The Brief Guide to Golden Light Wedding Photos

They don’t call the golden hour ‘the magic hour’ for no reason. There’s a certain soft, joyous quality to images taken in that kind of light that makes it ideal for the most wonderful portraits, be they for glam shoots or wedding shoots – or just about any other type of photography that involves human subjects. Of course, there’s something to be said about shooting in window light, shade, backlight, and even in direct sunlight. But there’s nothing quite like shooting portraits at magic hour, which is why today we bring you our very own version of a quick guide to golden light wedding photos. There is simply no match for it, neither in terms of artificial lighting or post-production. You can’t replicate it no matter how hard you try and how many filters and actions you try. So let’s delve right into it, then:

The unmatched qualities of golden light wedding photos

Christina McNeillSoftness

The thing about golden light wedding photos is that they can actually be taken with the subjects staring straight into the sun without so much of a squint. Light at that time of day is softer because it takes a longer time to reach the surface of the Earth, as it has more distance to travel across the universe.

Warmth

Another quality that’s unique to golden light wedding photos is the temperature of the light. In somewhat more technical terms, at magic hour the blue wavelengths of light particles are more scattered, which is why there are more reds and yellows in its makeup. This will make your wedding portrait subjects look almost golden – sort of naturally tanned-like.

Depth

Magic hour is essentially that time of day right before sunset, which means the sun has descended lower in the sky. This low angle will effortlessly add depth to your photos. Since your subjects will have longer, softer shades at that time of the day, the pictures will look more dynamic and more profound, in terms of depth-of-field. Golden light wedding photos simply look like more accurate 2D representations of this three-dimensional world.

When to take perfect golden light wedding photos

golden-light-wedding-photos02The ‘magic hour’ is actually about two hours each day: one right after sunrise and one immediately before sunset. The span of time you have at your disposal also varies according to where on Earth you live or the place to which you’ve traveled for the photo shoot. The rule of thumb is that the closer you are to the Equator, the shorter the golden hour is going to be. Seasons also extend or shorten the magic hour (with less natural sunlight in the colder season, it goes without saying that there’s going to be less golden light then). And, of course, the weather also plays a major role in how much time you get for taking golden light wedding photos. Clouds in the sky are not a good sign, if you’re going for that warm, soft vibe of magic hour portraits – though they can work wonders for achieving sharper shadows and a more dramatic quality to your pictures. In the case of weddings, the golden hour will usually catch you right after dinner or during the meal, so try to inform your clients of this in advance, so you can sneak out into the great outdoors with them for a few beautiful portraits.

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There are lots of great options in this sense, since golden light is so permissive. You can have your subject directly facing the light, or you can get a warm glow with backlit portraits. In this second scenario, you can also try to obtain a rim of light outlining the silhouettes of your subject, which will make it stand out from the background and appear aglow. You can also try to obtain a flare, which will differ greatly from one specific aperture to the next, from one lens to the other – try to find the best kind of effect for your subjects. And, of course, golden light allows for a ton of experimentation, so just go out and have fun with it!

4 Wedding Photography Tips for Second Shooters

tips-for-second-shootersWhat’s a second shooter, you ask? Then you clearly haven’t taken on any truly grand affairs. You probably haven’t been following our blog for long, since we’ve featured real-life second shooter advice before. But, to clear things up, here’s the lowdown. Big weddings usually require more than a single photographer, which is when the secondary one, also referred to as ‘the second shooter’ steps in. Today’s post brings a list of tips for second shooters, which we believe  to be relevant, since this position is usually filled by a beginner. It can be complicated to work in wedding photography as part of a two-person outfit. Photography is usually a solitary line of work. However, with the right mind frame about communication, a dash of chemistry, and our advice, we believe second shooters can truly shine and make the whole experience profitable and enjoyable for everyone involved.

Tip #1 Don’t work with a main who doesn’t trust you.

Our list of tips for second shooters starts even before the actual wedding takes place. Typically, you’ll be able to spot a main photographer who doesn’t trust you (or other photographers in general) right from the get-go. They tend to be generally self-centered, second guess you, or leave you no room to express your own views and always feel the need to micromanage… everything, you included. Suffice it to say, such a working experience will not work. The main photographer’s sole task is to manage the coverage of the wedding. If they’re too busy to snap gorgeous pictures because they’re bossing you around, everyone’s likely to end up feeling miserable and exhausted by the end of your first wedding photographed together.

Tip #2 Do your research.

Whenever you decide to work with someone else on a second shooter position, research the photographer’s approach and study their style. Before heading out to a wedding with them, ask to see a full wedding they’ve shot. Check out their portfolio and make note of details you see recurring in the photos. Study all the images they’ve produced and are available to you. Ask questions, if something strikes you as particularly unusual. It’s important to have a good grasp and strong intuition about a particular main photographer’s style, because your own work is going to have to merge with theirs without any major style breaches.

Tip #3 Ask more questions.

Remember how we advised you to ask questions above? Well, after you’re done doing that, make sure to ask even more questions – and make them as specific as possible. One of our main tips for second shooters is to know what’s expected of you. Some like to grant their second shooters a lot of autonomy, while others really expect them to act as gear-carrying assistants, only shooting every so often. Ask them what you should be focusing on: macros, close-ups and details, or, on the contrary, wide shots? Candid portraits? How open is the main photographer to your own artistic input, vision and ideas?

Tip #4 Help out

That’s what you were hired for, right? Get down to the specifics beforehand. Know where the main photographer expects you to be stationed during the ceremony. Make sure you understand their gear organization system and respect it. Take care of their bags and equipment. Make it a point to know where every lens, grip, lens cap or hot-shoe is during the actual wedding. Lend a hand during group portrait sessions, because this tends to get real hectic real fast and is one of the most complex moments of any wedding photographer’s job. Be in position and take the shots you’re expected to take during the ceremony – never forget that these are unique moments you’re there to capture and you don’t get a do-over. And relax: it’s not as complicated as it sounds.

Tips for Mommie Photogs: Shooting Weddings While Pregnant

shooting-weddings-while-pregnantSome women can’t wait to go on maternity leave once they find out there’s a little one on the way. Along the same lines, shooting wedding photography with a pregnant bride can be one of the most endearing, delicate, and special experiences you’ll have as an artist. However, today’s post is about neither one of those scenarios, but about what you can do if you’re shooting weddings while pregnant. Since wedding photographers are largely freelance, many female professionals choose not to abandon their business, or put in on hold, while pregnant. If you’re about to face this situation, you might wonder how you’re going to be able to manage it all – the baby that’s on the way, the business, and the actual, physical challenges of working when you’re a few months away from giving birth. We’ve scoured the web left and right and checked out some true stories from photographers who have gone through this. We’ve come up with a list of resources and tips you might find useful.

The checklist for shooting weddings while pregnant

  • Flip flops

If you’re the kind of photographer who cares a great deal about looking professional at all times when working, this might be a bit of a challenge for you, but it’s probably unavoidable. Chances are your feet are going to start swelling as your pregnancy progresses and if you want to keep working, you’re going to have to find yourself one (or several) nice pairs of flip flops to change into, in order to keep your feet from killing you. Shooting weddings while pregnant does involve a lot of standing, you know?

  • Back support

The same pretty much goes for back aches. They’re very difficult to handle for some women, even if they’re not up on their feet and running about, taking pictures all day. Those women who want to keep shooting weddings while pregnant might want to invest in Maternity Support or a similar form of support for their back.

  • A breast pump

There’s no way around it: if you want to keep working during and immediately after the pregnancy, you’re going to need a carry-on with a special portable breast pump.  Alternatively, you can opt to breastfeed at weddings, if you’re comfortable with this. Most wedding guests are tolerant about it, according to several real life mommy wedding photographers. However, if you can’t afford the downtime, or just want to pump for whatever reason, then an “on the go” breast pump is your best bet.

  • Water & protein

Much like you are going to have to feed the baby on the go, you’re going to need to nourish yourself, too. If you’re a newbie wedding photographer, don’t think there’s going to be any time for you to snack at the wedding party – there usually isn’t. And keeping hydrated and well-nourished while pregnant is essential, both for your health and stamina, as well as for the baby’s well-being. As such, make it a point to never leave home without plenty of water and protein bars, to keep you up on your feet all day long.

  • An assistant

Yes, it’s an added cost, but one which might just save your wedding photography business while you’re carrying. The assistant will help carry your gear and other bags – and they also come in mighty handy when it comes to remembering that you actually have to eat those protein bars if you want them to have any effect.

  • A backup

We’re talking an alternate wedding photographer that you can call on, if need be. Someone you trust is able to step in at the last minute, in case anything goes wrong with you and you need to step down from an engagement. Always have the phone number of such a trusty friend on hand, you never know when you might need to use it.

The One Trick to Get Your Wedding Photography Clients to Follow the Rules

Have you ever had to deal with those kinds of nightmarish wedding photography clients that you just couldn’t convince to follow the rules, no matter what approach you took? You tried sweet talking them and they just got even more relaxed about the rules. You tried to be more firm about your principles (think punctuality, clear-cut decisions about locations, make-up, etc.). They failed to take you seriously – or, conversely, gave up working with you altogether, because you had turned ‘dictatorial’. If such conundrums sound familiar to you, you’re probably also wondering if there’s a way out of them. We’re here to tell you that there is: you can get your wedding photography clients to become more rule-abiding, with the aid of this single simple psychological trick.

Reverse that psychology on your wedding photography clients

wedding-photography-clients-rulesIf you’ve ever visited Trafalgar Square in London, you may have noticed the big signs that say “Please, don’t feed the pigeons – they cause damage and nuisance to the square”. Even if you have, even if you haven’t, try to imagine what such a sign would rouse in you. Be honest about it. Would you be tempted to do the exact opposite of what the sign would ask you? If so, it’s not because you’re particularly naughty or have a penchant for disobeying: it’s because rules like this one tell you two things. 1. That it’s not good to do a certain thing. And 2. That a lot of people are doing it anyway. So, the basic takeaway from this lesson, is that if you want your wedding photography clients to follow rules, you need to word them right.

As the old adage goes, people are social creatures. If a group of people does a particular thing, chances are others are going to follow in their footsteps. It’s the principle of social proof, deeply ingrained in our mentalities, which tells you that if other people are doing it, you should probably be doing it, too. Psychology has countless examples in this sense: for instance, when the IRS announced it was hiking tax penalties because tax evasion had been rampant during a particular year, tax fraud actually increased the next year. Because, hey, “if everybody else is doing it, why can’t I?”, right?

How to formulate rules your wedding photography clients will actually respect

If you’ve been following this post up to now, it’s probably quite clear to you. Combine reverse psychology with the principle of social proof and you’ve got yourself a good rule on your hands, which people are going to want to abide by. Here are a few examples and counter-examples.

Example #1: Late bookers

BAD: Don’t book me two weeks before your wedding! It’s annoying, unprofessional and messes up my schedule!

GOOD: Most clients I’ve worked with successfully in the past had booked me right after setting the date. This gave us a lot of time to get to know and understand each other, figure out all the details and come up with great ideas for photos.

Example #2: Sharing photos with no watermark

BAD: Do not share my photos on Facebook without a watermark on them!

GOOD: All clients receive a set of watermarked images, which they are more than welcome to share on Facebook. In fact, I love it when wedding photography clients share my work, because this basically works as free advertising for my business!

Example #3: The chronically late

BAD: If you’re always late for shoots and appointments, I’m going to become really annoyed and frustrated working with you.

GOOD: Most clients do their best to respect the set times of our meetings and this helps us work better together, since we’re all more relaxed.

Photographer’s Best Friend: Google Reverse Image Search

It’s all diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks when it comes to image usage and propagation online: while some photographers are happy to have their work featured on Tumblr, Facebook, various blogs, and media outlets, others are less than excited about it. Today’s post is for those who fall in the latter category, rather than the former. It’s here to teach you how to use Google reverse image search, in order to find your pictures all over the web. Perhaps you’re not happy with not being credited, or maybe your image is used in a context you don’t want to be associated with. Whatever your reasons may be, here’s the way to find those pictures and prevent further occurrences from happening.

How to start the Google reverse image search

Image search is a service provided by search engine giant Google, in order to help others find specific photos online; conversely, the Google reverse image search is what you do when you have the image already, but want to know who else has it and has been using it. There are two ways to start your Google reverse image search: one is by uploading your photo into the Google images search bar, and the other is by copying the photo’s original URL (say, off your own blog or website) and pasting into the search bar. As far as the first option goes, you can also simply drag and drop the image into the search bar, if you find this easier.

The Google reverse image search results

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Photo via Photo Shelter

The results that Google reverse image search delivers look much like a collage of visually similar pictures. Note that they may not all be precise and exact matches of your photo. However, chances are you will come across websites that have been using the photo without your explicit authorization. Another great feature that Google delivers at this point is a brief text-based description of your photo and the context in which it’s being used. Perhaps yours is not so much a case of being offended by ‘photo theft’, but maybe the website owner or blogger that’s featuring your work has misspelled your name or attributed the image to someone else by mistake. This feature will allow you to identify such errors and contact the people in question, to ask them to amend the issue. You can also use the advanced image search page to find your work online. Google can help you specify various words your photo might be used in context with. It will let you whittle down the results by image size, aspect ratio, colors, type, usage rights, and many other filters.

More Google reverse image search tips & tricks

-          Search for as many different variants of the same photo, even if the differences between them and the original picture are subtle – especially if you’ve uploaded more than one version of the same photo online. Some might be cropped differently or uploaded in other color schemes.

-          You might find your work online edited by third parties: cropped, rotated, in black and white, etc.. Try searching for differently Photoshopped variants of your own work by creating these variations yourself.

-          Don’t disregard smaller sizes of your image. Perhaps someone has resized an initially large photo and is using it as such. Google has a harder time spotting visually similar images in smaller sizes, because, the smaller the photo, the less data it has to work with. Resize the photos yourself and look for them like this.

In terms of what you decide to do with the results, the choice is entirely up to you. It all has to do with the way you license your work and whether or not the people using the pictures are making money off your back – case in which you might even decide to prosecute for copyright infringement.

5 Pro Point-and-Shoot Cameras You Might Want to Use

Come, now: point-and-shoot cameras are not for professional wedding photographers such as yourself, are they? If you just had that thought, while reading the title of the article, you probably haven’t been in the business of photography for too long. You might think that owning a DSLR alone will automatically qualify you as a professional wedding photographer. The truth is that both those statements are false and there are some great, pro point-and-shoot cameras out there, which even Pulitzer-prize winning photographers use. Which brings us, in turn, to our next point: that sometimes it pays off to use point-and-shoots, even for wedding photography, or other types of professional photography. Without further ado, here are 5 such cameras, recommended by the professionals themselves.

Nikon COOLPIX P7000

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The P7000 is one of the pro point-and-shoot cameras on our list because it’s got great video abilities, matched by DSLRs (24fps). Many photographers who shoot portraits, or other types of studio photography, have been known to use this cute little camera for shooting behind-the-scenes videos, which merge seamlessly into the final video, without any noticeable compatibility issues in terms of frame rate. If you also add a shoe-mount shotgun microphone, you can actually shoot great videos, interviews, or any other type of similar material at great quality. Some also use the camera for stills and appreciate its optical viewfinder.

Ricoch CX5

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Both the Ricoch CX4 and the Ricoch CX5 make the list for pro point-and-shoot cameras that some photogs like to use from time to time, mainly because they shoot video at 2/2.5 per second. One other aspect of this family of cameras, which makes them very versatile, and also suitable for professionals, is the quality of the images they produce in several modes. According to some, they’re great for macro shots and can produce reasonably good tele shots. The video, which is shot at 1280p also tends to look quite good, even though the quality of the audio isn’t up to par (it tends to lag, at times).

Leica D-LUX 4

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All right, so Leicas are not regular cameras in any respect, starting with their history, the kind of quality they are able to produce, but also their (often hefty) price tags. However, it should be said that the Leica D-LUX 4 is one of the truly amazing pro point-and-shoot cameras on this list, even if it’s one of the pricier ones. It’s compact in size, looks great, and makes for an awesome travel companion – if you do travel photography or like to shoot on the go, it’s hard to beat this little gem. It also requires no accessories, in order to produce great photos.

Fujifilm FinePix X100

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The Fujifilm FinePix X100 is not the easiest of the pro point-and-shoot cameras to work with, since it’s a bit complex, in terms of manual functions. It’s got lots of buttons and menus and it might take you a while before you figure out how to properly expose a picture. On the downside, it doesn’t always get the focus quite right and it can also take some time before it finds the focus. In other words, it’s not the world’s best camera for impromptu shots. However, if you’re into wedding photography, then you’re probably planning out shots ahead anyway, which means you might find some use for this camera.

Sony NEX-5N

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This pro point-and-shoot camera can be successfully used for shooting portraits, especially if you also add the NEX-5N Electronic Viewfinder, as well as some of the dedicated lenses from Sony. For portraits, the results it manages to achieve are very close to professional cameras, even though this one is comparatively tiny, lightweight, and extremely easy to use.

Rekindle Your Passion for Wedding Photography in 3 Easy Steps

It happens to the best of them: we haven’t asked, but we’re sure that, were you to catch her on an off day, even contemporary glam photography guru Annie Leibovitz sometimes feels like the spark is just gone.

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Bottom line, no matter how passionate you may be about wedding photography, sometimes that passion just vanishes without a trace. Sometimes you feel stuck in a rut and, no matter what you do, you’re just not happy with your work. It happens to us all, which is why we’re here today to show you what you need to do, in order to rekindle your passion for wedding photography in three simple steps.

Ever felt this way? You need to find your passion for wedding photography again!

The danger of feeling stuck and trapped within monotony is that you develop an entire range of very negative, self-deprecating thoughts about your work. And while, at first, it may seem like these ideas will propel you toward creating ever better wedding photos, this rarely ever happens. Rather, you become more prone toward creative blocks, which, in turn, lead to creative frustration and a whole lot of resentment. In fact, what these thoughts are there to tell you is that you need to take better care of yourself, both as a person, as well as a creative individual, who happens to work in wedding photography. Here’s what could have gone wrong and made you feel that your work is subpar, or otherwise inadequate:

-          You keep compromising. Instead of working toward honing your creative vision, you’ve let go one time too many.

-          You don’t value yourself and your work enough. Yes, it’s perfectly fine to turn down a job or two every now and then – especially if you’ve been feeling stressed, overworked, and burned out.

-          You feel underappreciated and, hence, uninspired.

The good part is that all creative individuals, no matter the field they’re working in, feel this way every now and then. If they say they don’t, they’re lying (either to you, or to themselves). The part that’s even better: you can fix these feelings and make them work for you, not against you. Here’s how:

Step #1: Where do you see yourself?

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This may sound like a total cliché, but in order to find your passion for wedding photography all over again, you need to refocus on your vision. Your ‘voice’ as a photographer. Your signature style. This may mean that you’re going to have to start learning to turn down projects that don’t align with that creative vision. It’s all a matter of prioritizing and of asking yourself: ‘does this job make me feel proactive? Am I working to achieve a dream, or simply going with the flow?’ If your answer is geared more toward the ‘going with the flow’ option, perhaps it’s time to step back and assess whether or not you really need to say yes to the umpteenth White Wedding gig this year. Refer the potential clients to someone who can do the job and move on.

Step #2: Step outside your comfort zone

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The paradoxical thing about being a wedding photographer is that you sometimes end up saying yes to engagements that you know won’t help you learn. They are clearly not the type of work that you want to be known for. You would like to change, but simply can’t seem to motivate yourself to try something new, and would much rather stick to the beaten path. But if you genuinely want to find your passion for wedding photography once again, you need to step outside that comfort zone and experiment. What’s the worst that could happen? No, seriously. Consider the best and the worst possible outcomes of doing things differently. Hint: it’s always worth trying out something new, if only for the sake of the experience.

Step #3: Kick back

Take a break from work. Drive off a few hours away. Be with yourself and no one else for a few days. Learn to unwind and enjoy your own company.

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Think you can’t afford that?

That’s a fair issue. If money is standing in your way to relaxation, then work your way through this problem. Price your shoots better and as soon you’ve got some money saved to take a short break away from work, do it. You’ll thank yourself for it.

Success Stories: How to Create Your Own Photography Niche

In a day and age where social media and other media consumption habits gear users toward a torrent of visual information, how does a commercial photographer go about creating a lucrative business? The answer, according to more than just one accomplished pro photog, lies in knowing how to create your own photography niche. This is, of course, about personal branding to a large extent, but it also has to do with finding what you love, catering to an already existing audience, and getting noticed (and paid!) for it. Easier said than done, huh? Well, it might take a bit of soul-searching, market research, and adapting, but it certainly is feasible. Here’s how:

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Create your own photography niche by providing quality products to ideal clients

Do you happen to know at least one photographer who does it all? Product shoots, events, concerts, architecture, fashion, travel, babies – they know all about it and dabble in them all. While, on the one hand, it’s perfectly acceptable to sometimes step out of your comfort zone and try your hand at a type of photography you’re not entirely specialized in, this is not a very good business strategy. See, the reasoning behind such a ‘smorgasbord’ approach is that the photographers in question believe that if they have something to offer to everyone, then someone will surely want to do business with them. Key word: someone. Anyone. On the other hand, though, the process through which you create your own photography niche starts with knowing what you love to photograph and who you can sell it to, ideally.

So, in your quest to create your own photography niche, start out by identifying the following:

  • The perfect picture. What segment of photography do you feel most comfortable with? Narrow it down as much as you want. It could be a particular type of wedding photography, or something exotic like pet portraiture. The important thing is that you’ve got the technical skills, gear, and experience, to create great pictures of this kind. Finding this segment will take an honest look on your part at your current portfolio. You can also gauge social media reactions to your photos, for an indicator, as well as ask for unbiased second opinions from your peers.
  • The perfect client. First and foremost, a perfect client in any photography niche is one that trusts their photographer and knows they’ve chosen the best person for the job. Then come the specifics. Perhaps you like to work with couples in your area, or with big brands, or not-for-profits. Whatever tickles your fancy is entirely acceptable.

In order to create your own photography niche, you need to find that point of intersection between the two narrowed-down groups above: the perfect product you are able to deliver, and the ideal person to pay for it.

The benefits of creating your own photography niche

There’s far more to gain from specialization in photography nowadays, than just mere monetization. Of course, this aspect is not to be ignored, but here are a few other things you’re likely to gain in the process:

  • Confidence. By working with and for people who appreciate the kind of work you do, you will also gain more self-trust in your own skills and value. This way, you’ll be able to price your shoots at a fairer value.
  • Identity as a photographer. When you stand out from the crowd, when you’re no longer just another photographer on the virtually endless list of online artists, you’ve got yourself a personal brand.
  • New business. This almost goes without saying – when you know what you’re about and what you can deliver to discerning customers, you will also know where and how to go looking for them. If it hasn’t already, you’ll start seeing your photography business take off.

Create Great Wedding Cinemagraphs in 15 Steps

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Image via PhotoJojo

What are cinemagraphs, you ask? Why, what a question! Essentially, they’re Graphics Interchange Format files, better known as .gifs. You’ve seen them all over your favorite entertainment websites online and you can even make them with nothing more than your smartphone these days, since, of course, there’s an app for that. However, there’s also a professional way to create great wedding cinemagraphs that will bring those unforgettable moments to life.

How to create great wedding cinemagraphs: A checklist

You’re going to need a camera that shoots video, a tripod, a video editing program and one version or another of Adobe Photoshop. And, of course, props, a model or several, and, most importantly, ideas for cinemagraphs.

#1. Plan out your scene. Shoot for subtle motions, moments and movements. In contrast, the rest of your scene should look great when still. Finally, aim for something that looks good when looped.

#2. Set up the camera as solidly as you can on its tripod and shoot away. You need 10 to 20 seconds of video tops.

#3. Make sure you’re shooting in the right format for Photoshop, i.e. either MOV or AVI.

#4. Import your video into Photoshop. You’re going to import the frames of the video into layers, and while more layers make for a smoother animation, anything above 100 layers is probably too much to work with.

#5. Check out the video frames, now imported into separate layers. Make sure you have all the layers you need.

#6. Go to Windows/Animation, to see the layers as actual frames in an animation. Play the animation to identify the moment you are going to be animating next.

#7. Once you’ve found the frames that display the portion you want to see animated. Bear in mind that some of the smoothness of the end .gif is going to be lost after you’ve deleted some of the layers, so choose them wisely.

#8. Choose your Alpha layer. That’s going to be the one layer that stays unchanged in the end .gif. duplicate it and place it over the other layers in the Layers window.

#9. Next, start creating movement in order to actually create great wedding cinemagraphs. This means that you need to start editing the Alpha layer with the aid of vector masks. These masks will effectively do away with the elements that are still in the Alpha layer, but that you want animated in the final version.

#10. Test out the animation, after you’re done masking the portions you want animated. Set the animation to loop Forever, then press play. Make note of any further edits you need to make, so as to make the movement as smooth as possible.

#11. Make sure your loop is smooth. There are several ways in which you can achieve this. One is by adding the Alpha layer plus the very first animation layer, right after the very last layer in the animation. Simply duplicate the last layer, then change what layers appear in it in the Layer window. For more complex animations, you’re going to want to loop some very specific frames in your Animation, that will help make the motion transition smoother.

#12. Color your .gif. .gif files unfortunately can’t hold as much color information as regular pictures, so you’re going to want to use an effect that works well with less data. You can either use a preset Photoshop action for a specific color effect, or colorize all the layers with a specific Photoshop mask.

#13. Save your final .gif in a resolution that’s suited for the web, i.e. not very large. You’re going to want your clients to show it off online and you’re also likely to showcase it in your portfolio. The typical resolution is 72 pixels/inch.

#14. Save the PSD project of the cinemagraph, then Save for Web & Devices.

#15. Enjoy the fact that you now know how to create great wedding cinemagraphs and don’t forget to show off your work!

Hell’s Bells: 7 Nightmare Wedding Photography Clients

nightmare-wedding-photography-clientsWhile every wedding photographer dreams of that perfectly cooperative couple, a dream to work with and easy-going, too – that kind of work assignment is rare. And, at the same time, while not every assignment is a disaster, the notion of nightmare wedding photography clients is certainly real. In today’s post we’re going to briefly outline seven of the most common issues that such clients are likely to pose (pun not intended).

#1 Nightmare wedding photography clients that ignore the schedule

Some people simply don’t understand that a photographer’s main resource is lighting. They blatantly disregard the wedding day shooting schedule, as they fail to grasp the importance of the time of day. Midday sun, for instance, casts very harsh shadows, in which most people won’t look good, so it’s important to avoid this time of day and shoot in the later hours.

#2 The chronically late/in a hurry

These nightmare wedding photography clients are a similar species with the ones listed above. While they do follow the schedule to a certain extent, they will either be late, or assume the shoot only lasts for 10 minutes. Make sure you approach such cases delicately and explain that it takes a bit of punctuality and patience of their side to get the shoot right.

#3 The uninvited second fiddle

A very specific type of nightmare wedding photography clients will bring along a relative with pro photo gear, who will insist to take pictures alongside with you. Yes, they mean well in most cases, but chances are they will also get in your way, ruin your official shots, and provide unsolicited advice. Try to approach them with kindness, but gently explain they should leave the picture-taking to the actual hired professional.

#4 The clients that hate the way they look in the photos

Some wedding photography clients don’t understand why it’s important to communicate with their photographer beforehand. After all, you’re a professional, so, in their view, you should be able to just guess how they like to look in pictures. Kindly ask all clients to show you pictures of themselves that they actually like before going ahead with the shot. Alternatively, you can ask them to explain what looks and angles they would like to avoid.

#5 The camera darlings

On the opposite end of the spectrum from the nightmare wedding photography clients who don’t enjoy picture taking at all there are those who love it a bit too much. You should always make sure to reassure the couple to be that a wedding day photo shoot shouldn’t actually take all day. The best wedding photos are those in which the couple and guests can be seen enjoying themselves, not cooking up elaborate, unlikely poses for the camera. This kind of thing can turn tiring very fast and will almost always end up looking artificial and phony.

#6 The last minute special

Most couples to be understand that booking a photographer early is just about as important as booking the venue and band in a timely manner. However, not all of them do, which makes some postpone the decision until the very last minute. This, of course, can tend to make them feel frustrated with their choice and usually leads to rushing through the whole photographing process, in order to make sure they’re getting all the photos they want.

#7 The trend addicts

Wedding photo booth? Sure, they want one. The Instagram hashtag? Of course they want you to take care of that, too! Some couples will just fall for anything that’s trendy right now, in terms of wedding photography – and no photog out there could ever satisfy their needs, no matter how skilled or versatile he/she is. Explain that great wedding photography is the kind that passes the test of time, not the kind that got 100k likes on  Facebook yesterday.