Well today we are trying out Vimeo for hosting our slideshows. Google continually changes its search criteria for finding and ranking websites. So we have to keep updating how we present wedding photography to our clients.
There are many, many pieces of great software to create slideshows and I don't want to get into a great debate about which is the best. Who creates the smoothest transitions and the like. I like simple. I like transparent workflow. I don't want to have to open and close loads of apps just so my fades are imperceptible smoother. This is not a Hollywood iMax Screening. This is a clients slideshow of their beautiful wedding photography.
Wedding photographers tend to choose their own applications for editing photographs. Some use plugins for certain aspects of their retouching. But whatever your poison - stay with it, is my advise.
We've always been Adobe. So we use Photoshop to edit our wedding photography, Indesign to create our wedding albums, Dreamweaver for our web development and Lightroom for production output.
I don't like Lightroom as an editing tool for lots of reasons. But mainly I don't feel in control in the way I do in Photoshop. Lightroom's editing tends to feel clunky, lacks finesse and is cumbersome. Now it may be that its because I'm and avid Photoshop user. But I've heard others voice the same opinions.
However where Lightroom comes into its own is for output. You can create unlimited number of export options. Create your own presets for Facebook files, for png files, for high resolution images etc. And its just a click and you know you are going to get your psd files output as you want them time after time whether its for the web or for a client.
Its also good for creating videos. And that's what we have done today. I've loaded a few files into Lightroom. Selected the SLIDESHOW tab at top right.
I then created two identity plates one that comes up as the first slide with the clients name and the other at the end to give our contact details.
These just act as extra slides, topping and tailing the slideshow. Just makes for a very neat start and finish and of course gives the viewer you contact information.
All you need to do is decide on the playback settings. I added music. Strongly suggest you keep it to music everyone is generally going to enjoy or at least not hate. So stay away from punk rock and the like after all this is a wedding photography slideshow.
In the Playback section first choose the length of your "Crossfades" then simply hit "Fit to Music" and that's done.
Ignore "Audio Balance" that's if you add a video and you want to balance the video audio with say a piece of music you add for a slideshow.
Quality is important for all wedding photographers. Set this to High. You want the best possible presentation of your wedding photography for your client and others watching.
Now one really important step is to save all your settings as a preset.
Simply click the "+" button next to Template Browser and add a name. Mine is blog Video. Next time you create a video slideshow all you have to do is exit the first Identity plate and you are ready to export. How easy is that! I love simplicity.
Select "Export Video" and you get the following screen:
Video Presets. There are several to choose from. 720p is what you want for sharing online. The slideshow below is 254mb in size took around 8 mins to compress and then 10 mins to upload.
If you choose 1080p which is the HD version for your TV the the files size is now 788mb. It takes 30 mins to compress and ages to upload. And of no real benefit.
So here's the result. I'm sure that I am going to tweet aspects over the coming days and weeks. But the aim here is to drive people to the website and keep them their for more than 3 mins because Google loves that kind of web stats. That means high ranking and more natural traffic to our website and that translates into to more business.
So here's the first video slideshow of the beautiful Melissa and David's wedding photography in Abergavenny.