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Old September 5th, 2006, 10:06 AM   #1
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What would you do if you felt you were working too hard?

OK, heres the deal...
I have a path in front of me...
I can either take the left path which is down HDV highway with video. Meaning that i would sell off what i have and upgrade the cams for HD delivery. This includes getting rod of the Z1 and DVX100 (wahh) as to me, the Z1 was pulled out to beat everyone to the line.. and the DVX... well it was good workhorse, but i think its on its last legs...

My cam choicese at this time is the Canon XHA1, or the HVX.. more than likely, i'll go canon for price and my current system build (ie HDV ready)
Then theres the delivery options coming soon.. which are of no issue to me.. i'll go with both.. i really dont care as theyre the same codecs... they only difference is the playback device and media

On the right though, i have the Stills area.. where my compositions in video have offered me copious amounts of job offers to shoot for and work with photographers. Many a time, have my compositions been copied (im brave and take risks and dont fear asking people to do things for a shot) and so photographers like to shoot over my shoulder. As im usualy traversing the streets on my shoots, i come across many familiar faces and many a business card and coffe date has been exchanged..
Now, equipment wise, this is the cheaper option than video. One video camera is equivalent to a decent kit with several lenses..

Now tossing the two...
which road do i take.. ?

If i go down the HDV road. it means that my current video workload will remain the same or even increase to accomodate these new format needs. Now that doesnt mean prices for the product will change.. as for now, prices are a struggle to maintain and i have to bend over backwards to score these prices consistantly... On average, were looking at 40-60 hours within an edit in post. On average i hit about 40 to 60 jobs a year.. this year i hit 39, and we havent even hit the Sept Oct Nov rush yet..
You can imagine my editing stockpile here...

OK, now on the flipside.. shooting stills..
My idea is to ofer a service not many people provide.. and that is to shoot and provide HQ RAWS on DVD. Basic colour correction but thats about it.

Im tryin to work smarter, not harder... Id rather shoot 4 weddings at $1000 each and give the client a DVD within a week as opposed to shooting 2 videos at $2500 each, and taking months to deliver.

Now with photography, people are happy to pay for good work. Compared to video, demand for the product is also highly sought, as the negative stigma on video remains. Also price differences are predominant, in turn, the there is an ability to earn more income from stills due to the market demand and client attitude to the profession.

In addition, post production is not as intense, and one is allowed to lead a normal life and still maintain a good decent workflow without working stupid hours. At the moment, i work between 16 to 20 hours day...

OK, so if you were to come across this choice which would you take?

As an aside, ive already made up my mind, but im just wondering how many people out there have been or are in my poistion at this time.
Its a tough decision, and a big investment (Money, emotions and risk), but i feel that with photography, i can be a little more brash with my ideas, and be a little more flexible with regard to work and home life.
Now in my situation, i have to continue to hang onto my cameras until September next year, as i am booked solid up to then... so thats about a year of sitting on equipment i cannot sell and equipment which will continue to depreciate each day.

So what would you do?
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Old September 5th, 2006, 10:25 AM   #2
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Gee Peter. I'd do both. Seriously, I'd adjust the prices and such to do both. Heck, you already work very hard to get to that point of setting up shots, etc, and even though it requires an extra pair of hands, I'd just do both. If you adjust price to a workload that is more comfortable, then you would still have the flexibility of offering both services and being able to pick and choose more the jobs that fit your schedule etc better.

I think we will be in a similar situation next year, and will probably step into both fields.

That's just my two cents. I think the one common thread you have is talent, just plain right out talent to set up shots, artistic expression etc. So hell, if I had the talent you had, I'd do both.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 10:40 AM   #3
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Photography. All the way. And I'm not saying that because I'm a photographer. I'm a videographer. But we're looking at expanding into photography and it seems to make much more sense. Exactly for the reasons you said. Workload is much more "normal", appreciation for the work is much higher, equipment expenses are lower. If you're already setting up great shots for video and aren't afraid to interact with people like that then I'd go for photography.

There is a point where you can either adjust (read: reinvent) your company to fit current demands, or you can move along to something else. It sounds like you've got more than enough work for yourself, but not enough time or money to do it all. So I'd either hire someone to help, or I'd step into photography. Just my thoughts on it.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 11:32 AM   #4
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Peter,

I seem to remember posts where you were really upset or frustraited about the videography, and wondering why you got into it. The equipment is so much more expensive and you need to constantly upgrade it and the software you edit on. Then you don't know what format, HDV, SD, or some new one you will need to deliver now and in the future and what the customer wants. Also, the photgrapher seems to make more money, for a lot less work, and tends to try and get in your way, (but something tells me you don't let them)!

If you can keep yourself busy and making a living with photography right now, I would go with that. My personal opinion, for what it is worth, is that many people get into wedding videography because they love the equipment and want to make movies. But, the bills have to be paid, so weddings it is!

All the best of luck to you whatever you choose. Just remember that you only have one life to live and some end way too early, like Steve Irwin's.

Mike
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Old September 5th, 2006, 11:53 AM   #5
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Take some time off, and spend a week at Disney. Relax, and give it a little thought when you aren't so stressed out. Then, when you get back, if you have any money left over, you do what you can afford ;)
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Old September 5th, 2006, 12:20 PM   #6
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"What would you do if you felt you were working too hard?"

stop.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 03:07 PM   #7
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"What would you do if you felt you were working too hard?"

Hire someone to help. Find an editor you trust and just do all the shooting (or vice versa).
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Old September 5th, 2006, 03:28 PM   #8
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I got my camera two days ago, so quite simply, I'll have to say photography. I haven't been in videography for a long time. I don't have many dollars already invested in a cache of equipment, so it's probably an easier decision for me to make. I know I won't have the money to accomodate the changes in video technology until the prices come way, waaay down. So getting into photography now is the best decision. I bet most photographers aren't going to offer videography, so those who can provide two services instead of one, may get more solid work. The one thing I know is that 100% of wedding clients book photographers. I don't believe the same is true for videographers.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 05:30 PM   #9
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about my camera

Hey Steve, yes, I should have mentioned that I scrapped the Nikon D80 idea, and bought a Canon 20D instead. I couldn't wait for the D80 to arrive, and after consulting pros welly-versed with both Nikon & Canon lines, I thought it wise to invest in Canon. I'm kind of overwhelmed with the camera already. There's so much to learn. I spent all day at a parade capturing live shots and I'm completely unsatisfied with my technique. I'm booked to shoot a wedding this Saturday, and I wanted to be proficient enough to get a few photos in, to start a wedding portfolio. I think not...I need a few classes and a few more lenses at this rate.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 07:21 PM   #10
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Thanks Michelle, please report back and let me know how it does. Obvously, you'll be perfect. :}
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Old September 5th, 2006, 07:57 PM   #11
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thanks for your thoughts guys..
a bit of background.. audio engineer for 13years now.. editor for 6, corporate/commercial video for 5, and weddings for 3

I love what i do, theres no doubt about the creative freedom allowed within this field.. compared to corporate, weddings IMO can be fun, and to me they are.. i enjoy editing, i enjoy shooting however its the amount of time away from my family and my own health (ie stupid works hours) which is killing me.
Money.. well it would be comparable with my current workload. Basically im earning the same as if not more than a photographer would, however the hours i put in are much longer (and harder)... also my work peaks as opposed to being a plateu (sp?) of stability.. so during peak time, i can hit 8 to 10 weddings a month (which i no longer do) and some months i may have none at all..

reason i got into is because my business slowly evolved to it. Theres also the regualr money factor which does help, but i also offer afew thngs which to this day other companies are still to catch up with , so i have a leg up on that..
The work doesnt frustrate me, but its the expectations of the clients which upsets and frustrates me. they dont understand the intricacies invovled in video.. its not looking at a shot and deciding whether its good enough to keep... for us, we have THAT .. we decide what we keep, but then, we have to work out how were going to use it, where its going to go, how it will fit in with the rest of the piece, and what relelvance it has to the entire production... theres alot more thinking invovled, which is ok, but time consuming... theres also teh expectation that you can make changes at teh drop of a hat... and there are the moments where clients dont beleive a contract is valid even though it is airtight.
Compared to photos, video requires much more energy in every respect

These attitudes and ideas are slowly starting to change.. I tell the clients what i do and how i do it and i hammer it so far down their throats that its on the verge of being "to mcuh info" but in the end, i know that so long as i keep at it, they have no reason to complain. Now thr might be one in every 20 or so weddings who gives me a hard time because mroe than likely they dont understand their contracts.. n fact it IS becuase they dont understand their contracts...

I guess for me now is the viability of continuing with video... For me, its not about the gear, although it can be fun... and funny enough, with all this gear, i really havent even filmed my own family, which is really rather depressing..
Ive never been inclined to want to make movies (although ive made afew short films for Uni and training purposes and worked on may others) but to be truthful, back then it was a way to make easy money with next to no trouble at all.
Now that video is in the consumer light consumers and clients have a certain air of expectation. They see the "olook how easy it is to make your own video" marketting techniques and believe that our work is the same. Dont get me wrong in many cases, it is, but our level of work is far more intense with absolutely no room for error.

I mean i love video and i'll continue to do it, but i was hoping that if i get into stills, it would help me break away from the demands of video. In addition to that, i cant take upa day job with the current demand for work and current backlogue of work..
With regard to hiring people, i have afew uni students who have been keen. Theyve come in and learnt and so on etc etc, but most have the attitude that theyre too good for it. I also cant afford to have somene here to do my work for me.. although i wish i could... its not economically viable at this time... and just stopping is out of the questions..

I think the most profound thing i have needed to consider amongst all these thoughts is what Mike has said..
"just remember that you only have one life to live and some end way too early, like Steve Irwin's."
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Old September 5th, 2006, 08:14 PM   #12
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Hey Peter, that's some pretty good honesty. If you ever have a project that doesn't need a lot of brainage, feel free to send it over here, I'll hack away at it for you. I'll do it just to get tips from you. :} Seriously, you could always outsource the one's that are really a pain.

Btw, sorry to hear about your mate, I'm pretty sure he's somewhat of an icon in Australia.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 08:47 PM   #13
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He was huge. they even had counsellors going round to the schools.. the media here hasnt done anything to help the situation, moreso in a rush for ratings as opposed to leaving the family to mourn...

I guess im just really REALLY tired tryin to keep my customers happy all the while forgetting about my own happiness...
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Old September 5th, 2006, 08:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
He was huge. they even had counsellors going round to the schools.. the media here hasnt done anything to help the situation, moreso in a rush for ratings as opposed to leaving the family to mourn...

I guess im just really REALLY tired tryin to keep my customers happy all the while forgetting about my own happiness...
Don't forget my offer, for just a plane ride and some exotic food, I'm so downunder.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 12:06 AM   #15
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Hey Peter,

Sorry to hear you're getting bummed out from video. Stills are always great. A lot less intense. The photog I was working with last weekend was using a 12mp Canon 5d. She shot nearly 1400 pics if you can believe it! She told me she needs about 8 hours editing/post for each 1 hour of shooting.

Anyway you can always pick up a 20d and do either for awhile. See which feels better in the long run.

Good Luck.
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