Everyone wants video – are still photographs relevant anymore?

Video footage is powerful but photographs – the “old” technology to some – do retain a powerful ability to impact viewers. Still photographs within a video can isolate emotive moments and contribute to communication of the video’s main concept.

Here are a few examples from our Quest video. (Video can be viewed here (the second and third videos in the column to the right): http://www.ellensenisi.com/multimedia/) Where were these stills used and why?

1 – Despite the “mature content” they have lived through and their sometimes tough demeanor, these girls are vulnerable; they are just kids. Her body language, shown while she is telling about a fourteen-year-old friend’s pregnancy, shows that here.

profile of sad, thoughtful girl, age 14

2- The photograph below changes the mood of the video. We’ve just heard the girls’ difficult stories but as this still photograph comes up the mood changes – we see how the program helps by bringing the girls together in a community and offering them support.

Teenaged girls laugh in literacy class; a nonprofit urban sanctuary activity

3 – This third image was used as the cover shot. Writing can be a tough concept to illustrate because it is so static. This was chosen as a cover shot because, since it is so intensely close up, it feels personal and intimate. You get a sense of this girl’s personality, even though you can’t see her face, by looking at her hands, her bracelet, and the Te Amo written on her skin.

Teen girl in writing class offered by nonprofit group called Quest Kids

Videos are powerful but photographs still have impact. Mixed in with video, they are important pause-moments that help crystallize concepts.