When it comes to presentations, always remember that less is more. It doesn’t matter if you are presenting photos to a client, or if you are pitching a business plan to investors, the rules are the same. Regardless of the specific audience, attention spans are generally very limited. Having worked in Corporate America, I cannot tell you how many times I have seen presentations that are far too long.
From our experience, we have noticed that photographers, including wedding, fashion and commercial photographers, have the exact same problem. We have attended numerous photography trainings and lectures from formal WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographer International) classes, to informal peer sharing sessions. The common thread is that almost everyone starts their presentation with a 10 – 15 minute long photography slide show.
There are a couple problems with this presentation method. First and foremost, it dilutes your work. As a professional wedding photographer, I understand the urge to show your entire portfolio. After all, you have hundreds of gorgeous images that you want to be seen and appreciated. However, showing more than 20 images simply dilutes your work. You are better off selecting your 20 best shots than showing a presentation of 100 great shots. What if your audience’s attention is already gone once you hit some of your best work? Not to mention, if you show only amazing images, aren’t you perceived to be a better photographer?
This same rule applies to websites! Most photography websites show far too many images, and in all honesty, non-portfolio-worthy images. Showing more than 20-30 images per category is not necessary. In addition, you should be extremely critical of the pictures that you display on your site given the amount of time someone will be viewing your site. While you may have minutes to make an impression during a presentation, you have seconds on the web. The average visitor will see and leave your site within 20-30 seconds. You need to catch their attention with a few amazing photos from the start of their visit.
As a rule of thumb, remember that you are better off only showing only 10 amazing images, than 40 good images. Always leave your audience wanting more, not wanting less.
The second problem with long presentations (web, lectures, trainings, etc) is that by the time you get to the “meat and bones” of your presentation, your audience is already in wonder land. Push all of the interesting content in your presentation to the beginning, and reduce the presentation time if possible! If your audience is interested and they want to know more, they will come to you and ask for additional information. Don’t shove information and images down your audiences throats because you “need to cover all your content.” This is unnecessary and always ends in information overload. Instead of your client or audience coming back for more, they will most likely leave only to forget most of the presentational content.
We hope that this helps in your photography business. Please feel free to comment or share this article with others.
Article written by:
Lead Photographer | Partner
Lin and Jirsa Wedding Photography