Video: The Other Format

For those of us who have been still photographers our entire lives, video feels like that odd friend that comes home with your son. Intriguing, maybe. Comfortable, not so much.

Video for still shooters is a byproduct of the digital age. Prior to the new millennium, you bought a film camera or a movie camera. Now, they're rolled up into one.

And so the pressure mounts to learn frame rate, mic patterns, and an entirely new workflow. Plus those files... they're some damned big.

Yet, nearly every client I have in the corporate world wants video as well as stills. And the balance of formats is tipping in that direction. Thanks to the intelligence of our smartphone cameras, customers don't value professional still photography as they did a decade ago. But professional video, well there's still some mystery there.

"Do you shoot video as well?"

"I do, short form pieces, 3 minutes or less."


I'm thinking about this because I'm heading down to San Jose tomorrow for a job that involves frame rate and shotgun mics. I'm fine tuning the audio settings today because it's an interview piece, and I want it to sound really good, but also somewhat spontaneous and natural. In other words, no lapel mics.

I'll probably shoot only a few stills the entire day. Otherwise it's me and movie mode.

It's like my son took off for an errand and left his odd friend at the house for me to entertain. I feel a little awkward. 

I was never very good at small talk.