NOT a wedding videographer! (What that means for you)
Conservation organizations can hire whomever they want to create their professional videos. A wedding videographer. A real estate videographer. A small business videographer. Or even amateur Joe or Jill down the street who will do it for $50.
But…. I’ve heard the horror stories from the field more than a few times over the years.
Filming all day in a heatwave in a marshland is tough. Operating a camera and microphone while enduring clouds of blackflies or mosquitoes on a spring morning in a forest is brutal. Plucking ticks off pant legs is terrifying. And the poison ivy!
Okay, by now you get it: Conservation is a speciality. And specialists usually have acquired some skills and skillsets that give them valuable experience in your field.
Specialist vs Generalist
Not everyone is cut out to make it a career doing full-time video and photography work for conservation. Or being a biologist or field technician. Many try. Getting that first tick on you can send many newbies screaming for the nearest trail exit. Or worse, paralyzed with panic for the rest of your video shoot.
Ten years of experience specializing in conservation storytelling has taught me lots. Hard lessons have been learned. Our conservation customers know the difference between hiring a specialist vs a generalist.
A specialist in conservation videography already is familiar with your subject matter when working in the field. That also means a conservation specialist is a genuine partner in the production because he/she can walk the talk. Our customers see the authentic value in that.
Been there, done that (many times)
I remember one assignment a few years ago and picking more than 30 ticks off my pants legs. They were mostly deer ticks, the species that can carry Lyme disease. The assignment was in tall grasslands and forests during one hot summer. I was doing a conservation photography assignment for a national organization. Both the biologist and I picked the ticks off as we hiked. We both knew and accepted that it was part of the work assignment. As a creative, you can’t just throw in the towel and abandon the work. We came prepared because we knew the habitats we would be trekking. I took precautions. I didn’t give two hoots that I was wearing white pants (easy to spot ticks!) and may or may not have looked a bit like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. I got the work done. That’s what mattered.
Being fashionable isn’t in the playbook. Being practical is.
Specialists come prepared, because we’ve been there, done that, and know what to expect.
Organizations taking a closer look at whom they hire
More and more conservation organizations are now evaluating based on shared values whom they hire for creative video and photography work. Most want creatives who specialize and know and understand the realities of working in the niche. Ethics, ethos, authenticity, experience, values all matter. Many conservation organizations don’t seek out generalists who think it’s cute or popular to post or hashtag on Instagram that nature is their office when the reality is they rarely work in nature. Organizations want people who truly understand what having a full-time office in nature really means.
Being authentically connected has value in many more ways than just one.
Most importantly, though, it begins with the value of working with those who share your values about conservation.
P.S. Don’t ask me to shoot a video of a wedding. Or real estate. It’s not my speciality 😉