Live streaming has been around for a while now but never since 2020 has the service of live streaming been more prominent and essential than now. I first used live streaming at my local church several years back and it was a neat additional feature that we can share with people that were unable to attend live. Some churches, corporate businesses, live events, had used this additional feature to get people involved virtually. It is an experience to chat with others while seeing and hearing the live event and it was somewhat utilized. 2020 changed all that as the coronavirus pandemic spread around the globe and put a stand-still to many live events. Live productions of every size had to seize the opportunity to go all virtual with live events. This means having to get the gear to do this. However, the pandemic also crippled the manufacturers of live streaming equipment and they couldn't keep up with the demand. It seemed everywhere I looked every piece of technical gear was gone and cleaned out at the stores. I mean, you couldn't even find a computer camera anywhere. People who never used this technology like many churches were all of a sudden forced to learn and learn it quickly. The use of this technology was anywhere from using a cell phone to broadcast from Facebook Live all the way to sophisticated equipment like a multi-cam studio setup. I was thankful I was able to use my skills in AV installations to help a few local churches set up new live streaming equipment to keep them communicating to their audiences. Especially when no one could meet in public or travel. With my business, many of my wedding gigs now use this feature and it is helpful not only for people who cannot attend publicly but for many families out of state or country to experience a special day live. Another thing I had the opportunity to try was the ability to do a full three-day virtual conference using the powerful tools of Zoom. Zoom really surprised me on how well developed the app is and how you can utilize it to its full potential as a real conference experience, only virtual. Zoom is a really great tool! We now live in a world where everything is communicated with video. It is definitely the age of video and live-stream. So if you haven't tried live streaming your events and meetings, you should try it. It's wonderful to still have an audience even when they are not there in person. Tell me, what experiences have you had with live streaming?
This is a great article on the best choices and how to use microphones for video production. I personally use the Tascam DR-10L for interviews or on-the-field recording. Sometimes I use the Sennheiser EW 100 G4 wireless lavalier systems for my live stream production. For more filmmaking, vlogs, or interviews, I use a RODE NTG 4+ shotgun microphone which is the best bang for your buck when it comes to getting the best sound quality and I attach it to a ZOOM H4nPro field recorder. For run and gun situations, I use the RODE Videomic Pro+ which is outstanding and shuts on and off when your camera does. So what works best for you? Check out this article and video by Premium Beat to learn more. Click here.
Customer Relationship Management systems or better known as CRMs are an essential part of small businesses to large corporations. It helps keep track of your customers/clients, your staff, projects, communication, financials, and even receive payments. It is a system to make your workflow effective. For more info on what a CRM is please click here for an in-depth guide to CRM. For about a year now, I have researched so many CRMs for my business of video production. Usually, most of them have trials so you can test run it. What I found was many have great features that I can use but also many have flaws that just aren't the right fit for me. Of course, you have to weigh in the costs of CRMs as well as the learning curve. From what I found out is, if you're not tech-savvy, many CRMs are really difficult to learn. For me what I needed was a system that can communicate with my clients all in one place, integrate with my email and calendar, take payments, write up contracts with an online signing feature, automation features, and pretty much show me the projection of all my projects. I started out by using a simple app that creates contracts to sign and pay online. However, all the rest of the data collection, communication, and organization have been by other separate apps that can be susceptible to errors. Especially if you happen to miss something like say a gig. That would be disastrous. However, using a system that doesn't make it more to do but is able to help you is essential to running a business. After researching and trying several CRMs, I find the best one that suits me is called Studio Ninja . This is a CRM specifically for photographers built by photographers. At first, it seemed immature in some features but they have definitely been updating as fast as they can with new features and is so far the perfect solution for me. So depending on your workflow I would try several CRMs until you find the one that works for your type of business. It can be a Godsend but it can also be a pain. Especially if you have to spend so much time trying to figure it out. By then, one will just give up on using it. For those that are on the search for the best CRM for your needs, you can start here. For video and photogenic services check here . Hope this helps! -Paul Rodriguez