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Making a Music Video with Minimal Gear

Making a Music Video with Minimal Gear and a Skeleton Crew

I filmed a music video to Kevin Burdick’s song, “My Religion” in New York City with a skeleton crew.  I am not a film director or a music video producer or anything of the sort.  I am simply a photographer and photography instructor who loves a challenge, so I often create challenges for myself.  Let’s make a music video while I am in NYC… sounds fun.  So I did it.  What you might be interested in is how I did it and with what equipment.

Kevin Burdick’s song is one of my favorite songs. I love listening to it. When I first heard it, I saw bits of this music video in my head, so I set up the opportunity to film it while I was in New York City for a photo convention, lecturing for Adobe. My friend Carlos Martín helped out during filming with Art Direction.  He lives in the NYC Area so he was great for helping us find the best locations for filming, although a lot of the filming was done randomly as we walked to and from lunch and other fun stops along the way.  We were not on a tight time schedule.  There were a total of three of us… Kevin Burdick (the musical artist), myself as Director and Cinematographer and our friend Carlos Martín as Art Director.  We ended up filming everything in NYC except or the studio session in the chair, which was filmed in my studio back in Chandler, AZ.

When I arrived in NYC, I was interested in getting a small, lightweight and inexpensive camera that has a great autofocus system with a touch articulating screen and the Canon EOS 70D was perfect for the job.  I already have a lot of Canon glass, so it made sense to stay with the system.  But I also needed a good video lens with a very smooth and silent focus so that autofocus wouldn’t call attention to itself.  So I got the Canon 40mm Pancake Lens.  I have been using this little lens ever since for most of my online video lessons.  Now here’s a bit of a dangerous thing to do… I bought both the lens and the camera the day I arrived in NYC at B&H Photo Video.  You should always test things before you use them on a job, spend some time with the equipment you are going to use!  But the camera was so simple to use, so easy to operate and focus with the touch screen and auto face detecting focus that I was able to get some great shots with only a few hours of practice before meeting up with Kevin and Carlos for the video shoot.  Now, I know cameras and I have a lot of experience with Canon cameras, but still… this was a simple camera to work with and the lens is smooth as butter on autofocus.  We also used the Canon 5D Mark IV in the studio shots of Kevin in Chandler, AZ, which also has a touch screen, but it is not articulating, so not as easy to work with while moving around and it is quite a bit heavier, so the 70D was preferable in the streets of NYC.

See a full list of my gear HERE.

I wanted the video to have a very documentary feel, so we did everything in Black and White and handheld, but that can get very shaky without a gimbal of some kind.  There are a lot of great options today, but there weren’t as many when we did this shoot (the new DJI Gimbal for small DSLRs looks great). But at the time, we didn’t have this option AND more importantly, I was just messing around and wanted to keep the cost on this project very low.  So, I used my monopod.  A lightweight monopod will do wonders for stabilizing a small video camera or DLSR.  The extra weight on the bottom of the camera and the length of the monopod helps to act as a stabilizer for the camera and makes it harder to tilt the camera as you move.  It’s not as good as a gimbal, but it takes out a lot of the shake as you move the camera.  Then, when you are going to stand still with the camera, you can always plant the monopod and there is still a little movement in the camera, so your video doesn’t feel quite so stiff.  So a small monopod is a great tool in stabilizing camera footage, although using a Gimbal like the DJI Ronin S is a great idea, and not too expensive.

The main shot that was in my head from the beginning was the shot of Kevin in the subway station with the subway speeding past him.  I heard the beginning of that persistent beat when I first heard the song and I saw exactly what you see in the video now.  It is a combination of different views of the same platform.  I have footage close up to Kevin and far away from him, with multiple trains and then with one train.  Some were slower trains, others faster.  Occasionally to get the closer up views I needed to use my Canon 70-200 2.8L lens, which does not work on autofocus in video so well, so I manually focussed first and then left it on that focus setting.  It Image Stabilization was helpful on the monopod, it really helped to stabilize the shake from the long focal length.  It took a lot of editing in Adobe Premiere to get the back and forth between the different cuts to look just right, but I was super pleased with the final results.  It is what I saw in my head.

If I were to do it all over again, I would have gotten a lot more footage of the hustle and bustle of the NY streets.  I was lacking on that footage to make some transitions and to fill in some holes, but I ended up with barely enough to get it done.  I think the lessons learned there was: take a lot more b-roll that you think you need.  Don’t just stay focused on the principle story and subject.  And I know that from still photography, but like everything we do as a novice, we tend to get hyper-focused on the one thing and forget to do the rest.  People who are new to lighting with flash get so worried about that aspect of their shoot that they forget about posing, etc…  I just got so wrapped up in getting footage of Kevin in various situations, singing and not singing that I didn’t think enough about getting the extra b-roll.  So, don’t gorget the b-roll.

The other thing we couldn’t live without was Kevin’s iPhone.  Every time we wanted him to sing, he would pull up his song on iTunes in his phone and start playing it and sing to it.  Here’s a tip: if you do this, make sure you put the iPhone close to the camera microphone, or radio it into the microphone jack so that your camera has a good audio signal from the original source.  This makes it so much easier to match the singer’s lips to the video footage.  In Premiere, you can then simply synchronize the audio track to the video track.  Pretty simple.  The rest of the footage that doesn’t need to sync can be placed wherever it looks good.

I think that it is interesting how a song can take on a new layer of meaning when it is layered with visuals.  When I started layering New York City over the top of this song, I started to see a completely new message in the song, which I am sure Kevin never meant, but that is the beauty of art: it can have so many different meanings because the viewer gets to ultimately assign the meaning to the art.  The song, I think, originally was written with a woman in mind, but I think when you think of the culture of NYC and what that city means to the people who love it, there is a bit of a religious fervor over the culture of New York City.  I love the message that evolves with the layering of the New York visuals and Kevin’s rich lyrics about deep and devoted love.

It was a fantastically fun project to do.  I always love to take on a little personal project that will challenge me to figure something out and it is always exciting to have a vision in my head and to make it work.  With Kevin’s music, Carlos’ eye for detail and some extra technical advice from Matt Madrid, I think we created a beautiful visual companion to Kevin Burdick’s masterful song, “My Religion.”

This video was finished as part of my 30 Videos in 30 Days project. This one took a while to accomplish but was well worth the experience. There is something very fulfilling about working on a project of passion. We have to do things that excite us, projects that take us back to that exploratory nature of childhood where we are inspired to play and take risks and are completely willing to fail.

The music and performance are all by Kevin Burdick. Kevin Burdick is a Triple Scoop Music artist and this song is licensed through Triple Scoop Music. Thanks to Post-Production technical advisor, Matt Madrid, and my onset Art Director, Carlos Martín.

I hope you enjoy this music video. I hope you enjoy the music. Let me know what you think.

See a full list of my gear HERE.

Meghan and Charles Engagement Portraits in Atlanta Georgia

This engagement portrait session was an absolute joy.  I flew into Atlanta, Georgia and met Meghan and Charles at their family Lake House outside the city at Lake Lanier.  It was mid-January, and it was a fairly cold day and it only got colder.  So we spent a few hours taking advantage of the chilly weather (which looked chilly as well).  But you will see that the chill in the air influenced the way the photographs look and event the treatment of the images.  I did not attempt to “warm them up” in fact they are fairly cool, if not neutral.  We even got a little fog for some of the shots rolling in over the trees on the other side of the lake.

Meghan asked specifically that we photograph with a 1990’s Vanity Fair / GQ style.  So the clothing, the grain, the posing, the muted color, the clean light, etc… all of it was my effort to give a bit of that look to the photoshoot.

I was shooting the engagement portrait with a new Canon EOSR mirrorless camera, which was a great opportunity to really put that camera through its paces.  It is a wonderful little camera, but I look forward to a more professional version of the R series cameras to come out from Canon, hopefully soon.  It is still much easier to shoot with a Canon 5D Mark IV or some other pro body camera.  That being said, the EOSR will be a nice addition to the bag with its small, lightweight body and completely silent shutter (great for the wedding itself) which will be held in a small church in the Bahamas this summer.

We were using the new Profoto B10 off camera flash (two of them) and they are magnificent.  All the power we needed, never ran out of batteries, never missed a shot and always created beautiful light.  One of our lights had a softbox and the other was sporting the OCF Magnum Reflector.  That was the light set up most of the time (especially when we were outside).  It was a bit windy, so the softbox was a challenge, but a little weight on the stand in the form of a log took care of that problem.

Getting to know Meghan and Charles at the lake house and on their engagement portrait shoot was a real joy.  And aside from the photos, that is the major value of doing an engagement shoot of some kind: getting to know the clients, and the clients getting to know the photographer.  It’s like a little test run and an opportunity for a little model training.  Meghan and Charles thought they could use some modeling lessons.  I think they were great right from the start.  But, we talked through some basic rules for being a subject on a photoshoot.  I won’t go through them here, but I will give you one very important rule:

Rule 1: If you’re uncomfortable, you are going to look uncomfortable!  Get comfortable.

Enjoy the photos from the session.

 

 

 

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Looking Back On a Year of Photography 2018

I am looking back on the past year of photography.  It has been an interesting year with a lot of travel and a lot of focus on portraiture and art.  It was interesting to review my work over the last year and choose images to represent my year.  When you do this as a photographer, you pull images that speak to you.  I seem to be gravitating toward landscapes and documentary this year.  I didn’t include a lot of wedding photos or family portraits because I think it is probably more important (in an exercise like this) to select images that indicate where my mind is right now, what I am looking at and responding to.  I think you will find that if you are a photographer and you do the same thing that you will see that all your “work-related” images are heavily influenced by the images you pull based on some level of gut reaction.  What is the theme?  What is the glue that holds them all together?  There are landscapes, portraits, documentary, weddings, travel photos and even textured walls.  I have been paying very close attention to light and composition.  There are of course, messages and stories being told in many of the images, but overall, I think I can safely say that the past year from the end of 2017 to the end of 2018, I seem to be slowing down a bit and paying more attention to composition and light.  And those are two great things to focus on in photography.  They are not the only things, nor are they necessarily the most important things, but they are very critical to making impactful images.

I encourage everyone to take a look back at the last year and pull your favorite images (not one from every job, just the ones that really stand out to you for whatever reason, and then make an assessment… what is the theme of your year of photography.  What were you focusing on?  Then maybe you can set a direction for the new year: what will you focus on in your imagery in 2019?  Our assignments will always push us down various roads, but no matter what job or opportunity we have, how we photograph it is really up to us.

What will I focus on this year?  Good question.  Maybe the subtext.

 

This slideshow was made with Smart Slides, which is the simplest slideshow making option available and the highest quality slideshow available.  It is trly 4K and will deliver the right size imagery to any device or monitor.  No matter where you are watching the slideshow, the imagery will be absolutely perfect.  This is the ONLY slideshow creator available that offers this kind of quality. And when I say it is simple, it is ULTRA simple. It also comes with a limited selection of licensed music, but I continue to use Triple Scoop Music’s subscription service. No matter what program I use to make my videos, I have all the music I could ever want, ready to use anytime I need it.

Learn more at www.triplescoopmusic.com. Music in this video licensed through www.triplescoopmusic.com.

The music for this slideshow is by Hawk Silver and can be found on Triple Scoop Music.

Unlimited music licensing plans are normally $995 per year and up. However, right now, for a limited time, there is special pricing! Get yours for just $499 per year (annual billing) or $49 per month when you sign up this month. If you only use one new song each month, you will save $221 this year. At those prices, I will save $1,301 this month alone! That’s pretty amazing. Choose all the music you need all year long. Choose from over 35,000 hand-picked songs and soundtracks. Click here to learn more: www.triplescoopmusic.com

Use the code “JAREDPLATT18” and save an extra 10% on your music membership!

You can follow this project here, or on my blog at www.jaredplatt.com/blog. If you are a Vimeo fan, you can watch this project unfold at my Vimeo Album: https://vimeo.com/album/5227999

For a complete list of my equipment, you can go to B&H Photo Video. https://bhpho.to/2Kx88bl

@Triple Scoop Music @triplscoopmusic #triplescoopmusic #musicLicensing #PhotographyLessons #jaredplatt #photography
#canonUSA @CanonUSA
@smartslides @pixellu
@BHPhoto #BHPHOTOVIDEO

30 Days Project: A Portfolio of Photography

Improving your photography through recognition.

After a weekend of rest and relaxation, I collected this set of portfolio images that range from weddings to commercial property to documentary images and child photography, portraits, etc. Really, the way I collected them was to pull out my iPad and open up Lightroom CC (what used to be called Lightroom Mobile) and scanning through various collections of images and selecting anything that stood out to me as great. I hope you see them that way. Each of these images struck me fairly hard, so that is why you are seeing them now.

I take great pride in a successful composition, a beautifully lit image, and a well-told story. Sometimes the images are successful at all three of these things. But when we are honest with ourselves, our images often lack in one or two categories. But looking through our own images and selecting portfolio groups and asking the hard questions about composition, lighting, and narrative is what improves us. Too many people think that you improve as a photographer by getting out and photographing… that’s a bit of “cart before the horse” thinking. Improving your photography is more about improving the way you see and the way you think about what you see that it is about the technical understanding of the camera. Now, I love great craft, but if a perfect exposure was what determined great photography, we would all be amazing photographers in the next five years as cameras get more and more intelligent. Focus and exposure will be so perfectly automatic in the next decade that you won’t have to think much to get a technically perfect photo. All of these technically perfect images will still lack the basics: composition, lighting, and story. These are the things you have to learn to find or create and the first step to finding and creating anything is learning to recognize what you are looking for.

Because of this need to constantly improve, I am constantly looking at my portfolio of images and selecting new images. This 30 Days Project has helped me do this even more often and I am glad of that. This is just the latest installment of my portfolio of images over the years. It is by no means a complete or exhaustive portfolio. In fact, I plan on posting a number of these over the next few weeks. This portfolio slideshow is accompanied by the music of Hive Riot with their song, “So I Dance.” Their music is some of my favorite music of all time, and lucky me, it is on Triple Scoop Music so I can license their songs for any project I make. Especially with Triple Scoop Music’s new subscription-based services which allows me to download as many songs as I need for my projects. Choosing a song for me is a very big deal. I often see images and know what song needs to go with them? Other times, I hear a song and know which images I would like to use to connect with the music. In that way, this is a collaborative effort. I make the images, Monday Gledhill and Hive Riot make the songs.

This slideshow was made with Adobe Clip and directly uploaded to Vimeo for distribution. Clip is such a simple way to make slideshows and can be done from your iPad or Smart Phone in just a few short minutes. I can’t say enough good things about Adobe Clip. It even has a few songs for simple projects, but the number is seriously small and they aren’t that great. That’s another reason to use Triple Scoop Music’s subscription service. No matter what program I use to make my videos, I have all the music I could ever want, ready to use anytime I need it. And that is very useful now as I am making 30 Videos in 30 Days…

Learn more at www.triplescoopmusic.com. Music in this video licensed through www.triplescoopmusic.com.

The music for this slideshow is by Hive Riot and can be found on Triple Scoop Music.

Unlimited music licensing plans are normally $995 per year and up. However, right now, for a limited time, there is special pricing! Get yours for just $499 per year (annual billing) or $49 per month when you sign up this month. If you only use one new song each month, you will save $221 this year. At those prices, I will save $1,301 this month alone! That’s pretty amazing. Choose all the music you need all year long. Choose from over 35,000 hand-picked songs and soundtracks. Click here to learn more: www.triplescoopmusic.com

Use the code “JAREDPLATT18” and save an extra 10% on your music membership!

You can follow this project here, or on my blog at www.jaredplatt.com/blog. If you are a Vimeo fan, you can watch this project unfold at my Vimeo Album: https://vimeo.com/album/5227999

For a complete list of my equipment, you can go to B&H Photo Video. https://bhpho.to/2Kx88bl

@Triple Scoop Music @triplscoopmusic #triplescoopmusic #musicLicensing #PhotographyLessons #jaredplatt #photography
#canonUSA @CanonUSA
@Adobe #AdobePremiereClip @AdobePremiere
#weddingPhotography #destinationWeddingPhotography
@BHPhoto #BHPHOTOVIDEO

30 Days Project: Senior Portrait of a Triathlete

A Portrait of a Triathlete or Two.

This portrait session, as I mentioned yesterday in my how-to video, is of my nephew Mitchel, who is competing as a triathlete and is currently on his way to Australia for the world competition.  During our portrait shoot, we made sure to get images of him running, biking and swimming as well as the everyday portrait shots.  We even included his cousin Brigham, who is also a triathlete and competed at worlds the year before and who is now in Mexico serving as a missionary there.  So when you see the second athlete, that is who you are seeing.  These two boys are incredible young men who have been training together for years, waking up at 4 in the morning to swim or run or bike.  That kind of dedication and perseverance on the part of a teenager is rare and worth celebrating.  So I celebrate it in the best way I know how: photographs.

We spent the day moving between Gilbert and then out to the canyon lakes area outside the Phoenix area to photograph the lake shots and those on the canyon roads for the road biking shots.  Mitchel is on the Hamilton High School Swim Team, so we took some shots there in Chandler at the high school aquatic center as well.  We really moved around a lot that day, but we do whatever we need to to get the right shots.

Making a senior portrait is more than just taking beautiful photos of a high school senior wearing their school jersey or standing in front of a textured wall.  Every time I photograph a high school senior, I meet with them and discuss what is important to them, what makes them tick… and then I develop a production schedule for the day of the portrait session with the right props, the right activities, and the best locations to make the perfect portraits.  I want to make images that are meaningful to the student and their family.  But in addition to all of that, I want them to have a great experience while we are making the images.  It is a big production!  We have a lot of fun throughout the day.

As with all productions, there are a lot of stories on how we got various shots.  The photographers who are reading this will be interested in technical things like f-stops, light modifiers, and lenses.  But the rest of you will probably be more interested in the funny, interesting efforts made to make images like the ones at the lake.  At one point I was trying to get the splash that would occur as Mitchel would be running out of the lake, but the real splash wasn’t cutting it, so I ended up kicking water with one foot, balancing on the other and shooting the shot at the same time.  It took a lot of shots to get the right amount of splash!

Well, this is me, wishing Mitchel the best of luck at the world competition in Australia.

I am using a song by Krysta Youngs (one of my favorites on Triple Scoop) which is licensed by Triple Scoop Music through their new unlimited subscription membership.  I know, I have already used it once before in my 30 Days project, but I loved it so much and I wanted to try it out on a Senior Portrait.  I can always make another slideshow with the same images with a completely different song some other day. 

Go to www.triplescoopmusic.com to learn more about an unlimited membership.

This video is part of my 30 Days Project in connection with Triple Scoop Music’s new Pro Photographer’s unlimited Music Subscription Service.  The music makes the presentation and no service is better than Triple Scoop Music with thousands upon thousands of quality songs from independent music artists in every genre.  Enjoy this how-to video on making a Slideshow with Animoto.  The slideshow is shown at the very end of this how-to video.  I will post the slideshow on its own tomorrow.

Music in this video licensed through www.triplescoopmusic.com

This slideshow was made with Animoto’s online slideshow making tool.  The simplicity of uploading the images and song and letting Animoto do the work is quite appealing when you are as busy as I am.  Each slideshow can have one of a long list of styles.  This style is called “Chic.”  I am typically a very simple “documentary style” slideshow maker, but this one works really well for a senior portrait.

Speaking of music, this whole 30 Days project is possible because of Triple Scoop Music’s new subscription-based service which allows users to pay one monthly fee rather than per song.  If you are producing projects and need music, I highly recommend Triple Scoop Music.  The service is full of great original songs from independent artists.  License one song at a time, or sign up for the subscription service and use as many songs as you need, whenever you need them.  Learn more at www.triplescoopmusic.com

Unlimited music licensing plans are normally $995 per year and up.  However, right now, for a limited time, there is special pricing! Get yours for just $499 per year (annual billing) or $49 per month when you sign up this month.  If you only use one new song each month, you will save $221 this year.  At those prices, I will save $1,301 this month alone!  That’s pretty amazing.  Choose all the music you need all year long. Choose from over 35,000 hand-picked songs and soundtracks.  Click here to learn more: www.triplescoopmusic.com

Use the code “JAREDPLATT18” and save an extra 10% on your music membership!

You can follow this project here, or on my blog at www.jaredplatt.com/blog.  If you are a Vimeo fan, you can watch this project unfold at my Vimeo Album: https://vimeo.com/album/5227999

For a complete list of my equipment, you can go to B&H Photo Video.  https://bhpho.to/2Kx88bl

@Triple Scoop Music @triplscoopmusic #triplescoopmusic #musicLicensing #PhotographyLessons #jaredplatt #photography

#canonUSA @CanonUSA

@animoto

#seniorPortraitPhotography #highschoolSeniorPortraits #ArizonaSeniorPortraits

30 Days Project: Making a Senior Portrait Slideshow

Making a Senior Portrait Slideshow with Animoto.

Today I am making a senior portrait in Animoto and showing you how to work with Animoto.  I am using a song by Krysta Youngs (one of my favorites on Triple Scoop) which is licensed by Triple Scoop Music through their new unlimited subscription membership.  I know, I have already used it once before in my 30 Days project, but I loved it so much and I wanted to try it out on a Senior Portrait.  I can always make another slideshow with the same images with a completely different song some other day.  Making a slideshow on Animoto is quite easy, but there are a few little tricks that are helpful when you want to customize the slideshow just a bit.  You can even import images into Animoto directly from your Lightroom CC account in the cloud.

Go to www.triplescoopmusic.com to learn more about an unlimited membership.

This video is part of my 30 Days Project in connection with Triple Scoop Music’s new Pro Photographer’s unlimited Music Subscription Service.  The music makes the presentation and no service is better than Triple Scoop Music with thousands upon thousands of quality songs from independent music artists in every genre.  Enjoy this how-to video on making a Slideshow with Animoto.  The slideshow is shown at the very end of this how-to video.  I will post the slideshow on its own tomorrow.

Music in this video licensed through www.triplescoopmusic.com

This slideshow was made with Animoto’s online slideshow making tool.  The simplicity of uploading the images and song and letting Animoto do the work is quite appealing when you are as busy as I am.  Each slideshow can have one of a long list of styles.  This style is called “Chic.”  I am typically a very simple “documentary style” slideshow maker, but this one works really well for a senior portrait.

Speaking of music, this whole 30 Days project is possible because of Triple Scoop Music’s new subscription-based service which allows users to pay one monthly fee rather than per song.  If you are producing projects and need music, I highly recommend Triple Scoop Music.  The service is full of great original songs from independent artists.  License one song at a time, or sign up for the subscription service and use as many songs as you need, whenever you need them.  Learn more at www.triplescoopmusic.com

Unlimited music licensing plans are normally $995 per year and up.  However, right now, for a limited time, there is special pricing! Get yours for just $499 per year (annual billing) or $49 per month when you sign up this month.  If you only use one new song each month, you will save $221 this year.  At those prices, I will save $1,301 this month alone!  That’s pretty amazing.  Choose all the music you need all year long. Choose from over 35,000 hand-picked songs and soundtracks.  Click here to learn more: www.triplescoopmusic.com

Use the code “JAREDPLATT18” and save an extra 10% on your music membership!

You can follow this project here, or on my blog at www.jaredplatt.com/blog.  If you are a Vimeo fan, you can watch this project unfold at my Vimeo Album: https://vimeo.com/album/5227999

For a complete list of my equipment, you can go to B&H Photo Video.  https://bhpho.to/2Kx88bl

@Triple Scoop Music @triplscoopmusic #triplescoopmusic #musicLicensing #PhotographyLessons #jaredplatt #photography

#canonUSA @CanonUSA

@animoto

#seniorPortraitPhotography #highschoolSeniorPortraits #ArizonaSeniorPortraits

30 Days Project: A Beautiful Backyard Wedding in Gilbert, Arizona

Some of the best weddings are at home.

A Backyard Wedding in Gilbert, Arizona.

Some weddings are a big event with grand ballrooms or rented barns with breathtaking views in the background, but sometimes they are just in the backyard.  I have photographed many backyard weddings in my career and some of them were do-it-yourself weddings but sometimes, they are just as elegant and beautiful as the extreme weddings at major locations.  All and Ben were married in Alli’s backyard and it was elegant as could be.  The backyard setting made a decent headcount, seem like a small intimate gathering.  Of course, keeping the guest list to a size that fits in the backyard tends to help as well.  There were no strangers at this wedding.   That is what I love about small intimate weddings… everyone who is there is truly invested in the bride and groom.   I love that feeling.

I love the images from this wedding so much, from the images of the kids at the door, to the moment between the father and the bride when he sees his daughter for the first time in her dress with mom looking on.  There are so many moments to show in this wedding that I didn’t worry about adding too many portraits.  I think it showcases the documentary photography from the wedding quite nicely.  In the end, every wedding photographer makes a mix of portraits, fashion, documentary and still life images.  The slideshow can focus on them all equally or focus on one more heavily.  In this case, I have turned the attention to the documentary images and let the portraits be a small part of the day.  I hope you like it.

The music for this slideshow, “True Love” is by Fisher and can be found on Triple Scoop Music.

Music in this video licensed through www.triplescoopmusic.com

This slideshow was made with Animoto’s online slideshow making tool.  The simplicity of uploading the images and song and letting Animoto do the work is quite appealing when you are as busy as I am.  Each slideshow can have one of a long list of styles.  This style is called “Documentary.”  I was responsible for creating this style.  After years of asking for the style, they came to me and asked, “what would it look like?”  This is what we came up with.  It is actually one of Animoto’s most popular styles.  Go figure… it turns out that photographers like to keep the focus on their images.  I did a little tweaking to the standard style options to make this slideshow the way it is.  Each image can either have a normal emphasis, of you can star a photo.  Adding the emphasis star to an image adds an effect to the image during the slideshow (each slideshow has different effects for emphasized images.  In the Documentary Style, it adds a very uniquely times fade in and out and it lengthens its time on the screen.  In this case, I stared almost all of the images that way, the slideshow has a lot more movement in it and each image hangs on a little longer.  Its a little trick I use on Animoto.  Enjoy the slideshow.

Speaking of music, this whole 30 Days project is possible because of Triple Scoop Music’s new subscription-based service which allows users to pay one monthly fee rather than per song.  If you are producing projects and need music, I highly recommend Triple Scoop Music.  The service is full of great original songs from independent artists.  License one song at a time, or sign up for the subscription service and use as many songs as you need, whenever you need them.  Learn more at www.triplescoopmusic.com

Unlimited music licensing plans are normally $995 per year and up.  However, right now, for a limited time, there is special pricing! Get yours for just $499 per year (annual billing) or $49 per month when you sign up this month.  If you only use one new song each month, you will save $221 this year.  At those prices, I will save $1,301 this month alone!  That’s pretty amazing.  Choose all the music you need all year long. Choose from over 35,000 hand-picked songs and soundtracks.  Click here to learn more: www.triplescoopmusic.com

Use the code “JAREDPLATT18” and save an extra 10% on your music membership!

You can follow this project here, or on my blog at www.jaredplatt.com/blog.  If you are a Vimeo fan, you can watch this project unfold at my Vimeo Album: https://vimeo.com/album/5227999

For a complete list of my equipment, you can go to B&H Photo Video.  https://bhpho.to/2Kx88bl

@Triple Scoop Music @triplscoopmusic #triplescoopmusic #musicLicensing #PhotographyLessons #jaredplatt #photography

#canonUSA @CanonUSA

@animoto

#weddingPhotography #destinationWeddingPhotography

@BHPhoto #BHPHOTOVIDEO

30 Days Project: Destination Wedding, Rome

When in Rome: get married and take amazing photos.

Planning your destination wedding? I traveled to Rome to meet up with Karen and Thomas.  The photo session in Rome was a fantastic experience, but we had to get up pretty early in the morning to beat the tourists to the best locations.  The early bird gets the photos!  The wedding portrait photo shoot was a perfect combination for me.  Making portraits with beautiful landscapes in the background is very much “my thing,” but add some incredible street photography with a documentary and historical twist and I am in heaven.  Still, it’s not just enough to be in the location, there is so much going on in every photograph.  The photographer has to be aware of every element in the background and how it interacts with the couple in the foreground.

The addition of documentary style street photography going on all around us meant that I needed to be watching two stories at the same time.  How does the story in the background interact with the story in the foreground?  It’s not just about composition.. there are stories being told as well, and there are moving elements that can intersect with the subject at any time and then there is exposure and lighting.  It’s no walk in the park, but it’s a whole lot of fun.  I hope you enjoy this look back at a beautiful wedding as much as I do.

Karen and Thomas’ destination wedding starts in Phoenix and ends in Rome. This slideshow is part of my 30 Days Project which includes portfolio slideshows and past and current projects including destination wedding photography, like this.  All music provided and licensed by Triple Scoop Music through their Subscription Service. This particular song, Starts with a Breath is by Willis.  I think it fits perfectly with the images.

Enjoy the slideshow of this beautiful wedding. I had the greatest time making the images and I think it shows in the images themselves. When a client trusts you implicitly, the freedom that provides elevates the art you can make for them. Karen and Thomas are that kind of client. God bless them!

This slideshow was made with Adobe Clip and directly uploaded to Vimeo for distribution. Clip is such a simple way to make slideshows and can be done from your iPad or Smart Phone in just a few short minutes. I can’t say enough good things about Adobe Clip. It even has a few songs for simple projects, but the number is seriously small and they aren’t that great. That’s another reason to use Triple Scoop Music’s subscription service. No matter what program I use to make my videos, I have all the music I could ever want, ready to use anytime I need it. And that is very useful now as I am making 30 Videos in 30 Days…

 

 

This slideshow was made with Adobe Premiere Clip. Clip accesses all of my photos in Lightroom CC and creates beautiful slideshows in seconds right on my iPad or iPhone. The beauty of Clip is that I can either make a super simple and fast slideshow, or I can further edit that slideshow or movie in Adobe Premiere. In this case, I did the entire thing in Adobe Clip and sent it right to the web.  You are seeing fifteen years of photographic work.  The slideshow itself took about 50 seconds to create with another 20 minutes of finessing to get the perfect timing on the gaps.  But every minute of it was fun.  I did it all on my iPad late last night on my living room couch with my headphones blasting away.  It was a nice way to spend the last minutes of my waking day.

Speaking of music, this whole 30 Days project is possible because of Triple Scoop Music’s new subscription-based service which allows users to pay one monthly fee rather than per song.  If you are producing projects and need music, I highly recommend Triple Scoop Music.  The service is full of great original songs from independent artists.  License one song at a time, or sign up for the subscription service and use as many songs as you need, whenever you need them.  Learn more at www.triplescoopmusic.com

Music in this video licensed through www.triplescoopmusic.com

The music for this slideshow is by Krista Youngs and can be found on Triple Scoop Music.

Unlimited music licensing plans are normally $995 per year and up.  However, right now, for a limited time, there is special pricing! Get yours for just $499 per year (annual billing) or $49 per month when you sign up this month.  If you only use one new song each month, you will save $221 this year.  At those prices, I will save $1,301 this month alone!  That’s pretty amazing.  Choose all the music you need all year long. Choose from over 35,000 hand-picked songs and soundtracks.  Click here to learn more: www.triplescoopmusic.com

Use the code “JAREDPLATT18” and save an extra 10% on your music membership!

You can follow this project here, or on my blog at www.jaredplatt.com/blog.  If you are a Vimeo fan, you can watch this project unfold at my Vimeo Album: https://vimeo.com/album/5227999

For a complete list of my equipment, you can go to B&H Photo Video.  https://bhpho.to/2Kx88bl

@Triple Scoop Music @triplscoopmusic #triplescoopmusic #musicLicensing #PhotographyLessons #jaredplatt #photography

#canonUSA @CanonUSA

@Adobe #AdobePremiereClip @AdobePremiere

#weddingPhotography #destinationWeddingPhotography

@BHPhoto #BHPHOTOVIDEO

30 Days Project: Child Life Portraits by Jared Platt

Child Life Portraits are full of personality and life.

Portrait sessions with children can be a bit of a stress for parents.  They set an arbitrary date for their kids to look great, act sweet, mind their manners and smile!  Then they collect the outfits, rush out the door, put the kids in the car for the long drive to the studio where they will do their best to control their children, coax, threaten, cajole and plead… hoping that their little ones will look beautiful and precious and happy even if they are completely different in real life.  The session results in bribes that get bigger and bigger or threats that become so unrealistic that the children (even the two-year-old) know their parents are bluffing on the threats and lying about the rewards.  And this is what the parents are paying good money for?  Everyone wants a beautiful portrait of their children on the wall and most of us hope that it will show off the very best in our kids.  It has been hard raising kids and parents want to show everyone what amazing little people they have created and trained.

child portrait by jared platt in aspen grove in arizona

Well, here is the problem as I see it, and I have seen a lot of child portrait sessions.  The problem is that parents are too eager to micromanage the portrait session that they are paying for.  They have hired someone who is skilled at finding those precious moments, who has a talent for interacting with kids, even a gift of connecting with children on a level that the parents may never be able to accomplish on their own, and yet they will stress and threaten and even direct their children during the photo shoot.  If you are a photographer, you know exactly what I am talking about.  If you are a parent reading this post, take my advice and just step back and relax.  Your photographer should take the reigns on this photoshoot, let the photographer drive and you just get out of the way and enjoy the show.  It will be a crazy little show, but your bribes and threats aren’t going to make the photoshoot any better.  In fact, the rising stress levels will break your kids down faster.  Trust your photographer to make the beautiful images you see on their website for you without your help.  And if the photographer needs you to do something, they will ask you to help.  Otherwise, just hang out and enjoy watching the show.  If your kids are a bouncing off the walls that day, resist the urge to discipline… it’s a photo shoot, let it be fun for them.  Better images are made with children who are having fun that with children who are “holding still.”

My portrait sessions are called “Child Life Portraits,” because I want my clients to understand the reason for the images.  They are not an 18th-century oil painted portrait that shows a child as the world or the parent expects or hopes they will be with every flaw removed.  I am making images that express the nature of children AS THEY ARE, which is perfect and energetic and angry and sad and happy and curious and hyper and sleepy and bored and wonderful and silly and cute and yes, even messy.  When I make children’s portraits, they are sessions that go wherever the children take us and my clients are the kind of people who want a portrait of their children that shows who they really are with all their flaws and all of their eccentricities and all of their strengths and perfections.

Child Life Portraits are the real portraits that come from a photographer with a love for reality, they are born in appreciation for documentary photography, landscape photography and stylized editorial portraiture and fashion.  Being real doesn’t mean we never create a set for the portrait session or dress the kids up in great outfits or hand them props to play with, it just simply means that we inspire them to be themselves no matter where they are or what they are doing.  It is my goal as a children’s photographer to capture the essence of the child no matter what environment we are in.  If this idea sounds great to you, you may want to give me a call for your next portrait session.  If you can’t let go of the control… there are plenty of photographers out there for you.  I’m just not that guy.  If you are a photographer and want to create more images like the ones you see in this slideshow, I teach workshops online and across the world.  Contact me to find one near you.

 

This video is an example from my 30 Days Project where I am making the commitment to share more work, more often, in more places.  If you are a photographer, enjoy the inspiration and read on about how I made this slideshow and make sure to tune in for the how-to videos to come in the coming weeks.  If you are a parent and would like images of your children that show who they really are, feel free to contact me anytime.  I travel internationally and have taken children’s portraits from Arizona to China and everywhere in-between.  Contact me here.

The slideshow program I used for this slideshow is called Smart Slides.  Smart Slides is the absolute simplest tool available for making slideshows.  It takes a total of 30 seconds to make a stunning slideshow (not counting the upload of the images and song – that is based on your internet speeds).  It is based on the idea that the most important thing about your slideshow is your images, which I agree with completely.  There are only three steps:  add the images, choose the music, choose the transitions. That’s it.  Here is where the Smart Slides tool shines: Smart Slides produces the cleanest, most perfect slideshows available in any tool on the planet.  I upload 4K or larger images, the system makes the appropriately sized images for every size device and then feeds those images to the slideshow as needed for the device on which the slideshow is being played.  For instance, if you are reading this on your 27-inch Retina display, you have probably noticed that other slideshows are a little pixelated on your screen, things don’t look great in full-screen mode and that is because you have a very high-resolution monitor.  This slideshow will look GREAT on your monitor, on your iPhone, iPad, laptop… it doesn’t matter what you play it on, it will look perfect as long as you feed the slideshow from Smart Slide’s servers.  There is also a 1080P HD download option and I am posting that one on Vimeo.  I suggest you watch it once on Vimeo in HD and once on my blog in 4K to see the true difference between a HD Video File and a 4K HTML Slideshow Feed.  I am in love with the quality of the Smart Slides slideshows for my Blog.  The one shortcoming in the system is that when you post on Facebook, you really need to download the HD video file and post it so that Faceboook sees it as a video rather than a link out (Facebook likes video in the actual feed and they don’t like links out).  They have some music that comes with the service, but as you should know by now, I am a big fan of Triple Scoop Music’s incredible library of music.

This slideshow on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/jaredplatt/child-life-portraits-by-jared-platt

This Slideshow on my Blog: http://www.jaredplatt.com/child-life-portraits-by-photographer-jared-platt

Speaking of tools, this whole 30 Days project is possible because of Triple Scoop Music’s new subscription-based service which allows users to pay one monthly fee rather than per song.  If you are producing projects and need music, I highly recommend Triple Scoop Music.  The service is full of great original songs from independent artists.  License one song at a time, or sign up for the subscription service and use as many songs as you need, whenever you need them.  Learn more at www.triplescoopmusic.com

Music in this video licensed through www.triplescoopmusic.com

Unlimited music licensing plans are normally $995 per year and up.  However, right now, for a limited time, there is special pricing! Get yours for just $499 per year (annual billing) or $49 per month when you sign up this month.  If you only use one new song each month, you will save $221 this year.  At those prices, I will save $1,301 this month alone!  That’s pretty amazing.  Choose all the music you need all year long. Choose from over 35,000 hand-picked songs and soundtracks.  Click here to learn more: www.triplescoopmusic.com

Use the code “JAREDPLATT18” and save an extra 10% on your music membership!

If you are a Vimeo fan, you can watch this project unfold at my Vimeo Album: https://vimeo.com/album/5227999

For a complete list of my equipment, you can go to B&H Photo Video.  https://bhpho.to/2Kx88bl

@Triple Scoop Music @triplscoopmusic #triplescoopmusic #musicLicensing #PhotographyLessons #jaredplatt #photography

#canonUSA @CanonUSA

#SmartSlides @pixellu

#weddingPhotography #destinationWeddingPhotography

@BHPhoto #BHPHOTOVIDEO

30 Days Project: Grand Canyon Destination Weddings

We’ve been preparing a wedding venue just for you, for the past six million years.  The Grand Canyon.

Planning your destination wedding? What will it be?  We’ve been preparing one venue just for you for the past six million years.  It’s all ready.  Let us help you to document your experience.  www.jaredplatt.com

This video is an example from my 30 Days Project where I am making the commitment to share more work, more often, in more places.  If you are a photographer, enjoy the inspiration and read on about how I made this slideshow and make sure to tune in for the hhow-tovideos to come in the coming weeks.  If you are a bride or a groom and you are planning your wedding, contact me and let me help you navigate through the process of creating the ultimate destination wedding.  No matter where you are planning your wedding, you need experts who know their business.  We know wedding photography and when you create a destination wedding experience, the photography is critical.  Don’t leave it to chance.  Places like the Grand Canyon, Iceland or a Sand Bar in the ocean are tricky places to get great photos, you need more than a typical photographer.  You need a photographer who understands the natural light, location scouting, sun tracking, tide schedules, shadow patterns and location strobe lighting.  So no matter where you are planning to go, contact me at www.jaredplatt.com and let’s talk about your wedding.  Let’s make your destination wedding be the best it can be and I’ll make your wedding photographs the best they can be.

This video was produced using Animoto’s Video Marketing online program.  It’s as simple as uploading a few images and videos, typing in the text and pushing the produce button!  So simple and powerful.  And with my pocket filled with any song from Triple Scoop Musics Subscription service, I can make any project shine!  And each project can have its own unique song!  Stay tuned for the how-to videos where I will teach you how to use my arsenal of video editing tools and services.  By the end of this 30 Days Project, you will know exactly which tool is right for you.  You may decide you want to use a few of them, like I do.

 

Speaking of tools, this whole 30 Days project is possible because of Triple Scoop Music’s new subscription-based service which allows users to pay one monthly fee rather than per song.  If you are producing projects and need music, I highly recommend Triple Scoop Music.  The service is full of great original songs from independent artists.  License one song at a time, or sign up for the subscription service and use as many songs as you need, whenever you need them.  Learn more at www.triplescoopmusic.com

Music in this video licensed through www.triplescoopmusic.com

Unlimited music licensing plans are normally $995 per year and up.  However, right now, for a limited time, there is special pricing! Get yours for just $499 per year (annual billing) or $49 per month when you sign up this month.  If you only use one new song each month, you will save $221 this year.  At those prices, I will save $1,301 this month alone!  That’s pretty amazing.  Choose all the music you need all year long. Choose from over 35,000 hand-picked songs and soundtracks.  Click here to learn more: www.triplescoopmusic.com

Use the code “JAREDPLATT18” and save an extra 10% on your music membership!

You can follow this project here, or on my blog at www.jaredplatt.com/blog.  If you are a Vimeo fan, you can watch this project unfold at my Vimeo Album: https://vimeo.com/album/5227999

For a complete list of my equipment you can go to B&H Photo Video.  https://bhpho.to/2Kx88bl

@Triple Scoop Music @triplscoopmusic #triplescoopmusic #musicLicensing #PhotographyLessons #jaredplatt #photography

#canonUSA @CanonUSA

#Animoto @animoto

#weddingPhotography #destinationWeddingPhotography

@BHPhoto #BHPHOTOVIDEO