Tips to Create Professional Quality Photos/Videos Yourself

At Cincy Photo Pro we help individuals and companies create the image they want others to see. Our blog will consist of tips, advice and information related to photography and marketing. Our goal is to create fresh content 2-4 times a month with downloadable resources or links to additional resources. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletters so you don’t miss out!

Tip #1: Great Lighting

  • The main light source should be in front of your subject. Can be natural lighting from a window, a lamp or photography light.
  • Great lighting is key for a professional look to your images or video.
  • To get started with lighting, here's a link to light options you can use with your own photos.

Tip # 2: Composition

  • Rule of thirds is a simple starting point for composition.
  • Using the rule of thirds means that the subject isn't centered in the image. Instead, the main focal point is a bit off to one side. ... Using the rule of thirds draws the viewer's eye into the composition, instead of just glancing at the center.

Rule of Thirds

Tip #3: Content

  • Know the purpose of your images. What do you want the end result to be? Will it be displayed in your home, on your website or business card?
  • The end result will determine the best composition, location and event clothing choice.

Our blog is created to help you with your photography and marketing; whether as a customer or if you try to do this on your own. Be sure to reach out if you have a topic request so we can cover that for you!

Wedding Tips to Keep You Relaxed

wedding coordinator

It is important that you are relaxed and enjoy the moment on your wedding day. Having a team of people to help make sure everything runs smoothly is key.

Wedding Coordinator 

We encourage couples to hire a wedding coordinator. They help manage everything. From planning to decor and execution. If you are having a large affair or having an event at a park or home, I highly recommend a great wedding coordinator.
  1. Reduce stress. Your wedding coordinator knows what to expect, and how to handle the unexpected.  This reduces stress and takes away all the time demands. 
  2. Weddings can be like family reunions. Wedding coordinators can manage the needs of your guests. Trust them to manage hotel accommodations, welcome baskets, maps and directions, and more. 
  3. Trying to save money? Often the wedding coordinator knows exactly where to cut corners that the guests will never notice. Examples of this are in choosing flower options, monogrammed napkins, and goodies. 
  4. Wedding coordinators save the day from last-minute anxieties. No more crying over the groom's tux or finding your grandmother's corsage. Consider the problem solved!

Wedding Photography 

Your photographer is very important as well to keep the timeline until you get to the reception. You spend the entire day with your wedding photographer. Make sure you enjoy being around the person. It is important you like their photos, but you won’t be relaxed unless you like the photographer as a person.
  1. wedding photographer cincinnatiMake sure your personalities with your photographer mesh.
  2. Determine the style you want and find a photographer that have samples of that style.
  3. Itinerary - your photographer should help determine your timeline. They know how long it takes for them to get the images that you want, so they should know when they need people where.
  4. Portrait checklist - be sure to finalize this with your photographer at least 2 weeks prior to your wedding. This will ensure Aunt Susie isn’t left out of the family photos and you get all the images you want.
  5. Your photographer should be relaxed so you are relaxed. Having an understanding and being able to explain your expectations ensures everyone is on the same page. If your photographer executes the explanation of how your day should run, then it will most likely go as planned. You can feel rest assured everything will go well.
  6. Allow buffer room - your photographer should allow for a little buffer room on time in case things take a little longer than expected. If there is extra time you can always go for additional creative images, no one complains about that.

Your Wedding DJ 

Your DJ or band will take over the timeline at the reception. But more than that, the band adds fun to the party! 
 
  1. Interview DJ options to hire a wedding DJ that matches your style.  What is their specialty? 
  2. Ask the wedding DJ to supply the master playlist in advance. No surprises. 
  3. Confirm the DJ has liability insurance. 
  4. Make sure they are in communication with your photographer and coordinator so no one misses anything.
  5. Your DJ should know how to get the crowd excited and should understand the timeline.
  6. A great DJ will listen to you and help recommend songs and reception events based on your needs and personality! 
If you don’t know where to start, contact Dream Team - Wedding and Events concierge service to help connect you to some of the best vendors!
 
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Creating Your Professional Image

LDR Headshot

Everyone wants to make a great first impression when it comes to their business. But using your employees' favorite selfie from Facebook is not the best way to get the job done. Sure it shows who they are but it doesn’t show them as a professional. That’s why getting professional photos of your employees should become a top priority.

Corporate Headshots

Adding corporate headshots to your company's website can help you in a lot of ways, especially with networking. These photos help separate the individual of the company while also tying them together. When people are out networking, they’re getting to know what that individual brings to the company. Not just solely what your company does.

The same thing with marketing, especially if there’s more than just one person in the company. You don’t just hand out a business card that is only about the company with a picture of your building or office on it. People want real interactions with real people, real business professionals. Corporate headshots help make that happen!

Office Space

When you schedule your headshots, ask about getting some professional photos of your workplace done as well! Especially if your website/social media is covered in stock photos and iPhone pictures. This continues to add the personal touch to your business and to your clients. They want to see the “behind the scenes” and see that even in a suit and tie, you’re just like them.

Start 2019 off right and show your clients the professional and real side of your business!

The Perfect Family Picture

Christmas Photos

Family photos are a great keepsake, no matter how old the kids get. But coordinating outfits, coming up with ideas and making sure everyone is behaving can be a little overwhelming, especially if you don't have a creative vibe. So how can you capture the special moments without it being too much?

Relax

The best part of your session should be the overall experience. Putting too much pressure on your family and yourself for the perfect picture will show in the photos. That's not what you want! Laugh, play around and show your real personalities.

A great photographer can help make this process happen. They prepare you for your session as much as possible by: answering questions on what to wear or even give you tips to consider, helping you think of what the end result of the images is to determine the location and prepare for the types of photos to capture, and may talk with you ahead of time on specific ways to make your family feels at ease.

Coordinate

But you don't have to match! A good rule is to have a color or color scheme that pieces everyone together without it being overloaded. Choose one or two neutral colors and an accent color! For example, if your family decides on red, everyone should have something red as a part of their outfit. The men could wear red button downs with black pants, while the women wear red dresses or black dresses with red accessories.

You want to avoid completely mismatching outfits as well, even if the “theme/color of choice" is still featured. This means that if your son dresses super sporty and your daughter dresses in band tees, both (and everyone else) needs to agree on something.

It's also important to coordinate with the background and the season/holiday of the photos. If you're taking spring photos where there are lots of yellows and pinks from flowers, you shouldn't show up in olive tones and mustard yellow.

Props

Props can be very beneficial, especially if you or a family member fidget with your hands or feel awkward taking photos. They, of course, should be practical and make sense. Mini chalkboards with the families name or a family joke written on it are popular, paper umbrellas with the selected color and white/black details for spring and summer shoots are cute and fitting, and ornaments for the holidays or a chair or fence to rest their hands on are a great addition.

If you have any questions or ideas in regards to your photo session, reaching out to the photographer is never a bad thing either! They will gladly do all they can to help make your session more memorable.

Cincy Photo Pro

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Studies Prove “Real” Photos are Best

Studies have proven that “real” photos have a better chance of relating to and engaging your visitors that come to your website.

  • Visual Website Optimizer’s article “Enough of Stock Photos” shows that “real” or relevant images can improve website conversions.
  • Marketing Experiments Blog shows similar results with better conversions for businesses.
  • Jakob Nielson also did a study on the use of “real” vs. stock photos, concluding that people were ignoring stock photography.

Your Competitors Might Use the Same Stock Image

  1. Show real employees vs. stock photography
  2. Represent your products accurately

Another drawback from using stock photography is your competition. The worst case would be that you spend a lot of time finding the photo you want to use and then come to find out your direct competitor is using the same image? Imagine being a potential client trying to decide between the two. Most people are visual and may think that both are very generic and potentially look somewhere else. What is keeping them on your site?

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, look around at your competition and take note of the images they are using. Nobody can copy you if your photos are of you.  Gaining face recognition and office familiarity helps your visitors get a sense of knowing you before they even inquire.

“Real” Photos Support Your Marketing Strategy

A great photo can be the key to good visual optimization and marketing online. MDG Advertising developed an infographic that illustrates the importance of photos for a company’s brand and business. If photos are proven time and again to help your marketing and visual optimization, then it’s no secret using real photos that engage your customer will only improve on those statistics. 

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Taking Your Own Photos is Vital

Getting a real photographer can get expensive but in the end, will be worth it. They know more about lighting, composition & how to get the most out of the subject being photographed. These are the qualities that make a professional photographer important.

Do you see the keynote speaker? Real photos help tell your story.

Alternative

With the increasing quality of affordable cameras these days, you could have a student or friend with a camera take the images. If they have a sense of lighting and creative flair to their images and can represent you, That’s not a bad option. It will definitely make a better impact than stock photos on your website. And can save you money. Stock photography will never be able to truly represent you, your services or products the way you want them to, especially when you’re trying to get that relationship built with your new visitor and potential customer or represent that you are “different” than the competition.

Remember, a true professional will take the time to learn about you and your company and the brand you want to be represented. They will create the images you want for your website, banners, and promotional materials to reflect the unique qualities that you can offer your clients.  

What impact do you want to make? And what will it require to get there? You make that choice.