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Unlimited Number of Slide Shows For $6.95 per Month

April 4th, 2009

Several discussions I’ve had with readers in the last week reminded me that it’s been a long time since I’ve talked about how easy it is to provide how to provide high quality slide shows to your client quickly and easily for just pennies. First of all here’s why you need to supply a slide show with your shoot:

  1. A large image slide show, show’s off your work: Let’s face it, MLS images are small and look like crappy no matter how beautiful your images started out. Slide shows (that you control) are a great way to present your work to your client before they get mangled. Your clients can then use the slide show link to use as a tour from their brokers site and the MLS.
  2. Slide show adds value to your shoot: If you include a good quality slide show that the agent can use as a tour link they feel they are getting more value than just a bunch of JPGs e-mailed to them.

How do you add creation of a slide show to your work flow without adding precious time and expense to your work flow?

  1. Online Storage: You’ll need some FTP accessible online storage (preferably in your own domain) to host the slide shows. If you don’t already have some bluehost.com is a good source. It used to be $6.95/mo for 20 Gig but just recently they changed to $6.95 for unlimited storage! There may be someplace cheaper but this is as low as I’ve seen!
  2. Flash Slide Show Software: Next you need some software that allows you to create professional looking slide shows that anyone on any machine can see without downloading plug-ins or other software. The only  technology that does this is Flash. My two favorite Flash slide show packages are  Slideshow Pro and Monoslideshow. Slide show Pro gives you more control but Monoslideshow does Ken Burns panning that looks to most people like video. Here are a couple of examples:
  3. Adobe Lightroom: You can make slide shows just fine without Lightroom but Lightroom makes creating and updating them smooth and effortless. Literally just a couple of clicks once you have Lightroom setup to access your online storage. Slideshow Pro and Monoslideshow can be installed such that all the slide show parameters can be controlled from inside Lightroom instead of editing having to edit XML. When I shoot my wife’s listings she always wants to make all kinds of changes to the cropping, changing this and changing that. If updating slide shows wasn’t so easy, I would go crazy changing slide shows to accommodate her wanting to tweak every photo several times. With Lightroom, I just say, “yes dear” and make all the changes she wants.

To me the slide show (web module) of Lightroom is worth the whole cost of the software. With the process I described above I think it makes sense to deliver a slide show with every shoot for “free” if you want to increase the perceived value of your product.

Update 4/4: Someone has already ask about Aperture in regard to slide shows before I finished writing this so I need to address Aperture. Unless someone has build a plugin in the last six months or so, Aperture can only create slide shows to Apple’s mobile.me service (costs $99/year). You have very little control of the slide shows Aperture creates so I don’t find it suited to real estate photography slide shows. The big advantage with Aperture is it’s plugin architecture. It’s easy to build plugin’s for so sooner or later some will build a slide show plugin.

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12 Responses to “Unlimited Number of Slide Shows For $6.95 per Month”

  • In my browser (Mac Safari 4) each image in the SlideshowPro Branded version has its top cut-off by about 10-15%. As if some portion of the brand “bar” is covering the image. Did you intend this, or is there something else going on with this version?

    Thanks for the tip on Monoslideshow. I had not seen this before and it looks worth checking out.

  • M- I’ll have to fix this so the aspect ratio of the one with the branding box is the same as without. It’s been 2 years since I created this branded example and I’ve not used it in a long time. I believe the branded one was created with a different aspect ratio and the images are cropped differently. The branding box is not intended to overlay the photos.

  • So, I have created my slideshow in LR.

    I have a FTP accessible storage in my own domain.

    What do I give the realtor so they can link to these?

    How is this different from creating a web page in LR and just putting that folder in my domains public_html folder?

  • William- In my unbranded example above I created a collection in LR called sspro that contains all the photos in the slide show. When I clicked “upload” in the web module while the sspro collection was selected it created a folder in my domain lohrman.com with all the files needed for the slide show. Then the link to the slide show created is http://lohrman.com/sspro/index.html. It will always be index.html in the folder (same name as the LR collection).

    So the link I give to the Realtor is http://lohrman.com/sspro/index.html.

    Yes, the slide show is just a web page with a Flash component on it.

    All you nee do is create some kind of naming convention for all the slide shows. I use a derivative of the clients last name. If you were to look at your public_html folder with an FTP utility you would see a one sub folder for each slide show where the sub folder has the same name as the LR collection.

  • Larry, thanks for the article, I had forgotten about these options. To make monoslideshow work within lightroom, do you install the above version, or the plug-in at TTG?

    Thanks!

  • Brad- I believe the TTG site references the monoslideshow.com site to purchase the monoslideshow software. Monoslideshow is not by TTG, it’s a separate company.

  • Any other recommendations for slide show software for Mac platform other than Monoslideshow and Slideshow Pro? I currently use ProShow Gold(only available for PC) to create my wife’s real estate slideshows, but use a Mac for the rest of my workflow. I love ProShow Gold’s controls(greater control of transitions, music, etc.) but am getting tired of having to move my files across platforms to create effective slideshows. I am mightily unimpressed with SlideShow Pro – it is clunky and slow. Airtight produces similar slide shows, it’s quicker, and it’s free!

  • Larry

    Can you brand a monoslideshow?

  • […] Source and Read More: photographyforrealestate.net […]

  • Larry, just an update, it appears that TTG has a small LR program that integrates Monoslideshow into the LR web module. So you have to purchase MSS from the MSS website and also download the TTG MSS program for it to work with LR.

  • Brad- Thanks for bringing this up… I knew this but forgot to mention it. The guys at turninggate (http://lightroom.theturninggate.net/) make the interface code that allows a bunch of different slideshow programs to interface to LR. Many are free but the best ones have a slight charge (like monoslideshow).

    So to summarize, if you want to use monoslideshow from LR you have to download the free monoslideshow/LR interface code from http://lightroom.theturninggate.net/ and the monoslideshow link I gave in the post.

  • Larry (or anyone),
    Just getting started into real estate photography. I read in you online book (which I love!) about uploading pictures or slideshows using Lightroom to upload to an FTP site, and I signed up for a domain thru BlueHost, and I installed Cyberduck and I was able to upload pics to my domain, but can’t figure our how to get the link sent to someone els, say with a windows pc and have them be able to open the link. It won’t open. Are there additional instructions to give a client to access their photos? I noticed in your response to William above you get an “http://” link, but all I see is an “ftp://” link that won’t open.

    Can anyone help?

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