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Use Your Photography Skills to Master Videography

Lesson 7 of 37

Gear to Stabilize Your Camera

Jessica Dimmock

Use Your Photography Skills to Master Videography

Jessica Dimmock

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Lesson Info

7. Gear to Stabilize Your Camera

Lesson Info

Gear to Stabilize Your Camera

In the kind of more fleshed-out version of the film, obviously, like, you have to... I bet there is an art film or, like, a great kind of artistic experiment out there where, like, everything is taken just from the perspective of still photography, but in order to kind of keep a narrative going, you want to be able to move down a hallway with someone, especially in the situation, it was a story about a young woman who was taking care of a guy in a vegetative state all alone, nearby to here, on Whidbey Island. And so it was just about her kind of being in this house with this man, so a very kind of limited environment, limited set, but yet you wanna be able to, like, move with her from her bedroom, let's say, down the hallway to where he is, or from the door of the house out into the forest. You wanna be able to kind of go from Point A to Point B, and in the way that I was shooting, I was so limited to just kind of sticking right on top of her because I just couldn't do anything, even s...

tanding at eye length, at kind of, you know, just being at eye level, even if I wasn't going to move the camera, without being able to kinda lock myself into some kind of, like, human tripod position, it was very difficult to kind of stand fully upright like this and keep the camera steady. And so for all of that, the other DP was able to do this stuff much more easily, and coming out of that moment and coming out of working in that situation, I was like, okay, now we gotta, like, up the ante again. First I was afraid to do anything, then I realized if I pressed record, I already knew how to do a bunch of stuff, but now this is the next thing I've gotta kind of conquer, and that's figuring out how to stabilize your camera. So you've got some options. I'm really only gonna talk about the top three today because these are the things I use and I don't wanna kind of lead you down paths that I don't know much about. There are more kind of complicated stabilizations that, like, you use Gimbal systems. There are all types of kind of tricks and tools that you can use. Steadicams, which require steadicam operators. But for my own purposes, for run and gun, all of that stuff, I wanna talk about monopods, shoulder rigs, and tripods. So the shoulder rig, which you see me shooting with here, is really what I use most of the time. It's what I have shot the majority of my work on since doing that film, and I like it for a bunch of reasons. One, that you can see here, is that I find it relatively mobile, and it's the reason that I'm not talking about kind of those more complicated systems at the bottom of that list here, is that these are not necessarily things that I can go out and shoot with all day, and I am, a a documentarian, I am an all day shooter. So when I think about shooting, for me personally, I'm like, can I do this for 10 hours? I might be very cranky after those 10 hours. It, like, some of this stuff is physically demanding and does hurt. But I can do it. I can hold it, I can manage it, and I can go out, you know, even to, this was very close to here, up in the mountains. One of the people that I was following was gonna go cut down her own Christmas tree. I wanted to make sure I had it. And a system like this is totally mobile and I could've followed her to go hiking and all of these things. So let's look at what that actually is. I'm gonna set it up for you a little bit, and I'm gonna set it up here because I also want you to see that this is not, it's not only about being mobile once you're out there shooting, but also that, like, from being at home into out shooting is not an all-day process or an all-day setup. It's something that, you know, you can basically do in a few minutes and then you're ready to go out the door.

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!  

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Gear List

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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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!