Adoramapix

Jan 2014 14
There are some great photographers out there that I admire who have the tenacity to stick with their project 365 throughout the year. Project 365 allows you to take a photo a day throughout the year chroniciling your life and your vision. It’s not an easy task but I asked some folks on their tips to help us stick with this rewarding project.
1. Discipline
I notice photographer TJ Powell’s 365 project on Twitter and I asked him about his biggest hurdle. He said, “My biggest obstacle was remembering to take the photo.  I tried to do this in 2010 but failed because I could never remember to take the photos.  So, this time I went with using my iPhone only, and I set up a reminder to take a photo at 6 PM so that I would not forget.  I tried to get the photos posted onto Facebook every day but there were many days that I had to post them in a group but I was able to get the photo on each day.”
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If you need more direction or help check out the free app Project 365.  The app arranges your photos in a meaningful way, sends daily reminders and allows you to share photos with friends and family. It’s designed to help you easily keep on track for the year.
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2. Details and Light

When TJ got into a rhythm of taking a photo a day, he noticed that he became more aware of the world around him. He said, “The 365 project challenged me pay closer attention to the world around me and pay attention to the light and subject to photograph. Over the year, I began to look at light and events during the day to be photo op.  I am now looking for things to take photos of all the time.  I think it will make me a better photographer to continue this project for 2014.”

3. Make it Easy
Don’t give yourself an excuse to skip a day. Bring your camera with you everyday and everywhere. It’s understandable you probably don’t want to drag your professional DSLR around with you, thanks to the inventions of smartphones with decent cameras, you now have the opportunity to have a camera with you. TJ said, “All of my photos were taken with the iPhone, none on this project were taken with my “regular” cameras.   I found it to be much easier to do it this way as it is always with me and I was able to process and get the photos ready all in the palm of my hand and not have to get to the computer.  “
4. Experiment
Although there needs to be some rhythm and discipline to Project 365, it’s also a channel to let you allow you to break out of your comfort zone. You’ll find throughout your year, you’ll crave creativity more and will challenge yourself. Otherwise your project becomes a job and you’ll get bored with it easily and will abandon it.
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(stock photography)
5. Save It Organize it Print It
Keeping a handle on 365 images can be daunting, but thanks to the popularity of the project there are now apps to help you efficiently save and organize your images. TJ said he relied on CollectPhotoApp. The basic version is free on Itunes you can also upgrade to the pro for $1.99. Another great one is called Photo 365 available on Itunes for $1.99.
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Finally, don’t forget to print it! you can print out these square calendars through Adoramapix. You can print them out individually or make a great keepsake photo book. You can also do a combination maybe have a calendar on page and a few of your favorites on the next.  Let your creativity flow while archiving it for future generations.
photobook

 

Jan 2014 16

Each week we like to focus on one small area of our PixPublisher Online Software. The tips are designed to enhance your photo books and unleash your creativity.

Today we want to show you how to change the color of your background to suit your lay out in your photo book. This short one minute YouTube gives you the step by step process to changing up the background color.

 

 

Jan 2014 28

She lives in one of the most scenic areas in the world and photographs weddings in adverse weather conditions – most notably, the snow. Anastasia Chomlack is from Whistler, British Columbia and she believes whole heartedly in capturing weddings and love with the natural environment that is Whistler. This includes beautiful green pine trees in the summer and breathtaking, snow capped mountains in the winter. Anastasia gives us a few tips on photographing in the snow and cold.

1. STAY WARM.

This goes for the photographer and the client.

I used to apologize to the bride when I was dressed in boots, and layered in jackets and sweaters and she was in a dress… but honestly the warmer I am- the more patient I can be, the more time and care I can take to get the right photo. When photographing a wedding outside my best friends are my fingerless gloves and I have stopped apologizing for that!

Even though the dress may be strapless or lightweight I always encourage my brides who want snow photos to bring warm accessories that make sense in the snow; warm yet cute boots- a shawl, wrap or small jacket- even mittens… I want to take photos that are authentic and real- not just set up and styled. A bride freezing and underdressed in the snow just does not make sense:)

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2. Know your snow, and communicate it to your couple.

Small flakes will fall for longer and often that means its colder… large flakes will soon turn to rain and will not last for long. Communicate all of this to your client. The bride in this photo wanted to have the large snowflakes- they started to fall literally minutes before the ceremony- I immediately went to the couple and told them this was the window for large snowflakes and also told them that if we took the photos now they would be wet for the ceremony- They went for it- we spent five minutes outside, the guests loved the opportunity to watch the couple run outside in the snow and these photos were the brides favorites even if her hair was wet for the vows.

I make sure to share all of the different weather possibilities with my couples- and never promise a clean or dry dress after photos. There are so many unknowns when photographing in the winter- it is best to be prepared for anything!

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3. EXPOSURE.

The white dress on the white background can be tricky with the light reflecting off the snow creating highly reflective surfaces. When photographing in the snow I am watching my histogram more then the image itself- knowing that to to get white snow your graph should be roughly in the middle, and to the right.

Especially in the snow you need to remember that you are smarter than your camera- your camera will want to expose to the bright snow and end up creating underexposed photos.

Another tip is to be aware of the time of day- I do everything I can to not shoot in harsh sunlight during these sessions- always location scouting to make sure I can find open shade.

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4. PROTECTING YOUR EQUIPMENT.

Moving inside and outside for ceremony, reception and outdoor photos can create condensation and fogging which could limit your readiness to capture an important moment. Knowing my schedule is important- and I try to keep a second camera for indoors ready to go- so that my outdoor camera can warm up gradually to avoid condensation.

Another trick is to invest in some silica bags to put in your camera bag to quicken the drying up.

The cold will also make your batteries drain more quickly so pack extra batteries on cold days!

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5. Go with it.5. 

If it is super windy, super snowy, super cold… I like to use that in the images and not try to work against it. Snow photos are for the adventurous bride- and if that means a little snow in the face, wind in the hair…. arms wrapped around each other to keep things warm- then all the better! I am not afraid of flushed cheeks or red noses- it is all an authentic part of being photographed outside and I think it all adds so much to the image- it tells a story!
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Thanks to Anastasia for her amazing imagery and helpful tips. If you would like to see more of Anastasia’s work you can visit her webpage HERE. You can also follow her on Pinterest Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.   
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Jan 2014 30

Well, it’s official 2013 is no more, hello to 2014.  What better way to remember 2013 than to make a family year photo book? Sound daunting going through all of those images? It doesn’t have to be at all when you have a plan. We asked Adoramapix member Jennie Canzoneri on how to make the Family Yearbook.

The Perfect Family Yearbook

When you hear “yearbook,” you likely think of the book you passed around to all your high school friends, watching it get filled with promises to “stay in touch” and “be friends forever.”

Thanks to AdoramaPix (and all those ridiculous high school memories), I’m reclaiming the word “yearbook” to mean a photo book filled with memories from any given year. Something to proudly display now instead of something to gather dust in my attic forever.

 

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A few years ago, I set out to make a photo book to remember the previous year, and I wanted to pick the perfect photo website. I wanted ease of use but, more importantly, I wanted a quality book I could look at with fondness for years to come. A book I could pass along to my son one day, too, since we started this family yearbook tradition when he was barely two years old. These would become the books of his life.

I found AdoramaPix through a Pinterest search, and I spent the next few days (okay, maybe weeks, I’m a bit of a perfectionist!) putting my first book together. Now that I have three of these books under my belt, I have some tips to help you put together a yearbook you’ll love, as well.

  • Organize your photos as you upload them to your computer! Thankfully, iPhoto does this for me, but I take it a step further and flag (and try to edit in real time) every photo that I think may end up in the yearbook, so that when it’s time to upload to AdoramaPix, I’m uploading from one folder and not a dozen different places.

  • I make a list of the events I want to highlight. I usually include birthdays, vacations, holidays, and special occasions, but I also try to fill in a few extra “general” pages: a page dedicated to the friends that made our year special, my son’s first few soccer seasons, etc. Writing this list before I start my yearbook helps ensure I don’t forget any important events and that my book’s in the order I want it.

  • This is probably the most important one, but pick up your camera throughout the year! Because of these yearbooks, I leave the house with my camera more often. Not just my phone’s camera, which we’re all a little too dependent on these days, am I right? But my other, fancier cameras too. Camera photos work just fine in the AdraoamaPix books, I should say, but I like to add more “professional” photos, as well.

Once you have all your photos uploaded to AdromaPix, and you begin laying out your yearbook, I suggest you make it as unique as possible. Change the spreads around, add fun graphics, adjust photo sizes, and make the fonts what you want them to be. The default yearbook is awesome, and if you’re stretched thin, it’ll make a fabulous book. But when I get my book in my hands, it feels that much more special because of how unique I’ve made it.

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I’ve introduced a ton of family traditions over the years (breakfast for dinner on Christmas Eve, a huge brunch on Easter morning, lighting Chinese lanterns on birthdays) but our family yearbook through AdroamaPix is easily one of my favorites.

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Thanks to member Jennie Canzoneri for her help on how to create the family yearbook.

Feb 2014 04

Valentine’s Day is one of my all time favorite events to photograph little ones. I love to include the  hearts, the kisses and the hugs. But let’s face it, not a lot of people will book a full session just around Valentine’s Day. So you might want to consider doing mini-sessions, but before you do there are a few things you need to get lined up before pressing the shutter. Here are 5 tips :

1. Do Your Math

vDAYMini-Sessions are all about the numbers  from the pricing to the session timing.. You want to do a lot of mini sessions but at what price point do you make a profit ? Each market is different, do your research and start with a price point for the session that includes your time and a takeaway for your client. I like to include a 5×7 print, something tangible from the session. My hope is they will buy  more but just in case they don’t, I know I still had a session at my price point. Because these are mini-sessions, I usually collect my session fee prior to the session.

Next on math, figure out how long your mini- sessions will last. Stick to this number for each client and make sure they are aware of the session time and schedule. I’ll get everyone involved and have the kids sometimes push my stop watch to start the session time. Not each mini-session will go well under a tight schedule. You’ll also need to figure out scenarios before your mini sessions. If a child does not co-operate, what will you do? Offer a reshoot? Bank it for Later? Are they out of the session fee? These are all things to consider before conducting your sessions.

 2. Marketing

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Since these are mini-sessions you’ll want to market them in a way that let’s the clients know this is special and fun and LIMITED. This way you are setting the tone, that you are only taking a certain number of sessions and that this is maybe a once a year type of offer. If you offer mini-sessions constantly, they start to lose their appeal and are no longer special.

3. Do Your Homework

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Education is key to mini sessions from yourself to your clients, everyone should know what to expect. I like to email helpful information to the clients before the session. It includes a map to the location, their time slot, and  some links to clothing ideas and of course my cell phone number. On the day of the sessions, I print out a sheet of paper with family names, names of children and ages.

 

4. Make it Easy

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Don’t try to do it all, having a helper on the day of the mini-sessions can make the difference between a great day and a bad day. I did mini sessions before on my own, but towards the end of the day found myself more worn out and scattered after running back and forth from client to camera. With your assistant, give them all of the information and have them help set the family /child up for the poses. They can help primp and pose your subjects and of course they are the spotter in case you miss something you didn’t see as well as the child wrangler. They can also greet the family when they come and then help them pick up and leave after the session.

Make sure they understand this is not like your regular sessions, that they will not be able to change clothes or take time for snacks or feedings. I typically, will persuade parents of newborns to schedule a full session. It is nearly impossible to do a newborn for a mini-session and you don’t want to set their expectations to a standard that you just can’t keep.

Pick a great location. I have done both outside and studio sessions. Studio is obviously more controlled but I enjoyed being outside just for some different looks. If you choose an outdoor location, include a map and make sure it’s easy to get to. Just because you found an amazing spot in the middle of the woods, doesn’t mean it’s right for mini-sessions if no one can find it.

5. Post Session

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The back-end of the session is just as important as the first. You’ll want to streamline this as much as possible. Since it was a mini session, the number of images your clients should receive should be about 1/3 of what you normally offer. Make it as easy as possible as far as viewing and ordering. Give them expectations on the back-end as well, let them know they only have 2 weeks to order images after their gallery is released to them. Again, we are going back to the tip number one, it’s important to know your numbers when running mini-sessions.

I hope some of these tips well help you along your way in conducting successful mini-sessions.

[Blog Post and Photography by Libby for Adoramapix]

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