Why videography is 24 times per second harder…
For every hard working videographer out there, sweating it up on outdoor summer wedding videos, or running and gunning interview and B-Roll at shows or events, or stock video teams needing to blast through 40 plus products in a day, I think we can all agree that we have it so much harder than our photography brethren.
Not to say that photography is “easy” per se, but for every gripe about the difficulties of shooting photography, the same concerns are often exponentially multiplied for videographers. And more often than not, many clients or agencies don’t really know much of the difference between the two.
So, for all those begrudged videographers who have to break their backs while their photography counterparts get all the Instagram glory, here are the seven main reasons that photographers have it easier than videographers.
And why this is complete bullshit.
1) Less Gear to Carry Around
In anticipation of every photographer in the world chiming in painstakingly listing out their closets full of c-stands and studio flash lighting kits, let’s be clear about something. Photography and videography can be pretty similar gear-wise when talking about shooting in controlled settings. However, it’s in the uncontrollable settings where photographers often get to cake walk and cut more corners.
Videographers don’t (or at least probably shouldn’t) run and gun handheld whenever they want. We need tripods, we need sliders, we need steadicam rig that sometimes we have to laboriously attach ourselves into like goddamn Iron Man mechs.
Plus, we have to start bringing in every other item of gear under the sun from sound needs (more on that below) to monitors to external power sources. You don’t see many photographers with rigs built out like this…
2) Price Range of Cameras
And when talking about gear, we have to talk about the most important piece of tools for the trade: cameras. While both photographers and videographers alike are greatly benefiting in a new revolution of prosumer level hybrid photo/video capable digital cameras, the videography industry is the one that has a more distinct line between the “weekend amatuer” camera and the “high end professional” standard.
A photographer can work comfortably with a single (or a couple) DSLR or mirrorless option that costs anywhere from $500 to $5,000. A videographer, meanwhile, can work occasionally with cameras in that range, but for many shoots will either need to rent or consider making a significant investment into high end cinema cameras which can push $10,000 to $20,000 and up.
What’s worse is that as the shoots might demand greater investments into higher dollar cameras (and subsequently gear and equipment), the standard rates for videography work largely remains the same.
3) Constant Lighting vs Flash Lighting
Similarly to the comparison between photographers and videographers working in controlled environments, even these elements are often harsher on videographers in terms of expense and power needs. Photographers much more have the luxury of viewing light as a tool for their compositions, while often videographers often view light as a downright necessity to capture footage at or near native ISO and optimal settings.
This is doubly true when out on shoots where elements aren’t controllable so videographers are often left needing to creatively make use of LEDs and bounce boards just to provide enough light for video capture, while photographers can make more sporadic use of Speedlite flashes and the like.
4) No Audio to Worry About
Perhaps the biggest reason that photographers have it easier than videographers is audio. For your photography friends reading this article, do you even know how to capture usable audio at a wedding or an event? Much less high quality audio for use in short films, documentaries or features?
At any given moment, a videographer is probably thinking 20% about composition for a shot, 30% about lighting and 50% praying to god that the audio they’re getting will be crisp and clear enough to work with on the edit or else entire sections of their work can be rendered near useless.
5) Paid More for Weddings and Events
What’s worse, as I’ve experienced first hand shooting wedding and event highlight videos in the past is the maddening fact that many times photographers can actually be paid MORE for doing LESS work covering the same shows and events. Not even getting into the editing hours (more on THAT below), but just for showing up with your gear in hand an expertise in applying your craft, photography can easily be valued over video for its social media friendly exploits.
Photographers have it pretty sweet most of the time being able to shoot some pretty and stunning images which they can sometimes instantly transfer directly to clients from their cameras. For videographers, the process is much more arduous and time consuming.
6) Capturing Authentic Moments
When covering events - or even working with professional actors and talent for commercial or corporate work - photographers also have some major advantages in capturing authentic looking performances and moments. Every videographer knows the cringe-worthy feeling of walking up to a group of people at an event and raising your camera to capture some footage of an authentic networking moment, only to have everyone turn and smile into the camera - patiently waiting for commands on what to say or do to get a perfect photo snapped.
People are much less comfortable and open to videographers approaching them looking for B-Roll footage, or acting out scenes of happiness, connection or whatever desired emotions are needed for your video.
7) Editing Time
And finally, despite photographers best efforts to prove that digital photo editing is anywhere as difficult and long of a process as it was to develop film roll negatives by hand in darkrooms, the differences between digital photo editing and digital video editing can be a matter of days versus weeks or months.
Yes working on images in Lightroom and Photoshop can be laborious at times trying to create the perfect composition (and even in adding different elements of light and color), it’s nowhere near as mind and time consuming as the multi-stepped process of reviewing sometimes hours of footage, timeline editing, motion graphics and overnight exports.
And let’s not even get started on the client review process. I’ve never heard of a photographer getting client feedback asking for them to rearrange the order of their photos to “make them quicker” or any of the countless revision requests videographers have to deal with on pretty much every project.