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Sessions | Video on a Budget for Artists, Part 2: DIY or Pro

Sessions | Video on a Budget for Artists, Part 2: DIY or Pro

Nina

April 5th, 2018

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Now that you have some ideas about the different types of videos which could showcase your art, you can make a decision about what direction to go in. But should you attempt to do things yourself or hire a professional?

Know Your Budget
I know what you’re probably thinking: “Nina, I’m a starving artist. I don’t have a choice but to do things myself.”

…Except you do actually have a choice. But you won’t know what all your choices are until you actually work out a budget and a plan for the video. There are a lot of factors to consider besides money: time, desired quality, and your own technical proficiency are in some ways more important than that dollar. After making those considerations, you may come to the conclusion that it is indeed more affordable to hire a professional.

Let’s break it down a little. When setting out to do something, think about how long it’s going to take you, and be realistic. If you don’t know anything about video, then you’re going to have to spend a fair bit of time learning the basics – educating yourself from scratch on _any_ craft, hardware, or software takes time. And don’t forget the troubleshooting. Trust me, even professionals have to spend a fair amount of time troubleshooting – technology is rarely perfect.

This is especially true if you’re aiming high with the quality of your video – which I hope you are, because this world is superficial and your art deserves to be shown in the best light possible. The higher the quality goal, the more expertise you need to achieve it.

Time is Money
Once you have a general idea of the amount of time you’ll need to devote to the project to complete it, take a look at your schedule. How much time can you spare in your week to do this? Are you working full time? Do you have a family at home? How much is your time worth, from a personal and financial perspective? Oh, and don’t forget to account for whether you need to buy or rent gear and software to actually make the video in the first place.

Make a quote for yourself: “it will cost me X time and Y money to complete this video” – then get a quote from a few professionals and compare. What’s more cost effective?

Now there are certainly circumstances where you literally have zero dollars – and if that’s the case then stick to the types of videos that you can make with the resources you have available, and use it as an opportunity to get extra creative!

Benefits of a Pro
In broad terms, a professional is someone who is not only competent in something, but who is able to support themselves financially by doing it. This means that they have to be good enough at whatever they do for many people to pay them to do it on a regular and sustainable basis.

In most cases, it takes a while to get to that point – some people invest lots of time and money in education, and some people invest lots of time and money in practical experience. The masters in a profession, usually have both, whether it be formal or not. Talent plays a role, too, but generally speaking you don’t just start getting paid huge amounts of money simply because you enjoy doing something or you happen to have a knack for it – it’s more like, if others see the value in whatever is you’re doing, they’ll work out a trade. That’s basic economics.

So if you’ve determined that it’s more worth it for you to hire a professional than to go 100% DIY, I highly doubt you’ll be disappointed. Shop around and find the professional that will fit your needs for whatever you can afford.

When Not to Go Pro
While I certainly advocate hiring professionals when you have the means, it might be overkill for certain video types. For example, if you’re just doing a personal vlog on your phone, you can probably forgo the pro and just edit using a free editing program or even Youtube’s basic editing features. Some of the apps out there these days are pretty feature rich, and for less than $10 you can have a video making arsenal in your pocket.

Once you get the ball rolling, you can always upgrade at a pace that you can afford if you want to.

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