Don’t believe the Hype

We’re all guilty – not just photographers but anyone who uses a ‘tool’ in their work. We are easily convinced that the latest, flashest, whizziest product on the market is essential. How can we possibly continue in business without the newest model?

Photographers must be worse than most – how else can you explain the regular upgrading of cameras, the introduction of new models with more megapixels, faster processors, more focus points, higher ISO capabilities and an even longer list of features that any self-respecting photographer should (according the blurb) be ashamed not to have.

If we believe the marketing hype, our rubbish old camera bodies that must be getting on for 2 or 3 years old, should be consigned to antique shops. How could we possibly hold our heads up in the company of our peers if we’re using an outdated model? How on earth did we manage to take any sort of picture with that old thing.

How quickly they forget the fanfare that greeted the arrival of our now outmoded kit. Somehow we fell for it then and have struggled on with a mere 20Mb and a processor that is positively pedestrian compared to the shiny new one. Somehow, we’ve managed to produce high quality images despite these terrible handicaps.

I’m writing this after digesting the news of the new Canon 5Ds – all 50.6 million pixels of it. Of course I want one, wouldn’t we all – OK so Nikon users may disagree but it won’t be long before the yellow label brings out something equally tempting.

But do I need one?

Will it improve the quality of my pictures?

Will it win me more business?

Sadly the answers are; no, no and no. I’d like one but I could spend the money more effectively elsewhere and I know it won’t be long before they are available to hire for those occasions when, for bragging rights alone, it’s worth having one for a high profile job.

We’ve all seen plenty of dodgy pictures taken with top-end cameras by people with “all the gear and no idea” and equally there are some cracking shots out there taken by talented creative photographers using fairly ordinary old gear – even smartphones!

Don’t believe the hype; what would manufacturers, retailers, distributors and marketing gurus do without a new model to shout about every six months. Great photography is all about creativity, timing, composition, perspective, lighting and experience; the camera is just a tool.

Don’t believe the Hype

Dynamic Social Promotion

Social Media for dynamic business promotion

The Social Media landscape is constantly moving and every month brings revisions and added features to each of the numerous channels. For business promotion some are better than others but all have a role to play.

  • Share real time updates – in the lead up to an event and while it’s in progress, let people know what’s going on.
  • Set up a page on Facebook and company profile on LinkedIn – LinkedIn is the most effective for companies that work mainly in the B2B sector while Facebook is a superb way for those who deal with consumers to engage more.
  • When setting up a Facebook page don’t forget to register a ‘vanity’ URL – e.g. facebook.com/reddogphoto – it looks so much better than a long string of numbers. Facebook used to insist you had a minimum of 25 likes before you could do this, but recently they’ve relaxed the conditions.
  • Respond to posts – use positive and negative comments to engage clients, customers, prospects or the public at large. Be sure to address any issues before they fester.
  • Post photographs and video clips – use images wherever you can, images of people, products or premises to create a buzz and give people more reasons to visit your website or get in touch. Make sure the images you use are good quality and saved in a format that will load quickly, no-one wants to wait while a huge image take hours to download. Video clips can be anything from a ‘talking head’ to some action footage of an event or presentation.
  • Ask questions – social is meant to be interactive, so engage your audience, find out what they think of your products or services – and remember to reply and thank them.
  • Create incentives – deals for early bookings, a competition for the best tweets, a prize for the most creative post, link to an online survey or poll, use the twitter hashtag to vote for a winner.
  • Link Social platforms to your business website – with so many different platforms there’s no excuse for not interacting with your customers on many levels. Try and vary the posts to avoid the same wording appearing in half a dozen places but check the main website links to all the channels and they all link back.
Dynamic Social Promotion