Intro by Skip Cohen
With each guest post in Luminary Corner, I'm blown away by the diversity of these artists. They're an incredibly talented group of people, but even more impressive than their skill set is the passion they have for the craft. Over and over again they're pushing the envelope with a never-ending display of game-changing creativity.
What a kick to have this post this morning from Giulio Sciorio. Check out his website and pay close attention to his workshop schedule. He's teaching some outstanding concepts in hybrid technology and animated portraits. Here's your chance to bring a new dimension to your work.
You'll also find the latest from Giulio and the other members of the LUMIX Luminary team in the LUMIX Lounge, a great place to follow their infectious creativity!
It’s been two years since I sold my DLSR and took on shooting with a small camera full time. As a photographer that learned on larger film cameras, the transition was an adventure in art and emotion. I grew up with Hasselblad and Nikon film cameras then moved onto the DSLR in 2005. While the move from analog to digital was pretty straightforward, it was still risky in some ways. I had many fears that came to the surface that I had to address before moving forward, but eventually I was able to overcome my fears and move into the exciting new world of digital photography.
Moving from a large “serious” looking camera to a small mirrorless camera was both challenging and exciting for me at the same time. However, there were some similarities with this transition to mirrorless as to the move from analog to digital. Overall the joy’s outweigh the challenges which is why I never went back to a DSLR. Below are some joy’s and challenges that I had to deal with when moving to a small camera. I hope these help you think differently about photography, creativity and running a smart business.
A small and light camera means I can take my Lumix with me everywhere I go: Joy - Being able to take a camera as small as a GM1 or even my GH4 (when I need a full featured hybrid camera) means I can take a camera with publishable image quality everywhere. I’m not relying on my iPhone as my take along camera anymore. Plus on assignments, my Lumix kit is half the weight of my DSLR’s. My back don’t scream at me the day after a long shoot anymore.
Clients won’t take me seriously: Challenge - Like most creative challenges, this challenge is one that lived in my head. Thing is clients hire me because of my artistic vision and that I deliver that vision on time and on budget (most of the time). That said, I eased my clients into the idea of seeing me show up with a camera that looks half the size and one that might be silver with a red strap. :-) As part of my marketing efforts I shoot personal assignments and share with my clients. I shot a few personal assignments with my small camera and presented them to my clients. Their response was quite favorable which is when I told them it was with a small camera. Their response to my openness was to give me assignments based on my personal work. That is when I started to shoot assignments exclusively with a mirrorless camera.
If you’re selling your vision it don’t matter what you shoot with. No one can replace you regardless of camera.
Shooting lighter meant shooting faster: Joy! - My first assignment with the Lumix GH3 was an experience in ease. The gear is so much lighter and faster to setup (I practice pre-processing) that when I show up on the shoot I already have my desired looks built in. This allows me to shoot full sized JPEG’s with RAW’s and in tight deadline I deliver the full sized JPEG’s to the client via Dropbox while at the shoot. I’m able to offer such a fast turn around because I preprocess my images, I get a live view of what I’m capturing and I’ll transfer the JPEG’s to my iOS device over WiFi which backs up to Dropbox automatically. Bonus - because I’ve been able to shoot faster than before I began to make it a practice of shooting short video clips with each shoot regardless if asked or not. Because the camera has a true live view I don’t guess what the final shot will look like. I can see it live which at that point I just capture either a still, a short motion clip or both at the same time. Everything looks the same, I can deliver over the web right away which means I’m my clients hero. I’m going above and beyond and I have more media to license which means more money.
Shooting video like a photographer: Joy! - This is the biggest joy for me. Video is the future, the sooner photographers come to grips with this the better. Once you realized that the mirror’s in cameras are going away and embrace the advantages of a live view camera, shooting video is straight forward and easy. Like many when I got my first DSLR that shot video, the 5DMKII the first thing I did was shoot video and like many I discovered how hard to shoot video with a DSLR is. I suddenly could not use the viewfinder. The autofocus no longer worked and the video looked nowhere near as nice as my stills. It was like I had two cameras in one. Suddenly I had to start thinking about my shoots like a still photographer and like a filmmaker. Thing is I’m not a filmmaker, I’m a photographer and I want to shoot my video with the eye of a photographer. I want my video to have it’s soul rooted in still photography.
In my head I wanted to see my still photography take on new life, in 2009 most of my marketing was done online. If my work is being seen on a screen far more than a print I need to make my art for screen media and if I could I’m at an advantage. Thing is by the time I setup my DSLR to shoot video I had spent 30 minutes extra to setup not to mention thousands of dollars in gear. This really kills the pace of the shoot not to mention prices most shoots out of budget for video which is not the way to grow a business.
Video and Still example of an assignment for Panasonic’s GM1 Launch:
Shooting with a camera that is designed for both still and motion I can finally shoot video with the heart and soul of still photograph. I’m not making movies remember, I’m simply shooting a few clips of video with each setup. Using a hybrid camera like the GH3/GH4 that has a true live view of exposure and focus (other mirrorless cameras simulate the live view) I don’t have to guess what the photo/video is going to look like. My autofocus works the same regardless of what mode I’m in and the video and stills have the same look! Add to that I can trim my video in camera if I need to and I can deliver a full sized JPEG, and HD or 4K video clip right from the camera.
So within the 30 minutes it would take for me to just setup my DSLR for video I can complete a full hybrid shoot with still + (motion + sound) plus setup, breakdown.
Growing my Business: Joy! - Any transition to new technology in a particular industry has it’s benefits and challenges. That said I must add that this transition from DSLR and static photos to a hybrid camera (specifically the Lumix GH) was easier than I thought. Most all the fears I had were in my head which I had to overcome by facing the challenges head on. Any smart business owner makes time to look for new ways to grow their business. Since I’m able to shoot faster than before, adding on hybrid products (still + video + sound) was a no brainer. Understanding that core concept that with a Lumix camera I can shoot video using the same settings as my still photographer was one of the biggest breakthroughs in my career.
As a business owner that sells media (my products) I can now capture more media (still, video and sound) in less time which makes me more profit. The fact that the camera is lighter, smaller and less costly is icing on the cake.
Welcome to Luminary Corner. Besides being a recognized member of the professional photographic community, each post author is a member of Panasonic's LUMIX Luminary team.