So........... It appears we have entered the new year and the first month has flown by. Wow, I was so swarmed in the later half of 2015 that I didn't have time to organise materials for a proper blog post.
Not that I've prepared much for this particular one, but I figured an update is way overdue.
Well, my photography and videography business is surviving, yay! HUGE thanks to all my friends and clients who have been very supportive of me since the university days. I really appreciate the trust you all have in me and I hope I can carry on that trust.
A major dilemma that I have been dealing with is choosing a particular path to specialise it, or to even specialise at all. Handling both photography and videography is hectic, and some might say not a long term plan. Sure, there are advantages to having both skill sets, such as having a larger client pool to tap into. However, it also means that I can never be truly proficient in either of them, especially as a solo player.
I've been bouncing in between the 2, and even explored the potential of genres that are in the middle. Cinemagraphs (like the one on top) are moving images created from videos. Hyperlapses/Timelapses (like the one below) are videos made from photos. Looking forward, should I head into Photography or Videography more?
So why the dilemma? I enjoy taking photos and capturing the candid (sometimes unglam), beautiful moments of people. There are goals I wish to achieve, photographers I look up to and hopefully learn from. However, the market in Singapore is competitive because the barriers to entry is low. It's really a choice between flying high and feeding on a scrapes at the bottom. There are cases where you have to compete with "free", "budget cuts", "my friend can give me a lower rate". I'm not at a stage where I can be picky with clients. I'm not at a stage where I have a distinctive style that clients will willingly pay for. Frankly, photography alone won't be able to sustain me this far.
On the other side is videography. It adds on enough income for me to match up to my peers who are doing full-time jobs relevant to their degree. This skill has been with me for a longer period of time and ultimately every video I produce gives me a rather unique sense of achievement. It's easier to impress people with it too. There are hardly anyone doing videography solo as well, mostly working in production teams and at least in groups of 2-3.
This also means that I can't justify quoting the usual market rate for videos because I'm just this one guy running around with DSLRs. I could expand my toolkit and sliders, cranes and perhaps a drone, but to use those in an actual event I'll need a team too. Not to mention each of those things probably cost a grand. I also feel that I'm not using the right gear too, and to upgrade to a full videography workflow means upgrading my laptop, storage devices and a video camera that can capture footages in raw. Chances are if I upgrade, I should upgrade to 4K as well. Government grants are not trustworthy for small businesses like mine. Any money they give you can easily be taken back and that happened to a few of my friends. So any upgrading expenses will have to be paid in full by myself.
Thankfully, my girlfriend/minion has been extremely supportive of my work. She's even thinking of helping me full-time if my business expands. My photography Instagram account (@cepheusphotography) is managed by her. She follows me on my shoots to take behind-the-scenes. She's always suggesting ideas on how to improve or projects that we can undertake. Really appreciate her help! =)
Exciting plans for the new year ahead? Perhaps not, but major decisions will definitely have to be made. Definitely going to take action to upgrade my skills. There are also several projects in mind that I wish to realise, and hopefully by completing them, I'll be able to get my name out as well.
Photo? Or video? Perhaps a fusion. Shucks, this is bugging me till no end. I have so much more to share, but I'll keep them for future posts. I might blog about my travels too. Let me know if there's anything you wish to read about! =)