In the month since my last post, the world of Scott Clinton Photography has been a busy one. Bookings with new clients and old, in and around New York City as well as the "Queen City" of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Lately we have seen a rather large increase in requests for video work in addition to our traditional still photography services. Over the years we have done a fair amount of video work, but never truly embraced the medium. With all of the recent requests for videography, I have been reevaluating my thoughts and position regarding the service and have made the decision to embrace it.
Over the course of the past week or two, Google and YouTube been my team's best friend. We have been researching some best practices, techniques, and equipment. As you will no doubt learn, I have a weakness for equipment... I am a self professed "gear head" and suffer from G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) on a regular basis. Being that we never have pushed video in the past, I never spent the time and money on things like microphones. As anyone who has ever viewed a film/video knows, sound matters... In many ways it is as important as the visual imagery.
In researching my competition I started to see an alarming trend. In almost every case, there where big problem areas with their final product. Either the sound was horrific, or the lighting was... In some cases their framing was off and/or their editing was. I began to obsess over one aspect of often requested "talking head" videos... Microphone placement. With nearly 100% of the content I viewed, the creative team chose to use ugly and visually intrusive lavalier mics on their subject(s). I became fixated on this and hyper focused on finding another way to approach these types of shoots. In the past I too have been guilty of this type of setup as well... Partly due to ignorance, partly due to not having access other types of recording equipment.
Here are two examples of talking head videos my team created in the past:
In both of these videos I used a lav mic exclusively and while that choice was a functional one, I am not satisfied with the visual appearance of the microphone. Additionally, in my opinion, the quality of the sound leaves a lot to be desired.
As I trolled through countless tutorials and equipment reviews I discovered a colleague out West who is not your typical YouTuber... This guy knows his stuff and takes great pride in producing instructional and informational video content at a very high level. This gentleman's name is Curtis Judd (https://www.youtube.com/user/curtisjudd) and I owe him a great deal. As I went through his deep archive of videos I began forming my own conclusions about video production and the gear necessary to create videos that are up to the standards of Scott Clinton Photography. In many cases the conclusions I have reached are different than Curtis', but he has definitely lead me down the road to self discovery.
In my next post I will share some thoughts on the equipment I have acquired and additional tidbits of my journey into video production.