Unit Stills Photographer: what they do and how do I become one?

The job of a unit stills photographer can be a mysterious one. Although a stills photographer is technically part of the camera department, oftentimes they are a one-person team. “But it does take a still photographer to sell a movie, and to show the movie, and to archive the movie, and to have the moments go down in history,” says Society of Motion Picture Stills Photographers (SMPSP) co-president Merie Weismiller Wallace. Unlike other departments, where most people start out as runners or assistants, there’s no such thing in stills photography, as it is usually a department of one. So what does the job entail, and how does one start out as a stills photographer? What is the role of a…

Read More

Stills Photographers boost film success rates. 5 Reasons Why

stills photographer Hansof Waller

Marketing and film festival strategy can be an afterthought on some low-budget productions, and when on a tight budget, it can be tempting for less experienced producers to skip out on a unit stills photographer. After all, your main goal is to actually get the film made first and overcome the hundreds of hurdles that lead up to that point. However, much like film treatments and pitch documents are tools that will help sell your idea to get the film made, stills help sell your finished film to audiences. There are many creative, technical and financial benefits to having a stills photographer on set, so let me break it down for you. You’ve finished your film. Now what? In the…

Read More