Bridging the gap…
I had a situation recently when being vetted out for a cameraman job on small documentary where the director took objection to the still photography side of my career. What I mean is that he considered me a still photographer and not a motion photographer. I was solidly recommended for the shoot by a person for whom I’d done video work in the past. As many freelancers do, I found myself position of explaining who I was and what I do. Apparently I seem to occupy a less than common niche of a pro-shooter that professes to be able to shoot moving and still pictures.
Why the big deal? Well for starters all my mentors in this field told me to pick a niche and then do it well. I followed this advice wholeheartedly, not only wedding myself to the medium of 35mm photography, but also to the subject matter. The jack of all trades approach was specifically discouraged. Climbing, mountaineering, snowboarding was my life and the subject of my photography. Things change. At this point not only has my subject matter greatly expanded but also the medium.
In late 2001 I immersed myself in the world of moving pictures; specifically online video. I studied and practiced and learned as much as I possibly could at the time. When no one would hire me to shoot video, I went out and made my own movies (most of which are so bad I’m embarrassed to show them). In that process I found there was a need for pro “image makers” that could be versatile and shoot still and video in the field and deliver it in near real time.
Great framing, composition, and lighting are critical whether your watching a movie or looking at a still photograph and that’s how I explain myself. On the video side I love the added elements of sound and story telling. On the still side the underestimated power of a single image which can move someone to tears or inspire a nation will never stop luring me.