Posted on Friday, November 28th, 2014
So Tetley have inspired 32 year old tea taster Sebastian Michaelis’ tongue for £1million. The value apparently is that Sebastian can grade tea in just 15 seconds. Now he is not quite as expensive as Heidi Klum’s legs or Madonna’s breasts that are insured for £1.2m. Also a snip considering insuring Tom Jones chest hair was £3.5million, Julia Roberts’ smile cost £18.6m and David Beckham’s legs were valued at £43million. Jennifer Lopez’s bum is insured for around £17 million, but poor old Rihanna’s legs are only worth £636,000.
So that got me thinking, what parts of my body are so important to my success as a photographer that I might need to insure them. Yes – what price insuring a photographer? This all started with a light hearted discussion with a very helpful friend of mine, though sometimes I wonder just how helpful he really is! Well I haven’t put a value on them – that is for the insurance underwriters, but let me go through the various important body parts a successful photographer has and why they might be insurable:
My eyes – the obvious part. Well obviously a photographer needs to have his eyes to see so he can visualise a shot, frame it and focus the lens. And then the digital image needs optimising, and much of this is about my judgement in what I see. But as my useful friend mentioned, I might be making too much of the importance of this body part as there are blind and partially sighted photographers; one prominent local one being Brian Negus the retired Loughborough University professor and retired chairman of the local vitally impaired charity Vista. He uses the auto focuses and other electronic aids – you can see details on the Leicester Mercury website. But for me my eyes are important because of the reportage style of photography I use for weddings, I have to be observant, quick acting and able to see the uniqueness of a shot.
Ok, what about my hands and arms? My hands and arms are important for keeping the camera steady. There are situations where you can use a tripod or monopod, or in some circumstances it is a necessity. However, dragging these stability tools around and quickly setting them up is not practical. In my case many shots can only be taken using a hand-held camera. Again, my ever so helpful friend chipped in and said yes ok, but digital cameras that you use today all have an image stabilisation system. You can go off people! It is true that modern cameras can detect any camera movement and shift an internal lens element to correct it. The trouble is that these systems only correct certain types of movement and telephoto lenses magnify the movement and cause blur. SO, my strong arms and steady hands are very important to provide sound support for my camera system.
My strong back and legs then? Again chatting to my oh so helpful friend I was telling him that being a professional photographer certainly kept me pretty healthy because of all the equipment I have to move about to support photo shoots. Not only that I have to be on my feet for long periods, he acknowledged the strength of my argument, but slightly burst my bubble when he said “of course you could employ a porter or an assistant”.
My J-Lo type bum. No let’s not go there; I cannot make any claims that would have any relevance here. And I would appreciate it if my helpful friend would stop laughing and giggling whilst making jokes about insuring my brain.
Seriously though I am very reliant upon my body as an important tool as a professional photographer, but I guess I am not going to be either afford or be able to convince Lloyds of London to insure any body part for an exotic sum. When I typed “photographer insures himself for millions” Google helpfully suggested “photographer injures himself” and “photographer injured himself for millions”, so even Google does not rate my idea of insuring vital body parts for me.
BUT there is one area that I am insured for millions, and that is my public liability insurance.
Ok so I am not going to insure my body parts for £1million, but call me now on 07973 638591 or on 01455 271849 or CONTACT ME if you want to discuss how my professional business photography can add real value to your business. That is the answer to what price insuring a photographer?
I photographed Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at the NEC in Birmingham last week when he visited The Skills show and also the National apprenticeship Awards 2014.
Initially I photographed him in Hall 1 which has orangey-yellow lighting, making my job quite challenging. He made a speech to the press and invited guests at the Made by Apprentices stand before having a quick tour of the rest of The skills show.
He then gave a speech as guest of honour at the National Apprenticeship Awards 2014 at the LG Arena before having his photograph taken with all the finalists and another big group photo with representatives from the top 100 companies who employ apprentices. Again, these group shots were quite tricky as the organisers gave me just two minutes to assemble everyone and to take the photos as they hadn’t allowed enough time for these photos even though they had been requested by the Deputy Prime Minister’s office. The stage lighting was very uneven on the steps leading up to the stage, so I had to balance it with flash that was filtered to give the same colour of light, as well as compensating for any particularly light or dark areas with when I optimised the photos. When the finalists assembled on the stage, Nick Clegg held back but I needed to bring him to the front. I did suggest that he body-surf over everyone to get to the front but strangely, he didn’t take me up on my suggestion. I can’t understand why!! Anyway, it all worked out well in the end and my client was delighted with the photos.
Nick left after these photos, but I stayed to photograph the rest of the evening and all the presentations to the winners and runners-up on the stage. I finished at the NEC at around 10pm but when I got home at about 11pm I had to download all my photos and optimise a large number of them as my client wanted to send them out to the press by 9am the following day. I managed to finish work at 3am to get a small amount of sleep before another busy day.
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Call me now on 07973 638591 or on 01455 271849 or CONTACT ME for an estimate or to discuss your photography assignment at the NEC, Birmingham.
Posted on Friday, November 7th, 2014
One aspect of online marketing that is underused, and often misunderstood, is the use of video on a website to promote a business. People are expecting your online presence to be more of a multi-media presence (that is your total online presence such as social media, website etc). Research has shown that you have up to 8 seconds to get your message across when people visit your website (and each subsequent web page). So you have got to engage them. If you think that people “browse the internet”, then you have got to break their browsing process when they come to your website. If we use the 8 second test then you need a combination of words and visual impact to get your message across and get them to engage with your message and business.
Okay so you need video that is an easy statement to make. But what content do you include in the video and where do you use it on the website. Just having video is not the answer; it has to be effective, relevant and well made.
In this article I offer you some ideas how to use video effectively. It just needs a methodical process to generate ideas and a strategy.
Talking heads or what?
Now video can come in several forms. You can have the conventional “talking head” – this takes the form of the business owner doing what effectively is an elevator pitch – the classic one minute pitch. It does have value because part of the marketing/sales process does need to understand that “people buy from people”.
Some video is better produced by a professional videographer. Some is more relevant if produced by CAD/CAM software and other elements by an online video production software or even Microsoft PowerPoint™.
So what must video achieve?
It is important to understand that people make a purchasing decision on the basis of 4 simple things – the well-known sales funnel shown here:
So what will the videos contain? Well the first step is to write down the 10 or 15 most common questions about your business. These can then be set up as short videos, deployed on the relevant landing pages. Now each video has to match the objective of that landing page to support the stage in the sales funnel that it is seeking to achieve.
Timeframe. It is generally going to be a short 45 seconds to 2 minute video. There will be exceptions, but they have to have a good reason to serve a distinct purpose. Now 2 or 3 minutes is going to be a long time online and will be more useful in the later stages of the conversion process.
Aware that your product or service exists. This is where use of video on social media, You Tube etc is used to attract customers to your website. You have to focus on the benefits of your products. Video needs to highlight where the service or product will benefit a particular target audience. Remember you are not selling to everyone, just those who might need or want to use your company. So the video may need to be advertorial and cover those benefits in less than 2 minutes – anymore and they will either hit the back button or move on. It is definitely a case of less is more. You need to have a clear understanding of the objective of this stage of the engagement process – it is twofold: brand awareness and then getting that valuable click through to your website.
Understand what your product or service is. In online terms, they will have been searching for a solution and when they get to your website you have got your 8 seconds to confirm that you are the solution and they should investigate your site further.
At this stage it is an opportunity to see that the business is about real people; so a “talking heads” video can be a great way in the first part of engaging with site visitors. Remember at this stage they are just site visitors and not yet even potential customers until you have started to engage with them.
You should note that a “talking head video” may not be appropriate on an inside landing page – note I said landing page that is likely not to be the Home page of your website. So just having one video on the home page is not going to be any good if they do not land on your Home page. That may sound like a lot of video and a lot of work, but video comes in several types. Some needs a professional videographer to get the message across, but some needs to be text based with quick messages.
Liking your product. Now you have got them interested, you need to get them to like your product or service. This is where we move to link the benefits of the product or service to its features. This is likely to be demonstrations of the product or service in use.
Convince them your product or service is worth purchasing. Finally, you have got to convince them that your product or service is worth purchasing. This may be more advanced demonstrations of the product or services or it may be testimonials. Video testimonials are very powerful – if you have a list of written “this business is the bee’s knees” texts then there may be less willingness to believe them. After all, the cynic might ask “how do I know you didn’t write them?” Whereas video gives an authentic feel to the testimonial because it shows a real person talking about your business. Now unless you have a twelve bore shot gun behind the camera or are waving a £20 note at them, they are speaking from the heart.
Video is a most powerful tool to complement the sales funnel of your website and business. But it has to be planned and not a series of random or isolated video clips that have no relevance to the content of the landing page they are supposed to be supporting.
If you want to find out how video can be used to help the sales funnel of your website then call Martin Neeves on 01455 271849 or on 07973 638591 or use my contact form to get in touch now.
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UK Concrete Show 2014