By Betsy Finn, M.Photog.Cr., CPP
Wouldn’t it be nice to spontaneously create a professional-looking photo video for your clients when you are on the job? Well, if you are a Photodex ProShow Web user, you can now do that in addition to accessing your existing shows directly from your iOS device.
The ProShow App is easy to download and install from the Apple App store. Once installed, you will need to log into your account (so that your shows will be saved, etc). It is free to create a basic account, but you may find the upgraded accounts more suitable. There are three levels available: Free, Plus for $30 per year, and Premium for $150 per year. Free accounts have the ProShow Web watermark on videos, Plus and Premium account holders can upload their own custom watermark. The Premium account will also give you totally unbranded videos (Free and Plus videos have a ProShow Web outro), and full 1080p HD video output.
Since I already had an existing account with ProShow Web, once I logged into the app for the first time, I already had shows in the app. I really appreciate the cloud-based storage of slideshows and such, because it is frankly a pain to try to manually sync multiple devices, let alone remember on which device you created a particular project. In the screenshot below, you can see a few slideshows, ranging from completed shows to works-in-progress.
Four shows are displayed on the screen at a time. To view or edit additional shows, you do have to swipe over to the next page. To create a new show, you simply click on the “new” icon. Alongside that button is a refresh button, in case you don’t see a new show that was added (e.g. from another device). It is pretty easy to delete shows; the app follows typical iOS delete behavior—long hold on a show until the show pictures begin to shake, and then you can delete any show by clicking on the bubble X at the upper-right. When you are finished, just click the red Done button.
When you create a new show, the app takes you through a series of creation stages: imagery, music, and details. The first step is to add images to your slideshow. Images can be added from your device, from other existing shows, or even imported from third party services like Facebook or YouTube. You can even add pictures directly from your device’s camera. Finally, title slides can be created to segment or introduce sections of your video.
After you finish importing all your images, you will then select music for the show. ProShow Web has an extensive selection of music in their library, all properly licensed for your intended use in a slideshow. The app lists music track details such as song title, artist name, and track length. You can also upload your own music. I prefer to add just one track to a particular slideshow, but it is nice to know you can add multiple songs per slideshow.
The final step of your slideshow creation is to hash out the details. On the details page, you can title your show, specify the energy level of your show (or have the images automatically sync to the music you selected), pick a theme, among other things. Two important tasks on this page, for photographers, are to select a “poster” image (the image that will appear on the show when it is paused or not playing), and to add a watermark file (an option available for paid subscribers).
While I typically create my shows in this order, the app doesn’t require you to proceed in any specific order. You can jump back and forth between sections as needed by using the menu links on the left side of the screen. At any point in the show creation process, you can exit by clicking on the Your Shows link. Finally, when you are happy with your show, you simply click on the Ready to Build button on the menu – it will take you to a new screen where you can confirm that you are indeed ready to build your video, or alternatively return to editing or exit to the main screen.
Overall, I enjoyed using the ProShow Web App. I think this could be a really great tool for location or event photographers; for example, if you photograph weddings you could have your assistant create a show of highlights from the day for display at the wedding reception. Once created, the show could be displayed on a projector via your iPad, or simply posted to Facebook. There is a world of possibility!
The ProShow Web App is available for iOS devices, including the iPhone and iPad (an Android app may be developed in the future). While the app itself is downloaded from the iTunes store at no charge, you do need to register an account with ProShow Web (free, $30/year, or $150/year). For more information about the ProShow Web App, visit web.photodex.com or the Apple App Store.