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Mattias Burling

How stills killed casual video for me

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Who does everyone think they're shooting for?  ie, is this just for fun, or is it for a specific audience?

Personally, I've worked out that the audience for my home videos of family and friends is my extended family, the kids (more so when they're grown than now as teens/tweens), the grandkids, and future ancestors.  I look at this in the sense of a family heirloom - if my grandparents or great-grandparents had shot vlogs or home videos they would be very interesting I think.  In this sense although as @dbp points out that video editing is a bit of a slog, it's worth it for me because of the long-term benefit that I see coming from my work.  If I was just posting for Instagram or for amusement then I think it would be quite different.

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6 hours ago, mat33 said:

@Mattias Burling I used to mainly use Capture Pro on my desktop which is awesome but now most of my editing is on an 12.9 iPad Pro with LR - perfect for on the sofa editing and the big screen is much better experience than a phone. I’m about to head away for a night and I am taking my camera, iPad and instax printer - a nice portable setup. I do want to start doing some larger prints - what printer did you get?

Its a Canon, very happy with it for 6 months and counting. I don't remember the exact model, I will look it up.

Just be aware that its a pandoras box. Because there is a lot of different types of paper out there.

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With the stills you can basically do 3 things: 1) print some of them (the best way); 2) put some of them on the net (well, a mediocre way, since they loose their precious IQ, and get lost into net galaxies of pics), 3) bury them into a hard disk folder and essentially forget them. And there is perhaps a 4th way: sometimes to combine stills and video sequences into a short video, organize them as a story, put there some humor and irony, music etc. Then your stills could then gain a new life and perhaps remain less forgotten.

I'm for this playful combo of different rhytms of stills and video shots into videos, esp. as personal small projects that keep you on both sides of the image devide.

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I do like that photos are easier to get from start to shared, while I feel with videos I've got a higher threshold to reach before I feel ok about sharing them. (although approaching my YT channel as just a casual vlog talking to camera helps ease that)

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1 hour ago, IronFilm said:

I do like that photos are easier to get from start to shared, while I feel with videos I've got a higher threshold to reach before I feel ok about sharing them. (although approaching my YT channel as just a casual vlog talking to camera helps ease that)

I personally don't find that accurate, if you want something done right, photo or video, its hard to make. For some people getting a good video out is easy if its hard for you or me it does not make it a hard thing, good content no matter what format it is is hard to create period.

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49 minutes ago, Rodolfo Fernandes said:

I personally don't find that accurate, if you want something done right, photo or video, its hard to make. For some people getting a good video out is easy if its hard for you or me it does not make it a hard thing, good content no matter what format it is is hard to create period.

Good content for talking head vlogs is in the writing.  Or, if you're a good communicator, in the ideas.

As they say, content is king :)

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I have done photography since I was in the Navy over 50 years ago. Even made a full time living doing it for a time. If you think you are going to make money selling photos good luck with that unless you are in the right place at the right time. There is weddings also, I did that for years, stressful as hell but rewarding. It really Never gets any more easier or relaxed.

I think a person just ought to get into it for the pleasure of it, the relaxation of it, the sense of accomplishment. If you make a buck or two doing it great. I got into BiF towards the end and found that a two sided sword. I enjoyed the heck out of the Hunt as they say, And the pursuit of better and better cameras and lenses to do it with other than the cost LoL. It can get pretty damn expensive.  It is mainly the reason I got back into video was instead of busting my butt to get a picture of one in focus why not video tape them. Hell I Have to get at least a few frames of them in focus! Easier said than done also. And back to better video cameras, better lenses. Yikes full circle.

A person with the right camera can do both at the same time or make it a dual machine. That would be the way to go. Some Photos, some videos. Best of both worlds. And if you were rich and could afford a 8k video camera, you can get 33.3 mp frame grab stills and your problems are solved! :grin: It is a damn rewarding hobby to have, photography.

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59 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

If you think you are going to make money selling photos good luck with that unless you are in the right place at the right time. 

This is probably the worst advice I've ever come across. There is so much work for still photographers out there its insane. For every corporate video or commercial there is need for at least ten times as many stills. 

But luck is not the way to get a piece of the action.

 

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37 minutes ago, Mattias Burling said:

This is probably the worst advice I've ever come across. There is so much work for still photographers out there its insane. For every corporate video or commercial there is need for at least ten times as many stills. 

But luck is not the way to get a piece of the action.

 

Maybe where you live. If you think you are going to make a good living as a Photographer in the United States in this day and age you need your head examined. Photographers are a dime a dozen, even good or great ones. Cameras are so good these days Anyone can take a damn good picture. And most Weddings here are now done on Cell phones and hand out disposable cameras at every table for free. The days of the payed Wedding photographer in this country is Done unless you are Trump! Truth be known he probably can't afford one. Where i live in a town of 28,000 there is Not one Photo business. In the town I grew up in with 64,000 people only 1 studio left and he is close to retirement, dying which ever comes first. And no his kids are not interested.

Corporations here on average have one person employed to do it, or a agency you are never getting into. Bottom line you have a snowballs chance in hell to get into it, and I can tell you on average a Photography Studio Never did make anything but a living and a risky one week to week at that. I worked for a few of them doing darkroom work,  and knew all of them in my area. It Isn't as glamours as you think. It is stressful as hell trust me. It is just like doing Real Estate work. They are a dime a dozen and they pay you like that also. Good experience but not a viable path forward.

I have worked, made a living being a Videographer, Photographer for years, been around the block a few times as they say, and I still know people in both fields. It Ain't easy to get into. And TV stations have and do pay Shit wages, and now Everyone is a Photographer. And When I worked at the TV station nearly every cameraman Moonlighted on the side in it including me. And none of us made enough money to go quit our jobs at the station trust me. Rental Houses have that crap tied up now, They have all the equipment in the world and skilled people that know how to use it.

My advice is to do this stuff as a hobby and have a Real job. There are less and less job opportunities now than when I was doing it, and even then it was a bitch. I am not saying don't give up but be damn realistic and don't think everyone is going to get rich doing this shit. Maybe Mattias is but.. Eh What Do you do for a living?? I bet it is not Video or Photography! And I am talking a living, not a job once every two weeks on the side for 50 bucks.

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20 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

If you think you are going to make a good living as a Photographer in the United States in this day and age you need your head examined. 

This type of attitude is a sure way of failing at it. That's for sure.

I don't have the energy to go into long texts about adapting to how the industry is developing, branching out, multi tasking, etc. But in short you are wrong. The only once that won't make it is the guy expecting to sit at home and then get approached by clients who just want someone to press a shutter button.

I have worked as a journalist, in marketing and public relations for small companies as well as huge global players and government agencies for over ten years now. And believe me, there is a lot of jobs where being skilled as a photographer is more than just icing on the resume.

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1 minute ago, Mattias Burling said:

This type of attitude is a sure way of failing at it. That's for sure.

I don't have the energy to go into long texts about adapting to how the industry is developing, branching out, multi tasking, etc. But in short you are wrong. The only once that won't make it is the guy expecting to sit at home and then get approached by clients who just want someone to press a shutter button.

I have worked as a journalist, in marketing and public relations for small companies as well as huge global players and government agencies for over ten years now. And believe me, there is a lot of jobs where being skilled as a photographer is more than just icing on the resume.

Hell you can do anything if you want to if you try hard enough. Look at Donald Trump!! But it is a damn fast changing world. It Never was easy, but it is even harder now. Any job most people have on here they got by mostly pure luck. You maybe a Garbage man but you got it because you were in the right place a the right time, or your Father is one. Sure try hard as hell , but don't hold your breath, not in this day and age.

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Every job is hard work. That's why it's called 'work'. If one wants to do one of these jobs that are fun, that have far more wannabees than well-paid practitioners, then you have to be prepared to starve a little to get into them. It's always been that way. Of course, there was a period when it was considerably easier to make a living in photography - I did it for a while and did pretty well, but it was always precarious because marketing, advertising, even wedding photography; all that stuff is the first thing to get cut when times are hard. there have always been just a few people at the top who can ride out anything going on in the wider economy and then a lower tier of people who do well when times are good and not so well when things go south.

That's why @Mattias Burling is right on the money when he talks about having many strings to your bow. If you're skilled and enthusiastic in a wide range of related activities - copy, reportage, photography, videography, AV etc etc then you can still do well - especially if you're prepared to relocate to somewhere with a thriving media market.

It's tough and it's not for everybody. For me - I somehow acquired 3 kids and maybe I hadn't developed my business enough by that point, maybe I wanted to 9-5 to spend time with them, maybe I just plain and simple wasn't good enough at it - but I discovered I could make more in 2 days writing software than I could in a week doing stuff I really wanted to do and the trade off - in terms of supporting a family - just wasn't worth it.

But if you're good, have wide range of skills and talent, don't mind hard work, are highly adaptable, make your own opportunities - there's probably never been a better time to make a good living in the creative industries.

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At the end of the day, what you do can increase sales = increase profit = more money = people will pay you to do it.
Saying stuff like "try hard but don't hold your breath" and blaming "times" instead of once skill is a sure way of ending up a failure.
To all aspiring photogs I say, make it happen.

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As always, I think the experiences are largely going to  be dependent on your market. I'm based in Vancouver right now. Definitely plenty of folks making money solely with photography and video. I'm far from rich but I've managed to pay my bills doing nothing but freelance video work for 5 years now.

It's funny because there's more competition than ever thanks to increased desire and the low cost of equipment. But there's also more video/photo media than ever. It's possible to find your way, but it certainly won't be easy. 

I can also only speak on the industry in the last 8 years or so, since I'm in my mid thirties. I have noticed on a pattern on forums like these, where the older folks in their 50s and 60s have a different view on the current market. Seems it was easier to make a solid living then, where-as now it seems like there's the high end and a tooooooooooooooon of work at the low, barely scraping by end. 

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In my field in Australia there are a ton of businesses that have communication goals - that they cant do themselves. Thats where a skilled photographer and or Video producer  comes in. Its a genuine need / problem that they need solved. They dont have the time , skills or time to do it themselves. 

 

Sure things like Freelanced.com are an insult with their rates - but they soak up the lower end of the market / the self entitled business owners who think they deserve a great video shot and edited for $50. Maybe its a good platform to provide new entrants with work while educating the cheaper end of the market about false value.

 

In the meantime there is everyone else - that you can create a great image is a given. If you can solve your customers challenges faster and easier than they thought possible with great FOCUSED production value (stills or video) and maybe even throw in some good strategy in pre production - then you will remain busy. If you are the guy hiding behind your camera and not doing the business hustle then chances are things will be slow....

 

Social media is very overhyped for gaining imaging business -(but it delivers the product well) traditional face to face networking, thinking ahead - shooting proactively for potential / related customers , canvassing all the strategic ways video / stills / visual communication investment can pay off via  solved sales challenges, in house communication, recruiting, customer education. Collaborating with a few other good operators so you can scale up and scale down for work.

 

These are some of  the tricks to staying busy.  Just being an image maker probably isn't quite enough.

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4 hours ago, dbp said:

I can also only speak on the industry in the last 8 years or so, since I'm in my mid thirties. I have noticed on a pattern on forums like these, where the older folks in their 50s and 60s have a different view on the current market. Seems it was easier to make a solid living then, where-as now it seems like there's the high end and a tooooooooooooooon of work at the low, barely scraping by end. 


This. 

Too many of the old guard have failed to adapt with the times and thus wonder why their incomes have fallen off a cliff. 

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9 hours ago, dbp said:

As always, I think the experiences are largely going to  be dependent on your market. I'm based in Vancouver right now. Definitely plenty of folks making money solely with photography and video. I'm far from rich but I've managed to pay my bills doing nothing but freelance video work for 5 years now.

It's funny because there's more competition than ever thanks to increased desire and the low cost of equipment. But there's also more video/photo media than ever. It's possible to find your way, but it certainly won't be easy. 

I can also only speak on the industry in the last 8 years or so, since I'm in my mid thirties. I have noticed on a pattern on forums like these, where the older folks in their 50s and 60s have a different view on the current market. Seems it was easier to make a solid living then, where-as now it seems like there's the high end and a tooooooooooooooon of work at the low, barely scraping by end. 

In Seattle. Ever come south? 

4 hours ago, IronFilm said:


This. 

Too many of the old guard have failed to adapt with the times and thus wonder why their incomes have fallen off a cliff. 

I'm 44 now. You must always be on your toes to stay market relevant, especially if you live in a country with little to no social safety nets, like the United States. Fortune has little to do with anything. If your local state economy is shit, what exactly do you hope to gain from it? You have to be where the money is. Simple math. 

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1 hour ago, Matthew Hartman said:

I'm 44 now. You must always be on your toes to stay market relevant, especially if you live in a country with little to no social safety nets, like the United States. Fortune has little to do with anything. If your local state economy is shit, what exactly do you hope to gain from it? You have to be where the money is. Simple math. 

Exactly. 

Too often I read on forums (well, not these ones! EOSHD.com is pretty awesome :-D ) people complaining they can't make a living, but no sh*t Sherlock! You can't making a living selling videos to the cows and sheep grazing in the local fields. 

Any specialised niche needs a certain size population to have a big enough market to support it. 

The more specialised the niche, the bigger the population base you need to have!

For instance a soundie needs a much bigger city to live in than a general stills photographer needs.  With hard graft a stills photographer might be able to make it in a small-medium sized town. (but he couldn't specialise! He'd need to take on all sorts of photography) While I couldn't survive in such circumstances, basically I only can be in Auckland in NZ. Or Wellington (or maaaaaybe Christchurch). 

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1 hour ago, Matthew Hartman said:

In Seattle. Ever come south? 

 

We do! My wife and I take roadtrips down there when we can. She's applying to a job at the University of Washington as well, so we might even be moving there.

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