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"It's about the story, not the expensive photo equipment"

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Storyflow – content creators Melanie Stocker and Florian Schindler turned their passion into their job, telling exciting stories with photos and films. And they also ask us to write and create our own stories. 

How did they actually come up with the crazy idea of becoming self-employed as a photographer or film maker? Both story-tellers were inspired by a trip to the Caribbean. They got to know a photography couple who specialize in honeymoon trips and carried out their work in the most beautiful locations in the world. Both of them immediately knew that working like that would be a dream. 

A boot camp can't hurt

The first few jobs abroad were very intensive, non-stop filming and taking photographs, from early till late without any breaks. In most cases, the customers came up with the ideas. Both bloggers had to follow clear specifications. "But it was good training, a bootcamp, for everything that was to come later", says Florian. Travel also brought inspiration. The two of them had the best ideas when they were on the move and hit upon a productive flow. 2017 was a whole year of being on the road and producing more than 100 of their own Youtube videos. 

We want to inspire people to do the same as us, to dare to take the step and go further.

Melanie & Florian from Storyflow

How stories arise at Storyflow 

"We're looking for authenticity and reality when we take a portrait of someone", say the young natives of Aargau. They want the protagonists to be themselves on set. They approach their stories using a reporting style and work with what is available on site. They often gain inspiration from daily life for their work, looking at exactly what occupies, drives or moves people. 

Becoming a freelance photographer or film-maker: five tips for a successful start

Tip 1: Start small, build up slowly

It's hard becoming freelance from one day to the next. Often creative types initially stay employed on a part-time basis while they build up their business and network at the same time. It's important that revenue from freelance work grows gradually. 

Tip 2: Talent is not expensive

You can also take good photos with an inexpensive camera. It's also rather careless to take on too much debt with expensive equipment when you become freelance. You can hire most equipment, even by the hour. That way you can keep your costs in check. 

Tip 3: Stay focused

If you were an optician, you wouldn't treat broken legs as well. The same applies to other sectors: Anyone offering the entire spectrum of photography from fashion, architecture to food appears unprofessional and disorganized. Your offer should therefore be clearly defined.

Tip 4: A strong network

Of course, it's important to present yourself with your work on social media, but it's equally important to have a real network of personal contacts. What is the point of 20,000 followers who only look at pictures? Freelancers receive a great deal of commissioned work through personal recommendations and encounters. 

Tip 5: An independent profile

Uniform and professional branding is important for people in a creative profession, but your profile should be authentic. Ultimately it should reflect the person, their work and their style. The profile of an architectural photographer would differ from that of a school photographer.

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Take exciting pictures with a drone - input from the professionals

Melanie and Florian, what tips would you give drone newcomers?

Don't immediately fly in sport mode; find a large open space to try out your flying device. We started at a sports ground and slowly felt our way through the difficult maneuvers. You should be familiar with and follow the flight regulations. Flying with a drone can be dangerous.

Where can these regulations be found?

There are online workshops and courses. The Federal Office for Civil Aviation (FOCA) has also issued regulations that people should read before flying a drone. 

How can the best pictures be taken with a drone?

It's important to think about the composition before the flight. You may find special angles when flying and taking photos. Anyone can take panorama shots. Looking for the challenge, experimenting and trying out something new helps drone pilots progress.

You can not only take air shots with a drone, but also tell a story: You can involve protagonists who perform the action. Really exciting shots are often created near ground level. Anyone darting out from behind an object or hovering between trees can produce surprising images, but you must be able to control the device very well during such routines. 

A rule of thumb for future "flying eyes"? 

The same applies to a drone as it does to a camera: The more often you use it, the better the result. Therefore go out, practice and have fun! 

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