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The Key to Growing into Hybrid Relevance

Today’s guest post comes from SCU President and founder of Marketing Essentials International, Skip Cohen and Professional Hybrid Photographer, Suzette Allen.

Intro By Skip Cohen

Suzette Allen is back and she’s hitting one of my favorite themes for photographers – RELEVANCE! Regardless of your age or how long you’ve been in business, your clients are looking to you to be a “guiding light” in terms of creativity and technology. Most of you already have credibility as artists, but that makes it more important for your work to be cutting-edge, and don’t forget being a master storyteller!

Hybrid relevance means you’re creating presentations that typically exceed client expectations. There’s no better way to do that than to combine still images with video and put it all together with great music!


By Suzette Allen

Ok, so I think most of the serious photographers are realizing that video is becoming more and more of a vital tool and medium for us to be offering. I have been teaching photographers how to integrate bits of video into their portrait and commercial shoots for a while and so many tell me stories of new opportunities that pop up because they offer video! I assume you have also heard the statistics on how video-centric the millenials are…Yeah, we really need to start that journey.

Well, the truth is, the transition into making stylized video content is a long-ish road with a few steep ascents. Perseverance is definitely required to stay dedicated and persevere to the point of mastery. Just like learning Photoshop. You don’t go at it half-hearted and expect to get anywhere! Slow and steady gets it done, though. Just continually working at it.

But here’s the great news! Photodex has your back! And you can GROW into it! Even if you have never shot video but you want to start offering Live Portraits* (where the video is unlocked by the print using a phone app), you can still do it and shine! In fact, many of my own wall portraits have been activated to play a video from sessions taken BEFORE I even had a camera to shoot video! No problem!

All you need to do is take the best stills, add a nice piece of music and make a ProShow Web slideshow with amazing slide styles and transitions, export it as an HD video and TA-DA — you are in the game. Nobody cares that there is no actual video in it — every image is moving, so it is dynamic! Here is one I made last month for a promotional display. The portrait session was from 3 years ago and it was my very first season of shooting video so it only had about 3 short usable clips!

I can now show my clients how almost every canvas wall portrait in my studio will play a video with the Live Portrait App (even the older samples). It works like a charm! But now that I am adding more and more video, I just raise the bar slightly each time as I create more content with video and continue making my shows with ProShow! It uploads and operates the same with videos and stills and it allows me to grow with my skills, but not have to continually search for new software solutions (with learning curves) to meet my digital needs.

I feel like ProShow Web is one of the most valuable tools we can use on a daily basis with client work, because it is so powerful at stirring up the emotions of the client at the sales appointment, it makes it so easy to create wow social media pieces AND it also helps us grow into the future with the ease of integrating video – in any increment we are ready for!

Here’s a show with lots more video and a few still! A little more experience with video makes it more fun and engaging, but the final product still comes together quickly and beautifully with Photodex.

So, wherever you are on the continuum of learning how to integrate video (even if you haven’t even made eye contact with the start line), make a show today with a series of still photos from the session, and then connect it to the print so it’s unlocked with Live Portrait*, (available through Bay Photo Lab or Marathon Press) and begin your journey. Then next week, start shooting a little Behind the Scenes video to slip in…even if it’s just with your iPhone, seriously. Just keep your video clips under 15 seconds (aim for 7-10 seconds) and you will be golden. And yes, you can even trim your videos in ProShow Web.

Thanks to Photodex for helping us GROW as photographers and embrace new technology – painlessly!

*Live Portrait is a service where an image (jpg) can be a target to unlock a video and play with an app on your phone. Simply scan the wall portrait or print with the app and it will play the video on your smartphone. See more here:

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