November 22, 2017

by Gary Hughes

Commercial and residential real estate photography is an important part of our business in Orlando. Over the years we have photographed hundreds of residential and commercial properties for our clients and we have developed some great tips and tricks along the way. If you are an old pro at Photoshop or just starting out, this tutorial is a great example of a simple trick that can help improve the finished product of real estate photography. As photographers in Orlando, we don’t always have control over all parts of a building when we photograph it and windows are a common problem. In this quick tutorial I will show you one of the easy ways we fix this problem when getting it right in camera isn’t an option.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get even more tips and tricks as well as behind the scenes of some of our biggest shoots.

November 14, 2017

by Andrew Harper

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As a photography student, one of the first things my professor said on day one is “Don’t forget about your phone’s camera, it’s better than most compact cameras nowadays.” I didn’t need much convincing – I was born into the information era, after all, so my iPhone is practically glued to my side. But what does that mean for the family looking to invest in the best option for capturing their upcoming trip to Disney, or the social media manager planning out the quickest way to share the company’s team building outing? It means they might not have to search far for their perfect camera.

Prior to the introduction of the iPhone, compact cameras were the most popular type of camera for anyone to own, with point-and-shoots being the most common. “Compact camera” refers to any camera designed specifically for portability that may or may not have DSLR functions. “Point-and-shoot” specifically refers to compact cameras that are designed to be set to automatic functions for the average person who might not consider themselves a “photographer.” Overall, the compact camera market focuses on convenience.

So what happens when the most convenient piece of technology you own has an arguably comparable camera?

According to this article recently published by Resource Magazine, sales in compact cameras have steadily declined since 2009, just two years after the introduction of the iPhone.

And my professor was right, our smartphones are better than a lot of compact cameras on the market right now. So good, in fact, that there is an entire round of annual awards dedicated just to images created by iPhone users, called the IPPA. TIME magazine caught on to this trend in the photography world and ran a series of covers shot exclusively with the iPhone by the photographer Luise Dörr.

Now back to that family packing for Disney. Mom and Dad are on their tablets digging deep into Amazon reviews on compact cameras – ones that are waterproof, ones that have a high megapixel count, even one that can send the photos you take straight to your phone. What Mom and Dad forgot is that they already have military grade cases on their Samsung Galaxy S7s.

Smartphones have essentially taken that main selling point from the compact camera market – convenience – and revolutionized it. So it makes sense that when the camera capabilities caught up to those of at least basic point-and-shoots that smartphones would begin to outsell traditional options. Facebook and Instagram, the two most widely used social networking sites, both offer in-app camera access so that you can take a photo and upload it straight to your feed. Even Adobe Lightroom now offers a free mobile app that has a round of the same editing features as the desktop version, meaning you can now professionally edit your mobile photos in a similar manner to your DSLR ones. These apps allow people to skip the several steps between shooting and sharing that were necessary a decade ago. Remember when you had to wait to come home and plug your camera in?

The new argument now is Apple or Android which is a hot topic all its own. Here’s a quick link that compares them, though. As with any debate on brand, it comes down to personal preference.

November 7, 2017

by Andrew Harper

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Since Hughes Fioretti specializes in corporate event photography, and Orlando is one of the Mecca’s for corporate events, many of our clients come in from other states. When traveling for work, sometimes every minute (and every dollar) counts so we decided to put together a series of articles to help visitors do Orlando like a local, starting with the airport:

MCO (Orlando International Airport) currently sits as the 13th busiest airport in the United States, with 41.9 million domestic passengers in 2016. Between 2015 and 2016, MCO boasted a growth rate of 8.12%, which vastly outperformed most of the 15 busiest airports which averaged a growth rate of about 3.56%.

But what does that mean for you, a visitor to Orlando? It means the airport is quickly becoming overwhelming, and navigating in and out can be challenging, so we put together a few helpful tips so you can travel efficiently and with ease.

First off, there are two main terminals – A and B. Knowing which terminal you’re coming from helps with the baggage claim process, so don’t be afraid to ask your flight attendant if you miss the announcement – I always do. As far as driving in, the airport does a good job at displaying which terminals host which airline. But we also have a link for you here.

Taxis can be found on both baggage claim levels, so there’s no need to call ahead for one. If you’re loyal to Uber or Lyft, however,  the designated pickup stations are not clearly marked in the airport (a large, local taxi company has been lobbying hard against ride-sharing since Uber and Lyft came to town),  but can be found on the websites of both Uber and Lyft as well as in the app. For Uber Select users that are looking for a more stylish ride, that pickup point is on the first level by the Express Pickup Tunnel.

We’ve broken down a couple key Uber fares for you, Lyft rates are comparable:

MCO —> Downtown Orlando ~$25 UberX, ~$40 UberXL, ~$60 UberSelect

MCO —> Disney Area ~$35 UberX, ~$50 UberXL, ~$80 UberSelect

MCO —> International Drive Area Similar rates as Downtown Orlando

Orlando rush hour is prominent on any major road leading to all three locations listed above, and lasts between 4pm-6pm Monday – Friday. Keep in mind, Uber tends to incur “surge” prices during these times which can increase your rate x1.7, so plan accordingly.

Another option is to take the Lynx bus which runs routes from MCO to downtown, Florida Mall, Orange County Convention Center, the outlet mall, the Sand Lake SunRail station, and a few other places. One way rides are $2, or $4.50 for an all day pass. This page dives a little more in depth on the bus schedule and fare. The Lynx bus can be caught on the ground transportation level outside of Terminal A.

Pro Tip: Costco offers a travel membership with special bundle deals on hotels, cruises, and rental cars. If you are part of the membership, you can book your discounted rentals through their website, or, access a coupon code for discounts with companies like Alamo, Avis, Budget, and Enterprise.

October 24, 2017

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As of 2017 Instagram has become the most powerful online platform with an average of 49% of American adults using it daily according to a business.com article. With 15 million registered businesses, the world of marketing has had a complete facelift since the app’s introduction and it can be hard for smaller businesses to compete at the same pace as companies with massive advertisement budgets. But with the right tools, you can hone in on your target audience and grow your network organically. Here are three of the tools you can use to better understand your Instagram audience:

1. UNUM

UNUM is an app with both a free and paid version, developed as a tool to better control the branding of your account.

The free version provides a grid layout of your current posts, and includes blank squares to drop and arrange new images for future posts to get an understanding of what your layout will look like. It also provides analytics which show things like top posts over various time periods (top 10 this week, month, year), your most successful times of the day to post, and a summary of your most successful hashtags. For example, my most successful post times have been at 7pm on Tuesday, 12am on Wednesday, and 3pm on Saturday.

The paid version of UNUM allows users to combine these two features in the app and schedule posts out from their arranged grid at the optimum time periods.

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2. Instagram Analiytics

Instagram Analytics are another useful tool that come provided by Instagram when you convert your Instagram to a business account.

Post Insights will show you information like how many times the post was saved, the number of times the post has been seen (referred to as “impressions”), and the total amount of times the post was seen by unique accounts outside of your own followers, or “reach.” It’s useful to compare the analytics of individual posts and see what your followers best respond to. Instagram Analytics also provides Page Insights, which provide the same information above except over the course of weeks. It also dives in further to show valuable information like % of male followers vs % of female followers, age range brackets and the percentage of each, top locations by city and country, and the hours that your followers are most active.

For example, maybe your followers are 70% male, 60% between the ages of 18-24, and predominantly live in New York City with Orlando as a close second. And since they mostly live in New York City, their most active hours on Instagram are around lunch time and subway rush hour EST.

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3. Followers

Followers is another free app that lets you be nosey and see who unfollowed you, because aren’t we all just a little curious? Some pages use mass-following as a method to gain followers, and then immediately unfollow accounts to declutter their feed, and it’s nice to know who genuinely is interested in your page and who just wants a follow-back.

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October 2, 2017

Hughes Fioretti offers our clients the comfort of shooting headshots in our Orlando studio and thanks to professional digital techniques, we offer a wide variety of custom backgrounds. Here’s what’s great about a custom headshot background:

- No matter when or where, your staff can get a consistent look and background, and that’s great for your website and brand.

- If you can’t get your whole staff in one place at one time, you can be sure that everyone can have matching headshots

- Never have to reschedule a shoot for weather or worry about getting shooting permits, we can do this inside your office or in our studio

Check out the video below to see how it works: