Intro by Skip Cohen
Every time Suzette Allen joins us here at the ProShow Annex I write pretty much the same thing about bringing slideshows into your repertoire. It’s a no-brainer to expand what you offer your clients as well as how you market yourself.
Today though, rather just push the point about building a stronger business, Suzette gave me a whole supply of videos to share and I picked five different ones for you to view – all of them under a minute.
The fun of this concept is that they don’t need to be full length feature films to have impact! Pay attention to the way Suzette has put these short films together, the techniques she’s sharing, the music and the images. From family to maternity to seniors, watch each one of the five and think about your client base and the profile of your target audience.
We’re into the second biggest stretch of seasonality in photography – the Spring! While many of you are late to do something for Mother’s Day, you’ve still got Father’s Day and Graduation ahead. Don’t let this season go by without exceeding client expectations with some perfectly timed delivery of slideshows for your customers!
One of my favorites this week was The Lutz Family. I love the way Suzette mixed video with still images and then the combination of the smaller color image together with a partial view of the same larger image in black and white, especially when the little girl reaches over to kiss Dad and then Mom.
Slideshows need to be part of your business and Photodex and Suzette are working together to make it so easy!
So many of you are working so hard to build your skill set. Slideshows, especially hybrid with still images and video clips are such a great way to draw in more clients. They also demonstrate your ability to be the ultimate storyteller!
One of the most delightful times of the year is springtime, when every place is gorgeous and full of flowers, even the junky abandoned lots and roadsides! You just can’t help but find pretty places to shoot wherever you go. And everyone seems to be in a lighter mood, anticipating summer and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine for a change!
This is the season to create FRESH content to get the attention of your clients. Posting short videos on social media is one of the best (and free) ways to get your name out there and get your clients and potential clients’ attention. Strong images are good, but a sure thing is a video that captures the attention of the viewer in the first two seconds. When viewers are scrolling through the feed, a video needs to capture their attention immediately and hold it for a few seconds to engage them.
Here are a few tips to make the most of your efforts and get the best response:
- My goal is to make short pieces under a minute long (or under 30 seconds is even better!) with a Wow beginning. Use music too, but more than half will see it in silence, so make sure it is engaging without the music too.
- For Facebook uploads, never link from YouTube or Instagram or even Photodex! That requires them to click on the link to go see the video. Facebook does not want viewers going to another site! So, what’s the key? Upload natively – which means directly upload the mp4 from your computer into FB. That DOES mean an extra step. That means when you are finished building your show with ProShow Web, you need to go to the downloads tab and create a video (I make HD, usually) and download it to your desktop first. BUT the payoff is that when they scroll through the feed, the video plays instantly, catching their attention and not requiring a click-thru! #totallyworththeeffort
- For maximum impact on Instagram, crop it square if it looks good in that format! Bigger IS better! Unfortunately, you cannot crop a video in Lightroom or in ProShow Web, so you will need to go to Photoshop to do this job, and export from there. #helpfulbutnotvital
- Of course, you should add your logo and name at the end of every video and perhaps a link to your website as well! I just create a title slide (1920×1080 pixels, one black and one white) with my logo in the center and keep it handy to add to the end of every show I make.
I love using ProShow Web to create these short promos because it makes it easy and fast to create them and allows me to add a link to my website at the end as well! It’s as easy as picking ten images, three videos of 5 sec or so, a title slide, a song and pressing “GO”.
I love the way ProShow handles videos so well, but even if you are not shooting much video yet, you can still make a moving show with the stills that will capture the attention and leverage motion to your advantage! You can grow into your video skills with ProShow and look great all the while.
I’ve picked a few sample videos that feature engaging videos to grab your attention when it is whizzing by in a social media feed. Maximize your marketing dollars by leveraging social media and take advantage of the season!
It’s nearing the end of the school year too, so senior grad cards with slideshows of stills or Hybrid “Reel Stories” as I call them, are the ideal product to create for seniors – either to connect to their grad cards with Live Portrait OR provide a cool show to feature at their grad parties! They don’t have to be long – just cool!
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.