Blog Topic: Visuals

Why Use Video to Promote Your Art

Friday, March 22nd, 2019

We all know the saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words,” now imagine the value of a video? Videos are very popular. People like the visual appeal of photos but they like videos even more. In fact, YouTube is the second largest search engine and third most visited site in the world. You have probably watched a few videos there yourself.  But why should you make a video? All that work, what is the payback? More than you may realize:

Connect with your audience and build customer rapport.

Increase traffic to your website or other social media sites.

Increase sales.

Document your process (builds value).

Create an archive.

Online teaching +/or augment your in-person teaching.

Build name recognition (see Branding).

Increase your ‘ranking’ on search engines like Google and Yahoo with likes and shares.

Promote customer testimonials.

Live-stream events like an open studio or art opening.

Show interviews of you +/or your customers.

What do you want to say? What is the purpose of the video?

Before you begin, decide what the purpose of the video is. Are you documenting your process, introducing people to your medium, highlighting specific work, or your work in general? How will you portray your intention?

How to Make Video Marketing Work for You: Make Videos Geared Toward Your Audience:

Target your niche. I have learned that in general, my audience is women over 40. They like to see my process and follow along as a project progresses. Some, if not many, work with their hands too.  They appreciate quality and know it when they see it. I created a series of short videos to document my process while creating my Little Devil Corset.  I am always surprised and pleased when I speak with people who have seen them. In making the videos I not only documented my process, but I also clarified for myself what my intentions were in the process.

Most importantly, making a great video is about creativity,  planning and execution. You don’t need expensive equipment to achieve this.

Where do you put your video:

Your website

YouTube

Vimeo

Instagram (60 seconds or less)

FB

Newsletter

Blog

In the next chapter of Video Marketing I will give you some basics on how to make a video along with some sights to help you.

Photographing Your Work

Friday, March 24th, 2017

 

Kathy Spoering, “Acadia Autumn”

Barbara Burns

One of the major reasons artwork is rejected from exhibitions is poor photography. Don’t let this happen to you.  A good photo is essential in promoting your work.  There are two options: do it yourself; or hire a photographer.

If you have the funds to hire someone, I suggest getting recommendations from people you trust. I once hired an inexperienced photographer and was disappointed with the results. If you are looking for someone to shoot fiber art make sure they have experience in shooting textiles. This will save time and money. If you do use someone else to photograph your work be sure to credit them when you use their photos.

I’ve done all my own photography with a digital camera I bought in 2005. The exceptions are two pieces that were too large for the capabilities of my camera and skills at the time. I also have Photoshop, where I can crop, adjust size, color correct, name files and make my images web ready. We’ll get into all that in another post.

I have an Apple 6s cell phone and it takes better photos than that old digital camera. So lately, I’ve been using my cell phone for  most of my photos. If you have a good smartphone you can do the same. There are several good sites that give you excellent directions for using your smartphone. Kat Eye Studio is a place to begin.

iPhone image

You can get good quality photos with your smartphone if you take the time to do a few key things:

  1. You need to get sharp images. This can be accomplished best with a full size or tabletop tripod and phone attachment adaptor. If you don’t have a tripod you can set your smartphone on a sturdy surface at about the same height as your work and shoot using the timer. You don’t want to accidentally jar the phone as you touch the screen to take the shot.
  2.  Lighting should be bright and indirect, natural light if possible. If you don’t have that option use overhead lights.
  3. Once you photograph your work, immediately look at it on a larger screen than your phone so you can see if you need to make any changes. A desktop monitor is best, a tablet or laptop will do.
  4. When framing the shot fill the screen on your phone as much as you can, given the differing shapes between phone screen and artwork, but don’t cut off the edges of your work.
  5. Shoot in HDR mode when possible. This gives you a better quality image.
  6. Take advantage of editing apps. Here is a list of apps you can start with if you’re on the iPhone and here’s a similar list for Android. Another recommended app is Camera+.
  7. When editing an image on your smartphone, check the focus, sharpness, and color correct and crop the image. Be sure to keep the colors true to the artwork.digital-camera

If you have a digital camera you have some options a cell phone doesn’t allow. Paired with a good photo app where you can make adjustments, you can be your own photographer. Below are some resources to help you.

There are several articles at the Creativity Journey blog that will be of use.

In Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot magazine you can find an in depth series of articles on photographing your work written by Gregory Case. The articles begin in Issue 165 (Winter 2010/2011) and go to Issue 185 (Winter/Spring 2016).

TextileArtist.org  has an article on the best cameras for photographing artwork and an article on photographing textiles.

Photographing your work doesn’t have to be a daunting or expensive experience. I hope that the information here will help you.

Sources:

Capturing a Sharper Image with your Smartphone by Gregory Case Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot Vol. XLVI No. 2 Issue 182 Spring 2015
Techradar.com
creativityjourney.blogspot.com
https://www.creativityexplored.org/blog/blog/10-expert-tips-to-photographing-artwork-with-your-smartphone

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