Photo: Jeffrey Lewis Bennett
Now, we all know and love animated GIFs (especially the animal ones, obviously), but have you seen these spectacular wedding ones created by Michigan-based photographer Jeffrey Lewis Bennett? His beautiful stop motion-like pictures convey love, romance, and emotion in a way that's completely different from traditional wedding photos and videos, which is why they're pretty much the latest trend in the weddings world right now. We checked in with Jeffrey to get the scoop on how he started making them; you can also check out a sampling of his mesmerizing moving images on his Tumblr.
How did you start making these?
My first wedding GIF was the result of a conversation between a groom and I, in 2011, on his wedding day. I've loved GIFs for a very long time and he encouraged me to try one with photos from his wedding. They didn't take off right away but I now have clients all over the country hiring me for a photo session that includes one to three GIFs.
What do couples usually do with them?
They share the GIFs on their wedding websites, Tumblrs, Instagram accounts, etc. Hopefully, in the near future they can display them in a digital picture frame in their home—Electric Objects is working on one that supports animation.
Do you usually think of the GIF moment before the actual wedding day, or do they happen more organically?
Many start with an idea I have before the session, but there are almost as many that were conceived in the moment.
What kinds of backdrops make for a visually interesting GIF?
I always try to frame an interesting photograph, first and foremost. I look for a scene that contrasts the subject.
How many shots does it take to create a single GIF?
I always make the GIFs using a series of still images, never a video clip, and it takes five to 10 frames.
How long does it usually take to edit and create a finished wedding GIF (post-wedding)?
The post-production time for GIF creation is between 30 to 90 mins.
What makes them a different type of wedding keepsake, compared to wedding photos and a wedding video?
The animated GIF or cinemagraph takes a singular moment and extends it. Instead of a moment that once existed, as in still images and even recorded video, it feels like a moment that never ended... infinite.