How to keep your photos safe; useful tips on backing to the cloudJuly 28, 2014

The average person uses 70% of their computer and smartphone memory for photographs. Most computers have folders within folders within more folders of only photos. Keeping digital photographs safe is a common problem most people face as it is usually backed up on multiple hard drives. However, moving forward more and more people are storing their photographs safely and securely on cloud servers. There are those that are still skeptical about this and do not fully understand what cloud storage actually means. But all external hard drives fail eventually and you will lose your data. We’ve put together a few tips on backing up your memories to the cloud.

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Choose wisely when selecting a cloud server

There are many options to choose from when selecting a safe place to store your photos. Tons of free options exist but cannot always be trusted to keep your data safe. After doing some research we have found that Dropbox is a great cloud storage service. It’ll put an extra icon on your computer where you can drag and drop your files into for backing up. Everything you put into your Dropbox folder gets automatically uploaded into a cloud backup on Dropbox’s servers. It’s all synced in real time so anything you add or delete in the folder gets updated on the Dropbox server as well. You can also download the app onto your smartphone to access your photos from anywhere at any time. Dropbox also allows you to share folders with others; making it the perfect tool for photographers who want to share photos with their clients.

When it comes to paid cloud services Amazon Cloud Drive and Box are worth looking at. Box has an unlimited storage plan and has recently announced that it is offering businesses Office 365 integration to unlimited plan customers.

Know your rights

If there’s one thing to remember about online photo sharing and storage, it’s this: the services and options change very quickly so do their terms and conditions. It can be extremely confusing but you need to familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions and make sure you understand how the service works.

Meta data

Remember, Meta data is very important to photographers. It is recommended to embed your details, including a link to your portfolio, into the meta-data of all images you upload into the cloud, in case of a security breach.

Size does matter

Not all storage options are free and the ones that are, offer limited amount of space. If you have tons of photos and cannot spare deleting any then you only have two options. You could either upgrade your account by purchasing more space or you could resize your photos. Because let’s face it, having multiple cloud servers and having your pictures all over the place is not ideal.

Remember not everything lasts forever. Printed out photo’s will eventually fade but storing your photos on the cloud will definitely last much longer than on a hard drive or in a dusty old album.

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Launching 1 day Photography Workshops for aspiring photographersJune 25, 2014

The team at Freshtake Creative will be launching a range of photography workshops in Cape Town for aspiring photographers. If you are passionate about photography or would simply like to improve your photography skills then these workshops are perfect for you. The first workshop kicks off in July and a special Winter Rate will apply.

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At the workshop you will be introduced to the following photography skills including:

  • Camera settings and how to use these creatively
  • Composition and how to achieve pleasing images

Notes will be provided so you can always refresh what you have learned at the workshop. After learning the theory, you will be putting the learned skills into practice by taking a few shots and analysing these.

 

Workshop Details

09h00 – 13h00 | 12th July 2014

Table View, Cape Town

R350pp

Refreshments will be provided

 

Requirements

Photographers will need a DSLR Camera or equivalent (cameras need to have manual controls). Unfortunately point and shoot camera’s will not meet the requirements as these are not suited for any creative and manually controlled photography.

 

Register

To register for the workshop or for further information, please email joachim@freshtake.co.za

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Creating the perfect setting for Portrait PhotographyMay 26, 2014

 All photographers are faced with challenges regarding the setting of a photoshoot especially if it is a portrait shoot. Paying attention to detail is of utmost importance and one has so much to take into consideration including lighting, posing and composition.

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Lighting is one of the most important things photographers have to take into account when planning a shoot. Natural light is always best. It makes for a natural looking image and is tricky to recreate artificially. However you need to become aware of the light, its direction, intensity and colour. When shooting outside photographers need to avoid the time of day when the sun is high up in the sky. This creates harsh shadows and high contrasts. Make use of the golden hour, just before and until just after sunrise/sunset. This is the time when the light is soft and warm and the direction is low.  Try to plan your shoot as much as possible, draw up a lighting plan and control your environment (location, light). A shooting plan will give you an idea of how to proceed on location, where to setup your lighting in relation to your subject, as well as help you adapt and deal with unforeseen circumstances. Be prepared yet flexible.

If you are going to shoot portraits outdoors during the day, the best weather to have is a cloudy, hazy sky as this makes for soft light with soft shadows and less contrast. Fog can also create an interesting and mysterious background. However this all depends on the type of mood you are looking to create in your portrait. Backgrounds can also impact your perfect picture. If you want a corporate looking portrait photoshoot, choose a clean background with colour to suit the feel you want to bring out, e.g. white or light colours for someone who is upbeat and energetic, toned down and darker colours for a serious feel. Portrait photographers can also use a background that shows the environment e.g. a bookcase full of books. Apart from the physical background, you can also manipulate the background by blurring it. Blurring the background prevents the background from becoming a distraction and keeps the focus on the portrait subject. To achieve this, use a large aperture (i.e. low f-stop number), though be aware of your lenses limitation. You might have a lens with an aperture of f/1,2, which creates a strongly blurred background but an unpleasant looking bokeh (the aesthetic quality of the blurred background).

Besides the actual location and setting, there are other important things to take into account such as the way in which to shoot. For portraits, long lenses (70-100mm) are ideal to use. They keep the focus on the subject and capture less of the surroundings. If however you want to bring in the environment, a wide angle lens can be used. When using a wide angle, keep in mind that edges will be distorted and possibly soft (depending on the quality of your lens). Therefore don’t place your subject right on the side of the image.

Using a flash to create good looking images can be really tricky. The worst light to use is an on-camera flash. It makes the image look flat and uninteresting with unflattering highlights on faces. If you are going to use a flash, use one where the lens can be rotated in order to bounce the flash off surrounding walls and ceilings. Better still get a cable with which you can connect the Speedlite to the camera but move it physically away from the camera. You do not want the flash to come from the same direction as from which the camera is looking.

Now that you have your setting and camera nailed down, what about your subjects? Sometimes a portrait photographer can create the perfect environment for the shoot but the subject may be a bit stiff or unprepared. Ask your subjects to remain as relaxed and calm as possible and this will be visible in the photos. Their body language will play a pivotal role in creating the perfect portrait photo. Subjects should keep their hands as natural as possible but you as a portrait photographer need to be aware of extending hands towards the camera or being too much in the foreground. For portraits, let hands rest on the leg or tucked into pocket or folded arms. Stage a shoot if you want control of what you want to bring across. You can then direct facial expressions, body posture and emotion (to a certain extent). Natural, photojournalistic shots are much more rewarding if you want to capture real emotion and depth. Stand back, use a long lens and be alert and ready to capture that certain moment that tells a story.

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The importance of visual in content creation and how to secure the right supplierMay 9, 2014

MP9003875511We all know that content is king and the importance of fresh, dynamic and relevant content should never be underestimated.  But just what is content exactly?  Just as a company brand is about so much more than merely a logo, so too is content more than words and phrases. It is about photographs, videography, caricatures and even animation.  Basically, it’s anything that helps a brand communicate their message in a clear and compelling way – a way which keeps its audience coming back for more.

But whilst we often spend great amounts of time and vast sums of money crafting the perfect message, too often we still see badly composed photographs and home-made videos.  With technology rendering every person an ‘instant’ photographer, videographer or cinematographer, it’s tempting to forget that these areas of content creation require just as much strategic planning, forethought and professional skill as the company press release.  Whilst ‘selfies’ might be taking over the world, do they really belong on the pages of your company website or your social media feeds?

But where to start and how to ensure the best visual result for your company’s requirements?  “It all starts with the choice of supplier,” says Joachim Hambsch, founder and co-owner of Freshtake Creative, a photographic and videography studio based in the Western Cape. So be it product photography or studio photography, food photography or lifestyle photography or even corporate video production and film production, Joachim shares some fail-proof tips for choosing the right creative partner.

  • Partnership: Whoever is ‘creating’ your visual identity needs to be someone you feel comfortable with.  It needs to be someone who feels confident and understands the essence of who you and your company are in the world.  For it is here that the seemingly undefinable, yet critical, ‘magic’ in the world of visual will happen.
  • Experience: How long have they been doing this and who are their clients? Ask to see their portfolio of work and does the work they produce inspire confidence in you?
  • Cost: With so many ‘newbies’ passing themselves off as experts, it might be tempting to go with the cheaper option.  But it could be a costly mistake.
  • Smaller agency: However it is important to note that smaller agencies bring with them not only a lack of hierarchy and greater flexibility, but are also cost effective due to lower staff and overheads.  So whilst ‘cheap’ isn’t always better, neither does premium quality need to be unaffordable.
  • Technology: Are they up to speed with the latest technology; both on- and offsite, pre- and post-shoot?  Not only is relationship key, but when all is said and done do they have the means and capability to produce a quality result right to the end?

We live in an over stimulated world, with hundreds of messages via dozens of mediums being visited on us each day.  In fact over 900 marketing messages alone are received on average by people each week. It is therefore important to note how our brain processes visual messages much quicker, holding it for much longer than any other medium or stimuli. In fact, research carried out by the 3M Corporation finds that visual is processed 66,000 faster than text.

It makes sense therefore that the importance of staying current and using the best visual techniques available to not only capture the consumer’s attention, but effectively deliver one’s message whilst standing out above the “noise”, cannot be over emphasised.

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The importance of corporate and professional head shots for business professionalsApril 1, 2014

People-014The majority of businesses today spend time and effort on building their company’s’ brand, their services and their products. However the market is constantly shifting and consumers want to engage with people rather than companies. We are living in a social media age, where everything we do is online. Putting a face or faces to your business is more important than ever, especially for your clients and customers.

Business professional should never underestimate the power of the perfect headshot. A professional headshot plays a pivotal role in publically representing yourself. It sets the tone for who you are and what you are all about. Headshots can be used to market yourself and staff on social media profiles such as LinkedIn but also used on your company website, alongside news articles or even on your company portfolio documents. Using family photographs, cropped images or even self-portraits could mean potentially losing a prospective client.

Freshtake Creative is passionate about visually displaying the expression, personality and mood of our subjects. It is important for us that the people we shoot are comfortable and relaxed.  We recommend that your headshots be taken in an environment that you are comfortable in such as your office or in your company boardroom, provided clean and simple backgrounds are available. Headshots do not have to be stiff either, we encourage showing off your personality with a smile for example. Having a professional photoshoot done for yourself and your management team could be one the greatest investments you will make.

It is no longer enough to rely on a simple logo as the face of your company, the face of any business are the people who have relationships with their clients. It is important to use a professional photographer to capture your head shots to ensure you create a great first impression.

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