5 Tips for Creating Photo and Video assets on one set
Photography and Video assets are the best ways to get your business noticed. Every marketing agency is requesting that photographers also shoot video and videographers shoot photos. While these two jobs are very different in many ways, some clients either don't have the budget for two full crews, don't understand how different these two jobs actually are and the different amount and types of equipment that each requires or just think that you can pull still clips from video and make the photo quality good enough for all marketing efforts. These are things you will need to educate people about.
The other thing they may want is the most consistent look and feel between photo and video. This reason is why I have successfully pushed my business to incorporate both into our options for clients. Being able to give consistent video and photos that match each other is a big deal when you are trying to create a consistent message through your marketing efforts. After doing both for a few years, I have noticed a few things and put together a quick list of 5 things that will help you do both efficiently on set or explain why it might be necessary to bring in a secondary crew.
1. Consider Multiple Cameras
Whether you are using high end photo and video cameras, point and shoots or a phone with a decent camera on it, having at least 2 will allow you to focus each on different aspects of your asset creation. While this might be the most expensive route, it will sure make life a lot easier on set. I have a dedicated cinema camera for video which I usually have on a tripod and then my still camera, a Canon EOS R5, that I will move around a bit more and take stills and other bits of b-roll video clips with.
2. A Quality Tripod Having a quality tripod will ensure you have some video clips that are good and steady. The other thing is that you will be able to shoot still photos from the exact same angle if your camera has the ability to switch from video to photos. Most cameras have this ability these days, although some like my Blackmagic are cinema cameras and only have the ability to shoot video clips.
3. Understanding Photo vs Video Sizes Knowing where your photos and videos are going to eventually be used for marketing efforts is key to understanding if you will be able to pull screen shots from your video clips to use as still photos. Also making sure there isn't any quick movement in the video clips is key as well. Videos tend to shoot at a slower shutter speed making for a slight bit of blur on movement in the video which tricks our eyes into blended seamless motion. This however isn't what you typically want for photos though.The other thing to consider is that if you are planning to use the photos large on a website or for anything print, the video is not going to be large enough to use. Using screen shots or pulling clips from the video might be ok for social media or small web ads, but I wouldn't suggest doing this for any other usage. The other thing to consider is that still photography tends to be much more forgiving for color correction, contrast, and better overall quality than video, so shooting separate stills gives you much better control of the look and feel of your final output. But keep in mind, large megapixel counts don't necessarily equate to sharper images or better quality of images. The charts below show the difference in video sizing versus photo sizing by pixel dimensions.
4. Consider Using Constant Lighting LED lighting has come down in price and is very flexible in that it allows you to see what the light is doing in real time. This sounds great and people might not understand why everyone doesn't just use constant light for everything. In the still photography realm, strobes and flashes typically have a much stronger output of light. This allows for higher aperture settings which will keep products and people in more of a wider focus range. Brighter and more powerful constant lights are typically much larger, heavy and can require the use of an electrical outlet to keep them plugged in at all times. I have several studio lights that run off battery and I can shoot with them for an entire day, making them lighter, smaller and easier to move around on set. But constant light does give you the ability to shoot both photo and video at the same time, keeping consistent light power and color. Just know you may be forced to shoot at a very shallow depth of field which might not work for some situations and clients.
5. Having 2-10 of everything Shooting photos and videos on any set that requires things get messy, have movement or requires liquid may require multiple takes. If you aren't using multiple cameras, you will need one set of takes for the video and another set of takes for the photos. Keep in mind that you'll need to clean up and reset the area you are filming or photographing so you can get a clean new set of assets. You will also need to do multiple takes if you need the same exact angle and can't take stills from the video because you need higher resolution images for the final creations. For instance, if you are shooting food, you will need to create things twice or more for each food you are creating. Because once you start cooking with one thing, there really is no going back.
I hope this article has helped you. If so, please feel free to give me some feedback and share it with others who you think might benefit from this content.