The Opportunities of LIVE
So let's talk about tools. How to go live. What are some of the tools, hardware, things that you need, equipment? You need a camera, right? Like your webcam, your iPhone, Android, whatever, SLR. You could go the route of one of those built-in, what is it, the Mevo cam that's built for live content. Even audio source; again, your iPhone. You could plug in your ear buds to that. They have a nice little microphone in there as well. Your desktop, you could go live. You could go like a pro-mic setup. CreativeLive has gone full studio here. We got all kinds of tech going down. And then the last thing you need is this. You just need the live stream. Okay, you need the live stream. So that could like a number of things. It could be whatever is native to the platform. Facebook, like the app, it's right here. It's just built right in. Instagram, it's built right in. YouTube, it's built right in. There's a couple of other options that you could do if you wanna get fancy. There's a couple of diffe...
rent broadcasting applications that you could use. One is called OBS, I'll tell you guys about OBS because it's free. Open Broadcast Software, it's free. OBS allows you to actually take in different inputs and then send it out to Facebook, send it out to YouTube. And when I say inputs, you could take a video camera feed from your professional SLR camera or from your pro mirrorless camera. You could pull that feed in you could pull the feed in from your pro mic so you can sound dope. It takes that in and it jumbles it together and it allows you to stream that to Facebook and stream it out to YouTube. So you can do some pretty cool things. You could stream out your actual desktop that your on, rather than if you wanna do some live editing, rather than filming your screen while you edit, you could literally stream out your actual desktop mirrored. Look, there's a number of opportunities to do, but the reality is, for the standard majority of us, is this. This is your camera, this is your audio source, this is your live stream source. Now there's a couple things that you can do to make it fancier. I do have a studio setup for when I do my daily live show. I have a full studio setup that I am actually pulling in a professional stream from a mirrorless camera and I've got my podcast mic and I've got all this lighting all set up and everything like that. You can do that. I don't intend to break down all of the hardware and equipment needed to do this but I've listed it all out for you guys. And I've actually gone further. I've listed up the budget option, if you just wanna increase the production value on your phone, increase the production value on a desktop. And then I got the baller option if you wanna go studio. Now this isn't baller like CreativeLive baller but it's still pretty great. And so if you want that, it's here. Same exact link by the way, if you wanted that confidence video, it's the same exact link. It's just another resource and I've broken down every single item that you guys could use to go live with. But, but I know you guys 'cause I know me. That's not what's stopping you. It's not the hardware, it's not. You got it right here. Every one of you could go live right now, right here. It's not a question of do I have what it takes to physically do it. The thing that you're not lacking, it's not about production value it's about content value. You need to have valuable content. And that's why you're not going live. And so I wanna share with you opportunities to provide valuable content to your audience. I wanna brain dump a little bit here. These are a number of opportunities that we have as photographers to provide value to your clients. Now you could do a couple things with these ideas I'm gonna share with you. You could this randomly, just like, "Hey, I'm just gonna do this thing "every now and then." Or you could actually create reoccurring episodes based around these themes which I think is the smart move to do 'cause it creates consistency. And that consistency is just gonna make your numbers go up. You could do a sneak peak. Here's what I mean. As photographers what happens? You go and you shoot a portrait session, you shoot a wedding, and that very next day you come back and you post up that one picture, that one or two pictures. You're excited about it. You're like, "Hey, here's a quick sneak peak "from yesterday's wedding.", dying OMG. And you write some generic caption that's super dramatic and generic. This is what we do as photographers. But I gotta shoot, I gotta write something now. What if instead, by just posting a pretty picture with a generic caption, you took out your phone, and you went live and instead, you told a story. 'Cause people connect to storytelling, right? You told a story, "Hey you guys, I just got back "from shooting Anne and Jordan's wedding yesterday "and it was a wild day. "It rained, it stormed, but there was something "really magical that happened between the two. "They didn't care and they just laughed. "I wanna show you the picture of them laughing "and enjoying the day no matter what happened. "Here, let me show you this." And you bring people in and you tell a story and not only are you telling a story, but you're also, you're showing yourself. You're building trust, you're showing your heart, you're showing you care. And you put the picture, then, and the comments and maybe you, "Hey, I'm gonna post a picture "and the comments and I'm also gonna post it "above this too just so you can see it "so you don't miss it, go check out that picture." I wanna show you guys what this looks like. I have a studio back in Columbus, Style & Story Creative. There's myself, there's Ben Adams and Steven Lowe, amazing photographers. And so we do this. And so, this is actually one of Ben's. I shot Ben, I says, "Hey Ben, I'm gonna "put you on blast.", so this is Ben. And here's what I want you to see about this. It's not fancy, it's not fancy. Where it's like, "Hey, we gotta make a live video. "Let's share a great story." All right, check this out.
Last Thursday I shot Katie and Travis. We had an incredible time so quick story. We went to Hayden Falls, it's like a little waterfall, and we totally jumped this fence and we got in there. I about fell in the water with my camera a couple times. Playing it risky but totally worth the shot. (laughing) I have two shots to show you. This first one, flip this... This first one here in front of this waterfall. Thank you so much Katie and Travis for trusting me on this one. Poor Katie, man. I had her walkin' all over the place and she totally rocked it. We had a great time. I just love this, man. Look at that waterfall. Whenever I'm doing a shot that doesn't feel like Columbus, I think it's awesome. This totally feels like super-Portlandy or something, super, super pretty. Let me come back... And then this next shot I'm gonna talk about I'm showin' you guys, is actually one of my favorites. It was right... It was actually one of the last shots I took during this engagement session and the sun was getting lower and lower and it was bouncing. We were down by the water, actually, and it was bouncing off the water and I just had them get super close. They were in this moment and it was so incredible. Let me show it to you. He just pulled her in real close here. And just look at that water shootin' off of them. It almost looks like they're in the water which is super cool as well. But yeah, guys, these are two that I absolutely love from the session. Katie and Travis you guys are incredible. Super excited for your guys' wedding this coming year and we'll talk to you guys soon. Bye.
That's it. It's basic. There's nothing flashy about that. There's nothing like... He doesn't even... Man, I love you but you don't even look good. It's just like, he's just telling a story. Connecting the heart, he's a human. We are human, don't overthink it. Next is testimonials and gifts. You get a testimonial that comes in, you get that five star review on WeddingWire or whatever it may be, don't just be like, "Yay, another great review." What if we had a live video that was like, "Hey, I just wanna give a shout out here to Amy." "I got the review that you just left. "Thank you so much. "Here, I wanna show you, there was one thing "that you said that just meant the world to me." And you switch it around and you show people, "His talent's really creative, "it felt like family on the day. "That means the world, thank you so much." You get a gift in the mail, someone sends you a bottle of wine or something, do an unbox, like, "Check out this bottle of wine "that so-and-so just sent me. "That is so sweet of you. "And I can't believe it. "I'm blown away by how generous you are. "I can't wait to be a part of your wedding. "Thank you for trusting me." When you do with this, it does a couple of really neat things, by the way. First off, you're gonna keep attracting more of your ideal client. You're gonna attract more of your ideal client but you're also gonna train your non-ideal client what it looks like to step up to the plate and to become an ideal client. 'Cause you're non-ideal client, maybe it's the person who's not gonna write that review normally, they're gonna see how that made you feel. They're gonna see that you just put that person on blast and thanked them and what that did for you. And they're gonna be like, "Hey honey, we should "probably leave Ben a review. "Yeah, it means the world to him. "Oh yeah, let's do it." It trains, it trains people what it looks like, what you value. On location, this is the easiest thing that you could possibly do. You're on location, you're shooting an engagement session, you're shooting a portrait session, you're shooting a wedding, and hand over the phone to your second shooter, to your assistant, bridesmaids say, "Hey, let's go live." And just show people on location. Or maybe it's yourself, maybe on a little bit of down time, you just go live right there. It's so easy to do. So Ben and I, we were in Italy photographing a wedding just a few weeks ago and we did this. So again, I just wanna show you these. And I'm showing you it only to pull back the curtain. To let you guys know it doesn't have to be this amazing high production value thing. It's just relatable. It's like, well it's kinda like reality TV. It's just inherently interesting. People just wanna see what's going on in your world. So here we are shooting. That's amazing.
Got Ben Hartley doing some magic here at the mansion.
Look right here. (directing bride)
We're having a wonderful time this week on Lake Como. (foreign language) Ha, this girl...
That's perfect, I love to do a little shimmy, just a little shimmy.
Yeah, there it is, girl! (laughs)
(laughs) That's so cute! (bride laughs)
I love it!
Okay, perfect girl.
We gotta get her man in here on this soon. (Ben Hartley directing bride) Whoo. We're gettin' the groom out here. (laughs)
We've been sittin' and drinking champagne.
I'm feelin' it, groom's feelin' it.
Keep them pictures straight. (Ben Hartley laughs)
Oh yeah, yeah. Real quick, real quick. I gotta show off. Anthony, man, look at this. This ivory tux, look at this bro right here man. (bride laughing) Best looking man in Italy right now.
He looks amazing!
Right! (bride laughing) This girl, this dress.
Look at this.
Good Lord! It's so funny, it's just showing how you interact. It's showing you goofing off, it's showing the bride laughing with you, it's showing you laugh, my little shimmy move, it's silly! But it's just fun, it's showing your personality. People wanna see that. Someone who sees that, they could picture you. They could picture doing that with you. They could picture laughing with you and having you making them feel comfortable photographing them. It's so easy to do. Next thing, you can do the story behind a shot. I mentioned the sneak peak thing. You just shot the event, next day, post up a sneak peak. You don't have to do that. If you've got an amazing image that's a year old, two years old, 10 years old that has a great story, share the story. This picture kind of blew up a little bit. People are like, "Wow, that's such an impactful photograph. "It tells such a great story." And then you actually understand the story. For me to go live and say, "Hey, this picture's "gotten a lot of compliments, likes, "and I actually wanted to share the story "behind it 'cause it makes it that much more powerful." This is a real story. This is one of my best friends, this groom right here. He's being prayed over. He's one of my best friends and I was a groomsman on that wedding. And I was the photographer on that wedding. Guess who's hand this is. This is me. That's my hand right there. I'm shooting this with a 35 mm with my mirrorless camera on silent shutter mode, completely silent shutter, so no one's hearing a thing. And so as they're praying over him, I'm actually back here and I'm just pulling off a couple of quick shots. That now has so much more story, so much more value and meaning behind it. That gives it value. You could do a product reveal. So a product reveal, a couple of things. One is like someone's album comes in and you do an unboxing of so-and-so's album. It's like a little sneak peak. "Check out this album that just came in. "I just wanted you guys to see it." And again, you're creating this expectation and anticipation for other clients. They wanna see when their album comes in. They wanna buy print products. They wanna see the canvas. The other thing you could do is if you're thinking about offering new products, maybe you wanna start introducing acrylics in your studio. "You guys, we just got our sample acrylics in." Don't wait for someone to buy it. You go buy your sample products, announce that you just got 'em in and do an unboxing, "Check out "how amazing these sample products look." I did one earlier in the year, maybe this was a year ago, actually, and it was, we got some canvases, these are the same canvases that we offer our clients. And we ordered some in as a family. I want the same products that my clients have. If I'm gonna sell something, I better buy it. So I bought the same thing that they have and I made some canvases in the home. And so I wanna show you this video. I cut this video 'cause it was kinda long, I had my wife film as we unboxed these things and we put it up there. My name is Ben Hartley with Style & Story Creative and Six Figure Photography. At my door step is a set of six canvases that I'm gonna be unboxing live with you guys from Miller's. So here is gonna be one of the first. Ahh, this looks so good Leslie. Does it look that good on camera? That looks so good. One of the reasons I love them is because they get here so fast, and I don't have to wait forever. They just show up. It took really quickly. Who is that?
Who is that? Who is this?
That's baby, that's you honey. You excited? This looks good. (plastic rustling) Who is that?
That's why prints matter because she gets to see herself growing up. She gets to see me, and her mom, and you, holding these prints and that's... Dude, that's all that matters, just that she knows she's loved and she gets to see it every damn day. Go make prints of your family. All right, goodbye you guys. (mellow guitar music) Post that up and that week I had two clients who see that video. I put this up on my personal page. That week I saw two clients who saw that video and were like, "We need to get some canvases in our home." These are people who I've already delivered pictures to, they're goin', "We need some canvases in our home.", and end up buying two large canvases each from me. Updates, if you're updating things, go live about it. You're updating your portfolio, you're updating your website. "Hey you guys I just added a couple more "pictures to our portfolio, "kinda changed things around. "Check this out... "I just picked up some new gear.. "Picked up the new Fuji system... "I'm learning this new technique "and I wanted to show you guys how "incredibly beautiful it is..." Maybe I'm messing around with some off camera flash now, and you're just learning. "Hey, I'm here at CreativeLive and I'm learning "so many amazing things of how to become "an even better photographer and I can't wait "to make your photographs and tell your story "even better this next year. "This is what it's about is making sure "that you've got the best, the absolute best "image as possible and I'm here to learn "and grow for you guys. "So anyhow, I just wanted to let you guys know." Like do that when you learn stuff. Go live, tell people about the updates that are in your life. You could do live editing. Brain dump, brain dump, you can do live editing. And I know your ideal clients are brides, or they're grooms, they're clients, they're people who are wanting portraits taken. It's not necessarily photographers. But you could still do live editing. There's the behind the scene aspect that's really interesting to your clients. To see you working behind the scenes a little bit. And it also builds authority. It builds authority. Like this guy, it's really cool to see that he knows what he's doing. It's cool to see other photographer's on there commenting and engaging with him. My man Devin from Anchor and Veil does this so well. You should follow Anchor and Veil on Instagram. Devin, he's always doing live videos, editing through clients work. And it's so cool to see because other photographers are on there and they're asking questions but his couples are on there too. And they're now seeing him as an authority and they're seeing behind the scenes. It's really interesting. Again, going back, by the way, OBS, Open Broadcast Software, allows you to do that really well 'cause you can, while live, you could be filming through your webcam and then with just a click of a button, turn it into screencast, your actual monitor. And Screencast Lightroom, try it out live. Check it out, it's pretty cool. You could just give. You could create live content for the sole purpose of giving gifts to your leads. Providing value to other people. So maybe you do a live video on posing tips. "Hey a lot of my couples have been asking questions "about posing tips, I just wanted to give you "a quick little run through." Best time to shoot, take people into your wardrobe. For engagement session wardrobe, here's some ideas on some best outfits. "Hey, a lot of my couples have been wanting "to bring their dogs to a shoot. "I wanna introduce you to my dog. "Here he is, here's some great tips "when you're taking your dog out "for a portrait shoot." You could just simply provide value to your clients. I got one more. Interviews. I was actually brainstorming on a live video with some of my friends. We were brainstorming about what are some other opportunities that we could use for live content. And Ryan Gandee, Ryan and Lacey Gandee, Gandee Photography, dropped this idea of interviewing. How powerful would it be, this is an interview that I was doing, I brought Kayla over to Shoot Group, this is my actual live studio setup that I use. And so I brought Kayla in, how powerful would it be to actually interview alongside other vendors. So let's take the route, I'm a wedding photographer. A lot of my examples are from wedding photography. As a wedding photographer to reach out to a wedding planner, say, "Hey, I wanna come in. "I wanna actually interview you "and ask you maybe some of the top five "tips that couples should consider when bringing on "a wedding planner.", or whatever it may be. "'Cause i want my couples to hire you. "I really don't wanna be the wedding planner. "I want you to be the wedding planner. "I want them all to hire you. "So I wanna send this out to all my couples, all my clients. "Can I interview you on a live video?" Get them in and interview someone. This is really powerful because first off, if you're not someone who's feeling super good on screen alone, you now have someone to piggy back off of. They can carry the conversation, you can have a dialogue and it builds relationships with other vendors by giving first. So often as photographers we're emailing the wedding planner, "Hey, I'm so-and-so. "I'm a photographer here in town." Maybe I just got a start up. "I'm a photographer here, I just wanna see "if we could do a style shoot together." Wah-wah. They're gettin' that email every week, every day, it doesn't really do much for most wedding planners anymore. So what is like to say, "Hey, my name is Ben. "I'm a wedding photographer here. "I want every single person I interact with "to bring you on on the wedding day "and I'd love to do an interview.", and send that out to everyone I connect with so they can see that. It provides value upfront by just giving, giving, giving. The cool thing is, if that planner, that vendor feels good about that content, like they do a good job, you do a good job, they're gonna promote it. So now you've got your audience seeing it, you got the promotion of their audience, and lastly is this. It builds your authority. What happens if you're a new photographer in town? And now you're in an interview. Let's say right here, let's say in this hypothetical, "I am a new photographer in town and I am now interviewing "one of the top wedding planners in my city." What happens? Osmosis of authority. People see me interviewing and right next to this person who is seen as a key figure in the wedding industry, and now I'm on the same playing field as them. We share now authority. I gained, I elevated a little bit. It builds authority. A couple tips on this. You can bring in someone on Facebook Live, and I actually have two people on the same screen. I actually pulled someone in on a live video with me. I don't recommend you do it. One, because it's still volatile and they keep changing everything and so there's tech issues. They could be in another area, they could be at home and you could bring them into a live video with you. You got tech issues, bandwidth, lag, all that kind of stuff. I recommend you actually get together in person and the main reason is this. Your shaking hands and interacting and actually building that relationship. You're actually gonna be giving value and actually building something in a different way. So yeah, you could hide behind the computer and do it, but don't. Bring them into your space, go to them. Cool. Just do you. Another one is this. Just do you. Like, whatever. You don't have to do something that's too eccentric. If you want, just tell a story about something that's crazy that happened to you. Talk about your favorite midday snack, talk about your favorite band to listen to when you're editing your pictures, what are some of the things that inspire you. Just go live and just do you. Just share people fun things about yourself. Those are all great ideas that I gave but sometimes you just need to just do you.