Category Archives: Photography

Creative Holiday Card Ideas

If you’re an amateur photographer looking to gain further exposure in your area, shooting family holiday cards can be an excellent starting project.

Try advertising with willing local vendors, by word of mouth with family and friends, and on your Facebook or Twitter. Once you make contact with some interested families and begin to iron out the logistics, a great way to demonstrate your creative vision and usefulness is to suggest a few unique location options to clients who may be lacking inspiration of their own. Here are 5 fun ideas to get you started:

1. Christmas Tree Farm If you’re working with a family that celebrates Christmas and plans to buy a tree, ask to meet them at the tree farm. In addition to the characteristic posed compositions you’ll likely take of the group, you can also capture great candids of the afternoon that they may be interested in purchasing as well.

2. Fireplace Fireplace shots are classic and simple. If you’re working with a more traditional family, they may be less excited to get creative and more interested in a customary, indoor setting.

3. Decorate Outdoor Trees For a fun twist on the typical shot taken in front of the family tree, have your clients grab some garland, twinkle lights (if you have access to an outdoor power source) and ornaments, and head outside. You can decorate some pretty backyard evergreens for a festively fun update on the norm.

4. Craft Letters Large wooden letters are inexpensive to purchase at local craft stores and can serve as fun props for families with small children. It’s always good to get kids excited about a shoot, and making them feel included in the planning is a really effective way to do so. Try purchasing letters to spell a simple word like “joy” then asking your client’s kids to paint and decorate them the day before. When it comes time to say cheese, the kids will be much less likely to pout and complain if they’re instead excited to show off their work.

5. Baby in a Gift Box This is another cute option for younger families- depending on the child’s age, try wrapping an appropriately-sized present box and having the kids stand inside like little ‘gifts.’ If you include the parents in the shot as well, make sure to reference our guide for more flattering pose options- because regardless of how flawless a job you do professionally, clients will be much less likely to book a second shoot if they simply didn’t like the way they looked in the first one.

6. Kitchen Craziness For many people, hectic days of family baking and cookie decorating are a fun aspect of the holiday season. If you’re working with less traditional clients who would be excited by a more action-filled, on location shot, head to their house for the day to photograph that festive holiday messiness.

Depending on where you live, there are probably a number of authentic locations nearby that might work as festive local options for a shoot. Remember- what many potential clients don’t realize is that they’re often unknowingly looking for both a photographer and a creative director. Work with your clients, figure out the look they’re trying to achieve, and offer some creative suggestions to help them along the way.

Black and White Photos to Capture the Soul

These are the sort of adjectives that spring to mind when you look at a well-executed black and white image, whether it’s a portrait of an individual, a still-life or an action shot. But what makes a particular monochrome image stand out from the crowd and how can you achieve this with your own photography?

Tricks of the Light

Photography is, if nothing else, the manipulation of light and shadow, black and white, darkness and illumination. All photographers can learn about this from the works of the Great Masters of the art world – chiaroscuro is the term used to describe the use of strong contrasts of the light in painting, photography and cinematography. Immerse yourself in the works of Rembrandt, El Greco and Caravaggio to gain an insight as to how effective this technique can be.

Understanding correctly how to use lighting in your photography can directly affect the mood of your picture – and its impact on your audience. So how do you go about achieving these different affects?

Continuous Lighting

With a reputation for over-heating and exploding, the use of continuous lighting was until recently not particularly popular. However, with the advent of more light-sensitive cameras and better fluorescent lighting, it’s now coming back into fashion. The benefit of using continuous lighting is simply to do with the quality of the light.

It’s clean and white and the nearest thing approximating natural daylight as is possible to recreate in the studio. In addition, the ability to control the source and direction of the light in your image allows photographers to create deep shadows and areas of soft natural light – making it the perfect choice for glamorous and romantic portraits and fashion shoots.

Once you’ve mastered the technique, you’ll be able to conjure up the glamour of old Hollywood within your own studio!

Multi-Dimensional Lighting

Using multi-directional light sources in a portrait can achieve stunning ad-agency style results. Set up four or five different light sources trained at your subject and you’ll find that shadows soften to become unnoticeable and that the light will appear to literally wrap itself around your model.

The results can be both illuminating and flattering. The technique here is to start with the maximum amount of light possible and then to dial it down to achieve the desired effect. Skin will look smoother and small blemishes and wrinkles will all but disappear.

Natural Lighting

Whether you’re shooting outside in the daylight or using continuous lighting within the studio to create a daytime effect, naturally lit portrait photographs are generally the most desirable way to capture a beautiful ‘real-life’ image of your sitter.

Taking pictures out in the open, however, is a completely different ball game to working in the studio. You have one source of light and its position is fixed. On bright, sunny days it can be too harsh, while on a cloudy winter afternoon it’s never bright enough.

But if you can take advantage of natural light for your picture, you’ll find that the results will be worth the effort. When the sun’s too bright, use a shaded area in place of a diffuser to soften the glare. Clouds act as a natural diffuser, so an overcast day can give you beautifully softened images.

In doors, you can use sunlight bleeding through a window to great effect. Choose where you position your subject in relation to the window with care, and use a sheer if you need to soften the light.

Adding Depth and Drama

As a photographer, this is where your artistry can come to the fore. Sure, you have to master the technicalities of photography to produce professional looking images, but to be really successful, you need to take it a step further.

Black and white images in particular allow you to play with the light and shade in a painterly fashion. For serious portraits and documentary photography, creating deep shadows can be used to provide commentary and context to your subject.

Australian photographer Bill Henson is particularly adept at creating mystery and foreboding with the use of light and shadow in his photographic portraits. When you look at his work, you can’t help but think of Rembrandt and Caravaggio.

Photographing Candlelight

It can be difficult to capture the spirit of the holidays in one sweeping shot.

Family togetherness, excited anticipation, festive coziness- these are all things we’d love to remember about such a special season. So rather than trying to force a bunch of different feelings and moments in one perfect image, it might be more effective to create a photo series – a collection of meaningful photographs that showcase what the holidays feel like in your home.

Décor can be an easy place to begin. The subjects are inanimate and can be worked with and photographed in silence and privacy as a fun personal project to get started with. For many people, candlelight is a comforting symbol of festivity and holiday decoration. If you’re interested in including some glowing flames in your photo series, here are some things to remember:

  1. Try using a higher ISO– you’d be surprised at your camera’s advanced ability to adapt to that increased setting without adding any significant noise. Experiment with a little increase until you find a balance you’re satisfied with.
  2. Add some extra light– Unless the room you’re photographing is flooded with a ton of candles, you might not want to shoot in complete darkness. If you’re working in a room with a dimmer, now would be a great time to take advantage of that. If not, try turning some lights on in neighboring rooms to provide you with a little extra glow.
  3. Consider focusing manually– when you’re working in such a low lighting scenario with moving, flickering flames, your camera might have trouble catching a sharp focus on its own.

Once you’ve established a unique collection of holiday photos, consider experimenting with our DIY project to turn them into some special, personalized gifts for family and friends.

What Makes a Good Photo?

Last year I was looking around an entire gallery of competition winners and one thing that struck me was the fact that I struggled to find an image that hadn’t been heavily Photoshopped. Don’t get me wrong, there were some amazing images there and quite deservedly so but it got me thinking about what makes an image good!

I change my mind from one day to the next as to what makes a photo really good. One day I get annoyed at those heavily manipulated images that seem to be all the rage with many photographers these days and the next day I am loving them, processing and creating them myself!

For example, the following image from a recent wedding I shot was a set up from the start, from an idea I had when I saw the brides hotel bedroom. It was taken with just the camera and lens, nothing else. However, it has been through about 8 or 9 processes in Lightroom and Photoshop to get the end result. That result is exactly as I imagined it and I actually quite like the end result.

However, a short time later during another semi-posed session, things broke down during the set up but I carried on shooting regardless. The result was me getting one of my favourite shots from the entire wedding day which is 100% natural and has simply been converted to black and white.

It is slightly blurred, a little grainy and overexposed but during the rest of the day and night I didn’t manage to get a more natural shot of the bride and her mother together and to be honest, I don’t think I could have done if I had the whole of the next day and night too!

It shows the bride in a completely natural state when deep inside the nerves are wreaking havoc. For this one moment it is all forgotten, the nerves disappear and she is genuinely being herself.

For me, that makes a photo good…the “naturalness” and emotional aspects of a very simple image. I am having this printed and framed for my office.

A week or so later during a camping holiday with my family, we had an evening of exceptional light so I dragged my kids into a nearby field for some semi-posed stock shots.

Again, it is slightly blurred and grainy and I have just converted to black and white and added a vignette. Once again, for me, natural wins the day and this will become another print on my office wall.

I sometimes feel proud to take a preconceived idea from its inception through to completion regardless of the fact that it is set up and manipulated in post processing. On the other hand, I simply love those fleeting moments that are caught without trying…the ones that you didn’t expect to get but did because you were on the ball with your finger on the pulse (or shutter) at all times.

After all, I could set up a shot, with models, lighting, correct camera settings and composition that anyone could come along and shoot with any camera and get a great image. Is that photography or have I just set up a nice scene which can be photographed?

Then there are the people that wade out into deep water, hang from rock faces or put themselves in danger for that one incredible image. The people that get up at “silly o clock” and drive for miles just to get the perfect light at the right time of year. The people that go the extra mile and do whatever it takes in the vain hope they may shoot a winner! Is that photography?

So what makes a good image and who is the judge of that?

Well, anything can make an image good and anyone can be the judge of that! You see, it is still and always will be down to personal preference. Beauty, or the appreciation of art in any form, is in the eye of the beholder and that is certainly the case with photography. Does it really matter how the image was taken? What makes a photographer good?

Fun Wedding Photography

Wedding photography can be a super-competitive industry. Especially if you live in a small town where successful photographers already seemingly monopolize most clients, it can be hard to stay competitive and marketable as you reach out to work with new customers. That being said, one of the most crucial ways to ensure the satisfaction of your clients is to provide them with a uniquely exciting experience that they can’t find anywhere else. Consider what we shared last week when we discussed the differences between amateur and professional photography:

“A main reason why some photographers grow a big following and others don’t is that those more famous photographers are able to tell a unique story that can’t be found anywhere else. When you take shots at around the same skill level, of generally the same things and in generally the same style as millions of other people, you’re inherently pinning yourself up against competition and giving potential followers and fans less of a reason to check out your work specifically.”

When you get into wedding photography specifically, this holds especially true. So by providing clients with a fun and unique service different from your competition, you’re giving them a concrete reason to choose you instead. One of our favorite tips? Bring fun and exciting props with you, without being asked. If you show up on the big day not only capable of creating your clients’ dream shots but also bringing along exciting ideas of your own, you’re adding value to your service. Getting started, here are 5 cute props to consider packing for the big day:

  1. Signs- This is a great, simple option. If you make your own DIY wooden sign with a loving phrase on it like, “Happily Ever After,” you can have your clients hold it in some photos (and reuse it every time you work a wedding).
  2. Banners- This is a similar idea and also one you can hold onto and reuse whenever it’s wanted. You can either string together hanging paper letters yourself or buy a cheap banner premade. Spell out something like “Happily Married!” and have the pair stand side by side, each holding up one end to create another cute look.
  3. Garland- For this look, simply hang some pretty garlands (could be floral, paper hearts, beads, etc.) from a door frame and have the couple stand behind it to create some cool depth of field and fun perspective.
  4. Confetti- This makes for a great action shot. For this look, ask an assistant (if you have one) or a friend of the couples’ to stand somewhere above (think staircase or balcony) and drop a bag of confetti over the couple standing below.
  5. Balloons- For this look, consider asking the couple about their color scheme ahead of time and picking up a matching handful of balloons for them to hold in some whimsical snaps.

5 Sunset Photography Tips

Want to work on your sunset photography as the weather warms up? Check out these 6 tricks to make sure you always capture the best shot:

  • Consider Timing-This is probably the most common mistake made by amateur sunset photographers. Don’t leave too early! Too many people pack up their gear and head home immediately after the sun dips below the horizon. Unfortunately, those people are missing out on the period of time (usually about 20 minutes later) when the sky lights up again with a stunning, colorful glow (some say it’s almost like a second sunset)!
  • Don’t Overexpose-If you slightly underexpose a sunset shot, you’re more likely to bring out those rich, striking colors with better definition. By selecting a fast shutter speed and working in manual mode, you can better achieve this look.
  • Make a Silhouette-Too many photographers make the mistake of composing sunset shots with the horizon line smack dab in the middle of the shot, every single time. Stop doing this! For a more compelling and colorful shot, put the horizon in the bottom or top third of your image instead.
  • Avoid Filters-Too many amateurs make the mistake of using polarizing filters for their sunset photography. The truth is, they don’t help deepen the hues at all.
  • Use an App-In order to make sure you’re not rushing to catch the sunset in time (and therefore rushing your setting selections and compositional process), try using an app that can tell you the best time to head out. This NYIP graduate actually developed and launched an app that can tell you the best time to take sunset shots based on your GPS coordinates.

Places to Sell Your Photos

In case you’re a photography specialist or understudy and you think your shots are adequate to begin sharing, an awesome approach to keep up predictable pay is by pitching a few shots to stock photography locales on the web. Beginning, here are 5 worth investigating:

1. Alamy-There are presently more than 60 million pictures and recordings available to be purchased on this site, and all things considered they give an astounding half eminence to photographic artists for each picture sold. Gracious, and in case you’re a NYIP understudy? They’ll give you 100% commission on any business you make for a long time – no quid pro quos.

2. Shutterstock-If you work with Shutterstock, you can even now keep a copyright on the photographs you transfer, which implies a considerable measure to those stressed over imaginative possession. The normal client makes up to 30% eminence when their pictures are sold (more often than not $30 most extreme).

3. iStock Photo-Most photographic artists just make around 15% eminence when their pictures are downloaded, yet in the event that a specific photo of yours additions reliable downloads and ubiquity that rate can hop up to 45. In any case, on the off chance that you sign a restrictiveness contract (which means you’ll just transfer photographs on iStock, no different locales), they knock that 15% least to somewhere close to 20-45% in correspondence.

4. PhotoShelter-This is really something you would incorporate into your own particular site on the off chance that you have one (on the off chance that you don’t, figure out how to make one here).

5. Fotolia-Photographers working with Fotolia get a normal of 20-half sovereignty on their sold pictures and the site likewise gloats their quick store accommodation, which means you understand that cash immediately.

Taking Photos for Beginners

Today’s digital cameras are set up to take effective photographs under a wide range of conditions and of a wide range of subjects. It can be an incredible guide to you while chipping away at nature photography for novices to figure out how to utilize the preset catches and settings on your advanced camera.

Most computerized cameras accompany alternatives to shoot full scale (normally appeared as a blossom symbol), scene (generally appeared as a mountain), representation (a face or individual), evening (stars or stars and the moon), fast (a man running) and perhaps a few different settings. Despite the fact that you might need to shoot everything in full manual mode sometime in the not so distant future, these essential capacities are an incredible place to begin.

Playing with your camera will help you take in the majority of its capacities and every one of the potential outcomes accessible to you. It is additionally critical to take in your cameras constraints, which for the most part originates from research and time went through with the camera. You may discover with time that restrictions can be utilized to work for you, and not simply against you.

On the off chance that you are working with a simple to use camera, which has a solitary focal point that is incorporated with the camera it you will probably soon see that when shooting something out yonder, you have an impediment concerning how close you can zoom in regarding a matter. This same impediment can be overcome with a computerized SLR (single-focal point reflex) camera by essentially changing to a more extended zoom focal point. Purchasing separate focal points for an advanced SLR camera can rapidly turn into a venture, be that as it may, so it is best to truly consider what your necessities are and the amount you will spend.

All cameras can be utilized considerably more successfully with the extra support of a tripod, monopod, or beanbag. In spite of the fact that occasionally camera support can be ad libbed in the field, it can be extremely useful to have these extra devices for support. Tripods and monopods can give drastically more honed pictures under an assortment of conditions.

Knowing Your Subject

In the craft of nature photography for apprentices, knowing your subject is of incredible significance. Regardless of whether you are expecting to shoot pictures of blooms or frogs, ants or elephants, it is imperative you know some essential data about them.

For example, with blossoms you will need to search them out when they are in sprout and search for them where they get a kick out of the chance to develop.

On the off chance that creatures are more your advantage, know where they may live, what they get a kick out of the chance to eat and what time of day they are probably going to be dynamic is a decent beginning stage.

On the off chance that you are proposing to photo more risky creatures in the wild, for example, bears, moose, gators, rhinos or lions it is better on the off chance that you do as such with an accomplished woodsman or natural life direct.

It may be an amazement to you, yet great picture takers may really invest a lot of energy perusing about their planned subjects before they go out and attempt to photo them. Some invest more energy at their nearby library or web based doing research, than they do in the field really taking pictures.

Perusing the Light

Photography truly comes down to the straightforward demonstration of catching light. Seeing and seeing how that light can utilized and caught photographically is truly an artistic expression in itself. Probably the most awesome picture takers ever, for example, Edward E. Curtis or Ansel Adams, were greatly gifted in utilizing light to make their subjects emerge obviously. Here are quite recently a portion of the numerous methods for taking a gander at the utilization of light in nature photography for learners:

Light and shadow: when you take a gander at a subject, see just the light and shadow. What shapes do you see?

Light behind the subject: is the foundation behind the subject dim or light? Shouldn’t something be said about in the event that you change your edge in respect to the subject?

On the off chance that the subject is a creature, is there light in the eye? Or, on the other hand shadow?

Does the light in the picture add to or detract from the subject?

Returned to the most essential inquiries, similar to: what would you like to catch in this photograph?


The craft of structure is another fundamental piece of photography. How the components in the photograph are orchestrated and where the subjects falls in them is of tremendous significance. There are numerous viewpoints to sythesis, so let us concentrate on only a couple of here. Despite the fact that excellence is positively subjective depending on each person’s preferences, some photographs are viewed as lovely by a larger number of individuals than different photographs.

Would could it be that makes a photograph extraordinary?

How might I make my photographs emerge, and express excellence to others?

Are there privileged insights out there that I can use to improve my photographs?

These are a few inquiries you will undoubtedly ask yourself when you take a shot at making or enhancing sythesis. Actually, there are a few strategies that can help get you in good shape with photograph organization as you practice nature photography for fledglings.

Control of Thirds: Draw 4 sets of lines over the photograph so that the picture is partitioned into 9 similarly estimated rectangles. See where the lines meet, and when taking a photograph, taking a stab at setting your subject at one of these crossing focuses.

Focusing the subject: This method is utilized by a great many people normally. Basically put your subject in the focal point of the edge. Attempt to take a few varieties of a similar subject utilizing focusing and the control of thirds.

The eye of the watcher of a photograph has a tendency to take after specific ways while taking a gander at the picture. The eyes tend to come in and to exit along certain pathways. Discover some photographs you truly appreciate and see where and how your eyes go through the casing.

Drawing in or diverting the eye: Remember to concentrate on components that pull in the eye to the subject, and attempt to prohibit those that occupy the eye from the primary subject.

Adjust: Does the picture feel adjusted to you? You can outline your subject so that the general picture feels adjusted. For example, in the event that you put your subject on the right, vertical 1/3 line then attempt to put another subject on the vertical 1/3 line on the left also. Contrast that and a photograph where you have a solitary subject just on one of these lines. See which you like better.

Even versus Vertical: Try exploring different avenues regarding shooting both flat and vertical variants of similar subjects. There are unquestionably times when you will discover one looks superior to the next.

Utilizing shading: Focusing on shading is an extraordinary approach to pull in the eye of a watcher. Explore different avenues regarding comparable shading topics in your pictures. Likewise, have a go at utilizing shading for the inverse impact, making something emerge against a starkly extraordinary foundation or frontal area.

Nature photography for learners is an unfathomably fulfilling and fun create that can be sharpened to authority with time. There are numerous more subtle elements and systems to take a shot at in the investigation of nature photography.

Nature Photography for Beginners

Nature photography for amateurs is an energizing and extremely remunerating leisure activity. It appears to be just common that when you see something energizing or fascinating in the normal world, you need to catch it or record it somehow. Cameras are an incredible approach to do only that!

I will concentrate here on advanced cameras, since at present a greater part of picture takers (particularly learners) begin with computerized cameras – however a considerable lot of the thoughts and strategies said are transferable to film cameras too.

In this way, we should take a gander at a few things you can do to practice nature photography for learners.

What Do You Want to Capture?

So you need to attempt your hand at nature photography? Indeed, even before you buy another camera or begin utilizing one, ask yourself would could it be that you need to catch? Here are a few things to ask yourself:

Would I like to catch close ups of little plants, blossoms, creepy crawlies and other little things in nature?

Would you like to photography bigger, speedier moving creatures, for example, flying creatures, deer, bears et cetera?

Would you like to take terrific photographs of dusks, mountains, lakes and so forth?

Would you like to utilize your camera to record occasions or things you find in nature like bones, tracks, climate examples and things like that?

Would you like to make digest photographs of the regular world, simply concentrating on things, for example, designs, surfaces, hues et cetera?

Perhaps you need to do the greater part of the above?

In the event that you begin with a basic advanced simple to use camera, you may discover (contingent upon its quality) that many if not the vast majority of your needs in nature photography are met. However, you may likewise need to investigate showing signs of improvement camera. Whichever way on the off chance that you are hoping to buy a camera, you will be confronted with the…

Megapixel Madness

In the event that you are keen on obtaining another advanced camera, you are may be acquainted with all the discussion about megapixels. With astounding cameras now accessible to the overall population in the 12+ megapixel or more range, it may appear to be insane to get anything less. Be that as it may, these cameras are for the most part claim to fame devices for cutting edge picture takers with certain necessities. For nature photography for amateurs, beginning with a camera of in the vicinity of 6 and 8 megapixels is in reality more perfect and creates phenomenal pictures.

Likewise, the nature of the picture created by the camera is not really proportional to the quantity of megapixels it uses to record a picture. All the physical parts of a camera are similarly essential to the nature of a picture. In this manner, one camera with 6 megapixels can have much lower picture quality contrasted with another camera with better parts and precisely the same of megapixels. Knowing how to utilize your camera and strategy is likewise vital in making quality pictures.

Tips to Elevate Your Drone Photography

Simply far from the longest selfie stick and the most minimal floating helicopter, automatons can catch what no other innovation is regularly permitted or equipped for catching. That is especially freeing in reality as we know it where 350 million photos are transferred to Facebook every day.

1. Fly Prepared

Discover an area deserving of your automaton’s battery life. Begin from a position of motivation – for instance, take after aeronautical picture takers on Instagram (I have an entirely decent automaton photography nourish on the off chance that I do state so myself). At that point, make a rundown of adjacent areas and provincial purposes of interest. Use apparatuses, for example, Google Maps to inspect the attainability of each of your thoughts. If you somehow happened to go there, consider what the background of your picture may be and how the light would interface with your subject at various circumstances of the day.

2. Light Your Way

Attempt to fly when the light is generally tempting. Brilliant hour alludes to the delicate yellow-tinted light that fills the skies as the sun starts and finishes its voyage over the skyline. Blue hour is another exceptional stage in the day when lively blue tones assume control over the sky before dawn in the morning and after dawn at night. Light is a pivotal fixing to each photo and these unique circumstances of day offer visual open doors for craftsmen both on the ground and noticeable all around.

3. Creation with Intention

Lines, examples and geometry are the absolute most intense compositional components in this new, high-flying medium. Lines have unbelievable ramifications for the compositionally mindful as they have the ability to coordinate the human eye from the frontal area to the foundation of your photo. Examples are of vital significance in automaton photography as stature permit pilots to find visual rhythms that can without much of a stretch go concealed starting from the earliest stage. Ultimately, geometry is a mainstay of mindful encircling in light of the fact that shapes, especially ones that associate with each other, keep our eyes moving all through the casing.

4. Viable Perspective

Clearly, the primary compositional preferred standpoint that you control with your UAV is point of view. Accordingly, search out visual dramatization that an alternate point can enliven. Keep in mind that the best photos aren’t really taken at greatest flight height. For the most part, the automaton photography sweet spot exists only a couple of feet over your head. At around 10-100 feet high, you can make clean yet nuanced symbolism with closer views, center grounds and foundations fit for managing your watcher through an extraordinary visual affair. It’s additionally at this tallness where you can best catch the concealed.

5. Energized

Catch different automaton batteries for the best photographic experience. With one battery, you can investigate the sum of your condition and imagine a shot rundown of outstanding points of view, structures and edges. In some cases, you can likewise dare to far off scenes that show visual guarantee and start to find the unforeseen. At that point, you can commit your whole second battery to executing your shot rundown to flawlessness. On the off chance that you intend to catch moving symbolism too, catch a third battery in which you can completely dedicate your endeavors to charming cinematography.