We live in a time of disruption and every industry you can think of is changing, in the midst of some sort of upheaval where things are no longer done the way have been for a long, long time. The advertising industry is not immune with the way we see and watch ads shifting in a way where no one really knows where it is headed.
That means the commercial photography business is changing as well and it is becoming very common for photographers to book print campaigns and after the booking have the client ask if they can also shoot motion.
Business card printers have had a small boom as photographers hastily add titles like “Stills/Motion” or “Photographer+Director” (that’s the one I use) to their cards. Some are even letting go of the photographer title all together and just calling themselves “Director”.
Luckily this particular disruption has put me in a pretty good place. Unlike many photographers, I startedÂin the film business and spent years on film sets before jumping over into stills. So I feel just as comfortable with either a video or stills camera in my hand
As a case in point, last year I was hired to shoot the national launch campaign of a foldable bike company called Durban Bikes. They had been big in South America but were looking to move into the North American market in a big way. As part of that, they were also looking for a video they could show as part of a full in-store display.
Durban wanted a lifestyle shoot that highlighted how their bikes appealed to a young, urban generation. They also wanted to show how the bikes were for all riders, whether they folded them to get on the subway or tore up trailsÂ in the Southern California mountains.
So I took my wife out for some test shots and showed them my ideas. They loved them and we headed out for three days of shooting, both stills and motion.
Eventually they used the images across a number of platforms. But the highlight might have been when The Ellen Show gave a Durban Bike to every audience member and they showed the spot I had directed.
It was also great to start creating unified campaigns, being given the creative freedom to do some work I was proud of. Its rare, especially when you are hired to shoot, that you are given the chance to followÂ your inspiration wherever it leads.
So I had a lot of fun on this one and I think it shows.