We created Cinemagraph Pro with the intent to provide photographers with a software tool that would enable them to create cinemagraphs intuitively and effectively, offering their clients a new type of product.
On that note, we talked with a pioneer in the industry, our friend Giulio Sciorio, a commercial portrait photographer specializing in animated portraiture. Giulio agreed to provide us with some insights on his experiences with living photography.
Thanks so much for doing this Giulio. How do you define Hybrid Photography?
My pleasure. I see Hybrid Photography as a blend of still + (motion + sound). I call that the Hybrid Equation, which is a guideline I suggest to all photographers. Root the imagery in photography first, and then add simple elements of motion and possibility sound, which I’m exploring at the moment.
When and how did you get started with hybrid photography?
I got into shooting animated portraits in 2009 when the economy took its toll on my business. I didn’t shoot a job for about six months, which forced me to evolve my art in a way that put me in my own class. At the time I could only find one other photographer shooting animated portraits, Greg Williams.
What do you shoot your living photographs with?
I like to use Lumix G cameras, GH series for the highest quality video, Fiilex and Westcott LED lights and MeFoto Tripods.
What is your most notable hybrid photo shoot experience?
I’d have to mention three shoots in particular. My first commercial shoot, an animated pinup calendar, which taught me that animated portraits can sell but it took four more years to find a client that understood the importance of this art. That client was a high tech startup in Austin that created specialized riffle scopes. The still portion of the shoot was two days, the motion shoot was two weeks. That’s a huge gain in revenue for a business!
The third breakthrough was working on the Mitch Stone Essentials campaign. This shoot was specifically shot to create Cinemagraphs using Flixel’s Cinemagraph Pro for Mac and what I got out of it was that it is now possible to create animated portraits in a simple, elegant fashion and in short amount of time. Again, huge for my business, as it helped me create a product that had a low time-cost and a high profit margin. Using Cinemagraph Pro saves me hours in post vs. Adobe Photoshop, which I still use, but 90% of my work is now done with Cinemagraph Pro.
Where can Hybrid Photography be displayed?
The list is truly endless. Any screen can display Hybrid content. In Las Vegas I saw screens on the sinks in public, in bathrooms. There are screens in the back of cabs, on walls, point of sale and trade shows. Furthermore by 2016 we’ll see over 1.5 billion smart phones in the market place. Any photographer not seeing the potential now is on a sinking ship. That’s their market!
How is 4K technology changing or enhancing living photography?
4K is truly a breakthrough technology now that it’s affordable. Looking at the Lumix GH4 at $1600 vs the Canon 1DC at $12,000 we finally have a product that is affordable for the main stream pro. The ability to print a 4K frame of video and use that same video clip in Cinemagraph Pro means I can quickly and easily offer more products to clients and because with the GH cameras I can now shoot in a fraction of the time, I’ve increased my revenue as I’m more efficient.
Could you share some key tips to shooting beautiful animated portraits?
Keep the camera steady – Always use a tripod. A shaky motion clip can make a shot unusable.
The model must be still when shooting – this is as important as having the camera steady. If your model’s position drifts during capture it could ruin the shot.
Get the shot right in camera – Since you’re shooting video, this means that any errors at the time of capture get multiplied 30X in post since we’re capturing video at 30 frames per second.
Use a constant light source – there’s no flash in video so you’ll need a constant light source. Natural light is good but I recommend purchasing a quality LED light kit that can also be used for still photography.
What does the Future look like for Hybrid Photography?
In house we’re experimenting with interactive applications for hybrid content and ways to incorporate the element of sound that compliments the visuals.
Fantastic. Thank you Giulio!
To view more of Giulio’s Flixels, check his profile out at @gsciorio on flixel.com and his latest feature on our Gallery. You can also view his work at giuliosciorio.com and make sure to stop by his blog at smallcamerabigpicture.com