Perfect wedding day in West Bloomfield, MI
Wedding Ceremony Location: Kirk in the Hills
Wedding Reception Location: Wabeek Country Club
Wedding Photography: Robert Hall Wedding Photography
July 12th, 2014
A blend of my daily and professional life.
Check out www.robhallphoto.com for more
I’m often asked if Pinterest is a worthwhile way for photographers to spend their precious marketing time. I personally experience many benefits utilizing Pinterest, both digitally and financially. Digitally, it has increased my SEO rankings, website traffic, and created a new way for clients to find my company. Financially, I have been fortunate to have booked clients who’s initial connection was finding my work on Pinterest.
Generally the follow-up question I receive is, “How do I Pinterest?”. The site is known for its extreme simplicity. Create a board, search interests, pin things to board. It’s the 21st century version of the scene from bad chick flicks, where the down-on-her-luck gal is randomly inspired to pursue fashion and begins clipping every magazine she owns on her bed (Source: P.S. I Love You). But below the surface, Pinterest uses many complexities to ensure that content is relevant and worthy of being seen. This means those who jump on the social network and pin wonderful images to their boards, may be very saddened when their analytic graphs show no movement. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to ensure that your content gets seen, and benefits your business.
Many photographers jump on Pinterest for the first time and immediately start uploading their work, without a clue as to how the site operates. I know, I was there. If you are just starting out on Pinterest, do your research first to make sure you do not waste time. And if you already have a presence, take the steps to modify your past content to make it more friendly for the future.
Make your account of the business variety. Upload your Profile picture. Connect your website and networks such as twitter. Name your page with Wedding Photography (or other niche if you are applying this to a different business model) and make sure to talk about that and location in the bio. All of these things ensure that, if one of your pins makes an impression on the right person, they have the means to find you.
Initial pins are important. You do not need a huge following to get started, but using the available friend import tools can help you get a small following of people you know. This ensures that someone is seeing your uploads as they are hot off the press. Pinterest doesn’t really care about images that have 0 repins, so you’ll never reach the rest of the world if someone doesn’t make the first repin. Bribing / shaming / crying to friends is also appropriate at this stage to get yourself going.
Now that your page is up and properly branded, it’s almost time to start pinning. Make sure the board(s) that you create has a well-described title and even more specific description. Include style, locations, type of work, etc.. For instance, “Michigan Wedding Photography Inspiration” will be far more successful at getting potential clients to see my work than “Weddings”. Make sure the title and description are focused on the same topic, and describe the pins well..
There are a variety of ways to pin. You can upload directly, drop in a link, or use external resources to get images to your boards. Whatever the method, always include a source. If you are going from URL or pinning on a site using an external method (such as the “right click to pin” add-on for Google Chrome), the source will automatically be entered. The source is important because, without it, your traffic will never leave Pinterest. Users know when you click a pin, it takes you to it’s source URL so you can find out more, without it most users will quickly move on (even if your link is in the description).
This is your biggest weapon in acquiring organic search traffic of your wedding photography on Pinterest. This is also the trickiest area, as the algorithms are about as mysterious as the Google search bar. We do know things that work. Put your most important descriptors first. Do not put “My Name Photography” as the first words because nobody is searching for you. You can be image specific, or generic (if you are like me and copy past the same into every description for time saving purposes). Next, you want to open yourself up to many different searches, so try to add relevant terms to each of your pins.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when using Pinterest for marketing purposes is they describe theirs pins like a professional, as opposed to how a client would seek it out. Avoid jargon and verbiage that clients are unlikely to use, or at minimum, include both in your description. Yes, you may have to get off your horse for a moment and call your beautiful photography “pictures”, but it’s worth it when the end result is a new client finding you.
Pinterest is one of the more unique social media sites. Sharing your Pinterest content on your other social networks will create an opportunity for others to store what they love from your work. Also, you want your new pins to get traffic as soon as possible. Unseen pins will never move up the search ranks.
Now that you have a Pinterest account, it’s important to use it for reasons other than self promotion. Share pins that inspire you, even if they do not directly relate to your industry. I have boards of all the different niches of photography that I enjoy. Just realize that what you pin is attached to your business, so try to keep everything professional.
A repin is a positive thing, and that’s all that matters. I have images that garnered very little attention from my board, but have hit the popular page from someone else repinning. This is why you want to source from the start. This ensures no matter where your pins catch fire, the traffic always finds a way home.
I hope this guide helps you get started to an effective Pinterest strategy that is beneficial to your wedding photography business. Feel free to comment with any additional questions and I will respond to the best of my knowledge. Check back for future educational posts on Pinterest regarding the use of hashtags, and the map feature. Happy shooting everyone!
Robert Hall is a professional photographer in Southeast Michigan. His work primarily consists of weddings, commercial and editorial. He is constantly improving his skills through trading of techniques and critique with fellow photographers. Robert is always looking for new connections on social networks!
When making the jump to manual photography, one of the most confusing topics can be that of the f-stop. Even after learning that the aperture controls your depth of field, you can still be very confused by why the numbers change the way they do. It’s no surprise, as circle geometry isn’t something you use in your daily life.
However, understanding the mathematics can give you an excellent grip on the f stop scale, especially if you’re the left-brain type. Let’s assume that you are already familiar with the full f-stop scale (1.4 - 2 - 2.8 - 4 - 5.6 - 8 - 11 - 16 etc.). Why is it that only increasing .6 from 1.4 to 2 is the same time of adjustment as moving 5 from 11 to 16?
The reason is that the f/stop number is actually a ratio between the diameter and focal length of the lens. The inverse relation of light stems from the diameter becoming smaller as the f/stop number increases. For instance, an 85mm lens at f/2 will yield a diameter of 42.5mm (85 / 2), If you stop down (increase the f/stop and reducing the light 1 stop) to f/2.8, the diameter is now 30.3 (85 / 2.8). Now I know what you are thinking, 30 isn’t half of 43, so how did we halve the light if the diameter didn’t get cut in half?
This brings us back to circle geometry. We need to look at the area of light that passes through the opening. The area of a circle is found by πx radius^2. The radius is half of the diameter, and pi is a constant that represents the circumference divided by the diameter. So, lets do the area math for the example above with the 85mm lens.
At F/2 we have a diameter of 42.5, and F/2.8 is 30.3. This gives us a radius of 21.25 and 15.15 respectively.
So for f/2 we have π x 21.25^2 = 3.14 x 451.5 = 1418 square mm (rounded)
For f/2.8, its π x 15.15^2 = 3.14 x 229.5 = 720 square mm (rounded)
As you can see (while looking past some rounding), we have cut the area of light in half. This is why when you stop down, you are actually cutting the strength of light by 2. The ratio also explains while the numbers start to have bigger intervals as you move up the scale.
Hope this helps and please feel free to keep asking questions so I can provide you with more educational content!
Robert Hall is a professional photographer in Southeast Michigan. His work primarily consists of weddings, commercial and editorial. He is constantly improving his skills through discussion of techniques and critique with fellow photographers. Robert is always looking for new connections on social networks!