Stepping Up My Photo + Video Game in 2018

Ya know when you see a beautiful photo, and it’s just like BANG, and you can’t help but say, “woah” — yeah, I want to be able to do that.

So, I’m going to learn how.

But that requires a thing or two, including equipment.

I’ll save my pennies until I’ve got enough, though. I’m not at a complete loss for the time being. I at least have some training in photography, videography and post-production — and a camera to work with.

Having studied journalism in college, photojournalism was worked into the classes. Plus, I was a reporter for three years at the student newspaper, often lugging around the tank that was the newspaper’s staff Nikon D7000.

And, I think I took some good photos — maybe…?

I’d like to think so anyway.

But, more than focus on alright photos of the past, I want to take great photos going forward. And, I want to start working more with video, which I’m able to do more and more in my daily work now since my full-time job demands it.

In short, I just want to get better at it. Way better.

Why Take the Time?

Aside from a personal hobby, I look at stepping up my photography and, perhaps more so, videography game as helping me expand my skillset professionally.

From a content marketing standpoint, video is definitely full of buzz. But, it’s also that way in media and communications. Actually, it’s just that way — in general.

Part of that is because equipment, although expensive in some cases, is becoming more and more affordable and accessible to the masses. That’s a pretty great thing because it gives people who, like me, didn’t go to film school or have broadcast production experience a chance to take a crack at it.

Video is achievable like never before. I mean, the iPhone X has a 12 megapixel, wide-angle and telephoto camera.

It’s not hard to see why people are embracing it.

Just the way a brilliant photo can blow somebody away, a compelling video can make an incredible impact.

When it comes to business, video can make a big difference in attracting people and engaging with them in a way words or even beautiful photos can’t.

But beyond from making snappy product videos or animated explainers — both of which, I’d also like to take a crack at — I’m most interested in the storytelling aspect.

My journalism background is in print… so, words… like this blog.

Don’t get me wrong, knowing how to write and how to write well is very, very important. Take it from me. I consider myself something of a writer.

But, I love photos. I love videos. And, I think they’re such powerful and creative forms of storytelling.

Pairing a written story with vibrant photos and a well-crafted video, that’s something fantastic that I think could be very rewarding from a professional and personal point of view.

jakob-owens-225924-unsplash

How Am I Making That Happen?

Well, videos.

I can’t tell you how many videos I’ve watched in the past few weeks.

Some of the best advice I got when I said that I wanted to be a writer:

Read. Then, read some more. Then some more. Don’t stop reading, ever. Then, when you think you’re ready to write, read some more.

I’m basically taking the same approach to learning how to better my photography and videography skills.

I’ve been following all sorts of blogs, forums, vloggers, videographers, and photographers. I’ve been asking friends and colleagues for advice, looking to co-workers for help, and taking every opportunity to push the needle just a bit further. Plus, I just started organizing my YouTube channel.

It’s overwhelming, I’ll admit.

What stumps me is the technical side of things.

Some sound advice I just got not long ago was, “Get a full frame sensor.”

“Okay, sounds good. Thanks for the advice. What does that mean?”

Luckily, the internet is a beautiful thing and has all of that information recorded in thousands of articles, videos (naturally), and more.

What has been fun, though, is shopping for the gear. Sort of.

What Am I Looking at for Gear?

Everything.

Just, everything.

Actually not really. I’m staying on the DSLR side of things. That way, I can bounce between stills and videos a bit easier.

More specifically, I started looking at some more affordable full-frame cameras, like Canon’s 6D Mark II.

It’s more affordable than many of Canon’s other full-frame cameras, and it seems to have a pretty nice suite of features to give me — a professional-in-training — the opportunity to experiment with a powerful camera and grow into it.

I’ve used a few DSLRs in the past, and I have a Canon Rebel T5 now. And for work, I’m often using a Panasonic Lumix GH4, which has been a fantastic entry point into the world of mirrorless cameras and 4K video.

Even though I know it’s not all about the gear, the gear does help. My T5 has been great to learn on, but I’m just looking to step it up.

Check out some of the videos I’ve shot with the GH4 for work.

 

Stock DSLR Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash