Why You Should Consider Adding Video to Your Services

There is no doubt that the demand for video is steadily increasing, but many of us who have shot exclusively stills for a long time may be reluctant to learn another process and add it to our list of services. If you have been considering expanding your capabilities to include video, this excellent video essay discusses why it could be a great choice for your bottom line. 

Coming to you from Justin Mott, this informative video essay discusses why photographers should consider adding video to their services. Certainly, a big part of this argument is simply the burgeoning demand for video and not wanting to miss out on potential opportunities. But beyond that, there is also an important argument to be made for diversification. So much financial advice espouses the importance of having multiple income streams to create more financial security in case one of those streams dissolves for some reason. And perhaps never has that advice been more important than now, particularly as the COVID situation continues to influence many businesses. And beyond that, you may simply find that you really enjoy the different experience of shooting video! Check out the video above for the full rundown from Mott. 

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Eric Robinson's picture

Or possibly not….
I remember the 5D mk2. Combined with Magic Lantern installed and the nifty fifty it made an interesting and cost effective combination for shooting video. The downside was the sound, though the use of a good external recorder sorted that. I used one as my ‘B’ camera for a number of years. The problem with ‘adding video’ is while it’s easy to say it’s monumentally difficult to do properly. While you may have a camera that’s is capable of shooting 4K or even 8K at 10 bit and a variety of good lenses, that’s all you have. The learning curve and the array of new skills and gear that need to be acquired are not going to be picked up over night. Sound on it’s own is a huge area, not just the recording of it nor the editing of it but how it’s to be used… the field of sound design can make or break a video. While people can forgive a few weak shots in a video, bad sound is a total deal breaker. Ok your camera can shoot video, but what should you shoot, and how should you shoot it? Even the creation of a simple shot list for a shoot requires a good deal of experience. Technical issues aside the planning and mindset required for video is nothing like that required for shooting stills. While there is of course some small overlap the area out with the overlap is huge. Ok you’ve shot some footage how are you going to cut it together to show your story? Yet another steep steep learning curve, and I’m not talking about simply learning FCP, PP or Resolve, or knowing all the keyboard shortcuts or whatever, editing video is an art in itself.
Becoming a good photographer is hard enough. Becoming good at shooting video then delivering it is a totally different kettle of fish. While what you say on the face of it appears to have some logic,” I have some of the gear”, what you need to acquire both in extra and new hardware, software along with all the new skills makes it a steep and expensive hill to climb. The investment both in time and money needs to be carefully considered before making what is in reality a very very big leap if you wish to shoot video commercially and not just for fun.

Alex Harris's picture

Sure, why bother learning anything new? ;-)

Eric Robinson's picture

Learning new stuff is the food of life I agree totally with that. However. If someone is running a small business, trying to make a living in a very competitive market while controlling both time and cashflow adding a new service that needs considerable investment of both time and cash some deep thought is required to consider the implications. Having worked many years as a freelance film maker and editor I know first hand what is required to reach a level of expertise that can be considered of commercial merit especially when you would be competing with people out there who really know what they are doing rather than just pretending. It takes more to be a filmmaker than owning a camera and a copy of FCP.

Alexander Petrenko's picture

I photograph events from time to time and there are often clients who ask me: "Can you also do the video?" Yes, I can propose someone shoot the video for you "Can you do it yourself while taking photos our budget is limited?"

And I can understand this request for the business events where nothing major happens. But when I get these requests for once in a lifetime events, I'm always curious - how they envision the process? How should that happen technically?

Alexander Petrenko's picture

Photographers! You need to become Youtubers!