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Henry is a wedding and adventure photographer based out of Seattle, Washington. He initially went to school for nursing, but since two years has been photographing weddings.

He explains how photography entered his life:

”Photography happened to me in a very unexpected way. One night, when I was still working at the hospital, I took care of a patient who was around my age. His life and his death reminded me of how fragile life truly is and how nothing is guaranteed.
From that day on, I decided on living my life an adventurous way. I want to see the beauty of life, capture moments and document memories.
I started hiking and photograph nature. I placed my husband in front of these giant mountains to show how small we are. From those hiking trips, I learned about composition and light. From those photos, I learned about editing and sharing my work with others.”

— Pictures by Henry Tieu
"Photos need to mean something or otherwise photos are just clip arts. When I look at my own photos, I want to feel calm, connected and full of emotions. So whenever I edit, I always look back and look at those photos again and ask myself do I feel those feelings."

1. The way that you edit your images is simply stunning. How do you keep the look consistent regardless of the location and weather?

Photos need to mean something or otherwise photos are just clip arts.

When I look at my own photos, I want to feel calm, connected and full of emotions. So whenever I edit, I always look back and look at those photos again and ask myself do I feel those feelings.

Therefore, I don’t edit everything with just one preset. I use my HD Presets as a base and for each session, I would make changes in a way that it feels like I make new presets for each session.

 

2. One of the reasons that your work stands out is because on select images you take the time to create unique art. Do you already have an idea about the type of artwork you will create during the shoot or do you decide afterwards? What does your creative process look like?

Sometimes, during a movie or listening to a song, I get inspired so I would quickly pull out my phone and start writing down ideas, drawing images I see in my head. That way, I get a collection of ideas for when it’s appropriate

However, I don’t try to do everything I wrote down on every couple. I wait for those moments to happen organically and then try those poses on my couples.

Most of the time, I’m very observant. I look for cute little corners of the house. I look for crevices where light peaks through. I look around and document couples based on what’s being presented.

 

3. Double-exposures are one of your specialties. Do you prefer doing in-camera double- exposures or making it during post-processing? Why?

I photograph with all Sony A7iii cameras and therefore I cannot do in-camera double exposures. Of course there are pros and cons to everything.

Cons:
I don’t get to see whether what I had in mind would work. A lot of time, I have to overshoot in order to go home and test things out in Photoshop.

Pros:
Since I overshoot, I get to resize each of the layers to where I want it to be.

 

4. In your opinion, what makes a good double-exposure image? How do you avoid it from appearing too cheesy?

Art is very subjective. What I found inspiring and good could mean totally something else to someone else. However, to me personally, a good double-exposure is one that would stop one from scrolling from Instagram or wherever they see these photos and just want to sit there and stare at that photo because it’s mesmerizing.

To avoid cheesiness, don’t over complicate things. Learn about the “dark” and “bright”, “black” and “white” in double exposures and start practicing.

 

5. You have stepped up what it means to create GIFs by making short slideshow videos. Can you describe the idea behind this concept?

Thank you for the kind words.

The GIF Videos started when I made a surprise GIF video as a gift for my husband on his birthday. It was a series of GIF and I wrote thank you notes and love notes for him.

Then it occurred to me that my elopement couples can totally benefit from videos like this. For my elopements, I usually hike with my couples to all these beautiful places and sometimes it’s hard to hire a videographer to come along. Therefore, to offer the GIF Video service where I can capture vows and special moments of the day, it truly is an amazing experience for not only my clients but also myself.

 

6. How does creating GIFs affect the flow of a shoot? How do you integrate it into a session?

I usually wait for organic moments to occur before I do any GIFs. To create a GIF, I have to do high continuous shutter and that can scare/turn people off since I basically fire my shutter button like crazy.

Creating GIFs also makes me hyper aware of my surrounding. I constantly look around to find elements that I could incorporate into my GIFs: wind, water, landscape, etc… I think integrating GIF into a session teaches me to constantly think outside of the box.

 

7. Which moments do you feel work particularly well for creating GIFs?

For those who want to try creating GIF for the first time ever, the easiest one if to have the couple hold on to each other and slowly sway back and forth to a song.
Another perfect moment is when the couple embrace each other and the wind would fly their hair and dress all over.

 

8. What type of role does Photoshop play in your editing process?

I use photoshop for 2 things: GIFs and Double Exposures.
Other than that, I don’t know much about photoshop. That’s one of my weaknesses for sure.

 

9. What advice do you have for photographers looking to take their editing to the next level?

Beautiful photographs need a strong foundation and that foundation starts in camera settings and composition. I would encourage everyone to practice whenever they can.

I was there once when I first started out and did not understand Adobe Lightroom or what to do with those sliders. I purchased some presets and learned from presets.

I clicked around and learned about the purpose of each slider, from them. I was able to create my own presets that would reflect what I had previously envisioned.

If you are brand new, I would strongly encourage you to invest in a good pack of presets.

If you have some presets already, my main advice would be try and go out of your comfort zone. Photograph in different lights, different times of day, different locations. That way, you can learn more about the strengths and limitations on your presets and constantly improving your editing skills.

 

Thank you Henry!

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