Slideshows are more than just a way to show off your photography and make extra income. They can help catapult you to the top of your game at a surprising speed — that is, when you introduce viral marketing into the equation.
Internationally-acclaimed wedding photographer, Mark Ridout has experienced this first-hand, the amazing impact ProShow slideshows have had on his photography business. Today he shares the story about how he got started, along with some of his best practices.
For Mark, his love of photography started as a young boy. “I always had a camera in my hands growing up and made a dark room when I was 17 years old.” He never imagined his hobby would eventually turn into such a wildly successful photographic career. In 1980, the career-changing opportunity struck when a friend asked if he would shoot his wedding. One wedding led to another. After a few years, he was picking up enough work to dedicate himself full-time to his new vocation.
From the beginning, Mark focused on maximizing the impact of the pictures he’d taken for his brides. Although he felt the quality of his photography could stand on its own, he wanted to find a way to bring out the life in his still images beyond what the print medium allowed him to do. After doing some research, he determined that slideshows offered a way to do this, along with providing a new canvas on which he could extend his creative talents.
For his first slideshow, he used a basic program that he found online. When he presented it to the bride, she immediately started crying. Mark quickly learned that there was something different and far more emotional about the response he was getting with slideshows vs. showing individual still images to his clients. He had never experienced that kind of reaction before. He liked the impact it created, but now, he wanted a slideshow tool that was more professional.
After studying the options on the market further, he decided on ProShow Producer for the following reasons:
|Unlimited Creative Control – ProShow Producer’s wide array of features and options allow Mark to create shows his way with total control over his productions.|
|Over 40 Output Options – Slideshows can be output over 40 ways including DVD, Blu-ray, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and more. Output to a portable device like an iPad for viewing on-the-go.|
|Quick and Easy Workflow – ProShow Producer’s wizard, built-in slide styles and transition effects make slideshow creation faster and easier than ever.|
Throughout his 30-year career, Mark has become a leading proponent of slideshows and his mastery of the medium is evident. He reveals that his secret to creating memorable slideshows is trying not to add too many effects. He typically starts each slideshow with a funky beginning, using a portion of a video clip. He keeps the motion effects simple and soft, and alternates between a very limited number of styles. “It’s important to not get carried away when adding effects, says Mark. “Let the photography do most of the work.”
Once Mark completes a slideshow, he presents it to the newlyweds. It is not uncommon for the clients to be so emotionally moved by the viewing experience that they are tearing up during the session. Once they watch the show, it’s only natural that they’d want to share it with their family, friends, and so on.
Slideshow created in ProShow Producer.
Mark believes that a large part of his business growth is a direct result of the slideshow’s ability to take on a viral effect. After he presents the show to his clients, he uploads it to his blog, as well as YouTube and Facebook. Having his shows posted on the Web allows his newlyweds to easily share the show among their entire social network. By going viral with slideshows, Mark is able to generate an ever-increasing amount of referral business and traffic to his site. In addition, he is able to track the resulting visitors and viewings for each slideshow quickly and easily.
As an added marketing opportunity, Mark also offers brides the ability to purchase slideshow CDs to be used as thank-you cards. Instead of a bride simply mailing out the standard thank-you note, she includes a slideshow CD with each note, so all her guests have the opportunity to relive the highlights of the event. The slideshows include Mark’s branding and contact information.
“For photographers wishing to grow their business, I would say never underestimate the importance of sharing online, creating and marketing with slideshows,” said Mark.
Slideshow created in ProShow Producer.
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