Sunday, July 01, 2012

An Investment that will Pay for Itself with First Job

by Alan Naumann

Mark Twain’s famous quote, “The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” can also be applied to photo montages. It is common wisdom that the photo montage is “dead;” yet, from my experience, and the experience of Earl Chessher, I would have to say nothing can be further from the truth!
“Make Money Marketing & Producing Photo Montages: The Complete Guide” is NOT an obituary; rather, it is a reminder that one of the services we as videographers should be offering is professionally produced photo montages.
This book is a valuable resource for the beginning videographer who has a myriad of questions, to the seasoned videographer who needs to be reminded about the basics of the video business that perhaps have been prematurely abandoned. The book is written in a folksy, storytelling way, giving many examples and stories to back up the points presented.
Earl begins by dispelling the myth that consumers will not pay you to do their montages. He points out that the keys to having a successful “photo-video montage production business are QUALITY, FAST DELIVERY and AFFORDABLE PRODUCTS — and ... great personal service.” Earl then makes a strong case as to why clients, such as funeral homes and churches, really need to use our services. The information given can easily be shared with those who need to become our clients.
Earl covers all aspects of photo montage production, from marketing, to the business aspects. Perhaps the most practical part of the book is where he takes the reader through the steps necessary to produce a high quality, professional photo montage in a relatively short amount of time. He covers everything from the equipment needed to where to buy supplies — and talks about the different levels of commitment the videographer can make to this aspect of the business.
He also reminds us of the importance of not using labels — but rather, printing directly on the disc; the use of the Internet in promoting your business; making decisions as to location and personnel for your business; and many other practical considerations in order to be efficient and profitable. Included in the book are many forms that will help clients communicate their vision; and forms that will keep you organized in fulfilling their wishes.
He also includes several appendixes at the end that give practical advice on everything from where to find supplies to getting the best deals on equipment.
I believe this book has value for every videographer — even if s/he doesn’t plan on making photo montages a central part of their service. The tips and tricks shared in the book can be transferred to many areas of video production and therefore should prove invaluable.
The book sells for $79.95 and can be ordered from Lulu Press. And, $79.95 might seem high for a book of (about 300 pages) but let me remind you that this is really an investment that will pay for itself on the very first job.

Alan Naumann,


Linda said...

I don't know how I even came across your name on the internet. I was looking for any information regarding slideshow production/photo montages and then I was on the VideoMaker website. Although I am not a videographer, my passion for photography and video comes from early childhood, and although that started some 40 (shhh) years ago, I decided to start a business based on photographs/videos and preserving memories via photo montages. So I purchased a domain name that was "catchy", and thus far have completed 95% of the site using wordpress, designed/ordered eye catching business cards and postcards. Use Photodex
Proshow, Adobe PhotoShop and have a great photo scanner.
At this point now I'm stuck! The 5% I have left on the website is delayed because of 'what' to market and how involved I want to take this business (slides to DVD?,negatives to DVD?,vhs transfer? etc) and the perfect pricing page! Is that too many services to offer?
After reading some of your blog posts, I have a few (well alot) of questions. Is there a difference between a slideshow production and a photo montage production? Limiting the number of photos between 20 to 150 because of the time it would take to scan more than 150? You seem like the perfect person (professional) I need to be in contact with to get my dream business off to a great start. I have one chance for a good first impression and I want to do it right! Plus I have invested time and money so far. I'm 95% there and now I'm at a standstill because of second guessing what to offer and pricing to attract clients. Keeping it simple yet making a profit without spending hours on projects I wasn't expecting would be so time consuming.
I hope you can possibly give some advice to me as I would greatly appreciated your 'expertise' on something you seem to be very educated with. I need to finally get this business venture off the ground. Sincerely,

CorElAnn said...

Photo montage productions and the term "photo montage" infer MORE than a simple OFF, ON, OFF ON, presentation played to music as a "slide show" infers. The terms are, however, often used interchangeably by people who remember slide show presentations that utilized slide projectors, sometimes two units side-by-side to incorporate fades or cuts between images, often presented with a separate audio source.

Photo montages are MORE integrated with images, movement, special effects, music, titles and graphics, all contained in a movie file and often delivered on a DVD that's playable in a DVD player, fed into a projector and presented on a large screen, or viewed on a television or wide screen monitor.

I am a contributor and moderator for the Videomaker Forums and a contributing editor and writer for Videomaker magazine. In addition to being am independent published writer of how-to books for video production, marketing and making money in video-related business, I am a full time video producer.

I also publish fiction and non-fiction, including short stories, short-short stories, novellas and novels. I specialize in creating WordPress websites for my various specialty video productions and am working on the development of sites that will feature my publications.

No, what you want to offer isn't too much. The more varied but related your services are, the better chance you have of attracting a broader range of clients and increasing your business base.

Keep in mind that basically, with customers and clients who want photo montage productions ... it's ALL about the photos, not special effects, spectacular backgrounds and overwhelming movements. It's about the pacing, timing and quality of the images.

The book that is being reviewed in this guest blog by Alan Naumann, links provided in the article but here it is also ( ) is your BEST BET for completing your business plan. Follow the link, read the other review and peruse my other video business books there. the book is DEFINITIVE with EVERYTHING you need to know to make money doing photo montages.

Earl Chessher

Linda said...

It was my understanding when researching the difference, that photo montages contained less effects with no music and simply just photos scanned and made digitally viewable on a cd or DVD for simply organizing those loose photos you have had around for years. And that slideshows were more to tell a story of memorable occasions and events put to music with captionstans even someold VHS video clips that could even be added in between. So would you say I've paid for the wrong name to advertise a business such as mine?
Wish you lived closer to have you finish and fine tune my website, as I said I'm on the last 5% of it and have reached a "block" with second guessing. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post and give your thoughts to my situation!

Linda said...

Also...I had already checked out the site before my initial blogpost and read the great reviews!! I have booked marked it also....would love to get my hands on a used one thru eBay?

CorElAnn said...

Hey Linda,
I simply had too much to include in a reply here so I sent you an e-mail. Please check it out ... you'll like what you read. Primarily, I want to assure you that you can still setup an effective business website using the name you've selected. What you do with your WordPress site regarding tags, headers and content for SEO will help bring you eyeballs over the Internet. Go for it!