Now I’ve heard people in the photography industry singing the praises of Animoto for a while. Namely the super talented Sue Bryce! And I must admit, my initial reaction was how great can it really be? I mean I use a Mac.... and iMovie is simple enough.
I’ve also tried Photodex Proshow Web. Could this really be any better? - I said to myself.
Well, at the end of this article I’ll tell you the reasons why I think Animoto is a better tool - for my needs - and they probably aren’t for the reasons you think!
I’ll also touch on some different ways you can use video for your wedding, family or glamour photography businesses!
But first let’s start off with why video is even important to your photography business!
These are some interesting and rather compelling statistics in my opinion. The article “The Science of Video Engagement” found that:
60% of web site visitors will watch a video if one is available before reading any text
88% of visitors stay longer on a site where there is a prominent video
homepages or landing pages that have a prominent video lead to 800% more conversions
website visitors have a higher likelihood of remembering videos compared to other forms of information
visitors who watch videos tend to look deeper into your product/brand and later purchase from you.
So video is pretty important. But how can we use it in our photography business?
How to use video
I’ve put together a list of some fun and easy ways I’ve seen and heard of video being used - and ways you can use it too:
show behind the scenes at a wedding or in studio
show your studio and office
surprise client with their images put to music
showcase final images mixed with behind the scenes video/images
family shoot: interviewing the kids mixed with final images from the shoot
brand story with images and your voice-over
showcase products e.g. wedding albums, folio boxes
That’s all great, but where can you use these videos? Uhm… just about everywhere! And the best part is you can easily re-purpose your videos. Think - homepage, blog post, Facebook, Instagram and other social media.
My Animoto experience
I wanted to surprise one of my beautiful portraiture clients with something extra thoughtful.
My typical portraiture blog posts prior to this, I’m sad to admit, were 1-2 images from a photo shoot that I would post here and there if I found time.
This time I wanted to say more. This time I wanted to show more. And I wanted to say more without words and without just throwing a bunch of photos up consecutively one after another.
So I logged into my Animoto account and I picked a theme that I thought would be fitting with the style of photos I wanted to showcase.
Tip: when viewing the themes, try to look past the default placeholder images - your photo genre may give the theme a completely different vibe.
Next I uploaded my photos, added my logo, a few lines of text, picked some music from their suggested royalty free music library and voila - I published my video! (Big Smile)
Animoto, automatically timed my video to the music, transitioned between the different slides and gave me straightforward options to export/publish my video.
Since you can control the time of the video, (if you’d like), you can also make shorter complimentary videos to use on Instagram.
Tip: Instagram cuts videos off at 15 seconds.
So in addition, I made a shorter 15 second version of the video to match the look & feel of the original video.
Then, with the touch of a button, I exported the videos to my youtube and vimeo accounts and also downloaded them to my computer.
And the very best part... my video looked ultra professional! All shiny and polished!
Why I love Animoto
iMovie and other online video programs can do the same thing right?
Yes for some features, but these are the reasons why I prefer Animoto to other software I have tried:
it’s a super simple process
it saves me time! I’m a photographer and I don’t have time to fiddle around with video software.
it’s drag and drop
it’s really fast and slick
you can import photos from smugmug
if you dislike the theme you can easily switch it without re-starting your project from scratch
it makes exporting easy
it exports quickly
all of your videos are in one place
it connects to your vimeo and youtube accounts
it easily embeds video into your website
you can upload both videos and still images
you can clip your videos in animoto
you can upload voice-overs
it has a huge library of royalty free music (hola!)
it has a blank template that you customize for projects that don’t fit with any of their other themes.
If you’ve been considering using video for any aspect of your photography business, I hope this article has been useful! I’d love to hear about your experiences!
Also, if you want to explore more about how to use animoto to boost your business check out Sue Bryce's super Creative Live course here!
Be sure to leave me a comment below.
P.S. Here is my video