Posts tagged ‘design’

July 20, 2012

Modern Wedding Book Trends: Vignetting

Before digital cameras vignetting was an unintended and undesired effect caused by camera settings or lens limitations. Now it is purposely introduced for creative effect, such as to draw attention to the center of the frame.

It also helps the photos blend well with dark colored background of layouts. This design element serves particularly well for large photos, especially portraits.


MODERN WEDDING BOOK TRENDS:
Vintage Style Photography
Black and White Photography
Vignetting

Advertisements
June 21, 2012

Modern Wedding Book Trends: Vintage Style Photography

Old is new this season. Vintage imitation has been in for Save the Date cards and wedding invitations for quite a while and now the trend seems to be extending to the the wedding albums. You certainly don’t want the whole wedding book to look vintage unless your wedding was staged in a vintage style – Roaring 20s, 30s Hollywood, 70s Disco…

Usually, you would want to have some vintage elements incorporated in the design. This can be sepia-toned photos, artfully grainy or faded photos for the background images of the layouts.

The book cover stylized as an old photo will make for a nice decorative element on your shelf.

Compare to the original photo below. Before converting it into sepia, PhotoHand designer retouched the image by eliminating the “view spoilers” – the pipe and the pigeon at the groom’s chest level. Then the photo was brought to the most fitting lightness and color level to produce a bright picture.

 
MODERN WEDDING BOOK TRENDS:
Vintage Style Photography
Black and White Photography
Vignetting

March 30, 2012

PhotoHand.com Launches New Service for Facebook Users – Custom Facebook Timeline Cover Image Design

As of April 2012 Facebook Pages will be going through drastic changes. Now your Facebook profile is called your Timeline and you can place a large image at the top of your Timeline called a Cover.

For businesses this change signifies an additional outlet for brand expression. You’ve seen big brands with their visual compelling Covers photos. Just how can smaller brands make use of this visible spot for brand awareness?

Go to PhotoHand.com! We help individual professionals and small business level the playing field when it comes to the visual expression of their brands. And we do it at the most reasonable rate.

PhotoHand has been taking online orders for web banner design though its website for quite some time. The process is easy: start an order for banner design, enter the banner size (851×315 for the Facebook Timeline Cover), upload your photos, logo and even sketches, type in any instructions that you might have and check out.

Even if your photos are shoddy, PhotoHand retouchers and designer will find a way to integrate them into a professional-looking ad. The price of such an ad is most affordable – $19.95 per Cover, while any changes to the delivered design are free of charge.

Before placing your order, please consult the Facebook guidelines for Timeline Cover images so that your banner design is in compliance with their rules. Facebook

Here is a sample of a Facebook Timeline Cover that we have created for an old client of PhotoHand:

Note: Before placing your order, please consult the Facebook guidelines for Timeline Cover images so that your banner design is in compliance with their rules:

All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.

Covers may not include:

i. price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”;
ii. contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;
iii. references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or
iv. calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

January 17, 2012

Cropping Photos to Improve the Visual Effect

Cropping is a useful tool for photo improvement. Though it sounds like an easy trick, cropping is more art than science and you need an eye for it. Still there are some general guidelines that can help you improve the visual effect of your photos.

Focus in!

Crop to bring the attention to the main object or person. In a portrait, the person’s eyes are the focal point. If the person is looking sideways, make sure to allow ‘space’ for her to look into or include enough of the object so the viewer knows what the the person is looking at. Otherwise the viewer will wonder what is missing.

Cropping also lets you remove the parts of the picture that didn’t turn well, let’s say because of awkward posing like in the example below.

Don’t amputate!

Cropping off people’s limbs at joints makes them look like amputees. Despite a very popular concern, it’s okay to crop part of the head if it’s a close portrait, as it will bring more attention to the eyes.  Cutting between the joints is alright as long as it’s still possible for the mind’s eye to fill in the blanks to complete a person’s torso or limb.

An example of bad cropping where the hand cut off at the wrist appears detached. The only way to fix this effect is to re-crop the photo to a close portrait.

Combine tilting with cropping!

In some situations tilting can save the day when you realize the only photo that you like is still bad.

Remove distractions!

Remove the view-spoilers, parts of unidentifiable objects and things that distracts from the story the image is telling.

Someone's back was a view-spoiler in otherwise a nice portrait. The photo allowed for easy cropping that brought the new balance to the composition by seemingly adding to the empty space in the direction of the person' glance.

Watch the ‘negative space’!

This is the space around the central object. Cropping too tightly will make the photo look awkward.

Cropping Contextual Images

The images surrounding the person or the object in the center of attention serve as the context and create the picture story and establish the mood. It becomes a critical compositional component that need to be cropped to have a balanced visual effect. To reach the optimal result, it is recommended to follow the Rule of Thirds.

The Rule of Thirds: Divide the frame into thirds horizontally and vertically. The points where those lines intersect are good starting points to place the main subject. Essentially the primary subject is slightly off center.

In the original photo the person is put squarely in the middle and the background is cropped too tight leaving no breathing space above and below the figure. By cropping right below the hand (not to lose the gesture) and reducing the space on the left we re-balance the composition to bring it it in line with the Rule-of-Thirds.

You might find it impossible to follow all these rules as they start to clash when your photo has more than one problem. You would need to compromise or send it to us at PhotoHand and we’ll apply more advanced techniques to perfect your mementos.

………………………………………………………………………………………………
You might also want to read:
Cropping Photos to Match Printing Standards
Other Point-and-Click Tips

June 14, 2010

Comp Cards – How To and What Works

As PhotoHand gets more and more orders for comp card design we also receive more requests to help in picking the photos for our model clients. We hope this post will be useful in this task.

General
A model comp card has a front side with a full size portrait and a back side with a selection of representative shots from the portfolio — and the model’s basic stats (see below) and contact information — printed on both sides of an 8.5″ x 5.5″ piece of card stock (12 pt stock) (US) or 15×21 cm (Europe, Asia).

Think of your comp card as your marketing tool. This will determine how you want to pose for it and which photos to choose. The casting manager will hardly look for Miss Congeniality with a big teethy smile. Neither is important how pretty you are. What is important is HOW GOOD YOU ARE AT MODELING.

Number of Photos
You need one good headshot for the front side and 4-5 photos for the back of the comp card.

Photo Size
Photo should be at least one Megabyte (=one Megapixel) in size for quality printing, especially the headshot for the front of the comp card.

Posing
Before the photoshoot, pick a dozen of poses you think you can imitate from fashion magazines and practice them in front of a mirror until they feel natural. Strike poses that show elegance and power.

Facial Expression
Some very good photos of you are only good for the family photo book. Nice smiley pictures won’t get you very far. You will not get booked because you are a nice person. Look at the glossies, the models there are all pouting or spot a faint smile. No big teeth smiles.

Make sure your face is not tense. During the photoshoot, close your eyes, think of something and then open your eyes. This usually does the trick.

Front Photo
For the front of the comp card, select your best ¾ portrait shot.

Back Photos
You’ll need 4-5 photos for the back of the comp card. Make sure that at least one photo shows you in full height.

Versatility
The photos at the back should show the different sides of you: glamorous, bohemian, sporty, sexy, grungy, country, business… whatever style you can master. This was you will present your true potential to get you bookings.

Model Stats

For Men For Women
Height Height
Shirt Bust
Waist Waist
Shoes Hips
Hair Color Shoes
Eye Color Hair Color
Eye Color

Comp Card Design
Your comp card needs to have a pleasing, not to mention professional, look to attract the attention of the casting manager. This is like packaging for a product. Even if you are not so happy with the results of your photoshoot, your photos will shine when cropped for the maximum effect, or tilted, and nicely arranged in an elegant format.

Take it from the professionals. This comp card that we retouched and designed some time ago, was used in a television program in Canada as a sample of how to design comp cards that get you jobs.

We hope you find these tips helpful. Good luck!

Related Posts: Modelocity Magazine Gives PhotoHand Thumbs Up

Bookmark and Share

SHARE on Facebook >>

October 26, 2009

Consumer Guide to Photo Book Printing & Binding

Not all photo books are created equal. When consumers come to PhotoHand to order a wedding or family book, our first question is what kind of printing and binding they prefer. So, how to choose what photo book you want?

Based on the type of paper and binding used in the production, photo books can be of three kinds: Flush Mount Albums, Coffee Table Books, and Lay-Flat Photo Books.

How to choose printing and binding for photo books

Options available for all the types:
custom photo book design or templated design
– custom photo cover or fabric/leather/vinyl cover with a monogram or without
– UV coating

Flush Mount Album
Flush mount albums have thick, unbending pages with printed photos dry-mounted on cardboard. The covers are mostly made of leather, leatherette fabric, or vinyl.
ADVANTAGES: The book opens flat allowing to see the seamless continues design through the page spread.
DISADVANTAGES: The pages are thick as cardboard which makes the book too heavy and difficult to flip through. Also, the most expensive kind of the three.

Coffee Table Book
If printed at a good printing company, the book looks like an art book sold at Barnes and Noble. Coffee Table Books have been successfully replacing Flush Mount Albums in the wedding album, family, maternity and baby book market. The photo paper pages can be reinforced with UV coating that will make them as thick as business cards.
ADVANTAGES: The book definitely looks more contemporary and elegant. Price-wise, the most affordable of the three options.
DISADVANTAGES: Frequent handling can eventually weaken the binding or cause paper cracking leading to tear at the binding.

WARNING! If you opt for a coffee table book, you might decide to use one the online services that lets you drop photos into templates and send the book into print at a click of a button. This is a cheap solution that probably serves some purposes depending on your expectations. We wouldn’t recommend this for a family memories book. The samples that we received from cheap printers invariably had some defects: front and back covers differed in size, the paper was yellowish (probably recycled) which made the photos look dull, and the stitching was sticking out luck a sore thumb when you opened the book. Top-quality printers only work with photographers and designers and avoid taking orders directly from consumers because there are a lot of technicalities involves.

Lay-Flat Photo Book
A relatively new “hinged paper” technology introduced in January 2008. An integrated flexible hinge, allows the book to open flat like a Flush Mount Album though the book still has flexible photo paper pages making the book manageable. The photo paper pages can be reinforced with UV coating that will make them as thick as business cards.
ADVANTAGES: The most durable binding make the book resistant frequent handling. Through slightly more expensive than an average professionally made coffee table book, a lay flat book is still very affordable.
DISADVANTAGES: Compared to Flush Mount Albums, the design spread has a visible separation line at the binding, though with skillful design that keeps this fact in mind, the separation between the pages will not ruin the visual perception of the collage.

As you can see there pluses and minuses in each option, but Whatever type of printing and binding you pick for your photo book, PhotoHand will create page designs to match the requirements of of your chosen technology.

Bookmark and Share

SHARE on Facebook >>

November 29, 2008

Holiday Special From PhotoHand

PhotoHand Professional Photo Retouching and Photo Design

Bookmark and Share

November 18, 2008

Capturing The Holiday Spirit

By Heather Joy Roth

The holidays that bring traditional family get-together are quickly approaching, offering us photographers – professional and otherwise – the opportunity to capture life-long memories of the colorful scenery and loved ones. Here are some tips that can help you take eye-catching portraits of the holiday season.

© PhotoHand | greeting cards custom designed from family photos

© PhotoHand | greeting cards custom designed from family holiday photos

Take A Family Portrait

It is rare in this busy world for families to make the time to get together. Take advantage of this opportunity by taking a family portrait. It will be a cherished keepsake for everyone.

Capture Children’s Artwork On Camera

With school back in full swing, now is the time to take pictures of your children’s art projects. It is unlikely that you will be able to collect all their artwork for your child to see when they get older, so taking a snapshot — or better yet, having your child photograph their own artwork is not only a great way to remember childhood, but a creative way to get your budding photographer to enjoy the new hobby.

Capture Memories From A Different Point Of View

When photographing symbols of the holidays or loved ones, look for new, interesting ways of capturing them. You can photograph a carved pumpkin off-center or move in for an up close shot, leaving out distracting extras. Get level with the subject you are shooting.

Holidays mean children, and children are at a height level lower than what we usually photograph at. Get down on their level. This will give you the best picture angles you can achieve.

Spontaneous Photography

When it comes to the holidays, the time I most enjoy taking photos is when a family member or friend opens their gift. My motto is to shoot the portrait first, and ask questions later. Don’t waste time lining up a perfect shot, snap the photo and capture their face when they open their presents. Parents easily make the mistake of distracting their children by yelling at them to look at the camera.

This is a huge mistake, as children will either shy away from being photographed or pose wildly at the camera. If the children are not looking directly at the camera, not only will you not blind them with your flash, but you will be able to capture spontaneous moments rather than stiff poses.

These moments only lasts a split-second so if you can manage to shoot the subject in that moment of surprise, you’ll have a memory to last forever. Try getting restless children involved by having them take pictures of each other. This works especially well with digital cameras. You will be surprised at what they come up with. Kids literally have a different perspective on the world and their images may surprise you.

Broaden What Type Of Holiday Picture You Take

Try capturing not only “classic” symbols of the holidays, but abstract points of interest. For example, you could photograph a tree covered in snow and this can convey the feeling of the season even more than a photograph of the Christmas tree itself. Look for pumpkin patches, snowmen, even leaves on the sidewalk for inspiring, innovative photo opportunities.

Create Your Own Holiday Greeting Card

© PhotoHand |custom designed greeting cards

© PhotoHand |custom designed greeting cards

Greeting cards that you buy in the store are cheerful, but nothing says “Happy Holidays” more than a personalized greeting card you snapped yourself. Get creative, whether you take a portrait of yourself, your pets, family or even a landscape shot. I prefer receiving these cards versus commercial greeting cards. It shows that thought and consideration went into the card and always brings a smile to my face. These are the cards I keep.

Take A Lot Of Photos

Any professional photographer will tell you that to get a few amazing shots, they had to snap hundreds of photos. Do not be stingy with what you shoot. Try taking pictures of anything that catches your eye. A simple, spontaneous close-up snapshot of some Christmas lights can be more eye-catching than a well planned shot of the whole tree lit up.

Remember, the holidays are a time for family, friends and memories.

Capture the holiday spirit by taking spontaneous shots, not by ordering your subject to pose this way or that way. These photographs allow the happiness of the season to radiate throughout your photography.

Bookmark and Share

September 19, 2008

Undeniably Indefinable

By Heather Joy Roth

Spontaneous moments and candid photography is a growing trend among couples getting married. Look through some recent wedding albums and you might see pictures of brides, half-dressed, getting dolled up for the big day or the littered reception floor. The trend in television and print media is reality. You see celebrities exposing much more of their everyday lives than ever before, letting us peek into their homes and special occasions. Brides try emulating casual images of celebrity couples on their big day, and fashionable magazines such as In Style. The posed, “say cheese” portraits your mother had are being replaced by warm, artsy shots.

Documentary Wedding Photography is a take-off on Photo Journalistic style. Photographers capture candid moments, such as the mans face when he sees his blushing bride walk down the aisle. Formal photography for the new generation of brides just won’t do. This allows the photographer to express his or her own sensibilities and expression through his work, greater artistic freedom. Not unlike traditional wedding photography, the cost of the documentary approach varies, with prices from $5,000 to over $15,000 for a celeb-favorite photographer.

Many photographers are opting to meet the couple beforehand and get a “feel” for their personalities. This visit can be extremely useful, guiding the photographer on how to take shots the couple would like to see. All the things learned about the couple will guide the photographer in creating a storyline to go with his or her photos.

Although this is the current trend in wedding photography, traditional photos are not “out of the picture” yet. The couple almost always wants a photo that can sit for years on a counter-top or mantle. But, this portrait does not have to be awkward or contrived. Also, many couples opt to have both a journalistic style and more traditional style of photography for their special memories. This may be the best idea yet, because you get the best of both worlds. Couples have often had only candid, photo journalistic photos taken and realize there are no pictures of their parents or siblings, which can be upsetting.

Many photographers are capturing moments of frustration, such as a bride fighting to zip up her wedding gown. These humorous shots lighten the serious tone of the day and always brings a smile to the couples face, once the tension-filled and sometimes severe mood of the day passes. Emotions are at an all-time high during a bride’s big day, so it is essential for the photographer to know when and how to shoot a photo.

You may want candid shots of the bride and groom preparing for the ceremony, but the bride may not want to be photographed without make-up. If you know how to gracefully shoot one of the most important days in the couple’s lives, capturing beautiful, genuine photos can be easy. Many awkward moments can happen during a wedding, especially at the reception, where intoxicated women in strapless gowns can reveal more than they would like too. Tactfully choosing to not photograph these indecent moments is the best route a photographer can make. These are moments that the couple would like to forget, not remember.

Many brides will walk around in their undergarments without shame, but may not want this image displayed in their album for everyone to see. It really depends on the comfort level among the couple. A temper tantrum the bride has over a mishap during the day should also not be photographed. The bride most likely has been dreaming of this moment since childhood, and her expectations are usually set high. Therefore, a mere mishap could set her off into distress. A respectful, professional photographer will sense when shot could be interpreted as humorous versus embarrassing. A special moment is something that has a feeling to it. Real, visual proof that the bride and groom are to live happily ever after, and these shots are sought after by not only the couple, but the photographer as well. A moment like this is not posed or unnatural. It is the couple glancing into each others eyes after saying “I Do”, it is the first dance as Mr.  & Mrs. and it is undeniably indefinable.

Bookmark and Share