Suggested: Creating a promotional video for your studio is becoming one of the newest trends for photographers. Not only are they a great marketing and promotional tool, but they also give your potential clients a great idea of what it’s like to work with you, which can help put them at ease and make them more likely to book you than another photographer.
Read about some of the things Dawn did when she was creating a promotional video for her studio.
“Video is all the rage these days. It’s great for SEO and for reaching a large audience. On top of that, I am a fairly introverted person and find formal networking with large groups of people incredibly exhausting and not a great use of my time.
Creating a promotional video seemed a good solution for showing potential clients what it’s like to work with me and showing them what they can expect when they book a senior session with me.
Here is the final product. I am very pleased with it and will talk below about how it all came together and some things to consider should you decide to create a promotional video for your business.
Choose a Video Style when Creating a Promotional Video
The first thing I wanted to consider is what style of video I wanted. Did I want a more corporate-looking video or did I want to tell a story? Did I have an idea of the message I wanted to deliver with my video?
There’s no right or wrong answer on this, and it really depends on you, your personality, and your brand (after all it wouldn’t make sense to have a corporate-style video if your style is very bohemian and laid-back).
For me, I concluded that I wanted a more photojournalistic approach that showed some emotion.
Finding a Videographer
Once I decided on the style I wanted, it became clear that a wedding videographer would be a route to consider.
Not knowing if wedding videographers crossed over into promotional videos, I just started doing Google searches and sending e-mails to the wedding videographers I liked. In the email, I asked if they did this type of work and what the approximate cost was (because I had absolutely no idea).
I was lucky in that Clint from Candlelight Films (my favorite videographer that I had found thus far), got back to me (yea!) and said he’d love to do the shoot and quoted me a price, which I accepted.
Clint and I had two phone meetings to brainstorm what I was trying to accomplish with the video, as it was important to have clarity on the main idea of the video.
I wanted to makes sure I was not only showing how the whole senior portrait experience worked, but also the connections among the people involved (mom and daughter, my connection to the subject, etc.).
Clint pointed out that the storytelling is in the editing. I hadn’t thought of it this way, but it is true and I trusted his advice as a professional in this area.
Finding a Senior Subject
Now that I had my videographer and knew what style of video I wanted to shoot, I knew I needed to choose a high school student who would act as my client in the video. I wanted a junior or senior girl to make the video as current as I could.
Alexa seemed an obvious choice, as I had photographed her before. Not only is she beautiful, she also is self-assured and outgoing and sweet.
I spoke to her mother about it, too, because I wanted her in the video as well. (As payment for being in the video, I gave them edited images and am working on a special product for them, too.)
I was so thankful for their work in this video. They did a great job and I was humbled by their kind words.
Coordination and Logistics
One of the hardest parts of getting this video together was coordinating everyone’s schedules! I had to consider my schedule, Clint’s (the videographer’s), the clients’, the makeup artist’s, and the venue’s.
And though I mostly shoot outdoors, I didn’t want to risk having bad weather mess everything up, so I opted for an indoor shoot for the video.
Because the ordering session and the actual photo session were shot on the same day, I needed images to present to the Mom and daughter at the ordering session Clint was recording.
Clint suggested I do an additional photo shoot with my client ahead of time, which I did. That way, I’d have actual images to present at our ordering session that Clint was recording. This worked well and was an excellent suggestion.
When I did this session, I made sure to shoot more horizontal images than normal because I knew they would have more impact in the final video than two verticals side-by-side.
As it got closer to the shoot, I created an outline for the video, broken down into scenes, for what I wanted to show. For each scene, I wrote down the questions that I wanted Clint to ask each person for their short interview.
I did not let my clients see the questions beforehand so the answers were not rehearsed, though I did give them a few things to be thinking about ahead of time such as “What is it like to work with me?”.
The Day of the Shoot
I made sure I brought hardcopies of the outline I created to the video shoot, and I cannot stress enough how important having an outline was. There were so many things to remember on the shoot day and I was thankful I had prepared it all ahead of time. Even so, Clint was a great coach with everyone, including me. I was really nervous!
To start the day, Jane Colley did my makeup and then we headed over to the client’s home to start shooting, as we shot the consultation and ordering session part first. Once we were done shooting that portion, Jane came by the house to do Alexa’s makeup. After that, we went to our venue for the photo shoot.
When it came time to do interviews with my clients, I left the room so as not to make them nervous. And they weren’t around for my interviews, either.
The Final Product
Clint did a beautiful job on the editing. I required one very small change at the end, but that was it. I loved it just the way it was. Clint chose the music, too, though I could have had input if I had wanted to. I trusted Clint’s expertise to put it all together.
And here is the final product:
Yes, it was a ton of work to do this video, but with Clint’s expertise and the kind words my clients said in the video, I accomplished exactly what I had set out to do. I’m hoping this will help potential clients more easily decide if I am a good fit for their senior portraits, so I’ve put it on my homepage.
In summary, here are some main points to consider:
- Come up with a clear message/purpose for the video.
- Look at lots of videos by different videographers and find one whose style suits what you are trying to accomplish.
- Speak to the videographer and be sure you have rapport with them. Ask them how long you can expect the video to be and determine if that meets your needs, and what the videographer’s revision policy is in case you require changes.
- Choose models who will be comfortable talking on-camera and whom you’ve worked with before so as to help with nerves.
- Write a script or list of scenes and questions ahead of time to be sure you do not miss anything.
- Consider professional makeup for yourself and for your clients for the video.
- Have a backup plan in case of inclement weather or just plan to shoot indoors.