An article on the Forbes website states: ‘Video is a powerful medium. Arguably, the most powerful and persuasive today.’ It goes on to quote from a Cisco Systems report: ‘By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017.’

But what do we mean by video?

In the UK video is 25 frames of pictures that are displayed per second. Historically we have associated video with moving images but a still image that is repeated for 25 frames per second is also a video, which is why there is a growing trend to use still images for creating video sequences.

Here’s one I produced recently for the John Lewis Partnership using a combination of my own and stock library images.

Yesterday I spent the day with a client photographing their teams at work across different locations. The stills will be used in presentations and newsletters but the main purpose was to create images that I will edit into a 2 min video sequence for their website.

Why this trend for stills in video?

The average length of a business video seems to have decreased dramatically from when I first started working 25 years ago. Back then we used to tell clients that the attention span of an audience was about 8 mins. These days it’s probably more like 3 mins. With just three minutes you want to convey as much as possible without overwhelming the viewer; and that’s where photographs help.

You can put a photograph on the screen for a few seconds and it will convey a message. But add movement into the screen and a few seconds will feel too short – you’ll want to see the person walking out of frame, or see a close-up of what they are holding, or allow the camera to stop panning/tilting before moving on to the next image. That’s what we expect when we watch TV, so we expect the same with a business video. Using stills you can move the narrative along far quicker without it feeling rushed or visually compromised.

Using photographs is also more efficient than capturing moving images. Typically recording video operates on a ratio of around 40:1 – for every finished minute, there’s 40 mins of footage, and that’s even with a storyboard.

Whereas, with a clear storyboard, a photographer will work on a ratio of about 10:1, whereby for every image being used there are 10 to choose from. That makes editing a far quicker, and therefore cheaper, process.