The Making of Flowtograph (Part 3)

Behind the Scenes of how I made Flowtographs

I wanted to try to make a moving person and a moving shadow at the same time. I got really excited at the idea of making that shadow move like it’s supposed to. I had a clever idea to make that happen. I made the wall and the floor their own layers. I tucked the top part of the shadow under the floor layer. I then had the bottom part of the shadow pull out from under the wall layer. With some clever masking, I got the effect I wanted.

One thing I would have changed is that her arm doesn’t move quite right. This problem comes mainly from the fact that her arm overlaps on her body. I learned that I need to mask body parts as their own layers to more easily shift them.

Overall, the parkour Flowtograph is my favorite! 

The Making of Flowtograph (Part 2)

Behind the Scenes of how I made Flowtographs

After making my first Flowtograph I wanted to add more movement. I wanted to try doing something invasive. I learned the hard way that faces are hard to move manually. I stated realizing that making large amounts of movements cause images to end up in the “uncanny valley.” For those who don’t know, the “uncanny valley” is when the visual elements of something start to look a little off. Almost as if the visuals are trying to hard to look artificially real and end up looking weird or creepy in doing so. A great example of this is the movie Cats.

I took this as a sign that I needed to stick to more subtle movements.  (At least when working with faces.)

Overall, this is the Flowtograph that I’m least proud of. I’m still proud of it, but it was definitely a learning experience for me. I went back and forth on how much I wanted his face to move and finally came to the amount I thought would work best.

The Making of Flowtograph (Part 1)

Behind the Scenes of how I made Flowtographs

My interest in this concept of adding motion to still images came from making my cinemagraph sword project. I became captivated with the concept.

To start, I thought making a parallax effect would be a good starting point. I masked out the soldier and filled in the background then made him a new layer. I then played around with the movements of the two layers until it looked like both layers were moving in a true-to-life way.

I was done. Or, so I thought… I couldn’t help but feel like there was more I could do. I wanted to add more to it. I wanted to add subtle body movement. I started experimenting with the puppet pin tool in Adobe After Effects. I had a hard time not making the soldier’s body look like jelly, but after refining everything, I think it turned out pretty well.

Portfolio (Blog Post)

A blog post about my newly updated portfolio

Well… here it is! My new and improved portfolio. It’s something I’m extremely proud of. I’ve put a lot of hard work into making this website as a platform for my photography. Many of these shot were quite a long ways away and I had to travel long distances to get them, but they were worth it! I’ve polished my skills over the last few months and learned many new skills as well. Check out my full portfolio page here.


Moving pictures… nothing new, but oddly uncommon.

We’ve all seen it before. The picture frame on Harry Potter’s desk. Or maybe that one house you’ve been to that has a digital picture frame with looping videos.

What about something more subtle?


Photo by Museums Victoria (Public Domain)

Not a fully-fledged video, but not a static, frozen image either.

It’s an image that does its business, then returns to where it started. It can be looped, or simply played once.

This is where I wanted to explore. That twilight between video and picture. What would pictures look like if they weren’t still images? Would they be appealing? Or would it be an express ticket to the “uncanny valley.”

Just subtle movement. Parallax effects. Small body movements.

Enter… the Flowtograph.

Photo by Pixabay (Public Domain)

Pretty hypnotic, isn’t it?

There’s something about having to create movement by hand that stands out to me. These are clearly not slow-motion video recordings, they’re images that have been given motion. It’s motion by hand. It’s kind of like when an artist will make a photorealistic sketch. It pretty much looks like a photo, but there’s something about knowing that someone used their hands to make it.

I loved making these! Video production is what entices me most. Why not combine two of my biggest interests? Why not combine photography and video?

These are just a few of many ideas I have for what I can make with subtle motion. Moving images like these are something else.  They’ve been around for decades, but they’ve been criminally underused (in my opinion.)

“Flowtographs” have so much potential! Imagine having pictures of your ancestors expressing not only emotion, but body language! Pictures like these would also make for captivating visuals and b-roll for documentaries and other kinds of films.

Let’s get in touch! Let me shake up your next photoshoot! Let me add to that film or documentary you’re creating! Send me a message on Instagram, Facebook, or send me an email. Let’s chat.

Photo by Purple Smith (Public Domain)

Fashion Groups

Fashion shoot in groups

Not gonna lie. This was trickier than expected. Posing one person is one thing. Posing two people is harder. It’s almost like adding another dimension to your work. You have to position both models in appealing positions, but also frame them and get good foreground and background. They need to look like they belong in the same picture. They both need to hold good positions. There’s so many variables. These photos turned out alright but I definitely learned a few things from this.

Here’s a helpful guide to photographing groups!

Buildings and Accessories

Assorted pictures of buildings and accessories

I like the word “miscellaneous” more than “assorted” but miscellaneous is just annoying to spell. There I go using it twice.

In all seriousness, one wise practice to have is to take pictures of things you’re not there to take pictures of. Obviously clients and jobs are your first priority, but why not take a few pictures of other things while you’ve got all your equipment set up?

All of these pictures were taken during my Fall fashion shoot. After doing this I started looking into how architectural photography works. Here’s an interesting guide about it!

Women’s Fashion

Women’s Fall fashion shoot in downtown Rexburg

This was a series of shots for female fashion. Funny story, that black peacoat is actually mine. But it ended up looking pretty good on everyone who tried it on. It was really cold outside too, so everyone wanted to wear it because of how warm it kept them. I found it a little easier to pose models in bulkier clothing because of not being able to see their posture quite as clearly as usual.

I also had fun making a fake Anthropologie ad using my wife as a model. Made her feel extra pretty. 🙂

Here’s a women’s fall fashion guide I found helpful!

Men’s Fashion

Downtown Men’s Fashion Shoot

This is a series of photos I took for a men’s fashion shoot. It was a little cold outside because it was Autumn, but the golden hour sun started warming everyone up a little bit. I got to take some shots of my best friend growing up! It was a lot of fun to work with models you’re friends with.

Here’s a cool fashion guide I found! I wish I had more access to Fall clothes for more variety.

Eye of the Tiger

Adding a Tiger fur background to awaken the Eye of the Tiger

I wanted to have some fun with this one. I love Photoshop! It’s what got me into all the things I’m interested in today. I also love taking funny portraits. Why not combine those two things? I present Mung “Tenten” Seng as The Eye of the Tiger!

I simply masked out the background of the original photo and replaced it with a tiger fur texture I found on I then added a vivid light layer style on a black and white gradient to add more punch to the image. After a couple of other finishing touches, I ended up with one of the most fierce photos I’ve ever taken!

Click here for a guide to photoshop layer styles

Here is a link to the texture photo I used

Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash