I give a seminar to still photographers for ASMP entitled “Should I Be Thinking of Video?” It’s a broad overview of the different facets of video production along with how I have positioned myself in this medium and where I think some of the opportunities are. I’m quick to point out what it’s not – it’s not going to tell you everything you need to know to make video part of your business and it’s not about how to use your DSLR. And if anyone promises that they can teach you that in two hours – they’re lying. But most importantly, I can’t possibly answer the question “should I be shooting video” for each individual in the room. And that’s because there is no ONE answer to that question – that’s up to the individuals to decide for themselves.
I think perhaps I should point out some reasons why one shouldn’t be thinking of video:
• Fear – Because you are consumed with fear of your future. It’s understandable to be afraid when the world as you know it, is changing. But if you are so focused on the thought that you have to do something because technology has changed your business to the extent that it just isn’t there anymore, instead of focusing on how you can use technology to grow your business – then you’ll paralyze your mind to new possibilities.
• The Camera – If you are getting into video because your still camera is capable of shooting video and you’re not concentrating on thinking and seeing in motion, then you’ll end up with isolated video clips that have no relation to one another and you’ll have a rude awakening in the editing room when you realize you have no clue on how you’re going to put together a cohesive story.
• Because everyone else is – With all this talk of video of late, everyone feels they need to jump on board. The truth is video may not be the answer for some photographers. And it may not be the best medium for the markets you work in.
You should be thinking of video if:
• You think that motion and sound is the best way to visually communicate your clients’ story or message.
• You recognize the power of collaboration in this medium
• You understand that there’s a learning curve and there’s no magic bullet.
I cannot tell you if video is the answer for you – that’s up to you to make that decision for yourself. I can only tell you what’s involved and guide you through the process.
When my daughter was growing up, I was always careful not to make all her decisions for her. It was a hard thing to do because many times she wanted me to and I wanted to but I didn’t. I knew if I made all her decisions for her that I wouldn’t be doing her any favors in the long run – because sooner or later she’d be out on her own without me there telling her what she should or shouldn’t do. I think it was one of the hardest things I had to do as a parent.
It’s been challenge this year scheduling time for my production business, along with traveling around giving these seminars. As much as I enjoy sharing information with others through these seminars, I know that I need to be doing what I love most and that is being a visual communicator. So, I’m taking to the road on May 25th – around the world actually, working on a personal project Opening Our Eyes. I need to get back to some real quality time of creating. And the best part – my daughter decided that she wants to join me and be part of this – and she made this decision all on her own.