Hybrid eScape created for Serenbe, GA

You have probably heard the term “hybrid photography” by now. Hybrid photography is basically the idea of using still images and moving images together instead of only using one or the other. A lot of professional photographers are finding out that adding video to their still photography packages is a great way to help their work stand out among their peers. Most of the press I’ve seen about hybrid photography (AK “photo fusion”) has been focused on people photography like portraits or weddings. If you’ve seen my work you know that I shoot al sorts of subjects, so a technique that is strictly for weddings or portraits is not necessarily for me.

I wanted to share some tips with you for adding video into your “everyday” photography. These techniques apply whether you’re shooting people, landscape, travel, or whatever else you may find in front of your camera.

1. Focus on your subject and not your gear.

You don’t have to have a fancy video rig with mounts and sliders and follow-focus to capture a great moving image. Use the tools you have and look for interesting subjects in good light… just like you do with your still photos.

2. Don’t try to get fancy with camera moves.

There are always a few people in a hybrid class who immediately try to pan their cameras with their ball-heads, only to find out that ball-heads are meant to hold a camera STILL. Unless you have the right tools for moving a camera during video capture it is hard to get good results. Let your subject do the moving, at least when you’re getting started.

3. Look for beautiful natural light for your video clips.

There are many ways to create beautiful light for shooting video. Unfortunately most of them are still pretty expensive and take a bit of getting used to. It is fairly easy to add a small LED as a fill light for portraits, but it is not exactly like throwing a speed light into the mix. Practice getting great video in natural light before exploring the world of constant light.

4. Shoot wide stills and tight video.

When I create my hybrid “eScapes” to showcase photos and videos I like to have wide establishing shots, medium shots and tight detail shots. I find that still photos work best for the wide shots, and moving pictures add more drama to my tight shots. This is totally a mater of preference, but this is what works for me.

5. Try adding video into a smile slideshow.

One of my early roadblocks for shooting video was the output. I didn’t know what I was going to DO with the videos, so I didn’t bother shooting any. I found a workflow that works great for me when I started using slideshow software like ProShow Web to combine still photos and video clips into a unified presentation. Just think of video clips as a way to jazz-up your slideshows.

I hope these tips et you interested in shooting video. If you’re already shooting video, I hope you learned at least a little something.

If you’re interested in trying ProShow Web you can use the discount code “ROB20” at photodex.com to save on your subscription.

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