Wedding Week 2015 is here- We're celebrating the release of Design Aglow's curated (mostly new) irresistible wedding product line. Don't miss tips and tricks from the industry's most inspiring wedding photographers each day on the blog. Follow-up by posting your most creative images on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using hashtag #WeddingWeek2015. The three photographers that inspire us the most will win one of three shopping sprees valued at $300, $200 and $100. To kick-off the celebration, we hope you glean inspiration from our first interview featuring the inspiring Cynthia Chung.
How did you come up with the idea for the animated imagery?
Most of my animated GIFs came to fruition organically. A lot of times when I was shooting, I would take a bunch of frames for the same shot to compensate for blinks, and small little kinks. So as I was scanning through the camera to look back at the shots, they would create these little stop motion stories and I fell in love with it. I knew they would work great as GIFs that I would create in post... so that's how it all really began.
Where do you find inspiration for your photography?
This may be really cheesy, but Instagram is definitely a huge powerhouse in finding inspiration. There are so many great photographers, creatives and inspiration riddled into that little social network. I also currently carry around my Fuji x100 camera around wherever I go and just keep shooting. It's a good way to keep me motivated and observing and inspired.
Do you make these GIFs for all of your clients?
Yes. I do try to get at least one per shoot..but sometimes I could get 10! It's just something that's so engraved in me now that I can really picture something on the spot that would make for a fun GIF that would encapsulate the personality of the couple. It also really depends on the couple. Sometimes I'll have some couples that are really adventurous, and then some that are more toned down.
How do you anticipate which moments that are most appropriate for GIFs?
I just go about shooting portraits and creating shots that would look great as stills. If I see something in motion, maybe the wind or just the busyness and herds of people in New York City, then I would then ask the couple if they could just stay still for a little bit and shoot a bunch of frames.
How do GIFs translate to greater sales or marketability?
Well it definitely sets me apart from all the other wedding photographers that are currently on the market. It's just a different way of capturing the essence of a couple and it's different, fun and creative.
What is your favorite GIF of all time?
I once did a 3 set GIF. I had the bride walking in from one frame and then the groom walking in from the other side and they would walk in together into the middle frame and kiss. It is really cute and cartoon like!
Can you think of a time that an intended GIF went wrong?
Well.. I don't think the gifs ever go "wrong"-- since they're never very pre-planned. I did have some time where I was trying to do a gif and I got photobombed! That seems to happen a lot in NYC- haha.
Do you shoot knowing the images will be incorporated as a GIF, or is it completely organic?
All organic. It definitely takes a lot of creativity and thinking on the spot to generate some fun GIFs, but that's why I love my job! :)
To see more of Cynthia's inspiring work, visit www.cynthiachungweddings.com.
From a very early age I loved taking pictures and looking at them in magazines and books, but the art of photography captured my heart when I was a teenager, on my first overseas trip to Wales. From that point, I began shooting with a little film SLR and having my friend model for me. In college I took some digital photography and visual communication courses as part of my communication studies major, and decided to pursue a career in photography. I became a legal business and took my first paid client at age 20, and it's been quite a journey and adventure over the past nine years.
I secretly bought a mail-order 35mm camera when I was 15, and took lots of ordinary photos of animals and nature for several years. Although I majored in art and studied photography in college, my career started in marketing and advertising, from the client service end. Then I had the most beautiful baby, found my old camera and realized how much I love photographing people.