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Best Practices

Behind the Scenes

Robin Donovan on our augmented reality feature, the illusion of comfort.

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Exciting news: This month we present our first-ever augmented reality feature! Read: Video content from Signs of the Times editorial is here, with more to come. If you download an app, you can watch a quick video of me with a tip about my favorite article in this issue.

If you’ve ever felt self-conscious when having a photo taken, you can imagine the moment of pause I had when I started to sort through the logistics of recording myself. I know my way around Audacity, iMovie and the other usual suspects, but I don’t use them daily.

To take the pressure off, I decided to experiment with camera positions, recording locations, volume levels and the like the day before recording. It took some time but I found an angle I liked in a spot with just enough natural light and – bonus – a sunny day.

But why wait till the next day to record, especially when the Portland sun is so unpredictable? Really, just the illusion of comfort, I thought. Or, perhaps someone else on another brand would make their video first, so I’d have something work from.

It took about 10 seconds to realize those were not reasons to wait. The truth was, I was dragging my feet because I’m not an expert videographer and I felt unsure.

A mentor told me perfectionism is like alcoholism; you can get better, but that itch to be perfect stays with you. You’re successful if you work with it and if you think you’re done working on it, you’re likely in denial. 

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After a bit more angst – wardrobe choices, tone and scripting decisions – I hit record. And hit record. And hit record. And hit record. 

If you’ve ever seen a great photo on social media by a non-photographer, chances are there were 50 versions of the photo before that single, stellar shot. Video is not so different. It took a number of tries, and a solid bit of time, to produce something that was succinct and that felt authentic. 

I have a note on my fridge: You’re Ready Now. It reminds me to try new things when I’m able, rather than waiting for “the right time.” Speaking of the right time – check out the video, peruse these pages and take a risk. Chances are, your best is good enough.

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