mentor

a day in the life | liz behm

a day in the life | liz behm

Hi guys! Here’s a quick peek into our crazy life! When I took this DITL, our youngest wasn’t even two weeks old yet. So things were a bit more crazy than usual. And it was one of the dreariest days so far this fall, so my usual light filled home was a complete cave! I’m not a fan of the dark and gloomy winters! Anyways, here’s a look at a “typical” day as we figure out life with 5 kids!(…)

Read More
Snow Photos: 4 things to consider

Snow Photos: 4 things to consider

The leaves have fallen and the cold has set in. The gorgeous, bold and bright colors of fall that acted as a magnet to compel us to pick up our cameras and head outside are gone. We are left with barren trees, short days, and winter weather. Time to shoot inside, right? Hardly. The winter months can be gorgeous, especially when we are graced with freshly fallen snow. Winter landscapes provide beautiful scenery to be captured.(…)

Read More
The gear that turns my vision into reality

The gear that turns my vision into reality

There are things you just expect from your gear: that your lenses will focus, that they’ll attain apertures that deliver the impact of depth of field, that they’re tack-sharp — you know, table stakes. But then there’s the intangible, the hard-to-put-your-finger-on-it “thing” – the way your equipment renders an image, the way it handles depth of field, tonality, and light – that makes a camera and lens more desirable than any other.(…)

Read More
girl in the snow wearing a red coat by Kristy Dooley

How to read a histogram: 7 examples for you!

What does the perfect histogram look like?

Like many new photographers, I remember asking this question when I purchased my first DSLR.  That complicated looking diagram flashing on the back of your LCD screen can be confusing and it’s easy to assume there is a correct way it should look.  This is certainly a common misconception as there is no such thing as a “perfect histogram.”(…)

Read More
How to create impactful photos with mediocre light

How to create impactful photos with mediocre light

by Lisa Tichané
Sometimes you stumble upon an image on Facebook or on your favorite blog, and the fabulous light in this image stops you in your tracks. A gorgeous golden hour shot, a stunning silhouette, or maybe a low light image with fantastic depth… And you can’t help but think, “Oh how I wish all my images would look like this!!”.

And here comes the dreadful self-doubt, again. Because let’s face it, not all our images look like that. More often(…)

Read More
5 tips for the perfect Holiday card photo by Kristin Dokoza

5 tips for the perfect Holiday card photo

by Kristin Dokoza
You have taken everyone else’s family portraits for Holiday cards, but who are you missing? That’s right, your own family! Here are a few quick and easy tips to hopefully get you motivated, and get your cards sent out in time.
1. Get inspired.
Start looking through the many different photo card styles that are out there. This will help you select the colors for your photos, as well as the background and how many images you may want to(…)

Read More
The Word Project: details

The Word Project: details

Each month, the CMteam is asked to interpret a different word through their own personal images.  It’s been so fun watching the different variations of each word and this months chosen word was ‘Details.’  A word that can be interpreted in so many different ways, and the team were excited to show their different variations of the word.   We think they’ve come up with some really lovely and unique images, and we hope that you enjoy them.

If you’d like to(…)

Read More
Jo Lien’s favorite things

Jo Lien’s favorite things

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 Jo Lien sharing what she loves!
jo lien’s favorite things

1. My coffee cup:  It’s big, it has my initial, and it has a flat base so it doesn’t easily spill, which is good because I(…)

Read More
smiling boy picture by Lacey Meyers

Not too Dark, Not too Bright: 3 Steps to Get Exposure Just Right

**This photography tutorial was posted on the ever-growing CM forum; however, we think it’s so rad that we just had to share with you, too**
Like Goldilocks on the hunt for the perfect bed to nap in, we photographers are working to achieve the perfect exposure in our images.  Sometimes they’re too dark, sometimes they’re too bright, but with a few quick tips, you can get your exposures just right!

I help teach the Mastering Manual Exposure photography workshop and wrote(…)

Read More
To Title, or Not to Title (that is the title)

To Title, or Not to Title (that is the title)

by Elle Walker
With a formal background in Speech Pathology, and a passion for language in general, I have such a fascination with verbal and non-verbal communication, and the way in which this translates into photography. This relationship is something that I explore with my students in my workshop Fine Art and Visual Expression and lately I have been thinking a lot again about how these concepts relate when giving our work a formal title.
Often when submitting our work to shows(…)

Read More
One way to create a family album

One way to create a family album

by Melissa Stottmann
I’m really excited to be sharing my growing family book!  When I started this, I knew I wanted it to have a scrapbook feel without the crate of items, the glue sticks, and the constant falling off pieces (at least that’s what my old scrapbooks currently look like).  In 2010 I purchased a 12×12 Finao Elements self-mount album with the fabric “Mimosa” as my cover.

What this means is that the pages have a white piece of paper that(…)

Read More
girl on the beach at sunset picture by Sarah Vaughn of Story Lane Photography

How to build your skills and portfolio as a hobbyist

**This photography tutorial was posted on the ever-growing CM forum; however, we think it’s so rad that we just had to share with you, too**
by Sarah Vaughn
Skill building and portfolio building – it’s something we all do as photographers, continually. We often think of portfolio building as the sole domain of professional photographers, but the reality is that many photographers also build their skills and a body of work, shooting friends, family or acquaintances, while they still remain hobbyists.

That(…)

Read More
The Word Project: new beginnings

The Word Project: new beginnings

It’s time for another blog post of The Word Project, where members of the CMteam are given a single word and asked to interpret it through individual images.  We look forward to showing creativity and diversity through our own unique styles and perspectives.

This month was a special one, we were given the words ‘New Beginnings’ to capture and translate as we wished, all the while keeping one of our CMteam in mind. Someone who we adore and who has had(…)

Read More
timer to keep you on schedule

5 tips for balancing photography

by Melissa Stottmann
Finding balance between my everyday life and business life can be difficult at times.

I even notice that some days I’m super efficient and others, the day slips by and I haven’t tackled any of my to-do list while “working”.  By following these tips, I’m far more productive!
1. LISTS.
I have a three part on-going list that I keep in “Notepad” on my phone.  MUST DO, SHOULD DO, EVENTUALLY DO are my sections.  Most everything starts in my “Eventually do”(…)

Read More
computer area of photographer Kelly Rodriguez

a peek inside | kelly rodriguez

It’s time for another installment of one of our favorite blog series, a peek inside. Today, we have one of our newest team members to feature, Kelly Rodriguez.
a peek inside | kelly rodriguez

Hi! I’m so excited to give you a little peek into my little workspace and at my gear (…pretty minimalist gear).

Okay, so my workspace is pretty new and a little bland right now. We just moved up to NYC (Queens to be exact) this summer from Miami, FL(…)

Read More
child crawling through tunnel photo by Lissa Chandler

dear self: a photography letter to myself 5 years ago

Dear Twenty-Two Year Old, Wanna-Be Photographer Me,

You’re cute. Like, really cute.

I’ll be honest, I am kind of jealous of how cute you are. Right now, five years ago to this day, you have been married for two months and five days and, this very week, your husband has bought you your very first DSLR, a Canon 40d with a 50 f/1.8 and a zoom lens you found used on Amazon for $110. You’re not sure what a 50 1.8 lens(…)

Read More
how lisa tichané defines lifestyle photography

how lisa tichané defines lifestyle photography

by Lisa Tichané
During every run of my Capturing Joy workshop, a topic seems to come up repeatedly, “How much should the photographer interfere with what is going on in a lifestyle session? If we are asking our subjects to do something for us, is that cheating? Should we catch joy when it happens organically, or is it okay to make it happen?”

To me, these questions all come down to how we define “lifestyle photography”.

I’m not pretentious enough to declare that(…)

Read More
before and after: a black and white lightroom edit

before and after: a black and white lightroom edit

by Mickie DeVries

Often, before I ever pick up my camera, I know how I will process the resulting image, and this image here is an example of that.

My daughter was playing outside this summer and came to the door covered head to toe in dirt and grime.  Before I let her come in for a shower, I grabbed my camera and had her sit in front of my open garage just inside the shade so that the sunlight would light(…)

Read More
acr and photoshop video tutorial: a before & after clean edit

acr and photoshop video tutorial: a before & after clean edit

by Celeste Pavlik
If you are an ACR and Photoshop user, then this video is for you! And if you’re a Lightroom user feel free to watch, because many things in ACR are also things you can do in Lightroom such as split toning, hsl panel, and the tone curve.

This is an example of a clean, color edit on a picture taken outdoors.  I used a Canon 5D Mark III and a Lensbaby Composer Pro with the Double Glass Optic.  I(…)

Read More