How to Pose Your Subjects

Whether taking a formal shot or informal shots of a group of friends, as a photographer, it will be necessary to pose your subjects if you want your images to have a nice composition. I always find posing my subjects challenging, especially when am called in to shoot in the last minute without having had time to meet and interact with them.

As a result, I wanted to create a small posing guide that would be of help, not only to me but, to anybody who faces the same challenges as I do.

Here are a few poses for a large number of people, a group of friends, and family members.

1. This pose works when working with a large group of people. Here, the idea is to have the whole group looking like a single object.

2.  For your shots to have that formal or documentary look, compose in full height.  Simply get everyone visible like this.

3. Shooting from an elevated angle to get a higher viewpoint can give your shots a more interesting and inviting perspective.

4. This composition works best for a small team shot such as a music band or a small team of co-workers. Place a known leader in front for even stronger composition.

5. This a standard, ordinary, and common way to pose a group of friends.  It always works, so I had to put it in as well.

6. This is another fun pose. Get everyone lean their heads slightly closer and towards the camera while standing very close together. You are going to love this shot, and so will they.

7.  Have the group form a circle while lying on the ground. Shoot from above. This will make for a killer shot.

8. For this shot, choose a “group leader” and put him or her in front. The others can then join in one by one while standing behind the previous person peeking towards the camera over the shoulder while supporting themselves a little on the person directly in front to add cordiality to your composition.

9. For this composition, put a “group leader” in front while others appear behind each other. Shooting with different apertures for a variety of focus points makes for interesting shots.

Here is a slight variation of the previous one. For this shot. check that everybody is clearly visible and shoot from a close distance with a wide aperture. Focus on the first person and ensure people further away are blurred to create an interesting and unusual looking group shot.

10.This pose works great for a group of friends or family members. Ask the group to make a jump after a short run.

11. Here are some family shots you can try out as well.

 

And here is video:

David Gitonga

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VIDEO: 8 Powerful Video Statistics in 2014

As the popularity of video continues to grow, it is becoming more important than ever for marketers to develop an engaging online video marketing strategy to capitalize on the this type of content.

Here is a look at 8 video statistics that I found compelling and that should help you make that important jump into video marketing.

 

 

E-LABZ is a video and image creation company that works with small and medium-sized businesses to create content for their website, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages.  For enquiries, call 0721-783-420 or email david@e-labz.info

 

David Gitonga

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VIDEO: What You Can Do with a 2-Camera Interview

One of the most effective ways to reach an audience is to shoot an interview. An interview lets your fans into your world by what you say, and when done right, it can be a great piece of content for your website and YouTube page.

I have been going through different interviews online with some of my favorite being from VIBE Magazine. These interviews are set up using just 2 cameras, a closeup and a middle shot. They use 3-point lighting and are shot with a black background. This is a very simple, yet effective, interview setup that I plan to replicate for my upcoming interviews. Post-production work includes mixing pictures and videos with the interview to create emotion and keep the audience focused.

Check out the VIBE Magazine Nas interview below:

 

 

David Gitonga

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Why Use Video Marketing for Business

Words

Life has become fast and busy and people have become more web savvy on the Internet. Video is where your customers are spending time.Video is the latest trend and is only getting bigger and bigger.

Here are some stats about video you should know:

1. A minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.

2. The chances of getting page one listing on Google Search increase by 53% with video.

3. On average, a visitor will stay 2 minutes longer when they watch a video.

4. 65% visit the website after viewing a video and make purchase decisions.

5. By 2017 video will be 90% of all Internet traffic.

6. 87% of online marketers use videos.

7. Over 1 billion unique visits on YouTube every month.

8. 87% of social media users follow their brand’s videos.

9. Posts with video links will attract 3x more visitors.

10. Online videos are 100% more social engaging.

11. Video marketing can get you 46% more conversion lift.

12. There is 139% more brand impact using videos.

Is your brand producing online videos? If not, start now.

Consumers are watching them, following them, and making purchase decisions based on them. Remember, your competition is already doing this and are likely behind them if you not.

We are experts in creating online videos. If you are looking to get the best out of your website, YouTube, Facebook, and all the other platforms where your potential customers are interacting, talk to us.

E-LABZ

254-721-783-420

 

David Gitonga

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VIDEO: Behind the Scenes Shoot

I fall in love with every cover shoot of TIME magazine and even more so when it features a public figure who is gifted. I have always loved Christopher Nolan’s movies (Memento, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception) and enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look of his upcoming science-fiction film, Interstellar.

This was a shoot for the November 10, 2014 TIME cover of the film, Interstellar, that features the beautiful Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, and the director, Christoper Nolan. Check out how the LA-based photograher Robert Maxwell poses his subjects and what happens behind a very professional magazine shoot.

 

 

David Gitonga

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What are Explainer Videos?

Explainer Video Graphic

 

Explainer videos are short online videos used to explain your company’s product or service. These videos are often placed on a website home page, a landing page, or some other prominent product page.

Explainers are short videos, usually under 2 minutes, that introduce a business and the details on their products and services and how they help solve customer problems.


Explainer videos are quick and memorable ways of making an impact on your audience and helping them make an informed buying decision.

What Makes an Effective Landing Page?

Duration

According to a PowToon research, the best cartoon length is between 63-92 seconds with the critical start being between 7-10 seconds. You only have 7 seconds to convince your viewers why they need to continue watching.

7 Seconds

You can start by asking an important question. Such a question may make the viewer feel concerned they may be doing something wrong. A few seconds later, introduce the product as a better option. Mint opens its explainer video by asking the question “How to do you keep track of your financial life? Statements? Spreadsheets? Scribbles? It’s time for something better, something easier, something smarter. Mint is a free, easy way to manage your money that empowers you to take charge of your financial life.” All of this takes place within the first 20 seconds.

Alternatively, you can focus on your value proposition from the word Go. This can be done by speaking about your credibility and introducing relevant proof without being too flashy or coming off like too good to be true.

Implementation

You want to place your explainer video on a landing page on your website. When New Relic used an explainer video on their landing page, it was center screen.  It was the main focus of the landing page. Similarly, Salesforce explainer video was placed on a landing page that was dull gray while the video was bright blue. You simply can’t help but click to play.

Call to Action

An explainer video highly needs a call-to-action to help viewers know what action they need to take after viewing. A Call to Action is a perfect opportunity for conversion as it turns viewers into customers.

A Call to Action can be anything, from adding an item to a cart, visiting the company website, to subscribing or making a donation.

SonicBox implements its Call to Action by asking viewers to visit their website and sign up for free. The Google Chrome OS prompts viewers to download the Chrome browser at the end of the video. Crazy Egg and Mint explainer videos prompt users to sign up for their services at the end. Airbnb has a beautiful Call to Action that highlights the website at the upper left corner while the talent in the video asks the question “where to go next?”

The importance of an explainer video cannot be underestimated.  Do you have an explainer video? If not, consider developing one as this can greatly boost your engagement and increase conversions for your products and services.

 

 

David Gitonga

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Get a Professional Video

According to a recent statistic by Ooyala, the pace of mobile video growth is accelerating. In the past year, mobile video viewing has more than doubled to become over 25% of all online viewing. Mobile video share has increased 127% year-over-year and 400% in the past two years.

With faster networks, more bandwidth, and an increasing number of smarter devices, all these are helping grow online video adoption.

What are you doing to leverage this online video market? E-LABZ can help you get started by creating professional videos for your products and services.

 

 

David Gitonga

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Workshop: Wedding Photography with Ben Kiruthi

Me and Ben

Leonardo da Vinci once said that “learning never exhausts the mind.” I had an opportunity to do exactly that on the 18-19th September 2014 at Kingdom Gardens, Muthaiga, with the leading wedding photographer in Kenya, Ben Kiruthi.

It was fun and exciting and an opportunity to meet up with many other photographers trying to break into the wedding photography niche. It was also humbling to have someone like Ben take the time out of his busy schedule to train and help us improve on our craft.

Day 1

On the first day, we learned the value of story telling. Ben emphasized this by giving us experiences from his shoots and highlighted the importance of photo-journalism in telling a great wedding story. I learned the art of being invisible, caring for the story, the importance of listening, looking, and being attentive. There is a story in every wedding and as a wedding photographer, it’s up to you to look for that story.

“Money always follows passion” – Ben Kiruthi

At the end of the day, we had a model bride and groom show up and I got to learn how to light the talent, pose them, focus, recompose, and shoot.  The shoot lasted late into the night.

Day 2

On the second day, we covered various aspects of a wedding shoot such as the ceremony, the procession, the recession, the creative session, the reception, and sunset portraits. We also covered the business side of wedding photography where we learned how to pitch, come up with contracts, the equipment and gear, and how to set and run a wedding photography blog.

We also learned how to edit the photos we shot the previous day using Lightroom.

The Team

According to Confucius, “You cannot open a book without learning something” and this is exactly what I did. I attended the workshop and went away having learned a lot about photography. I look forward to using what I learned at the workshop to improve my shots and make a difference.

The Trainer and trainees

 

David Gitonga

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VIDEO: The Client Brief

James Wambugu is an architectural designer and runs his own firm, DesignPrime. He wanted an online presence that would educate clients on the value of crafting a client design brief.  We settled for a talking head video.

While a scripted video is great on almost any occasion, it is not always necessary as this example shows. Having the main points in mind is usually enough to create a talking head.

We shot this at his office in Ngara.

Take a look.

 

 

 

 

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Marketing Your Startup Using Video

 

YouTube for Startups

Times have changed and once again, those who refuse to bend with the wind are having a hard time trying to figure out why radio and television advertising is not working anymore.

You see, online video is being used by many entrepreneurs creatively to help them get noticed……. and they are getting noticed.

The story of Orabrush is a fine testament to the power of YouTube and its potential to boost a small business’s visibility and raise its profile.

Video is not longer expensive as it used to be. It doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to create engaging powerful videos. With a smartphone, you can record, edit, and upload a video and begin to create engagement. You don’t need industry-standard equipment to create a powerful video that has a powerful message. Take a look at the video below to see what I mean:

Why Your Startup Needs Video

Startups are faced with the challenge of reaching more people and expand their customer base as soon as possible. Video is an excellent way to increase your reach and visibility by standing out. Not many people are employing video, and this gives you an edge over competition. It allows you to show your audience how unique and different you are from your competitors.

Video is also great for optimizing your Google Search.  Web pages with video are more sticky, according to Google, which makes them more valuable and hence appear much higher on search engine results pages.  People stay longer on your pages as they watch videos, which is one of the reasons for the sticky effect. In addition, the variety of content on pages offers more interaction points with visitors, which further translates to higher page results. Whichever way you look at it, video is good for Search.

Social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are using video more frequently. Facebook is particularly serving more videos on news feeds and running video ads. With video attracting new audiences, you are better positioned to get more attention and increase visibility when sharing video on your activity stream.

How to Create Great Videos

When getting started with video, you want something with great content, collaborative, and has calls-to-action.  Collaborating with celebrities, fans, and online “stars” is one way to gain more traction.

Consistency is another important facet of video. Create a schedule for creating and releasing video. Consistency also applies to when and how you deliver your videos.

Short content works best for the web. You don’t want to create long YouTube videos, otherwise nobody is going to take time and watch them as if they have nothing better to do. Create short, to-the-point videos and be consistent in this area as well.

E-LABZ helps businesses looking to leverage video and photography for their online marketing efforts. Feel free to contact us for all your video and photography needs.

 

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