Something Old, Something New

Story/photography by Rob Kaufman

videographerLooking for something different in your wedding photo album? More couples are opting for fusion - the marriage of audio, video and film. There has never been a time when technological innovation moved so quickly. It seems like the latest, greatest "iThing" debuts every other day and most of us haven't even upgraded to Cool Toy 2.0 before Version 3.0 hits the shelves.

From inexpensive high-quality cameras to powerful image manipulating software, photography is at the heart of this modern technological boom. The advancements have allowed the creativity of great photographers to be unleashed - and brides and grooms everywhere are benefiting from the boost.

Of all the technology-based trends lighting up the wedding photography industry, perhaps the most exciting for both photographer and client is the focus on fusion video albums.

"Fusion is really just the combination of still photos and video to help tell a story," says Los Angeles-based photographer Robert Evans, whose noteworthy brides and grooms have included Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes as well as Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. "The process itself isn't really new. Videographers have been incorporating stills into their videos for a long time. But what is new is now we have cameras, like the Canon 5D, that can shoot both HD and stills."

The recent incorporation of high definition video recording capabilities into digital SLR camera bodies has opened up creative outlets that photographers hadn't dreamed of just a few years ago. Suddenly, artists who have spent their careers capturing images at 1/125 of a second find themselves with the ability to use the same camera to record movement and sound. For weddings in particular, it might not be long before a fusion album will be the must-have addition to traditional prints and enlargements.

More than just a simple slideshow of photos set to music, and a little edgier than your traditional wedding video, a fusion album uses high impact imagery, bold edit cuts and music to evoke powerful emotions and convey the story of the wedding day in a short 6 to 9 minutes.

"A fusion video is simple yet powerful," notes Evans. "If done right, it's quick and impactful ... often more artistic than a typical wedding video."

Think MTV music video created using both short video clips and dynamic photos. And like most modern media, fusion albums can be viewed on a home theater, a laptop or a handheld device like a cell phone or iPad. In a world where 67 percent of American twenty-somethings use social networking sites, a fusion album is an ideal way to share a wedding day with friends and family who might not have been able to make it to the ceremony.

Of course, featuring the wedding day is just the tip of the iceberg, as the uses for fusion albums are limited only by the imagination. Engagement sessions, bridal portrait sittings, family get-togethers and save-the-date sessions are just a few of the ways this powerful new tool can be used to preserve the memories of life's most precious moments.

"The applications go far beyond weddings," Evans says. "I see these becoming very big in the Senior Portrait market, where clients can immediately share their fusion video with their iPhones."

Rob Kaufman is a Hilton Head Island-based wedding and commercial photographer. See a sample of his fusion videos at