My First Commercial Video Project

As I’m sure many of you will realise, the wedding photography market, whilst essentially operating year round is still highly seasonal and the Winter months are a lot quieter than those in the Summer. Most wedding photographers use this time to recharge their batteries, update websites, socialise a little more (yes really!) and make sure the kids still know who you are. However one of the most important uses of this time is to improve existing skills and to learn new ones and I’ve spent the last few months teaching myself how to use the video functionality in my cameras to shoot short films designed mainly for commercial clients. These days convergence is everywhere and is particularly evident as the gap between TVs, phones and computers gets ever smaller. The same is true for stills cameras and video cameras. Five years ago the two were very different beasts but recently camera manufacturers have been adding the ability to shoot high quality video into stills cameras blurring the line between the two. Several high profile TV shows and films have been shot on DSLR’s (notably House and several scenes from Captain America) as the cameras provide great quality with the same beautiful shallow depth of field and low light capabilities that you would expect from stills shooting.

On the surface of it shooting movies would seem like a fairly easy task as essentially it’s just a question of putting the camera into movie mode, pushing the little red record button and off you go. In reality however it’s a lot more complex as it requires a completely different mindset to shooting stills – the camera needs to be locked down most of the time, focusing becomes an art form especially if you are trying to manually focus on a moving subject and pre-planning becomes much more important. Added to that is the challenge of recording good quality sound (not just using the audio that the camera records) plus learning a whole new suite of software.

Using my (fairly raw) newly-acquired skills I recently shot a small commercial project for The Mercerie, a local producer of knitting kits and sewing projects and using a backing track from Norwich band The Barlights. I thought I’d share the results with you here as it’s a bit different from my normal wedding photography work.

With a view to trying to improve my skills further I’m offering a local business the opportunity of a free video shoot. The film will need to be shot towards the middle to end of April and should be used to promote your business (either within the wedding industry or one that is completely separate from it). If you’d like to be considered, please get in touch at info@johnharrisphotography.co.uk.

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