How Nikki Closser Uses Video to Create a Remote Reveal

Moira West


Creating connections with clients is a big part of sales for photographers. So what do you do if your clients aren’t local and you have to do a remote reveal? We asked portrait photographer and In Bed with Sue mentor, Nikki Closser, how she handles it.

Nikki told us that since remote clients can’t get the tactile sensation of holding their printed photos, she likes to use a video slideshow instead. “When clients don’t have the ability to touch the photos and hold them, what I do have is music and beautiful imagery to evoke emotion and get them excited and just really make it an experience. So Animoto helps me do that. I don’t know what I would do without it to be honest.”

Style: Timeless
Song: “Changing Light” by Dan Phillipson

Those client videos continue to help Nikki connect with new clients after the reveal session is over by posting them online. In fact, her last video got her 5,000 views on Facebook and helped her book three clients in less than two weeks.

Style: Timeless
Song: “Changing Light” by Dan Phillipson

Nikki shared a few of the tips she’s developed for creating beautiful reveal slideshows that drive sales, and how to use those slideshows to create business.

During the session

  • Make a note of what makes your client special. Does she rescue dogs? Is she super-stylish? “I always make note of all of those things about the client, so when I post their video, I have a story to tell with it. I’m not just saying she’s so beautiful. And I also want other women who look at the post to say, ‘Wow, she’s a mother of four and she’s a realtor — I can totally relate to that.’”
  • Record video clips. Nikki told us that an easy way to engage your client is to add video clips to your slideshow. “I always try to include some sort of video clip, whether it’s me shooting them, them getting their hair and makeup done, or a short video of them looking at the camera.” The movement of the video clip makes the whole slideshow more interesting, and helps your client remember the experience of the photoshoot and how beautiful it made her feel.

    Video clip

Creating your reveal video

  • Find the right song. Finding a song that resonates with a client can be an important part of making a sale in a remote reveal. “I think the right song creates more emotion, and when we buy things, we sometimes buy with our emotions. I think that the music really helps the slideshow, which ultimately will help increase my sales.” Look for songs that match the personality of your client and the mood you’re trying to create with your video.
  • Personalize your video. Every one of Nikki’s videos has a homemade title card that uses her colors and fonts, which she drops into her Animoto slideshows just like she would a photo. She also uses customizable styles to include her logo’s color scheme when she gives her website address at the end of the video.
  • Mix up your images. Even if she has a few images that look similar, Nikki won’t place them together in her video. “I mix the photos up. I don’t put two of the same poses next to each other. I try to mix it up a little bit.” That way, she has some visual diversity in her slideshow.

    Screenshot from Nikki's video

During and after the reveal

  • Stay connected during the reveal. “I think the most important thing is even though I’m not physically in person with them, I’m still interacting with them. I’m not just sending them a slideshow;I’m watching with them, and I’m hearing their comments and I’m watching their face as they watch it.” That connection helps bring clients back and wins her referrals.
  • Re-edit for social media. Nikki keeps track of comments made during the reveal because it lets her customize her reveal slideshows further. “I’ll re-edit the slideshow and take out the photos that I know were not their favorite, so that they’re more likely to share it.” That’s important to Nikki, since most of her clients come from word-of-mouth and Facebook. Editing only takes a minute. “Animoto makes it so easy, because I can just go in and continue editing the video, take out those images real quick, reproduce it, download it, and I’m done. It’s so easy.”
  • Come back to your video later. Nikki’s also found that re-posting video slideshows and photos helps her keep a connection with her previous clients. “If in three months from now or a year from now, I re-post one of my client’s photos, it makes them feel important and special. They say, wow, she still likes my photos, and she still remembers me.” That connection is what wins over clients and keeps them raving about her.

Nikki shared that her reveal videos are often as effective as in-person sessions, and with Animoto, those videos are easy to put together and affordable. “I’m not a filmmaker, I’m not a videographer, I’m not any of those things, but Animoto makes it so easy for me to make a short little film for my clients. I don’t know what I would do without it, to be honest!”