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User Tips for Making a Photobook: Choosing Your Photos!

January 30, 2014 at 5:33 am

Photobooks are such a great way to convey your special moments! This year for Valentine’s Day I decided to make one for my significant other to show him how much joy he brings into my life. Before starting I was wondering what photos I would use and whether it would take me a long time get 20 photos (of course I’m using a ZoomIn express theme!) However, once I started going through my online albums, I realized there were so many photos to choose from – I was done picking my photos in 10 minutes! In case if you’re wondering what kind of photos you can use in your photobook for Valentines Day, here are some ideas to get you started.

1) Take your significant other down memory lane with photos from the time you met till today. If you’ve been together for a while, you might be smiling when you see how different both of you looked then and now!

2) Photos from a special day or a trip. We just got engaged recently so I couldn’t help but put in a photo of that moment. Trip photos are wonderful moments to relive over as well.

That special moment captured!

That special moment captured!

 

4) My centerfold pages are ‘these are a few of my favorite things..about you’. I’ve included pictures and messages of what makes my fiancé so special.

3) Photos that have a significant meaning just to the two of you. I decided to mix up the photobook by also including pictures which didnt have either of us. One of the pictures was where we had our first date and aside from both of us nobody else will ever know the meaning of the picture (except for you now).

Our first date spot!

Our first date spot!

I hope this gives you some ideas in case you were stuck. Whatever photos you choose, your significant other will be thrilled to relive moments that are special to just the two of you. So go ahead and get going on that photobook -pick out those photos, have some fun and be ready to see your beautiful creation come to life!

(For privacy reasons, couple pictures posted above are not of the writer or her fiancé)

Candid Wedding Photos!

December 2, 2013 at 11:34 pm

The wedding season is here! Love, laughter and fun are in the air, not to mention all of us looking our finest in our colorful clothes. As a wedding guest, you’re in a position to take some great candid pictures of the new couple, close family and friends. So time to pull out your camera and start clicking. (Don’t forget that your mobile phone is often capable of taking beautiful photos as well.) Some quick tips from us to capture candid shots at wedding festivities:

Tip #1 Keep Clicking: When you quickly shoot multiple photographs of a person you can sometimes get some stunning shots that you’d have never gotten in just one click.  Switch your camera to continuous shooting mode and shoot in bursts of images. The continuous burst mode is generally available on your mobile device as well these days.

Tip #2 No Flash: If possible try not to use the flash on your camera. The use of flash can make people aware that they are being photographed and that candid moment is gone. Usually the lights at wedding, reception and other events are bright enough, so you should get enough light for your photo.

 

No Flash Used! A traditional Maharashtrian moment captured.

No Flash Used! A traditional Maharashtrian moment captured.

 

Tip #3 Capture the Emotions: Indian weddings are full of emotions – laughter and tears! One way to ensure that you capture those emotions is to take shots when people are together – there’s bound to be emotions in the interaction. Another way to capture emotions is to take the shot when a person is doing something. Not only will the person not notice you, but also the act of them doing something adds an element in your story of photos.

Tip # 4 Framing: Framing a photograph is very important and a wedding venue provides some natural frames for you to use! Use decorative elements at the venue, such as a pillar of the mandal, in the foreground. Not only do you frame your photo but it also appears as if you’re hiding behind the object.

 

Vidhaai moments captured

 

Tip # 5 Strategic Positioning: The traditional Indian wedding has some moments that everyone knows about. Whether it’s the sangeet, the pheras or the vidhaai ceremony, these are moments that you know will be coming. Make sure you are in a good spot to capture these moments.

 

Enjoy the celebrations!

The Canvas Wow Factor

November 13, 2013 at 12:19 am

Drawing room

A ZoomIn Canvas Print is art created by you and is truly a masterpiece. Just about any image that has meaning to you or the person you have in mind would look fantastic.  Family portraits, closeup pictures of children, or beautiful shots from a holiday lend themselves well for canvas prints.

While a single canvas is beautiful on its own, multiplying the impact by creating a canvas collage is a truly stunning idea.When you have an amazing collection of pictures and want to show them off, a canvas photo wall collage is your answer.  Your collection could be your child’s first 6 months, solo pictures of family members, pictures from each decade – the possibilities are endless. Surprisingly for the “wow” factor created, the canvas print wall collage is  a snap to make!

Creating a Canvas Print Wall Collage

1) Decide on the theme of your collage, keeping in mind the person you’re making it for.

2) Select a suitable layout for the collage – you could create a collage of same sizes or different sizes.

3) Pick the photos to place into each slot.

3)   Place your order on zoomin.com. Check out our Helpdesk FAQs if you have questions.

If you’re creating the canvas collage for yourself, roll up your sleeves and get ready to hang when your prints arrive. When it comes to hanging your personalized canvas prints, the last thing you want to do is start making too many holes in your walls. So here’s a quick trick.  Tape together several pieces of newspaper and place on the floor.  Place your prints on top of the paper and arrange them in the layout you want.  With a pencil, trace around each print.  Remove the prints and tape the paper to your wall.  Now you can see exactly where to hammer in the nails and whether any adjustments need to be made to the layout!

We hope you’ve been inspired and have gotten those wheels turning! As always, if you have any questions feel free to reach out to our Helpdesk.

Gifting Ideas for Diwali

October 25, 2013 at 6:05 am

At ZoomIn we always love to hear how our products made someone smile! Here’s a few customer stories from last year that help us understand how our products are spreading smiles.

“Being an auspicious time of the year, many people undertake home renovation projects and host parties in their newly renovated home during Diwali. Gifting something unique and relevant is always a challenge but last year I came up with a great idea! For my cousin’s housewarming, I created a 16″x20″ mounted canvas print of our big family reunion. He loved it and the canvas still sits proudly on his wall!” – Sachin from Mumbai

Canvas: A printed canvas definitely adds a point of interest to a room.

“I met my wife to be in March 2012 and our wedding day was coming up in December. For our first Diwali as a couple, I wanted to give my fiancee something special. Using the love theme from ZoomIn, I created a beautiful photo book with pictures of both of us. She was speechless with joy and a bit surprised when she got it . She doesn’t see my creative side too often. Thanks ZoomIn!” – Raj from Delhi

Photobook: Your special moments told through photos.

“It was my first time away from home and my Nani was missing me a lot. While we talk on Skype often, I wanted to do something more. Thanks to ZoomIn, I was able to send her a fantastic mug with a picture of both of us and a message of an inside joke we share! She says she smiles every time she looks at it.” – Jaya from Bangalore

Mug: Launched just in time for Diwali- NEW festive themes for mugs.

“I’ve always liked giving something different to my close friends during Diwali. Last year I gave all 6 of them photo calendars, using photos from the past year. We’ve had some fun moments and some not-so fun moments (when Isha got covered in mud) but these are moments everyone remembers now!” – Sneha from Hubli

Calendar: Each month holds a special memory with photo calendars.

These customers have definitely given me some great ideas for Diwali – hope they do the same for you!
Get started on your wonderful gifts for the festive season!

ZoomIn’s Guide to Low Light Photography

October 11, 2013 at 7:58 am

The festive season is here! Time to celebrate with lots of dancing, fireworks and music! Naturally these are moments that you want to capture and cherish. However sometimes capturing these moments in the dark can be a bit difficult. In the spirit of the festive season, we wanted to share three quick tips to capture your moments, even if the moments are poorly lit.

1. Increase ISO, decrease aperture: Increase the ISO and you will be able to shoot better in low light conditions. At the same time also decrease the aperture to allow more light to come into the camera as this will result in a brighter photo.

2. Try not to use the flash: Use the light from the surroundings to your advantage. This way you’ll get a more “natural photo”. Stand close to the source of light to ensure that your subject is well lit up. You can use the flash if you want to highlight a single element of your photo.

 

Avoid using the flash

Avoid using the flash: Notice how the photo has been captured without using a flash and still stands out. Photo courtesy www.sulekha.com

3. Stability: The more stable your camera is the the more sharper your photos will be! Tripods and monopods come in very handy in such cases.

Hope these tips help you click better photos during the night!

ZoomIn’s Guide to Portrait Photography – Part III

May 26, 2013 at 11:52 pm

We’re back with the final post of our 3 part guide on how to click great portrait photos (In Part I   we covered Composition and in Part II we covered Light and Background)  In this last post, we will cover the importance of ‘Posing’ and the ‘Mood’ of your photo…

Pose: It would help sometimes to get your subject to pose for you. And by pose, I don’t mean your run off the mill “say cheese” pose. There’s a way in which you can get the best out of your subject and here’s how to do it:

Tilt the body/head: A slight tilt of the head or tilt of the body, depending on how much of the subject you have chosen to capture in your shot, will always bring about interest. It creates a rather different approach to the photo than the same age old ‘head-held-straight-and-smiling’ pose.

Look away: Sometimes not looking directly into the camera is also a good option. Get your subject  to look away in another direction and leave enough space towards that particular direction while composing your photo. This will generate a lot of curiosity in terms of what the subject is looking at or is looking towards.

 

Posing: A slight tilt of the head will always bring about some interest.

Posing: A slight tilt of the head will always bring about some interest.

 

Mood: Finally, most portrait photos will carry a ‘mood’ along with them. It could be a happy mood if your subject is all smiles, a ‘thoughtful’ mood if the subject is shown sitting and pondering about something, an ‘informational’ mood if your subject is reading a newspaper, so on and so forth. It is extremely important that the mood of the photo is conveyed through the click, because this is exactly what will make the viewer think “Wow, that’s a really nice photo!”

 

Mood: Most portrait photos will communicate a mood through them. This one expresses mischief.

Mood: Most portrait photos will communicate a mood through them. This one expresses mischief.

 

There you go! Now you’re all  geared up and ready to take a go at portrait photos. Happy clicking and do share your thoughts along the way!

ZoomIn’s guide to Portrait Photography – Part II

May 16, 2013 at 6:23 am

We’re back with the 2nd part to our guide on how to click great portrait photos! While part 1 covered Composition, in this part I’ll cover the importance of Light and Background. Here goes…

Light: Light plays a crucial role in photography. A few things to bear in mind before you push the shutter button:

  • Natural light: As with all other forms of photography, natural light is the best form under which a photo can be captured. Ensuring that there is plenty of light on your subject will reduce the chances of grains, which in turn will get you a  clean and crisp photo.
  • Sunrise/Sunset: The different timings of the day and corresponding type of light do help to add a unique look to your photo. The early morning sun can provide a very fresh and crisp feeling to the photo and the evening setting sun can bring about a dramatic and dreamy feel to the photo.
  • Flash: Every photographer’s enemy – The Flash. Most people complain about how the use of flash white washes their photo completely or how it ruins the artificial light that they try to capture. However if mastered, not only will you use this right, but you can also manipulate it to get the desired results. Nowadays, on more advanced point and shoot cameras and DSLR’s, the flash settings can be manually set. The intensity of the flash can be adjusted to your taste so as to not over expose the subject’s skin completely. Explore this option in your camera settings. You’ll be surprised with what the results look like!

 

Clicking a photo during the sunset can have quite an impactful output!

Light: Clicking a photo during the sunset can have quite an impactful output!

 

Background: When it comes to portrait photography and the background, there’s one and only one tip that I have for you – keep it clean. The cleaner and more distant your background is from your subject, the lesser the distractions. This way, the only point of interest in your photo would be your subject. Just make sure that the color of the background and the subject isn’t too similar as this would blend the subject into the background.

Sometimes a contrast in terms of the background can help as well. Having a brightly lit background and keeping your subject a little darker can provide a striking effect – or doing it the other way around can help too! This will surely make your subject stand out in the photo.

Background: A brightly lit background and a darker subject can create a contrasting, yet impressive effect!

Background: A brightly lit background and a darker subject can create a contrasting, yet impressive effect!

 

Well that’s it for now. Keep a check for the third and final part of this post which will cover the ‘Pose’ and ‘Mood’ factor of portrait photos.

ZoomIn’s guide to Portrait Photography – Part I

May 8, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Portrait photos have always been popular. And in today’s connected world everyone wants a really great portrait photo for their profiles! So we are bringing you  a basic guide on how to capture a  good portrait photo in  a series of three posts. Today’s post will cover composition….

Composition: The process of putting your photo together, i.e. ‘Composition’, is arguably the most important aspect of capturing a good portrait shot. The placement or arrangement of your subject in the photo is extremely important. Here are a few pointers:

  • Off Center: A good rule in composing a portrait would be to keep your subject off the centre of the photo. Keeping your subject towards either side of the photo proves to be more interesting. This tends to creates a lot of interest and drama, and will work almost every time. With that said, try not to compose every photo in this manner as the results would then become quite repetitive.
  • Fill frame: The crux of portrait photos is to highlight one single element – your subject. One way of getting this done is by ensuring you fill the frame of your shot with the subject – around 70% of your photo should comprise of the subject. This means that you need to get up close to the subject or zoom in. It is possible that your subject’s features might get cropped in the process, but that’s a call you can take- does it look fine or a bit strange?
  • Focus: As mentioned above, you really need to concentrate on your subject. To get a  good output, you need to make it a point to focus only on the subject and the rest can be set out of focus. Don’t forget that the eyes are the window to one’s soul. So focus on your subject’s eyes while taking that shot!
An attractive click: This photo is a perfect blend of all the points discussed above.

Composition: This photo is a perfect blend of all the points discussed above. The subject lies towards one side of the photo, occupies most of the frame and the focus also, is solely on the subject. While the top of the subject’s head is slightly cropped, the overall effect still looks good.

Part II will focus on Light and Background and Part III will focus on Pose, Mood and other pointers. Stay tuned…

 

Introducing the Hopscotch-ZoomIn photo contest jury!

May 3, 2013 at 8:05 am

With the photo contest submission over, our jury of fabulous photographers will be be deliberating on their decision for the 6 winners of the Jury awards. Read on to learn more about this jury.

Neha Malhotra

Neha Malhotra is founder/photographer of TinyLove Photography, an on location photography service for newborns, kids, families and expecting parents. Her photography is fun, non-traditional and totally unscripted. She believes that kids always have best stories to tell and therefore are her biggest inspiration. She focuses on giving each of her client not just great images but a great experience as well. So, for those who ever hoped that baby bump, first smile, tear, or that stolen moment would last forever, your wishes have come true, as TinyLove Photography creates a visual diary of your life’s moments to bring a little more joy in this world.

You can see her work at www.tinylovephotography.com

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Nandini Mehta

Nandini Mehta is a Mumbai-based photographer, known for her stylized depictions of babies and children. Nandini maintains that taking a snapshot is easy, however the challenge lies in making an impact. She believes that a photograph should narrate a story and reflect the personality of the child. This requires a lot of dedication, diligence and patience. With Nandini you get to build memories of your child from day one, in a unique and extraordinary way. Infant Photography is fascinating.

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Anbu Jawahar

Anbu Jawahar is an artist, designer, a self-admitted gadget junkie, but more essentially a gifted photographer with years of experience. The different hats he wears bring together completeness to his unique style of digital photography. A social person with a gentle presence, he is able to participate & capture the fleeting moments in a family that make for wonderful memories. Anbu loves all things new and his experimentation and curiosity make him a good learner. He constantly tries to update himself; mainly sourcing inspiration, tips and techniques from other photographers all around the world.

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Devika Mahajan

Meet Devika Mahajan – mom, photographer and juror of the Hopscotch – Zoomin photo contest.
A finance professional with stints in San Francisco, Chicago, New York previously, motherhood kindled Devika’s passion for photography like none other. What started 5 years ago as a personal hobby of clicking her newborn’s various moods and moments, soon became her calling. She found being behind the lens a lot more rewarding than being in front of a computer screen, much to the delight of the many young parents – for whom she’s captured some amazing memories. Full of ideas and laughter, Devika is patient, kind and fantastic with young children. Her work can be seen at:
https://www.facebook.com/devikamahajanphotography

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Shruti Moghe

As one of India’s leading lifestyle photographers, Shruti Moghe strikes a great balance between creativity and efficient execution. Motherhood becomes her and she has molded her successful career into striking out into a line of photography relatively new to India. Her passion for working with kids is evident in the way she captures beautiful moments & milestones. Her work with families and young ones can be seen here:https://www.facebook.com/media/set/set=a.119430404772120.12363.119429604772200

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Manmeet Bhatti

Born and raised in a naval background, Manmeet Bhatti had never in her wildest dreams imagined that she would become a photographer. But the writing became clear when she walked out from Sir J J Institute of Applied Arts with a Young CAG and many other awards. Her range of work encompasses multiple platforms – publicity shoots for movies like Black, Paheli, Kabhi Alvida na kahina, Page 3, editorial work for fashion and lifestyle magazines, and production for a range of clients like Kaya skin clinic, Pantaloon, Central, Gini & Jony, L’oreal Matrix, Wella, Galaxy chocolates, Economic Times. She has enjoyed a long career that has given her the opportunity to experiment in and explore fashion, beauty and portraiture.A very involved mom herself, Manmeet experiences a unique joy when shooting kids. She believes that unpredictability of children always leads to unexpected and magical results. Her work can be seen here www.manmeetbhatti.com

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ZoomIn favorites for Mother’s Day Photo books!

April 16, 2013 at 11:19 pm

We love photo books, especially gifting them to mothers! However it is possible to get stuck while thinking of what story your photo book will tell. So we asked our staff and here are our top favorites:

Walk down memory lane  

Tell your mother’s life story and create a biography for her! Gather pictures of her childhood, teen years, working years, getting married and, of course, being a mother. (You can scan the older pictures and use the digital images) A fantastic tribute to moms! An added bonus, while gathering old photos you may learn some  new things about your mother!

Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 11.10.31 AM

 Little Moments

Life is all about the special moments and a photo book is a great way to bring those to life. Create a book that will remind mom of the special memories both of you have shared. Starting from the time you were born to the present – those photos along with your personal text will touch her deeply.

ALBUM1An Ode To Mom 

In photos of course! A collection of Mom’s photos covering all the roles she plays -lifesaver, friend, scrabble partner, baby sitter, tuition teacher and so many more! Our new theme, A Mother’s Love, makes it really easy since we’ve pre-published some beautiful poems in it already. All you need to do is upload your photos!

odetomom Masterchef Mom

Is your mother the resident Tarla Dalal? She loves to cook and spends her time in the kitchen coming up with delicious things for everyone to enjoy? Make her a recipe book with her favorite dishes, your favorite dishes or even both. You can add fun stories and memories that your family associates with those dishes. Celebrate her culinary skills with this one!

ALBUM6

 Amazing Mom

Fathers at ZoomIn came up with the idea of a photo book that highlights, not only their wives’  achievements, but also recognizes the small things she does everyday. Gather up pictures of her proud moments and click some pictures as she goes about her daily tasks. You’ll have a great gift for the busy mother who does so much for her family.

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These are just some ideas to get you started! We’d love to hear different ideas that you have – please send them in at community@zoomin.com