This is mainly for any of our photographer friends who are interested in how we conceived and shot the first of our promotional videos.
Our video ‘Catch Me if you Can’ has been a huge hit with our clients and created quite a bit of interest and questions about how we approached the project. Here we try to answer most of them. Feel free to ask if you need to know more!
The first thing we did was to think very carefully about the messages that we wanted the video to convey. And also about what we didn’t want. Many photographers’ promotional videos are all about them. Anything that has the photographer featured heavily and especially talking to the camera starts off with that premise. More often than not the photographer is talking about how they approach a shoot, why the client should choose them, their vision and so on.
Quite frankly we find this style quite boring but it also breaks one of the first rules of marketing: your marketing material should be about the benefits to the client – not the features of the product that you are selling.
These are the benefits of an Alter Ego photo shoot that we wanted to bring out:
- You can bring a friend along to your Alter Ego shoot to join in the fun for no extra cost. So we made sure that we filmed two clients having fun;
- We have a professional stylist and she’s with the client throughout the shoot so you’re not in a production line and look great throughout. So you see Natalie our stylist in action quite a bit;
- We edit your photographs during your shoot so you don’t have to come back for a viewing or choose images from the web – so you see Lola (our editor) editing images part way through the session;
- There’s always an assistant on hand to help you with outfits, poses etc. In this video, that’s Karen’s job;
- The photos are great! We decided to cut in some edited stills rather than show them at the end of the video (there are pros and cons to this since it can break up a story but we think it works in this case);
- You get to see your photographs same day in a private screening. We show the viewing session at the end of the video.
By the time we had listed all the client benefits we wanted to include, the storyboard wrote itself. We added in a few other features including our rural location and our big range of dressing up outfits.
We storyboarded the shoot using our favourite iPad app Moodboard Pro. Incidentally we chose to feature a Pin-Up shoot because they are bright, colourful great fun. It’s also our most popular product.
So we now knew what we wanted to include in the video. I had a pretty firm idea that I didn’t want any talking or ambient audio, which meant finding a suitable soundtrack. Although we have a library of royalty-free music none of it was suitable. So we headed over to Triple Scoop Music and spent a few hours auditioning tracks. The one we chose is called Catch Me if you Can (hence the name of the video) by Leah West. The licence cost us $60 which I reckon is pretty good value.
Choosing the talent was easy. We had photographed Roxanne (the first lady to be photographed in the video) earlier in the year when we were developing some new boudoir shoot ideas. She has a great look and a vibrant personality so we knew she would be perfect for pin-up. We found her via the model casting site Purestorm. The other lady is her sister-in-law who had never been photographed professionally before. This gave us exactly the mix we wanted and we think adds realism to the film.
The next decision we needed to make was the choice of film crew (who would also be doing the post production). We asked on Twitter for recommendations but didn’t find anyone with examples of work that fitted our vision. We wanted the video to look very film-like and reflect our photography style. Most of the UK based videographers we saw were producing talking head videos that looked like, well corporate videos. Not what we wanted at all. After some research we found a fresh new team that had very simple equipment (a couple of DSLRs) and only a little experience, but with great creative vision. They did a great job for us.
The video was filmed in a day. As with every creative project there are a few things we might do differently but we are thrilled with the results.
What do you think? Hit us in the comments.