#FlixelCheer Cinemagraph Contest Winners

This holiday season, we decided to spread a little #FlixelCheer by putting on a festive contest. The grand prize: a Flixel Holiday basket, a 1 year subscription to Flixel Cloud Web+Apps, plus a $500 donation to the charity of their choice.

The theme was A December to Remember, and we asked cinemagraph creators across the globe to enter their holiday cinemagraphs on Instagram using the hashtag, #FlixelCheer. The contest was judged by Phil LeBlanc (Flixel CEO & Co-Founder), Robert Lendvai (Flixel CMO), and Mark Pavlidis (Flixel CTO & Co-Founder). There were tons of amazing entries filled with holiday spirit, but we narrowed it down to 3.

The #FlixelCheer Winners Are…

3rd Place: Mario Sahe-Lacheante

Mario’s attention to detail is his secret weapon. Whether it’s his beautiful colour grading, or perfect loops, Mario’s cinemagraphs stand out–this one is no exception. Though we all tend to get a little caught up in the madness of the holiday season, it’s important to appreciate the little things, and give back to those around you. Not only did Mario’s cinemagraph win the judges over, but his thoughtful caption really helped spread the #FlixelCheer. Check it out below.

• Festive Cheer • Earlier this week, I shot this cinemagraph portrait of Michaela at @dallowayterrace’s beautiful, Christmassy pop-up flower shop @orchidya_official. Michaela told me that her favourite thing is using her creativity and design with flowers to bring joy to people, and to see customers walking away with big smiles, especially during the festive season. So she feels really privileged to be able to have a job that affords her the pleasure of bringing people joy. For this reason, I’m also entering this shot into the @flixelphotos Christmas competition – where the brief is to capture something, with someone in shot, that depicts what Christmas means to us. For me, encountering people who love seeing other people happy is the epitome of the spirit of Christmas, so it was a true delight to meet Michaela. If you’re in London this week, do stop by and buy some flowers! 🎄🎁💐 #winteratdalloway @ck.photos

A video posted by Mario Sahe-Lacheante (@cine.pix) on

2nd Place: Julia Linkogel

New to the cinemagraph game, Julia is a fashion, travel, and lifestyle photographer from Berlin, Germany. There’s something so mesmerizing about a miniature merry go-round, infinitely spinning. Delicate Christmas trinkets, pastel tones, and colourful blinking lights bring this cinemagraph into the #2 spot.

Christmas time w/ @linaalicewagner ❄️☃ @flixelphotos #flixel #cinemagraph #flixelcheer

A video posted by Julia Linkogel (@madame.jules) on

1st Place: Jason Plummer

The magic of Christmas is alive in this cinemagraph. The look of childlike wonder, glowing lights, and dancing ornaments bring this cinemagraph to the top of the pack. Jason not only composed a beautiful holiday shot, he also captured a special moment with his two sons, Ryder and Kellen. This cinemagraph leaves the viewer feeling nostalgic, reminiscing of a time when the holidays were all about wonder, magic, and play.

On behalf of Jason, we donated $500 US to the Alzheimer’s Association, in memory of his late grandmother.

I interviewed Jason to learn more about how this cinemagraph came into existence, and why he chose the Alzheimer’s Association to donate to this holiday season. Read below.

Jason Plummer with his two kids and wife

What inspired you to create this winning cinemagraph? 
We got a new Christmas tree this year and my kids just lit up when they saw it. This is where the inspiration started. Nobody exudes the Christmas spirit more than children, so it was a given that at least one needed to be in this #FlixelCheer cinemagraph. I have a lot of great Christmas memories with my sister when we were kids, so the sibling factor had to be accounted for as well. My two boys in matching robes – check. Then I just needed to decide on what the motion element would be.  We have this one ornament on the tree that slowly changes colors and I thought that’d be a nice, subtle focal point. The holidays should be full of wonder and awe for kids, so when I saw this still frame of my 2 year old Kellan gazing at the ornament, I knew that was it.
Tell me about the creative process behind it. How did you shoot and edit this shot?
I shot this on my Canon 5d Mark III. The hardest part of the whole thing was getting the kids to be still and do as I was instructing. Art directing a 2 year old is, well, not possible. At a certain point I just gave up and let them do what they wanted. I had to reach over the tripod and physically knock each of the ornaments you see moving and then hope the kids did their part before the ornaments stopped moving. Once I had the video footage I brought that into Photoshop, converted for smart filters, then added a Camera Raw filter allowing me to edit the footage as I would a photo in Lightroom. Once a few basic adjustments like exposure, tone, sharpening etc. were made I exported the video and brought it into Flixel. From there it was easy to find that ‘magical moment’ I mentioned earlier and create a seamless loop of the ornaments swaying.
What do you love most about the holidays? 
The holidays are synonymous with family for me. We’re all busy throughout the year but people seem to find a way to come together for the holidays. It can be a stressful time of year but I always find I realize just how blessed and grateful I am.

Jason’s kids with some scary bearded man dressed in red and white

Can you tell me a bit about why you chose the Alzheimer’s Association to donate to? 
I chose this charity because my late grandmother suffered from this terrible disease. While I had the luxury of getting to spend time with her before she passed, it was difficult because she often didn’t even know who I was. Our memory is something I think we often take for granted. My hope is that we can quickly find a cure and in the meantime provide better support for those with the disease, as well as their loved ones.
Any last words, feel free to write them in the email! 
Thanks to Flixel for being so supportive of the cinemagraph community and promoting their work! The sky is the limit with this new medium.
My advice to those wanting to start creating cinemagraphs – or just get better at them – is to get out there and make them. Don’t worry about having the best equipment or creating a perfect loop. I really admire Jon Kane Houldsworth’s work, and he says he tries to create 1 a day. That’s a lot of cinemagraphs, which forces you to get pretty creative while honing the conceptional and executional aspects of the craft. Most importantly, have fun!

Keep spreading the #FlixelCheer!

(Flixel Marketing Manager)

When Cassandra was six, she was asked to share a story with her class…and hasn’t stopped telling them since. Now she does so through photography, video and writing, but with the same sense of wonder - and love for glitter - as her inner kid.