A pictures paints 1,000 words, but have you every thought what a video could do for you? According to Dr. James McQuivey from Forrester Research, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.
There are a lot of little things that I incorporate into my portrait sessions to create a ‘wow!’ but if I had to pinpoint the one that makes the most impact it would be the addition of video with the slideshow. I love the fact that in my session not only do I capture still imaginary, I also capture my clients in the pure essence of their life. Daddy’s twirling their little girls around, siblings bent over in that deep down belly laughter, families emerged in tickle fights, little boys roaming making noise with their arms spread out like wings as they pretend to be an airplane, sisters hand in hand in a ring – singing and giggling. Can you visualize these images? These are the moments that truly bring our clients stories to life.
I don’t plan out my videos in the session I let the sessions unfold and capture the real moments of interaction, typically my clients don’t even know I have switch to video mode. So the surprise and wow factor is found at their sales appointment when they sit down to view their slide show that I have created. The music begins, the still images display on the screen and then a picture begins to move and come to life and that is when the magic happens. That is when you know you have done your job by fulfilling a need that your client didn’t even know they had.
There is something magical about video, it takes you back to that very moment and fills you with raw emotion, Animoto helps me do just that by allowing me to quickly create an extraordinary slideshow presentation. I’ve been with Animoto Pro almost from their beginning and I absolutely love them! It is an amazing online software that allows you to intertwine images sprinkled with 10 sec video clips and text. It breathes life into the sales process and is an incredible tool. Below is my own personal formula for creating my slideshows.
Leah’s Formula for building a Custom Animoto Pro Slideshow:
- Upload Final Images from Session (typically 25-30)
- 5-7 Favorite Video Clips (between 3 & 10 seconds each)
- Set theme in Animoto (My go-to is Brilliance & Classic White)
- Upload logo slide for the end of the video (include logo, URL, phone number)
- Quotes – Add 2 to 3 text slides with meaningful quotes. ( a few examples: “Family is where life begins and love never ends”, “The love of a family is life’s greatest blessings” & ” Our happily ever after”)
Bonus Option – Add a call to action that brings viewers back to your website (for when shared)
Adding video has been a huge part of my wow factor and since most of our cameras have video capability, it’s an easy addition you can start implementing on your very next shoot. There are several slideshow software options, I personally chose and love Animoto Pro because I needed something that was fast and looked professional! I’ve stayed with Animoto all of these years because I can make a gorgeous, custom slideshow in 30 minutes and for their ever improving features and great music selection (including music from Triple Scoop).
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Lovely video! Thank you for the great idea! Would you mind sharing what song that is? I love it!
Absolutely! It’s just one of the songs Animoto Pro has for you to choose from. It’s called ‘Looking Ahead’ by Abbas Premjee
Thank you Leah for this post. I love learning from you! I have for a while now wanted to start video presentations not only for how you mentioned using them but for marketing purposes as well.
So question, are you saying that you do this at each session? And you are the one videoing these small clips here and there…not an assistant? Yes, I do have video capabilities on my camera, I just yet have to use it :/ I have been inspired to start:)
Exactly! So I just jump from video to still a few times during the session. In the beginning I would get a wow shot and then ask them to do it one more time and the second time I would record it. I can’t imagine having to coordinate with an assistant as well so for my workflow I just wanted to be able to do it all myself! And I love that you’re thinking about marketing! I use Animoto for marketing a ton, in fact I was thinking it would be fun to do a part 2 and show how I’ve done that as well! (That’s how I originally justified the purchase all those year ago – thinking that I could use it for my clients and my marketing approach and it’s been awesome!)
You’re always inspiring me to do a little more. Thank you for that! Happy New Year!
what a great video/photoshoot
I have seen lots of video’s but adding the video clips does really make it come to life!
My question is about the video you shoot, is it between shots?(all the same camera right)
can you use the video clips images as pictures or are they low res?
I am just concerned about missing those magic moments cuz I am videoing not shooting!
Thanks and have a great weekend
Thanks so much for the wonderful compliments! So yes! I’m doing video and stills simultaneously, I’ve gotten good at just flipping between video and still on my camera – in fact, I do it without them knowing so that it’s a surprise at the debut! It also takes a ton of the pressure off for making it have to be amazing video. lol If I feel like I missed a magic moment for still, I just have them do it again! I’ll say something like, ‘that was so awesome, let’s just do it one more time!!’ 🙂 Hope that helps you!!
Heck, that made ME want to buy their images!! 🙂 genius!!!
Ha! That’s what I like to hear!! Thanks Stephanie! 😀
Do you also offer the option for them to purchase the video? And if so, what do you charge?
I do offer the opportunity to purchase the slideshow. It wouldn’t be very fare to just keep it for myself. 😉 It’s part of my collections or it can be purchased by itself for $125
I recently signed up for Animoto Pro and love the slideshows. I agree that it is soooo much easier to shoot video clips yourself than to have a videographer. It is less cost as well, right? Adding video IS such a nice little surprise for the client. They always love it! Cheers to you in the New Year and blessings always!!
I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!! You are amazing Leah! This is one of the most amazing things I have seen from you, and I have seen a lot!!!!!! I want to start doing this!!! Do you do this with inside sessions too?
Thanks Kira! I do it with all of my sessions! 🙂
Absolutely love this!!
How do you incorporate a call to action in the video?
Within Animoto Pro you can add a link at the end of the video and I make it a call to action! 🙂
Absolutely love it Leah!!!! I have been meaning to incorporate video slideshows with my sessions but I can’t seem to figure out a good focusing system with my current camera :/ On video mode my camera only allows for manual focus and I was wondering if you were also doing manual focus with your videos or do you have the auto focus feature with your camera? I have tried with manual focus and let me just say it takes a lot of practice!
Great question Kat! My old camera had manual focus so what I would do is lock in my focal point while in still mode, then switch to video so that I would be tack sharp. At first I did minimal movement. They stayed put, I stayed put and then I videos. So for example, I might have the family sitting on a blanket in the grass and then I get in position and focus in, switch to video and then have them tickle or do airplane or steal a kiss or a hug…. That way my focus would stay on (as long as I wasn’t shooting wide open with a really low aperture). Then I would practice just a little at a time on focus and pulling focus with movement. I’ve embraced a very raw, im-perfect video style just for this reason.
Thank you sooooo much for those tips!!!! Your videos are beyond gorgeous and truly capture the rawness of living in the moment! I will definitely try your method and hope I feel comfortable enough to use it on a maternity session I have scheduled this weekend! It would be such a surprise for them and an accomplishment for me! I cannot thank you enough for your help!! Xoxo
Oh that’s awesome! You should absolutely try it on the maternity session. Keep it a surprise and that way if it doesn’t work you don’t have to feel bad but if it does… you’ll have an EPIC surprise in store! 😀 Good Luck!