Difference Between Photography & Videography


Use Your Photography Skills to Master Videography


Lesson Info

Difference Between Photography & Videography

When I think about kind of the differences between photography and video I think about it in this way. I think of photography as kind of being in a vice. You've got the four frames of your image, and those are kind of in this vice where it's being compressed. And this is a good thing, photography requires this. You've got a very small amount of time, you've got one image, and you've got these four frames that are kind of finite. So it's about compressing those four corners of the frame until everything is in there, as many layers as possible in your image, the kind of right light, the right amount of information, the right sense of ambiguity if it needs to be there, but everything is tight, tight, tight. And a lot of the photographic training is about squeezing this stuff into that frame in a very good way. Video is kind of about taking those four corners and starting to stretch them out a little bit, and it's about kind of not being as perfect. In video, it's about kind of starting fr...

om a little bit of a place of imperfection, moving into the spot where everything kind of works together for some kind of magical moment, and then kind of gets out of there. And that if it's only about this tight, tight compression, it's perfect here, it's perfect here, it's perfect here, you don't quite have this sense of flow. So, for me, video has really been about kind of taking this idea, and expanding it out, and thinking about it's not just what's in the frame, it's about a little bit of what's beyond the frame. In the same way that photography can sometimes, you know, have this evocative sense where you kind of want to understand what's beyond the frame, or understand what someone's looking at, in video it allows you to kind of think beyond the walls and the corners of this thing. That you might move your camera, so you might eventually pan over to something that in the moment you're not seeing, but also, that even if your camera is totally still, which is a lot of how beginners start, and it's definitely how I started, even if your camera is totally still there's things kind of moving in and out of your frame. So it's not compressed and tight in the same way, it's about kind of allowing it to breathe a little bit. And that takes a little getting used to, and is also really liberating. These two things will really help, you know, inform one another. Yeah. How does videography differ from filmography, or is there a difference? For me, I'm really using these things interchangeably. Like cinematography, filmography, videography, you know, I'm using them all interchangeably. Obviously, people can shoot to actual film, you know, there are cameras where you can still shoot on film stock, I'm talking about digital videography. But, you know, for me this is all just about the language of cinema. Great. Step one is really that you've got to press the record button. The way that I first started, you know, I just said earlier on that it's not about someone asking you to do it, it's about you going out and doing it yourself, which I believe in. It's not totally true, the first thing that I ever did was that I had shot some stills for the Musician Moby, and based on that work, and based on some of my previous work, he asked if I would make a music video for an upcoming album. And I didn't know how to make a music video, or I didn't know how to do any video, but you just don't say no to things, you just say yes. So the very, very first step, and the very first thing I ever did was I just went out and pressed that, you know, that red button, or whatever color it is on your camera, and out of that made a ton of mistakes. And, obviously, didn't know some of things that I was doing, and there were some technical problems, and there were some storytelling problems, but also, that very first step of just doing it is like the most important step, and just going out and shooting. Actually, the very first thing I shot for him I did as like study footage. The idea was that I was going to, I wanted to just shoot something that I already knew very well. It was someone who I had been photographing for a few years, so I went out and shot video of her because I wanted to study it, and then hire someone else to kind of stand in for her, and use what I learned by that very first time to then apply it to something I can do better. In the end I actually used that very first material, that like very first, first time pressing record, first time allowing the, you know, material to just build up in my camera. That's the stuff that I ended up using. And I still think that there were lots of lessons that I learned and continue to use that I learned because I just didn't know better. And there is something about doing it, figuring out what those things are, and just using some of that in your toolkit, rather than always kind of studying first, and then going out and executing. Sometimes you have to execute to know the things that you like and know how to do.

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!