Question of the Week: Your Video and Photography Toolkit

by Susan Murphy

Our Question of the Week this week comes from Courtney Young of Think Young Media. Courtney describes herself as a master storyteller, a student of Python and JavaScript, and a lover of chocolate. A girl after my own heart! Courtney’s question is about video and photography – two of our favourite topics here at Jester Creative!

Courtney asks via Twitter:

“Do you know of the best tech, gadgets, etc. for creating compelling video, photography, etc. for one’s site?”

That’s an excellent question, because there are so many tools out there these days that make it easy to get started with video and photography. So, here are some gadgets you can try!

Choosing the Right Camera

There once was a time not that many years ago that good quality cameras were very expensive and reserved for only the top pros in the business. These days, you can buy a decent point and shoot still camera for a few hundred dollars, and your smart phone shoots high definition quality video! Chances are, you have all you need to get started with video right in your pocket. My advice if you are just getting started with video is, don’t run out and spend thousands on a fancy camera. Use the tools you already have. Just remember, always hold your phone so the video picture comes out horizontal! No vertical videos!

vertical-video

Editing Photos

If you’re serious about taking photos, it pays to have a decent photo editing tool. You don’t have to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on Photoshop, either. There are plenty of inexpensive tools you can use to edit photos and make them look decent. If you own a Mac, then iPhoto will get you pretty far with basic photo editing – adjusting colours and cropping is a snap. If you want a good open source, FREE photo tool for PC, give GIMP a try. For a web-based or app-based photo editor, give Aviary a shot. It’s super easy to use and does a lot.

Editing Video

There are plenty of video editing tools out there. On the Mac side, lots of people like iMovie because it’s easy to use and has some great features. On the PC side, Windows MovieMaker is the old stand by. But YouTube has come a really long way lately in the editing world. You can now upload and edit your videos, complete with music and titles, right inside your YouTube account! It’s easy, and best of all it’s free.

Sharing Videos and Photos

Of course, what good is creating great videos and photos if you aren’t sharing them? There are plenty of options available, but at Jester Creative, we are big fans of Instagram. It allows you to share still photos and 15 second videos, and you can even add fun filters and things to spice them up a bit. Instagram is a great way to get super creative with sharing your stories, and it’s super easy and available across multiple mobile platforms. Check out some of these inspiring Instagrammers!

Of course, all of the tools and gadgets in the world are not going to do you any good if you aren’t telling a compelling story in the first place. Before diving into playing with gadgets, spend some time really considering why you want to use video or photos and what kinds of stories you want to tell. A little strategy goes a long way when it comes to communicating in this way. So take the time to really think about the purpose of your video and photo content – that will make it much more compelling in the end!

Hope that helps, Courtney, and good luck with your video and photo projects!

Next week, we’ll be answering some questions about Facebook’s EdgeRank, so stay tuned!

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