photography tutorial

newborn yawning photo by Alicia Gould

4 ways to prepare for a newborn session

I’m a list maker and planner.

When we go to Disney, I’ve made our lunch reservations 6 months in advance and know what our route will be through each park. If I forget my grocery list at home, I’m guaranteed to forget something so why should my newborn sessions be any different? Since I’m so focused on the details during the session, preparing makes me feel more in control. In the heat (literally 80 degree heat) of a newborn session with a baby crying, it’s really easy to forget what you wanted to do! On the flip side, if you have an extremely sleepy baby and you run through your regular poses, sometimes you can draw a blank on what to do next.(…)

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boys running on beach with birds picture by Helen Bartlett

Why I choose to shoot in black and white

It began with my Dad. He was an enthusiastic amateur photographer, and when my brothers and I were children, he set about documenting our growing up together. He built a darkroom in the basement of our house and the photographs that came out of it still cover the walls. Invariably, they are black and white.

I fell in love with those pictures. There was something magical about them, not least that they afforded relief to a child of the eighties with a passion for neon green: all crimes against fashion were forgiven – the lurid Dr Martens boots quietly toned down to a neutral grey. People never look at monochrome portraits and cry “what was I wearing?” Perhaps that sounds trivial, but it’s quite the opposite. Part of the magic of black and white images is their timelessness, their ability to see beyond the whims of fashion and surface detail to the essence of people. They capture their interactions and emotions.(…)

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White-Wall-and-Door-Squared-Off-by-Sarah-Wilkerson-1316

Creativity Exercise: 9 tips for beautifully minimalist photos

“Less is more” is a phrase often attributed to German architect and designer Mies van der Rohe, and although it’s become associated with everything from brevity in writing to anti-consumerist philosophies, the roots come back to a particular visual aesthetic. With this in mind, we’ll draw our understanding of photographic minimalism from the traditional definition of minimalism as it relates to art, architecture, and design. In these contexts, minimalism traditionally refers to visual simplification, stripping all extraneous elements and details to the bare minimum necessary to present the subject. Allow “Less is More” to be your mantra as you shoot for this creativity exercise. (…)

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Art journal with a cup of coffee photo by Jodi Arego

The 1 best thing you can do for your art in the new year

So, it’s been a fanciful month and a half filled to the brim with lights and baking and parties and gifts and crafting and holiday cheer. Our bellies are full. And our hearts are fuller. Now that we’ve gingerly packed up our decorations and are making our way out of the end-of-year-post-holiday crazies, if you’re like me, you dream of a fresh start to a new year that somehow looks much simpler than these last few weeks have been. (…)

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which-lens-do-I-choose-to-shoot-with-by-Kristin-Dokoza

Top 14 photography tutorials written in 2014

It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone but it has and 2014 was a great year! Here on the CMblog we have continued to work hard in bringing you the type of tutorials and fun articles that you’re looking for. This past year was a success and we are excited to see what 2015 brings. In celebration, we thought we’d look back on the 14 most popular articles from the CMblog last year!(…)

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mom-snuggling-newborn-in-hospital-by-Elizabeth-Blank

How to capture your own birth experience

It is funny, as a photographer, the thoughts that go through your head during major life events.

Last year, I learned that we were expecting our third child and, within hours of learning this wonderful news, my brain was already beginning to think about how I could adequately capture this amazing, fleeting time. When I was pregnant with our first, I had not yet been bitten by the photography bug and the story of her entrance into the world is just a handful of images right after she was born. Fast forward three years later to the birth of my son and, while my passion for photography was certainly there, my focus was on getting precious newborn photos of him once he was home from the hospital and not on capturing the precious details surrounding his actual arrival. It wasn’t until a couple of months after his birth that I became very nostalgic over not having all of the little details preserved forever.(…)

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boy eating twizzlers

One location, one window, many options

I have one window in the corner of my bedroom where magic happens…

There is really nothing special about this window. It is just a window after all, but, I have learned to use this window and create some of my most favorite images…

In the morning it has the sweetest little glow of sunrise…(…)

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silhouette of bird in tree by Mabel Chow

4 creative ways to add impact when taking photos outside

At the start of this year, my family and I began taking hikes every weekend as a means to get more exercise, spend more time together, and just explore.

The exploring part is what excites me the most, photography-wise. I love not knowing what to expect because it means less planning. I’m not one for scouting locations and planning an entire photo session around it. More often than not, my family and I would do our hikes in the afternoons. It’s not the most ideal time for photography but that time is the most convenient for my family so I go with the flow. But that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve interesting images. The lighting might not be optimal, but there are other techniques that I look for to make my images intriguing such as perspective and scaling, framing, textures, and just experimenting.(…)

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winter sunset by Kristen Ryan

Snow Photos: 4 things to consider

The leaves have fallen and the cold has set in. The gorgeous, bold and bright colors of fall that acted as a magnet to compel us to pick up our cameras and head outside are gone. We are left with barren trees, short days, and winter weather. Time to shoot inside, right? Hardly. The winter months can be gorgeous, especially when we are graced with freshly fallen snow. Winter landscapes provide beautiful scenery to be captured.(…)

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Before and After: converting to black and white

Before and After: converting to black and white

Some images strictly call for color, and some you can’t imagine in anything but black and white!The kind of black and white depends on you and your style as a photographer. I like to call my black and whites, “Clean with Depth.” I vary rarely create a deep, moody black and white, I like my images to be light, airy, but with contrast. You’ll also see a different side of the coin when I create black and whites with a matte overlay in the video below.(…)

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fill flash with Ice Light by Michelle Turner

How to use fill flash outside

As much as we might long for lovely light that gently wraps around our subjects, there are times when the light is anything but. And what then? How do you photograph the image that you want (or need!) in the light that you have?(…)

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referal program for photo business

5 ways to launch your photography business on the cheap

With new photography businesses popping up every day without much investment or knowledge, it’s hard to know the correct way to go about it. You don’t need to go into debt when starting a photography business, but you do need to know where to invest your money wisely. Here are some tips:(…)

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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.”(…)

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mom and dad lifting caughter picture by Lisa Tichane of Tout Petit Pixel 7

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(…)

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5 tips for the perfect Holiday card photo by Kristin Dokoza

5 tips for the perfect Holiday card photo

by Kristin Dokoza
You have taken everyone else’s family portraits for Holiday cards, but who are you missing? That’s right, your own family! Here are a few quick and easy tips to hopefully get you motivated, and get your cards sent out in time.
1. Get inspired.
Start looking through the many different photo card styles that are out there. This will help you select the colors for your photos, as well as the background and how many images you may want to(…)

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Child-Giving-Tortilla-Chips-to-Dogs-by-Kara-Orwig

8 ways to create connections between subjects (Creativity Exercise)

[caption id="attachment_40277" align="aligncenter" width="840"] Renata Plaice[/caption]

The power of physical touch is well-documented, and within the frame, it is the obvious way to demonstrate a connection between two or more subjects — and for good reason: observing a touch tends to bring forth emotion and even convey a sensory experience for viewers. The embrace may be the first connection that comes to mind when we think about ways to capture a relationship between two subjects, but there are countless other ways(…)

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how to get sharp photos by Lissa Chandler

Can’t Nail Focus? Stop making these 3 mistakes!

I still remember the first time that I realized I could pick my own focal point.

Lying on my bed late at night, my six month old snuggled up against me as I browsed photography blogs, I came across a blog post that showed two photographs taken a breath apart. The first photograph was focused on a couple; the second photograph was focused on the grass in front of the couple.

I thought this was magic! “How did the photographer do that?!”(…)

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smiling boy by Tamryn Jones

6 ways to capture a child’s personality

I remember when first starting out with my photography how all I wanted for an image was correct exposure and great eye contact.  Moving beyond the ‘cheese’ smile is an accomplishment in itself, but how do we go about getting that connection?
How do we capture personality and honesty?
Here are some tips I have picked up along the way.
1.  The laughter recovery.
This is a quick fix trick when I’m just not getting the shot I want.  My kids are so used(…)

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5 tips for incporating dogs into your photography

5 tips for incorporating dogs into your photography

by Jessica Remus
The special bond between humans and dogs goes back tens of thousands of years and with good reason. There’s nothing quite like the relationship we have with our canine companions.

For those of us that have dogs, they truly are our “furkids”. When I photograph these furry subjects, I approach it as if they were any other family member, trying to learn as much about their personality as I can and then, hopefully, capture that.

Here are 5 tips to(…)

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