The digital revolution continues to change our media landscape. We have moved way beyond just getting a video to play online. As a culture we want to receive and share content on demand, wherever we are. Mobile devices are rapidly becoming our primary tools for communicating. What does this mean for still photographers?
Mixed media content is in demand in today’s marketplace. Video, sound, time-lapse, animated Gifs and still images all play their roles in fulfilling a company’s marketing and communication needs. As electronic platforms become our primary means for messaging and delivering content, photographers should take note: your clients’ media needs are expanding. They need more content to fill an array of outlets and portals.
Many still photographers have positioned themselves as “visual asset producers” and have set up their businesses to fulfill more of their clients’ visual needs. That doesn’t mean they do it all themselves, quite the contrary. They scale up (sometimes on an as needed basis) by collaborating with video and sound pros to provide all of their clients’ media needs for today’s marketplace, rather than sending them out the door to their competition.
Some video production companies are competing with still photographers by providing high quality frame grabs from 6K cameras to fill their clients’ still image needs. They are using still images as an upsell to provide an integrated visual solution of both video and stills. They’re also monetizing the stills by redirecting the money that would have been budgeted for still photography. But, there’s no reason a still photographer can’t model his or her business the same way and take on the role of producer to fulfill the video and other multimedia needs of their clients’ needs.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Define yourself by your visual style and the value you bring in the marketplace.
- Create content that resonates and pitch your client on how they can multipurpose it for a variety of their needs: web videos, events, pre-roll for online ads – even wall art and still images from your frame grabs, if you are shooting 5K or bigger.
- Keep your production values high – it will set you apart from the semi-pros and amateurs. Create storytelling content that is inspirational, as well as informational.
- Build your own audience – many clients are looking for photographers who have large social media followings.