Types of Video Content
So these are just a couple example of video series that I've put out there. One was my Promoting Passion video series. I released a video every single week for two years and I produced 100 videos and it was very daunting but it was wonderful to try to come up with 100 different topics to talk about in video. It was very terrifying. But it was really great and I started to learn about what I like to talk about. I got better and better at talking to a video camera. I would literally spend an hour a week in my room with my video camera staring into the lens talking over and over and over. And when you do something enough it becomes really normal, and I started to really genuinely feel like I was talking to my friends (chuckles), which might sound crazy, but I really felt like I was just talking to my buddies to happened to live inside my video camera. Cuz I knew that somebody would watch it one day. So I was like, okay, I can do this. I can just talk to my friends. Became more and more co...
mfortable with that, which is not a comfortable thing to do. Have any of you guys tried to talk at your camera for a video? (chuckles) You love it? No. Yeah me neither. But you come to become more comfortable with it over time. So this was one video series that I did, it showcased behind the scenes, it showcased ideas that I had, just talking through ideas, inspirational, monologues that I might have had, all sorts of things, just a hodge podge, and then I created this video series called White Wall Wednesday and this was where every Wednesday for 10 Wednesdays, I released a video about how to create in a blank space. So just any part of my process, whether it was editing, shooting, conceptualizing, talking about my thoughts and ideas, how could I create with literally nothing but a blank white wall at my disposal? And that was really fun and this was also part of branding, right, so would you say, in your opinion, is my brand focused on having the best gear or using your imagination? Thank you. And there's no debate, right, no debate. Because I want you to know that I don't care about the gear. I care about imagination, that is super important to me. So what is this series doing? It's telling people, look, I'm gonna create with nothing and I'm gonna try to make something amazing out of that. And that's what this whole series was about. Encouraging not only myself to work more frequently with nothing but also telling other people, join me, take this challenge, do White Wall Wednesday with me. Every Wednesday make something on your blank white wall and let's see what comes of it. And it was amazing to see people creating and thinking in new ways. Video can bring people together in this way, not only because it's video and people like to click videos, but also because this is me, talking, to the camera, talking to you. So I'm engaging personally in the most personal way I can through the internet. There's nothing more personal than me speaking to a camera and then you feeling like you're being seen through that lens. So that's why I think it's so powerful. Now if we talk about certain types of videos, okay we've got the how to genre. How to. How to create technically, how to work on your particular unique process. What I tend to do is to share a technique that your audience will find interesting or useful. And you might not know what they'll find interesting or useful. Try different things, see who responds to what, but how can you put your work out there? So one way that I like to do this is with a video such as this one, and we're gonna play this video and it's just a quick look at my editing process, sped up. So let's go ahead and look at that. (haunting music) (scratching sound) That was creepy (chuckles). I forgot how creepy that video was, oh my goodness. But it leads me to a really good point. Now I did not speak at all in that video. I didn't explain my process, the point was not to get you to understand exactly what I was doing at each point in time, the point was to do two things: one, to show my process generally, just to show really quickly the work that goes into it so that everybody understand what that process is like. Not specifically just in general. And the other part is evoking a mood to go along with the image. And I remember creating this picture and choosing the creepiest music that I could find and then sourcing sound effects of fabric ripping and being cut so that I could use that at the end to really enhance this super creepy feeling of having the zipper down the back. Video does not have to feature you necessarily, there are so many ways to create videos where you don't even have to be in it but you're still showcasing your content. So if you genuinely feel like, you know what, my brand will not benefit from me being the spokesperson here, then think of other ways to create, think of other ways to do it. I know that this segment is technically about speaking about your work but it's also about creating video content so remember, you don't have to stand up there and speak and speak and speak and always be the one shouting about your own work, it's hard to do, it's really hard. So remember, there are options like this that I think are really great. Now there's another genre of video making which I'm just calling artistic, which is where you're creating more experimental, maybe little short film feeling type of videos that go along with your artwork. So you've got images presumably that you're creating. What video can go alone with that? What type of video would match the type of work that you're doing? Often that can be a great way of just enhancing the images that you're putting out there and engaging people in a new way, so experimental works within your genre. Specifically within your genre, right. Not something completely out there that has nothing to do with anything, but what can you do within your genre? So here's a video that I'm going to show that is not long, just me out in the forest playing, and I created all of these videos in July. I was doing a photo, a video and a blog post every day for the month of July, and so they're not all perfect, they're not super polished, but I went out to create. I was like, oh, I don't know what to do this particular day cuz it's hard to think of all the content every single day, and I thought, you know what, I'm just gonna make something weird and fun and creepy, and see how it goes. And so this is that. (soft music) (leaves rustling) (soft music) All right. So that video went with this image. And this image was created the same morning that I went out there, has the same type of feeling to it in a sense so it's got that sort of rebirth, fabric flowing type of imagery. Similar colors that you see because they're quite natural to the space that I was in, and it just went together so I made this video, I put this image at the end of it to show that this was what came of the day, and anybody can do something like this. I didn't plan any of this ahead of time. I showed up, I was inspired, and then I just went through a series of shots in my head like, oh what can I do to make a different angle, what can I do to show maybe a close up versus a long shot? What can I do to connect one shot to the next? It was super fun to try. I'm not saying this is a masterpiece. All I'm saying is that it was really fun to do, it was relevant to my brand, it was something different for people to look at and it connected people on a different level than just releasing this image. Now it's really difficult to create that much content, to go out and make a picture and then also think about a video, it's really hard, I know, cuz it's hard enough to just make a picture. It's hard. But if you can start marrying the two thought processes, it can be really, really simple. So as I went on creating in this month, it got easier and easier to do. And again, I still haven't spoken in a video yet. Not even talking, okay. So then I have this video, which is the same sort of thing, just an atmospheric look at my morning when I created an image, so let's take a look at that one. (haunting music) Okay. Only a minute long, which I also highly recommend, because a lot of different platforms will only allow a minute of video and people really don't have a lot of extra time, so a minute is like a really good aim for me when I'm making these little videos, to just say, you know what, I'm gonna aim for just one minute of content, how can I do that in the most atmospheric, beautiful, relevant way possible? And a minute is not that long of a time. We can all commit to a minute, I think, maybe. So let's take a look at another example, as you can see, this was the image that resulted there. So what if we are just focusing on atmospheric? This is to me, the most fun thing to do when you're on a photo shoot, because you can always just grab extra shots of what's happening around the scene and it will probably be relevant to your image that you're creating. So complimenting your images with videos that have the same look and feeling is what I mean by atmospheric images. This is one that, I actually shot this the very next day from when I shot the flower image and picture that we were just looking at. The very next day in Joshua Tree, California, the sunrise was beautiful, so I took video while I was there over the course of two days of the sun rising and hitting different things and then I created an image from it, so let's play this one. (soft music) Okay. Now, that video was so simple to do, and it's important to note that it has the same lighting, the same colors and the same emotional feeling as the final image. So they can go together. Creating this extra content through video is amazing to have for things like gallery exhibitions, just as one example, where maybe your work would benefit if you had a little screen up and you could show some of the process or just some accompanying videos. But also thinking about social media in terms of all the different platforms that we have, if you can show little video clips like this on your Instagram story and then the final image on your Instagram page, for example, it's just ways of diversifying your content to create more interest in what you're doing. So I highly recommend things like this, and again, I'm not saying do it just like this, cuz these are great. I was experimenting for the first time with this, so I was just out there with my camera that I would use for stills, taking extra video as I could, just trying to rapid think about what shots would be interesting and connect, and then trying things, and they could have turned out very differently, and I guarantee you, if you had been out there in the desert with me and I said, go try to put together some random clips of a one minute video, it wouldn't have looking like that, it would have been different. I don't know what you would have done, it probably would have been more genius than me just shooting a cactus and stuff, but still, that's the fun part of creating is that it's okay to experiment with what you're doing, it's okay to not know how to do something. I think that a lot of us as still photographers will say, "Well, I can't do video, "I'm not trained in video." And I have the privilege of having gone to film school, so I do know a thing or two about video, but I haven't done it for years and years, in nine years, I haven't created any real videos. I have never created digitally for example, I was always using film cameras, so there's a lot that I don't know too, and it's fun to try and fail. Maybe mostly fail, who cares? Okay. About me. Now I'm going to show you the video in the pajamas. (chuckles) And I filmed this video on the 31st day of July so it was the last day of my challenge and I wanted to do like a recap video and it ended up being a little bit of an about me video. If I am about waking up, going into the forest in my pajamas and talking to a camera. So an about me is sharing yourself in a interesting way. Just any way that you can think to put yourself out there and this is what we're going to practice right after this. So get ready guys, gonna be fun, and intimidating. All right, now, we're creating an about me, you're gonna wanna speak to your purpose. What is your purpose in creating? What is your purpose in putting this information out here? Something interesting to consider, and it's sort of an interesting word, purpose, that I think maybe will resonate with some people and not with others, depends on how intimidating you find that word. Show yourself in action. So if you're gonna make an about me video, show what you do. Instead of just standing there and talking to the camera very militantly, why not show yourself doing something? We talked earlier, can't remember exactly when now about storytelling and something you said Tori was a character is believable if they're in motion, remember, and that was an interesting thing to point out, because a person is also interesting in motion. It's not as much fun to watch somebody who's standing very still talking to a camera, but it is really fun to watch someone doing something as they're talking or maybe with a voiceover, so always think about how you can show yourself in action, moving, doing something relevant to your craft. Ask other people what intrigues them about your process. I don't expect you to know everything about what you do all by yourself. I mean go get feedback from people. I have spent many, many a morning sitting on social media asking people, what do you wanna see? What is relevant, what do you like, what are you interested in, what can't you figure out? All of those things and that has helped guide my content. Not because I'm listening to what they're saying specifically, but because I'm listening to what they're saying and matching that to what I'm interested in talking about which is important to make that distinction. Show what you want people to invest in. As I mentioned, I'm very bad at this. I show everything, except my cats. And that's not always good. But it is important to know that it's okay to do that too. Cuz that will bring people full circle into your life, but it might be good for me to make more videos showcasing my prints, for example, if I want people to buy my prints. Seems really obvious, I've never done it. So, something to keep in mind. I think especially if you're not used to being on camera, that you should make a voiceover script. If you're uncomfortable talking to the camera, if that makes you nervous, write a script for yourself that you can read to your camera and then use as a voiceover for your video. It's a great way to start, it's a really good way to start training your voice to have the right inflection, to be interesting, and then you can just overlay that and only worry about one half of the puzzle first. Instead of worrying about what you look like and what you sound like, start with just what you sound like. Cuz what you look like isn't gonna change that much. That's a personal problem that we need to get over. What you sound like though can change drastically if you practice enough. So write a voiceover script. How does one go about doing that? We're gonna get there in a second. Keep the video short to one minute. It's just a good way to not only challenge yourself but also to make yourself feel better in the process, and it depends on what you're like. So some of us will probably not be able to find anything to talk about. If I'm like, what's your video gonna be about, you're gonna be like, I have no idea. I'll never make a video. I hate this. Or you might be like, I have so many things that I could talk about, I have no idea what to do and how to keep it in one minute. Which one are you guys? (chuckles) Okay, you don't wanna talk. Do you wanna talk? No, okay. Nobody wants to talk, so we don't have that problem but somebody will. Somebody will. But it's good practice. Use your keywords, we've been talking about keywords, have we not? Lots and lots of keywords. Use them verbally in your videos. Direct people into the right mindset. Let them know what you're thinking and they'll think the same thing. And then consider your audience reaction. How do you want them to react to your video? There are times when I want people to feel really creeped out, like that first video with the scissors, it was creepy and it was meant to be creepy and I wanted you to watch that and be like, whoa. This person is horrifying and I don't like this. Or you do like it and that's also great. I'm looking for you Samantha for my kin. Yeah. But consider what their reaction will be and really think about that when you're constructing your video because certain lighting, certain tone, certain locations, certain ways of speaking, that's going to cause a different reaction over other things. Plan your shot list. This is the one thing that I'm taking from my film background. It's important to vary your shots when you're creating a video. It's important that you think about an establishing shot which is when you pull back really far and you see the location and you sort of understand where this person is. Now it's not necessary for every type of video but if you are creating something with more of a narrative, can be really, really good to just pull back, take a fresh look at what the situation, if you remember the video in the forest with the fabric over my head, the very first shot was pulled back and then we had me laying on the ground and I was little and then the next shot cuts in a little closer and then a little bit closer and then it pulls back again. When you vary your shots like that, you create a lot of visual interest and people will unknowingly be hooked on it. So something to keep in mind: close-up, medium shot, long shot are all just close-up, medium shot, long shot. Yeah. So it's like charades. This is my absolutely terrible (chuckles) story board. It's really bad. This is a pine cone, right there. I'm just picking up a pine cone. Yep, walking through the forest, bending down, picking up the pine cone, walking away. Yeah, I showed this to my husband and he thought I was supposed to be levitating in that last one, which is a natural progression of thoughts, I think, but anyways. It's not good art, I don't mean for it to be, but this is how I would construct a story board when creating a video, so I'll just draw out my frames, generally place myself, you can see, you can see my carrot nose that I always do so I know which way I'm facing, which is important. And then I always draw my little arrows to show which way I'm walking or moving or if I'm doing something. That one has, number three has no arrows because I'm still in that one, so this is my long shot, medium shot, close-up, long shot. And you can call the first long shot an establishing shot. And the words aren't important. What's important is just to mix it up, to be variant about that. Okay. All right. This is the embarrassing video. But also not embarrassing cuz I actually love it, but you'll see me straight out of bed in my pajamas in the forest. You all spending a lot of time in your pajamas in the forest too? Yeah, why not? Okay so let's take a look at this about me video. A couple of years ago I was in New Zealand and I was rafting through some caves and the instructor asked me if I go on adventures a lot, to which I replied, "Yes, all the time." And I asked him if he does and he said, "Of course," and he told me about how he had just been camping in an underground cave for 10 days. So then naturally he asked me what kind of adventures I go on and I paused and I was really embarrassed because when I said that I go on adventures, I didn't necessarily mean jumping out of airplanes, I meant that my imagination is an adventure and I get to play in the forest all day, and that I create my own little fantasy world. So needless to say, that experience had me thinking a lot about what is adventure and why did I respond so enthusiastically by saying, "Yes, I go on adventures "all the time," if by his standards, I don't. What exactly is adventure? It's not necessarily thrill seeking, but it's a journey that someone takes where you don't know the outcome, you don't know what's going to happen by the time you get to the end of whatever you're doing. And that is why I told that man that I go on adventures all the time because I create these scenarios for myself where I don't know how something is going to end up and that feels like an adventure to me. At the beginning of July, I set a challenge for myself, and that challenge was to create a photo, a video, and a blog post every single day for the whole month of July. So every single day I woke up at 4 a.m., and I headed out into the dark and I waited to see what was going to happen. I had a plan, I had an idea, but not every day went according to plan and not every day saw my idea come to life. There were a lot of journeys where I did not know how they were going to end up, and that ended up being the most blissful part of the entire experience. This July has taught me that commitment is more important than anything else. A commitment to yourself, a commitment to your craft, a commitment to being better than you were the day before. July has taught me that there is so much more beauty than we give the world credit for. That if only you take a moment to lay on the forest floor, you might just find some beautiful little mushrooms, that if you take a moment to look up from what you're doing, you might just see the most glorious rainbow or a beautiful sunrise. And if you take a moment to simply pause in your craft and look at what you're doing more deeply, you may find that you are already exploring the most beautiful depths of yourself. This month has been a struggle. There were mornings where I didn't wanna get up in the morning and images that felt like they were rebelling against being created. There were moments where I doubted myself and my ability to make videos and times where the words just wouldn't come for blog posts. There were times when my computer crashed and times where my car got stuck in the mud. But despite those moments, or maybe even because of those moments, life felt a little bit richer, a little bit more wrought with challenge, which meant that the better moments were even more beautiful. I used to really believe that I had everything figured out, that I knew how to take pictures, that I knew how to make videos, that I knew how to write, that I understood my craft really, really well, and if this month has taught me anything, it's that growth is what we should seek. It's that stagnation is what we must rebel against because it's in growth that we find ourselves, and that we find the person that we could be. I've come to find that that person that I might become is so much more interesting than any other version of my past self, so that's who I'm going to chase, and that's who I'm going to create for. Every time I pull my camera out, every time I have an idea, it'll be that person that I might become that I'm going to pursue my wildest imagination. Okay. So, that was my about me video. And it's not a traditional about me video, I didn't make it to be any one particular thing, but it ended up coming together in such a way that made me feel like I was presenting myself authentically, the ideas that I love to talk about were all there, I had visuals to back them up, so that makes this an ideal candidate for an about me video except that it was five in the morning and I was in my pajamas. Aside from that. Which was unexpected and quite unfortunate. But I kind of felt like I said what I wanted to say and it came out really naturally so I didn't redo it. I'm sure that we've all been there and done that, but yeah so that was the about me video.