The radio telephone the secret service carried on the Johnson Ranch.
Where's the screen for reading e-mail?
I am now officially booked through the end of March. It's nice thing because it represents a bit of financial security but it does play havoc with the swim schedule. I will adjust. The thing that makes being booked up different for me this year is that so much of the current (and near future) work is video or a mix of photography and video. It seems obvious that corporations are profoundly changing the way they communicate with customers.
You can see it in the new wave of websites. The ones from the tech community don't open with a banner photograph across the top of the front page anymore, they open with a video banner instead. The video banner is nearly always a lifestyle/brand presentation of the client. One company has a video of good looking professional people walking toward the camera in a light, airy and modern airport setting. They sell software that improves customer experiences and one of their big clients is the airline industry. The video is a quick, active encapsulation of what they promise: A quick and convenient airline experience; one made better by the company's phone centric software product. At least that's the premise and the promise.
Even my theater client which we've supplied photographs to for 24 years has lately discovered the power of video content to move shows into profitability and engage their base in more active conversations around certain plays. While I'm making conventional images for the marketing of the new LBJ drama, All the Way, I recently spent three days making a combination of reportorial style still images, video interviews, video programming on locations and audio interviews. They're building a strong YouTube channel and also inserting video, wherever possible, in social media. As channels of content distribution get more splintered it seems that having more tools is always better. It's rare now, for me, to get jobs that don't have some sort of online video component (whether the client chooses to have me produce it or not...). Video is a self-contained way to present a complete story across any number of devices. From old school televisions to phones.
I met this morning with a technology client who has commissioned me to do a new video for them for an upcoming trade show. Their booth will have a number of 50 inch monitors and the video needs to do three things: 1. Tell a shorthand version of the company's story. 2. Present an overview of their products and the benefits to customers. 3. Represent the company's partners. The video needs to come in under three minutes (harder to do than a longer program) and it needs to work well with, and without audio. To do the video we need some good still images of the products in prototype. We might also need a few more images that we can pan over of their existing products. We have good, existing video of the processes and the look of the headquarters. We'll need copywriting and some motion graphics and a big dose of editing.
The videos will run over and over again across all the 50 inch monitors on a trade show booth. The monitors are the logical replacement for large, static trade show graphics in that the video is constantly moving, can handle multiple messages in one space and captures the audience's attention for a longer period of time that a still image would. The days of handing out a brochure and a business card under a gatorfoam mounted company logo sign are quickly coming to a close....
While none of this really matters to photographers who pursue the craft for their own pleasure I write about it because it's swirling all around me and the integration of video seems inevitable. I'm certainly not making the statement that still images will vanish but there's a convergence going on that's changing the way we've worked. It seems like it will change the way we navigate future business as well. Everything moves and everything talks.
When we bid on photography projects now the closing sentence on most cover letters for bids is something along the lines of, "We also offer complete video production services including:scripting, shooting, motion graphics and editing. Please let me know if you need video services as well and we'll be happy to create an estimate. It can often be much more cost effective and time efficient for you when we provide both services in tandem...with the added benefit of a single source of contact..."
I can't provide every service a client might need directly but I'm making alliances with other vendors who are very good at the things I'm not up to speed on. I commission motion graphics. I send some projects to editors. In fact, I am equally comfortable hiring small teams to do the actual video under my creative direction when necessary. I guess the old saw is right, "A man has got to know his own limitations."
I'm not sure about a lot of stuff but I am fairly certain that video is here to stay for professional photographers and the quicker we become experts the better it will be for our bottom lines.
Where's the screen for the computer on the left?
What that round dial on the telephone? Is it like the control dial
on the back of Canon cameras?
(LBJ's office at the ranch).
Is an intercom faster and easier than yelling down the hall?
(LBJ's office at the ranch).
My latest experiences with video have me thinking about one thing in particular and that is what the best form factor for a video camera might be and how much operating convenience and efficiency counts when weighed against potentially higher imaging quality. To wit, is an EM5-2 a better video camera because of its incredible image stabilization versus the superior video file capabilities of a GH4 or Sony A7S? Which trumps what? After my work last week I would have gladly traded the Nikon D810 for an older Olympus EM-5 just for all the handheld sequences. It's an ongoing process of figuring out a style that works most of the time. I'll hedge a little and say that I still find the Sony RX10 a compelling little video camera for anything handheld. On the other hand clients seem to like the look of the bigger Nikon fully tricked out on a tripod.... Ah well, some stuff never changes.
A quick advertising note: Craftsy is offering a bunch of course at up to 50% off. It's a good way to learn new stuff. You might want to browse their photo offerings. I'll be looking at the cooking classes..... Here's the link!