Complete Guide to Vine for Professional Photographers

Vine is a fairly new app on the market, but one that quickly made its way to the #1 spot in the iTunes App Store.

vine for professional photographers

Developed by the Twitter team, Vine is a video recorder that creates a six second animated GIF with an audio background. Vine uses your iPhone’s microphone and camera to record video clips with the touch of a screen. Each time you hold your finger to the screen, Vine captures what your phone sees and hears, up to 6 seconds at a time. This 6 seconds in video is to the vlog world what the 140 characters is to blogging.

Already, businesses and bloggers are utilizing Vine for marketing purposes. However, not many photographers are taking advantage of this powerful, free tool.

So I decided to post the following video on Vine, and I would love to hear your thoughts (feel free to reply in comment form via Vine).

After recording this, I realized that many photographers wouldn’t know where to start with their marketing. So I decided to write this article with some thoughts on that.


This is a common acronym used in marketing. Apply these principles to any marketing effort, including a blog post, and it will typically be successful.

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

AIDA can also be used in your Vine campaign. Since you’re limited to six seconds, you can literally separate the video into four frames, each representing a different principle of AIDA.

Vine Campaign Planning

When planning your Vine marketing campaign, consider AIDA, then grab a piece of paper or a sketch app for your iPad. Create four blocks in a row, like a storyboard.

[ ] Something to grab attention in the first frame
[ ] Something interesting to keep attention
[ ] Something to make the viewer want more
[ ] Something to make the viewer react in some way (the call to action)

vine ideas for professional photographers

Download the Vine Campaign sheet that I created and save a copy to your Google Drive.

Once your blocks are in place, fill them in with either a sketch or an idea for each of the four frames.

Vine Campaign Ideas for Professional Photographers

  • Wedding photographers can create Vine videos during any wedding they are photographing. A quick video of the groom and his friends acting silly or the flower girl running away scared will engage an audience. Now, you might be thinking “but how can I photograph that and do a Vine video at the same time?” Use your assistant – give them your iPhone and show them what to do.
  • Landscape photographers can capture behind the scenes videos of their setup. Capture clips close to your camera so the viewers can see settings, or the gear that you are using. Then capture pan throughout the scene so viewers can be in awe of the amazing landscape you are photographing.
  • Photography bloggers can capture quick teasers of upcoming products or reviews that they have to share. Teasers are a quick way to grab attention!

More Vine Ideas for Professional Photographers

  • Company introduction
  • Mini portfolio or customers reference
  • Trade show behind the scenes
  • Mini guides and how-to

Marketing Tech News has more about using Vine in your business. Check out that article. In the article they also share some tips that can improve your videos.

There’s More

Photographers aren’t the only artists using Vine for marketing or branding. In fact, Robert De Niro recently interviewed with the Wall Street Journal where he said, “Six seconds of beginning, middle and end. I was just trying to time on my iPhone six seconds just to get a sense of what that is. It can actually be a long time. One one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand, four one-thousand, five one-thousand, six one-thousand – you can tell a whole story in six seconds.” Read the full interview at the WSJ.


Of course, like all new technology, Vine has its skeptics. I’ve been asking for thoughts on Vine for marketing use through social media channels. On Google Plus, I had some interesting replies from someone who doesn’t believe it will be useful.

Proof Vine Works!

Although there are skeptics, there is also proof that Vine can be a beneficial tool to attract and increase engagement. For example, when I was out photographing long exposures at an amazing park in New Jersey, I used Vine to create a fun six-second video. While setting up for a photograph, I opened Vine and shot a teaser of the photograph I was creating. The video went out to Vine, Twitter and Facebook. I also uploaded the video manually to Google Plus, since Vine can not share directly with Google Plus. You can see the post here. Minutes and hours later I received comments and emails asking to see the results. The following day, I obliged by processing the photograph and posting it on Google Plus. You can see that post here.


When it comes to using Vine, you are not limited to the mobile app. In fact, you can embed the video on a website page or in an article (like I did in this one). You can also take the video file that Vine creates and share it elsewhere, like I did on Google Plus.  You can not currently directly Pin your Vine videos to Pinterest, but you can grab a screenshot, upload it, and then link to the Vine video.

So I will ask you now: How do you plan to use Vine in your photography marketing efforts? Comment and let me know.

Scott Wyden Kivowitz is a photographer in NJ and the Community & Blog Wrangler at Photocrati Media.

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