What Is Periscope?
Simply put, Periscope is an app that allows you to do live video streaming right from your iPhone and people can follow you like Twitter, which actually owns Periscope. When you start a “broadcast” your followers get notified and they can tune in and make comments in a chat feed that you and your viewers can see on the screen while you’re broadcasting.
I wrote a blog post on January 31st this year on our Frameable Faces blog about how social media seemed quiet lately with no real game changing platforms or apps coming out. Well in my opinion things just got very loud in the last week with the launch of Periscope. As Laurie Segall reported on CNN in this article, “While livestreaming is nothing new, better technology combined with the wide adoption of social networks has created a new way for apps to take advantage.” She also outlines why Periscope trumped Meerkat in the article, but I digress…
Now that you know what Periscope is, download the app for your iPhone from the app store and follow our studio at @frameablefaces and MCP Actions at @mcpactions! Next, let’s discuss some ways your studio can benefit from Periscope!
5 Ways You Can Use Periscope To Help Your Photography Studio
This is a way-too-early and nowhere near definitive post about Periscope, which is perfect because we can all learn about this together as we go. So keeping in mind that this app is so new and game changing (in my opinion) that no one really knows what you need to know yet, here are five ways you can use this Twitter-owned platform for your studio!
1. How-to tutorials. Keep in mind that as I mentioned before video streaming and using video to create how-to content and lessons is nothing new, but what is neat about Periscope is that if you have your iPhone (Android is coming soon) on you then you can start a broadcast on the spot, anytime. Sometimes if something hard to plan or capture is happening spontaneously you can just start broadcasting live and your followers will get notified so they can tune in. I think there is something powerful about the message you send that when something happens you are thinking about how you can help people by showing them. Or if you plan it ahead of time this is just a way of doing it on a platform that makes it easy for your followers to tune in with their iPhones – very convenient.
2. Building (and jumpstarting) relationships with peers. I’m just going to use this example and you can take it from here. I have followed Rosh Sillars for some time – he’s a photographer with a lot of great content for business. I have read and learned from many of his blog posts, but I will admit I haven’t listened to many of his podcasts which is one of his main modes of communicating his content and that’s mainly just because I’m not a podcast guy. If I’m going audio I’m usually jamming tunes. That’s just how I roll personally. But today I was playing around doing a Periscope broadcast and Rosh showed up – we had a little chat about how cool Periscope is and then later in the day I got a notification that Rosh was broadcasting live with some blogging tips so I tuned in and watched him live and chimed in with a comment of my own which he acknowledged. In the past my interaction with Rosh was following him on various platforms and maybe exchanging the occasional email. It was never a real time conversation. Just getting that notification that it was happening now was kind of unique – the spontaneity of it was a little exciting. Today I felt I got to know him a little better even if it wasn’t in person and that was kind of cool. It may not have happened without Periscope – follow him at @RoshSillars. Take a look at the screen shot below – those little hearts on the right are coming from people tapping their screens with approval.
3. Live broadcasts of photo shoots. I’m really excited about this for high school senior season. It’s the next step (and a big one at that) in the progression of sharing content among our seniors to create some fun buzz. We don’t typically share finished images on Instagram – we post behind the scenes content there. My wife Ally is the photographer and usually I’ll be taking the behind the scenes shots with my iPhone during the session. It allows me later on the same day of a senior session to go through the photos, grab a few and quickly get a pic stitch out there for people to see. I’m a little anal about those – I’ll use an app like VSCO Cam, Snap Collage, or Instasize to clean up the shots and put out something cool. The next step forward from that was when we started using Snapchat stories – those are closer to real time and don’t stay out there as a representative collection of our work – they are clearly on the fly and it’s okay if they look that way, but they still aren’t live. Now imagine a couple minutes of streaming broadcast of a shoot as it’s happening where people can chime in and see it live and make comments! “You go girl!” “Work it!” “Rachel is killing it!!!” Now that sounds like fun. Here’s a screen shot of a profile I followed today called @cas_ramos that was doing just that… maybe the gentleman with the iPhone was “the Doug” on the shoot – that’s usually what I’m doing while Ally is doing the real photographing – ha! Not that there’s anything wrong with iPhoneography of course.
4. Fun random happenings at your studio. Same thing applies here. Fans of your studio will feel even more connected if they can get a peak in on what’s going on live. I am so excited about this.
5. Location scouting could be a lot of fun, a weekly thought or shout out that happens at the same time every week, or what’s in your fridge…which apparently is a big deal on Periscope already for some reason. Yes – people love to request to see what’s in the fridge. In other words, anything else you can think of! There doesn’t seem to really be any limit to what you can do with Periscope.
So what do you think? Excited yet? I am. I can’t wait for them to add a few features too like unique URLs for sharing and embedding, multiple profiles (I don’t see a way to do that yet like you can with the other platforms), and landscape mode. I’m sure they will be adding those… In any event please chime in with comments because I am still coming up with ways to use this myself. My wheels are turning! Oh – and by the way, make sure you follow not only @frameablefaces, but @mcpactions too!!!
Doug Cohen is a co-owner of Frameable Faces Photography with his wife Ally in the Orchard Mall in West Bloomfield, MI. Ally is the photographer and Doug handles the sales and marketing. You can also find Doug personally on twitter in addition to the studio at @dougcohen10. He writes for their blog and sings in a rock band.