It’s March and the “slow season” is rapidly coming to a close, but just because sales are down this time of year, doesn’t mean your creativity in planning the new year can’t be up. Now is the perfect time to focus on ideas for the year ahead.
Photodex and Suzette Allen are loaded with ways to help you not only stand out from your competitors but build a stronger reputation with your client base. You’ve got two goals as an artist – always to exceed client expectations and to make yourself habit-forming. You want the relationship with each customer to be so memory-making that they tell all their friends.
Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you. -Chip Bell
Strolling through Suzette Allen’s YouTube channel, home of 241 videos, I found four stories I wanted to share today. Why? Each one represents a variety of marketing opportunities. They need to have a placeholder in your mindset as business ramps up in the months ahead.
Hybrid Technology: Pay attention to the way Suzette mixes still images with short video clips. The combination of techniques combined with great music brings each presentation alive. It’s so easy with today’s technology to shoot a little video with each portrait sitting or event.
“Hybrid technology” might be the current trendy word for the technique, but Photodex has had the ability to combine still images and videos for years. In fact, I did a slide show from a high school reunion of my own ten years ago combining video and still images, all thanks to Photodex. Today, camera technology and Photodex make it even easier with features to help you enhance each story.
4K Video: Shooting video in 4K gives you the ability to grab an 8-megapixel frame and enhance your story with still images. Not every image has to start out as a still photograph. This is where your editing skills play a role and once again, you can enhance your reputation as a master storyteller.
Greeting Cards: I pulled two great examples of holiday cards, which were Christmas themed, but think about your ability to offer your clients an endless stream of digital announcements. From engagement announcements, wedding invitations, graduations, thank you “notes,” birth announcements, anniversaries and holidays there’s a potential for you to regularly surprise your clients with ideas different from what they’re used to seeing.
Learn to capture the story of family dynamics!
The Price Sisters: I chose this video because it makes such a solid point about reminding you to capture the love and energy between siblings. Plus, notice how Suzette has combined short video clips with still images to tell the story. Then, add in great music and ProShow Web’s presentation features, and you’ve got a beautiful chapter of a family story all in under a minute!
Expecting Teddy: The entire video was shot in 4K with many of the still images being pulled from the video. There were two points that made me want to share this. First, is the technology – there will be times when the best interaction between your subjects can’t be captured with the click of the shutter, but later on in the editing process of a well-done video. Second, there are two topics that are always strong for storytelling, engagement sessions and maternity shoots. Ironically, they both represent the start of a new family – just at different stages.
And never be afraid of the weather! Suzette describes the session as: A beautiful session full of Joy and Expectation! The sky opened up after we all got rained on– so worth getting soggy! Photographed with a LUMIX GH4, videos filmed in 4K, sunny stills taken from the video!
Holiday Cards: Any photographer can do a family sitting for a holiday card, but only a few are combining video, still images and music to capture the spirit of each client. Both of these cards represent another idea to help raise the bar on your work as an artist and storyteller. Pay attention to the way Suzette tells both stories and manages to capture the spirit of each family.
Now, take this one step further. The December holidays might be ten months away, but with each portrait session you do over the next year, build a stash of video clips and more still images. Here’s your chance to create an experience for your clients – not just great photographs.
And, wander into the Photodex blog for more ideas on raising the bar on your technique, not just in creating slideshows, but in all aspects of photography. Photodex never slows down in their educational efforts to help you become a better artist!
Skip Cohen is President of SCU, founder of Marketing Essentials International and past president of Rangefinder Publishing and WPPI. He’s been an active participant in the photographic industry since joining Hasselblad USA in 1987 as president. He has co-authored six books on photography and actively supports dozens of projects each year involving photographic education.