Magazine Article


Show-Don't Tell-That You're Different
Power Up Your Brand by Combining Photo and Video

Jonathan Rubin

Jonathan Rubin

Jonathan Rubin

How can you make more money as a photographer without shooting more dates? How can you offer your clients a cool and unique product that differentiates your brand from others in your market? The answer: add DVD slideshows to your photographic services.

Never before has the slideshow been more accepted in our culture. MySpace provides a slideshow feature that allows users to animate their images. David Jay's Showit software allows photographers to easily create Flash slideshows for the Web. YouTube has yet to turn a profit, but was purchased for more than $1 billion by Google. The video iPod and the iPhone have revolutionized the entertainment industry with portable devices that allow users to take their favorite media content wherever they go. High-definition television sales have skyrocketed, providing a home theater experience for even modest budgets.

By adding The Photo + Video DVD Slideshow to my photographic services, I was able to push my studio to new heights, add profit to my bottom line, and create excitement about a new product.

A Glimpse Into the Future

A few years ago, I saw what would become the future of multimedia for events. Ten months after the September 11 terror attacks, I was commissioned by MTV to create a video for Sheryl Crow's song "Safe and Sound." The video was projected on three large screens as she performed the song live at the MTV Video Music Awards. The images of New York City and its people were edited and brought to life like I had never seen before; the still photographs, together with the music, played like a video.

At the same time in my own career, I was confronted with sluggish sales. I could have lowered my prices and the value of my work. Instead, I learned my lessons from MTV and created a product that would be a perfect complement to my photography services.

To drum up buzz, we remade the brand and the studio website. I wanted the site to be about photo, video, and music. Most text and wordy descriptions were eliminated-showing is always more powerful than telling. The website, my monthly e-mail newsletters, the blog, and my boilerplate e-mail responses to interested clients all mentioned the DVD slideshow.

Sales have been overwhelming, so much so that I hired Alex Tyson as my full-time in-house video editor. Now photo and video are edited in the same workspace. I can quickly and easily manage production, working with my editor to push the envelope to come up with new ideas and editing techniques. It is so much fun to see my images come to life!

I think the concept of a slideshow is the most significant advance in wedding presentation since the digital flush album. The Photo + Video DVD Slideshow is fresh, unique, and ahead of the curve. It provides my studio with more income without adding more dates, and provides a clear advantage over a studio that can offer only one service. Most importantly, the slideshow allows us to showcase our work on incredibly sharp and bright cinematic screens.

Jonathan Rubin ( is the owner and head photographer of Studio Nine Photography in Philadelphia.