Video Portrait – Michael Ball from One Market Media on Vimeo.


Should a portrait be ‘moving?’

Video will continue to find new forms and change how we market our products, our services… and ourselves. Some months ago while editing I created this little vignette out of a ‘hero shot’ of an expert who was part of a series we were producing. I did it for fun, sent him the file and he thought it was great. End of story. (I have no idea what, if anything, he did with it.) Then while cleaning up files I came across the clip and wondered whether this could or should be a new form. I haven’t seen this explicit form used before and don’t even know if it has a name but I’m sure there are many who have experimented with ‘moving portraits’ or ‘video portraits.’

The question is:  Is there a need (market) for this type of video / photography? (This type of media sits at the intersection of videography and photography.) On the positive side of the ledger these videos tell more of a ‘story’ – you get a little more information in a hundred and fifty frames than you do in one. They can also be a lot more engaging if done well. The biggest question around the use of this new form is ‘where the heck would I use this?’ Thumbnail photos are universal today – if you click on them you typically get a larger version to peruse. While video can’t easily replace that function I could see this form, as an example, used in the ‘about us’ section of a website – especially in the creative services sector where being a bit ‘non-standard’ is usually a good thing.

Video won’t ever replace text… or photography, but more information communicated in an effective manner is always a good thing. What do you think. Is there a place for Video Portraits?


2 thoughts on “Video Portraits – Is there a market (need) for this?

    • Mark – you bring up a good point. Technology might be one of the limiting factors in the adoption of ‘moving portaits’. It’s easy to embed a picture anywhere on a page but it’s not quite as simple to embed a video. The video has to be viewed in a player and served from a reliable server. HTML5 may be the thing that helps move adoption of this format forward.

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