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Types of Shots: Best Angles For Camera, Film–and Marketing

Want to spice up your marketing campaigns? Learn the ins and outs of types of shots traditionally used for film to upgrade your product photography.

We all recognize many of them, the different camera shots in film and photography. Some might be more subtle, go undetected, or perhaps are even chalked up as a camera error by the casual viewer. The truth is, there are many different types of shots in the world of film and photography.

Imagine that heated scene between war-torn lovers. Only, without that close-up, you will also have to imagine their star-crossed gaze. Picture the hero, standing above the city they just saved. Without that long shot, however, you probably won't see much past our hero's feet.

These scenes aren't possible without the right types of camera shots. Different shot types are designed for many different effects. That also leads to the reason or reasons why the different types of camera shots are important in film and product photography.

Why are different camera shots important?

The importance of camera shots has changed over the years and with the advancement of video technologies. Today, marketers and advertisers use the same camera shots that were initially found in the movie industry.

Yes, types of camera shots have a major role in many aspects of photography and film. That also includes impacts that go well beyond the visual. The right angle, camera shots, or scene can invoke emotion and create those epic moments we never forget.

Sometimes, those scenes and images even become iconic. For the brands and businesses that capture and capitalize on these types of camera shots and moments, success and recognition always follow.

Three basic types of shots set the foundation for film and photography. The earliest of these camera shots was the wide or long shot. In the film industry, the term "long shot" is also used to describe a continuous shooting or one-take filming.

The long shot, in terms of types of shots, was introduced in the late 1800s. Around the turn of the century, other types of camera shots were introduced. Primarily, those were the close-up and medium shots.

What are the three main types of shots?

The three main types of shots, also referred to as the basic camera shots in film and photography, are the close-up, the medium shot, and the long shot. Each type of main or basic camera shot refers to the appearance of the subject within the picture frame.

Here is a deeper look at the three primary types of shots.

Close-up shot

Are you ready for your close-up? It is an expression used many times, and in many settings, but it began in film and photography. Since its inception in the early 1900s, the close-up shot has effectively conveyed dramatic impact. With moving cameras and the tools of technology, the close-up shot can now do even more.

In the advertising world, product close-ups have become a staple and a proven technique for marketers. Are you ready for your close-up? If the goal is to help provide your audience with values such as dramatic effect, shock, or memorable imagery, the close-up is a proven tool in film and photography. Want help focusing your video content? The close-up could be the perfect camera shot.

Want to draw the attention of the audience to a specific product or service? A close-up shot is a great way to direct their focus. Trying to establish a feeling or convey an emotion? A close-up shot always works. The close-up, however, wouldn't be what it is without the other types of camera shots.

Medium shot

Often referred to as a waist shot or mid-shot, medium shots are ideally aimed (pun intended) to equally distribute or balance the subject with its background. The medium shot is arguably the most common type of shot used today.

Many how-to videos, product and service ads and even new programs commonly use the medium shot. This type of camera shot allows the subject to interact with their surroundings while equally distributing focus. The medium shot enables communication techniques of body language along with expressions and activities.

Like the close-up and the long shot, the advent of the moving camera and technology has opened up many more options for film and photography. The basic or three main types of shots, however, are still the foundation for anyone with a camera in their hand.

Long shot

If you hear the term "establishing shot," it refers to the long shot (aka the wide shot). Not only because of its historical use and its impact even today, but the long shot is also often referred to as the establishing shot because of its ability to stage a scene. At one time, in the earliest days of film, the long shot was also the most common type of shot because it was the first type of camera shot used.

Today, these once still and majestic-looking overviews of landscapes, skies, and cities are now often a moving and sweeping panoramic. Oh yes, the long shot is still widely used, and perhaps is more powerful now than ever.

It is also as practical as it has ever been. Can you imagine that new car lot owner trying to advertise his 5,000 vehicle inventory with only a close-up or medium shot? The three basic types of camera shots, though, are never used alone anymore. Today, photography and film in production and advertising use advanced types of camera shots and technological tools.

Are there more advanced types of shots?

The three main shots are also referred to as the three basic camera shots because, in part, at one time, that is all there was. That, of course, leads to the question about more advanced types of shots.

There are at least seven different types of generally used camera shots today. Those seven types of shot sizes include the close-up, the extreme close-up, the medium shot, the establishing shot, the wide shot, the extreme wide shot, and the Point-of-View (POV) shot.

The extreme close-up and wide shot are one of the different shot types, which is an amplified version of a basic camera shot. POV shots give viewers a perspective through the eyes of the subject.

There are also several options for camera movement. When used with various types of camera shots and shot sizes, the element of movement can take film and photography to another level. Some of the most widely-used camera techniques in films and marketing today include panning, camera tilt, zoom, tracking or following shots, and overhead or crane shots.

These techniques, combined with the various camera shot options, help create memorable and impactful images. Look no further than marketing to see how important the power of imagery is and why the right camera shots matter.

The importance of imagery in marketing

Marketing can take many forms, but nothing speaks quite like imagery. From videos, to advertisements, to still images, companies have used imagery for years to help establish their name and brand. Are you using video content for your small business that works?

Who can forget the Energizer Bunny? Who doesn't recognize the giant golden M of the world's largest fast food chain? Who doesn't have images of brands and companies recorded in their brain that they don't instantly recognize?

There was a time before any of us were born when marketing relied on word of mouth, the content of advertisements, or name recognition. Today, the playing field has been leveled, and audiences are just waiting for the latest and greatest image to grab their attention.

How important is imagery in marketing? Perhaps the real question should be, can your marketing campaign survive without great imagery? Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and the right image - so much more.

Include your photography in your email campaigns

One of the benefits of images like photography or film is their flexibility. Using photography or other images in your email campaign, for example, is a creative and effective way to apply these visual tools.

Emails that have images or photographs are more difficult to ignore. They also innately prompt the curiosity of the audience. A picture of what? In the world of entertainment and visual stimulation, including photography in your email campaigns can be a winning move.

Adding images like photographs to your email campaign will also enhance the image of your business and brand. Emails that have images are also often viewed as more professional and or trustworthy. Using photographs in your email campaign can also offer your business or brand a more lively appeal.

We all want to be entertained, and everyone wants to look. Using photography in email campaigns is the best of both worlds. It gives your target audience the visual satisfaction they desire, and it puts your business and brand in the limelight.

Yes, there is more to using photographs in your email marketing campaign than meets the eye. And more eyes will likely see your marketing campaign when you do too, with tools from the Mailchimp Content Studio.

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