Whether you are a photographer, filmmaker, online retailer, blogger, or anyone else who uses a camera, you need to be benefitting from the blur...
The photography / video industries are wildly controversial at the moment. There are a boatload of professional photographers that simply want to focus on one thing, and that is photography. They could care less about video features. Yet, for some their businesses are suffering because the industry is inundated with competition from weekend warriors creating photographs on the cheap and excited newcomers doing the same. We built our business on quality high end work vs. quantity, but that gets harder by the day for the next generation to grow into because they just don't always value their work or time the way my generation has. You can't really blame them of course. If you grew up in an economy of scarcity you too might not believe that your time was valuable, and your most precious asset. Supply and demand is always a struggle, so it's hard to learn because jobs in creativity come in waves, and you live in fear of missing the best wave. Simply put, the oversaturated middle and low end of the industry is taking a beating at the moment, and many won't survive without thinking outside the simple elevator pitch they all use which is "I am a photographer".
Video on the other hand has bled into our sacred industry, and basically taken over the technology headlines. Those that have embraced video, and those built their careers on it have a slew of creative options, and things to be excited about with new cameras being released every few months touting upgraded features that make their lives easier. A few years ago the cameras that would be backbreaking on a long day of shooting now fit in the palm of your hand. Where you once needed a full blown shoulder rig, we now have 5 Axis, and even dual image stabilization, in systems like the Panasonic GX8 and GX85. Video artists have pro features like peaking, zebras, and even Log profiles at their fingertips in cameras like the Lumix GH4 along with slow motion, quality audio, and more. It's all the buzz, and it's pretty exciting if you are smart enough to realize it's potential.
However, I bring all of this up not to talk about camera specs. All cameras are cool these days. I bring it up simply because our company is experiencing something that is very interesting. We are "benefiting from the blur" of video and stills conversion because we made some smart moves over the past several years. Truth be told, our moves probably saved our business because it allowed us to introduce new products while the economy was tanking and the industry was being overwhelmed by newcomers. Our photography and video clients at Maring Visuals love the new services that we offer. Not only has it doubled our opportunities for assignments, it has allowed our clients to find one place that that they trust to do everything exquisitely. It has also organically increased the creative side of our marketing at the same time making what we share more noticeable.
First and foremost we consider ourselves artists, but we also consider ourselves futurists. From experience I feel confident saying that it is smart think beyond the nostalgia of past business models from yesteryear, or even last year for that matter. We have realized that we can't go backwards and repeat what is lost, but we can embrace what's ahead, and grow personally, which is of course also an important side of growing financially. However, we also know is that trying to stay in the past is no answer to financial success in the future, so we are in constant motion even though that can be exhausting at times. We have never based our careers on money, because in this crazy economy, that is out of our control. As an artist, if you never base your career on money you will never lose because each day you get better and grow in some form and fashion. Tomorrow you will be smarter than today, and really that is all we can bet on. Yet by doing so, we have managed to succeed by falling in love with what we do, and working hard at it every single day.
Artists... First and Foremost
A lot happens in a year, and while technology doesn't make you better at what you do, it can unveil possibilities, and for us it most certainly has. If you have been paying attention you know that, we launched a fashion line this year called Charlee Fine Art Fashions in which we create wearable art. We photograph my expressionist paintings, and have the images printed on luxurious fabrics, and then have them sewn into dresses, skirts, scarfs, leggings, T-Shirts, and more. However, what we have realized is that our cameras do so much more for us than take pictures. Because we are Lumix based photographers these days we have a slew of features at our fingertips that have allowed us to create content on all different levels. We use every feature the cameras have to offer from 4K Video from which we can pull high resolution printable stills, we use slow motion video which allows us to create dazzling Instagram advertisements and fashion films, we use the stop motion features for some unique edgy fashion work, Time Lapse features for scene setters, and more. Lumix has built a lineup of cameras that just blows our mind, and we literally couldn't run our company as creatively without them.
We see rumors now being posted about the next generational of cameras the Lumix GH5. Online rumor sites are saying it could offer 6K video, 10bit 422, Log profiles, 60p 4K video, and more with extended low light and 5 Axis stabilization. There is no way to know until it is launched, but if all of this is true we are in for an even more amazing year in 2017 in terms of creative deliverables.
Again, if you are in business as a camera based artist, you need to be benefitting from the blur. Whether you are a blogger, online retailer, fine artist, or you create as a professionally for others there is so much to gain by adopting camera systems that do more than take great stills. Take advantage of these technologies now and get to know them as we are starting to see a movement in the photographic industry, as it is in fact time to take notice.. If you don't you are missing out on opportunities, greater enjoyment of photography, and a lot of fun as a creative entrepreneur.