8 Important Firework Photography Tips

firework photography tipsThe stage is set for the Fourth of July! You have the perfect spot picked out to view an amazing firework show, but is your camera ready? If you are looking to capture a firework show, we have some great firework photography tips that will help!

#1. Show Up Early to Reserve Your Spot

This might be a bit of a pain, but showing up early can be crucial in claiming the perfect spot. Otherwise, you might be competing with a crowd come showtime. Try to reserve a higher spot where you won’t have to worry about a crowd standing or moving around in front of you. Be sure to consider what’s in the backdrop. Are you trying for an impressive background like a cityscape or bridge? Or just a comfortable spot where you are far enough back to capture the show yet close enough to not have obstacles in the way? I like to be about 100 meters or so away so I can capture the ground level displays as well.

#2 Choose Your Lens

I like 35 mm lens f/1.8 for great sharpness and low light capabilities, but still wide enough to capture several fireworks.

#3. Set Up a Tripod 

For the best stabilization of capturing the show, you’ll want to set up a sturdy tripod. Simply holding the camera during the show will get tedious and cause blurred images in low light conditions. Using a tripod will also give you the freedom to enjoy the show through your own view instead of the camera lens! Frame the shot and use the remote shutter to just click as the show goes on. Usually just above the crowd works best.

#4. Use a Cable Release, Wireless Remote, or 2 Second Delay Option

This is a must if you want to get the absolute best shots of a firework show. When exposure times are lengthy, pressing the shutter button can cause vibrations that will affect image sharpness. If you are using a remote, make sure it triggers the shutter without causing the camera to shake. I tend to do 2-5 second exposures. It allows you to capture the full size of a single firework and multiple fireworks for a more comprehensive shot.

#5. Shoot the Highest Quality File Possible

When we say highest quality, we are talking about the NEF (Nikon Electric Format) for Niko or a RAW file! If this is not possible, no worries. Just use the highest .jpeg you can for the best possible resolution.

#6. Adjust Your ISO and Aperture

A good starting point for your ISO is at 200 and aperture at f/11. Since firework shows are pretty long, you can check back from time to time on how the exposure is turning out. Be sure to check for sharpness and detail. If your shots are coming out overexposed, close the aperture a bit. If under, open it up a bit.

#7. Use Manual Focus

With such a delicate process that you will need to make adjustments as you go, it’s best to just use manual functions, especially with your focus setting. Autofocus cannot adjust correctly in low light.

#8. HAVE FUN

Most importantly just have fun and you can make slight setting adjustments if needed to get the perfect shot with your camera and lens.

Great Places to Shoot Fireworks in Cincinnati:

Saturday, 7/2/2022

Sunday, 7/3/2022

Monday, 7/4/2022

Let us know where you’ll be watching from!

Are Outdoor or Indoor Headshots Better?

outdoor or indoor headshotsWhen you are prepping for headshots, you might only think of your hair and outfit, but did you know the background could play an important role as well? This decision will set the tone, lighting, color, feel, and many other things you might not have thought about. If you are having a difficult time deciding, we have a few pointers that can help you figure out whether outdoor or indoor headshots are better for you! 

What tone are you trying to set?

Think about where this headshot will be going. Who is your target audience that will see it? What message do you want to send to them? Consider your profession and what kind of clients or professionals will look at this headshot. 

Here are some suggestions on what kind of tone each setting can send: 

Outdoor Tone

  • Casual

  • Fun

  • Fresh

  • thumbnail Nicole Peters 1024Relaxed

  • Unique

  • Creative

  • Vibrant

Great For Those That...

  • work in/connected to the outdoors.
  • love the outdoors.
  • are performing artists.
  • want to stand out.
  • want to more casual feel.

Indoor Tone

  • thumbnail Josh Toms 1024Professional
  • Conservative
  • Traditional
  • Focused
  • Serious
  • Classic
  • Dramatic

Great for those that...

  • work in corporate business, finance, or law.
  • Need to be taken seriously.
  • Want to give off a professional tone.
  • Need a more traditional business card.
  • Needs to match other pictures for a website.
  • Want a transparent background for modern marketing input.

You might relate to some of these or you might not. Maybe you just have a certain place in mind and it just so happens to be indoor or outdoor? No worries! This is not a one-size that fits all. There are a lot of reasons we choose the backgrounds we do. Now let’s talk about picture day! 

Pros and Cons for Outdoor Shoots

When picture day comes, you need almost everything to go just right so that you can reflect that perfect you! We all know how difficult that can be to achieve, especially while using that word: perfect. Let’s go over some things that can happen in an outdoor environment that can help or hinder the process. 

Pros for Outdoor Shots: 

  • outdoor or indoor headshots IINatural LightingSome natural lighting can really make a tremendous difference in capturing that perfect shot. During “The Golden Hour” (sunrise and sunset), the sky and lighting can give you such a unique backdrop that it is hard to replicate or compare to. There are other lighting advantages that can make it truly a one-of-a-kind shot.  
  • Natural ExpressionsResearch has shown that being outdoors brings out our natural side. Smiles and positive expressions come much easier, that is, of course, when it’s not raining! You might find it easier avoiding that fake smile outside.  
  • Unique OpportunityThis can be a standout from the rest of the competition that is doing indoor shots. Study your competitors and see what they are doing and get ready to pivot!  
  • Meaningfulness/ShowcasingIf you work at a location that has a really pretty background, why not show it off!? Two birds with one stone! This is a great opportunity also for realtors to shine doing what they do in front of a house they just sold or property they are proud of. 

Cons for Outdoor Shots

  • WeatherJust this word alone can make anyone with a scheduled outdoor shoot shutter. What if it rains or is really windy? A lot can go wrong here.  
  • Less ControlBeyond the weather, you lose some control when you pick an outdoor location. The lighting is up to the sky. The location might be renovating or crowded. You must be ready with plan b and c if necessary!  
  • Change of ClothesIf you need to change clothes, make sure there’s a bathroom nearby. This is not always an option for outdoor shots. 

Pros for Indoor Shots

  • Options for BackgroundsIt might seem limiting, but with virtual backgrounds, photographers nowadays can make your backdrop look like anything you want! Even the great outdoors! A good option if you had to take a raincheck.  
  • Smooth ProcessSince the photographer will be able to control everything, the process should feel a lot smoother. They are used to their tools and the space in a studio rather than relying on an outdoor venue that might or might not have people to work around or ideal lighting!  
  • FasterHeadshots in a studio go by in a flash (ha ha). With more control over the environment, photographers can get you in and out with no delays for cloud cover or crowds passing through. 

Cons for Indoor Shots

  • GenericIndoor shots might seem very generic and boring. This does not have to be the case, depending on the photographer you use. Talk to them beforehand to see what background options there are and if you could maybe do an offsite shoot in an interesting indoor location to mix it up if you are worried. 
  • UnauthenticRemember picture day at school? Sometimes that memory can be jogged at a photo studio when you are getting new headshots. Smiles don’t seem to come as easily and your expressions can seem forced. Try practicing in the mirror and relax! Professional photographers like Krista and her team at Cincy Photo Pro have a knack for getting a genuine expression out of all the headshots she takes! 
     
  • Too SeriousThere is a notion that indoor headshots with a traditional background are too stuffy and less approachable. Change that narrative with your expression, clothing, and backdrop. Know what your target audience would be wowed by and what will make you most comfortable. 

Bottom Line for Outdoor or Indoor Headshots

We truly could talk about both location choices all day long. It truly is a decision best left up to the client, as their branding and authenticity depend upon it. Don’t hesitate to ask your photographer questions about all the options regarding location or backgrounds. Check if digital backgrounds are possible. Ask them if they will travel to you. We hope this blog has helped you with your very important choice! 

Looking for a flexible photographer that will give you plenty of options? With Cincy Photo Pro the sky’s the limit! Our studio is in West Chester Township Ohio and we serve the Greater Cincinnati area, Northern Kentucky, and Indiana. Are you a bit farther? No problem! We are willing to travel to get that perfect shot! We also offer virtual backdrops, so you have multiple choices when it comes time to pick! Contact us to schedule your session today! 

 
Check out or Headshot Reviews!  

“Krista did an awesome job photographing our Real Estate Team! She was creative with the shots and flexible on getting many options for us. We appreciate her work.” 

  • Alison on Google

“Krista made me feel right at home, she was so personable that it was if we had already known each other. I was able to relax and allow myself to enjoy every moment of my photo shoot. Krista is a true professional and was able to capture the best pictures, and the quality of the photos were phenomenal! I would recommend Cincy Photo Pro to anyone!” 

  • Pamela on Google

“This is a must for everyone who needs professional photos! Krista's company “Cincy Photo Pro” is a winner! This fun and engaging photo shoot enabled me to get an assortment of professional headshots for various online platforms and printed materials, such as my biography, resume, and more. What I appreciated most about working with Krista was her upbeat style, knowledge, compassion, and unique ability to create a pleasant, exciting and cooperative experience. She under promised and over delivered- a hallmark of Krista’s work. I encourage the reader to book an appointment with Krista, smile, and get your professional photos taken!” 

  • Eli on Google 

Accomplishments in 2021 at Cincy Photo Pro

Last year was an extraordinary year for growth at Cincy Photo Pro. Our progress has only continued to move forward. With all of the craziness, we thrived exponentially! We are doing a little celebration dance today and saying thanks to all that contributed to our success. Here’s just a few things we are proud of.

New Virtual 3D Touring Services Offered

3D Tours

Last year, we started offering the sensational software iGuide for 3D Tours along with investing in an iGuide camera. We used matterport in the past, but upgraded to the dslr system for more customization and longer hosting without additional fees!! This made our Real Estate services and commercial google maps branding more robust. In addition to guided 3D tours: floor plans, room measurements, area calculations, long term hosting and google maps integration is included at no additional cost!!! We can even add on hot spot markers, photos and aerial 360s to tour! See more about this special service here.

We Hired Staff!

Our schedule was filling up and we wanted to open up more scheduling opportunities for when the owner Krista was booked or out of town. So, Krista Silz took a big leap and interviewed several candidates that would meet our standards in professionalism, customer service and quality work. Then she hired a photographer, and hired again, and AGAIN! Meet our newest team members:

  • staffCayce: Real Estate Drone Pilot with fantastic style for aerial photography. He is FAA certified and ready to fly!
  • Kerri: Long time real estate photographer who loves what she does! With over 20 years in the photography field, she is a great addition to the team!
  • Eric: Aerial photographer and drone pilot who loves doing commercial properties, land development and roof inspections!
  • Nicole & Ryan: Our wedding and event photography specialists! They make a great team and both have natural eyes for capturing that perfect moment.
  • Angelique: 3D Tour photographer and assistant. She has a unique eye for photography that is a huge help in assisting many photoshoots! And trained in the guide system. So she often helps out when photos and tours are ordered on the same property.
  • Sarah: We desperately needed administrative help and Sarah came to the rescue! She helps with invoicing, confirming appointments, and making sure we run smoothly.

Thanks to all of our new team members that have helped keep Cincy Photo Pro going in 2021 and beyond! We are very excited to see additional growth this year and serving more of you!

engraving servicesEngraving Services Offered

Krista saw a gap in the market of high-quality engraving services and decided to fill it! With much ambition, she went out and bought an engraving machine. She has been creating and embellishing signs, products, promotional items and more for many clients over the last year. Our specialty is custom wood products like cutting boards, pencil holders and wood signs. We often do client appreciation drawings and gift some of our engraving products with our client's name or logo!! Just a fun way to say Thank you!

Finding Our Specialty

Real Estate Photography

Cincy Photo Pro was just dipping its toes into Real Estate and product photography about 5 years ago. Over the last few years, Krista found herself with more and more of these clients as time went on! Real Estate and drone photography and videography is carving its place in Cincy Photo Pro as being one of the most valuable jobs that we have formed a niche into. Our drone work has improved and become one of our top sought after services! We are now adding indoor fly thru services in 2022 which is fantastic for businesses and commercial real estate.

We worked with manufactures, cooks, water bottle companies and more on product images for their marketing as well. Great when mixed with our branding sessions or products small enough.

We Got Our Own Office + Studio!

After years of being a part of the LDR Design office, it was time for Cincy Photo Pro to spread its wings. Without delay, we found a nice office just a few miles down the street that is still convenient to all of our local clients. We are also located right next to ASM Framing, of whom we offer a discount on frames when you get pictures done with us!

A Year for Headshots

headshotsCincy Photo Pro did more headshots this year than ever! We invested in better lighting, backdrop systems and for certain sessions, tether equiptment, to easily view your photos during and after the shoot in studio or on location!!

The team at Cincy Photo Pro is humbled to have had such an amazing year. We want to extend a big THANK YOU to all who have contributed to our growing small business over the years. Growth can be intimidating, but like our children, so wonderful to watch and provide everything needed to go into the future with strength and vitality! Here’s to an even better year ahead!

How to Market from Your Customer’s Point of View

Sometimes it’s hard to see things from a different viewpoint, especially when you are a business owner. We must always remember that what you enjoy might not be what your potential customer enjoys. Seeing things from a customer’s point of view is crucial to your success. Put yourself in their shoes! It might not be as hard as you imagine.

customer's point of viewAn example, by Krista, the owner of Cincy Photo Pro:

“I recently went out of town and decided to go to a spa. I knew nothing about the area so I started on Google to find something close. I looked at the photos and Google street view to get an idea of the area and cleanliness of the facility. I looked at reviews and finally an easy booking process that allowed me to select a time and service I wanted.”

We can ALL relate to this example, as we are all consumers of all kinds of businesses. Think of your last business transaction, whether it be at a restaurant or a spa. Now think of what you are selling.

  • What steps did you take to find the business?
  • What research did you do on them?
  • What would make your ideal customers choose you over your competition?

Let’s break down the most common reasons business are chosen using our handy example!

Location and Listing

The first thing that Krista did, as most people do, was to search for a business virtually. Let’s face it, no one uses their physical Yellow Pages anymore for anything other than a doorstop. The general public will usually turn to Google, Apple Maps, Yelp, or other virtual search tools to easily find what they are looking for.

Do a quick search for your business the way you would look for any other without using your business name. Test all possible ways people might look for your business. Ask your friends and family to do a quick search. Does your business come up? If not, don’t fret. It just means you need to invest some time and maybe money into Google and directory listings.

Photos

Of course, we’d be crazy not to mention photos, right? Photos can give us the best idea of where a business is located, what the business looks like inside and out, what the staff looks like and how the services work.

Look at all your businesses pictures, everywhere (FB, Google, website, etc.). Do they adequately represent what your company stands for? Do they give the right impression? Are they professional enough? Do your photos speak to your ideal audience? These are all questions that the potential customer will judge you on. If you don’t like what you see, it might be time to take some new ones photos!

Details

As consumers, we want to know exactly what we are getting and how it differs from other companies. There is a lot to consider when you have content out there, the first question being, what problem are you solving? Then you will need to tell exactly how you plan to that problem as simply, but detailed as you can. Don’t underestimate the power of content!

Read through your content. Proof your service descriptions. Do they give you a complete idea of what the consumer will receive? Are they detailed enough? Do they show how your services or offerings differ from your competition? Does the content entice you? If you feel your content is lacking, it might be time to add descriptions and explanations that really speak to your audience. Don’t be afraid of adding too much. Google really likes a lot of content. Just make sure it’s relevant.

Reviews and Personal Recommendations

If a consumer is not familiar with a company, they will first check out the reviews to reaffirm their decision. Reviews are like your scorecard to the rest of the world on how well the public liked your offerings.

Browse through all your reviews wherever they are listed (Google, Yelp, FB, etc.). How often do they occur? Are they consistent? Are you answering them? Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have many or haven’t had any in a while. Develop a review building plan! You can do this by sending out automatic emails that give the clients a direct link to write a review and even ask personally. Strive to get consistent reviews. It can be the lifeblood of a successful business.

Whatever you do, DO NOT pay for reviews. The public will find out and consumer trust in your brand will suffer. Another great tip is to make sure you are answering reviews. Google takes notice if you are not answering and will rate you as an unresponsive business. If you are facing a really tough review, take a deep breath and try to do the best damage control as you can. Your reputation will depend upon it.

Bottom Line

We hope this information has helped to give your business the best chance it has online! It may be a difficult view point, especially for business owners that have done brick and mortar forever, and online marketing is still a bit of a challenge. We understand. Do the best you can!

Looking to give your company the best visual impression possible? At Cincy Photo Pro, we are an extension to your marketing team, creating the visual content needed to help attract your ideal customer and represent you and your company best! Contact us today!

Looking for marketing gurus that can help get you found, maintain reviews, and create content? Look to our partners like LDR Design. They will give you an online presence that you can be proud of. Contact them today!

How to Prepare Your Property to Sell

unrecognizable young couple with real estate agent 2021 08 28 20 06 22 utcThroughout our experience in capturing real estate properties, we’ve picked up on a few pointers that really make for excellent pictures! These pointers are also important in preparing your home for potential buyers. Did you know that the way your home is presented in photos and in person help boost the value of the asking price if presented in the best way possible? When the market is as demanding as this, why not cash out as much as possible? We have some essential tips that will help you in staging your property to sell!

Declutter, Reduce, Clean, then Stage

Declutter - Remove anything unnecessary off the counters, dressers, desk tables and floors. This includes mail, personal items, tools, etc. You don’t want everyone seeing your clutter.

Reduce – Trim down the number of personal photos, religious items, sports memorabilia. You want to show the potential buyers a space they can see themselves in and not get distracted by things that they can’t relate to or may not appreciate. If you must keep décor up, keep it neutral.

Clean Clean Clean! - Deep clean to remove spider webs, dust and dirt everywhere. Clean the windows, baseboards, mirrors, appliances... everything. This will take a lot of time and endurance.

Do what you can then hire the rest out!