A former student of mine sent me a forwarded email from her husband who got it from someone at work who got it from someone else, etc., etc. The email contained photos of dogs splashing into pools taken from under water. They were awesome photos!
But here was the problem:
The photos were missing some important things like:
- the photographer’s name
- web site
Watch the video below to hear the whole story, and what the photographer could have done differently.
[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’1′ hide_logo=’1′ hide_controls=’1′ hide_title=’0′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI__vhmL4uo[/responsive_video]
Nothing on the photos identified the photographer.
I suspect these particular photos were poached from Facebook or his blog, which is easy enough to do. I had to do a little sleuthing of my own to find out who the photographer was. His name is Seth Casteel, and his website is Little Friends Photo.
What should Seth Casteel have done?
Watermark the files
Yes I know, I’m guilty of it too. It’s so easy to load up photos in Facebook or on our blogs. We get lazy, are in a hurry and just post them anyway, not realizing that ANYONE can just download these.
The best solution is that he should have used YouTube!
- See the thing with YouTube is that you can’t remove the photos. The video remains intact.
- You can also put website links right in the video description that take people right to your web site!
- You can also brand you videos with your url, name and logo, so when people share your video, all that information stays with the video.
- You can add voice over and music, giving a richer experience.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, YouTube videos are searchable and can be accessed randomly.
Searchable means that you can type is a search term in Google and your video can be in the list of results. That’s not the case with Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Those photos don’t come up on Google.
By random access I mean they don’t disappear down the river of Tweets, Pins or FB comments. They are always easy to find, and really old videos can still show up on page one of search results.
In fact, videos get better with age.
That’s not the case with other forms of social media. The longer your video is online the more the views accumulate. The more views you get, the higher you’ll rank on search engine results. The higher you rank in search results, the more people click. You can see where this is going.
What you need to do:
If you are a photographer, you need to get a YouTube video gallery of your work out there.
- Better yet, get several video galleries on YouTube.
- Split up your galleries into subjects.
- Don’t put more than 20 of your best photos in each gallery.
- Then, optimize your video title and description with keywords and key phrases.
- Seth could have used underwater dogs, photos of dogs jumping into the water, things like that.
- I bet if you Google underwater dogs, you’ll find him.
Next, you need to get on camera, so people can see you, hear you and get to know you a bit better.
- I know it sounds scary, but just be yourself.
- Let your personality shine through.
- That will distinguish you from the photographer whose photos end up in some forwarded email with no identifying information attached.
Video is a good substitute for showing your portfolio when it’s not possible to meet in person.
Then, give people a little behind the scenes look at you working on a shoot
- People love seeing how stuff is done.
- Clients would like to see you in action.
- Imagine if there was a video of the underwater dogs.
- You’d watch it AND you’d share it wouldn’t you?
- You’d share it easier and faster than you’d send the photos around.
Anyhow, I don’t want to pick on this photographer too much. Seth Casteel is already doing many great things with his photography. He sells books and calendars of his photos. I hope he reads this blog post and starts producing videos, instead of just getting his photos stolen off of Facebook and his blog.
There are other ways to get your photo portfolio online. I have a course dedicated to that topic called Video Made Easy. Check it out.