photography mentor

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
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
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
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
girl standing in a doorway picture by Emma Wood

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(…)

Read More
flower photo by Nina Mingioni

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(…)

Read More
boy shooting a bow and arrow pic by Lacey Meyers

10 ways to encourage your child’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**
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??” My answer(…)

Read More
3 tips to bring emotion into your pictures

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(…)

Read More
How to use the clone tool in Lightroom and Photoshop by Elicia Graves

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(…)

Read More
1 quick tip to improve your editing in Photoshop

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(…)

Read More
nostalgic photo edit by Sarah Vaughn of Story Lane Photography

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(…)

Read More
8 simple ways to balance family life with photography

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(…)

Read More