Winter is a slow month for many photographers. Instead of suffering with the winter doldrums, I use this time to get myself organized and reflect on my previous year. It is also an excellent time to focus on personal projects, take time to shoot just for YOU, and try your hand a new skill or two. Here are 10 ways to break the winter photography blues…(…)
Leading lines are probably one of the most well known compositional tools in photography and visual art, alongside the rule of thirds.
Great composition can make a photograph stand out, regardless if it was taken with a point-and-shoot or a high-end DSLR. In fact, this is the first “trick” I teach my teenage students in camera club in the school where I work. At the beginning, they might have no more than a camera phone but are observant and eager to learn. Working on composition is a great step to take at the start of the photography journey (or at any stage) as it doesn’t rely on the quality of photography equipment.(…)
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!(…)
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.(…)
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.(…)
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.(…)
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.(…)
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(…)
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…(…)
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.(…)
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.(…)
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.(…)
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.(…)
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.(…)
Another month brings a new CMpro of the Month! Let’s start this month off with a huge congratulations to December’s CMpro of the Month, the fabulous Danielle Hatcher! And now for a fun interview with Danielle!(…)
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.(…)
My photography journey has been a long one. As I sit down to write this I am overwhelmed with things to say. It feels as if there are so many levels I could delve into here making it very difficult to sum up all in one blog piece. There is the incredibly frustrating side to my journey because mastering the technical aspects did not come easily to me. Then there is the emotional side to my journey deeply connected to life and my struggle with depression. This is the more therapeutic side which helps me escape, be drawn in and feel artistically rewarded.(…)
The inverse square law is one of my favorite nerdy photography topics. I use the inverse square law to get nice, dark backgrounds. I love this type of background because it leads to simple images, it hides my messy house, and it helps my subject really pop against a dark background.(…)
Light and shadows, and the contrasts between them, are my muses. High-contrast light is full of life and emotion… emotion that transcends that particular moment, and moves and changes as the image is absorbed by different eyes. Both light and dark work in perfect synchronicity to create a feeling that there is more to what lies within the image than what is visually present.(…)
A couple of weeks ago, I found myself on an airplane, flying solo. My very first trip in I don’t know how long. I thought back to one of the last times I traveled this way. I was headed just north of the Saskatchewan-Northwest Territories border, for my last stint on a mineral exploration project. I was reading a book called Vinyl Cafe Diaries by Stuart McLean. It is a story about a character named Dave, an owner of a second hand record store, and it was filled with pages rich with comical and heart-aching stories of his family life.(…)