Recently I was giving feedback on a friend’s cinematography reel and I asked him: Do cinematographers traditionally edit their reels to show the best clips independent of the project or do they group the shots according to the project?

The advice he received from his mentor was to group shots by the project because anyone can create a reel composed of the best shots. By editing a reel showcasing the shots within the project, a cinematographer can demonstrate mastery of craft and what they were thinking on set. To a cinematographer, being able to promote how they think in the moment provides tremendous value, more than just a beautiful shot.

How often do we approach promotion without context?

Regardless of the creative medium, we often move clip to clip, tweet to tweet, photo to photo, blog post to post without concern for the context in which they were created in. We promote ourselves in order to get more likes, views, sessions, or whatever metric means the most to us today. We react. We respond.

But what if we took the time to understand the context in which we create our work? What if we took the time to relay the story of our work, what we learned, and how it impacted our growing body of work?

Three Questions to Build Context

Before you click the Promote button on your next project, ask yourself these context-building questions:

  1. What story am I telling about the decisions made throughout the project?
  2. How am I demonstrating growth and mastery of my craft with this project?
  3. How is this project impacting my brand and my body of work?