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A Videographer is Not a Photographer (and vice versa)

Why it’s worthwhile to hire for each with an example from Berlin, MA.

Written by Mark Mendoza on January 14, 2019

 “Can you also shoot some video for us?”

 As a professional photographer, this is a questions I sometimes get asked. And I can see how from an outside perspective, photography and videography seem awfully similar. The lights. The equipment. The models. The post-production. 

But when you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that they are actually two separate disciplines that each take a lot of practice, study, and experience to master professionally. In other words, the photographers or videographers that choose to focus their time, energy, and resources learning and specializing in just one profession– either photography or videography – will generally be much better at that one thing.

It’s a little like choosing to learn the guitar or the piano. Could you do both? Of course! But odds are you would be much better at either instrument if you chose to allocate all of your time and energy to just one rather than dividing your resources between both. 

So how are photography and videography different? Here are just a few examples: 

  1. The Gear. As a photographer, I use strobes, also known as flash, to light my subjects which is entirely different than working with the lighting a videographer uses. Most videographers have never used strobes and the learning curve can be steep. Our post production equipment and processes also differ greatly. Mastering all of the equipment necessary to shoot a video would, for me, be quite daunting, and the same can be said for a videographer attempting to shoot stills.
  1. The setup. While photographers and videographers must both learn the technical aspects of how to light a set – the lighting technology, techniques, and skills are entirely different for still shots as opposed to video. Lighting is just one aspect of the setup, which is complicated and yet crucial to the shoot’s success for both disciplines. 
  1. The specialized skillset. Photography is highly specialized. If you need product marketing photos, you would be much better off hiring a product photographer, over say, a wedding photographer. And whenever you can, you should take it even further. If your product is food – don’t hire any product photographer – hire a food photographer. Since there is so much specialization within the field of photography, you can probably imagine how different a skillset it is to shoot video versus still shots. So if you’re looking for commercial photography, my advice is to hire a commercial photographer. And if you come across a professional who promotes him or herself as both a photographer and videographer, my advice is this: carefully look over both sides of his or her portfolio to make sure you like the photos and videos before moving forward.  

    As for clients of mine who are in need of video: while I do not shoot the video myself, I have some wonderful colleagues I can call on that do fantastic videography work. This helps my clients with more than just the quality of the final video they receive. It helps ensure that the shoot runs smoothly and timely. 

    For example: 

    I had a client who hired me to shoot interior and exterior shots of an 8,000 square foot home that wasn’t selling in Berlin, MA. Turns out, this client was also looking for video, including some aerial shots. So I brought in a colleague of mine whom I’ve worked with in the past to do the video. 

    The success of a shoot like this lies in not only the experience of the photographer and videographer, but their professionalism and ability to work together. I was happy to be able to bring this videographer on board because I knew he would be easy to work with and respectful– including things as simple as taking off his muddy shoes before entering the house. 

    We worked hand in hand, never held each other up, stayed out of each other’s way, and kept it moving. The photos and videos turned out great, and yep, the house sold!

    Looking for both photography and videography? Let’s chat to see how I can help! 



Tags: professional photographer, Lifestyle photography

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