There is something so intimate about video, the way it encapsulates so many parts of you and conveys a clearer picture of who you are and what you represent.
I used to do videos on my blog all the time and I miss them. Whether a review, quick tidbit of information or full conversation with my audience, I found my readers connected with me in a much more intimate way through video than simply with words and photographs.
Things happened – cancer, deaths, moving – and I quit doing videos, but attending BlogHer Viewfinder day inspired me to get back into filming. Additionally, it made me want to share everything I learned with my readers, hoping you all go out and use videos to tell your stories as well.
“Your eyes are your lens, your heart your best shutter.” – Diane Cu and Todd Porter, WhiteOnRiceCouple.com
Tips for taking great photographs/making great films from Diane Cu and Todd Porter of WhiteOnRiceCouple.com:
• Always remember the story you want to tell.
The most important thing in all forms of storytelling is remembering your goal, what you’re looking to convey.
• Sometimes the thing you want to show needs to come second to story you want to tell.
For example, the couple wanted to showcase their summer garden and all the vegetables they’d grown that year, however, they didn’t want to just go around shooting still vegetation. So, they decided to feature the garden from the perspective of their dog, having him run and jump after bubbles throughout the garden. We saw the whole garden, but the story we left with was a whimsical one of a playing puppy.
• Start small, master the 15 second Instagram video before you go on to the 15 minute short and the 15 minutes short before you go on to the 1.5 hour film.
Go for short and meaningful over long and drawn out. They also suggested trying to iMovie app for your phone and Animoto where you can upload photos and make a stop action film.
• Say a lot of “no” so your “yes” has a larger impact.
Know your strengths and your weaknesses and work within them, both as a person and as a photographer/videographer. Don’t be afraid to say “I’m not good at that, but I’m good at this.”
• Your imperfections convey depth, meaning, authenticity, and soul to your unique voice.
There is a beauty in imperfections, in breaking the “rules” of life and photography. Diane took a video she hated because it was grainy and dark, but now she loves it because it is the last video of someone she loved taken before he died. She also has a series of young sisters rolling around on the carpet taken with her iPhone that are stunning in the way they capture the moment of happiness between the girls and even more stunning with you are told that the girls had just lost their father. Diane took the photos and gave them to their mother as a reminder that there is happiness.
“The most perfect things that you create are the ones that give you the most memories, which are often the ones with the most imperfections.” – Diane Cu
Right before my brother had his jaw removed, my family took photos with my fancy camera that turned out to be completely off-kilter and badly lit. I hated them for that until he died and now I treasure them like an original Ansel Adams print, something completely priceless and perfect, something that captured the haste and feeling of that evening when we all were together, waiting for something horrible to happen, none of us willing to put into words what we all were fearing. That imperfect photo captures more than words could ever start to describe.
“Balance your personality with your purpose.” – Double Saving Divas
If you’re looking to break into YouTube, a couple panels of vloggers had some great tips for you:
- Start with a quick, 15-second, potentially silly or comedic intro to grab people’s attention, then go to your credits and/or longer content.
- Make your clips and each cut longer than 10 seconds.
- People want to connect and interact with you, so have a dialogue on your video.
- YouTube is second to Google for places people search for content online, therefore using SEO (titling and explaining videos using keywords) is key to getting your content seen.
- Remember that being heard is as important as being seen in videos.
- Only use content, including clips and music, you have the rights to use or YouTube will take it down.Vimeo has music you can use and you can buy music through Triple Scoop, With Etiquette and PTCH.
- Collect videos and articles from people who are similar to you, create a catalog of content and share it out, create a network and help promote it. Cross-promotion helps everyone and is key to online success.
- Some alternatives to YouTube include Vimeo, Blip and CNN iReport.
“If you don’t know who you are, how do you expect your audience to?” – either @MissLori or @Weelicious, I can’t remember who said it but I liked it
How do you use video and images to enhance your work?