Use Your Photography Skills to Master Videography

Lesson 2/37 - Challenges of Moving into Videography


Use Your Photography Skills to Master Videography


Lesson Info

Challenges of Moving into Videography

I think that there are some challenges about moving into videography, and the first one, I think, is very emotional. So, there is this feeling that video is this thing that other people do. And that there's a little bit of a barrier between your skillset and this other skillset. And I think originally that was a feeling that I definitely had about photography. I had always done photography in high school and in college. I'd always loved it I had always shot I was always decent at it. And I was like, "I loved this thing." And then I was a public school teacher. And it was like this thing where "Oh photography is this thing that other people do." And then there was this kind of light bulb moment where I realized that the pictures in the magazine had been taken by someone and then that someone could just be me. And that wasn't that big of an obstacle. And the transition into video is the same. Of course you have to equip yourself and that's kind of what this class is about. You have to le...

arn the things that I was talking about that we'll go over today, as well as tomorrow. We're gonna talk about sound, we're gonna talk about how to log your footage. We're gonna to talk about camera choices, and lenses. You have to equip yourself and get a set of tools, but the first thing that's emotional can be overcome, which is that photography and video are linked. And you are allowed to kind of give yourself permission to move ahead and do it and not necessarily feel held back because you didn't go to film school or it's this thing that other people do. This is really also about saying "You can press this record button and move forward." The second obstacle, I really think, is a practical one. There are things about gear that we're gonna go over. There are things about story and how to structure, there's things about how to cover a scene and to make a scene. How to think about a short film. How to think about a long film. And kind of how to put these elements together that are very real. I think the very first steps of doing video for me which is that I would go out with a camera and I'd just shoot a lot of stuff and I'd come back and be like, "Someone can make something out of this, right?" And that's not totally true. It's kind of some puzzle pieces, and that puzzle has to kind of fit together. And so we're going to get to that. But these challenges are overcomeable. If that's a word. So there also, I just want to keep reiterating this, that these two skills are incredibly linked. This is actually a film still. So this is from video. And just as kind of a freeze frame on the video, and this absolutely could've been one of my photographs. This absolutely could've been something that was just taken out of 60th of a second. And it's this sensibility, this kind of understanding of what could be a photo that can really lend itself to video. So by the end of this, what I want you to be able to walk away with is I want you to kind of think about the gear and technical considerations and I want you to be able to walk out of here, feeling like you've got that kind of managed, so that you can take at very least step one, if not step two and three. I want you to also be able to walk out of here and think about what projects are well-suited for video. Not everything is video, and not everything is a stills project. And be able to kind of think about what are the differences, and what kind of stories lend themselves to these things. And I definitely want you to be able to step out of here and know how to shoot for an editor. Think about what that is about. I always think, especially coming to this kind of as a newbie, or coming to this from a different background, I always kind of have this feeling where I want the editors I work with to like, have a crush on me. And not like a romantic crush, but I want to not only do work that I'm proud of, but I want to be able to kind of win over the hearts of the other part of this equation, which is the editing part, because I know that I'm coming to this, kind of from a different background, and I want to be able to kind of convert them and be able to work with them, and have them say, "Oh, Jessica really knows how to shoot for us," or "Jessica really knows how to be organized and deliver us things so that they're ready." I want to have a very tight and close relationship with the editors that I work with. And this class is really made for I'd say this group of people. One is that photographers who want to learn video, and are a little bit freaked out. And people with photography backgrounds, because I think so much of that will help. You do not have to have a photography background, and these days kind of everyone has a photography background. Because everyone owns a cellphone. But this is very much geared towards people with photography backgrounds. People that are photographers currently, and have basically the camera that they're gonna use already anyway, this is not necessarily about going out and buying new gear, although I have some gear recommendations and things that I like to use, and I will definitely talk about that, but most of you probably already have the camera and I can't imagine that there are that many DSLR's or digital cameras out there these days that don't have a video function. So why not just learn how to use it? And also, this is made for people that do video already and want to kind of take a refresher class. Yes, a question. I love questions. So Jessica, when you first started out, I'm assuming you shot, edited, did everything solo? That is a great question, and the answer to that is no. And I actually would really encourage for others for that answer to be no as well. So one of the things is that learning videography is such a new thing, and such a kind of crazy beast to wrap your head around. To begin with, editing is like this whole other skill as well. And I really kind of encourage people. One of the ways that your video is going to sing the best, A is if you do your job and you do your job well, but you doing your job well means that your editor is going to be able to do his or her job the best. And that's really kind of gonna be where your work sings. It's very different than stills in that if I did a stills assignment, I probably would never walk into an editor and show them everything, but like a really rough - I would never walk in and just give over my card and say, "Look at every frame that I took." That's like showing someone my underwear drawer. But I would make a selection and say, "Okay, this is kind of basically what I did, and take a look." And people would kind of get it. In video, it is so messy, until it's not messy, it's so kind of all over the place. Until it's not. That you really need a great editor. And so I would say that at first I did everything in terms of finding my own projects, giving myself the permission to do it rather than waiting to be hired by someone, you know just like going ahead and saying "Well, other people do video, I can do video as well." And just kind of going ahead and doing it, instead of waiting to be asked. But that when it came to the editing part, I found collaborators right off the bat. And I believe in them, I can edit a little bit, but I really don't want to. Cause I know that that's not my skill, it's a whole other class, it's probably a creative live class, if it's not, it should be. But it's its whole other skill. Same thing with sound in some ways, and we're going to talk about sound a lot tomorrow. But there is something really amazing about learning how to do your own sound, but there's also something really amazing about letting someone else do it. Because it is its own skill. It's its own job. It's someone's specific job that they do on their own. I happen to do my own sound, and again we'll talk about this much more when we get to that part, but when it's someone's own job, you think, "Wow, it takes that much to kind of get into it."

Class Description

Just because you’re a photographer doesn’t mean you can’t shoot compelling video. If you have a digital SLR, you have the equipment. If you’re a photographer who loves to tell captivating visual stories, you have the passion and the necessary skills. It doesn’t matter whether you want to create powerful short films about global issues or take videos of your friends on vacation: all it takes to start being a successful videographer is strong photography skills.

Join VII Agency photojournalist Jessica Dimmock for this class, and you’ll learn:

  • How to storyboard to create a strong narrative
  • How to properly capture sound and voiceover while on a shoot
  • How to shoot for an editor and to think with the edit in mind
Jessica has traveled the world in the pursuit of powerful stories. Her work has been published in publications like the New Yorker and Time, and has been exhibited in galleries around the globe. Her skill with a camera allowed her to pivot into videography, where she created music videos, short projects and feature films. Becoming a filmmaker as well as a photographer opened up a new form of media for her stories - and doubled her day rate. Draw in new clientele and start expressing your creativity in new ways!  


a Creativelive Student

I have been waiting for a course like this. Purchasing it was a no-brainer. Taught by an accomplished professional in the field, with a strong track record of high level work, Jessica Dimmock, I feel, is exactly the type of instructor Creative Live should be giving air time to. I have watched other Videography classes on Creative Live, and this was the first one that I felt was worth purchasing due to how much info was being shared, in a very methodical, easy to follow (but not dumb downed) fashion.

a Creativelive Student

This class has left me feeling very encouraged and inspired about getting into videography. Jessica has made some great work, in her short career with video, and was able to share what she learned through those experiences. She started out as a photographer and has now incorporated video into her skill set and it seems to have expanded the diversity her opportunities and has enriched what she produces and shares with the world. I look forward to doing the same thing in my own way. Thanks CL for another wonderful class.


Simultaneously broad and deep, the information Jessica covers and the way she delivers it really give you the feeling you can jump into video right away. Professionalism in every area, from prep steps to workflow in the field to clean organization and processing, inspires confidence in the value of her methods. She clearly learned most of this in the field over years of work, which means the rest of us now have a huge leg up on our first projects. Thank you so much!