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Style Session: Stylemology

On September 27, 2014
By Connie
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We thought we’d switch things up from our usual flay lays and do something a bit more three dimensional for this week’s style session with Stylemology.  These product stills were created using clothes hangers, fishing line, and lots of patience.  The trick was waiting for some of the items to stop spinning back and forth on their fishing lines!  The extra time and effort was completely worth it though as we’re thrilled with the final results.

Photography

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Beginnings of a Videographer

On August 17, 2014
By Connie
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Ladies and gentlemen, and now the moment I know you’ve all been waiting for: the premier of my first video project.  Directed by moi, videography by yours truly, and edited by myself (also, styling by Bri Luhrmann, and with our lovely model, Gina Mendoza Lafaurie).

 

Having done only a few quick lessons on capturing video, and a short, but very informative, editing workshop for photographers learning how to use Final Cut Pro with SunStudios, I’m very happy with this first solo project.  Using a DSLR, I shot the entire piece handheld in order to get that behind-the-scenes feel.  I had a lot of fun experimenting with framing, panning, and pulling focus.  Pulling focus (switching the point of focus from one object to another in the frame) is a tricky skill I’m still playing around with.  It takes a lot of practice to get the timing and speed of pulling focus to work with the overall feel of the project.  I kept re-shooting some shots adjusting the timing of my focusing hoping to get the right one in the can.  As with photography, seeing your footage on a computer screen after it’s all done, is very different compared to when you’re in the moment, and I was trying to cover my butt.

I’m definitely at that early stage of my videography career where you capture way too much footage because you’re just not sure you’ve covered the whole story.  It makes for a longed editing process, but I am pleased that with this video, I managed to capture more great footage than was needed.  As I’m learning with my editing, it’s important to be objective when choosing what footage makes it into the final video.  It was frustrating to realize that some of the footage I was proud to have shot could not be included in the final edit for some reason or other.  For example, I had captured some great footage of Bri applying make-up on Gina where they were chatting and laughing, but the story was about bandage dresses and not about make-up artistry so it didn’t make sense to include too much video of that stage of our shoot.  Still, I’m rather gratified to have been stuck with the problem of too much great footage versus not enough at all.  Props to me :)

 

Stop Motion Start

On July 13, 2014
By Connie
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We’ve starting playing with stop motion these last few weeks at the studio.  As this is my first foray into stop motion, I’ve been really keen to dive right into these projects.  So. Much. Fun.  It’s playing and craft time all the time!

I understood the general concept of stop motion videos: lots of still images of incremental movements played sequentially in a video.  I did not, however, really understand just how many still images were needed to create a short video of only one minute.  We assumed a lot.  We should have assumed a lot more.  Thankfully, amazing things can be done in Final Cut Pro.

For this stop motion video, we did a style session called One Knit Three Ways.  It’s pretty self-explanatory; we took one green knit sweater and created three different outfits involving said sweater.  We created our set on the ground, and high above we rigged a camera on a stand.  The camera was tethered to a computer so we could see our progress as we moved the clothes around the set.  It was good fun making the clothes walk around, flap about, and dance on the set.  There was plenty of laughter, and, by the end of the day, a lot of sore knees.  Next time I’m wearing knee pads!

When we pulled all the images into Final Cut Pro, we started to really see how much control we had in this editing program.  We experimented a lot with speeding up or slowing down the frame rate to see how it changed the tone and pacing of the video.  It really started to highlight just how essential it is to have a skilled and talented editor for any video project.  Tiny adjustments to the frame rate, the sequence of imagery, and the length of each shot drastically changed the overall tone and story of the piece.  This was a new skill I really wanted to master (or perhaps, more realistically, just be good at – lots of props to professional editors out there!).

So behold – my first stop motion video.  Thank you.  Thankyouverymuch.

About Connie

I was that geeky camera chick who spent her high school lunch breaks in the darkroom.  I still miss the smell of those stinky developer chemicals.  Sort of.

Born in Canada, I graduated with top honours in Applied Photography at Sheridan College before spending several years assisting and producing for  some of the best commercial shooters in Toronto.  After gathering a wealth of valuable skills and getting my first DSLR, I bought a plane ticket to Asia.

It was my first backpacking adventure, but I managed to survive nine months from Seoul to Singapore with only some shoddy mandarin and a lot of luck.  I had the time of my life. So I did it again.  Seven months of zig-zagging around India and Nepal taught me ingenuity with limited resources, clarity when surrounded in chaos, and how to eat with just my right hand.

Sydney became my new home in 2008, and I’ve been enjoying the sunny weather and great coffee ever since.

Today, I’m a fashion and product photographer extraordinaire.  Based at Studio 8 in the northern beaches of Sydney, I relish the challenge and precision of studio lighting.  My clients are drawn to my clean, stripped back approach to every project.  My simplistic yet direct style is refreshing and elegant in a market full of heavily Photoshopped images.

When I’m not in the studio you can find me hand folding dumplings or scaling walls at the rock climbing gym.  I’m also really good at winning board games (or my friends are just really good at losing).

 

Accolades

Finalist – Shoot The Chef 2013
Top 5 – Australia’s Emerging Travel Photographers of 2010 – Capture Magazine
Winner – Best Marketing Imagery Award 2010 – New Mardi Gras
Semi-finalist – Shutterbug Awards 2010 – Shutterbug
Short-listed – Travel Photographer of the Year 2009 – TPOTY
Finalist – Cultural Explorers 2009 – STA Travel
Winner – World in Focus 2007 – Photo District News
Top Emerging Photographers of 2007 – Photo Life Magazine

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