Video is Not a Market
[by Gail Mooney]
I talk to a lot of photographers who seem to be confused right now. The ones who are just starting out are wondering if this career will sustain them and the ones who have been in business for a long time are wondering if they have to learn everything (video) all over again to stay in business. Some know they need to do something – they just don’t know what it is.
Many are looking to video for the answers. Some photographers’ existing clients are asking for video. They witness the public’s hunger for motion content to watch on their iPads, iPhones and other mobile devices and they realize they have a need for video. Video is in demand. A lot of photographers think they need to become “videographers” and go after that “market”. But video isn’t really a market at all. It’s a medium that has sound and motion, and is used – just as we do with still images – to communicate; to tell a story or deliver a message.
Still photographers are accustomed to defining themselves by what they shoot or the “markets” they work in – architecture, food, sports, weddings and so forth. They see these niches as separate markets. The increased demand for video is pervasive and in all these markets and our clients have needs for motion content. With the convergence of our “tools” (cameras), it makes perfect sense for still photographers to add video to the services their businesses offer.
What seems to confuse photographers as they contemplate video, is that they think they will have to abandon still photography and compete in the already glutted arena of video production. They equate video production with creating broadcast spots for advertising agencies or TV shows and films for Hollywood. That’s great work, if you can get it, but those business models have also changed and that is not where the new opportunities are. That world is changing too. As the Internet and TV continue to converge, online programs get broadcast and indie filmmakers with Canon 5D Mark II’s are making movies. To embrace video doesn’t mean that a still photographer has to abandon still photography – it just means that they need to stop defining themselves by their tools..
Opportunities are in “new media,” which is essentially anything digital or displayed digitally. It could be still images, audio, video, graphics or anything that makes up a digital creation and is delivered digitally. We, as “creators,” are living at a time where we can use the new tools that technology gives us, to not only create with, but to deliver our message globally. Video is not a market at all. It’s just another ingredient in the mix of how we communicate in today’s world.