body language creative photography exercise

Using Body Language to Create Captivating Photographs

When you think of human expression, to which part of the subject are you drawn? Most people are drawn to the face, specifically the eyes and – to a slightly lesser extent – the mouth. It is in the face that we pick up the most obvious emotional cues – sadness, happiness, anger, boredom, contentment, frustration, intensity. As students of human emotion know, however, true feelings are often conveyed by body language beyond the face. Studying body language can be(…)

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7 creative ideas for unconventional self portraits

In 2011, I wrote a tutorial for the CMblog that challenged you get on the other side of your camera (Because You Were There, Too: 13 Tips for Family Self Portraits). In the tutorial, we explored techniques and tips for better self portraits, how to involve your children, and more; since then, the article has been read by over 85,000 people, pinned over 49,000 times, and we at Clickin Moms have used it to challenge our members to do a(…)

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first snow of the season and frost bokeh by Caryn Scanlan

4 Ways to Get Beautiful Bokeh

The word “bokeh” is a relatively new term (in popular use for less than twenty years) derived from the Japanese word “boke,” meaning blur or haze. When we refer to bokeh, we’re usually discussing the aesthetic quality of that blur, often describing it in terms of shape, softness, or smoothness.

[caption id="attachment_17384" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Ashley Spaulding[/caption]

What plays into bokeh? Let’s take a look at some of the primary factors.
1. Large Aperture
The top factor is shallow depth(…)

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egg photography by Shavan Flake

A classic artist’s exercise

Drawing an egg is a classic fine art exercise for those working in chalk, charcoal, or pencil. It’s a great way to study form and the way light and shadow work together to establish depth, dimension, and even mood. For this month’s creativity exercise, I challenge you to photograph one or more eggs. While drawing inspiration from the classic exercise (single egg, dramatic light) is a wonderful photographic undertaking and will no doubt produce some beautiful and unexpectedly creative work,(…)

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close-up superhero photography

3 quick tips for close-up portraiture

This month, let’s take a look at extreme closeups in portraiture. For purposes of this creativity exercise, we will be producing images in which the subject’s head/face (or part of the face) fills the entire frame; the head itself should be touching or nearly touching at least two of the four edges of the frame.

[caption id="attachment_15473" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Narelle Bailey[/caption]

While a portrait need not be closeup to be intimate, it’s almost impossible to avoid intimacy in an extreme closeup of(…)

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black and white child photography by kristabelle

5 tips for shooting through glass effectively

This month’s creativity focuses on shooting through a glass window, door, windshield, etc. While it may seem simple, shooting through glass in this way can bring an entirely new layer of depth to your image … introducing new textures, influencing the quality of light, drawing the viewer in as a plausible bystander on the scene, or establishing a new sense of context by incorporating reflections of the surrounding environment.

[caption id="attachment_14356" align="aligncenter" width="640"] kristabelle[/caption]
1. Focus Manually
When shooting through glass, you may(…)

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Humanizing a non-human subject or object

Have you ever seen a tenacious leaf? It’s the last one so stubbornly hanging onto a tree branch as the winter wind whistles in. What about raindrops dancing in already formed puddles on the sidewalk or the lonely teddy bear who has for two weeks been left untouched under your seven year old’s bed? Ever see a face formed in the bark of a gnarled old tree or the gentle rays of sunlight offering hope in a bleak scene?

[caption id=”attachment_13593″(…)

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Permission to Copy

Do you ever feel creatively exhausted? Ever feel like everything has already been done, that you’ve utilized every square inch of your house/yard that gets good light, that you’ve just run out of new things to try? Many people (myself included) find that spending time with the work of another photographer can be immensely inspiring generally, but when it comes to conceiving of a new shot or session, most photographers are careful to avoid anything that could be construed as(…)

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how you could win a canon 5d mark iii

June is a month for celebrating all of those special dads in our lives – our own dads, hubbies, brothers, sons, grandpas, uncles, friends, cousins, any dad you can think of!
Let’s celebrate dads and all the great times we have with the dads in our lives and see your “Fun with Dad” images!

Are you ready for what you could possibly win?!?*

Our friends at SmugMug want to give one lucky Clickin Mom a brand new Canon 5D Mark III (must be(…)

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Creative Motion Blur

Photographers, especially beginning photographers, tend to select shutter speeds based on their ability to freeze the motion of the subject(s) within the frame. Breaking basic “rules” carefully and deliberately for artistic impact, however, can be a fantastic way to take your work beyond the norm … so this month, let’s utilize motion blur to establish aesthetic interest, create visual rhythm, tell a richer story, or contribute to a particular mood or atmosphere.

There are two primary approaches to motion blur:

Mobile Subject(s)(…)

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Get Some Perspective: tips for achieving creative images

One of the things I love about photography is that each individual photographer has their own style, vision and “eye” for how they want to execute a shot. There are tons of different variations, perspectives, angles and compositions you can achieve with one shot. I learned this very quickly back when I took Sarah Wilkerson’s Shooting 301: Composition and Creativity workshop. None of us interpreted the assignments exactly the same and we all had our own spin. The class pushed(…)

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cmpro | picture plays we love

There are so many different ways to process an image and no one way is the “right” way. While all of our CMpros are extremely talented, they all have a very unique and distinct style. Who wouldn’t love to see the many different plays that they would have on a single image?!  We sure do!
CMpro | Picture Plays We Love
This week our SOOC image comes from member Mandy Haber.  It’s also Mandy’s birthday today – join us in wishing her(…)

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7 Days of Thankfulness Challenge

CMmentor, Jodi Arego ran a wonderful contest in November on the CMforums.   Members were challenged to think about the things in their lives that are good – small blessings and big ones too!  Then they were to photograph one thing a day for a week.  They could photograph people, places, things and even concepts.  They were challenged to be creative.

We got some amazing entries but here is our winner – CMmember Heidi Golz.  Congratulations, Heidi – beautiful images!

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Adorama gift card

ClickinMoms Annual Holiday Contest

It’s that time of year…time for our Clickin Moms Annual Holiday Contest!!!  The theme for this year’s contest is:   SPIRIT OF THE HOLIDAYS

In case you’re not familiar with our holiday contest, this is an awesome, fun competition for all Clickin Moms members!  Members of all skill levels can participate, regardless of whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist, a ‘newbie’ or someone who’s been shooting for a decade!  And everyone has a chance to win some AMAZING prizes from(…)

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exercise your creativity

As photographers, it’s easy to get stuck in a pattern and take many of the same photographs over and over without realizing it. Do you ever feel like you need a challenge, need to try something new but you’re not sure what? Well, we have something to help you out!

Every other Monday, inside the ClickinMoms photography forum, there is a new creativity exercise posted. At one point we may explore photographing motion while another time we may experiment with taking(…)

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50 Steps Challenge

We had a super fun challenge going on at ClickinMoms the past couple of weeks.  Members were challenged to exit out their front doors and take a photo of something within the first 50 steps out their front door. They could take less if they wanted but no more!  Our members got some fantastic images.

Our winners:

First Place | Janine Buckles:

Second Place |  Carolyn/carmarie

Third Place | Kristin Dokoza:


Congratulations to our winners!

Want to take this challenge to stretch your own creativity?  We’d(…)

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ClickinMoms Flickr Challenge

At ClickinMoms we are always so awed and inspired by the photos our members share with us on a daily basis.  That’s one reason why we’re so excited to announce that we have a  Flickr challenge starting!  So fun!  You have the chance to see your own pictures featured right here on the CMblog.

You can submit images to our Flickr pool.  Favorites will be picked by our judges at the end of each month and posted here on this blog(…)

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Wacky Wednesday!

It’s been awhile – who wants to play a game?  Post a pic here in the comments and you could win a prize!!

You are playing for one of our super cute key chains sold in our ClickinMoms Store:


Given that it’s our first week back to school in this house I think that the theme CHAOS is appropriate .  However you want to interpret that is up to you – the more fun and creative the better!

You have until midnight tonight(…)

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KWAC – Kids With A Camera!

When my oldest was just a toddler, she spent many hours in her room playing with her dollies. Tenderly rocking her baby, swaddling her in a soft blanket, singing to her and putting her to bed, my daughter was mimicking the activities she experienced me doing. Why? Because she wanted to be like mom.

My youngest daughter loves to play with her baby dolls too, but now I notice an activity added to her play time is photographing her dollies. She’ll(…)

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Scavenger Hunt2011

It’s back! The 3rd Annual CM Scavenger Hunt is here!

Allow me to formally announce our 3rd ANNUAL SCAVENGER HUNT!

For those who don’t know, this is a super fun competition for everyone. Members of all skill levels can play. In fact, this is an awesome summer activity for the entire family!! We’ve even included some prizes for the kiddos so that they are rewarded for helping mom.

The Details:

ClickinMoms Third Annual Scavenger Hunt

July 1 – July 31, 2011

All members regardless of skill level

To get out, shoot, and have fun of course!


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