“Brandon, I recently saw this video on F-Stoppers about opinions on where commercial photography is trending. With the advent of companies that dangle the carrot of ‘you shoot it - we'll fix it’ over the general agent population... and with newer agents who seem to care more about being flashy than accurately representing a property, I'm wondering if that trend in video might be an omen to our profession. Any thoughts?”
Great question, Craig! While I do a video for my agent clients every now and then, I know that there are many great videographers in our community who do a very high volume of videos, as part of their real estate photography business. So, I’m hoping many of them will write in with their thoughts on this.
Before we go there, I'll share that my first reaction after reading your question was, “not again!” We keep hearing forecasts of doom-and-gloom regarding the demise of our field. Not only do we regularly hear of how DSLRs will die a slow death, now that mirrorless is here, how many times have we heard about the death of real estate photography when Apple finally introduces an iPhone that agents can use that will ultimately turn us all into relics? While it may be impossible to avoid hearing these concerns, I also think it’s important to examine them as these concerns often force us to think outside the box. That said, I do think there is some value in our professionalism and experience--whether it be in coming up with the best possible composition (vs. what an agent with an iPhone can do) or battling an enormous dynamic range.
I think the same might be true in videography. Very few agents that I’ve worked with see themselves as “creatives” first. Instead, they see themselves as salespeople/entrepreneurs. Yes, there will always be those agents who will use their cellphone to do a walk-through video or do the Ken Burns thing with stills but as creatives, we have an advantage as to how we see the world and how we might see (interpret?) the value of a space, with an ability to visualize how it will show in the video that we’ll deliver. Given that video is such a dynamic thing, I'd guess that many videographers feel that they have the power to evoke more of a feeling in their videos than they do in their photos.
As for trends that I’m seeing, I don’t think I do enough video work in my business to speak authoritatively on that question. So, I’ll let others share their thoughts, opinions, concerns, and hopes for the field.