online photography workshop

mom breasteeding newborn and holding big brother by Lisa Tichane of Tout Petit Pixel

4 fresh perspectives on lifestyle newborn photography

You have probably heard many times already that lifestyle newborn photography is THE new way to photograph newborns if you are a modern photographer.

Let’s face it: lifestyle is a trend, and as any new trend it might last… or not. And even if it lasts, it doesn’t mean that the market for other types of newborn photography will disappear. The variety of tastes and styles will remain!

So today I’m not here to explain why lifestyle newborn photography is the IT thing. I’m just trying to offer a new perspective, based on several years of practice, which might convince you to embrace this shooting style just because it feels right for YOU, and not because it’s what the cool girls are doing.

Let’s consider a few things you might not have heard yet about shooting newborns in a lifestyle way:(…)

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Art journal with a cup of coffee photo by Jodi Arego

The 1 best thing you can do for your art in the new year

So, it’s been a fanciful month and a half filled to the brim with lights and baking and parties and gifts and crafting and holiday cheer. Our bellies are full. And our hearts are fuller. Now that we’ve gingerly packed up our decorations and are making our way out of the end-of-year-post-holiday crazies, if you’re like me, you dream of a fresh start to a new year that somehow looks much simpler than these last few weeks have been. (…)

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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(…)

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Workshop Preview: capturing joy

Workshop Preview: capturing joy

Do you want to capture children and family images filled with true smiles and carefree laughter?

Would you like to learn how to enhance the emotion perceived in your images to make them memorable and strong?

Would you feel happy if people smiled irresistibly when looking at your work?

If the answer is YES, then the Capturing Joy photography workshop by Lisa Tichané is the class you need!

In this workshop, you will learn how to embrace joy in lifestyle family photography. Whether you(…)

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capturing joy online photography workshop by Lisa Tichane

Capturing Joy: a photography workshop recap

When I created the Capturing Joy photography workshop, I was expecting it to be a joyful experience in itself. Of course we were going to work (sometimes hard!) on how to make these authentic happy pictures happen, but the very first goal of this workshop was to reconnect to our inner joy, in order to ooze happiness so irresistibly that our subjects simply couldn’t resist.

I was both exicted and scared when the first run started – excited to spend 4(…)

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a new perspective on photography

When I was little, I loved to color.

I loved it so much, and was pretty good at it, that I won several coloring competitions held in my town one Halloween when I was about 5 years old.  While I may not color much anymore, my youngest child shares the same joy for coloring that I once did.  Of my 3 kids, she’s the one most likely to color inside the lines too.

What does this have to do with photography?  Plenty.


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a workshop preview: photographing with heart and vision

Photographing with Heart and Vision workshop is designed as a reflective and invigorating experience to connect your art with your soul.  In this 4 week online workshop with Jodi Arego, you will explore your heart and voice as an artist while at the same time examine the intentional choices to be considered when creating photographs that are both emotionally impactful and technically strong. Be inspired and encouraged to embrace who you are and express yourself authentically through your images.

Are you(…)

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a workshop preview | mastering manual exposure

Mastering Manual Exposure is designed to help you learn how to meter in-camera and control your exposure and white balance while making informed decisions about ISO, shutter speed, and aperture in order to achieve your vision in-camera! You’ll examine common exposure pitfalls and how to correct them, and engage in a variety of creative assignments which will give you the confidence you need to capture consistent and beautiful images in any kind of situation. This four week online workshop with(…)

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a workshop preview | storymaking

What makes a good story anyway? We know one when we hear one. But how do we see a compelling story in a photograph? What elements make a narrative image powerful? How can our shooting and processing lend to the story we aim to tell? In CMU’s new workshop, Storymarking with Meredith Novario, you will learn to plan and build powerful narrative images.  You will dissect images for their story elements, consider what stories you are driven to tell and(…)

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3 tips to capture joyful children and family images by Lisa Tichane

3 tips to capturing joyful photos

Some might say that I’m obsessed with photographing joy and laughter, and this is probably true. I guess every photographer has a topic that he or she can photograph over and over again without ever getting tired of it. This is how I feel about laughter and carefreeness. Capturing joy feeds my soul, and makes me a happier person.

This is probably why I’ve become a children’s photographer in the first place; there is something about kids’ giggles and belly laughs(…)

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A Workshop Preview: exploring creative photography

Exploring Creative Photography is designed to help you discover the emotions behind setting choices which will enable you to move past traditional photography and begin to pursue creativity and art in your work.  This four week online workshop with April Nienhuis will help you to explore the technical aspects of creative photography and learn to decide when to choose creative settings to tell the story you wish with your photography!

Here are just a few reviews from past students in this course:


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creative moon photography

When photographing the moon, you have many creative choices to think about.  While there are basic tips for moon photography, choosing your lens and the time of day is entirely up to you and your vision.

How does time of day effect your image?
The moon is extremely bright and when you meter for the moon to keep it from being overexposed, the exposure of the sky will be effected.  If it’s late at night and you’ve lost all ambient light from(…)

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a workshop preview | timeless photography and emotive expression

Timeless Photography and Emotive Expression has been created for photographers who are ready to push the boundaries in their everyday work and to progress their classic portraits into enduring works of art.  This four week online workshop with Emma Wood will help you take your photography to the next level and will increase your confidence in your work and abilities!

Here are just a few reviews from past students in this course:

I’ve admired Emma’s work for some time and to be able(…)

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photographing in natural light advice from Megan Squires

a workshop preview | natural light with atmosphere

Learn how to capture the beauty of natural light no matter what the weather conditions are in Natural Light with Atmosphere!  This four week online workshop with Megan Squires will help you take your natural light photography to the next level and will give you the confidence to embrace all kinds of light!

Here are just a few reviews from past students in this course:

I came into this course at a point in my journey where I felt I had really hit(…)

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favorite images from CMU online photography workshop alumni

best of CMU | october 2013

Every day our members create amazing images in CMU Workshops and Breakouts! Here are some recent images that we’ve seen and loved in CMU:

Courtney Karban in Exploring Creative Photography:

Erica Collins in Timeless Photography and Emotive Expression:

Heather Stockett in Exploring Creative Photography:

Jessica Zeamer in Mastering Natural Light Indoors:

Kellie Bieser in Fine Art and Visual Expression:

Kim Jane in The Art of Observation:

Patricia Brogan in First Steps With A DSLR:

Veronica Golden in Timeless Photography and Emotive Expression:

Stay tuned next month for even more(…)

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choosing to have noise in your photos by Emma Wood

How to embrace or add grain in post processing

It seems as though we spend so much time, effort and money to find the highest definition cameras and the sharpest lenses. We aim for low, or no digital noise (aka electronic noise – usually caused by signal amplification at high ISOs within the camera processing magic). We get the highest resolution of camera we can find and the lowest f-stop capable lenses, so we can shoot at lower ISOs. You may shoot in raw rather than in JPEG to(…)

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snapshots vs virtual copies in lightroom tutorial by Jamie Rubeis

Snapshots vs Virtual Copies in Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom offers plenty of flexibility when it comes to saving various versions of one image which often generates some confusion among its users. So, I wanted to take a moment to offer a little review on Snapshots vs. Virtual Copies.
Snapshots in Lightroom:
If you are familiar with Photoshop, the term Snapshots should be very familiar to you. In fact, Snapshots in Lightroom and Snapshots in Photoshop are very similar in concept. Snapshots keep a record of what your image looks(…)

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online photography workshop alumni images

best of cmu | september 2013

Every day our members create amazing images in CMU Workshops and Breakouts! Here are some recent images that we’ve seen and loved in CMU:

Amy Smith in Intro To Natural Light:

Erica Collins in Exploring Creative Photography:

Jennifer German in First Steps With A DSLR:

Jessica Thomason in Mastering Natural Light Indoors:

Laura Froese in One Light Off Camera Flash:

Lisa Turney in Intro To Macro:

Melissa Stottmann in The Art of Observation:

Stay tuned next month for even more of our favorites created in the CMU courses!


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Allison McSorley about me bio picture

creating the perfect bio photo

*self portrait bio image by Jennifer Dell
As a photographer we are often asked to help a client create the perfect professional head-shot or biography photo. This is a common thing that many professionals use on a regular basis. That said, the head-shot can be a tricky beast to take on, especially if you’re a photographer. Seeing as we are constantly behind the lens we tend to get a little antsy when we are pulled out of our comfort zone and(…)

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