How To Capture Beautiful Church Photos For Free | Pro Church Daily Ep. #081

How To Capture Beautiful Church Photos For Free | Pro Church Daily Ep. #081

– Today on Pro Church Daily we’re talking about how
to shoot beautiful photos for your church for free. – Hey there and welcome
to Pro Church Daily, the show where in 10 minutes or less you’ll get your daily
dose of tips and tactics to help your church share
the message of Jesus while we navigate the
biggest communication shift we’ve seen in the last 500 years. I’m your host Alex Mills. I’m joined as always by the
boss man, it’s Brady Shearer. Today we’re talking about how to capture beautiful images
for your church for free. – When you think about the type of content you see on social media, the one type of content that dominates social platforms is visual imagery, whether in the medium of
photography or videography. There are numerous
studies that back this up but the bottom line is this, there’s a reason the cliche a picture is worth a
thousands words exists and that is that you can communicate through a single image what it would take paragraphs worth of text to do. That is because the human brain can process images infinitely quicker than it can process the written word. When it comes to making
good first impressions, when it comes to social, when it comes to almost
every communication medium because speed offer so many advantages when it comes to
communication and attention, especially because our
attention spans are so low. Using photos is so powerful. It used to be that this was a very expensive or just difficult process that required considerable skill. It wasn’t that long ago where you would need to hire an Alexander Thrills to take your photos because you
couldn’t take them yourself. What’s been amazing is that
over the last couple of years, extreme advancement in tech, especially within our mobile
devices as we’ll discuss, has enabled almost anyone to
take amazing, beautiful photos. Not to say that you’ll be able to take something as close to Alex, but we’re getting closer and closer. The gap, which used to be extreme, is getting smaller and
smaller and smaller, which is great for
churches with small budgets and with lack of skill on staff let’s say. Here’s a study done by Georgia
Institute of Technology in conjunction with Yahoo labs. They analyzed more than one
million Instagram photos and found that pictures with human faces were 38% more likely to receive likes than pictures with no faces and 32% more likely to attract comments. If we were to assign
a number one position, the number one seed in the
bracket of photography, the best photo that you can take when it comes to attention, interaction, and engagement is a picture
of another human’s face. What’s great about mobile manufacturers and the rise of the selfie is that mobile manufacturers recognize this truth demonstrated
through that study, the most powerful photo you can take is of another human’s face. Phone manufacturers have
built into their tech the ability to take great photos, especially portrait style photos. We’re gonna walk through a
three step process right now that will allow you to
take beautiful photography, beautiful photos of human faces for free with no experience and no camera. We have a full case study that documents actually us
doing this within a church over at the Nucleus blog. is where you can find that full case study. The first step is to get a phone that has portrait mode
capability built within it. All this is is a name for a feature on a phone that essentially allows you to take a still image
with a blurred our background. In videography and
photography we call this bokeh where essentially let’s say Alex’s face is in focus but the
background is blurred out. When you zoom in on mine or Alex’s face while watch Pro Church
Daily, you’ll see this. My face is in focus but the brick background behind me is a
little bit out of focus. That’s bokeh, shallow depth of field. Depth of field is the precise term here. Phones now allow you to do this. For instance, you have the iPhone 10. I have the iPhone seven plus. Both of these phones have a feature that Apple developed called portrait mode where essentially you can open you phone, put it on portrait mode, and then take a photo
of someone or something where the Canada Dry cup
in front of us is in focus, but the background is out of focus. It’s not just Apple
phones that can do this. Here are a number of phones that can. We already mentioned the iPhone seven plus and iPhone 10, the iPhone
eight plus also can do this along with the Google Pixel two, Samsung Galaxy Note
eight, Essential Phone, Moto X four, and more and more phones are coming out with this. Soon it’s gonna be
standard on every device. That’s the first step. This is the part where you get to do it for free without a camera. If you don’t have a mobile
device that has this feature, get one that does,
borrow one from a friend. Like I said, we’ve got two
out of two here that have one so find from someone and
borrow it for the afternoon. Step two is to find the best light. When it comes to the overall
image that you’re capturing, the most influential feature is the lighting that you’re working with. I’m gonna let Alex speak
to this in just a bit, but there are some great lighting scenarios that you can find
within your own church. Creative stage lights
or auditorium lighting, natural light from larger windows. We’re filming and
recording Pro Church Daily in the board room where one
entire wall is all windows. We record in here because
the natural light is great. Large windows. You could also record
outdoors during golden hour, also known as magic hour which is when the sun is rising and setting. Sun is low to the horizon and that means that the light is very soft and golden and it makes everyone
look a little bit prettier. You can use an app called
Rizon, spelled r-i-z-o-n, to find the precise time for golden hour in the morning and
evening in your location. – I was actually standing
in this room last week and I think my wife had
called me on Facetime. I was talking to her on Facetime and I was standing right by
those windows over there. I was standing facing the
window and I was saying, man this light looks really good. Then I turned around 180 degrees so I’m facing this wall and I’m like, man this light looks really terrible. This is of course common to me but, I just thought even just with this, I don’t remember how many megapixels this camera has on the
front of the phone but I was just realizing just with this on Facetime, spotty
connection, poor camera, just the variance of light
makes such a drastic difference. I kind of had some ideas of how to showcase that on my
own personal Instagram. Maybe we can do a deeper
dive into lighting for some content further
down the road but, lighting is everything. You can have all the gear you want. Even sometimes in the office when we shoot thumbnails or we’re shooting content for other things, I’ve got a really great camera but if we waited too long in the day and the sun has set past a certain point. – 4pm in Canada. – The light’s garbage. I can’t do much with it. I don’t really like
introducing artificial light. I will sometimes and you can get very creative with artificial light, but especially for portraits, I really love and it’s so important for the skin tones for the color itself to use natural light. At church in my own context, we don’t have a whole
lot of natural light. I’ve been to churches where there’s just these great big
windows, similar to ours, and you can shoot inside
and it’ll look great. At our church we don’t really have a whole lot of natural light. If I’m shooting portraits of somebody if I’m doing a headshot for a testimonial on Facebook, whatever, I’ll actually take them outside and I won’t shoot inside the building. I’ll shoot it on the property but we’ll step outside so I can take advantage of that free
light, that natural light. I’ll put them usually under a tree and get them in the shade and get some natural
diffusion from the leaves. I’m always on the hunt
for flattering light because it really can make
the biggest difference, and especially with portrait mode. Something that portrait mode really needs is a lot of light. If you’re trying to shoot on your iPhone in portrait mode in low light, you’re not gonna get great results. – You will not. – There’s great natural
light just about anywhere. You can get creative. Maybe have to step outside, that’s okay. If you’re shooting during the day in between magic hours or even taking advantage of either of those magic hours in the morning or the evening, you can get free light on a
cloudy day, on a sunny day. It’s there, you just gotta go after it. Step one, the free element. Using portrait mode on a mobile device. Step two, use free light. God’s better at lighting
than Alex, I, or you. Use the free light that God gives. Step number three, use
a free app like VSCO, v-s-c-o is how it’s spelled, to add a nice filter to your image. Again, we have a full case study. We went into a church on
a weekend, on a Sunday, I had never been there, we used only the iPhone seven plus that I’m holding in my hand right now and natural light available to us along with the VSCO app for some additional coloring after the fact. All free and we shot a bunch
of photos for this church and created a full demo website for them to show how amazingly far the tech within our
mobile devices has come where someone like me
who’s not a photographer, I know a lot about video
but not photography, can create a full website, take a huge number of photos that can be used for any number of context, social, the website,
print, whatever you want, and it was all done for free without any experience or any camera. This is now possible and it’s amazing because when we consider the impact and influence of photography and visuals and this is so much
better than using stock or using clip art because it’s personal to you and your church. It can be done for free,
it can be done easily. Put this into practice and
you can see amazing results. – I remember when I was a kid, my brother bought his first digital camera and I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a Canon Powershot
and it was 3.4 megapixels. That was as far as a consumer level, that was as high as you could get it. It was otherworldly. 3.4 megapixels, look at the
definition in these photos. Now most of us have 12 megapixel cameras in our pocket all the time. This is more accessible to anyone now more than it ever has been. To get great photos of real
people for your church, like you said for your
website, for social, you can reuse these
photos all over the place. You don’t have to reach any further than your pocket anymore and that’s a really incredible thing. – That’ll do it for today’s
episode of Pro Church Daily. We’ll see you tomorrow. Thanks for watching today’s
episode of Pro Church Daily. If you haven’t already,
subscribe to this channel and turn on notifications so
you never miss another one. – If you like this video, it would mean the world to us
if you give it a thumbs up. – Thanks for watching. We’ll see you tomorrow. I don’t know how. Sometimes it turns on. You just need to manually turn it off. I’ll get it afterwards. Today. (distance laughter)

Dereck Turner

7 thoughts on “How To Capture Beautiful Church Photos For Free | Pro Church Daily Ep. #081

  1. Gary Adduono says:

    "use the Light God ha given" pretty sure I preach this every week! I also frequently use the "Risen" app since Christ lives within me and has RAISED me from spiritual death!
    Great Episode. I just​ wish my church carpet wasn't Garfield orange so the pictures would look that much better!

  2. Samuel ReyesLV says:

    Brady, what about iPhone 6??? Do they have anything good???

  3. PhrisDiamond says:


  4. Joseph Mendoza says:

    In other words schedule your church service around golden hour!!! 😂

  5. Essy Chilcutte says:

    the s7 had it as well… came as an update

  6. Samuel ReyesLV says:

    Hey Brady, you mentirnos the 7,10, or 8 plus can get good pictures but what about iPhone 8?

  7. RWS12234 says:

    Anyone else thirsty for a club soda? 😋

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