Using a professional video slideshow to showcase your photography is an easy, yet powerful way to enhance your audience’s viewing experience. With video slideshows, still images transform into an emotionalizing, cinematic story when combined with the right music and a little motion. Commonly offered by photographers as add-ons (in the form of DVD and Blu-ray disc sales) or as incentives to buy higher-tier packages — video slideshows can be a quick and direct way to increase revenue.
Perhaps an even more compelling, yet underestimated reason for using video slideshows is its marketing potential. Video has become an essential marketing tool with its ability to convey far more meaning than any one image alone, plus its viral sharing potential. Online retailers have found that customers are 85% more likely to buy a product after watching it featured in a video (Internet Retailer, April 2010). According to Google, using video in your website may also improve your search engine ranking. They’re also great for keeping blogs, websites and Facebook fan pages fresh with new (shareable) content.
With today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to create a professional, customized video that shines the spotlight on your images and can wow your clients. Photodex offers up two excellent professional slideshow tools: ProShow Web (their online video slideshow service) and ProShow Producer (their top-of-the-line professional desktop application). Both offer easy, automatic slideshow creation, along with powerful tools for personalizing & fine-tuning. Both produce stunning HD output.
Getting Started: Selecting & Adding Content
The first step is to import your photos into your slideshow tool to create your show. Remember that a slideshow tells a story - take your viewer on a visual journey, whether it’s about reliving a memory or expressing a mood or idea. Consider the order & selection of photos carefully. If you’re creating a wedding slideshow, start with a photo of the dress, the bride and groom getting ready, then move onto the ceremony and the reception.
Don’t forget about video clips! Most DSLRs and point-and-shoots now offer built-in video recording. Shoot short segments of 10-30 second videos that you can drop in at various points in your slideshow. Sprinkling in a few video clips throughout a show will add a dynamic and exciting element to your production (and elevate your client’s perceived ‘value’ of your slideshow). Tools like ProShow have video editing built-in, so you can import clips and edit, using just the frames you want without having to use a separate tool.
Add Stylish Effects and Transitions
One of the great things about the modern video slideshow is how it transcends the limitations of the flat, one-perspective printed photo album. Inside ProShow, your story has the freedom to dance and move in a 3D space. Often, the best shows utilize a tasteful mix of both conventional ‘flat’ styles and 3D effects. Use built-in effects and transitions to add just the perfect touch of movement to your slideshow. Drag and drop custom effects onto any portion of your slideshow or let the wizard create a stylish slideshow for you in seconds.
Final Details: Captions, Watermarks and Menus
Just like the packaging on the outside of a gift, your title slide and slideshow menu (if you choose to have one) are the first things a client will see. Take the time to make sure these aspects of your presentation will make a good impression. A few tips — make sure your font selection is appropriate for the type of video you’re creating. Use complementary colors and always test to ensure your text will be legible for the resolution at which your audience will likely view the show.
Also consider adding a watermark to your slideshow. Tools like ProShow allow you to add your own watermark and customize its position across the entire slideshow. Using a semi-transparent logo (.PSD or .PNG file) overlaid on photos will help protect and brand your work when it’s viewed online.
Output For Any Screen
Decide how you’d like to output your slideshow: Burn a DVD or Blu-ray disc for watching on TV; make a 1080p MPEG-video for playback on a laptop or projection during a dinner or event; upload and stream videos on YouTube or Facebook for viral social marketing. Anyway you want to share, ProShow offers an output to suit, with 40+ formats and options.
Never under-estimate the power of a well-made video slideshow. With the right song and a few tasteful effects, you’ve got a recipe for success.
Want inspiration? Click to watch sample video slideshows in the video gallery >