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How to Use Video for Your Photography Website

In modern society websites are all about storytelling and conveying the right message. Designers try to “make it big” by using proper images and videos to give users the maximum impact. Videos rose in popularity in 2014, and have been a growing trend ever since.

Photo by Dustin Lee

Photo by Dustin Lee

Being a sister medium to photography, video can help you enhance your online brand presentation and get visitors of your website engaged with your brand in no time. Moreover, video content is a great way to add some personal touches to your portfolio and make it stand out.

In this article I’m going to discuss the pros of using video for your photography brand, tips and tools for adding videos to your photography website, as well as some great examples to inspire you.

Reasons to Implement Video on Your Site

We no longer live in a world of faceless corporations. People want to do business with real people. That’s the reason why we love DIY projects and keep buying goods on Etsy, that’s why we believe personal Facebook pages more than Facebook pages of corporations – we need that human connection.

Here are four reasons to implement video on your site:

  1. It adds more personality to your brand. Adding a welcome video to your homepage will add a human touch and will better convey your personality. In this video, you may introduce yourself and direct visitors to the pages you would like them to see. It will be a virtual version of you welcoming every potential client who has opened your portfolio.
  2. Powerful storytelling. Adding video to your portfolio site in which you tell a story about your brand, will make visitors feel more connected to your brand.
  3. Better conversion. According to statistics from 2014 which you may see here, videos increase sales from 20% to 40%. In the last 3 years videos have dominated internet traffic, and in 2014 it escalated to 90% of all internet traffic. There is a lot of evidence available that proves that implementing videos on your site will improve conversion rates.
  4. Everyone loves video. The word “selfie” (photo) was the most used word in the world over the last year. What if these selfies could talk? Why not use a video selfie? This is indeed a rising trend.

Some ideas on implementing video on your photo website

There are a lot of options available. You can either create a video of yourself telling your visitors about your photography, or just make-up a video showing your workflow along with some cool music in the background. Or you can even create an animated video promoting your services and products.

In an introductory video you need to show how glad you are the visitors came to your site and tell them a bit about yourself. Tell them about the services you offer and how your potential clients can benefit from what you do.

Photo by Andrew Phillips

Photo by Andrew Phillips

The trickiest part of such a video is that the purpose of it is not to sell your services, but to be friendly and awaken interest in your work.

It’s also helpful to give your clients direction. Tell them about the pages of your portfolio, where a visitor needs to go to view your best work, get in touch with you or book a photo session.

When it comes to the second video option, where you just show your workflow, this type of video can be made with various video tools. I will list a few of them for you at the end of the article.

What Do You Need to Create a Video?

You will need a few things while working on your promo video:

  • Camera (obviously). You may use your normal photography camera or you can borrow a video camera from someone you know.
  • Proper planning: you need to write down some ideas, to try and plan what you are going to show in your video or what you are going to say that will make your video really cool and pleasant to watch.
  • Background: think about the background of your video. It could be created in your photo studio (if you have one), at home, or somewhere outside, like a local park. Just make sure to avoid any distractions.
  • Good lighting: natural light will work best for such a video.
  • Microphone: most cameras already have built-in microphones, but the quality of the sound is not always as good as you want it to be. Make sure the sound is good by testing your microphone beforehand, or alternatively use an additional microphone on the video.
  • Hosting services: most photographers use YouTube as the best option to save and store their videos. Vimeo also works very well. However, Vimeo may ask you to pay an annual membership fee to host any type of business video on it.

Adding a video to your site is a great way to stand out from the crowd of competitors and build relationships with your potential clients.

Real Examples of Using Videos on Photography Websites

Defrozo

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The creators of the free photography marketing platform Defrozo use featured videos from their Kickstarter campaign as background on their website.

Jasmine Star

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Jasmine Star’s videos show her workflow. A lot of beautiful clothing, smiles, and natural light make these videos something magical.

Aaron Ohlmann

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Aaron is a filmmaker. The video on the homepage is a part of his film.

Joon Brandt

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Joon Brandt is a stills photographer based in Oslo, Norway. He has worked with such brands as Freia, Coca Cola, Telenor, Max Factor, Isadora, Toyota, and MTV. He uses moving images in his portfolio. If you click on one of the thumbnails, you’ll see the photo is moving.

Nick Onken

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Nick’s video is placed on the homepage along with preview images of his still photos. The video starts playing when you open the site, so you can’t miss it.

Tim Flach

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I love Tim’s video on his homepage. It seems like the dogs in the video are walking on air.

Yodabaz

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This is like the video “selfie” I mentioned before. You see the silhouette of a person moving in the background which creates a sense of personality and humanity behind the site.

Tools for Creating Video

GoAnimate. This service lets you create full-featured animated videos using characters you choose. It could be a really powerful way to tell your story.

Magisto. Upload your own photos and videos to this app, and Magisto will decide what the best content is to display in your video. You can also add music and headlines.

Camtasia. Camtasia is a screen-recording and video-editing tool. It will help you to record everything you do on your screen.

Animoto. This tool automatically produces movies from the videos, images, and music you upload to it.

Sellamations. This application will create doodle videos where a hand draws out your story with a marker, captured in high-speed. It’s a paid service, but it’s worth trying out.

WeVideo. WeVideo is an online video-creation platform that also allows you to host and share your videos.

Over to You

I hope this article may inspire you to create your own video to become closer to your visitors. Share your own tips and sites with videos in the comment field below.

Nancy Young

Nancy is a passionate freelance writer and blogger. She writes inspirational articles on web design, photography, and technology. She enjoys traveling, reading and meeting new people. Nancy believes in a magic of written words to inspire and motivate. Currently, she is working as a writer at PhotoBlog.

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