Sunday, January 21, 2018

Still Photography: Is It Less Important Than Video?

March 24, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Photography

Is still photography less important than video these days? 

Maybe it’s the email lists I’m on or the company I keep, but it seems to me that all the focus (pardon the pun) in internet marketing these days is on video. Yes, it is important, no question about that, but let’s not forget about good old photography.

That’s right, I’m a video producer telling you that you still need to think about the skillful use of still photographs in this business. Why?

Photography is an important and a powerful marketing tool for several reasons.

1) People enjoy looking at photos.

You can study a photograph, extract details about the contents, commit it to memory.  Really powerful photographs can change politics and even alter history. Consider the iconic photos of the great depression, the world wars, Vietnam, Marilyn Monroe, the Beatles, the murders of John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert … a photograph can fix an image in your mind in an instant.

2) It is easy to put photos up on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and share them with others.

I know plenty of people who still are baffled about how to upload videos, but photos are pretty darn easy.

3) Photos are important to send with press releases.

Newspapers, magazines and journals love photos with stories and press releases. You have a better chance of getting a story run if you include great supporting photos with captions.

4) Photos enhance books, eBooks and PDFs.

A photos can say so much, and you can’t put videos in books.

5) Most website items incorporate photos.

Banners, headers, profiles, backgrounds, articles, blogs… all incorporate photographic elements. Keep that camera handy and look for photographic opportunities to support your website.

6) Bad photos are everywhere – good ones will always stand out.

Great photos are priceless. Like I said in item #1 above, a great photo can stand the test of time. Strive for better photography even in your social media activities. That alone will give you a leg up on the competition.

Don’t know how…. watch for future articles and tutorials.

7) Photos can be an important component of your videos!

Think about Ken Burns’ extraordinary film series, “The Civil War,” composed almost entirely of still photographs.

When I shot the video of my dad, the author of one of Florida’s best read novels, A Land Remembered, I relied on extensive use of historical photographs throughout the production. This video, “Patrick Smith’s Florida: A Sense Of Place” has been my best selling product for the last 5 years!

8) HD video requires vast amounts of storage space on your hard drive.

Photographic requirements are minuscule in comparison. In other words, photos are easier to handle, upload and download, and to archive for the future.

9) Photos are important components in ads and printed marketing materials.

If you are promoting events you need photos for posters, flyers, handouts, etc. They are also a key element in many direct mail marketing materials. And you can’t play a video in a magazine or newspaper ad!

10) Buying good stock photography has become very affordable and easy.

I work mostly in video today, but I started my professional career as a photographer and earned a degree in fine art photography. My wife Kim also got a degree in photography. As much as I love film and video, I will always have a love of photography.

The principles of photography – exposure, shutter speeds, aperture, composition, the effect of focal length – are also the foundation of video. It’s just that today’s cameras have made it so easy to get good exposure that most people don’t have a clue about what the camera is doing. By learning more you will have greater control over the look and feel of your videos and will most like enjoy photography, and video, more.

Over the next few months, I’ll be exploring each of the above points. Next week I’ll write about people’s love for looking at photos and how you can use this to your marketing advantage.

This list is not inclusive. If you have another good idea for why you photography is important to marketing your business, share your thoughts below. You will probably give me some more food for thought and a great idea for future posts!


4 Responses to “Still Photography: Is It Less Important Than Video?”
  1. Lou says:

    I totally agree with you, its only that I have become totally involved in video that I need all the skills I can get,
    Thanking You

    • Rick Smith says:


      So true. Both are important visual communication tools. Don’t you find that it isn’t that difficult to get the skills you need to shoot better in both?



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