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Old August 27th, 2015, 02:48 PM   #1
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Encouragement

I'm working for a small university as their photographer/videographer and I need some encouragement (or maybe I just want to vent, I'm not sure).

Because its a smaller university, many people do multiple jobs. Like I said, I am both the photographer and the videographer. Because of this, I'm finding myself discouraged in the video production side. I'm fine with the photography side of the job. I think I'm pretty good at it and it comes easy to me, but I want to create really great video content for this university but our budget is so small and if I want something done, I need to do it myself (which I completely understand). What I mean is, I try to get inspiration from different schools and I can obviously tell they have large budgets and teams of people working on videos and I feel like there is no way I can even come close to that level.

Take for example last weekend. Students moved back onto campus and I considered making a "Move In" type video about the entire weekend and the festivities that surrounded it, but they preferred to have both photos and video of the weekend. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to do both, but that's what they wanted. If I could quote Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation, "Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing." So I ended up taking a lot of really great photos (which ended up getting more likes than any photo album the university ever has received on facebook) and no video.

I love this job and wouldn't trade it for anything, but if some other single person crew members could give me some encouragement or advice, I'd appreciate it. How do you do it?
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Old August 27th, 2015, 03:02 PM   #2
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Re: Encouragement

I shoot solo and there have been many frustrating times where I know I could do a lot better just with a second experienced shooter but it is what it is, if I continue to shoot events alone it will have limitations, I just try as good as I can to work around that and sometimes that works out, something it doesn't. I just try to remember those moments where it did work out. :)
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Old August 27th, 2015, 06:29 PM   #3
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Re: Encouragement

Doing my 8th! annual Move-In video next weekend. It gets easier with time, but you need a team for events like that. Contractors or students both can work out well. I would recommend recruiting some help so you're not the only one who can shoot something happening on the campus - that can get exhausting quickly.
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Old August 28th, 2015, 07:09 AM   #4
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Re: Encouragement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Haustein View Post
Doing my 8th! annual Move-In video next weekend. It gets easier with time, but you need a team for events like that. Contractors or students both can work out well. I would recommend recruiting some help so you're not the only one who can shoot something happening on the campus - that can get exhausting quickly.
Nice! Congrats!

Yea its really hard to do what I want to do by myself. I see shots of move in with timelapses from different parts of campus and great shots and to know I can't do that is frustrating. I'll look into student help. That isnt a bad idea.
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Old August 28th, 2015, 01:22 PM   #5
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Re: Encouragement

Seriously?

Brock, I believe I have read every post you have made here in the last couple of years. The first day you reported for work at the university you became a commercial photgrapher/videographer. You are accepting a paycheck. That means you have an obligation to deliver what they want you to do. This is not about what you WANT. It is not about your limitations of crew or kit. You had an entire weekend to shoot. You were even shooting with a DSLR they bought based on your recommendation. If I was your boss I would inspire you in my office by telling you I can find someone else for the job if you keep "choosing" not to do your job. It is a job, get to work.

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old August 28th, 2015, 02:04 PM   #6
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Re: Encouragement

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Originally Posted by Brock Burwell View Post
but they preferred to have both photos and video of the weekend. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to do both, but that's what they wanted. If I could quote Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation, "Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing." So I ended up taking a lot of really great photos (which ended up getting more likes than any photo album the university ever has received on facebook) and no video.
Steve has a point here, when you refer to "they" wanting you to do photo and video I take it "they" are your employer? So you decide on your own to only do photo because you find it's not possible to do both without sacrificing on quality? I hope you have a forgiving boss because at one of my previous employers that would have meant being fired.

I have worked for employers before and I also got asked to do stuff that was not possible to do well without the help of someone else and with tools that was not up to the task but I did whatever they asked from me in the best way I could, meaning a half-assed job. I told my employer that was what he would get if he didn't give me the right tools and support but there was no money. It reminds me of those star trek generation series I"m rewatching right now where cpt Picard asks engineering; "how long will the repairs take?" and engineering says: "3 hours" to what cpt Picard replies: "you have one hour". :)
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Old August 28th, 2015, 03:47 PM   #7
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Re: Encouragement

Consider this... which medium works best for the story you want to tell?

I have been covering a three day aviation event solo for the past three years.
Each year I tweak how I cover it based on what I learned from the previous year.
In the air, stills work best because of camera location/position.
On the ground, video works best because of the amount and variety of action that takes place throughout the day.
At the banquet, still photos capture the emotion of the moment and social activities.
You can use an audio recorder to capture the sounds and conversations from which snippets can be used as captions for photos.

This may be an apples v oranges comparison, but the base ideas are the same.
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Old August 28th, 2015, 11:09 PM   #8
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Re: Encouragement

I hear you. I don't think one person can really do both stills and video
at a event.....unless they don't mind that both products suffer.
Being given unreasonable requests is one of many reasons I now
run my own business. Because as an employee, I was obligated to do things
the way my boss told me to do them....including things I knew were not a
good idea. So all I can say is, when you are in that situation you
roll with it and do the best you can. A lot of times a university just
wants something 'good enough' and doesn't really care about the
product suffering. It is what it is. I've done the opposite and shot
all video and pulled stills from the frames, but that wasn't ideal either
as I'd either have too much motion blur for stills, or too 'stuttery' a look
to my video, depending if I set my shutter speed to twice my frame
rate for video, or much faster for stills.
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Old August 31st, 2015, 05:05 PM   #9
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Re: Encouragement

To me, the toughest part isn't the shooting, it's the editing.

I might have approached this with a long lens, a monopod, a lav, and a recorder. Shoot candid stills from a distance all day long using shallow focus and fast shutter. When you meet a friendly person, interview them (with video settings, of course.) Intersperse the interviews with a slideshow with music. In essence, the photos become your b-roll.

Some editing software has plugins to auto-generate the Ken Burns photo effect. Stuff like that helps deliver a fast turnaround.

In fact, that's the right comparison. Burns can make a video about the Civil War without having any video from the Civil War. He uses photos, music, and interviews - plus David McCullough as the narrator.

"Dear Abigail,

Move-in day has been a struggle. If I do not return home alive..."
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Old April 7th, 2016, 05:04 PM   #10
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Re: Encouragement

I think that if you stuck to video, you'd end up with one very boring video. So planning is your friend. Shoot some good candids. Plan the video to provide what you need. You can easily combine the two in post.
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Old April 8th, 2016, 03:41 AM   #11
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Re: Encouragement

get 4k camcorder and shoot both video and stills from the same footage
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Old April 8th, 2016, 06:22 AM   #12
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Re: Encouragement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Dempsey View Post
get 4k camcorder and shoot both video and stills from the same footage
Just because it's 4K doesn't automatically mean this is a good idea. There's this little thing called motion blur that can ruin a lot what you could potentially pull as stills.
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