Photography

Senior Portrait Photographer Chris Routt Talks About Mobile Applications & Social Media

Colyn Montgomery

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We interview senior portrait photographer Chris Routt about his use of social media, mobile applications, and his creative senior sessions.

Nationally recognized senior portrait photographer Chris Routt talks about the ways in which mobile applications and social media have impacted his business and how photographers can incorporate these into their strategies to book more clients.

Chris owns the Mr Foto studio in Indiana and is nationally recognized as one of the top senior photographers in the nation. His knowledge of light, the human form, and artistic directing deliver portraits that reveal something beautiful in a person.

Chris, you maintain a steady stream of images to your website homepage and facebook page where anybody can comment on them – what are the benefits of having a steady flow of content and dialogue for clients?

I believe one of the greatest assets photographers have is social media: website, facebook, twitter, etc. While most photographers have incorporated these tools into their market, they typically don’t do a good job of keeping their content fresh. Through our blogsite, www.mrfoto.com, and facebook we are constantly making sure our clients are seeing fresh images on a weekly basis. We should budget time into our week to keep things fresh which will keep people coming back to your media sites, and ultimately talking about your work to their friends.

Chris Routt Senior

Your website presents a few unusual sharing options including Digg, Delicious, and Technorati. Are these sharing tools and marketing channels you would recommend to other photographers?

I don’t actively use Digg, Delicious, or Technorati. What I like about my site is the RSS feed everytime I update my site as well as that my site pings data to google everytime I update my site. One of the things I would encourage photographers to do is to begin using facebook, youtube, and an active blog. Posting on all of those will help draw traffic to your site through google.

Can you share any tricks for leveraging Facebook?

One of the greatest assets we can use on facebook is our existing client base. It seems like we are always trying to attract new clients, which is a good thing; however, I would make sure my existing clients are my friends on facebook. Existing clients can be your “connectors” to new clients.

And again, make sure you are keeping your content fresh on facebook…post images.

You’ve gone so far as to create an iPhone application that allows clients to schedule appointments. Was that a labor of love from a tech enthusiast or do you think a dedicated mobile presence is important today?

The iPhone app was created by a company called Pro Photo Apps. It is catered to photographers. I am only seeing minimal effectiveness as far as marketing yet. The app is still in its infancy for our studio. I may see more once Verizon gets to sell the iPhone Pro Photo Apps is working on updating the software to make it more effective.

Chris Routt Senior Male

How are you working Animoto into your product offering?

Animoto will have an important role in our Class of 2011 Senior Marketing. We are shooting part of the client’s session with a small Kodak pocket HD recorder. We are letting the client’s mom or sister use the HD recorder while I am shooting stills. We are then going to piece the video and stills together on animoto and post to youtube (another great way of getting our name ranked higher on google searches). I will then paste the video into my blogsite and facebook as well. Again exposure to my website, facebook, and youtube.

You have a creative strategy around your senior sessions that includes a themed day trip as the highest price point. Currently you offer Urban with plans for a SoCal session – what has the reaction been? They sure sound fun!

One of our most popular sessions this year is the Urban Experience. We have changed the names of our sessions to experiences for the 2011 seniors. We are selling an experience to our clients. They can choose between two different cities to be photographed. We are finding really cool textures, backgrounds, and scenes that you can not recreate in the studio…and ultimately it is an awesome experience which will get the senior excited and talking about your work.

We offered the So Cal session as an opportunity for one of our seniors to go to Southern California to shoot a senior experience in San Diego…It definitely created a lot of buzz in our community.

**Read more about how pro photographers are using our professional quality video slideshows to complement their business strategies and boost bookings.  **