims allows to help show their work as they are discussing it. Again, giving better context to who they are as well as a visual representation of their work within the video piece.
5. You can develop character-driven stories and documentaries
Many documentaries have a narrator or voice-over directing the flow and narrative of the story. Character driven stories only allow the voice and vision of the person the story is about, to appear.
While often there is an interviewer involved, the voice of the person asking the questions is removed from the final edit leaving only the people appearing in the video as the ones directing the story.
This has some considerations when asking questions during an interview, and more specifically, the way in which the person being interviewed responds.
Case study: Kokoda 2013
6. Most social media channels favor video content
A quick look across the most popular social media platforms will show how much video content is being favored. In fact, doing a few tests will show you that the current algorithms being used by these platforms favor video content above almost all others.
While YouTube is still the king of video, other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are definitely showing great reach and interaction with its users and video content. This can be a big advantage for those producing video as you have the potential to reach a bigger audience based on this shift.
Case study: Preserving the Ancient
7. You can offer more options to existing clients including time-lapse videos
It used to be the case that if a client wanted photographic work done, they hired a photographer and if they wanted video content produced, they hired a video producer or production company. But, there has been a shift in recent years with clients having the option of choosing one person who is capable of producing both. This has a number of benefits for the client as well as the supplier.
For the client, they only have to deal with one person or company. This is especially important if the styled approach needs to match across different content (photo still and video, for example. For the producer of content, it means you are able to offer more solutions for your clients, giving them a turnkey solution for production and more reasons to use you instead of anyone else.
Case study: PODS time-lapse
8. You can produce video for stock licensing
There has never been a greater demand for video content. That demand is only set to rise as video content is embraced across all sectors of our society and more online platforms.
Here lies the opportunity for content creators. While there is nothing better than custom footage made specifically for a story, film, or documentary project, there is not always the budget or easy access to what is needed. Stock content is an excellent way for producers to obtain content for their respective projects. This is not a new concept as stock content has been around for a long time.
By looking through the libraries of some of the larger stock libraries, you can quickly determine the style of content that is accepted by stock libraries, and what is the most popular for purchase and download. There are many options for your approach to creating stock video content. However, maximizing your existing connection or access to local areas or industries means you can take a more strategic approach to what you produce based on your knowledge of said industries or areas.
Case study: Sample Footage, Tasmania, Australia
9. You can start doing a regular vlog (video log) to showcase your work
This is almost like a behind the scenes process of telling your story. It is a great way for your audience to get a better idea of who you are as an artist and producer. It will allow your followers to become better invested in your work and your story so they become better connected to you.
By understanding your process in a transparent way, your followers can not only understand the amount of effort and resources that go in to producing your work, they will also develop a better understanding of what it takes to be a successful artist.
10. Producing video is a good skill to have
Even if you are not using video production within your business or work, it is a good skill to develop for the future. As mentioned earlier, there is no doubt we are consuming more video content than ever before.
Organizations that traditionally would not consider producing video content in-house are starting to do so. Developing the skill and understanding for what is needed to produce this content will give you a better understanding of the strategy needed, whether you are producing it personally, or engaging the services of an external producer.
This will often lead to better planning and execution of a project, which results in better quality outcomes.
If producing video content is of interest then get out there and start experimenting with this medium. As most, if not all cameras for photography also shoot video now, it means there is little or no investment in equipment to get started. Be sure to check out some articles on how to get started shooting video and hit the record button and start experimenting.