Flixel hosts a weekly Instagram cinemagraph challenge called #TheFlixelProject, open to anyone looking to flex their cinemagraph creation skills. The goal: to fuel creativity, and inspire one another to make beautiful visual stories using cinemagraphs. To participate, head over to the Flixel Instagram where we announce the theme of the weekly challenge. Then, grab your camera or iPhone and a tripod, and just go shoot. Share your entry on Instagram with the hashtag, and let the cinemagraph games begin!
The Challenge: Creating Music Cinemagraphs
Performer. Entertainer. Auteur. Dreamer. An inspiration. Timeless, even. While Flixel office dog Lulu certainly almost fits this bill, we’d like to think there is one other universally beloved individual who exemplifies what it means to be an icon: David Bowie. We’ve always known Bowie as a creative genius and generation-defining artist, so when we discovered that he had a hand in the history of cinemagraphs, it only made sense to commemorate his role in a music-themed Flixel Project: #TFPRockOn.
Plus, we really love music. Seriously. Guitar playing, playlist swapping, concert-going, and to top it off, a lot of bad harmonizing.
Music draws communities together, so it seemed appropriate that one of the most active members in the Flixel community, Becky Seymour, received the top prize for #TFPRockOn. Read on to learn about Becky, her entry, and her passion for cinemagraphs and the Flixel community.
Meet Becky Seymour, Winner of Music Cinemagraphs Instagram Contest #TFPRockOn
They say that our teenage years is one of the most formative times of our lives. It’s when we begin to figure out who we are, where we want to go next, what we want for our future, all while dealing with acne, friendships, and prom. It was during this very easygoing period when Becky first developed her passion for visual storytelling, before the social media revolution of pointing and shooting to just get shares and likes. “I have always been fascinated with the concept of delivering a story to an audience in a way that is unique and allows me to step out of the box and go with the flow of my, what can be ‘out there’, creative style,” she shared.
That “out there” style allows Becky to find stories everywhere she goes; from the insects on the deck, to her pets in the yard, and even a refreshing afternoon drink. “There is a story behind everything and the challenge is to find it.” As a video production professional and small business owner in Waynesville, North Carolina, this is a challenge that Becky regularly encounters.
Joining the Flixel Community
But it’s also one that she regularly embraces. As a creator and active member of the Flixel community, Becky is always creating, sharing, and interacting with fellow Flixel artists without judgment on quality or expertise. It’s a positive environment where everyone can support, inspire, and flourish with one another.
“The whole point of the community to me is to learn from those that are more experienced and to assist those that are just beginning.”
Becky first discovered cinemagraphs three years ago, and has been obsessed with them ever since then. With the recent start of her business, Shmeckie Media, where she specializes in cinemagraphs, promotional videos, and documentary production, she is able to pursue her goal: “To become a master cinemagraph creator and Flixel advocate to business brands and design agencies of Western North Carolina and the region.”
Creating Great Music Cinemagraphs
Much of her pursuit is taking the au natural route: less focus on highly expensive equipment, and a greater concentration on using the environment, natural lighting, and creating new and innovative ways to get the shot. Live concerts are a great example of a setting that you simply need to take in what’s around you and adapt to it when creating cinemagraphs.
Music fuels Becky’s creativity. She counts Hans Zimmer and Phish amongst her favourite artists, and loves nearly every genre. When she attended a concert featuring Firecracker Jazz Band, she knew it would be a perfect opportunity to give a classic band photo a new twist. Using her iPhone 7 Plus and a tripod, she had an idea of using the movement of the lead singer for her cinemagraph. Though it took her some time to set up in a place that didn’t catch the vibrations from the sound equipment (which would’ve made for a shaky tripod), she filmed footage that contained a perfect loop: the drummer twirling his drumstick, which could happen again, and again, and again, in a cinemagraph. It’s the kind of living photo that stops you in your tracks and makes you stare.
Becky has seen first-hand how cinemagraphs impact viewers. “I have had many people that follow my Instagram page @ShmeckieMedia say that when I post a regular photo, they find themselves staring at it waiting for something to happen. Hearing that feedback confirms that cinemagraphs work in the social media and digital advertising realm.”
But at the root of cinemagraph success lies the passion of the creator: the desire to see the world differently, challenge yourself, tell better stories, and get better at doing so. Becky’s passion for visual storytelling and cinemagraphs is infectious, and plentiful. So the question is: what’s her secret to success?
“HAVE FUN! I am dead set on loving what I do for a living so that I never work a day in my life.” Rock on, Becky!