Archive for May, 2009

May 18, 2009

Shooting for the Book

The wedding season hits in June and we at PhotoHand expect a rise in custom photo books design orders. Most of our clients have been in the wedding photography business for a while but there are a lot of talented young beginners who have been asking us to give them some tips on how to be prepared so that they are in the right place at the right moment and shoot enough material for a lively photo story.

We looked at the weddings albums that we have created so far and came up with this cheat sheet. A bride can also use this list when giving directions to her photographer.

A spread from a wedding book designed and photo retouched by PhotoHand prosfessionals.

A spread from a wedding book designed and photo retouched by PhotoHand prosfessionals.

A wedding is a celebration of a tradition and traditions by their nature adhere to certain scripts. Below are the points general to any wedding but if the wedding is to include some ethnic traditions or special family customs, that photographer must be notified of all such details beforehand so that he or she is able to capture every key moment.

Behind the Scene
The dress on a hanger
close-ups of any remarkable details on the dress
Accessories: flowers, shoes, jewelry, the rings
The bride getting ready (makeup, hair, jewelry, dress,shoes)
Family and bridesmaids assisting the bride
Others getting ready
Portrait of the bride
The groom getting ready (adjusting the ties tie or cuff links)
Portrait of the groom
Waiting for the Ceremony
The wide-angle view of the location
The groom waiting for the bride
The groom, the best man and the officiator
The ring bearer and flower girl
General view of the seated guests
Arrival of the bride

The Ceremony
The best man and maid of honor coming down the aisle
Each groomsman and bridesmaid coming down the aisle
The bride coming down the aisle
Wide-angle view of the ceremony
The vow and ring exchange
Signing of the marriage license
The kiss
The bride and groom coming down the aisle
Any special musician, singer, speaker, etc.

Formal Photos
Hands with the wedding bands
Formal group photos
Romantic bride and groom photos

The Reception
Details: centerpieces, the cake, decor
The wedding party entering the reception
Toasts
Cutting of the cake
The first dance
Dances with parents
Bouquet toss
Garter removal
Guests at each table
Dancing guests

Final Scene
The newlyweds waiving or walking away
Departing Limo

That’s it! Have a great shoot!
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May 13, 2009

Primp Up Your Indie Image On a Budget

Indie is trendy. If you hear this for the first time, you’ve been out of touch for quite a while and should hurry to Etsy.com to catch up. Whether it’s shoes, clothes, cosmetics, jewelry, bags, gift items, perfume… indie companies are guaranteed to provide innovative offbeat products that will spice up your image.

Innovation is the key to indie success as small companies are faster on their feet than large brands. They also tend to be greener, organic and more conscious of waste.

PhotoHand is a strong supporter of indies and we have a lot of them among our clients. Indies do not have the promotion budgets of big brands but they must have the big brand image quality to sell.

Indie companies on a budget (and most of them are) do not have the resources to hire professional photographers at $100-150/hr to shoot their new products, especially as they introduce one-two new products at a time. Instead they buy professional or semi-professional photo cameras that are becoming cheaper and more powerful and take promotional photos at their make-shift corner studios.

This is a prudent approaching taking into account that even professionally shot photos still need to be photoshopped to bring out the best in the image.

A perfume bottle shot in a make-shift setup with a non-professional camera was color-corrected and photo-retouched by PhotoHand professionals. Complex level - $11.95/photo

A perfume bottle shot in a make-shift setup with a non-professional camera was color-corrected and photo-retouched by PhotoHand professionals. Complex level - $11.95/photo

PhotoHand has been assisting indie companies with this task for quite a while and we keep getting the same question from our clients: How to set up the photo shoot for the best results.

We did some research, consulted several photographers and came up with the basic set of rules that will set you on the right track.

How to set up lighting for a home photo shoot?

Lighting is of paramount importance in photography. Photographing with natural light will deliver natural colors but only if you shoot on an overcast day that is still bright. You can wait for such a day or imitate these conditions by using easily available elements:

1) A spotlight lamp with a white light bulb. A yellow light bulb will tint the original color of the product;
2) Frosted paper that will be used as a screen to diffuse the light shining on the product and this way prevent the “hot spots” in the photo;
3) A flowing background, preferably stiff paper that won’t crinkle;
4) A sheet of white paper to reflect the diffused light from the spotlight lamp and partially illuminate the other side or the front of the product. This is necessary to avoid sharp light/shade contrast (unless you want it for some artistic effect).

The following diagram shows how to arrange these items for the photoshoot setup at home.

This diagram shows how to arrange these items for the photoshoot setup at home.

How to set your camera for the product photo shoot?

No-Flash-No-GlareTurn off the Flash. Flash glare on objects is very hard to photo retouch because it means loss of digital information. A photo retoucher would have to fill up the blanks by using his/her imagination.

Macro-for-close-up

Set your camera to MACRO for the close-up view.

That’s it.  Happy shooting!  And remember, PhotoHand is always there for you to glam up your image.
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May 13, 2009

I Can Get No Photo Satisfaction:-)

Hoping this never happens to you…
Photo-Humor-Photo-Satisfaction-Guaranteed
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