Cropping

fall campus482Each fall and spring, we try to capture the beauty and color of our campus. I think these are the two best seasons to showcase our students against a wonderful blast of colors and textures.

The first image here is the color-corrected, uncropped image by our photographer, Milan Stanic. While I appreciate my student Kyle’s willingness to be in the photo (at left), I feel that this image would be more dynamic if I cropped it.

Next you see the cropped version (sorry Kyle), but this photo, just slightly altered with some basic cropping, conveys the candid, spontaneous feeling of campus life that we like to use in our publications.fall campus482crop

Finding the best photos for your project

Taseen Peterson, CEO, TapFactoryApps.com. (Aaron Houston NJBIZ)We are committed to using the best possible photos in all of our publications, especially in our alumni magazine. We often arrange for and plan custom photoshoots either on or off campus, but we also search for existing high-quality photos using Google Images or another search engine, or stock photography sites.

When we find great images, such as the one here of one of our alums, Taseen Peterson, we then have to find the original source of the images. This usually takes us to the photographer, the news service or to the publication.

Once we have made the right contact, we begin the process of negotiation to reuse those images.

Before negotiating, make sure that you have all of your information:

1. How you plan to use the image (as a cover, a full page, 1/4 page, on the web, etc.)

2. What the circulation of your publication is (how many copies you print or how many viewers you get on average)

3. Let them know whether you are a non-profit organization, so you can get a better rate.

4. Know what your budget is for a reuse fee

This process may sound daunting and time-consuming, but building relationships with media outlets, news services and photographers pays off in the long run. I often return to the same contacts over and over, which makes the process easier with each new project.

(This photo was one of a series taken by Aaron Houston for NJBiz.)

Spring comes along with thousands of new photos

This has been a very busy spring for photography on campus. We have thousands of new photos of students, alumni and classrooms, showcasing our dynamic faculty interacting with students.

We also have had so many events this spring that we created a new Zenfolio site just to store the images and make it easier for people to access the images from these events. Check out that site at http://setonhallphotography.zenfolio.com/

Using photos for other purposes?

We had a photography assignment, which my colleagues had planned out very well, and with lots of advanced notice. Included in the plan, in great detail, were very good examples of the types of photos they needed for their project. Because they had a clear idea of what they wanted, it made the assignment much easier to organize.

It still took weeks to coordinate the photographer and the 20+ subjects for the shoot, including their availability during certain timeslots, organizing certain combinations of people, and their wardrobes.

We then scouted locations and selected the venues and got the required permissions to use those spaces. Once this was done, we did the usual paperwork, permission forms, notifications to security, etc.

On the day of the shoot, we arrived early to set up the different venues, including tables, chairs, props, lighting and test shots.

The photographer did a fantastic job, and processed the images very quickly. Once completed, the project was met with great enthusiasm and gratitude. It was exactly what they were looking for, even more than they were looking for.

The success may have backfired, however. People started noticing the great photos and wanted to use them for other projects. The photos are now being used in ways other than their original intention, and in different contexts. I am now hearing complaints about these photos in almost every meeting I attend. No one seems to remember that these photos had a very specific purpose and goal, one that was achieved in its original purpose.

The solution? If you look through existing photo resources and do not see a photo that works for you, perhaps it is time to plan a new photoshoot. This way if you need specific types of photos, and you have a budget, you have the freedom and autonomy to organize and plan a shoot customized for your exact specs and needs.

What do you think?

Shooting in Montreal

We spent the day scouting for our shoot in Montreal. So many wonderful old buildings on cobblestone streets. But this one caught our eye, and it was our first choice for a backdrop. The plaque on the building lists it as the home of the Marquis Michel Chartier de Lotbiniere, 1723-1799, Ingenieur du Roi.

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We scouted the office building as our second venue, and from the 44th floor we had a spectacular view of the city. Our plan was coming together. We just had to return the next day and photograph our subject.

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But when we returned the next day, the view had changed to a thick foggy mess. No one would know there was a city there at all. But by the time we set up the lights, worked with the hair and makeup expert, and got ready to shoot, the fog lifted and we once again saw the beautiful city out the windows.

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The third stage of the plan was a studio setup, in case the weather was bad or the office building didn’t work out. The studio was unique, old stone walls on either side of a clean white seamless backdrop. After grabbing a bite to eat, we set up and began shooting here.

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We stopped every so often to review images and make adjustments.

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After an hour and a half, a few wardrobe changes and lighting adjustments, we reviewed the work again.

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It was a wrap! All the planning, traveling, scheduling and hard work had paid off, as the pieces fell into place. It was a great collaboration with smart and talented people, a beautiful city and some help from Mother Nature.

Showcasing our campus

The photo above was taken by Milan Stanic, SHU graduate, class of 2011. Milan has been wandering campus during the early hours and later in the day, looking for new and different ways to capture the beauty of the place. Most people are surprised when they see this shot, because the buildings are not strikingly beautiful during the day.

But when the sun is just right, you may see something like this, just for a brief moment.
Thanks for capturing this for us, Milan.