photography tutorial

picture of girl laying in the grass and laughing by Shey Detterline

5 Spots in Your Home That Have Great Light

You don’t need a full blown studio, gorgeous open field, or downtown urban setting to knock your children’s portraits out of the park.

Your house is a secret home to all sorts of spots with magical light just waiting to be utilized for fun portraits of your kids. While not everyone owns a garage, and windows can face all different sun directions bringing with it varying light, these tips can be adapted and used in your own home, or similar spaces nearby (a personal garage can equal a parking garage!) where you can achieve the same results. I have picked a few of my favorite spots around my home that create portrait worthy light scenarios, and will show my pull back of the area as well as the type of beautiful portrait you can achieve. Grab your camera and your kid and let’s get going!(…)

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black and white photo of boy putting on his cleats by Addie Sheahin

6 Skills Every Photographer Should Develop

So you’ve purchased or maybe been gifted a fancy new camera and you have a desire to take better pictures.

You may just want to see your subjects in better focus and properly exposed or you have always had the desire to create art with a camera. Whatever the reason, what’s next? What skills should you build in order to become a better photographer and create the beautiful images you desire?(…)

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girl smiling in a field by Kaela Elliott

6 Tips for Photographing Children in a Natural Way

Children are wonderful! Parents want photographs of their little ones that genuinely show personalities and memories. I love photographing children in a natural way and capturing genuine smiles and moments parents will cherish forever. Whether you are photographing your own children or your client’s children, you can implement these tips and get genuine, natural photographs.(…)

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Iceland, Day 5

3 things to photograph (other than kids) this summer!

The warm weather and longer days are beckoning me out of the house.

Whether it’s in my backyard or way out yonder in the wilderness, I have developed a love of photographing wildlife, landscapes and lately a little bit of outdoor macro too. I love being able to slow down, concentrate on the creative process and connect with the peacefulness of Mother Nature. (And as a bonus, I never have to bribe my subjects with ice cream to pose for me for five minutes!) Want to give it a try? Here are a few tips to get you started!(…)

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boy watching a parade by Holly Berfield

How to photograph your family’s fun out and about adventures

Every January – okay, more like March – I order an annual family photo album filled with the previous year’s adventures. For weeks, my boys pore over the memories stored in the pages. Sometimes I wonder how many of our outings, travels, laughs would be lost to time, if not captured with a few well-placed clicks. I don’t want to miss a single one.(…)

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backlit photo of dad and son walking through the trees by Cassandra McCasley of Twist and Shutter Photography

8 Ways to Photograph Kids With Big Emotions

“When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our calm, not join their chaos.” -L.R. Knost

My son is five, and these words are something I’ve learned to embrace in our parenting and in photography. My son quickly went from being curious about my camera, to putting his hand in front of his face and saying “NO PICTURES!”

I didn’t realize right away where I was going wrong.(…)

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picture of woman standing by a wall of ivy at night by Alice Che

9 Unexpected Sources of Light for a Striking Photograph

Most photographers prefer to photograph in natural light. The sun is an amazing light source, but if you’re only taking photos when the sun is up, you might be overlooking some really awesome sources of light. Here are 9 unexpected sources of light that can create beautiful, striking photographs.(…)

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photo of girl standing in a field with painted tattoos by Becca Wohlwinder

6 Photography Pullbacks That Will Blow Your Mind

Beauty is everywhere! Even when it’s not.

Do you ever get jealous of all these amazing photographers with all their amazing locations?

I know I have! Until I actually changed the way I was thinking and realized it doesn’t even matter where we shoot as long as we go about it the right way. The right angles and lighting are all you need to create amazing images.

Parking lots? Dirt fields? No problem!

Lets take a look at some examples! All of these images were taken less than a few minutes walk from my house. There is a huge field filled with dirt mounds, weeds, overgrown bushes and too many annoying cacti that I may or may not have stepped on or backed up into too many times.(…)

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black and white picture of young girl looking out the blinds by Tiffany Kelly

4 Lightroom Secrets to Get Stunning Black and White Images

The key to gorgeous black and white images often lies in the small details: making sure there is sufficient range of lights and darks, ensuring skin doesn’t look dull, and making sure our subject doesn’t fade into the background. Paying attention to these details can help us ensure our image has the impact that we want. Believe it or not, color actually matters a lot in black and white conversions. Here, I cover some little-known but simple Lightroom tricks that will help you polish and perfect your black and white conversions. (…)

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backlit photo of twin boys in a field by Heather Stockett

10 Photography Rules I Broke and How I Got Away With Them

Since having my three boys, most notably the twins who are now toddlers, I’ve learned that many rules are meant to be broken. Rules you’ve heard all of your life: jumping on the bed, staying up past bedtime, wearing pajamas all day. I like to break photography rules, too. Throw the rule book out the window, grab a cup joe and let’s get started!(…)

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picture of dad on the couch with two kids by Jennifer Kielich

6 Simple Tips to Enhance Your Everyday Photos

Taking photos of my children everyday is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done for myself. They are only little once, and I cherish all the images I have of messy hair, dirty faces, and naked baby bums.

Taking compelling photographs of everyday childhood isn’t rocket science. If you’re a mother, you know that just about everything they do is photo worthy in the early days. So make it a point to get the camera out regularly, and then follow these simple tips to help those day-to-day images really stand out.(…)

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backlit maternity photo by Jamie Rubeis

The Photographer’s Guide to Backlighting

Let’s face it… what photographer doesn’t enjoy a super dreamy backlit photograph?

That golden flare beaming through a set of trees, creating deliciously creamy bokeh or the soft sun light that outlines the tiny tendrils of a child’s hair can introduce a feeling of warmth and heighten visual interest for the viewer. However, it can be tricky to navigate how to properly identify and work with backlight. It is something we all strive to master, but with a little practice and these easy to follow tips and tricks, you will be on your way to creating those gorgeous light-filled images you envision.(…)

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photo of kids playing in the water hose by Jessica Nelson

7 Reasons to Shoot with a Long Lens

Shooting with a long lens is really fun and it gives you so much versatility. But before we talk about how to love your long telephoto lens and the best way to use it, let’s define it.

The 50mm focal distance in photography is considered the ‘normal’ focal length. This is because it is considered to be the distance at which we see with the naked eye. Therefore using a 50mm lens is providing no magnification. If you were to multiply that by 4 you would get 200mm. So when you shoot with a 200mm you are essentially magnifying your scene 4 times. Anything higher than 200mm gives you more magnification and ultimately more reach to your subject from a distance.(…)

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backlit flash picture of girl in a coat by Kellie Bieser

Why Your Messy Garage is a Great Location for Photos

Garages have a bad reputation.

They’re dirty and full of clutter. Well, mine is at least. That mess doesn’t mean you can’t take some great photos in your garage, though! Sometimes you have to push things around and sometimes you just have to be a little more creative. We asked a few pros for their advice on tackling photos in the garage and have compiled them all here for you. Best of all, nobody suggested cleaning!(…)

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picture of a boy making a goofy face by Kellie Bieser

6 Ways to Get The Kids to Smile Without Saying Cheese

It is the most common request of grandparents and is what every client wants on her walls… and if we are going to be honest with ourselves, we want it, too: that perfect portrait of our little angel showing all of those pearly white teeth in a smile so sweet and happy that we can’t help but smile back. Childhood is a time defined by joy and so it only makes sense that we would want photos that reflect the happiness we wish for our kids.(…)

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photo of child dying Easter eggs by Ardelle Neubert

8 Ways to Photograph Your Easter Holiday

Break out the flowers, the dye, and all the eggs you can find because Easter is right around the corner. It may not be the most photographed holiday but we think it’s worth getting out the camera for. We asked the CMpros to chime in with their favorite tips for photographing Easter and boy did they. We can’t get enough of these fun ideas!(…)

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5 Steps to Adding Depth and Complexity to Your Photos

When we think of shooting tips for new photographers, a few pieces of advice come to mind, and common among them are these:

Get closer.
Simplify your frame.

The suggestions are good ones, and they tend to go together well: the very act of coming in closer helps to simplify the composition, because it allows our main subject to fill a larger area of the frame. As artists, this approach can help us to work more deliberately by forcing us to identify the element or elements that are most important to us. We don’t just ask, “what is the subject?” We ask: “what is the best, most interesting, most important PART of this subject?” (Hint: It might be a face, but it definitely doesn’t have to be.) Get closer. Cut out everything non-essential. Fill the frame. Simplify. When you do this, your intended subject becomes more prominent and showcases rich details that we might not have noticed in a wider composition. There’s a lot to love about a closely composed photograph.(…)

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