Tutorial

Want to learn how to take better pics? Need help getting more clients? Here you will find photography tutorials, business advice, pro tips, and photoshop lessons for advanced business owners, beginner hobbyists and everyone in between. Stick around for informative photography posts on a wide range of topics. We pinky promise this is where it’s at.

before and after photo edit from Sally Molhoek

7 insanely fabulous processing transformations

When it comes to editing your photos, there are endless possibilities. There’s the obvious options like black and white or color and Photoshop or Lightroom but the choices go far beyond that. With numerous tools and tricks in editing software, the options are endless.

Today we have asked 7 photographers to share a video of them editing so you can learn some new techniques. Enjoy and make sure you bookmark this page so you can come back and reference it again :)(…)

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mom and dad holding child by Kristy Dooley

8 simple business tricks from a pro

Being in business for yourself is full of pros and cons, highs and lows, and ups and downs. It requires a constant willingness to change, adapt, and adjust, as you strive to meet the needs of both you and your clients. This isn’t just the case for photographers, but for all small business owners. For many of us, I think it’s safe to say part of us likes the challenge. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be doing it. Here are a few unique “tricks” to help you along the way….(…)

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full body photo at different apertures by Alicia Gould

2 aperture excercises that you can do TODAY

When setting up an image, the aperture and lens you choose makes a big difference. It’s important to know when to isolate your subject by shooting with a large aperture like f/2 or when to stop down to capture more of the scene with a small aperture like f/16.

Experimenting in aperture priority mode can help you visualize how changing the aperture affects both your subject(s) and your background. These exercises will help you understand how your area of focus changes as your aperture changes and also how using a different lens drastically changes the affect.(…)

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bathtime by Kellie Bieser of Shutter & Glass Photography

Children’s Spaces: capturing the backdrops of their memories

Take a little trip with me back to third grade. We are in Miss Stelzer’s classroom in the old worn building of Murlin Heights Elementary School. You walk into the room and see the day’s plans written in perfect cursive on the blackboard. You can smell chalk and books and crayons. You can hear the sound of little metal chairs being dragged across the green linoleum tiles. You can feel the bits of rubber under your fingers as you brush away eraser shreds from your paper.

It is all so vivid in my mind, and yet what does my third grade picture look like? My face in front of a generic blue backdrop. That’s it! I have zero pictures of linoleum or paper or cursive on the blackboard. Zero tangible memories of what it was to be in third grade. And that is a serious bummer.(…)

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girl playing in window seat by Kelly Marleau of Fiddle Leaf Photography

8 creative ways to use window light

I have a window in my house that I’ve fallen hard for. It’s a bay window in our family room. It has unfinished casing, chipped paint on the ledge, and is incredibly cold in the winter, but it still doesn’t stop me from loving it. It faces west out to our backyard, and lets me look out at the field behind us, the downtown skyline, and my daughter playing outside in her play house. Above all of that though, it just lets some seriously gorgeous light into our house. It’s a photographer’s dream.

You might not have a bay window like this in your house, but these same principles can be applied to so many types of windows. Take some time to study the light and how it moves through your house during the day and I’m sure you’ll find creative ways to use your special window too.(…)

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girl holding curtains by Caroline Jensen

The unexpected ways to use curtains in your photography

Sheer curtains are one of the handiest tools you can stuff into your camera bag. They are especially perfect for images of young girls and women where flowing fabric can add a feminine touch.

One of my biggest tips is to use sheer curtains to complement other clothing. I find that subjects often want to play with clothing or their hair, and giving them a large expanse of fabric to play with helps to relax them. You can make a dress with the curtains too, but just covering a basic dress is one of the easiest and fastest ways to integrate curtains into your workflow.(…)

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couple surrounded by trees by Jenna Stoller of Patch 36 Photography 7

How to take great photos in boring locations

As photographers there are many times when we get to locations and there is not much to work with or the lighting is cruddy, or or or… There are very few times where conditions are just ideal (perfect lighting, perfect location, perfectly dress cooperative subjects). The key to becoming a skilled photographer is learning to work with whatever comes your way. To be able to adjust your expectations and look for the sweet spots of whatever location you are shooting at, with whatever lighting you have at the moment.

I set out on a sunny afternoon around 2 pm to do an engagement shoot. The lighting was not ideal. The Indiana grass and trees have still not woken up from the winter so everything was looking drab, dreary and a little too bright.(…)

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dad flying toddler by Lisa Tichane of Tout Petit Pixel

8 tips for a one year old session with a non-walking baby

The first birthday of a child is such a special milestone! It’s also an age full of progress, wide smiles and adorable expressions.

However, from a photographer’s perspective, one year olds can be tricky little subjects. They are not the happily-seated baby that they used to be a few months ago, they want to move all the time and are little bundles of energy. Unfortunately, most of them cannot walk on their own yet at 12 months, so you can’t focus this one-year-old session on their first steps.

What are the secrets to a successful session with a non-walking one year old? Here are a few easy tips to capture memorable images.(…)

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woman in a red dress in the snow by Michelle Gifford of Beauty Revived

5 ways to get real, beautiful photos of your subjects

So you’re a photographer, and if you’re like me, one of the things you love about this profession is having the opportunity to capture the real beauty and personality of a person. Sometimes accomplishing that goal is simple. But honestly, many times achieving real and honest portraits can be a bit of a challenge. Well, I’ve got some tips to help you capture the true beauty out of every subject.(…)

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before and after Lightroom edit using the HSL panel by Danielle Hatcher

How to use the HSL Panel in Lightroom to get good skin tones

If you’ve never played with the HSL panel in Lightroom, you are missing out on quite a powerful tool!

Jennifer Dell has already written a great article on the power of the HSL and Color panel, but today I wanted to talk about using the HSL panel just in reference to skin tones. This video will show you my basic edit, plus you will learn how to tweak the HSL panel to get glowing skin and get rid of pesky green shadows in just a couple of clicks. Watch the video to learn more, and let me know if you have any questions!(…)

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rulebreaker-action-photo-in-childs-room-by-erica-caligiuri

Creativity Exercise: a simple guide to breaking the rules

Rules are rules for a reason. In most cases, they promote aesthetics that we associate with artistic harmony and a pleasant viewing experience. We hear often that “you have to know the rules before you can break them.” I’d take that a step further, arguing it’s not just “what” and “how” but also “why.” You need to know the REASON for the rules of photography and design in order to break them effectively.(…)

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boy covering his face picture by Celeste Pavlik

7 ideas to make photo shoots fun for kids

Typically when I shoot it’s for a few reasons: to fulfill an artistic need, possibly creating something that’s new to me, to create a new piece of work for my portfolio, or to add to the growing collection of documenting the lives of my children and our family. I would say over 90% of my work includes my children. So any reason I can come up with to make it fun for my children to be photographed, then I’m happy, and they’re happy.(…)

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Alicia Gould 8

5 things the pros do before every photo session

The night before every session, I start my mental checklist: check-in with my clients, charge my batteries, format my memory cards and pack my bags. As a newborn photographer, packing my bags has a million lists under it as well: beanbag, blankets, wraps, props, noise machine, space heater and anything else that the parents requested. After seven years, it’s become second nature but I still find myself sitting in the car running through that list one more time before I pull out of the drive way. Creating a routine before your sessions will help save time and keep you organized.(…)

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macro photo by Nina Mingioni

22 Ordinary Objects that turned into Extraordinary Art

As many women, I originally turned to photography to be able to capture the lives of my kids. As many photographers, I quickly grew frustrated with their unwillingness to cooperate while I was trying to hone my skills.

After a year of serious shooting, I realized that while I now could create great photos of my kids, photography to me was so much more. It taught me to see things I have never seen before: light wrapping around the objects, shadows encroaching on the light, and the beauty of details. Photography taught me to live in the moment, and appreciate the art of the everyday. Seeing harmonious compositions, leading lines, light, shadows, and reflections comes with practice and definitely takes a conscious effort.(…)

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editing in Photoshop screenshot from Melissa Stottmann

30 Photoshop terms and tools to get you started

Learning a few basic Photoshop tools can make a big impact on your photography post production process. If opening Photoshop makes your heart beat a little faster or induces cold sweats, then this list is for you! Here are some of the most crucial terms and tools for photographers to get started in Photoshop.(…)

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mom and dad admiring new baby by Allison Corrin

A step-by-step guide through a lifestyle newborn session

As a newborn lifestyle photographer, it is a grand privilege to be invited into the most intimate moments of tenderness and newness in a family. That being said, there are great challenges in walking into a new environment brimming with emotion and vulnerability. It takes courage to calm my own nerves and steady my eye while shooting in an honest and sensitive fashion. Through the years, I’ve developed my strategies to doing so using both technical and artistic techniques to help make sure that I am prepared and effective regardless of the scenery or dynamics.(…)

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