Multimedia as Business Tool
By Ibarionex Perello
The photographer, writer
and educator is the host and
producer of The Candid Frame
photography podcast. He is also
the author of Chasing the Light:
Improving Your Photography
Using Available Light.
When Animoto first came to my at- tention years ago, I learned it was oftware that provided users the
ability to easily produce slideshows from their
still images. At the time, applications like Photoshop and others were more focused on editing
images than they were on creating slideshows;
this provided some software companies a great
opportunity to offer a service that would make
the sharing of digital files fun and easy.
Admittedly, I saw it largely as a product geared
toward hobbyists and enthusiasts, but my recent
reintroduction to Animoto ( www.animoto.com)
and its Pro Level services made me realize how the
product has not only kept up with the times, but
also has become a valuable tool for photographers
to market their work and increase their sales.
When I first became involved in event shooting, the concept of a multimedia offering consisted of little more than a slideshow of a bride
and groom. These images were of their lives up
to their marriage and held little interest beyond
its inaugural showing at the reception.
Today, multimedia has become an amazingly
cost effective and powerful tool for wedding
photographers, portrait shooters and other small
businesses. Though some photographers may
still be intimidated by the steep learning curve
of capturing and editing video, there are photographers everywhere who are showing how
multimedia can make a huge difference to their
A Change in the Playing Field
“Our industry has gone through immense chang-
es during the last four to five years,” says Sal Cin-
cotta, a professional wedding and portrait pho-
tographer who has seen a five to six figure change
in income as a result of incorporating multimedia
into his business model. “Prior to my use of Ani-
moto, the solutions were extremely complicated,
time consuming or expensive. So, it really wasn’t
practical and we resisted it as long as possible.”
It’s a reality faced by many photographers,
which is likely why they choose not to make
multimedia part of their offerings.
In my personal experience, I’ve learned to
make my way around capturing video with an
HDSLR and editing with applications such as
Adobe Premiere and Apple Final Cut Pro. It involved a lot of time and energy, but unlike some
other photographic business, I had the benefit of
being paid to learn and practice with these various tools and applications.
It’s not easy for small-business owners who are
producing images while also trying to grow and
sustain their business. As I worked for Animoto’s
service and had the opportunity to talk to photographers who use it regularly, however, I discovered
that things might not have been as complicated or
time-consuming as I once thought they were.
The drag-and-drop simplicity of Animoto’s
service, its range of templates and the access to a
wide range of licensed music has allowed many
photographers to include multimedia as part of
their business model.
Though such simplicity might dissuade someone desiring the wealth of controls offered by a full-fledged editing application, the reality is that most
professional photographers don’t have the time or
the desire to learn a video editing application with
the complexity and intricacy of Photoshop.
“In the past, it would have taken seven to eight
hours of production time to produce a slide show of
70 to 100 images,” says Cincotta. “There was no way
that we could do this in 15 minutes four years ago. ”
Photographers can easily make Animoto
a seamless extension of Apple’s Aperture or
Adobe Lightroom application. A simple plug-in
allows them to take the images that they have selected and organized to be uploaded to the Animoto site, where they can be incorporated into
templates with up to 60 usable styles and 2,000
to 3,000 commercially-licensed music tracks.
It’s the ease by which these multimedia presentations are created that makes them a cost-effective business tool.
Marketing With Multimedia
Many photographers use these multimedia
pieces as devices to create excitement over the
stills they have produced. Showing this video to