T Rex vs AT-AT | Is Photobombing A New Marketing Tactic?

Business Tips June 29th 2013 8:00 AM 2 Comments

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Bridal party chased by a T-Rex? Or better yet, attacked by Star Wars’ Imperial AT-AT Walkers?

The latest trend in wedding photography began a few weeks ago when photographer Quinn Miller had an idea for the ultimate photobomb for his dinosaur loving groom. He asked the wedding party to run at the camera as passionately as they could with fear on their faces. The resulting hilarious photo:

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Miller later photoshopped a T-Rex into the background. He saw a similar image and got the idea because the wedding had a dinosaur theme. Not to be outdone, a few weeks later, a wedding party was attacked by a squad of Imperial AT-AT Walkers in a photo by Little Blue Lemon Photography. They stopped traffic so that the photographer could get this shot:

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Here are 5 Lessons learned from this new craze:

  1. Don’t Be An Imitation, But If You Have To Be, Be A Good One –  From a marketing standpoint, as a photographer, when your image goes viral, that’s a pretty good thing right? The dinosaur photo went viral almost immediately and some even called it the “best wedding photo” ever. The second image was amusing, but only made limited rounds. By the time a third image popped up – one of a shark ridden by a warrior jumping out of the water– emerged, the trend was killed and became more corny than funny. (It didn’t help that in the third image, the Photoshop work was subpar compared to the other two, the wedding party didn’t look very scared or concerned and the photo made little sense). Marketing lesson to be learned? Do it first and do it well.
  2. Listen to Clients – Some of your clients will have lots of ideas, some awesome, some…well, not so awesome (or maybe misguided might be a better word). Like in any healthy relationship, it’s always good to communicate so that expectations are set. I’ve heard photographers tell clients, “well, I don’t do *those* kind of shots (i.e. table shots at weddings). I understand that as photographers, we have a brand to protect but also we want to make our clients happy since they are signing our paychecks. If your client wants table shots, you should consider doing them. If they want a picture of them being chased by a dinosaur…well, you saw what happened in that scenario. (Remember, You don’t have to post any of the table shots on your blog, Facebook or marketing materials). On the flipside, if you come up with the best idea ever and your clients are not totally on board, it probably won’t work as well as you envisioned. Make sure they are comfortable with it as well.
  3. Go Viral – The key to going viral? Not trying to go viral. Some people try way too hard and it is glaringly obvious. For me to want to show my friends something, it (an image, a video, a joke, etc), it has to evoke some sort of emotion from me, be it laughter, tears, indignation, etc. I can tell (and so can your audience) if you are not genuine. So, do your thing, put your heart, soul passion and creativity into your art and let the people decide if it’s worth sharing.
  4. Think Outside Of The Box – Marketing these days no longer is about how much money you can throw into a commercial. It’s about doing something remarkable. The business card is almost obsolete these days. Yet practically everyone has them. That little 2.5×3.5 rectangular piece of cardstock gets discarded as soon as I friend request that person on a social media network. But, I do have a box of cards I’ve kept over the years because they were different. Instead of a typical business card, there has been something unique about them. I’ve seen business cards that are made of different materials or textures, I’ve seen unconventional cards, like where someone has their info printed on a lego (how cool is that?!). To stand out from your competition, you must think outside the box.
  5. “There’s No Such Thing As Bad Publicity.” – Or is there? I mean, look at Britney Spears? Or Martha Stewart? These ladies bounced back from the depths of disgrace back to superstardom. Chris Brown and Michael Vick are still working aren’t they? After the CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch proclaimed that they only want the “cool kids” to wear their clothes, the major retailer reports sales dropping 13% in that quarter. So, this one is one you’d have decide for yourself and weigh in on. What do you think? Is being buzzworthy (good or bad) good for your career?

 

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2 Comments

  1. Ned

    have you seen this shot?:

    http://www.beautifoto.com/blog/2013/07/08/bridal-party-running-away-shot/

    :)

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