[insert-author-info] Marketing in the AEC industry continually evolves and a recent trend has shown that marketing itself has become less about the materials you make, and more about the stories you tell. Photography & Videography are both two very powerful mediums that enable us to do this and what better way to tell your story than through the use of a camera lens. Ian Harris, an ex-architectural designer turned film producer of Arbuckle Industries, and Ashok Sinha, an award winning professional photographer, recently presented this topic to the Long Island Affiliate. Together they showed attendees a range of finished videos and photos. Then step by step they walked us through the logistics of how the final product was achieved by discussing the concept, scope and budget through to completion. Although each of these mediums can have differences on how you approach telling your story and what they evoke, they also share many similarities. Ashok Sinha kicked off the program by presenting on photography. When preparing for a project it’s important to determine your needs and identity what you are looking to evoke from the end result. For example if you are shooting your own firm, do you want the photo to show that your firm is professional, fun, sophisticated, young, etc. These adjectives will help to set the scene, how the photos are taken and potentially who from your firm may be used in the photos. As Ashok shared several photos he has taken, the following key points were discussed: notice lines and angles (don’t forget curves), let the light of day help tell the story, let pictures connect and look at the details both large and small, they are equally important. From a photography standpoint there is a lot involved in completing a project that many of us don’t see. It is not as simple as point shoot and click. Often scenes need to be set, multiple photos are taken and in many cases frames are shot independently to achieve each section just right. This might entail shooting a frame with people and without, or taking a shot of the same person walking through a door over and over again until you get just the right photo, lighting might be on or off, covering windows, removing wall paintings, etc. Since there can be many components, by shooting them independently they can then be layered together at the end to produce the desired final product. Ian Harris presented on Videography. A point I found interesting that Ian made mention to is that our model for communication is outdated especially in a time when content is a large factor of what marketers do. So why does this so important? Because if we are not telling our stories . . . then someone else will dictate how they’re told. Ian showed attendees several short videos that identified different examples of his work. One focused on a storyline, an audience, and an interview, a number of shoots, graphics and editing style. As we viewed these examples, Ian took us though the process of what we need to look at and how we can begin using video to tell our story. As a first step, the conceptual phase is extremely important. Here is where you determine what the story is, what your goals are, what you want to achieve, who your audience is and what your brand stands for. Once the story is established, then you need to determine production which includes: who is responsible for the leading the story; establishing the creative direction (is that the production team, you, a 3rd party or a writer), contacts (who is talking to who, who is obtains access and who maintains the schedule) and workflow (how you and the production company traditionally work). The next step would be to establish the scope: how many video(s)/clips did you want to receive and what length, who will be interviewed (leadership, junior staff, client, users), cinematography/b-roll (buildings, construction, process, meetings, etc.), shooting date(s) are these flexible, locations access is it easy or hard, what production quality are you looking for (run and gun, corporate and clean, dynamic and polished), graphics (do you have already or are new ones needed), animations (text overlays, branded intros/logos, overlaid renderings, etc.) and assets (do you have rights to photographs, renderings, etc. that you plan to use). Lastly are the deliverables, do you have a plan to use this now or in the future, did you want all the raw footage or just the finished clips. As a novice in both mediums I found this presentation to provide a great insight to what it takes to tell a story though a camera lens. Whether you are looking to retain a professional or just tackle it on your own . . . Ian and Ashok provided great detail and some very helpful tips on how to do this. Their presentation provided excellent examples and specific guidance on the processes described above. It’s important to keep in mind that every project is unique, there are different needs for different stake holders, one size doesn’t fit all when selecting a professional and cost will vary depending upon the needs of your project. Click HERE for photos from the event!