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.

girl holding a red heart pillow by Angie Kuna

10 Valentine’s Day Pictures You Need to Take

‘Tis the season for love. Valentine’s is a celebration full of hearts, chocolate, and much more and every bit of it is worth documenting. We asked the CMpros what their must-have photos for documenting their Valentine season are and boy did they dish. So read below, grab your camera, and then get to photographing this happy season!(…)

Read More
family hugging and kissing portrait by Elena Blair

The 10 Most Common Photography Questions Answered

I will never forget when I was first starting out on this photography journey.

I knew I wanted to learn how to use my camera. I knew my images looked very different from the professional photographers I was following. I knew I might want to start a business, but knew very little else.

It was overwhelming, and was enough to make me want to curl up into a ball and forget about this whole photography thing! Thankfully, I found Clickin Moms and was able to get some of the toughest initial questions answered. I have searched far and wide and found ten of the most common questions asked by the new photographer. This is guaranteed to jump-start your beautiful and worthwhile journey!(…)

Read More
family laughing together in a cornfield by Kristy Dooley

7 Habits of Successful Photographers

The journey of a photographer is not necessarily an easy one. It’s a road full of highs and lows, breakthroughs and frustrations. While these moments happen for us all, there are a few things that the most successful photographers do to keep moving in the right direction.(…)

Read More
creative edit of young girl bouncing a basketball by Rebecca Wyatt

Adding Depth and Dimension to Photos When Editing

The primary challenge photographers face in creating a realistic experience for their audience is the limitation of a two dimensional medium. In order for a photograph, or any two dimensional art, to appear realistic, the viewer must appreciate a sense of depth. Think back to the magic of elementary school art class when you first appreciated the difference between a house drawn with merely a square and a triangle versus the same house with the addition of converging parallel lines.(…)

Read More
wedding portrait by an old rusted truck by Kate Luber

Carefully Selecting Depth of Field with Artistic Vision in Mind

We all know to make sure we have a fast enough shutter to stop motion. You need the right ISO to give you enough light to expose properly. What about aperture? Is wider always better; after all, you have the ability to shoot at f/1.2 and it would be a shame not to utilize that? Wider isn’t always better. Learn why and when you should close down your aperture.(…)

Read More
child taking a nap on dad by Seija Kenn

Photographing Your Daily Life: tips and questions to consider

Shooting your daily life can be both exhilarating and exhausting.

Our routines can become second nature and the feeling of the daily grind can set in. Although many of us picked up a camera to capture this daily life, it can be a challenge to find something that feels like it’s worth capturing. It can be hard to see daily life as a ‘subject’ when most of our days feel very average. In an effort to make daily life shooting feel fulfilling, I narrowed down a few ideas that have helped me along the way. Here is some food for thought on how to capture your daily life and make it a creative and fulfilling process.(…)

Read More
black and white photo of grandma holding baby by Kari Wattenbarger

5 Things I’ve Learned About Photographing Grandparents

With the birth of my oldest, who is now five, I started using my camera to record our family life.

We are fortunate to have our grandparents geographically close in proximity. As a result, our children have been able to develop a special bond with them. I cherish these times together and these are the moments that I love to capture. In the years since, I have learned a lot about documenting our interactions, storytelling and capturing the essence of these special moments in time.(…)

Read More
kids snow tubing by Kim Hildebrand

Near or Far, 8 Ways to Photograph Your Family Adventures

I grew up in a small town in Idaho, going on numerous camping trips and family vacations.

We hardly ever flew as we couldn’t afford it, so we’d pile in the car and take a two week road trip somewhere new once a summer. Lucky for us, the family adventures didn’t end in the summer since we lived close to a plethora of mountains suited for backpacking trips, hiking, fishing, and skiing.

My love for adventure and all that comes with it(…)

Read More
Suspended-Movement-of-Child-being-Thrown-Up-in-Air-in-the-Ocean-by-Playful-Father-by-Anita-Perminova

3 Types of Movement in Photography

When we talk about movement in our images, we could be referring to any number of phenomena, storytelling, or design elements. For this creativity exercise, we’re going to discuss three fundamental ways to approach movement in the frame, and you can tackle whichever challenges or appeals to you most.(…)

Read More
Lightroom preview from Jamie Rubeis

How to Easily Back Up Your Lightroom Catalog

Everyone knows how important it is to back up your photos, but if you work in Lightroom, it’s just as important to back up your catalogs, too.

Your image files are the photographs that are imported into Lightroom that you intend to organize and edit while the Catalog acts like a database recording any and all metadata and adjustment changes and settings applied to those images. It is important to back up your images so that you never lose the image files that are saved on your hard drive and it is equally important to backup your catalog so you never lose the changes you made to those images.(…)

Read More
portrait of mom holding newborn by Kellie Bieser

The Top 15 Photography Tutorials from 2015

It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone but it has and 2015 was a great year! Here on the CMblog we have continued to work hard in bringing you the type of tutorials and fun articles that you’re looking for. This past year was such a hit and we are excited to see what the next year brings. In celebration, we thought we’d look back on the 15 most popular tutorials from the CMblog last year!(…)

Read More
baby boy laying on bed with toy and afgan by Megan Loeks

What are catchlights and how do I get them?

Catchlights. What exactly are they and why are they important?

A catchlight is light reflecting from your subject’s eyes. More importantly though, without them your subject appears empty and with them your image can be much more emotive.

The standard rule of thumb is to ideally have the catchlights either at 10 o’clock or 2 o’clock. However, I don’t necessarily worry about the ideal placement as much. Instead I always try to make sure that…

I have them when photographing my subjects
Not have them fall right in the middle of my subjects eyes… i.e. over the pupil.

There are several ways to achieve catchlights whether you are outdoors or indoors…(…)

Read More
girl jumping across benches by Gretchen Willis

The Kodak Moment: learn when to take a photo

Henri Cartier-Bresson, famous French photographer from the mid-20th century, is considered the father of candid photography. He coined the term “The Decisive Moment” to describe the exact moment in time when a photographer captures a subject and allows it to communicate its intent. In Cartier-Bresson’s words,

To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression.(…)

Read More
close up family portrait by Olivia Gatti

Head Games: 6 ways to push past your photography fears

I have a big secret that I want to share.

It has been something I’ve carried since the beginning of my career, when I was green and unsure. I’ve had it when I was at the top of my game, held big titles and some prestigious awards. And when I left the field and took some time off, it was there too, like a shadow following silently behind me as a reminder. Now back in the full swing of running a business and shooting everyday for myself or clients, it has me like a prisoner.(…)

Read More
7 month baby photo by Sarah Carlson

Your Baby’s Monthly Photos: 5 tips to keep in mind

This time 6 years ago, I was pregnant with our oldest daughter and researching countless items for our registry. Baby shopping was so much fun! One of the top things on my wish list was a set of month-by-month stickers to put on Kate’s onesie to photograph and document her growth throughout her first year.

Like many momtogs, the birth of my firstborn is what sparked my desire to learn about photography, so her monthly baby pictures were also a signpost of my progression. By month 12, I realized I needed to open the window to get some light into the room rather than using the overhead light. Not even kidding. Here are my three girls when each was 4 months old. It’s so fun to compare these side by side! I’d love to share some tips I’ve discovered along the way, and I’ve got some beautiful monthly baby photos from some of our talented CMPros to share with you as well.(…)

Read More
girl holding a sunflower by Kara Orwig of June & Bear Photography

When Centered Compositions Aren’t As Bad as You Think

Give anyone who knows nothing about photography a camera or a phone and ask them to take a photo and he or she will generally place the subject right in the middle.

It’s our natural instinct.

But once you begin to learn about composition, you are told that centering a photograph is less appealing. And in many cases, this type of composition may not be ideal because it discourages the viewer from roaming the entire photograph. A center focal point is so heavily weighted that it draws the eye and it gets stuck there. But with careful and thoughtful planning, use of the center focal point can be taken advantage of to strengthen the image.(…)

Read More
yellow lawn chairs on a patio by Erin Wagnild

5 ways to create memorable pictures using color

I have always been a bit obsessed with color.

I love the surge of energy I get when I have a bright red pedicure, the calmness I feel when I’m surrounded by the deep blue water of the Pacific Northwest, or how my favorite yellow sweater brings a little cheerfulness to an otherwise gloomy day. My love of color spills into my photography as well. While I can definitely appreciate a good dramatic black and white image, I usually feel something is missing in my work if I’m not using color in some way to help tell my story. Here are some of the techniques I use to create memorable images using color.(…)

Read More
girl wearing a mask picture by Kris and Lauren Penland

5 Tips for Indoor Photography During the Dark Winter Months

Many of us find ourselves stuck inside this time of year. However, this doesn’t mean we have to fall into a creative slump. In fact, being stuck inside can be an excellent opportunity to get our creative juices flowing like they never have before. Some of my favorite images I’ve taken have been the result of gloomy weather forcing me inside. Here are some helpful tips I’ve learned along the way.(…)

Read More