In the last couple of years in the photography world, it seems like everyone is scrambling to learn video. In particular, still photographers are jumping into this “genre” because their hybrid cameras have the capability of shooting motion.
There are hundreds of seminars teaching the gear, but few point out the differences, when it comes to the “business of video”.
Here’s 5 mistakes I see still photographers make when they leap into motion:
- 1. They throw in video as part of the deal and don’t charge for it. I hear about this a lot. A client and photographer are on a still shoot and the clients sees that the photographer is shooting with a hybrid camera and asks the photographer to shoot some video clips. The photographer obliges because he/she can and the money is left on the table. Remember when still photography went digital and photographers became the labs but didn’t charge for the post-production?
- 2. They don’t update and upgrade their insurance policies. Video production shoots are not covered on most still photographer’s policies. Be prepared for a jump in what you need to spend on insurance to be adequately covered on video production jobs.
- 3. They don’t consider the ramifications when they are working with SAG or AFTRA talent and they are asked to also shoot some video of the talent on the job. This crosses the line as far as the unions are considered. While it may be OK for SAG/AFTRA talent to work on a “still” set – when you go into video mode – it’s not OK.
- 4. They think of themselves as just shooters. This is typical and is fine in the still photographic world, but in the collaborative world of video production, a shooter is a hired gun with no ownership in the intellectual property. I like to position myself higher up the ladder as a producer and maintain control over the job and the content.
- 5. They look at video as a separate genre. That’s changing radically as video is no longer a separate niche and genre, but part of almost every photography market from editorial to architecture. Even ad agencies are starting to merge their motion and still departments.