I miss festivals, how about you? Photos shot at Lucan & Leixlip Festivals for the Liffey Champion newspaper. Camera Gear: Canon 5D. Editing: iMovies.
Gold, silver, and bronze. Not Olympic medals. I’m talking about wedding photography.
More exactly, the ‘Gold Package’, the ‘Silver Package’, and, you guessed it, the ‘Bronze Package’ (for cheapskates).
Any wedding photographer who markets their packages in these terms is an unimaginative sheep, just following what countless other unoriginal wedding photographers have done.
Alarm bells ring when I see this ‘Gold’, ‘Silver’, and ‘Bronze’ format.
Why? Because it shows a lack of imagination and creativity. And that’s the last thing you want in the photographer capturing your wedding day.
Here’s the only bit of innovation you see from ‘heavy metal’ wedding photographers- every now and then one of them includes a ‘Platinum Package’ (= more expensive than ‘Gold’).
Under what circumstances is it okay for a heavy metal wedding photographer to get away with this corny phrasing?
– If the wedding album cover is actually made of gold, silver or bronze.
It all started for me when my father put a Box Brownie into my hands. After I learned to walk, and before I could ride a bike.
I took photos before I could ride a bike. Even before my first day of school.
And because it was a Box Brownie, I started out not looking through a lens like on an SLR, but looking down through a glass prism- the viewfinder in this classic old style camera.
Just a step away from the bellows camera used by photographers in cowboy movies about the Wild West.
SHOOT FIRST, STUDY LATER
After school I went to college and learned theory-
Choosing the right content and the right media for the right audience is crucial for clocking up the hits.
I wanted to do an experiment. A local newspaper sent me to photograph a charity head shave in a parish centre. The volunteer for the head shave, a 16 year old transition year student. A facebooker. Not a buyer of the local newspaper. That was the parents.
So, how to appeal to the 16 year old audience?
With a slideshow.
Send in 3 or 4 pics to the local newspaper, and most likely they use a before and after pic of her head with hair and then bald, and that’s it.
I shot what I needed for the local newspaper, and just kept shooting.
I made a 1 minute 15 second slideshow and uploaded to Youtube.
I told the girl’s mother about it, and she told the girl, and the girl posted it on facebook.
1,500 views in the first 21 hours. And now it’s gone well passed 200,000.
I told one. She told thousands.
Text is the obvious place to go for tags and keywords, but an image can be the Trojan Horse of SEO.
That which is most obvious is not necessarily that which is best. Take SEO for example. Meta tags in the head and keyword tags in the body of a web page are obvious places to go to for SEO.
The SEO in these cases is in the area of Text. Keywords placed in text. Words within words. But that’s too obvious.
What about words in images? And I’m not talking about the obvious here either. Alt Text. Oh no. That’s too obvious too.
I’m talking about File Info within jpegs. Where the photographer writes captions. Meta data within photos.
It works like this: Open a jpeg in Photoshop, go to File, then go to File Info, and a window displaying text boxes opens up. Headings on the left, empty text boxes waiting for your keywords on the right.
Document Title, Author, Description, Keywords, and fill in the blanks about Copyright.
There is our Trojan Horse.
All we have to do now is fill the ranks with soldiers. In this case, the Description and Keywords.
You don’t want to overdo it. Search engines have algorithms to pick up on that sort of thing.
But if you put in keywords about six or seven times, no alarm bells should ring.
CASE STUDY- I used this method for a musician who wanted his new music video to pop up as the top link for Youtube searches of his name.
He enjoyed the first bloom of his career 20 years earlier with a band, so there was a lot of old stuff from the early days already out there. A list of links for old clips filled the screen when we searched his name.
But we wanted to promote new material, not the old stuff.
Typing his name multiple times into the Description and Tag boxes under the new music video didn’t do it either. And it looked messy too.
But typing his name and the name of his new song in the Keywords and Description boxes within the File Info of his Youtube profile photo jpeg lead the Youtube search engine exactly where we wanted it to go.
Our Trojan Horse was first passed the post.