Photographer to Videographer

When I began in the creative industry, I knew I wanted to learn how to use a camera. Learning how to take photos was a goal that I knew would help expand my skill set as a Sr. Digital Design Manager. Once I dove into studying, I couldn’t help but realize how much I also wanted to learn videography at the same time.

Fast forward a few years, and I still have that same itch. I’ve continued my education with online studies and I try my best to master all settings on my camera. The last part I feel that I need to learn and understand is videography with my current Sony A7ii. I don’t want to make the move permanently from photographer to videographer, but I do want to learn both sides.

1. Are you open to new skillsets?

I don’t think it’s very uncommon for photographers to want to learn videography. I am sure many learn both and are great at it. I chose to learn and grow in photography first, but now it’s time to learn video. The more research I do, the more I realize it may feel like I am starting all over with my camera and settings.

Videography is a very different monster, and I am guilty of thinking it would be easy to switch to video from photography. Yes, my models move, but I capture this movement in stills and burst mode. I think the main goal of a photographer, making the switch to video, should be learning a new mindset first. Motion is a form of layout that is constant and fluid.

Keep in mind, you will need to study video and new industry terms when making the jump. You already have a foundation of learning from photography, just be ready to adapt and learn new skills and settings.

2. Can you afford new equipment?

Your camera is just one small consideration when considering videography. Controlling constant light is your next big equipment consideration. Lighting for photography and lighting for video are very different. Many photographers use strobes and not constant light. You might get lucky and use natural light, but you will still need to figure out how to modify that light in certain conditions.

Your next most important upgrade or consideration will be your computer. How are you going to edit the footage you just shot, and will your computer handle it? Footage from newer cameras can be shot in HD or 4K and these files can be large. You will want to do a few tests and see how well your computer handles the new file types.

Photography to Videography
3. Do you have time to learn new software?

Photoshop, Lightroom, and CaptureOne are amazing for photography, but you can’t really edit video footage in these programs. Adobe has Premier and AfterEffects, and Apple has Final Cut Pro. These are industry standard programs that will come with a sharp learning curve when you are just getting started. Don’t let that deter you from learning, just keep in mind you might get a little frustrated at the start. Everyone goes through this.

Time is on your side

If you are looking to make the transition from photographer to videographer, time is usually an ally. Many people make this transition over a long period of time. Take your time and learn videography to expand your skills and creative projects. In the end, it will make you more valuable to clients and allow you to offer more end-products to help serve the projects.