When To…

Is it just us or does everyone and their mom know “a guy with a camera”. With technology continually advancing, and consumer level equipment getting better and better, the gap between professional and hobbyist seems to be narrowing every day. It used to be easy making the decision on whether to have uncle Jim video your wedding or get a pro to do it. Or if you should have your 18-year-old niece, “the budding photographer”, take your family photos or get them from the pro’s. The decision was simple because it came down to some very basic things, cost and quality. With family or friends doing the work, you were almost always guaranteed to save tons of cash, but the quality…well that depended on how many drinks uncle Jim had during the reception, or whether your niece’s “vision” for the ultimate epic portrait is something you’ll actually want to put on the holiday card. Going with a professional inevitably costs more, but you knew without a doubt that the end result would be beautiful because their equipment was really expensive and they had the software to make the finished product look amazing.

Nowadays those decisions aren’t so easy, because high quality equipment and software are available to everyone. Digital SLR cameras are in almost every household, and finding someone using a video camera that shoots anything less than full 1080P HD is not likely. Along with that, high quality computers now have video and photo editing software preinstalled. It’s no wonder why it’s so hard to know when to or even if you should “Go Pro”! But that’s where we can help! First we want to give you some basic differences between hobbyists and professionals in the video and photo world. Hobbyists are interested…Professionals are passionate. A hobbyist will, from time to time, “play” with their equipment, maybe do some research, and even go to a workshop or watch an online tutorial. They might subscribe to a magazine or two and dabble in the latest software.

Professionals eat, sleep and breathe their craft. They dedicate their lives to fully understanding the ins and outs of the field, and they are passionate about continuing to learn. They know everything there is to know about the equipment they use, and everything there is to know about your equipment too! You know how they say it takes 10,000 hours to become a professional at something…well that rule doesn’t somehow go away for photography and cinematography.

Yes, there is art to what we do, and you can have an “eye” for the visual, but you also need the passion and dedication. You need technical knowledge and skill. You need a lot more than just interest and semi professional equipment. So next time you have something you want photographed or videotaped, you need to ask yourself some questions.

1. Is it important? Is it important enough to ensure a quality, finished product, or is it something that you won’t lose sleep over if it doesn’t turn out the way you wanted. You can’t expect a friend to dish out award winning stuff, but you can from a professional.

2. Is it worth the cost? Professionals can be expensive, but they are for a reason. The same goes for the hobbyists…they are usually cheap, if not free, and that is for a reason.

3. What is it for? If you’re a business trying to take your marketing to the next level, are you going to spend valuable resources purchasing a camera and some other basic equipment because you think, “anyone can make a movie!?” No. Have you seen those local car commercials on TV? Definitely not professionally made! You will have far better success, and make a much larger impact going with a professional. It might cost more upfront, but the long term gain will be worth it. However, if you’re a parent who wants a video montage of their kid’s sports career, than there is no need to spend a higher amount for a professional when you can get more than adequate results from the hobbyist for less. As a professional video production company, we want you to be aware that it isn’t always the best idea to go with “The guy with a camera”, but it’s sometimes not the best idea to use someone like us either. That’s why its important to take the time to ask yourself the necessary questions first, before choosing if and when you should “Go Pro.” Thanks for reading, and remember that we are always only a phone call or email away. If you have any questions, we’re always happy to help!

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