photography tips

child laying in bed smiling by Courtney Rust of Rusty Lens Photography

7 tips for getting better light in your pictures

Lighting can make the difference between a so-so photo and a stunning image. It is one of the most intimidating technical categories of photography because it is out of our control, and we don’t always have control of our locations either. Being able to work with light, understand it, and use it to our advantage is critical. Here are seven basic tips to getting images with stronger light.(…)

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indoor photo during the golden hour by Megan Squires

6 things you probably didn’t know about the golden hour

Who doesn’t love that beautiful time of day when the suns slants over the horizon, washing the landscape in rich, fiery hues? For photographers, golden hour often becomes the hour: the time to schedule our sessions, the opportunity to create dreamy and angelic portraits, the hour to count on for its consistency and beauty. Golden hour is commonly our “go-to,” but there are several aspects of this shooting time that may not be so commonly known.(…)

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top 10 ways to rock a family photo session by Nicole Everson

top 10 ways to rock a family photo session

10. Get to know your client and let them get to know you.
The most important part of family portraits is capturing the family’s personality. You have to get to know them. What are their interests? Does mom have any insecurity? What type of humor does dad like? Are the kids shy? Do they think farting is funny? Knowing these things will help you know how to handle your session, if mom is insecure about her double chin, then you know(…)

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making the most of small locations with your photography by Rachael Boer

working in a small location

by Rachael Boer
As on-location photographers, we often find ourselves shooting in locations that are less than ideal. There is no way to control the size of our clients’ homes, layout of the rooms, or the natural lighting that occurs at different times of day. It’s essential to know how to make the most out of a less-than-ideal situation so you can still deliver beautiful photographs for your clients no matter what.

Last year I was in a client’s home to photograph(…)

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Sue Bryce

help new moms feel beautiful

by Sue Bryce

Most new moms don’t want to be photographed in the months after giving birth; they feel frumpy and sleep-deprived and the opposite of photogenic. When working with clients, I remind them why it’s important to have photographs with your baby, especially in those first months. So many moms end up with photo albums of just their child, and it’s time for these new mothers to step out of the background, get in focus, and see how beautiful they(…)

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recording your memories with a camera

keeping the snapshots

by Shannon Wilkinson

How many images do you keep from a portrait session you have just done with your child? Do you go through and cull images that you think aren’t good enough for anything other than your portfolio? I have done it. I would come home from a session and delete anything that didn’t match my vision. Often times, when I was first starting out, that would mean throwing away entire sessions. One day it dawned on me that before(…)

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learn tips for taking out of focus photographs by Justine Knight

out of focus photography

by Justine Knight

We spend so long striving for shots that have tack sharp focus – it is one of the cornerstones in our quest for a perfect photograph. But whenever I am in a creative rut, I switch my camera to manual focus and play with taking shots out of focus! Does it always give me beautiful, creative shots? Most of the time no, but it is has been a great technique in helping train my eye to see in(…)

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using artificial light in low light photography by Megan Dill

6 tips for embracing low-light and high ISO photos


If you’re like me, you work a long day out of the home, departing as the sun is coming up and returning after sundown.  You would think that this would impose extreme limits on your ability to take meaningful daily photographs.  I beg to differ—winter is a wonderful time to push yourself creatively by pushing your camera to extremes by cranking up your ISO!

ISO is one third of the exposure triangle, which is also comprised of aperture and shutter speed. (…)

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ask a cmpro | how do you set your white balance

It’s time for another edition of our monthly series “Ask a CMpro” her on the CM photography blog in which we give our CMpros one question and they dish.  Their answers alone are always inspiring and this week we asked them, “What method do you use for setting your white balance in camera and why does that method work for you?”

*image by Lora Swinson
Beth Orey, Texas
I use Kelvin for my white balance. I always prefer warmer images and can usually just(…)

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how to creatively use a fisheye lens

fisheye fun for photographers

by Kelly Garvey
I have a list of “fun stuff” that I think about buying when I have extra work money. The list is full of things that are not necessities and that probably wouldn’t help my business but would be so much fun to have! The “fun stuff” helps inspire me when I need it and can even help pull me out of a rut.

One of my favorite fun purchases ever was the 16mm fisheye lens. I bought it over(…)

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what's the best photography advice you've ever received

ask a cmpro | the best photography advice you’ve received

It’s time for another edition of our monthly series “Ask a CMpro” in which we give our CMpros one question and they dish.  Their answers alone are always inspiring and this week we asked them, “We’ve asked before what tips you would offer to a new photographer but this time we’re wondering what the best advice you received was when you first got started in photography?”
*image by Caroline Jensen
Courtney Keim, New Jersey
Don’t sell myself short. I was priced way too low(…)

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Blogging and SEO: the secret power of long tail

When I decided to work seriously on my SEO, I did some research and decided that my goal was to rank as high as possible as “child photographer” and “baby photographer” in my area. I worked on a few other key words such as “family photographer” and “newborn photographer” as well.  After many months of working on it and blogging regularly, I was proud to show up on Google’s first page for these expressions but a few of my competitors(…)

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8 ways to pull yourself out of an uninspired slump

by Sharon Johnson

We have homes to take care of and meals to cook, along with bath time, bills, bedtime, and tending to boo boos. We also have sessions to shoot, to edit, to blog, phone calls to make and emails to answer and … you know the list, it goes on and on. It’s no wonder the number one question asked in forums tends to be “How do I stay inspired?” The long list often leaves us in slumps of(…)

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Top 20 business tips from the CM newsletter

It’s Summer! Can you feel the energy in the air? It’s the perfect moment to think about how to take your photography business to the next level!  Every week, the CM Post brings to its readers – amongst other amazing information – one simple but powerful business tip to speed up their success. Here is a selection of our favorite ones from the past few months.

*image by April Nienhuis
General Business Tips

1. Keep in mind that you and your local competition(…)

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how to create stunning locations by Krista Campbell

How to create stunning locations

When I first discovered this passion called photography, I would always admire those lovely photographs that photographers had on their blogs of children and families in gorgeous fields of wildflowers.  At the time, I lived in the city- Phoenix, Arizona, the heart of the Sonoran Desert.  Wildflower fields and large fields of tall grass and wheat were few and far between, so I learned to create the illusion of lush fields and wildflowers with my photography.

Since then, I have relocated(…)

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5 tips to get sharp photos with extremely shallow depth of field

Shooting with wide apertures can seem difficult at times, especially with moving children.  I regularly shoot with apertures f/1.6 and lower, but I didn’t always shoot that way.  I used to shoot around f/ 2.2 – f/4.0.  I actually started to shoot with the super wide apertures because I dropped my camera when I was out photographing my son Noah.  Yep.  I just bought a brand new camera, and when I dropped it, the aperture ring broke, and it was(…)

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8 Tricks to Add Spookiness, Moodiness, & Mystery to Your Photos

Trick #1: Shadows, Shadows, and More Shadows
The dark, dank basement.  The windowless attic.  The deep woods.  These are the settings that scary movies depend on. There’s just something about shadows that we universally associate with mystery and spookiness. Seek out the shadows, especially those that create interesting patterns or overlap to create varying depths of darkness. This doesn’t necessarily mean shooting after sundown, but nighttime certainly presents a bevy of opportunities to find shadows dancing across the scene. Take it(…)

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photo of window and curtains by Sarah Wilkerson

Color by Kelvin: A Better Approach to White Balance

There are a number of ways to set white balance in camera: AWB (Auto White Balance), CWB (Custom White Balance), White Balance by Preset (Sunny, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Tungsten, etc), or White Balance by Kelvin. This article will take a look at some of the most common misconceptions about white balance, as well as taking a look at one of the less commonly used approaches to white balance: White-Balance-by-Kelvin.

Myth #1: In-Camera White Balance doesn’t matter as long as you shoot RAW

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