Shooting Video Training for SWP – My Approach & Gear Used

Shooting Video Training for SWP – My Approach & Gear Used

In spring of this year (2014), I developed a video strategy for my blog (2014-2016). So far my productions were mostly covered by “Behind the Scenes” still imagery but now – since my creative audience keeps growing and asking for it persistently – I decided to record most of my shoots for the blog on video.

My Video Formats for BLOG+

Video Trainings - Sexy Women Photography - Behind the Scenes

I was facing the challenge of finding the right names and structure for my different video products with regards to a clear marketing approach.
Although it’s not yet plainly visible for you (due to a lack of final products…) I already want to talk about it here…

  • FREEMIUM: I defined a line called FREEMIUMS where you receive a short – about 5 minutes – video completely explaining a setup in a convenient length. You find them here all over the platform.
  • “FLAGSHIP”: Further, I developed an internal format called “flagship” – these are costly comprehensive tutorials about a specific topic. As you might know, I just released my first COMBOtut “The Anatomy of a Production Day”.
  • “CREATIVE IMPACT”: And then there’s a hybrid in between: creative impact video tutorials, also covering a specific topic –yet shorter in duration and priced less expensively than the “flagships”.
Peter Chmela - Concept, Director & 2nd CamAnatomy of a Production Day - Concept DevelopmentPre-Production Meeting Anatomy of a Production Day

Back from Berlin: Art Nudes Video Tutorial Shot

I just got back from Berlin where I shot my first “creative impact”-tutorial with Canadian model Hanna. I am very excited and the shoot went very well.
Topic: “B&W Nudes – Sense of Soul”. Results and the full tutorial are finished and published.

Some Personal Background

20 years ago, I was already into producing video clips and commercials (camera, edit, directing). This was the era of BetaSP, linear editing and Windows 3.1. For some of you this might sound like Stone Age. Well, compared to today… it was.
The tech tremendously evolved and today it’s more affordable and easy to create footage. Though just like 100 years ago, a meaningful and valuable result still depends on a solid concept…

More Tech. More Stress. More Fun.

Now since I started valuing video production as a serious asset to my photographic works, I had (and still have) to gear-up my equipment.
I decided to share with you a priceless insight into the gear that I use for the technical implementation of my productions.

The process and gear involved are still not perfect but these are the means and possibilities I have to work my wonders with for now. I’m somewhere on a good prosumer level, imo.

Producing the Flagship “Anatomy of a Production Day”

Video Trainings - Sexy Women Photography - Behind the ScenesVideo Trainings - Sexy Women Photography - Behind the ScenesVideo Trainings - Sexy Women Photography - Behind the Scenes

It always seems to be the same dilemma with me: if I seek for a new creation/product, I don’t take the baby steps first, I just stretch for the most intensive, complicated and (financially) risky adventure.

Instead of producing a few FREEMIUMS first, or a decent medium tutorial, I decided to go with the flagship. It was a hell of a ride (start in January, released Nov, 1st) but it was worth the learning curve. The video production was attached to a real photo shoot of mine which made the overall production itself not less complicated 🙂

Anyhow: I am very happy with the outcome but that’s not the catch here.

I want to show you a bunch of documentary stills so you get an idea of what we were doing:


Dan’s Personal Video Gear List

The following gear list sums up the core-gear I own to shoot my stuff self-sufficient:

  • NIKON D800 (+EH-5b AC Adapter = batteries are really weak!)
  • Sony DSC-RX100 III (wonderful compact camera, great sensor, fully manual control)
  • GoPro Hero3 (aerial, overview shots) (no need for a Hero4. Hero3 is sufficient!)
  • Ambient Mic: Rode VideoMic Pro
  • Interview Mic: Sennheiser ew122p / ENG-Set Wireless
  • Tascam DR-60D Linear PCM recorder (Audio)
  • Liliput 7’ Field Monitor
  • 2x Led Lighting Panels
  • 3x Tungsten Hotlights Set (3x 800W)
  • Samsung Pad with Tele-Prompter App
  • Pad Prompter by OneTakeOnly
  • Premiere Pro 6 on PC

And whenever I actually produce a flagship, I need to rent a bunch more cameras (Sony, Canon), light (Arri) and other stuff 🙂

My Insight: In the Near Future, a Real Video-Cam is Needed

Shooting with my equipment and an additional DSLRs is fine at the moment.

But it seems that for a fast, solid and presumable handling (without any complication) a real good prosumer video cam is inevitable. If I sum up the costs of gear associated with a DSLR (or Black Magic or RED…), it’s simply getting too expensive: a cage, external XLR converters, matte boxes, plates, accu-system and a million other things – this all just doubles (at least) the cost of a good “old” real digital video cam…

Tutorial: “Glamour Nudes: Shooting Blueprint. Concept, Planning, Shoot, Legal.”

Tutorial: ‘Playboy Glam & Artistic Nudes Photo Production’

7 Films. 133 Min Runtime. FullHD
Follow A Complete Production Process: Prep & Shoot. 5 Sets! Starring Czech Playmate Coxy Dominika.
Photo Shoot Blueprint: Get a detailed overview about all steps of a photo production process: Concept, Planning, Art Direction, Implementation, Full Tech Specs, Secrets & Results. Observe, feel and learn from this extremely detailed glam & artNUDE production by following Dan’s single steps. Consider this tutorial a glimpse into a private workshop from the comfort of your home.


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Dan Hostettler

A traveler at heart, inspired by women, working along Swiss precision. Dan is a mediapreneur, photographer, author of several books and founder + Editor in Chief of SexyWomenPhotography.com.

Being a successful photographer for more than 15 years Dan got internationally published and featured on/in GQ Online, The India Times, FashionONE TV, FotoTV, GoodLight Mag, amongst many others. Dan is currently residing and working in Prague, CZ.

Dan will talk about his projects, provide insights in shootings & concepts, produce webinars, create Academy content, explain styles, emphasize the importance of working with models and any other exciting topic he discovers along the way.

Do you have any suggestions regarding my gear complementing efforts? Do you capture video, too? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences!

10 Comments

  1. Jlrimages

    Hey Dan,

    It seems that, as complex as a production day can be when you are just shooting stills, I get the impression that the video, especially the BTS aspects, is more complex. I’m curious how you manage the lighting for the BTS video, in particular, how do you keep that from interfering with the lighting for the stills? Wouldn’t the video lighting affect not only the exposure for the stills, but also the character/quality of the stills lighting?

    Joe

    Reply
    • Dan Hostettler

      Hey Joe,
      you are right. Shooting additionally video puts another layer of complexity on it. One side is the tech but more impact is the number of people. You just need a lot more helpers on set for the different roles (audio, lighting, cams).
      Everything has to be controlled and monitored almost all the time…

      Video lighting: when creating an additional volume light (daylight, LED) for video, this normally works as long I shoot with flash and a sync speed faster than 1/60. But the video light strictly can not create an additional “character”! Mostly it’s bounced off a wall/ceiling. The beam never goes straight to the scenery.
      In one scene in the “Anatomy…”-tutorial we had some troubles. Set 3 (“Romance Glam”) when we were setting the scene in the bedroom with the candles and I was dragging the shutter… – we couldn’t allow much video lighting in because of distorting the photos. But today’s DSLR for video are also great in ISO quality. We pushed the setting in the cams to ISO 1000 and still got a good quality out of it.

      But as said: 2 lighting systems on the set for 2 different purposes is slightly more stressful 🙂

      Best,
      Dan

      Reply
  2. Hey Dan,
    thanx for the intresting making of pics.
    Great mood board, I have to work more with such great planings 😉
    kind regards from Cologne
    Frank

    Reply
    • Dan Hostettler

      Hey Frank, thanks for commenting!
      Mood boards & schedule: my experience shows that the better I am prepared and all is set very precisely before the shoot, the more room and freedom I have on set for doing things different or enhancing ideas. And – this happens more than it should – to improvise if something went wrong. At that point it’s always great to have a planning in the backhand you can go back and stick to it:-)

      Many greetings to Cologne!
      Dan

      Reply
  3. Dan, I have no direct knowledge of video but a good friend who designs video systems for NASA recommended the Canon XA10HD professional camcorder to me recently. Check it out. Cost about $1,500. I love your work. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Dan Hostettler

      Hi Mike,
      thanks for your input, very appreciated! This camcorder (or XA20HD) looks like the thing I am looking for, incl. XLR inputs for a great price. I did a lot of research recently but did not find this product line. Now I need to find a good seller in Europe (PAL) with a similar pricing. BH photo video always have more competitive pricing than some resellers here in Europe. The problem is the NTSC/frame rate. Thanks for the hint!
      And thank you for your compliment!

      Dan

      Reply
  4. I think you’ve got a great concept Dan, and I am sure the hard work and extra effort will pay dividends.

    I’m bewildered by video… I know my camera can shoot video and that many internet publications that want content that is both stills and video of the same shoot. I think I will have to start learning more about it.

    -Dana

    Reply
    • Dan Hostettler

      Hi Dana, yes video is great!
      It just creates three times more expense (incl time = money) until a finished product.
      You DSLR is for sure capable to shoot 1080p. But my experience shows that you need to shoot with two DLSR bodies. One set for the stills, the other doing the video recording. It’s quite hard to do BTS recording from your own shoot with just one device 🙂
      But it’s definitely worth to dive in the video topic!

      Best,
      Dan

      Reply
  5. Hello Dan!

    As always, your postings are most informative to read, but only a thought. I think, by 2016 you will be doing movie image productions instead of photographing models because this kind of project is so huge to manage then say still ones. Only a prediction.

    Thanks

    Roy

    Reply
    • Dan Hostettler

      Hey Roy,
      thanks for your comment.
      I did already a few short (unsuccessful) feature films and documentaries after evolving from photography.
      But I decided to return to still imagery a few years ago. It really draws me in to create an atmosphere/situation/message/story in just one frame. Or when shooting editorial within a sequence of stills.

      I love moving images and the completely different approach in telling a story. And I want to get better in this discipline too. To create more appealing and valuable educational material. But I am quite sure I will never loose the path with my still image work again. Probably, after a while, my stills will get every now and then a bit more cinematic itself…

      Best,
      Dan

      Reply

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