Should Your Photography Marketing Include a YouTube Video Portfolio? Watch This:

Success in outdoor photography is all about marketing! With so many tools available to market, which approach is best: Facebook, G+, YouTube, Vimeo, LinkedIn, 500PX? Or email, direct mail, or cold calling? They are all good and each is effective for specific markets you are trying to reach. Today, however, I want to look at YouTube and Vimeo as a marketing tool.

It is already widely known that many business are finding online video a great tool to market and some employ very creative techniques to reach an audience. So what about marketing nature photography? I Googled: ‘nature photography portfolio’ on YT and found quite a few photographers using the platform to show their work, but sadly in many cases they only had a few hundred views. I also did not find any presentations that were in my opinion, going to knock the socks off a client who might be looking for someone to work with. That does not mean those videos are not on there, they just did not show up on the first three pages.

What do I mean; “knock the socks off?” I am referring to a video portfolio that goes beyond the collection of beautiful images set to music and nothing more. In our social media environment clients who might be looking for a photographer to work with want more than just seeing your beautiful photography. Beautiful photography exists everywhere and is not hard to find for the client seeking a picture. It is the client looking for a photographer to work with, who might use social media to learn everything about a photographer before contacting them. The greatest marketing tool I ever enjoyed for new business was the referral, but beyond that the best place to search obviously online. So what can you do to make it easy for clients to like you even before your first conversation? Here’s a video showing what I mean:

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Watch Spirit Canoe: A Superb Video Story

The creative spirit that has motivated me through 35 years of photography, often yearns to do the same with motion shot using my HDdSLR. While I will probably never get there, this video is a great example of what I find so attractive with shooting video stories. Superbly done, the creators tell a inspirational story about a man on a canoe trip.

“SPIRIT CANOE is the mystic journey of a man who is in search of himself and navigating through a passage with the memories of his once self and a special figure who lingers in his soul. He is setting out on a quest, armed with his old map and small canoe, to venture the river in hopes that a new path will reveal a novel future, unfamiliar and restoring. This is a story of the spiritual compass that no one can ever expect to understand; it’s powers, it’s unknown.”

The angles, the lighting, the editing are a great learning experience for a novice film maker like me. It’s worth 5 minutes of your life to watch:

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OpenSea Diary: Mora and Moynihan Film the South Pacific

In a recent post we wrote about Mora and Moynihan and the preparations to embark on a sailing adventure across the South Pacific filming nature, the environment and the cultures. Here is the first of their many (to come) field reports.

Opensea Film and Photography duo, Nia and Jon Moynihan, have set sail again across the Pacific. This time we have crossed 1,100 nautical miles of deep blue water to reach the Melanesian shores  of Vanuatu – a nation known for the happiest people in the world. Along the way we have come to more realizations about the conviction it takes to
photograph the natural world. Though the long passage was filled mostly with beautiful weather, at times the extremities of the wind strength and the wave size was overwhelming.

Sometimes we ask ourselves “what makes people do it?” What makes a person head out into the middle of nowhere? Maybe for us its to be alone, away form the world, and then to arrive in new places filled with adventure and the unknown. Perhaps its also the peace and mental tranquility that comes with being the only person around for hundreds of miles, only accompanied by the repose of nature, birds, and sea creatures. Therese a sense of connectedness that comes over a person when confronted with the strength of raw nature.

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Moynihan and Mora Set Sail to Film OpenSea: Journey Across the Pacific…and Need Your Help

Editors note: Nia Mora and Jonathan Moynihan are U.S. based photographers and filmmakers and are about to set sail to film and photograph their sailing documentary: OpenSea; Journey Across the Pacific. They will sail across the South Pacific and film the adventure, the cultures and people, and sea life for their documentary film with an end goal of raising awareness to the South Pacific’s peole and natural treasures. They have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project. The following essay describes their first sailing adventure, the inspiration for the new OpenSeas project. Stay tuned as they promise to keep us updated with videos and photographs of this unique journey and film project.

“OpenSea: Journey Across the Pacific” began in the hopes of finding footage about sailing the South Pacific Ocean. We didn’t find much, so we decided to make our own film. We spent 28 days at sea, sailing from Hawaii to French Polynesia in our 35 foot sail boat. Along the way, the project developed into something we felt we had to share with others. We learned things about the way other people lived, which changed the way we ourselves live. We saw the majesty and diversity of the Pacific islands, which taught us about the raw and enduring strength of nature. We braved the ocean, endless blue water for weeks on end, which taught us about ourselves.

We have already sailed 6,500 nautical miles. We have documented places such as The Marquesas,The Tuamotus, The Society Islands,
Niue, and New Zealand’s North Island and Hauraki Gulf. Most people haven’t heard of these places, a lot will never see these places. Our goal is to make a visual montage and a narrative sharing the experience of traveling by sail boat across the ocean and the things a person learns along the way. We’d like to post this documentary for free, online by September, 2014. This project is non-profit, as we believe everyone should be able to share with us what we have seen and where we have been on our amazing journey across the Pacific.

READ MORE +Moynihan and Mora Set Sail to Film OpenSea: Journey Across the Pacific…and Need Your Help

The Future Professional Outdoor Photographer is………

…a storyteller!

You have certainly heard, maybe even said it yourself; anybody can take a picture! While that has always been true even before digital, the level of high quality photography is more prevalent today and easier to achieve. Why is that?

It is a combo of many things. Digital technology has made the ability to capture and process an image very easy. Software has brought many tools for interpreting a RAW file into a unique personal vision for the photographer. The web has brought us the greatest learning tools ever known. It simply is not that hard to learn how to create wonderful photography.

Yet one thing has always been there challenging professional photographers. It has been there from the early days of film to the today’s digital world. It is the biggest roadblock to success in photography.

Maintaining a current business model!

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The Fine Art of Time Lapse Video With Rich Reid

Rich Reid is a California based photographer and environmental film maker specializing in time lapse video. His clients include: National Geographic, The Trust for Public Lands, Backroads, New York Times, and The Territory Ahead.

His films have been featured at Blue Planet Film Festival, Newport Beach Film Festival, Napa Environmental Film Festival, Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival, and the Ojai International Film Festival.

His film Watershed Revolution will appear on PBS series Natural Heroes in Fall 2011.

Please tell us how you got started and how long you have been in the business.

My start in photography was during my studies at UC Santa Barbara over twenty years ago. I was offered the assistant photo editor position at the yearbook that blossomed into two full-time positions as the yearbook and daily newspaper photo editors. Photography is what drove my business studies, not the other way around.

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Why Video is Not as Powerful as Photography

by Drake Fleege

Do a quick Google search on “photography DSLR video” and immediately countless links are returned on the subject.  “How to” seminars, equipment, tips, technique and photographer web sites are all available for further exploration.  The subject is well documented on the internet and supported by camera manufacturers.   It would be easy for any reader to be convinced that video is the wave of the future and still photography will be relegated to the back shelf.  To this end, I would offer a contrarian view.

Video clearly has a place within the realm of photography.  Every household wouldn’t have a television if that were not the case.  We see things moving across the screen with many actions occurring simultaneously.  Unless the director isolates the event, we miss the details.  Networks recognize this by providing television analysts.  Sports utilize instant replay to illustrate the details of the game.  News channels share analysts’ insights into the events of the day, dissecting small sections and replaying it for our benefit.   Within our own homes, we can DVR any television program, playback only desired segments.  In essence, we are effectively slowing down the video to comprehend what is presented before us.

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Should You Start Shooting Video?

Should we all start shooting video in addition to stills? I have asked myself the question numerous times and I think the answer is rapidly becoming a Yes. I have not found evidence of a huge demand for video clips yet beyond what has been available for many years already, but with the increasing move into multimedia that demand will evolve.

With the HD dSLR’s on the market it has become very easy to shoot stills and video. Much easier than just a few years ago when you needed two cameras: a dSLR and video camera. In years past you had to decide between the still camera and video camera when capturing that lightning storm. But with the technological evolution we are witnessing it has become much easier to shoot both stills and video of the same subject.

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