photography mentor

girl holding a stuffed chicken toy by Liz Behm

1,269: the story of a 6 year 365 project

What started as a way to keep my husband connected to our family while he was deployed overseas grew into a Project 365 that’s documented three new babies, two moves and five plus years of a crazy life with no sign of putting the camera down anytime soon.(…)

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backlit photo of girl in a field by Marissa Gifford

7 secrets to tack-sharp pictures

You see pretty light, a fleeting moment, or a stunning vista and rush to grab your camera to document it. You look at the back of your LCD screen only to be disappointed that you missed focus and your image is a blur. Your shutter speed was high enough to stop the motion, so what gives? Keep reading for a few tips to achieve sharply focused images.(…)

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picture of girl wearing a scarf by Allison McSorley

4 tips to master the modern classic portrait

If you’ve ever walked out of a department store or mall studio chain disappointed in the outcome of your kids’ portrait session, you’re not alone.

In fact, many of us who either have children or photograph children regularly are familiar with the assembly-line business model that has given those places a reputation of producing dated, lifeless and oftentimes awkward formal portraits. The good news is, classic portraits of your kids or your clients’ kids do not have to look like they just won first prize in the annual awkward family photo contest!(…)

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sister spraying sister with a water hose by Melissa Gibson

4 keys to making fun photos that will make you smile

As a mom, it seems as though I’m always wanting things ‘just so’. Clean faces, clean rooms, children who are following the rules and not climbing the walls. However, I’ve found out that breaking the rules will result in fun, happy, and joyful moments for my children as well as for myself. It’s when I’m letting go, being patient and allowing my kids to be themselves that the great images unfold.(…)

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baby sitting on a bed by Dana Lauder

5 ways to make the most of the natural light in your house

When I first moved into my new home just over a year ago, I was excited about the opportunity to shoot in a new spot, but that excitement quickly vanished as I figured out that, on the surface, the light in my new home was anything but ideal. I spent a good portion of the spring and summer shooting daily, often outdoors. Fall came and I stopped picking up my camera, shooting only once every week or two, and mostly outside the house. I quickly got bored of my go-to spot in the house (the master bedroom). (…)

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7 Boy in soft window light by photographer Megan Cieloha

The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Light Well

The basics of using light well are universal to photography; they apply equally well to those photographers shooting on automatic or to those working in manual mode. Learning to see and utilize light is one of the most important keys to creating the images that you envision. These are a few simple dos and don’ts that will help capture the power of light.(…)

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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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Lensbaby Edge 80 photo from Marissa Gifford

Before and After: a composite in ACR and Photoshop

Hi there, everyone! I wanted to take some time to show you how I processed one of my new favorite images.

I took these with my Lensbaby Edge 80, but in one of the images, I chopped off the bottom part of the frame but had the focus on my son where I wanted it, and in the frame where I had the bottom intact, I missed the focus on my son. In this video I’ll show you how I combined the two images to get the composition I wanted as well as show you all the steps I took in ACR and Photoshop to achieve the vision I had for the mood and feel of this image. I hope you enjoy!(…)

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1 Jake! by Kristen Ryan

18 can’t miss shooting locations in Jackson Hole

Grand Teton National Park, in Jackson Hole, is one of the most incredible natural places to travel in the United States. The Teton mountain range, with its jagged peaks, rises majestically out of the valley, mesmerizing visitors from tiny toddlers to seasoned traveling adults. Just try to drive through without falling in love with this magical place. (…)

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boy sitting in a lawn chair while camping by Lacey Meyers

6 adventurous ways to photograph your camping trip

As the temperatures are warming and the days are stretching longer it means camping season is near! For most people, camping means getting away from it all and soaking in nature, relaxing, family-time, and living a bit primitively. But for the photographer, camping means all that and more. It means the chance to branch out of our box, live amongst the light and shadows, shoot in a new environment … all the while, documenting the trip in a way that will bring our family back to the moments image by image. It means countless photo opportunities! Here are 6 thoughts to help you make the most of your photography experience when you and your family venture out into the great outdoors for your next camping adventure.(…)

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girl smooshing her face against a window by Meredith Novario

Pictures no one should take but we all do (and how to fix them)

Photographers vigilantly and earnestly learn how to see, compose, shoot and edit yet we continue to make rookie mistakes. We know better but we don’t always do better. Sometimes we still mix colors and whites, lock ourselves out of the car, cut our own hair, share too much on Facebook or take a picture looking straight up someone’s nose. It happens to the best and worst of us. Rest assured, we all fall prey to these common mistakes despite knowing that we shouldn’t. The following blunders are as easy to make as they are to fix. At least we’re in good company.(…)

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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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