All posts tagged workflow

Using Animoto Slideshows in Your Workflow

Using Animoto Slideshows for in-person Sales Sessions

I do exclusively in-person proofing & ordering sessions now for all of my boudoir & glamour clients, which is a huge help for them in selecting the photographs they want to use in their products. We kick off every ordering session with an Animoto slideshow that I make for them, and they are a HUGE hit!

I’ve found that starting with the Animoto slideshow sets the mood for the meeting. They are nervous coming in – that excited sort of nervous, because they are anxious to see the photos. Playing them in a slideshow with some fun & sassy music gives them a chance to see the images before we settle in to make their selections.

The Animoto Pro account has a wide variety of slideshow templates that you can use which are available only to Pro members. Earlier this month, Animoto also announced their partnership with Triple Scoop Music, which means you have thousands of hand-picked, curated, high-quality music options to use in your videos! They have also added the feature of using multiple songs in one video. This isn’t something I’ll need for my Boudoir clients, but it is great for wedding photographers!

One of my favorite parts of using Animoto is that they have handled the music licensing for you! Yes, yes, you can use great music AND be “legal” at the same time. After all, we as photographers want our copyrights to be honored, so we should honor the copyrights of the music artists as well!

Making an Animoto slideshow is SUPER easy! You select the template you want to use, select the music you would like from their extensive licensed music library, upload your images and videos, add any text slides, and BAM! You are done. After previewing the video, I download it in the highest resolution HD that they offer (currently 720p, but 1080p is coming soon) and save it to my hard drive to show my client at the viewing session. For clients that purchase their digital files, I include the slideshow as well on the USB flash drive.

My clients love them, and if you’re not using them you should definitely check them out!

This link to Animoto is my refer-a-friend link, and for a limited time when I refer a friend, you’ll receive 20% off your new Pro subscription purchase – and I’ll get 2 free months added on to my current Plus or Pro subscription. I’ve not been paid for this post, and all opinions are entirely my own – I love using Animoto!

WPPI Show Special for Animoto Pro

At WPPI I had a chance to talk to the Animoto team, and they graciously said I could share the show specials with you here on the blog! If you are a new or upgrading Animoto client, you can use the promo code WPPI13 for $50 off + 2 months free with a new Animoto Pro annual subscription. If you’re a renewing Animoto client, you can use the promo code animotorules for 3 months free with an Animoto Pro annual subscription renewal. Both offers expire on March 24, 2013!

Workflow for RAW files from the Canon 5d mkIII and Lightroom 3

Oh, it was a happy, happy, day at my house when my Canon 5D mkIII arrived. I took it out of the box, popped in a battery, formatted my memory card, set it up to shoot RAW format, and went out to the front yard to test out those 61 focal points of delicious goodness.

When I was all done, I could not WAIT to look at the photos. For well over a year, my 5D mkII had considered focusing an entirely optional thing – causing me to get in the bad habit of overshooting because one frame would be in focus and the very next frame wouldn’t. The magical 5D mkIII was going to FIX all of that for me, and I was simply giddy about it!

Until Lightroom 3 wouldn’t open the RAW files.

It was like they didn’t even exist as far are LR3 was concerned.

WTF?!?!! (Imagine me looking really mad, sad, and considering throwing my computer across the room.)

Of course, I took it to Google, and quickly found my answer. Lightroom 4 came out of beta just before the mkIII was released, and that release of LR4 put LR3 to bed. No more development for Lightroom 3, including NO UPDATE to make it work with the mkIII files.

I’m a total geek, and I love a new gadget and new software as much as the next person, but I don’t like upgrading software that I use in my everyday workflow that close to the launch. I like all the bugs to be worked out before I dive in. I’ve heard that LR4 is a bit slow and that the interface is different. Using it will mean having to update all of my LR catalogs. I just don’t want to do it yet.

Thank goodness, there is a workaround. It does add some time to your workflow, but in the end it isn’t that bad. (Yes, I’ll add time to my workflow if it is something I can run and leave – I don’t want to add time where I have to sit and watch LR render stuff. I know, it is a bit crazy.) Whenever I download my memory cards, I then launch the Adobe RAW to DNG Converter. (FREE from Adobe.) I point to my source directory, set it up to save in a DNG directory, and then pull those DNG files in to Lightroom 3.

Viola´! Now Lightroom 3 and the Canon 5D mkIII play well together again!

PS – And in case you’re wondering – the mkIII considers focusing to be a requirement, and it does quite a fantastic job doing it!