1. Inspiration
  2. Techniques

When Storytelling is on Steroids

Intro by Skip Cohen

All of you are storytellers, whether it’s with a single portrait, an album, video or hybrid slideshow. The post is from Suzette’s archives and it was early on in her career of expanding into video and hybrid presentations, (combining still images, short video clips, and great music.)

But here are the reasons I wanted to share it today.

  • Many of you are still afraid to get into video. You’re holding back your potential to not only expand your business but exceed client expectations.
  • Technology never slows down, and Suzette and Jonny are always experimenting, testing and expanding their skill set. You have to do the same to keep growing as an artist and business owner.
  • Many of you still don’t realize the power 4K video has to help you become a better artist.

Suzette wrote this post 3 ½ years ago, and if you’ve followed her images, classes, and information she shares, you know she’s never slowed down to be the very best storyteller she can be.


By Suzette Allen

As a portrait photographer of 30 years, I’ve been practicing storytelling and honing my skills for a very long time, crafting the images that reveal personality, character and relationships. But learning to shoot video has opened my eyes wide: Wow, what a powerful medium to tell a story! It’s like going from a quill and paper to a word processor!

Granted, there IS a learning curve, but one would expect that in learning ANY new language. However, my LUMIX cameras have made that learning curve SO much easier! [I shoot primarily with a LUMIX GH4 and some with FZ1000]
In my learning journey to incorporate hybrid, (video+still+audio), my focus with video has always been to capture my still photos for wall portraits and albums and gifts and add a little motion for spice. Typically just short clips of a little motion, but mostly stills.

Along the way, though, as I do more video and get addicted to the way it makes me feel, I’m doing MORE video. It also helps that now we have 4K video so there are many times I just roll video (at a higher shutter speed) to capture THE MOMENT as a still frame at 30 frames per second! I try not to do it ALL that way, (workflow wisdom), but some things are perfect for that—Like squirrely boys on motorcycles! [the Portrait near the end is a 4K still frame!]

So this is only my second piece created with Premier Pro CC and it was a blast to create! We originally went to capture the boys and their trophies and a little bit of action riding around, but as the sessions happened, the REAL STORY unfolded before our eyes as we got the see the amazing little momma who makes it all better!

We captured a lot more video than we planned, but captured the real picture: two fun little boys on motorcycles and the proverbial, heartwarming, “rest of the story.”

Thanks to Elaine Steen, who arranged this client shoot for a learning session, and for helping shoot some of the scenes in this story! My Husband Jon Yoshinaga also contributed many of the closeup cutaways. He’s a video guy with video eyes!