François Lamoureux makes video of all kinds, including YouTube tutorials inspired by his previous career as a teacher
What makes a primary school teacher from the south-west of France forsake a 10 year-career in education to become a videographer? “I was always interested in new technologies and used them a lot in my class, particularly tablets, to help pupils who were struggling”, says François Lamoureux, a very amenable character with an infectious laugh. He set up a YouTube channel, named Explique-Moi Encore (explain again) which allowed his charges to check online lessons they had not quite grasped. This led him to introduce colleagues to digital techniques so they could use them as teaching tools, and to make videos about how to make videos.
“As I made more and more teaching videos, I looked up on YouTube to learn how to light a scene, set up the camera and progress. Seeing what others did gave me an incentive to persist on this path and I love sharing and learning with other video-makers.” He received so many request for videos that, one day, he took the plunge, left teaching and became a full-time filmmaker. Three years later, he’s busier than ever and rarely lets go of his trusted mirrorless cameras. “I chose them because they’re light, flexible tools and the results are fantastic when you use great lenses such as the NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S. The brightness and details are outstanding”.
François shoots wedding videos, corporate projects and clips on varied subjects he posts once a week on his channel. Perhaps because of his training as, he says, “a generalist teacher”, he doesn’t like to be confined to a single field. “I like working on different types of projects. It’s great because it allows me to approach my trade in many ways while avoiding routine.”
During the pandemic, he was glad he “hadn’t put all my eggs in one basket. I was able to fall back on YouTube while corporate projects and weddings were put on hold”. The channel is closing in on 60,000 followers and accounts for 30 per cent of his income (thanks to Amazon affiliate links and links to his courses), as well as raising his profile and generating new business. While stuck at home this year, François increased his output of advice and tutorials, including a successful course on editing with Final Cut Pro. He has a dedicated studio set-up for making videos, where the Nikon Z 6 has become a favourite tool.
“At the end of 2019, I tried Nikon for the first time and was blown away by the Z 6: good ergonomics, tilting touchscreen, superb lenses. The results were extraordinary both for stills and videos, which I wasn’t expecting. The dynamic range is superb and the image resolution is excellent even when not shooting in 4K”. As a video-maker, he was also seduced by the comprehensive Z 6 Essential Movie Kit.
As soon as the lockdown stopped, “the phone started ringing like mad,” François says. “Companies were eager for videos to stimulate their business”. One assignment was for smartphone brand OnePlus. “I covered the launch of the OnePlus 7 and 8 phones and followed teams and fans from Paris to London, including the queue that went all the way around the Fnac superstore in Paris on launch day.”
François also gets commissioned by artisans who want footage of their skills for a website or Facebook. “I really enjoyed making a video for a barber in Pau, who had a beautiful retro salon, and a patisserie on the Basque coast whose creations were fabulous as well as a delight to film.”
Corporate clients tend to be demanding and know exactly what they want. For a shoot at an Apple reseller, brand representatives were present to supervise every detail. “Each shot was planned without any room for improvisation or a lot of creativity”, says François. “Whereas an artisan relies more on your expertise. I like to show their savoir-faire, the intricate movements. There’s more scope to be creative”.
Weddings represent a sizeable chunk of François’ business but 2020 has seen many ceremonies postponed. “They are hard work”, he says. “You start early and you finish late, so it’s best to avoid unnecessary weight. In this respect a mirrorless camera such as the Z 6 is ideal”. He often works with his partner, either as a second videographer or as a stills photographer. “You can’t miss anything. It’s so demanding because you have to be at the right place at the right time.”
François’ experience in the field meant that Nikon France commissioned him to film a video reenacting a wedding. “Part of the shoot took place on the Dune du Pilat [Europe’s largest sand dune, on the south-west coast of France], early in the morning and at dusk. The sunrise over the nearby Landes forest provided us with a fantastic light.” Models played the role of the bride and groom. For this outdoor filming, the Z 6 was perfect. “I took advantage of a very neat feature of the camera: you can shoot in ProRes Raw.” On the dune, the ever-changing light made fine tuning the exposure difficult, but, he says, “thanks to ProRes Raw, I was able to tweak the exposure in post-production to get an excellent result.”
François enjoyed the break that lockdown enforced – “a blessing, in some ways, because I love my job but it is very demanding and time-consuming” – which led him to reassess his career goals. In future, he wants to prioritise quality over quantity and to “improve my storytelling and try to be more original in my approach. I hate it when so many wedding or corporate videos look alike.”
Of course, François has made a video about how to develop a style. You can see it, along with all the others, on his YouTube channel.
The build quality, great lenses and the ProRes Raw filming option.
A Z 6 (the only mirrorless camera to offer ProRes Raw at the time), an Atomos Ninja V monitor, the fabulous NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S, which never leaves the Z 6 body –but just in case it does, a NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S. And the Z 6 Essential Movie Kit, which is really good value for money.
The Z 6II, a NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S lens or a NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S, which seems to me to be an incredible piece of kit.
NIKKOR Z 24-70mm
NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S
The Z 6 perfectly picks out the details in the greenery and the bride
Z 6, NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S, ISO 125, 1/1000 sec @ f/1.8
A behind-the-scenes shot perfecting the balance of bokeh and bouquet
Z 6, NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S, ISO 125, 1/40 sec @ f/1.8
Capturing a story is all in the detail
Z 6, NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S, ISO 100, 1/60 sec @ f/1.8
“You can’t miss anything,” says François. Diligent to the end, he gets the parting shot
Z 6, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, ISO 500, 1/2500 sec @ f/2.8
With incredible depth of field, the NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S masters any situation
Z 6, NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S, ISO 125, 1/1000 sec @ f/1.8
François was “blown away” when first using a Z 6
Z 6, NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S, ISO 125, 1/500 sec @ f/1.8