photography mentor

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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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 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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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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girl jumping on a bed by Meredith Novario

8 goofy things photographers do

We photographers are a diverse lot with some hilarious common ground. All those little things that we are willing to do, say or allow just to get the shot we’re chasing are surprisingly similar. We want what we want and we’re not afraid to do what it takes to get it. A bunch of Clickin Mom members generously weighed in on each of these examples with their own funny images and experiences. Thank goodness we have each other and, more importantly, can laugh with each other.(…)

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boy covering his face picture by Celeste Pavlik

7 ideas to make photo shoots fun for kids

Typically when I shoot it’s for a few reasons: to fulfill an artistic need, possibly creating something that’s new to me, to create a new piece of work for my portfolio, or to add to the growing collection of documenting the lives of my children and our family. I would say over 90% of my work includes my children. So any reason I can come up with to make it fun for my children to be photographed, then I’m happy, and they’re happy.(…)

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Alicia Gould 8

5 things the pros do before every photo session

The night before every session, I start my mental checklist: check-in with my clients, charge my batteries, format my memory cards and pack my bags. As a newborn photographer, packing my bags has a million lists under it as well: beanbag, blankets, wraps, props, noise machine, space heater and anything else that the parents requested. After seven years, it’s become second nature but I still find myself sitting in the car running through that list one more time before I pull out of the drive way. Creating a routine before your sessions will help save time and keep you organized.(…)

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macro photo by Nina Mingioni

22 Ordinary Objects that turned into Extraordinary Art

As many women, I originally turned to photography to be able to capture the lives of my kids. As many photographers, I quickly grew frustrated with their unwillingness to cooperate while I was trying to hone my skills.

After a year of serious shooting, I realized that while I now could create great photos of my kids, photography to me was so much more. It taught me to see things I have never seen before: light wrapping around the objects, shadows encroaching on the light, and the beauty of details. Photography taught me to live in the moment, and appreciate the art of the everyday. Seeing harmonious compositions, leading lines, light, shadows, and reflections comes with practice and definitely takes a conscious effort.(…)

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editing in Photoshop screenshot from Melissa Stottmann

30 Photoshop terms and tools to get you started

Learning a few basic Photoshop tools can make a big impact on your photography post production process. If opening Photoshop makes your heart beat a little faster or induces cold sweats, then this list is for you! Here are some of the most crucial terms and tools for photographers to get started in Photoshop.(…)

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girl kicking a soccer ball by Kristin Ingalls

11 things beginners should know about photography

Even though you are a beginner, you know you want to create beautiful images, and you want to create them starting today. It can be hard to remember that it takes time to master something new. When faced with beautiful image after beautiful image online and elsewhere, it is easy to think that there must be a shortcut, that if you get that latest piece of equipment, or you only knew some processing secret that your favorite photographers surely must know, your images will instantly be great. Those kinds of shortcuts don’t exist, but with hard work, permission to grow at your own rate, and following some of the tips below, you can become the kind of photographer you want to be.(…)

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girl looking out a window by Kristy Dooley

5 genius ways to rediscover your house with your camera

It happens every year… around February I find myself on local real estate websites dreaming of moving. I joke with my husband that it is a good thing we moved before I fell in love with photography. Otherwise, I may never have decided on a home. Don’t get me wrong, I love our house and am thankful for a comfortable place to raise my kiddos, but as a photographer I get tired of it. We spend so much time inside during the winter and it starts to feel like I’ve exhausted every possible location, window, and activity. I think it’s safe to say I’m not alone with these feelings.

This winter I challenged myself to push through the inevitable annual “rut” that comes my way mid-winter. I put together a few fun ideas for all of us to rediscover our homes, and capture some images we may never have taken otherwise.(…)

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Artifact Uprising photo prints from Heather Lazark

3 suggestions on where to print your phone photos

It’s just not practical to lug around our dSLR cameras everywhere we go. But we rarely travel anywhere without our phones these days. They are like a life line to most of us. So when a spontaneous and meaningful moment arrives, we snap away with our phone. Some of my favorite images were taken from my iPhone. For quite some time I’ve been wanting to try out some of the vendors who make it easy to print from our phones or Instagram accounts. You may have some of the same questions I did. Who do I choose? And how will the print quality look? There are so many options out there…where do I start?

During the past couple months I have ordered prints from several of these companies so I can share my experiences with you. The following are my three favorite vendors so far:(…)

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