Thursday, October 13, 2016

Why I Learned Photo *After* Video & a Look at My Multimedia Journey

I have a bit of a secret. Well, okay, not a secret, but a bit of information to share that might surprise some of you readers.

Did you know I learned how to shoot a good photo long after I learned how to shoot and edit a good video? It's true! Most people learn photography first and then venture into videography, but for me, it was the opposite.

Before you say, "Well wait, Sandi. That can't be true. You surely took photos before you ever took videos!" Let me be clear: Sure, I played around with a camera and shot stills before I shot video, but I would say I became skilled at shooting and editing video before I became skilled at shooting photos. Savvy?

See, when I started my undergraduate studies at The George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs back in 2009, video was hot, and I wanted to do what was hot. So, I enrolled in the Introduction to Digital Media class (as the only freshman in the class, mind you!) and got a crash course in video production from the awesome Chhayal Mehta.

After an awesome semester with Chhayal, I was totally in love with video production and worked really hard the following year (2010) to improve my shooting and editing skills by interning at KPRC Local 2 (Houston NBC affiliate), working for the GW Hatchet on their inaugural video team and shooting several pro-bono videos for non-profits.

Fast forward six (ugh, I'm old!) years later, and I'm doing video production professionally for the USO.

Sure, I'm not the best video shooter and editor ever -- I still have a ton to learn [for reals, it took me several years of work to go from this (shot/edited in college)...

... to this (shot/edited this year)...]

...but video production, the whole process, never seemed like a daunting task. Video production has always been a fun challenge for me!

Photography wasn't always as much fun as it is now...

I remember looking at my DSLR in college and being totally baffled at the concept of ISO, shutter speed and aperture. In video... you can kinda get a way with not understanding all of that for a while, especially if you are a strong editor. Photography? No way.

Even after I took a proper still photography class my junior year, it took me several years (read: until recently) for me to become equally confident in my still photography skills.

Now, I love both photo and video production -- for very separate reasons, they are so different-- but video was, and will always be (I think!), my first creative "love" and where I am most comfortable working as a visual storyteller.

Looking back, I'll admit, it would have been easier to learn how to shoot photos first (and, consequently learn a bit more about lighting/framing/how cameras work), but honestly, I wouldn't change a thing about my multimedia learning process.


  1. Great post! I understand about photography not always being that much isn't for me right now! haha. Just got my first dslr and pretty much completely confused, lol.

  2. That's awesome, babe! It's so cool to see how far you've come with the video filming/editing too!

    xo Anna Elizabeth