Nicholas Adams photography blog

When a Commercial stills photographer branches into Video

I am by trade an Interior and Architectural Photographer. However while working as a commercial photographer in London and the UK I have over recent years been asked by various clients if I also do video. This kept coming up over and over again however I decided not to jump on the bandwagon and claim that video and stills photography are similar heck you can use the same camera nowadays to shoot both, instead I realised that they are very different skill sets and I will never be excellent at both. I pride myself on the quality of my stills photography especially my commercial photography striving to produce quality work something I could not guarantee when doing video until I was ready, instead I spent two years figuring out where in the market I would be best suited in regards to video. I have worked with redhavoc Media helping out on a music video in order to see how it all worked when shooting with various cameras and angles. I also spent a long time teaching myself Final Cut, all the time continuing to tell clients that I think a videographer would be better suited to the projects they kept asking me to do (recommending friends etc...). Last year however I did undertake a large time lapse project for a well known bank spanning over three solid days (which I cannot unfortunately show you due to the nature of the project). This made me think a lot about how I would approach video as a medium.

As stated before and as people can see from my work I am a Stills photographer mainly specialising in Architectural, interiors and commercial photography in London and the UK so I wanted to approach video in much the same way I approach my photography. I wanted to keep the quality high and the market I am aiming towards the same with similar clients to which I have worked for and continue to work with, so this meant producing video for architectural companies and also high end fashion retailers.

I decided that single camera shoots would be more suited to myself and my current style of Photography almost like a moving still image so I jotted down some ideas and decided to shoot some test video to present to clients as concepts.

The idea behind the video is to produce video for use as web content on high end fashion retailers websites, possibly as a website introduction video or to showcase a product in an alternative way. I have worked with the brand Kurt Geiger extensively over the last four years doing stills photography in London and the surrounding areas in a variety of areas within the company including; press, architectural, interior, and product photography. I know the brand very well and know the type of thing a brand like themselves would like to portray in a video such as this. I will say now that this was NOT a commission from them I merely used their product to demonstrate the style I wish to achieve in video.

I am lucky enough to have my own studio in South London and spent some time setting up and experimenting with the lighting, I used continuously lighting utilising the modelling bulb on my Bowens Studio flash. as well as using a small LED light I created the lighting I wanted on the chair and the product, I wanted the background to be dark so I used Grid spots on the lights in order to control the direction and intensity of the lighting on the subject, I then added a soft boxed light on the side to add some added light to the subjects legs. The chair was a bit too light so I used transparent spray paint to darken it and added some more spray paint to make it grungy looking. I placed the camera on a Slider and lined up the shot so the camera would slide along in parellel with the model walking and then proceeded to shoot. I used the Nikon D3S to Video which unfortunately is only 720p HD video and I think in the future I will use the Nikon D800 or the Canon 5Dmk2 Below is the results after editing, again I will state this is a TEST SHOOT, and not a final completed project and not for a client but purely for experimentation for potential future work.

Also if you click read more then you will find behind the scenes shots showing the lighting set up.

Thanks for looking for more of my work please check my website Option 1, [vimeo 40168213 w=500 h=281] Option 2, [vimeo 40168416 w=500 h=281]

Behind the Scenes: