Tag Archives: slideshow

Always give more than expected

One of the tenets of customer service is to always deliver more than what is expected. I’ve been shooting some volunteer work with a group called “Operation Love Reunited” and part of the deal is I send out an “album” to the deploying service member at no cost. While thats nice, the folks left at home  always want to see the images. Sometimes they want to buy a few but the reality is that many of the families are young, on a very limited budget and are not in the position to pay for more than a few prints at a very substantial discount even for that.

The rules say a small album like a slip cover album and that just bugged me. As a professional, I wanted the work even as pro-bono to reflect my standards or at least, better than snapshots. I always shoot the mini-session as well as I would for any paying customer. I use the same gear, I behave the same  and I treat them as a “real” client which in my mind, they are. I touch up the images and apply treatments to some here and there and it offended me to just use a slip cover album. I’ve settled on using MyPublisher.com and their soft side 5×7 books. It’s a nice compromise between the Little Kisses and a slip cover album.

I still wanted something nicer for the family to share other than a gallery. I bought Proshow Producer not long ago for a project but I had really not worked with it much up to now. I decided that a nice slide show would be a nice touch to the shoot and if I did it right, it would not take too much time to set it up. It would be a very nice vehicle to show off my images and skills to someone who might want to hire me for something else. And it would give the family a really nice memento of the shoot.

So with that thought, I used the final images for my last OpLove shoot and spent about 10 minutes setting up fast slide show with some music that Tara and her husband feel is special to them. I paid attention to the lyrics and tweaked the order of images to better reflect the spirit of the images with the lyrics.

In the end, it took about 20 minutes to build the slide show, add the music and send it on it’s way. Thats as much of a testament to the software’s design as it is my skills 🙂 ProShow is very easy to use but very powerful when you need it to be. And the extra book on using it is available on the Kindle so I have it on my iPad now for some light reading. I plan to make alot more use of this app in the near future. Also, since it’s a Windows app, I use VMware’s Fusion to run a virtual XP session on my Mac to run this app. Works like a charm and did not miss a beat.

So without further ado, here is Tara’s new OpLove video.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Posted in photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Smiles for you and me

My wife found a very cool service on the net for making slide shows to share pictures with friends and family. It’s called “SmileBox” and the basic service is a freebie and not too offensive with ads and such. It ties into iPhoto on the Mac and makes it very easy to assemble a slide show to email or if you buy the plan, burn to DVD using iDVD. The same features are available for Windows but I do not have any experience with them, only on the Mac.

I have a “gallery” show at a local coffee house (Chapman Coffee House) and my wife and I made a slide show using Smilebox to send it around. But an important part is that I can make a DVD of the show and give it to the owners of the coffee house for their own use. This keeps me and my business in their good graces and shows off that I can take foodie pictures of their wares, nice architectural shots of their business and more. Well worth the 39 dollars a year membership fee.

The membership also lets you using your own music but gives you a library of 2,000 or so songs to choose from which is very handy. You can choose from sideshows, ecards, scrapbooks, postcards or photo albums with a nice assortment of templates for each. And when you are done with your creation, they have it set up to post to all the major and minor social sites like, for example, WordPress 🙂

You can see a live sample in the slide show below of my gallery showing at the coffee house.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Chapman Coffeehouse August 2009
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow
Posted in Album Software, Business Aids, photography, Uncategorized, workflow Also tagged , , , , , , , , |