photography mentor

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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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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