I’m happy to kick off the 2020s at Photography Life by announcing a new weekly series of Youtube videos, including one I’ve published today. This video covers a bunch of ways to take better photos with any camera.
I will say, this new series might seem suspiciously familiar if you followed Photography Life last year! We did a bit of a Youtube experiment already, releasing several videos in early to mid 2019.
It was partly a success, too. Our macro photography tutorial got some significant traction, and a few other videos are humming along at a solid pace as well.
In other ways, it was… let’s say, a learning opportunity. Some of the videos last year garnered fewer than 4000 views, including a couple that took me the longest amount of time to make. And then a ten-day travel hiatus killed the experiment (and my goal of one video per week) when I ran out of videos to post.
I’ve had plenty of time since then to take a step back and figure out what worked and what didn’t. Part of what didn’t work was timing. Videos take much longer to make than articles – in fact, about three times as long. Splitting my attention between writing articles and filming videos (I wanted to maintain a schedule of 1-2 articles per week as well as a video) just wasn’t a long-term solution.
This year, I’m sticking to a hard schedule of one video per Friday. As excited about that as I am, there’s no way around the fact that I’ll have less time to write articles as a result. Last year’s videos were a great trial balloon, but if this is to be a sustainable project (which we really want it to be), the only reasonable solution is to shift my attention in the direction of video.
Of course, I’m sure that more than 99% of our readers care about Photography Life because of our articles, not our videos. To me, compared to an article, videos are easier to watch without really paying attention, and they can be a waste of time if you’re not careful. It may be 2020, but the written word is still the internet’s lifeblood when it comes to learning about photography.
That said, videos have a ton of power if they’re done right. Some demonstrations just don’t translate well to paper (or the digital equivalent). There’s no denying that photography is an intensely visual medium, and video is, in theory, almost a perfect match for explaining the ins and outs of photography.
I’m trying to keep that framework in mind as I work on this series. I have to admit, I’m not much of a Youtube watcher myself! I suspect a lot of Photography Life readers are the same way, even as Youtube has been growing dramatically in recent years. My hope is that you’ll consider our series anyway if you’re on the fence.
And of course we won’t stop writing articles. For now I’m the only writer on the PL team who’s planning to spend a lot of time on Youtube videos. Nasim and others will still write a ton of reviews, tutorials, tips, and all the camera-war clickbait Buzzfeed quizzes you could ever need. (Scratch that last one…)
So, without further ado, I want to kick off the new series with a video on the most important topic of all – how to take better photos, regardless of your camera equipment:
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