Going Pro: Pro Photographer Carolyn Ann Ryan

Becky Brooks


Carolyn Ann Ryan is a family photographer that just became a professional shooter within the last year.

She shares how she uses photography slideshows to impress her clients and enhance her professional image.

We met Carolyn while attending Scott Bourne and Skip Cohen’s Going Pro workshop in Newark, NJ. Animoto is a proud sponsor of Going Pro, an educational resource for emerging pros. Skip and Scott utilize the decades they’ve spent in the industry to guide new-to-the-industry shooters toward success.

Going Pro, Resource for New Photographers

As a new photographer, how do you get wind of new products and changes to the industry?

It was just over a year ago when I officially launched my photography business. It took me years of wishing and dreaming about being a photographer to finally make that dream a reality. I’ve had a camera in my hand since I was around 13 years old, but somehow the dream and reality never clicked together until now.I was also relatively new to Twitter, but as I began to learn more about professional photography, I started following a few photographers and reading their posts. This is a great resource for photographers.I’m not sure who made the first mention of Animoto, but I recall reading a “tweet” that “photographers should check out Animoto – it’s really cool.”I made a video to check it out, and within minutes it came back. I can’t say I would have learned about Animoto (along with other tips and tricks I’ve incorporated into my business), without the invaluable resource of having renowned photographers willingly share how they run their business on sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Once hearing about Animoto through Twitter, how long did it take you to start using videos for your business?

I made a sample video immediately after hearing about Animoto. These were my own images, of my own children, and I had seen them hundreds of times, but suddenly I was crying watching the story of the last 6 months with my family unfold on my computer screen. Animoto turned my everyday photos into an emotional story.At that moment, I decided that this is how I was going to present my images to my clients.

Once you started to kick-off proofing sessions with Animoto, how what was received by clients?

Well, a few months after becoming a professional photographer and using Animoto, I had an infant session with a new client.This was her first child, and the baby was about 6 weeks old when I arrived to take his pictures. He was precious, and I did my best to capture his sparkling blue eyes and his smiles that had just started to appear. When his images were ready, his Mom and Dad received their Animoto, and I quickly received a response from an extremely happy client.“I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! It brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful video and beautiful pictures. You did such a fantastic job!”When I met with her again for their ordering appointment, she couldn’t stop talking about the beautiful slideshow and explained how her day began, since she had returned to work. She would get into the office, sit down with her coffee and breakfast, turn on the computer and immediately open her Animoto to see her baby boy. He was still asleep at home when she would leave for work, and she would miss seeing his smile each morning. But when she watched her Animoto, she was able to see him, and she’d cry every day because she missed him so much. I was able to give her a little piece of her baby to help her get through the day until she could return home to him.I still get tears in my eyes when I think about how much that slideshow and my images meant to her. It really hit home why I chose this as my profession.I like surprising my clients with the unexpected. Adding value is always important as a photographer. By surprising them with a heartfelt video to help tell the story from their session and our day together, it really hits home why they’re investing in preserving these precious memories.

How has it affected your marketing?

Because Animoto is so easy to post to Facebook, my clients can share these images with their friends and family, and my copyrights for prints are still protected.One of the greatest feelings about being a photographer of infants, children and families is presenting images to the parents in a way that is so powerful and heart-warming that it moves them to tears. And sometimes, it’s even better when that same slideshow can move their friends and family to tears, too.A recent client posted the link to her Animoto on Facebook after a family session with her 4 little girls. Her friends posted these comments below:“Gorgeous beyond words”“SOOOOOO beautiful! I swear I had tears in my eyes… your family is truly blessed”“Beautiful, beautiful beautiful. Wow, I’m choked up! Love the colors you all wore! Everyone looks fabulous!”Being able to leverage the power of social networking in an engaging, heartfelt way has done wonders for my business.

See how other pro photographers utilize video slideshows