Transitioning from photography to multimedia
Some of the most talented multimedia producers in our industry today actually started their careers as photographers. Photographers make up the majority of staffs at nearly every inspirational multimedia company – Media Storm, Bombay Flying Club, Talking Eyes Media, Weyo, and Story4, to name a few. Whether out of necessity or personal aspiration, these photographers have successfully made the transition to multimedia production and now use their still cameras as only one storytelling option. So why did they do it, how were they successful, and how can you follow their lead?
While at The Roanoke Times, I worked under Seth Gitner, a former photographer who transitioned to multimedia in 1998 “when he discovered the power of pairing recorded audio with still photographs.” Seth now teaches multimedia journalism at Syracuse University, and has made several large contributions to the field of multimedia. While there I also worked alongside many talented photographers, including Josh Meltzer. Josh made his first audio slideshow in 1999, and has since seamlessly integrated video and audio into his storytelling. I watched as he mastered the art of videography during the production of “Age of Uncertainty,” a project that won POYi’s “Documentary Project of the Year.”
During the 2007 Poynter Summer Fellowship I remember being inspired by Julia Robinson, a photographer who knocked out an amazing audio slideshow one week, followed by an excellent video the next. And, to top it off, she’s still a great photographer! Check out a gallery of her favorite images from 2009 to see for yourself.
Above all, I must give due credit to Joe Weiss, whose multimedia programming skills brought about Soundslides which allowed photographers to more easily create multimedia by pairing audio with their photos.
I’m assuming you all have someone in mind when you think of a photographer who excels at both photography and multimedia. So how do they do it? Practice, read, learn, and practice.
There are excellent resources out there for photographers wanting to learn how to shoot for video, or double task to record audio and take photos in the field. Below is a list of 20 such resources from some of my favorite blogs to get you started:
How to make your audio slideshows better
Great audio starts in the field
How best to approach a video story
Sequencing: The foundation of video storytelling
How to make your video editing easier
Ten Tips for Working With Music in Multimedia
Advice to Multimedia Producers
Ten Ways To Improve Your Multimedia Production Right Now
MediaStormâ€™s Multiclip Workflow
What is a story?
Three Steps to Improving Your Multimedia Video
Multimedia Rules to Live By and Seven Steps to Training Yourself
Shooting multimedia: a lot to juggle
Five myths about shooting video
10 new years resolutions to make you a better multimedia journalist
The powers and problems of the audio slideshow
How to create video storytelling that actually tells a story
How to shoot great video quickly and efficiently
8 Ways to save money on your next multimedia project
Multimedia… but why?
So there you have it. Take a baby step and pick up a video camera or audio recorder next time you are in the field. Or, flip through an introduction to programming book the next time you are in a book store. I promise you that it will be an exhilarating journey and one you will never regret!
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Tags: 10000 Words, Adam Westbrook, Josh Meltzer, Julia Robinson, Mastering Multimedia, MediaStorm, multimedia, Multimedia Shooter, photography, Seth Gitner