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ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

Still Only Still?

By September 18, 2009May 25th, 2016Strictly Business Blog

Do you shoot motion or have you already decided to define yourself only as a still photographer?

If you aren’t doing motion, why aren’t you? Self-defining as still only, without even trying on the new medium, seems like stifling your creativity. It’s a new world and the technological barriers are dropping. You can shoot video with an iPhone now, and the “real” equipment is totally accessible. And targets are eating it up when still photographers use it in their marketing, even if they aren’t hiring a ton of still photographers to shoot motion, yet.


This is your chance to play with the medium. It’s a new tool for you and that frees you up toexperiment. There are no expectations on you. So make some art. Make lots of really, incredibly, painfully bad motion stuff and don’t worry about it. Remember some of the totally pretentious and/or self-absorbed, well, crap you made in art school? Sure, now you think back to some of those projects and groan, but remember how incredibly exciting it was to make that stuff? Find that place again. Laugh at yourself and get self-absorbed and pretentious a bit. Try it all on and see if you want to wear the new title: motion photographer.

That excitement you felt as an art student was your young creative soul trying to find its way out. You can do that again. You will find your visual voice somewhere in all that, if you open yourself up to it.

But the only way to get there is to do it. And just like any medium, you may play and work and curse and labor  and laugh and wonder and make some good stuff, and then realize it just isn’t the right tool for you. And that is fine.

But when you get the chance to explore a new medium that is a natural fit to what you are already doing in so many ways, it doesn’t make any sense not at least to give it a shot.

At the worst, you will learn how to make better “behind the scenes” vids to promote your business. At best, you will find that all this time you were really a motion photographer who was just waiting to come out.


*More and more are getting work in both media, however. I expect this will only increase in the near future.