Fusing Photography with Video

Becky Brooks


Sandy Puc’, pro photographer, just launched an awesome free magazine called Ukandu. Below is a feature from this month’s magazine by videographer Brandon Cox about how photographers can capture great video.

Try fusing your photography with video.

Ukandu Photography magazine Sandy Puc

As the photography industry continues to progressively evolve, many photographers know that video has or will have an important role in their line of work. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that specific advancements of video capability in newly released DSLR camers are even being used to create feature films and television productions. When it comes to image quality, these little DSLR’s are putting up quite a fight with expensive cinema cameras, like the “RED ONE” and “HVX200,” which retail for about $25,000.

So, you might be asking yourself: Why does this affect the photography world?

Well, if it is not already clear, with a single push of a button, you can toggle from a still image camera to a moving image camera within seconds. And that is the power of the new DSLR cameras. Not only are they cheaper in price, but they also provide the opportunity to discover a vast, new video market. While the DSLR camera sounds like something you can’t wait to get your hands on, you don’t necessarily need one to implement video into your photo creations. If you are uncertain about investing in a DSLR camera, then you may want to consider these suggestions to help you get started with the equipment you already have.

Start with the basics
There are many elements that make up a good video. Some elements are the same things you need to create a beautiful image in photography, while others are going to take some getting used to. There are four important factors of video production that make up a good video:

– Lighting
– Audio
– Camera Operation
– Editing

What makes the image move?

One thing that video and photography have in common are still images. One second of video consists of 30 still images. These images are referred to as “frames.” The amount of frames that fit into one second of video is referred to as the frame rate. Most films use a frame rate of 24 frames per second (fps) and broadcast television uses 30 fps, hence the difference in appearance. In simple terms, shooting video is taking hundreds of pictures, placing them side by side and watching a slideshow at the rate of 30 images a second, giving the viewer the illusion of motion.

Getting the shot

There are several techniques that will improve the production value of your video with very little effort. In addition, there are a few things that are never acceptable within a well- produced video.

Here are some of the taboos:

Shaky shots

Always use a tripod or a monopod to achieve optimal stability. If you must shoot something handheld, try to stabilize yourself as much as possible. Leaning up against something or tucking your arms closely to your body can help.

Out of focus shots

Setting your focus is important in both photography and video. In video production, the typical procedure for doing this is to zoom all the way into the subject, rolling your focus until you achieve the sharpest picture possible and zooming back out to frame your shot.

Unnecessary zooming

One of the most amateur mistakes you can make in video production is zooming while recording. However, this is easily avoidable. Just because a camera has controls on it doesn’t mean you have to play with them all the time. Some of the most beautiful shots you will see are just static shots, allowing the action to move within the frame. All you need to do is follow the action to tell the story. The more subtle and smooth, the better.

Poor pre-production planning

No matter how big or small the production, you must plan your shoot. You have to be able to establish an end goal and visualize how to make that happen. From pressing record to editing and exporting. If you are not planning, you are planning to fail. Neglecting the planning process can result in an editing nightmare.

Fusing video into your photography world
Here are some fun ideas of how you can implement video production into your own photography sessions:

  1. Record a small amount of candid video during the photography session. Note: Clients tend to get excited about this, as it is fun to add this video into the slideshow presentation.
  2. Capture your clients in a short interview, which will follow a slideshow in your sales session. Think of it as a mini episode of the shoot. Posting these types of videos on Facebook or Youtube will help future and current clients understand what to expect from a session. This works great for senior sessions. Note: It is important to obtain a model release.
  3. Capture a welcome video for your website. Include a tour of the studio, a live shoot and some fun or silly things too. This is your studio’s time to shine!

Combine your photo and video clips into an awesome video to present to your clients.