Thanks to everyone who attended our most recent webinar Promote With Pictures: Leverage the Latest Marketing Trends at Your Next Event. Check out our presentation slides below plus Jessie’s answers to some burning questions that we received from attendees!
Highlighted Slides from the Webinar!
To prepare for this webinar, we had a conversation with Alyson Giantisco from ArtWell. Alyson is a friend of HMC who is a reporter and loyal Meetup attendee, and she shared a quote with us that we’d like to share with you!
“When you have professional photography, it gets you moved up the column. The reporter mostly always runs the stories that have captivating photography over the stories that are sent over with no photography or poor photography.”
- Quality Behind an Image = Sharability
Plain and simple, if an image is high-quality it is more likely that it will get shared. Why? It holds qualities that we are attracted to like detail, contrast, and balance. If an image is blurry or pixelated is it less likely that it will be shared because it isn’t representative of the true moment, and won’t look good online or in print. Photographs of your event retell a visual narrative and they represent who you are as a company and how you want others to see you.
- Future Marketing Campaigns
The images taken are your collateral. One image can make or break your views. If you put the money into professional photography you will get money back in the long run. The professional images you have can then be leveraged in your next campaign, your next push, and your next message. Use the photos for things like thank you cards, email campaigns, newsletters, re-engagement items, Facebook albums (water-marked), creative postcards, stickers, and more! The list goes on.
More shares, more views, more reasons to take a double look! Great photos can also help leverage your next event. If you capture and share the energy and experience from your last event, people will be more likely to attend your next one. You can even consider offering high-res photos to your attendees as a stewardship step, and to personally thank donors and sponsors.
- First Impressions
You only get one chance! You want people to know you care and one beautiful shot can do just that. Why make a night special if you can’t share it?
Images can create great emotion - use that to your advantage! Catch those moments that humanize the happenings of the night. We don’t want posed images… we want real human interaction that is both relatable and comforting. With the fast pace of social media, you have one shot with this. Make it count!
Re-engage with past clients. Let them know, “Hey, this is what we’ve been up to. We’d like you to be a part of it again!” The qualities of a good image will always evoke emotion. Use an image that relates to your past client - it will quickly start a conversation with a tone already set.
When you are working hard to get an event ready, think about all of the tiny steps it takes to get there - they are important! Always document those mini moments along the way and create a hype around what is about to happen. If you keep your clients, co-workers, family, friends, and fans updated they will feel like they are a part of the entire experience - from beginning to end.
When the event is finally happening, your attendees will see the work you put into the little things and remember back to the picture you posted when they were first created. It is an easy way to bring your attendees into the experience as a whole.
Spend the money from the start and many other doors will open. You’ll get high-res photos for your email blasts, newsletters, thank you cards, postcards, donor packages, marketing, and branding tools!
We are the images that we share. Think about the qualities one image can possess and use them to your advantage. Remember it is all about creating your brand and capturing your personality while doing it. Think about the money you spend up front and how it will filter back into your growth as a company. If you website and/or social media platforms are cluttered with low-quality images, you will miss out on engagement opportunities.
Remember this? 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. This creates a risky, slim, but exciting window. Be creative and put the money into what is needed!
Questions from Webinar Slides Answered by Jessie Fox, HMC’s Photojournalist
Q: Why should a company invest in an Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest and then use it daily? Seems like a lot of work!
A: It is always important to be set up on different social media platforms, but this is another case where more isn’t always better. Instead of making accounts for all of these platforms think about your organization/company and which tool will be most effective for you.
Here are some traits to keep in mind when making this choice: company message, personality, branding techniques, and capacity. You can also think about the intersection between some of these platforms. If you are sharing with one most of the time you have the option of re-purposing that share. At HMC, for example, we sometimes like to link our photos shared on Instagram to our Facebook page. We will then go a little extra and make sure to re-tag people or locations on that Facebook post.
Q: Comparing images below: Is there anything you like about this image? Is there anything you don’t like, and why?
A: The image below was taken on an iPhone. Although it captures action, there is nothing that grabs our immediate attention. We don’t see as much detail in this image and the frame isn’t crisp. The variety between the tones is lacking - the image looks flat. Think about visual stimulation and what this image is missing in that sense. Which one tells a better story?
Q: Do you see the story within this image?
A: In the second image above, we are automatically drawn in because of the warm lighting and hues. We can form a story of our own and make a direct connection to the sun in the background. We get a sense that this shot was taken in the early morning. We can then begin to appreciate the photo for the details that are present.
The tight frame allows us to hone in on the action. We see a video production taking place and a little detail on the video screen itself. The lighting is controlled and the dimension of the angel gives our eye something interesting to look at. Sometimes you only have one shot to pull someone in. Think about the quality between the two and what kind of moment we want to be sharing and why.
Q: What is one reason you think professional photography is important?
A: Quality! If an image is high-quality it is more likely that it will get shared. Our eyes are attracted to beauty and we share what we like. If an image is blurry or pixelated is it less likely to get shared because it’s not representative of the true moment. You want to see and get a feel for the event that was created - an image can support those capacities.
Photographs of your event are retelling a visual narrative and they represent who you are as a company and how you want others to see you. We all have cameras in our pockets. We need to think about how to stand out.
Questions from the Audience
Q: Is there a photo clearance form or some type of permission needed to use images for newsletters, campaigns, etc.?
A: Yes! Always get this cleared first! It is likely that whoever you are working with already has their own forms to fill out as far as permission goes. If you are entering as a third party it is never a bad idea to have your own forms, especially if children are involved. As a third party you want to make sure you can use the photos/creations for your own needs, like your company portfolio.
HMC uses photo clearances on certain events. If we’re going to use a specific photo in our newsletter, for example, we’ll email that person and ask permission. As a general rule, always cover your bases - better to be safe than sorry. For certain nonprofit programs or events, it’s helpful to include a photo waiver in the ticketing information, or use physical signs around the event.
Q: Would you recommend selecting one (or a few filters) on Instagram, to include in your organization’s visual style-guide?
A: Instagram has become a very interactive platform. When looking at someone’s page you can get an immediate sense for how they are posting and what kind of style (or brand) they have created for themselves.
I would recommend sticking to 2-3 filters - there will still be variety within your photos, but they will also look consistent. Also, including that information in your style guide can only help in regards to multiple people on your team making a post.
If used correctly, Instagram can be a great tool to share with others if you want them to get a quick sense of who you are, what you are up to, and what kind of audience you are aiming to attract. Have fun with it, but remember, consistency is key!
Take a look at HMC’s! And check out one of Jessie’s favorite Instagram accounts here: This Wild Idea
Q: When is a “darker photo” better?
A: A darker image will definitely set a tone. When picking a darker image in hue you want to think about the story you are telling. Remember that it won’t be as detailed and it will most likely bring your attention to one aspect of the photo. Here is an example below:
This is a silhouette. Darker hues fill the frame, but the hint of lighting was controlled when I took this shot. Our eye is drawn to the highlights on this boy’s face, which is calm and focused. We see that there are other kids in the classroom, but instead of worrying about all of them, we are able to give our attention to just one, and that helps our thoughts to be more concentrated.
Darker images can be powerful, but it is important that your lighting and other tones are strong. This scene in the frame was a great time for me to take advantage to the natural lighting (my favorite way to shoot portraits!)
Q: Do you take any precautions when photographing children?
A: Always! Be sure to double and triple check on clearances. Not only should you have a form as the third party coming in, but whoever you are working with should have their own as well. A third party can mean anything from student(s)/parent(s), the organization you are working with, and your company.
Q: What program do you use to tweak the professional photos?
A: I use Photoshop and Lightroom. Tech Soup offers some versions of Photoshop for nonprofits: http://www.techsoup.org/search/forums/adobe%20premiere/posttag-Adobe%20Photoshop/
Q: When do you recommend black and white photos?
A: Personally, I love black and white images. Ultimately, the decision is up to you. Think about composition, message, and the integrity behind the story.
Does the photo your using match your content? Be strategic with the post or share. Most of the time people associate black and white images as being more artistic and suggestive. They are often bold or standalone statements. We aren’t distracted by color - we are fully focused on the frame.
At HMC we usually only use black and white photos on our HMC Weekly updates or photo essays. I am usually the one who makes this choice, but I always make sure I have a reasoning for it. This photo below is one of my recent favorites of Nicola, our lead designer. We went out for a quick coffee break to reset our minds. This came out of it.
Q: How many photos per day do you post to Instagram?
A: No more than three. Think about your personal use on Instagram. If you are following someone who posts 5-10 images in a row the images become irrelevant. Instagram is a platform that encourages special shares and moments. We want others to know what we’re up to, but not in full. That is what helps to keep your shares interesting!
By posting no more than three times we are still engaging our followers, but we aren’t overloading them to a point where it becomes redundant. The most important thing is to post every day or at least every other day. This reminds our followers that we’re here and active and that we love to share what we’re up to. HMC uses our Instagram to showcase our daily happenings and where we are if we’re on location.
Let HMC help you promote with pictures and tell YOUR stories! If you have any further questions please reach out to Jessie: email@example.com.Google+