Adoramapix

Apr 2013 11

One of the promises that I made after I had my daughter (among the many) was that I would no longer let my personal photos collect proverbial dust in the vortex that is my archiving system. Vacation photos, holiday photos, family photos…if they weren’t for clients or as part of a photography project, once I started shooting digital I would rarely make prints. Everything changes when you have kids and for me that included not just how I make memories but what I do with them once I’ve recorded them. To this day my family goes through old albums and I love when my dad posts old photos on Facebook…especially when I’ve never seen them before. Making prints of memories is important!

So I solved the problem of my personal photos taken with my dslr because I started to make books and prints for gallery walls but what about my iPhone? I have over 11,000 pictures on it! (#issues #hoarder) I’ve made prints of those before too but I wanted to make a special photo book just for Lucia.

While most kids play games and watch shows on the iPad my girl likes to go through the camera roll and scroll through old photos – “remember this day, mommy?” is one of her many catch phrases. So I teamed up with my friends at Adorama to make an 8×8 photo book of some of our favorite family memories as recorded by my iPhone and processed on Instagram.

 

The book

 

The hardest part for me was selecting the pictures (no surprise).  The book itself was so simple to make because the program online is very straightforward and you have full control over the style and design.  There are many different templates to choose from for every size book available and in fact for someone like me who is terribly indecisive there are almost too many templates.  I narrowed it down to five and then just went with my favorite.  After selecting your images and loading them up to the website (a process that is very fast depending on your internet connectivity) you just drag and drop them into the space in your blank book and save as you go.  Ta-da!  I even cheated a bit and was able to drag a few photos into blank spaces that weren’t meant for images and I was able to play with the size a bit to make photos larger than the space allowed them to be.  You can select photos from a number of different sources including Picasa, Flickr, your Adoramapix account and your computer.

 

I’ve been working with Adorama for personal and professional projects for years so it was no surprise to me that the quality of the book is top notch.  The pages are printed on real photographic silver-halide paper with a lustre finish so the colors are bright and saturated with great flesh tones.  For photography junkies like me this is a huge deal.  They use real archival quality photo paper so it’s fade-resistant and you even have several paper choices.  I also really like how thick and sturdy the pages are.  Another really important feature for me when I made this book was that the HD glossy paper is fingerprint resistant!  Hello?  Amazing!  I usually prefer matte paper for my prints but I was making this book specifically for my toddler to thumb through, carry with her, and put her hands all over it so this feature was a major draw for me. 

 

Here’s what I did: so simple…


1.  Visited Adoramapix.com and chose the perfect book size

Once I decided that I wanted to use my Instagram photos (since she loves them so much) I realized that the 8×8 format was perfect for the square-cropped pictures.   Since I’m terrible at editing to make a concise collection I went with a 26-page book.  Not too many, not too few.  I felt like it was the perfect number of images to keep my toddler’s attention and just enough to capture the feeling of the general “theme” I decided to go with.


2.  Chose my images

With so many pictures to choose from I had a very difficult task ahead of me so I just went with favorite images of the last year or so that were strictly of our family. A NYC-themed book of Instagrams is up next but I wanted to make this one for her first.

The front cover gave me the option of choosing four photos.  I opted to leave the title off the front and put it only on the spine.  You can choose from several different fonts and sizes.

The back cover.  I loved that I was able to have one large photo on the back to balance out the four photos I chose for the front.

 

Thank you to Monica Shulman who inspires photographers and artists through her blog  called Ciao, Chessa! .  It is a photography and lifestyle blog dedicated to people who appreciate the little details that make life amazing. Since its birth in 2008, her blog  has evolved into a place where she talks about artphotographytravelmotherhood,  living in New York, and the people and things that inspire her.

Apr 2013 16

It`s spring and changes are happening. We have some exciting new updates that you will find helpful.

1: We have now added Genuine Leather to our line up of beautiful lay-flat photo books. Our premium line of photo books offers rugged durability with a striking presentation. It comes in square, portrait and landscape shapes and four different colors, onyx black, quarry gray, ruby red and saddle brown.

 

2 :  Custom title functionality for Leather Lux & Genuine Leather photo books.  Members can now select  from default titles or enter your own title for the book. There will be 2 lines, each one contains not more than 18 characters.

 

3:  We’ve added no foil embossing for Leather Lux and Genuine Leather cover photo books. So members  will be able to choose stamping with gold, silver foil, or without foil (debossed).

 

4:Fixed import. Now our import will  work faster and be more stable for large number of photos from our different import sources.

5.Fixed fit/fill functionality for rotated images. After applying fit/fill rotated by 90 degrees, the photo element will keep its rotation.

 

6.   Fixed inner move in pan mode for rotated images.

 

We hope these updates and fixes will help you on your way to making beautiful photo books.

 

 

May 2013 06

Tips for Making Better Photo Books

#1 – Customizing Colors with PixPublisher

PixPublisher’s color fill feature is incredibly powerful and versatile. It allows you to change the color of any decoration or frame to any color you choose. This can come in handy for virtually any photo book in which you want to match a specific color palette.

When you select any decoration or frame by clicking on it, you’ll see an option called color fill appear on the toolbar above the workspace. Just click the color fill option and pick a new color from the color selection panel that appears. The panel gives you three options for choosing a color. You can:

1.       Choose your color from the palette provided

2.       Enter a color code manually

3.       Use the dropper tool to choose any color on the screen.

Whatever color you choose will be applied immediately to the selected decoration or frame. If you’re looking for ideas for a color scheme for your photo book, check out the kuler website by cilcking HERE. 

 

Jun 2013 12

Newborn photography takes a lot of patience. This is no surprise to the photographers who specialize in newborn photography. Sessions can last anywhere from a half an hour up to four hours. This is one photography specialty where the client is in complete control. For those of you just starting in this category, there are a few things to keep in mind when capturing those tiny clients. Here is our 5 tips on photographing newborns

1. Warmth

Newborns are not able to regulate their body temperature. Keeping babies warm helps them stay healthy and comfortable. So with this in mind, you’ll be able to have a successful baby photo shoot. Typically, start with them all bundled up. You might also want to think about warming up your studio or bringing in a space heater to warm up the area. When doing photos of the baby without clothes, start by undressing them and laying them with their diaper on (but unhinged) and resting skin on skin on their mom or dad with a blanket over them. This way when you transfer them from their parent to the set up, you are also transferring that heat with the blanket over them. Let the baby get settled in before taking off  the diaper or transferred blanket.

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2. Know their Happy Times

Babies have happy times. Typically it’s usually right after they feed or they wake up. Identifying these times will typically lead to a better photo shoot. Newborns  rarely have control over their muscles including smiles, so if you or the parent are waiting for the baby to smile, know that it’s rare to get these and in fact a lot of those smiles come in their sleep. The main objective is to make the baby comfortable.

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3. Get a Close Up

Those eyelashes, those cheeks  and those tiny fingers and toes are so important  at this stage. Change your lens out from a portrait to a macro. Focus on all those little details, which will never be this small again. I personally, like the photos that show the scale of their tininess.  These detail shots also make for a great addition when you are putting together a photo book for your client. Fill those pages with portraits and details and you’ll have an ecstatic client.

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 4. Lights, Sound and Action

Babies are very sensitive to noises and light. So with this in mind, you’ll want to be prepared.  Try diffused light when photographing babies. In other words, try window light. If you must use strobe, then I would find the biggest softbox you can find to diffuse the light as much as possible. The main thing is to not keep flashing a strobe in a baby’s face. Choose your shots carefully. As far as noise, they love constant soothing noise. There are free apps out there that can  provide you with white noise.  Remember, it was very noisy in the womb for babies and they tend to like muffled white noise to comfort them.

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5. Get the Siblings and Parents Involved

This is such a special time for the whole family. Now is the time to get them involved. Have a sibling kiss the baby’s forehead. Have the parents kiss the toes or fingers. It’s fun to see how proportional the baby is to the rest of the family. Remember, from this day on, this is the tiniest the baby will ever be again.

There is one other tip that was not included but it’s probably the most important, patience. Newborn photographers have the patience to wait for the baby. Babies have a way of not doing what you want them to do, so relax and be patient. This is the baby’s shoot and he or she is running it. You just need to know what the baby needs and  make sure they are comforted at all times. This will ensure a happy baby, happy parents and a happy photographer.

 

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Special thank you to Milwaukee newborn photographer,  Christine Plamann  of Christine Plamann Photography for supplying us with the adorable photos. You can check out more of her work on her website or blog.

 

 

 

Jul 2013 22

Summer is upon us and that means it is a great time to capture lasting memories.  Whether you are traveling far for your summer vacation or planning a ‘staycation’ with activities near home there are lots of ways to capture the moment.  You don’t need to have an expensive DSLR camera to take great vacation photos.  Nowadays your smart phone or point-and-shoot camera can take stunning high-resolution photos.

Far too often we take multiple photos but never print them.  This year make it a point to learn how to take great vacation photos.  All it takes is a little bit of planning with a purpose to consciously frame the image before you shoot.  Before you know it you will have many wonderful moments captured in photos to create your own coffee table vacation album.

  • Minimum camera requirements: While you don’t need an expensive camera, be sure you have the following minimum features:
  1. The ability to focus and snap pictures quickly for that split-second amazing image.  Many point-and-shoot cameras have a sport setting, which enables you to capture split second shots.
  2. A minimum camera resolution of 1024×768.
  3. Battery life that can last for hundreds of photos or at least 8-10 hours.
  4. Ways to charge the camera or carry a battery back up when you’re out all day.
  5. Extra memory cards or a way to download your images daily to leave room for the next day’s photos.
  • Set your camera to a high resolution: If you are using your smartphone or point-and-shoot, be sure it is set to the highest resolution.  That way the images will look clear and sharp for prints larger than 8×10 inches.  For DSLR users, medium to high-resolution is usually enough for a nice size, 12×12 or greater album.

Tell a story: When you start your day plan it as if you are telling a story.   From the moment you wake up and get your first cup of coffee at the corner café to the moment your head hits the pillow, take shots of the sights around you to remember those fleeting memories.

Morning cup of coffee

Morning cup of coffee

Don’t forget the details:  You may not think details matter but when you recall your vacation it is often the little details that trigger the best memories.  What you ate, what the people around you wore, street signs, food, menus, maps, store signs, hotel room numbers, the view from your hotel, all of these seemingly small details complete your vacation story.

Signs of Summer

Zoom in:  One of the most common mistakes people make when taking photos is having too much background and not enough focus on the people.  Experiment and try zooming in more than you have in the past to see their facial expression or capture what the person is doing with their hands.  If you stumble upon someone making a craft, wrapping up a purchase, or handing you your coffee, snap that photo and capture a memory.

Happy summer faces

Landscapes:  In order to capture the beauty and spirit of your location, this is when you take landscape photos.  Of course, people can be in the image but this is when the focus is on the place. When you try to capture the people and the landscape at the same time you may miss getting a good photo of either.  For great landscape images be sure to set your aperture between f/8 to f/16.  For your smartphone or point-and-shoot choose the landscape setting for the best clarity to capture the horizon, mountains, and foreground.

Sydney Harbour

Turn the flash off:  People are often surprised that turning their flash off results in better images than when it is on.  This isn’t always the case but these days so many smartphones and point-and-shoot cameras have such high ISOs that even in a dimly lit area the photos capture the mood and lighting better than when a flash is used.  Take some test shots with and without the flash.   Then determine which photo you prefer.  And remember, when taking photos at sunset it is best to turn off the flash.

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Iconic shots with a twist:  When traveling to places where there are famous landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Sydney Opera House or the Golden Gate Bridge try taking it from another perspective.  Using the Golden Gate Bridge as an example a hummingbird came into view which became the focus of the photo and the bridge was blurred. When viewed from a different perspective you capture details that show you were standing right next to a landmark and not from a guided bus tour.

Focus on the hummingbird with the Golden Gate Bridge

Get In the Picture: Too often we forget to get in the photo ourselves.  Be sure to get in a few photos even if it means using the self-timer or holding your camera at arms length.   When you include even a tiny piece of the location you will be able to prove you were there.

Guitar man

Use a photo editor: Even the best photographers use editing tools.  There are several free tools that help brighten, straighten, crop and adjust the colors in your photos.  Popular apps such as Instagram also include a variety of filters that create different moods to your photos.  Don’t be afraid to check them out.  What might have been an otherwise ordinary image can be altered with a photo-editing tool.  Free editing tools including Aviary, Picasa, and Microsoft Photo Gallery.

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With just a little bit of practice you will be taking stunning photos that capture once-in-a-lifetime memories.

Be sure to check out Adoramapix and create a wonderful keepsake photo book of your summer vacation.  The pages are printed on beautiful photographic silver-halide paper with a lustre finish.  All Adorampix photo books use real archival quality photo paper for vivid fade-resistant colors and brilliant whites.

tinaambassador

Tina Case  an Adoramapix Ambassador and is a writer and photographer out of the San Francisco Bay area.  She writes co-writes for the photography blog Moms Who Click where she shares photographer tips, tricks and interviews.  Tina shares her parenting stories and more on Yahoo! where she is a featured “Parenting Guru.” Check more of her photos at Tina Case Photography, on Facebook and Instagram

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