YouTube for Photographers: 3 Ways to get Started Using YouTube to Show and Promote your Photography - Digital Photography School
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YouTube for Photographers: 3 Ways to get Started Using YouTube to Show and Promote your Photography

A Guest Post by Marlene Hielema

Video is all the rage. With virtually all digital cameras now able to capture live video, if you’re not shooting video you’re going to start to feel left out.

But video has a very steep learning curve!

Yes it does, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get going. In this post I’m going to tell you about three ways you can use video to promote your photography, and I’ll start on the shallow end of the learning curve.

Why YouTube and not Vimeo or private hosting?

In a word: Traffic.

The goal of these videos is lead generation and they are used for marketing.

  • Video helps people to know, like, and trust you
  • From the video you can send them to your website where they can learn more about you
  • Then, get them to buy your photos, or to book a photo shoot with you

I’ve talked to photographers who have been scared off of YouTube. I say, “Embrace it and use it for what it’s best at”. Use YouTube for traffic, visibility and lead generation. Use YouTube for your public side, and save Vimeo and private hosting for private client videos.

google-youtube-logo.jpg

Benefits of YouTube

  • YouTube is owned by Google and is the #2 search engine (Google is #1).
  • Like other social media, it’s possible to build community on YouTube by getting comments, likes and subscribers.
  • Unlike other social media, YouTube videos are easy to keyword, and as a result easy to search and find.
  • Random access and always available – YouTube videos don’t disappear down the stream like Facebook and Twitter posts.
  • YouTube videos get better with age. More time online, equals more views. 
  • Your YouTube videos will show up alongside other related videos so that people you don’t even know, will see them. 
  • With other social media – people have to follow you or like you to see your content. Not so with YouTube.
  • Google likes videos, so it’s highly likely your videos will rank higher in search results than your website content.
  • And people are turning to video, and especially YouTube, more than ever to learn things and find out about products and services.
  • You don’t need a full fledged video production setup to start taking advantage of YouTube’s benefits.
  • Read the official YouTube stats here

yt-for-photo.png

Three types of videos you can make for YouTube

1. Portfolio video: Slideshow of still images – simplest way to get a video online

  • Take a gallery of no more than 20 photos – make it very specific not everything you do – for example family portraits
  • Use Lightroom’s Slideshow feature and export to video – Simplest and fastest way to get your photos to video
  • If you don’t have Lightroom, use PowerPoint or Keynote to make a slideshow of your photos 
  • Upload to YouTube
  • Add keywords and phrases in the description and title of your video when you upload it – Example – Calgary family portrait photographer
  • Make several galleries of each type of photography you do
    • weddings – you can also break these topics down further
    • destination weddings
    • second time around weddings
    • maternity
    • babies
    • kids

    If you want to add music to your video, YouTube has a long list of music titles that you are free to use. Look for the “audio” editing feature when you upload your video.

    2. Profile: About you – builds trust and rapport

    • Involves you getting in front of the camera and that can be hard, but you’ll just need to get over it. 
    • It’s a great way for people to see if you’re a good fit for their photo shoot.
    • Your profile video can also be done with a voiceover and photos, but I think it’s best to get in front of the camera so you can speak directly to people.

    3. Behind the scenes: Show what happens on one of your photo shoots

    • Maybe you’re a nature photographer and you can show how you approach a landscape or a wildlife shoot. You can do this with still photos and a voiceover similar to your portfolio video.
    • Keep the production simple and use your iPhone.
    • This adds value to your photographs as people see the amount of work that goes into a shoot.
    • Stop motion videos are also fun and easy to make and you can do behind-the-scenes videos this way too.
    • Some family and wedding photographers are using stylized stop motion videos as a bonus to a shoot.

    Video editing options

    Shooting video is relatively simple, especially if you start by using your iPhone. The steep part of the learning curve is the editing and exporting for web use.

    • You can use simple video editing software or screen recording software to produce your videos
    • iMovie – Free for Mac users
    • Camtasia for Mac and PC
    • Adobe Premier Elements – for Mac or PC. An affordable choice for beginners.
  • You can edit a movie right within YouTube as well.
  • START NOW!

    If you’ve never done video before, start with the portfolio video.

    • Review the steps above and remember to:
    • Keep it short 1-2 minutes in length.
    • Add a watermark – your url is best.
    • Add a picture of yourself too – remember this is to build trust. 
  • Embed the video on your website or blog too.
  •  

  • Share it on Twitter, Facebook and G+.
  • Repeat the process with another group of images.
  • Remember it’s better to have more videos of shorter length than to have a large group of photos in a 20 minute video.
  • Before long you’ll have a collection of searchable, randomly accessible videos and you’ll be sending people to your website.
  • In future tutorials I’ll show you how to approach each method in greater detail, and some tools you can use to produce your videos.

    Do this next: Watch the video above to see an example of how I used it to drive traffic to this blog post. I’ve got an invitation and a benefit at the end of the video for you too.

    Are you using video to promote your photography yet? Let us know what technique you use in the comments.

    Marlene Hielema teaches photography and photo editing online, in the classroom, at corporate workshops and one-to-one. She’s also a camera raw evangelist and YouTube video blogger. Find out more about what she can help you with at www.imagemaven.com and look for her weekly video blog post on YouTube.

    YouTube: 

    Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category.

    Guest Contributor This post was written by a guest contributor to DPS. Please see their details in the post above.

    Become a Contributor: Check out Write for DPS page for details about how YOU can share your photography tips with the DPS community.

    • http://jeffejensen.blogspot.com Jeff E Jensen

      Hmm, I hadn’t thought about using YouTube to promote my photography. Not a bad idea. I currently use it for my time lapse work.

      http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffejensen?

    • Scottc

      From the title I thought this was about using youtube for stills rather than videos (or slide shows).

      It’s a creative concept, but I just can’t get into video.

      Video can’t do this….

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/lendog64/8087998462/

    • http://fotosmontt.com Mario

      Interesting, but I don’t have a Iphone to follow your instructions.

    • http://www.imagemaven.com Marlene Hielema

      @Jeff, love your time lapse. You should write a guest post about that for DPS explaining your technique.

    • http://blogs.gonomad.com/traveltalesfromindia/ Mridula

      It has not registered with me previously that You tube is the #2 search engine!

      http://blogs.gonomad.com/traveltalesfromindia/

    • Louisa

      Thanks for the heads up on using videos effectively.
      It sounds like a great time to get moving with this.
      I’m wondering if I can combine videos I can take on an iphone with my higher quality still shots to create a something effective and where I could find out more about how to do this. looking forward to hearing more about this fascinating subject.

    • http://www.about.me/larrymaupin Larry

      Great post. Find me on YT as lmaupin and on FB as MaupinPhoto.
      Thanks!
      Larry

    • http://beaphotoexpert.blogspot.co.uki Robert

      You’re right Mridula, Youtube is a great place to view videos on photography tips.

    • http://dewandemmer.com Dewan Demmer

      I really have been thinking about using You tube more, and really should. As mentioned small presentations with the right tags. I am still working on the idea of putting myself in front of the camera and onto youtube.
      One very nice thingabout youtube is embedding it on your own site , as I did on this page at the bottom
      http://www.dewandemmer.com/eloise-and-hein-holtons-wedding-at-makiti-muldersdrift/

      Thanks for the reminder that its time to get myself doing the you tube thing more

    • raghavendra

      as we are aware youtube is most used websites now, ‘how i took this picture’ and ‘teaching about photography’ are the popular searches on photography in youtube

      http://raghavendra-mobilephotography.blogspot.com/2012/09/black-and-white-photo-of-cat.html

    • http://www.imagemaven.com Marlene Hielema

      @Louisa, yes you can definitely do that. And for those of you who don’t have an iPhone, use the video function on your dSLR or compact camera.

      @Dewan getting in front of the camera is hard for many people that for sure. So that’s why I suggest if you’re a bit on the shy side, just getting your work out there in a video slideshow is a great way to get yourself ranked and yes, also a great way to embed a gallery on your website and/or blog as well.

    • http://www.danianichole.com Niki Aguirre

      It is definitely a great way to get yourself out there. I soon hope to have some videos on YouTube – tutorial and or behind the scenes I think are a great way to get traffic.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jclossphoto Jeff

      Thanks Marlene! This article inspired me completely, and I have just finished my first very basic portfolio video, focusing on children’s portraits. You can check it out if you like: http://youtu.be/j68WCpyxP6A I followed most of your suggestions, no music, short length, simple transitions of stills. I’m very interested to see what it turns into. Now to get started on one of teens to promote seniors/grad photography next year. And weddings!

    • http://don´thaveyet Vinicius

      Hello Marlene! Congratulations for these tutorials about youTube. Certainly it helps a lot how to embrace use all medias to show the work keep in our computers!! Let´s take from there and put outside!!!
      Best regards from Brazil.

    • http://www.itsabouttravelling.com Tom

      Don’t forget – you can also put a link to your own site in the description of the video. Plus, YouTube has just added a ‘InVideo Programming’ function that allows you to put a small video inside your video – like on T.V. when stations do those quick ads for other programs during a show.

    • http://www.imagemaven.com Marlene Hielema

      @Tom. Yes definitely put your url in the description, right at the top. I had to leave some things out of this piece or it would have been a book, and also so there is room for future articles.

    • http://www.imagemaven.com Marlene Hielema

      @Jeff Closs – Your video is awesome. I looked. I liked and I subscribed to your channel. Good on you for taking the next step. I’m happy to see you added music as well, as the slide show videos need it. (sorry I thought I had posted this comment last night, but it seems to have disappeared)

    • http://photographybystyles.zenfolio.com Peter Styles

      G’day Marlene, enjoyed your post on you tube and I must admit it I had never thought of it before..Must try it..Cheers Peter..

    Some older comments

    • Peter Styles

      October 29, 2012 02:08 pm

      G'day Marlene, enjoyed your post on you tube and I must admit it I had never thought of it before..Must try it..Cheers Peter..

    • Marlene Hielema

      October 20, 2012 08:58 am

      @Jeff Closs - Your video is awesome. I looked. I liked and I subscribed to your channel. Good on you for taking the next step. I'm happy to see you added music as well, as the slide show videos need it. (sorry I thought I had posted this comment last night, but it seems to have disappeared)

    • Marlene Hielema

      October 20, 2012 01:28 am

      @Tom. Yes definitely put your url in the description, right at the top. I had to leave some things out of this piece or it would have been a book, and also so there is room for future articles.

    • Tom

      October 20, 2012 01:12 am

      Don't forget - you can also put a link to your own site in the description of the video. Plus, YouTube has just added a 'InVideo Programming' function that allows you to put a small video inside your video - like on T.V. when stations do those quick ads for other programs during a show.

    • Vinicius

      October 20, 2012 12:56 am

      Hello Marlene! Congratulations for these tutorials about youTube. Certainly it helps a lot how to embrace use all medias to show the work keep in our computers!! Let´s take from there and put outside!!!
      Best regards from Brazil.

    • Jeff

      October 19, 2012 04:10 pm

      Thanks Marlene! This article inspired me completely, and I have just finished my first very basic portfolio video, focusing on children's portraits. You can check it out if you like: http://youtu.be/j68WCpyxP6A I followed most of your suggestions, no music, short length, simple transitions of stills. I'm very interested to see what it turns into. Now to get started on one of teens to promote seniors/grad photography next year. And weddings!

    • Niki Aguirre

      October 19, 2012 04:06 pm

      It is definitely a great way to get yourself out there. I soon hope to have some videos on YouTube - tutorial and or behind the scenes I think are a great way to get traffic.

    • Marlene Hielema

      October 19, 2012 11:39 am

      @Louisa, yes you can definitely do that. And for those of you who don't have an iPhone, use the video function on your dSLR or compact camera.

      @Dewan getting in front of the camera is hard for many people that for sure. So that's why I suggest if you're a bit on the shy side, just getting your work out there in a video slideshow is a great way to get yourself ranked and yes, also a great way to embed a gallery on your website and/or blog as well.

    • raghavendra

      October 19, 2012 03:57 am

      as we are aware youtube is most used websites now, 'how i took this picture' and 'teaching about photography' are the popular searches on photography in youtube

      http://raghavendra-mobilephotography.blogspot.com/2012/09/black-and-white-photo-of-cat.html

    • Dewan Demmer

      October 19, 2012 03:37 am

      I really have been thinking about using You tube more, and really should. As mentioned small presentations with the right tags. I am still working on the idea of putting myself in front of the camera and onto youtube.
      One very nice thingabout youtube is embedding it on your own site , as I did on this page at the bottom
      http://www.dewandemmer.com/eloise-and-hein-holtons-wedding-at-makiti-muldersdrift/

      Thanks for the reminder that its time to get myself doing the you tube thing more

    • Robert

      October 19, 2012 02:41 am

      You're right Mridula, Youtube is a great place to view videos on photography tips.

    • Larry

      October 19, 2012 12:32 am

      Great post. Find me on YT as lmaupin and on FB as MaupinPhoto.
      Thanks!
      Larry

    • Louisa

      October 18, 2012 10:30 pm

      Thanks for the heads up on using videos effectively.
      It sounds like a great time to get moving with this.
      I'm wondering if I can combine videos I can take on an iphone with my higher quality still shots to create a something effective and where I could find out more about how to do this. looking forward to hearing more about this fascinating subject.

    • Mridula

      October 18, 2012 03:31 pm

      It has not registered with me previously that You tube is the #2 search engine!

      http://blogs.gonomad.com/traveltalesfromindia/

    • Marlene Hielema

      October 18, 2012 02:58 pm

      @Jeff, love your time lapse. You should write a guest post about that for DPS explaining your technique.

    • Mario

      October 18, 2012 10:19 am

      Interesting, but I don't have a Iphone to follow your instructions.

    • Scottc

      October 18, 2012 09:30 am

      From the title I thought this was about using youtube for stills rather than videos (or slide shows).

      It's a creative concept, but I just can't get into video.

      Video can't do this....

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/lendog64/8087998462/

    • Jeff E Jensen

      October 18, 2012 08:01 am

      Hmm, I hadn't thought about using YouTube to promote my photography. Not a bad idea. I currently use it for my time lapse work.

      http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffejensen?

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