Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Animoto ~ My Newest Obsession

Well, I asked for tradeshow advice and that's exactly what I got...GREAT advice from lots of you!

One of the overwhelming suggestions was to have a slideshow playing on a tv or computer screen.  This would allow me to show off lots more photos than I can display and also to have some fun showing some Before & Afters.

So I spent two afternoons choosing the *perfect* photos...resizing...arranging and organizing my folder...searching itunes for the *perfect* music (it doesn't exist!)...only to realize that I stink at making slideshows!  Maybe it's not my fault...maybe slideshows are just....kind of...boring?

But then I remembered a tip that a friend of mine gave me several months ago about an automatic video program called animoto.  He told me it created fabulous slideshows from your own images and automatically put them in beat with the music.  Cool.  So I checked it out...animoto...and guess what?

Animoto is my newest obsession!!

Here's just a few reasons why I love it:
1.  It's cheap.  30 seconds videos are free but 30 seconds is waaaaaaay too short.  I tried it out and made a full-length video for $3.  Tip:  If you want to be able to burn to dvd and play full screen you have to upgrade to high-res for $5.  Still pretty cheap in my opinion.  Or you can buy the all-access pass for $30 per year.  Professionals can get all kinds of goodies for around $249 a year.

2.  It's easy.  The steps are literally numbered for you and the "toolbox" is short and labeled with pictures.  My 8 year old can do it. {probably better than me}

3.  It's quick.  I have about 80+ photos in my first attempt and it was ready for me to view within 20 minutes.  Instant gratification is underrated.

4.  They have their own music.  I'm not really into the music scene thing so I was stressing about the whole music part.  Everyone knows music adds a whole new dimension of emotion to videos but getting the right music is the trick.  Animoto has several genres to choose from and it's included in the cost. 

Obviously this is awesome for photography but I've got so many more plans for videos, my kids birth videos, the "year in pictures" videos,'s endless.  

So enough with the talk, I wanted to share with you the video I made for the tradeshow.  This one is strictly Before & After but I may make a "normal" one too...who knows...I may quit photography altogether and go into the video making business!

Take a look...and I'd love your thoughts on this (I know the first frame is out of whack)...would YOU stop and watch if you had 159 other businesses calling for your attention?

Create your own video slideshow at


Donna said...

What a GREAT idea! I would stop and watch for sure. The photos look great! I looked back through the tradeshow comments and YES candy is must and some sort of give-a-way. I work for a company that participates in trade shows for teachers and they always stop at our booth for candy. That's how we reel them in.

Anonymous said...

is there any way to slow it down? Maybe make the afters stay up a bit longer? I wanted to really look at those...and they were gone so fast. BTW - LOVE your work!!

way outnumbered said...

I agree...I wish the "afters" would be more of an impact...I think I can go back and spotlight the ones I want to be longer...thanks for the suggestion!
FYI~ the tempo completely depends on the song matches the # of photos to the song I could always delete some photos...and then have fun making a second video with even MORE before & afters!

Cameron said...

I think the music is edgy, and matches the video presentation perfectly! I would definately stop to watch your video! I don't comment often, but I think you have amazing talent and follow your blog in Google Reader!

Laura said...

And thanks for the info about Animoto.

Laura said...

Sorry maybe I didn't catch on, what service are you offering?

I might be off the mark here but I am thinking, if you are drumming up photog business it would be better to just show the afters. Because you aren't necessarily going to have people see the beginning of the slide show to realize they are before and afters, people might think half your shots are not that special. What if someone is walking by your booth and they see just one photo from your slide show and it is a before? Is that going to make them want to come back and see more.

If you are selling a class to learn how to take your befores and turn them into afters, then I think the before after slideshow is a great idea.

I hope I don't sound mean... I am just being totally honest with you.

Anonymous said...

Wow... I think that was impressive! I thought it demonstrated your work well. Lovely... Really.

way outnumbered said...

You've brought up a great point...I'm such a before & after freak that I just assume everyone else will catch on to it...
The before & afters usually get a lot of conversation going so I was hoping it would lead into that...and considering the monitor will be smack in the middle of my displays I never thought about people being turned off with just a glance. I'm rethinking it all...these interactions are awesome!
Thanks to Laura and everyone for taking the time to help me out!

cherryberry said...

I liked it. I did think the photos were going by a bit fast and by the end of the video the music was starting to get to me a little bit but I think on a big screen at a tradeshow, it would grab my attention. Good job with that! I love your processing by the way - great shots :)

Sarah Cox said...

Wow! I am glad you liked my suggestion! But I agree with Laura. I am not sure about the whole before and after thing. I don't think people that are not into photography and photoshop would really appreciate what it is you are trying to show.
I think you are trying to get people to book sessions with you right? If that is the case then I wouldn't show the before shots either. Because just like she said if you walk in on it in the middle and don't see that first slide about before and after you might be a little confused and not want to book the session for pictures that look like the before pictures.
But I liked the slides that say "don't say cheese" and "how long has it been since you had a family picture" I think do more stuff like that with just the after pictures.

Laura said...

Oh and please don't stop doing before and afters here! That is what I love about your blog and why I added it to my reader!

cynthia gayle said...

Great ideas from everyone!! You have smart readers!! I love the phrases you added--maybe even some more--ones that would make a potential client say "yeah, I want that" or better "I need that" Like your phrase about family photos!!! I use a book called "Ultimate guide to the perfect Word" for some of my blog titles--maybe a book like that could help you come up with more cool phrases. Your before and afters are amazing!!! It makes me want to play in Photoshop more!! I love how close you crop!!

April said...

That was really, really awesome. It would definitely catch my eye. I think I'm even going to check out the link you provided. I make a lot of videos, but I love the music and the slide presentation - very dramatic!

Holloman said...

I like it! I looked at the slideshow as someone who would be browsing by a booth - while I like your before and afters on the blog, I didn't pay much attention to that on the slideshow. Rather, especially at the speed it moved, I looked for a quality that I liked. I think the speed of the slideshow is actually pretty good, and the music flows with it perfectly. Those that see something they like, will definitly stop and look for more information. All in all, a keeper!

Blog Designed by Rita of CoffeeShop