Howard Hughes was this visionary who was obsessed with speed and flying like a god… I loved his idea of what filmmaking was. —Martin Scorsese
[one_half padding=”4px 10px 0 4px”]I have no idea what I’m doing. This week will either be delightfully interesting or a catastrophic disappointment. We are delving into an area about which I admit knowing very little but one which, it would seem, is necessary if one is to stay up to date with how best to present oneself as a photographer. Okay, up to date may not be the best term. Jumping the gun is probably more appropriate. Most people are still just fine posting still pictures. No one has told me that I need to change. No photographers of note have started doing anything differently than they always have. I’m responding to what I see as some “handwriting on the wall,” as it were, warning that we need to up our game if we are going to stay relevant.
What I’m responding to are changes in how material is viewed, and how often it is viewed, in social media. Whether one likes social media or not, and there are plenty of reasons to hate it, we cannot escape the fact that it is a dominant part of society, taking over the space that was once exclusive to newspapers and television. The good news is that, unlike newspapers and television, we can participate without it costing an arm and a leg. The challenge is that we cannot be successful with the same techniques we’ve been using since we first discovered the Internet.
We’ve known for quite some time that actually getting your pictures in front of the people on your friends list, or the people who have liked your professional page, is difficult. Facebook is continually revising their algorithms and other resources such as Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr change what gets preference in being seen. Where once that preference leaned strongly toward photographs, it now tilts even more strongly toward video. In some instances, video is three to four times more likely be seen than a photograph without paying for additional promotion, something most of us are reticent to do. So, we need to find a way to create video without succumbing to actually changing the photographs we take.[/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10px”]Creating moving pictures from still photographs is nothing new. We’ve been able to stitch strings of still images together with simple video effects for several years. Videos in that format are extremely popular at weddings and family reunions. They have their place. But, when a photographer places a photograph on the Internet, it is primarily for promotional purposes and ten-minute-long videos of someone else’s family don’t quite make the cut for that purpose. We need something short, something distinct, and something eye-catching that convinces people to take some kind of action, such as visiting our web site’s booking page. Something that acts more like a commercial.
So, all this week we’re taking still images, just one picture per day, and turning it into a video of approximately 30 seconds (today’s is actually 32 seconds). We’re using Adobe® PremierePro™ for editing, and Media Encoder for rendering. We’re at least starting with the basic materials that come with each product, though I can’t promise we won’t look for other sources by midweek. We’re pulling music from Free Music Archive, and yes, music is important for projects like this. We kept titles minimal today, but that may change through the week as well.
Everything I just mentioned in that paragraph involved learning something new. This 32-second video took all day to produce. I’m really hoping I get better quickly. One of the first things I’ve learned is that planning is more necessary than ever. But then, sometimes one can’t plan if one doesn’t know first how to do something. Ultimately, the matter comes down to whether any of this is actually effective. Will more people see the video in social media? Will we see more traffic to our website? Do moving pictures actually help? That’s the purpose of the experiment. We will see.
The original photo is below because we still like images that don’t move.[/one_half_last]