girl dressed up by Sarah Carlson

Children’s View: photographing the way they see the world

Motherhood drives me to photography. My memory is a sieve, and I pick up my camera to document each milestone, each expression, each phase and cling to these moments. My goal is to create images that one day will bring these memories flooding back, not just for myself, but for my girls as well. To make images that recall to their minds these days of childhood, here are a few tips for photographing the way our children see the world.(…)

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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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backlight picture by Rachel Nielsen

my favorite things | rachel nielsen

Lock up your wallets because we’ve got a fun, and tempting, series for you to get to know the CMpros a little better! What better way to learn about them than to ask them what their favorite things are, photography related or not? Next up is Rachel Nielsen sharing what she loves!(…)

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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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A day in the life with California photographer Vironica Golden

a day in the life | vironica golden

April 16. I chose this day to document my day because today I get to hangout with Mickie DeVries and Alice Che. Mickie’s husband and son were here for the Star Wars Convention in Anaheim. While they’re off to the convention, Mickie and her daughter got to spend three days with Alice and me who was staying with me while Mickie is here. I know this was not a typical day here in our house but I thought it would be fun to share a day when three CMers spent the day together.(…)

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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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Lighthouse Park photo by Laura Froese

Photographer Shoot-Out: Laura Froese & Davina Gruenstein

It’s easy to get preoccupied with what everyone else is shooting and how. What we have to do, as cliche as it sounds, is stay true to ourselves. Once you have the basics down, you have to shoot what you love and in your own way. Just because one photographer sees a subject in a certain way doesn’t mean that you have to see that same subject in the exact same way as there are many, many correct ways to photograph a subject. To express that point, here is another installment of our photographer shoot-outs with CMpros Laura Froese and Davina Gruenstein!(…)

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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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A day in the life with California photographer Amy Schuff

a day in the life | amy schuff

It’s was a typical day in the Schuff household. I believe it was a Tuesday, but it may as well have been any day of the week. Each day may be a little different, but with a husband, three homeschooled kids, pets, errands, it all meshes together and just becomes who we are and what we do. I love our simple life, our small, well loved and lived in home and how we care for each other.

Since none of us are morning people (and we homeschool!), the house usually wakes up all at the same time. My husband gets working on breakfast for he and I (although I would be happy with just coffee, he’s amazing at making sure I eat a good breakfast!) The kids wake up within a few minutes of each other and they always eat something that they can get themselves.(…)

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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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