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.

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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girl kicking a soccer ball by Kristin Ingalls

11 things beginners should know about photography

Even though you are a beginner, you know you want to create beautiful images, and you want to create them starting today. It can be hard to remember that it takes time to master something new. When faced with beautiful image after beautiful image online and elsewhere, it is easy to think that there must be a shortcut, that if you get that latest piece of equipment, or you only knew some processing secret that your favorite photographers surely must know, your images will instantly be great. Those kinds of shortcuts don’t exist, but with hard work, permission to grow at your own rate, and following some of the tips below, you can become the kind of photographer you want to be.(…)

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girl looking out a window by Kristy Dooley

5 genius ways to rediscover your house with your camera

It happens every year… around February I find myself on local real estate websites dreaming of moving. I joke with my husband that it is a good thing we moved before I fell in love with photography. Otherwise, I may never have decided on a home. Don’t get me wrong, I love our house and am thankful for a comfortable place to raise my kiddos, but as a photographer I get tired of it. We spend so much time inside during the winter and it starts to feel like I’ve exhausted every possible location, window, and activity. I think it’s safe to say I’m not alone with these feelings.

This winter I challenged myself to push through the inevitable annual “rut” that comes my way mid-winter. I put together a few fun ideas for all of us to rediscover our homes, and capture some images we may never have taken otherwise.(…)

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Canon 45mm tilt shift lens used on a bride and groom by Lissa Chandler

3 non-traditional portrait lenses

The first time I used a Canon 35L, I felt like I had stumbled onto some kind of magic wizard sorcery.

The lens just got me!

I loved the focal length and I loved the bokeh and I loved the wide aperture and, honestly, I couldn’t have loved it more even if it had been painted pink and covered in glitter (and I really like the color pink and glitter, too). I know that this sounds a little fangirl-ish but, out of all of the lenses I had ever used, none of them had ever spoken to me the way the 35L did. It just felt right when I looked through the viewfinder and, when I fell in love with that lens, I fell hard.(…)

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photo of boy sleeping with dreamlight lights by Vironica Golden

5 tips for photographing your sleeping child

I’ve been photographing my son almost daily since the day he was born and completed 2 project 365s since then. Sometime during my first project 365 I started exploring sleeping photos because let’s face it, some days it’s just impossible to pick up the camera during the day. Late last year when he started to run away from my camera I decided to give him a break and did a 2-week sleeping project.

Here are some tips I’ve found helpful when photographing my sleeping child:(…)

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boy holding an umbrella with beautiful fall trees by Angela Ross

Hit the Road: using our street to capture where we live

I like our house. I feel we’ve outgrown it some since having a child (and all the toys that come with one). But we love our neighborhood. So, we stay put.

We are a front yard kind of neighborhood and it’s that very reason that I discovered using my street for so many of my personal shots. It’s pretty rare that I even ever take my son into our backyard for photos because i love using our street so much. Here are all the reasons I love to include our street in my images:(…)

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selfie pose modifying your selfie pose by Alise Kowalski

5 steps to loving yourself(ie)

See what I did there?

This blog post is mostly about how to create self-portraits that you will love and love the way you look in them but it is also, and this is no small component of loving images of yourself, about loving yourself. And it only requires five steps! So, lace up those sneakers, ladies, we’re hitting the path to loving yourself(ie). Oh yeah, that’s twice. Nailed it.(…)

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before and after edit in ACR and Photoshop by Marissa Gifford

Before and After: a backlit edit in ACR and Photoshop

I love doing before and after videos, but sometimes I get bored looking at my own work over and over. So for this video, I decided to chose an image from a fellow Clickin Mom to edit instead!

I love this adorable shot from Montreal portrait photographer Anda Panciuk. This sweet moment seems so girly and typical of childhood, and I love the way she’s lost in the moment playing with her skirt. In ACR, I increased exposure and contrast, straightened the image and warmed up the white balance. Then in Photoshop I cropped, blew out the windows completely, added contrast and added a few subtle tones to enhance an already beautiful image. Watch the video to see the steps I took to achieve this look!(…)

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baby wearing a fox mask by Lily Glass

How to have a successful in-home lifestyle photo session

Some of my favorite keepsakes are the small black and white photographs of my grandmother as a young girl. The posed studio portraits are lovely but there’s something so special about the candid photo playing on the living room floor or rolling around in dirt wearing her Easter dress. These faded images provide a look into her past, her home, and the environment which shaped her everyday life.

Many families are opting for less posed and more lifestyle imagery of their little’s youngest years but shooting inside someone’s home offers a variety of challenges. Here are a few tips to help make the most of an at-home family session to capture a day in the life… (…)

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close up portrait of boy in the falling snow by Celeste Pavlik

7 ways to photograph one child

I worry. I fret. Time. It is passing much too swiftly.

Disquieted. A quick, yet recognizable hard pound of a few heart beats as I allow my mind to linger and to dwell on the reality. That moment when I realize my little loves, my muses, my children, are not so little any more. I see them every day. Yet, when I finally lay my head down at night, too often my heart aches and I feel as though I have neglected to truly ‘see’ them. Individually. Free of their own inhibitions.(…)

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pullback of studio strobe lighting situation by Alix Martinez

One Light, One Wall: strobe guide for beginners

There is a lot you can do with one strobe light (key light) and a white wall, oh and… a toddler of course.

The short winter hours outside are a perfect time to practice and play with strobe light equipment. You really don’t need that much of equipment to get started.

A strobe is a device that has a large spark through a tube filled with gas in order to produce light. The light made by these units have a short duration. Strobes can be set over a 6 stop power range. A basic strobe setup includes monolights or a power pack with separate strobe heads that plug into it (this is what I use – very powerful and commercial grade with faster recycle times).(…)

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cupcake with a strawberry on top by Kristy Dooley

3 tips for photographing cake and other sweet treats

One of my favorite parts of holidays, parties, and celebrations are the cakes and sweet treats. While I do enjoy a nice slice of cake or pie, what I like even more is photographing the goodies. There is something surprisingly therapeutic about food photography. A still subject is great for experimentation and practice within your work. Whether you purchase or bake the treats for your next celebration, I’d love to encourage you all to take a few minutes to photograph them before taking that first bite. Here are a few tips to get you started…(…)

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newborn photo by Heather Mohr Photography

5 keys to juggling a part-time business while working full-time

Theodore Roosevelt once said,

Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…

This has been true many times in my life. In fact, the areas of life where I have found the most success and happiness have required the most effort. However, the effective application of great efforts, dedication, and sacrifice yields great rewards.(…)

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