I met Ben Milam, a producer at Leo Burnett’s Arc Worldwide on a shoot with one of my clients. Since he came all the way to San Francisco we thought it would be fun to take him out for a nice dinner while he was here. How we landed last minute reservations at DELFINA, I am not sure. But I do know that the atmosphere, the delicious meal and the Italian red wine led to a very interesting conversation about photographers adding video and motion work to their offerings and how clients should consider video more often because photographers can now partner with them to provide it.
When he returned to Chicago, I asked him if he would write about his thoughts for our blog. Here is what he shared.
“Marketing dollars have a way of gravitating toward alternative methods of production in slow economic times causing clients to look for more ways to make their dollars go further. The general consensus in marketing and advertising is that restricting resources can cripple the final creative product. And in some cases, fiscal restrictions on production costs can do more harm than good.
In other cases, having limited resources can also concentrate creative output. A perfect example is the increasing focus of still photographers to also create motion work. Technology is granting more and more photographers access to quality motion output. Combine that with the rising amount of digital signage plus a sluggish economy and you’ve got a market for hybrid, budget-friendly photo shoots that also now have a need for capturing motion.
Numerous photographers already offer this type of hybrid shoot but can experience criticism when their work is compared to traditional broadcast work. Motion equipment used by photographers can sometimes be lower caliber compared to that on a motion shoot. And it’s true that most photographers don’t have a vast amount of experience with broadcast work. Even though there are plenty of reasons to ignore this type of hybrid shoot, the ever-increasing amount of digital executions will drive an increased demand for budget-minded motion work.
This doesn’t mean that traditional motion shoots are going away. It also doesn’t mean that the quality of the hybrid shoot should be sub-par. It simply means that we will see a growing demand for this type of photographer.
In order to capitalize on its full capabilities, why not consider motion more often? It’s helpful to look at this from a retail and shopper marketing standpoint instead of from a traditional broadcast view. Digital signage opens up the option for motion in point-of-sale outlets that were normally static and it continues to expand. Monitors continue to show up at bus stops, retail storefronts, and everywhere else you can think of. Some might even go as far as to suggest repurposing TV spots for retail outlet use but why treat retail content the same as television spots? Remember that most digital signage will not have the consumer’s full attention the same way that a television screen does.
So, why not find a creative partner that can help you explore these possibilities? The goal is to find great photographers that share the creative vision of their client and agency partners while having the agility to capture relevant motion work. A photographer is the perfect partner. They are willing to evolve their offerings, they have experience with working with smaller budgets and they are knowledgeable as to what is needed on set to combine both still and motion.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to start thinking about the upcoming challenges of presenting larger production budgets to clients that normally see estimates for still-only photo shoots.
I’ve seen this progression towards the ‘hybrid’ photographer for some time now especially with the advent of HDSLR. It’s been a fun and rewarding experience for myself, as well as a natural progression as I’ve always enjoyed telling stories. And you are correct that the content does not need to be sub-par for hybrid shoots, but as you said comparing broadcast work with higher budgets and bigger crews with these add on motion to still shoots can be intimidating if not given the exact direction and proper production cost for that particular hybrid shoot. Great article!
Thanks for reading and commenting!!