a sticker that says

You say “Videographer” I say “Video Producer,”
Videographer, Video Producer, let’s call the whole thing on for filming next Wednesday…

I recently watched a livestream of a group of video professionals that included the topic “What we call ourselves.” The topic of discussion was Website SEO, how are potential clients looking for you.  One of the group members talked about how “videography” or “videographer” is a common search term leading people to his site. He asked “How many times do we as directors, writers, cinematographers, producers, editors, motion designers use the term ‘videography’ to describe what we do?” Generally a lot of us don’t, because that’s not what we do.

I always say I work with companies to create video to engage with their audience and clients. That “creation” generally means writing, project managing, producing, and directing the videos. I never use the term “videography” because that’s not usually what we do. We don’t turn the camera on and point the lens and mics at events happening. Through talking with clients about approach, goals and marketing, then planning and filming shots and sequences, editing to those plans, then posting to social media or Websites or broadcast… you get the idea.

BUT, multiple times I’ve been introduced over e-mail, over Zoom, and in-person by well-meaning connectors who WANT me to make a connection and do a project for that connection as a “videographer.” Which I usually follow up with a nod and: “We create videos for business and brands for marketing and advertising….” Then asking that new connection about what they do and listen to how they say who they are and what they do.

And when we’re working with a client including filming an event we also plan and strategize on using that footage. Social media posts, behind-the-scenes, all can go along with the finished videos.

Common terms

To some potential clients (and your cheerleaders and advocates) “videographer” is the more common term. It’s one they know, and is less ambiguous than “video producer” or “DP.”  There’s a good basic breakdown of “videography versus cinematography” on the Adobe site that doesn’t go too far into the weeds.

Introductions can be a place to talk about the differences in “videography” as we don’t just capture whatever is happening on video: we strategize, plan, manage, and “create” the shots and sequences for a video with and for the client with their intended audience(s) as our focus.  But now I’m thinking more about how my clients might be searching for me in what terms, and how THAT client’s client/audience might search for them. During the discovery and writing phase of a project we always ask clients about any misconceptions they might need to address in their marketing. Now I’m going to add “When people look for you are their terms they use that you generally don’t” in the mix.

How are people looking for you and what you do, and how can you help them find and learn more about you? And can you term those search terms into a blog post that might be helpful?