An immersive video art installation featuring a fisherman in Philippines and a farmer in Colombia produced for Rare that was installed in New York, Washington DC, and at SxSW Eco in Austin, TX.
A pop-up exhibition at Boulder's Adventure Film Festival featuring work for Upper Amazon Conservancy on indigenous rights and protected areas in the Amazon.
A presentation at Blue Earth Alliance's Collaborations for Cause conference, about photographers working with NGOs to help explore complex issues and their solutions.

Maximizing the Value of Creative Content

The days of being a photographer that makes photographs to simply hand them off to the client are over—or they should be! And this means more than just also making video with your dSLR. For me, it's been a natural evolution of my commissioned work as a photographer and part of my goal to always make sure that the content I produce realizes its maximum value in the hands of my clients and partners. I'm excited when I can leverage my decades of diverse experience in the creative industry to provide start-to-finish service and support for the cause-driven storytelling and communications projects I get to work on. Each project is unique—especially in today's dynamic media environment—but below is a list of a few of the things I can also help with.

Interested in exploring a collaboration? Be in touch!

• Photography: Still photography is the core of what I do and my lifelong passion. I've done everything from events to studio product photography, and for the last decade or so have focused exclusively on assignments and commissions focused on environmental issues and the human experience. My site is full of examples.

Video Production: Video became a general photographer's tool, for better or worse, with the rise of video-capable dSLRs. Now that the tech is no longer a barrier to good video, simply making good video is the goal. I apply the same vision and experience that makes my still photography what it is to making moving pictures. For several years I ran a video production company with clients ranging from book publishers and artists to Whole Foods, Inc. where we also produced short independent documentary films that traveled to film festivals all over the world. The opportunities for video are again opening up as they now go well beyond the 3-5 minute brand piece to include short clips for social media and multimedia presentations, or as a component in more immersive, artful projects.

• Writing: An underappreciated but essential part of being a visual communicator is writing. Visual communications exist and are interpreted in context and if the goal is influencing change, then that set up and the following calls to action—whether it's an exhibition statement or short essay supporting a photo essay or captions on Instagram—become critical to the initial intention of the work.

• Story Identification, Development, and Assignment Planning: The best communications doesn't just express 'what' or 'how' but dives deep into 'who' and 'why'—in other words, it revolves around story. Story brings good work to life and helps your audience see how they connect to the issues that you are arguing are important to them.

• Website Design: Yep. I did this back when it was done in html. Nope. Didn't like programming. But all the new WYSIWYG platforms make it easy—and even fun—to build the right environment for hosting creative content.

• Social Media Content: It's hardly something different than just 'content' these days, but producing, designing, and curating still and video content for social media still has its own special requirements. And, at this point it's also essential that you make those considerations from the start.

• Exhibition Curation and Production: Exhibitions and film festivals are often seen as a golden, flagship opportunity to share your work with audiences, though the traditional exclusive white-walled and star-studded world they have existed in make it hard to plan on it as a strategy. But now, with the dropping costs of production and rising popularity of pop-up events you can easily build screenings and exhibitions into the experiences you offer your audience.

• Campaign Strategy: I love working with clients and partners on strategy. Integrating this thinking from the start adds purpose and structure to the raw assets and aligns everyone on producing the best, most valuable content and deliverables possible.

• Workshops, Mentoring, and Training: Sometimes there's basic creative work that's better done inhouse. I don't see that as a threat, but rather an opportunity to produce even more good stuff. I often work with clients to provide guidance and develop inhouse capacity and basic skills so we can work together, complimenting and amplifying our collective efforts for a better world.

• Project Management: Most projects I work on are with larger clients—budgetary realities always rule in the end—who have inhouse project managers. But sometimes small clients have larger projects or those larger clients have smaller, discrete projects. In those cases I can pull all of the above together and help oversee the whole project from start to finish.

As the media environment continues to evolve (rapidly!) it can kill old ways of doing business, especially for photographers. If I could, I'd love to just go out and make photographs and let everyone else take it from there. But there's no longer any guarantee that just making great photographs will lead to anyone seeing them and, in my case, the impact I hope they'll have. So these changes also create the opportunity to make sure that the creative work I do might also matter. For over 20 years I've thrived on this dynamic challenge and the list above is just the start. Let's talk about your work, see where we align, and see what cool things we can come up with.

Jason Houston, photographer

Jason Houston's work explores how we live on the planet and with each other, looking at environmental issues through the lens of human experience.
Website via Visura

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