• VERY IMPORTANT PLEASE READ!!!!!

    Michael McNett Photography has stopped utilizing emails as a form of contact. We are a very hands on company that wants to make sure that each client that has any question or concern or wants to chat gets to talk to us in the fastest and most direct manner possible.

    As convenient as emailing is, its also the most impersonal and we pride ourselves on just how personal of a product we deliver so reach out by phone, will will always pick up or get back to you with in 24 hours.... Or text us we love texts too

    There is a information form that new clients to get your info into our database. But please call us to chat if you are interested in out services.

    Michael McNett
    484.274.0910 (no calls before 8:30am or after 8:00pm)

IFTTTLogo
It seems like everyone is using hashtags for their wedding. You see signs at the reception for #MrMrsSmith2015 and notes on seating  placards telling people to use #MikeSheri2015. Its a great idea. Everyone has a phone now in their pocket and with in seconds they are tweeting them, instagraming them and uploading them to Facebook or what ever social media they find important.

The question is how can a couple take advantage of all this new found photography? You could try to search and scour the internet and individually download each image… But thats tedious, time-consuming and you will probably miss images. What if I told you you could have an internet servant that would follow your every whim and collect all these images for you and put them into a nice little folder you could access on your computer when ever you wanted? …and what if I told you it was free?

Let me introduce you to IFTTT.com IFTTT stands for “if this then that” and what it does is links technology together so that you don’t have to. The impact of this site is vast there are a gajillion and one ways you can utilize if for your wedding but Im going to go through one simple one… How to get all your hashtaged photos into one location.

First you will need a couple things.
1. A Instagram account – www.instagram.com

2. A dropbox account – Dropbox
Drop Box is a cloud based storage site that you can save files to and access from your devices and computers.Drop box accounts are free unless you find you need more than the storage.

3. An account with IFTTT – www.ifttt.com
Don’t worry this is free too.

Now you can begin making your life easier with IFTTT.

Log into your account and click new recipe
create-iftt-recipe-000We will set the “This” function first so click “this”
create-iftt-recipe-001
type Instagram in the search bar and click the Instagram icon. (Note you may be asked to activate Instagram, just follow the steps to link your accounts.
create-iftt-recipe-002-instagramYou will now see some options. You want to select the “New Photo by Anyone Tagged” option
create-iftt-recipe-003-instagram-new-photo-by-anyone
Now you can type in your wedding hashtag and create the trigger. (make sure you have researched your hashtag to see if it is already one that is used, I tend to like ones that use last names and the date since it is more unique.
create-iftt-recipe-004-instagram-hashtagNow comes the “That” part so far we have programed it so that if a new photo by anyone is tagged #MyWeddingHashtag then… so now we need it to know what follows after. Click the “That” link

create-iftt-recipe-005-instagram-hashtag
Search for Dropbox and click it you may need to activate dropbox. Follow the directions on the screen to link the accounts. If you do not have an account with dropbox click here
create-iftt-recipe-006-dropbox
There are a couple options but you want to select “Add file from URL”

create-iftt-recipe-007-dropbox-add-file

Most of the complete actions field can stay the same and need no changes you just want to make sure that if you want a unique name for the file that the photos are sent to that you type that in the dropbox folder path option… I used Instagramweddinghashtags as mine…This way if I want to create another instagram to drop box script I can do that and keep everything separate.

create-iftt-recipe-008-dropbox-add-file
And thats it we have now programmed it so that  if a new photo by anyone is tagged #MyWeddingHashtag then it will add that file from the URL to the designated dropbox folder…

create-iftt-recipe-009-done
Click create recipe and setback and enjoy your honeymoon knowing that all the images are easily accessible.

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how to vivaloo - ©mcnettimages.com

 

OK so lets actually talk about some practical applications for Vivaloo, because just saying the possibilities are endless (while true) is also kinda lame, lets just dive into some possibilities and look at how you an start implementing Vivaloo immediately. ***But first download the app from the iOS app store search “Vivaloo” if your on an android device my apologies you will have the app soon. Open the app and type in the vivakey “DrewVivian” turn on the sound to your device and then keep reading.

First Lets look at how we can spice up a pre-existing product. For this example we are going to use the “Save-The-Date” Card.

Save-The-Dates are great for a bunch of reasons
– They are the first expression of the wedding in the eyes of the guests, it sets the tone for the event to come
– They are also business cards sent to every guest for the photographer (even if you don’t put your logo on it if impressive the person will ask “who took that picture? -or- Who did that card?)
– If they are a magnet… they stay on 100+ peoples fridge for like a gajillion years (reminding them of your studio)
– They are another source of revenue for the studio that is actually something of value to the client

Ok so you get the idea, now how can we Vivafy the save the date? Lets look at one way that you can do this with only a small amount of effort and no new skills or equipment.

The first way will be to communicate information to the viewer with the video
In this example as we were shooting a session in Manhattan in December, and we knew that this image was going to be used in some form. view the save the date card below then scan it with the Vivaloo app using viva key “drewvivian”

STD-1

So what I did was take the shot in a couple different poses to make sure I had one that would match the aesthetic of the card (look at camera, look at each other,, touch foreheads, kiss etc etc etc) then with out moving the couple at all I swapped into video mode on my DSLR and tried to frame the shot the same way I framed the still image I just took. I then asked the couple to invite everyone to their wedding. It was just that simple. I shot the video with the couple centered knowing that the final print would probibly be to a different aspect ratio (which it was, it was printed on a magnet)

Now how more likely are you to have a client interested in save the dates?
How much more excited will they be for their wedding and to send these guys out?
How much more likely will one of those guest be to say “OH MY GOD thats amazing how did you do this?”

BUT WAIT MIKE BACK UP A COUPLE STEPS 

Not all of my clients get an engagement session?
Ummm show a client a save the date like this while booking and send Vivaloo a thank you card for increasing your booking rate on e-sessions (besides more interaction with the couple before the big day means better wedding pictures so its a win win)

Thats all well and good but I know nothing about video ?
Fair enough but in this case you don’t have to know much to get above average results. First you can play around on your dslr to get comfortable shooting it. You already have built in photography skills and understanding of lighting. Instead of editing lots of clips, just go for one take this way all you have to do is open the file in quicktime, in the edit menu click “Trim”adjust the scrubbers to the beginning and end of the part you want, click “Trim” and then export it… DONE

I offer a highly polished product and I want more out of the video to match my aesthetic?
Thats great it sounds like your clients are awesome and see the value in adding some professional cinematography to their package… Nothing wrong with more add-ons to the package, that provide your clients with more value. Call up a couple local wedding film makers in the area. Go out to lunch and talk about what you are looking to do. Share the app with them. For those clients that demand more, give them more. How cool would be having a film shot at the same time as you are shooting the engagement session? How much more likely are they to book a wedding film of some kind? How much better will this couples wedding experience be and how envious will all their friends be that they didn’t get all this from their photographer?

Crap I forgot to shoot some footage at my engagement session… I guess I can’t offer this
Mehhhh I hate that word can’t. Sure you can… How many pictures can you put on a save the date? 20? 50? Thats right I said 20 or 50… welcome to vivaloo you can create a slide show, save it as a compatible video file and Viva the heck out of it. How many times did a client pick out a picture that was just ok while you had tons of great stuff from the session, use vivaloo to share more of your great work and get more people excited about your photography.

My client wants a composite of images on the STD (thats short for save-the-date but after I typed it it just seemed rude)?
thats fine… if you used one of the smaller images for the vivaimage then you may run into issues my suggestion would be to export the entire design as the vivaimage so the video takes up the entire card… Ill post an example below. Hit the home button on your Vivaloo app and now type in the viva key “viviandrew”

std-2

SAVE-THE-DATE Tips

– When designing the card, think about how it will be used. Will there be fingers coving your Viva-image as they hold it? About how far away will the optimum or common viewing distance be from the viva-image for it to trigger properly.

– Try to design landscape pieces.. they work better anyways since most envelopes open landscape. Folded vertical cards work too if you use the entire interior spread as the vivaimage just realize that it may not work the best unless its opened fully.

– At some point it would be good to mess around with some video editing… Thats how I overlaid the text onto the video in the first example… I opened the card in photoshop removed the background and picture, then I exported it as a .png file. I dragged that .png onto the video and centered it… remember Vivaloo center crops everything so it will crop exactly to this over lay.

– Overlays do not just have to be text… they can be pictures to hint hint wink wink

– Make it easy on yourself in the beginning… shoot all your video so the most important information is in the center to allow for the most room if the video needs to be cropped due to aspect ration differences between video and print media. Having a knowledge of a video editing software means you can control the crop better by adjusting the file in it before linking

– Put yourself in the shoes of the person receiving this card in the mail. Think about the simplest most pain free way you can encourage the recipient to know how to (and willing to) download the app, type in the vivakey and use the app properly WITH OUT COMPROMISING THE DESIGN. I would consider printing up a bunch of business cards that have on the back simple instructions on how and what vivaloo is with the vivakey you create (this could be a blank that get hand written in too). These can be placed into the envelope with the card and if you print up enough you can do it in a cost effective way.

-You can also integrate simple instructions into the design. Multi-sided cards lend themselves to this best. This would have no additional cost but your design may have to make allowances for the addition of new information on it. You can even try a QR Code link to the app for those that are more tech savvy, here is a quick one if your to lazy to make your own 🙂
Vivaloo

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how_to_vivaloo_michael_mcnett_photography_001For photographers just discovering the Vivaloo app for the first time it can be a mind-blowing experience. The sheer power of this technology and what it means for both photography studio as well as clients is staggering. NO REALLY… IT CHANGES EVERYTHING!!!

If you’re like me, you want to jump in and start seeing just how far you can push the app so that you can create the best photographic and cinematographic experience for your clients. (this is the part where the needle on the record makes that  Scrrrrcccckkkk sound and I talk in a serious voice) first take a moment before you dive right in to try to understand how the app works what it does well and what its limitations are. This way you can use it wisely and get the most out of your credits.

Vivaloo wants you to succeed and enjoy the technology, not feel frustrated trying to get the hang of things or to waste your credits. So I devised a couple tips to set your self up for success

thinkOK it sounds simple but think before you start… Optimally you will be thinking about the vivloo as your shooting. The same way how some wedding photographers shoot for the album well the same holds true for Vivaloo. When you start thinking this way then your finished product will look more intentional and thought out.

Any where you can have a picture you can have a Vivaloo… In the album, on the Save the Date, the strip that prints out in a Photo Booth, even a post on Facebook or a canvas print on the wall. The possibilities are endless.

You do have to now understand the limitations you may encounter in these applications… The first is aspect ratio…

aspectVivaloo automatically will crop your video into the frame of the image you supply… and it is a center crop.

What this means is if you have a video that is 1280 x 720 and you have an image that it is linked to that is a 1:1 aspect ratio then your Vivaloo will crop out 280 on the left side and 280 on the right side so that only the 720×720 will play in the 1:1 picture.

***so if you put a rectangular video into a square picture then only the square in the middle will show a video and the rest will not play

This may not be a bad thing if you don’t care about the right and left side… but if you do you need to adjust either the design of what you are Vivaloo-ing or you need to adjust the image that you are going to upload to show more of the aspect ratio that you want

(Quick Tip: if you upload a aspect ratio that would cause the video to break out of the boundaries of the image you are Vivaloo-ing it may look sloppy. Vivaloo‘s strength is the interactive aspect, instead consider uploading the entire spread or page if its an album. This way you don’t have to crop the video or ruin the layout of your design)
aspect

OK so you have designed all your print or digital products keeping in mind aspect ratios and how the moving image will interact with the static image… WHAT NOW JUST LET ME VIVAOO ALREADY!!!

We are almost there, we talked about thinking before you Vivaloo NOW you have to think about after you Vivaloo… there are tons of factors that can effect the quality of the experience that your intended audience will have.
after1. Size of final print is very important for a couple reasons… if the final printed vivaimage is too small it may get missed or not have enough information for the app to pick up (I have successfully used the app with sizes just larger than half a wallet picture but I gotta say I wouldn’t go that small the app is best when its allowed to show off) if the finished size is too small then I would reconsider using a different image or to make the vivaimage a composite of the whole page or spread

2. Consider your printed surface material… The app may get confused if there is excessive glare. Most of the time this is fine because a client viewing an album will know about the app and shift to avoid the glare. Many of us though want the opportunity to use Vivaloo in marketing materials or to sell save the date cards… instances where people will be encountering Vivaloo for the first time and may not use it correctly and just give up with out proper direction… So if you want to use it in marketing materials at a bridal show lets say… maybe you should avoid using a high gloss UV coating when you know the convention center will have bright over head lights that will cause glare…. (***side note I have used Vivaloo with both Fuji Crystal archive Digital Pearl and Kodak Endure Metallic papers, both highly reflective and its worked perfectly this tip is just so your aware)

3. How it will be used… This is hugely important, if you send out a save the date and the natural way that someone holds the card obscures the vivaimage then that would be bad… consider redesigning or using a different image. On a side note Vivaloo is an extremely sophisticated app sometimes it only needs to see a tiny part of the vivaimage to trigger the video… but always set your self up for success.

Stay tuned for lots more tips on how to successfully use the app Vivaloo and creative ways you can maximize this great tool to make more money, earn more clients and impress the heck out of anyone that sees it.

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One of the best things about all the participants in LoveYourEvent.com is that we all live, breath, sleep weddings. Beyond the business and work that goes into what all these wedding vendors do is a unrelenting passion for creating amazing and one of a kind weddings here in the Lehigh Valley and beyond.

Here is a behind the scenes short film from Abominable Productions that shows the making of our 2015 magazine shoot for the theme Rustic Elegance.

Love Your Event 2015 Photo Shoot from Abominable Productions
Abominable did an amazing job shooting this and I would also like to thank the members as well.

Michael McNett Photography, John Wirick Photography, Granny Schmidts Bake Shop, Jon’s Bridal by Suzanne, Dream Events, Pondelek’s Florist, Musselman Jewelers, Lauren’s Makeup Designs, Rockin’ Ramaley, Rockin’ Photo Booth, VIP Vacations, J&J Transportation and CE ROTH Formal Wear.

I can’t tell you how much you should hire each and every one of these amazing people for your next wedding or event. The quality and attention to detail is unparalleled

I ALSO WOULD LIKE TO THANK OUR COUPLES…
Laura and Matt Rappa
and Patrick and Tom Rochelle-Ryan

AND THE UNSUNG HEROS
Fox and Finch for the amazing vintage furniture rentals used all through out the shoot
Megan Jenkins from Fringe Salon
and of course the Glasbern Inn for use of the amazing location

 

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Had an appointment with Julie and Devon to get thier Wedding Album started. They had to reschedule but I was pulling up the images to prep and remembered how excited I was to start the design for the book. This wedding was shot entirely at the Stroudsmoor and the ceremony and reception were at the Terraview location. Lauren Bennet from Lauren’s Make Up Designs make an appearance in this slide show too. It was a great Halloween wedding and Ill be posting some of the album once that gets further along.

for those that don’t know we do all of our own design work for the albums in-house custom for each couple. No 2 albums the same and each tailored to the look and feel of that particular couple. We have to pay no designers to do this which keeps our albums very affordable and we don’t use templates so you have no limitations to how great it can end up being. All of our couples have the opportunity to pick out their own images and get to sign off on the album before it prints to make sure they have everything how they would like it to be. We also do not charge for couples that find the internet and a computer screen frustrating you can stop into the studio for a design consultation and we can chat about exactly what your vision is

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