How to be Yourself

How to be Yourself

It’s that time of year again… the season of picture taking. Do you feel like yourself when you’re in front of the camera? 

Erica O’Rourke said once, “People spot a big black lens, and they worry about what they’re doing, or how their hair looks. Nobody sees the person holding the camera.” 

The same things happens (at first) in sessions it only takes a few shots and me being silly behind the camera that they realize they are with a photographer who’s going to make sure they look amazing, that they become themselves. So why are we all nervous about our photo sessions with a professional photographer?

  1. Self conscious
  2. Feel awkward and silly
  3. Photographer doesn’t know you
  4. Don’t like getting your picture taken

Do any of these sound right? If so, ways that you can feel more comfortable with your photographer and be yourself in your professionally captured pictures are:

  1. Meet with your photographer prior to the session.
    1. You’re creating an experience and memory during the session, make sure it is one that you will want to remember.
    2. You want to make sure that you get along with your photographer, if you don’t you are not going to like the pictures no matter how you look. 
    3. Find a photographer that makes you feel comfortable and excited about your session.
  2. Bring music that you like.
    1. Sometimes all you need is a little music to get lost in. 
      1. I’ve found that I like posing and smiling for the camera when I have fun upbeat music to put me in a great mood. 
  3. Pack a few of your favorite outfits.
    1. While the pictures you take during your session are all about your inner beauty, an outfit can help capture who you were during the time of the session.
    2. Are you … “the girly girl,” “a skater chic,” “the cool kid,” “academic sheek,” “all-star player?” No matter who you are, SHOW IT! 
      1. There is no time like the present and you will think back one day and remember the silly, fun, and crazy things you did when you were the __________ kid.

And remember, we all feel weird when all the focus is on us. Embrace the spotlight and SHINE.

TLM Productions, LLC

Shooting Photos and Video at the Same Time

Shooting Photos and Video at the Same Time

I would guess that you have seen the videos that photographers have from their photo shoots, (like this one, or this one, or this one) but what you might not know is that it is not always easy to shoot video and photos at the same time. Some of the DSLR cameras now allow you to shoot video and take a picture while you are videoing. I don’t like doing this because I feel I am taking away from capturing the best image possible. Instead, I ask my model(s) to do something a couple times, but not usually in a row this way it keeps the silly pictures, silly, and the inward beauty shots, just that radiating beauty and everything feeling fresh.

Danielle and Ashleah's graduation party.

So how do I do this? On my camera I have to switch into video mode or photo mode, so while my subject is getting ready, I switch back and forth depending on how I am going to shoot. I like to start with still photos first, this way they hear the shutter. Just like myself, many of my models, need time to warm up to the camera, the first few shots are just that; warm up shots. Typically after a few of those simply awkward pictures, yes I’m included, that’s when the real magic happens. They no longer feel silly or worried about being in front of the camera. Once their true self is revealed this is when I switch back and forth between video and photo.

Adam and Denise are in town from Pittsburgh and took a trip with Adam's brother Matt and his girlfriend Tonya to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA.

Now it’s your turn to shoot video and photo during the same shoot. Don’t forget the fun music to help you and your model get into a relaxed ready for fun mood.

TLM PRODUCTIONS, LLC

Man You Got Style

Man You Got Style

 

We have talked about things to do and how to prepare for a video, but we have not talked about what to wear, how to style your hair, or how you should do your make-up yet. Well this time we are, and I have brought on the wonderful ladies, Natalia and Renee from Beautify Me, LLC to help out. This week we will be focusing on the men, don’t worry ladies I have a few blogs coming up just for you.

First let me give you a little about Beautify Me, their mission is to help you to feel beautiful inside and out. They “strive to bring what you are feeling on the inside about yourself and translate it through your wardrobe, makeup, and hair.” Taking these principles Natalia helped me and our model, Matt, understand how men should dress to be casual yet professional while doing a video. She said the number one thing is to make sure you are comfortable, dressing in your professional style will help you feel comfortable and more like yourself. Presenting your video pitch to the world as the real you inside and out is really important.

Men's Clothing

Now time to talk about what Natalia recommends. Matt was wearing a maroon polo and tan khaki pants on the day we were writing and shooting this blog post. Our focus for this post was to be in casual business attire, which Matt was sporting already. Natalia recommends some other outfit options if Matt or you, the reader, want to change it up from the polo and khakis. A sports or suit jacket with dark jeans and loafers can be your way to go. If you have a more outgoing personality and like stripes or plaid clothing, choose a button down shirt and match it with a jacket and dark colored pants. I know it is summer time, so to mix in a little warm weather style with long sleeves, try rolling up your sleeves a few times to achieve a relaxed yet professional look.

 Men's Clothing  Men's Clothing

Clothing is just part of what you should be thinking about when doing a video. I know for women we like to accessorize with necklaces and bracelets. Men, you can do similar things. Matt was wearing a simple chain and a watch. Keeping it simple whether you are male or female is usually the best way to go for your professional video and even casual family pictures. Natalia even said for those of you who wear cuff links your don’t have to for a casual look with a sports jacket.

Mens Clothing

Now for the question the I’m sure so many of you men are asking, “do I have to wear make-up in my video?” The answer, “no you don’t.” Although recommended to use a powder, you don’t have to. Natalia recommends using rice paper or something like it to soak up all of the excess oil. She also said not to rub your face with it, but rather blotting you skin is the best way to use rice paper. The last but certainly not least, is hair style, again keeping it simple. Bold, flashy, and crazy is not the way to go when it comes to casual yet professional videos or photos. Beautify Me recommends keeping it to how you usually style your hair is the way to go, whether it is parting it to the side, or putting some product in it is the way to go. If you have longer hair definitely think about running a brush through your hair to get it looking neat and clean.

If you would like more style ideas or to contact Beautify Me, LLC visit them on Facebook or Instagram. As always I would love to see your style ideas that you came up with after this post, post your pictures in the comments below or share them with us on Facebook and Instagram.

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

 

Tonya Moken is the owner of TLM Productions, LLC, a business focusing on you in South Jersey and Philadelphia. Please call TLM Productions’ Tonya Moken at 609.440.6176 or email her at tonya.moken@TLMproductions.com for a project quote or photography lessons today!

 

Loving the Haze

Loving the Haze

 

Reading Tree was taken while recording May's video blog about how to put a haze around the edge of a picture.

When taking a picture or video many times we are looking for the best lighting and angle, but what about the little creative aspect? As a photographer and videographer I like to find little things that will change my piece and perspective on my subject. Often times for a little different look in pictures its fun to shoot with the fog and mist to get a hazy look, but what happens when there is none on the morning of you shoot or your shoot is later in the day? I learned this cool little trick from PetaPixel, a few years back and have loved to use it when called for since.

The supplies you will need in order to get the hazy look on the edges of your pictures.

 

This little trick is super easy to do, and you probably already have everything you need. All you will need is a sandwich bag, a marker (optional), and your camera. Once you have your supplies it’s time to start start. Take your sandwich bag push a hole through the bottom of the bag. This will create a stretched out bottom with a hole, you may have to stretch the bag out a little more so it will fit around your camera’s lens a little better. Now it’s time to place the bag over the lens, you will want to pull the bag back enough that your subject is not covered by the bag’s edges (the hazy look). Once you have the bag placed how you want it, it’s time to focus on the subject and shoot. To give a little color to the haze you simply color the edges you have stretched and pulled with any color marker you would like.

Reading Tree was taken while recording May's video blog about how to put a haze around the edge of a picture.

 

You can use this cool little trick for any subject. Make sure your camera is in manual focus this way auto focus doesn’t refocus on to the bag by mistake. Don’t panic, if you are not sure how to use the Exposure Triangle settings (ISO, aperture, and shutter speed) yet, you can leave your camera body in auto and just have the lens in manual focus.

 

 

 

As always I’d love to see the pictures and videos that you do with this little trick, be sure to share in the comments below or on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

 

 

Tonya Moken is the owner of TLM Productions, LLC, a photography and video business focusing on you in South Jersey and Philadelphia. Please call TLM Productions’ Tonya Moken at 609.440.6176 or email her at tonya.moken@TLMproductions.com for a project quote or photography lessons today!

Video ASAP!

Video ASAP!

Are you saying, “I need a video ASAP!” Only problem is you didn’t factor it into your budget this year, for one reason or another. There is a way to do video that is budget friendly, but a word of caution, people will be able to tell that it is not done professionally. Well, with that being said lets get started.

Most of us nowadays have a smartphone, which has an okay camera on it. Using a smartphone will give you the flexibility to shoot on your time and not have someone else’s schedule effecting your shoot. There are a few steps that you need to do in order to get ready to shoot your own video.

  • Step One: Write a script and then use it as bullet points.
    • You dont want to seem scripted, you are not an anchor on the news where every little fact is important to the story.
  • Step Two: Find a neutral background.
    • Having a neutral or non distracting background, is important. If there is a something behind you distracting the viewer it is going to take away from what you are saying.
  • Step Three: Get a microphone.
    • The mic on your phone is ok, but if you want to give it that little extra getting a microphone that can plug into your phone will make all the difference.
  • Step Four: Set up and start shooting.
    • Now it’s time to set up. When setting up, plan to have your phone propped up by something like a book or a picture frame. Don’t hold it! A video that is going to be telling about you and/or your company is not the time to be “selfie styling” it.

A few other things that you will want to think about when shooting on your phone is how it should be set up. Having it sitting there vertical, will look bad when you upload it to YouTube. Have it on its side (horizontal) this way the picture will fill up the box that YouTube already has set up. Now you are on your way to doing a video, remember to also have a quiet place when filming. The background noise will be annoying and distracting to your viewer.

 

 

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Tonya Moken is the owner of TLM Productions, LLC, a business focusing on you in South Jersey and Philadelphia. Please call TLM Productions’ Tonya Moken at 609.440.6176 or email her at tonya.moken@TLMproductions.com for a project quote or photography lessons today!

 

Looking for Who?

Looking for Who?

We are all looking for someone or something, sometimes we know what it is and other times we don’t. People tell me all the time that they are looking to do video. That’s great everyone should be looking or already working on a video for their website and social media pages. In my experience the first thing I hear is, “I want video, but I don’t know what to do in the video or what I want to say.” All are important things to think about, but what about the videographer that is going to be working with you?

The production company, videographer, or camera operator might not seem like an important part of making your video, but they are vital to the success of your video. Here’s why, my guess (and I’m only guessing here):

  • You’re nervous about remembering your script or trying to read it.
  • You’re not comfortable in front of a camera, after all most of us are not seasoned actors or actresses.
  • Is this video going to show the “real” you and what your brand is?

These are all things that most people are concerned about when they start looking for a production company to shoot their video.

No matter, if the people that are talking to me about video choose to go with me, I tell them make sure you are comfortable with who ever you hire. Being comfortable with the person that is going to be working on the post side of your video is important. Have a few meetings with them, the first time is to get to know each other and most likely start getting your script and video ideas down on paper, after this initial meeting where you made sure the video has your vision in it, it is time to start shooting. If you are someone who does not like public speaking doing a video is going to be a little tougher. Let your videographer know, because they should be able to help you relax and calm your nerves, just like a duck on water.

Things to look for in your videographer:

  1. Timely: arriving on time for meetings and early to set up if you are not going to their studio.
  2. Energetic: you’re going to be nervous and scared when you first start. Having someone who is upbeat, making you laugh and smile will really help you feel better and more confident in what you are saying and the way you are acting.
  3. Video Look: I know this one seems a little funny to be looking for, but it is important. Ask for samples of their work, chances are your video is going to look similar to the samples. This is because all editor’s have a style, if you don’t like the samples they send you probably won’t like the video they do for you.
  4. Professional: this is a big one, because you want your video to look, feel, and BE professional, so it is important that your videographer is professional, but still making you feel comfortable.

 

Do you have a video up on your website yet? If not what is holding you back from getting one? Let me know what your thoughts are on video in the comments below.

 

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Tonya Moken is the owner of TLM Productions, LLC, a business focusing on you in the South Jersey and Philadelphia area. Please call TLM Productions’ Tonya Moken at 609.440.6176 or email her at tonya.moken@TLMproductions.com for a project quote today!

Be A Duck in a Video World

Be A Duck in a Video World

Be a Duck in a Video WorldWe all have fears, get nervous, or are scared of different things: spiders, snakes, wooden objects, heights, loneliness, and one of the most common fears, the fear of public speaking. I fit right in with many of you; I have a fear of public speaking. I feel silly, stupid, ridiculous, and I started feeling light headed and dizzy, the list goes on and on; I’m not any different from the many people that I have talked to. We are truly our own worst critics, which can be a problem at times.

“I keep messing up, I’m stumbling over every word.” “I don’t like the way I look. I have a face for radio.” “Can we have something playing over me and just hear my voice?” These are all things that I hear people say when I talk to them about doing a video. The reply I give all of my clients and prospective clients is that you can cover the video and only have a voice over, but the viewer likes to see you talking and getting to know you. I know being on camera is scary. Trust me, I am not one to jump in front of a camera very quickly, friends and professor alike used to spend some time convincing me to go on camera, so that I could get the experience and practice. It usually ended with me running off camera as fast as I could when I was done the read, but why? It’s just a camera, right?

Yes, it is just a camera and a few people are around, because I need someone to hit the record button. As I thought about why I was so scared to talk to a camera; I quickly realized, I was not scared of the camera, it was my fear of public speaking, that caused me to be nervous talking to a camera. You’re probably saying, “What? Video is public speaking?” The answer is yes, recording a video is public speaking the reason why I say it is, is because once you are done recording the video, it goes out the world wide internet.

Recently, I read an article by Kate Thome called “Got Executive Presence? Part 2 Be a Duck. Kate says that while you are feeling nervous, scared, and can’t remember what you are suppose to say, be a duck. When a duck is sitting on top of the water, it is seemly just sitting there floating, and enjoying the water. In reality the duck is not just sitting there, it is paddling its feet to stay in one place, or to move about the lake. Those who are above the water don’t see that, we only see the duck moving around smoothly, missing all the swirls the duck creates. So why don’t we copy the duck when presenting to a camera for our next video? Taking that built up nervous energy (the swirls from the duck) and putting “under the water,” will help us be able to talk in a normal tone of voice and not seem really nervous.

Putting that nervous energy somewhere for the time of shooting the video will help. Some other tips and tricks that I have learned from others and figured out my self are:

  1. Get to the place you are shooting in early, this way you can see how the room is setup and where you will be shooting.
  2. Practice in from of the camera with the lights and camera turned off. This helps because you have had some time spent with your newly found friends (the camera and operator) and it becomes a lot easier because you are “friends” now.
  3. Remember there is a camera operator behind the camera. The operator is not just there to hit the record button; you can talk to them and act like they are your best friend, your next prospective client, or the one person you can tell anything in the world too.

I know it all sounds so simple to write about in a post, but if you watched my video for this post you’d be able to see that I am taking my own advice and going through the same steps as I am telling you now. We all have fears, but F.E.A.R.s are just False Evidence Appearing Real.

 

“Bless you for your fear for it is a sign of wisdom. Do not hold yourself in fear. Transform the energy to flexibility and you will be free from what you fear.” — Yoko Ono from Ed and Deb Shapiro’s book, The Way Ahead

 

Do you have a fear of public speaking? If not, what is your fear? Let me know, I’d love to hear about it if you are willing to share.

 

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Tonya Moken is the owner of TLM Productions, LLC, a business focusing on you in Somerdale, NJ. Please call TLM Productions’ Tonya Moken at 609.440.6176 or email her at tonya.moken@TLMproductions.com for a project quote today!

 

 

 

Hello Blogosphere

Hello Blogosphere!

Life Frame by Frame

Life: Frame by Frame is TLM Productions, LLC’s blog helping you get better or get a better understanding into the world of videography and photography.

Entering into a new year is always fun. We are starting the next chapter in our lives and I am excited to say, “I am starting the next chapter in my life and company.” Let me introduce myself, my name is Tonya Moken, I’m 22 years young, an entrepreneur (as of August 2013), lover of all things visual, and new to the blogging world. Being new to the blogging world and posting my first blog is kind of making me nervous, but just like anything else I just have to jump in and take the plunge. I created my own company, TLM Productions, LLC, to get the business professional on the second most used search engine, YouTube.com. As I started talking to prospective clients I realized that they don’t just want video, they want photographs to capture their personal lives too. Once I saw that they wanted both videography and photography, I added photography to my company and the rest is history.

I’m blogging to help you understand the worlds of videography and photography. The number one thing that I hear about video is, “I know I need video on my website, but I don’t know how or where to start.” I will be sharing my thoughts about my industry, the equipment I use, and techniques to think about when you are videoing or taking pictures. Let’s face it, we are all videoing and photographing our daily lives from the moment we wake up to when we go to sleep. Our world is becoming more visual with each passing day; I want to help you in this visual world to make your videos and pictures stand out amongst your world. I will be posting twice a month, once about videography and once about photography.

What are your thoughts are on video, YouTube, and photography? Let me know, I am here to help you learn more in the visual world. If you have questions or want to know how to do something leave a comment and I will create a future blog on that topic.

Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, TwitterLinkedIn, and YouTube to see what else TLM Productions is doing.

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Tonya Moken’s professional head shot done by TLM Productions.

Tonya Moken is the owner of TLM Productions, LLC, business focusing on you as the professional and individual in Somerdale, NJ. Please call TLM Productions’ Tonya Moken at 609.440.6176 or email her at tonya.moken@TLMproductions.com for a project quote today!