Tag Archives: photography mentor

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(…)

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5 tips for balancing photography

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”(…)

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a peek inside | 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(…)

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dear self: a photography letter to myself 5 years ago

by Lissa Chandler
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(…)

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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(…)

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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(…)

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the word project: forgotten

the word project: forgotten

Another word project blog post from the CMteam, where we ask them to interpret a different word through their own personal images. It’s always so interesting and inspiring to see what everyone does with the different words, and these images really show how diverse and unique each photographer is.

This month’s word was ‘forgotten’. A word that conjures up so many distinct and powerful emotions, and our team perfectly displays that in their different variations that they share with us. We(…)

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macro photography without a macro lens

macro photography without a macro lens

by Nina Mingioni

Macro photography is one of my most favorite genres of photography!

It forces me to slow down and appreciate all the tiny little details of ordinary, every day objects, their gorgeous shape and divine texture. Undoubtedly, a macro lens is the best way to shoot macro. However, if you are not sure if macro is for you and want to try it out, or if a dedicated macro lens is not in your budget, other options are available.

Let’s weigh(…)

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10 ways to encourage your children’s cooperation for photos

**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 Lacey Meyers
I take a lot {A LOT} of photos of my boys. You can see just how many HERE, on my blog! I think it is as much a part of their day as eating! So, one question I receive more often than any other is “How do you get your children to cooperate??”(…)

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3 tips to bring emotion into your pictures

by Kristy Dooley
I recently spent some time flipping through photo albums with my girls.
It’s always fun to hear the excitement in their voices when they come across an image they love and together we decided on some favorites.  For me I noticed my favorites are the ones that not only bring me back to a specific moment, but that evoke a certain feeling.  Images that not only remind me of how something was but how it felt.
Would you like to(…)

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how to use the clone tool in lightroom and photoshop

how to use the clone tool in lightroom and photoshop

by Elicia Graves

One of my very favorite and often used tools in Adobe’s Lightroom editing program is the clone tool.

I love how it can very quickly clean up my images and add a bit of polish.  The clone tool is found in the develop module in LR, just under the histogram and above the basic panel.  It looks like a circle with a small arrow extending to the right of it.

It takes a little bit of practice and use to(…)

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1 quick tip to improve your editing in Photoshop

by Megan Squires
Photoshop is not magic, we all know that.

And although we constantly strive to get things right in camera every time, there are many tricks and tweaks done simply with an editing software that can really take your image to the next level.

For me, that’s quite literally the “levels” tool in Photoshop. I cannot think of one single image that I’ve edited where I haven’t used it. It can mean the difference between slightly blah skin tones and just(…)

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editing by mood and vision

editing by mood and vision

by Sarah Vaughn
Editing photos is a funny process.

Each one of us could take an image into Lightroom or Photoshop and we would each come up with a different end result. That individual vision of an image – for shooting or for editing – is part of what makes us special as photographers.

When I first started out, editing was an exciting and creative process. Unfortunately, I got a little too excited and creative – as I discovered the heady thrill of(…)

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8 simple ways to balance family life with photography

by Celeste Pavlik

I am a full time hobbyist photographer.

But don’t stop reading just yet, even if you’re a working photographer actively taking clients. I wrote this for you too. :)

My job as a hobbyist may not be to go out and photograph other people’s families, but it is to photograph my own family and the things that speak to me. And I am guessing that those of you that earn an income as a photographer or work in another field(…)

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the word project: freelensing

the word project: freelensing

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 month was probably the most challenging to date.  The word chosen this month was ‘freelensing’, something that many of the team hadn’t attempted before.  Considering the extra challenge, we think they’ve come up with some really lovely and unique images, and we hope you enjoy them.

If you’d like to have a(…)

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culling and editing to enhance your story

by Meredith Novario
When I see a story unfolding in front of me I shoot first and ask questions later.

I let the story do its thing and decide afterwards (in Lightroom) which image packs the biggest narrative punch.

Lastly, I edit to emphasize the story.

For example, I recently went out to lunch with two of my people, Joe and Josie. As we sat ordering, whistling, and waiting for our burgers, my husband and daughter were, fortunately for me, bored. I love how(…)

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7 reasons to avoid eye contact in your photos

7 reasons to avoid eye contact in your photos

by Lacey Meyers

We have all heard it said that the eyes are the window to the soul.

And in a photograph, eye-contact holds great power in connecting the viewer to the subject.  Sharp, intentional focus on the eyes plus lovely catchlights is a timeless combination and one that most of us set out to embrace early on in our photography.

But as my children’s photographer, I know I’m not alone in recognizing the challenge that that is time and again.  As well(…)

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DIY: creating wall art with your kids artwork

DIY: creating wall art with your kids artwork

by Melissa Stottmann

We all have it.

The beautiful piles of artwork stashed, almost falling over, cascading all over the kitchen, leaning in the foyer, meandering around the laundry room.  Perhaps you have a bulletin board that they get tacked to occasionally or a refrigerator adorned with colorful renderings of unicorns. Each piece, well, let’s be honest, most pieces hold a special place in our hearts. I’m constantly gabbing with other moms about how we “bury” some of our precious darlings’ creations(…)

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Before and After: a photoshop edit by Marissa Gifford

by Marissa Gifford

When culling images from a session, I always encourage people to go through them with an open mind. I have found that sometimes an image that initially seems like a failure, destined to be deleted, can be transformed into something magical with a little creative thinking and processing.

This was the case for me recently during a self portrait session. I was using my Lensbaby Edge 80 (my lens soulmate ;) ) and had placed myself in the wrong(…)

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a peek inside | jenni jones

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, Jenni Jones.
a peek inside | jenni jones

So…this is my office. I love having a space dedicated to getting work done (also – that means I can claim it as a tax deduction…which I am all for). I tend to browse and do non-work related stuff on my iPad while I sit at my dining(…)

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DIY: how to make a flower crown

DIY: how to make a flower crown

by Lissa Chandler
Flower Crowns!
They are kind of wonderful, right?

I love incorporating trends into my photographs and, right now, I am loving this trend. I often tell my husband that I think of flower crowns like I think of Marie Antoinette’s hair- they just get bigger and bigger and, eventually, they are going to die out. But! Right now! They are all over the place and I am loving every second of their time in the spotlight.

So! Let’s recap!
To make a(…)

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4 ways to smooth skin in Lightroom

by Caroline Jensen
The brush tool is one of the most powerful tools in Lightroom.

Today, I am going to show you four ways to smooth skin.

My son has agreed to let us use his image. I think it is really helpful to see the results on a teenage boy because natural results are so important to them.  I did not remove any blemishes prior to adding the skin smoothing. The results will be more effective with a little use of the(…)

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how to photograph fine art school portraits

by Elena Blair

I have done many things to grow my custom portraiture business in the past four years but I would have to say that the most beneficial venture has been the launch of my Fine Art School Portrait service.

I was hugely inspired by a photographer friend of mine who lives on the other end of the country.  Many of you may have heard of her, Michelle L Morris. I took that inspiration and ran with it.  Providing Fine Art(…)

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One Photog’s Comparison: Nikon D700 vs Canon 5d Mark III

by Marissa Gifford
I have been a happy Nikon shooter since I got my first DSLR in late 2008.

I started with a Nikon D60 and joined the full frame ranks with a D700 a few years ago. It’s a wonderful camera and has provided me with many treasured images. But I’ve always heard people raving about the famous “Canon colors” and there just seemed to be a dreaminess about Canon that I could never quite put my finger on. My curiosity(…)

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how to make location scouting fun by geocaching with your kids

how to make location scouting fun by geocaching with your kids

by Mickie DeVries
What is Geocaching you might ask?

Well, in the simplest of terms it’s a treasure hunt.  Yep, you heard me right, treasure!! Who doesn’t love treasure?!

Let me tell you my children love treasure, and they love the search for it almost as much.  I love that I can get outside with my children for a fun activity that involves exercise, and an awesome opportunity to location scout while still incorporating fun.  Now let me tell you more about geocaching(…)

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the word project: mysterious

Each month, the CMteam is given a single word and asked to interpret it through individual images.  This month we were given the word Mysterious, a word that can be interpreted in so many different ways.  The dictionary itself has three different definitions for it but when we think of it photographically, the definitions are much more varied.  We always look forward to showing creativity and diversity through our own unique styles and perspectives and we hope you enjoy these(…)

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8 ways to balance photography on your family vacation

by Kristen Ryan
Are you going on a family vacation this summer and contemplating how to balance photography and family time?

Then I have some tips for you!

1. Choose your time wisely.

Spend your time shooting earlier in the morning or later in the day to take advantage of the best light.

2. Forget pictures for a while.

Put the camera away during the midday hours and give your family your undivided attention.

3. Find fun locations.

Seek out places that will be fun for the kids(…)

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how to use a lensbaby: your starter guide

by Nina Mingioni

You may be seeing photographers share photos with delicious blur – they very well may have been taken with one of the many Lensbaby lenses. Whether you’ve never heard of these before, just getting started with yours, or looking for more tips on using a Lensbaby, this post is for you!

I never leave my house without one of these. It’s true – my camera bag is my purse, and even if I leave my camera at home, I(…)

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10 easy tips for sibling photos

by Kristin Ingalls
Siblings have a relationship like no other. They can be super close one minute and fighting the next.

Still, there is something special about the fact that they have each other. It’s only natural to want to document that special relationship in images, whether photographing your own children, as a professional for other people’s kids, or hiring someone to photograph your siblings.
Tips for photographing your own kids:
1. If you want the traditional posed, smiling picture of all your kids,(…)

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how to use the interval timer with your camera

by Megan Cieloha
We all know that we need to get in front of the camera more often.

Our children and other family members want to have evidence that we were at the parties, cookouts, reunions and simply present in everyday life, too. However, it can be unwieldy and limiting to hold (or quickly press and hide!) a remote while working on self portraits. Luckily, there is a simple and reliable alternative – Interval Timer Mode.

Interval timer mode is available on all(…)

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