photography tutorial

girl holding a large sunflower by Tiffany Kelly

Using the Inverse Square Law for Natural Light Portraits

The inverse square law is one of my favorite nerdy photography topics. I use the inverse square law to get nice, dark backgrounds. I love this type of background because it leads to simple images, it hides my messy house, and it helps my subject really pop against a dark background.(…)

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child singing into a fan by April Nienhuis

8 unexpected ways to add creativity to your photos

Lenses with cool effects are fun but they’re not the only option to add creativity to your photography. Embracing some new techniques and using some household items when shooting is a fun and free way to spice up your work. The possibilities are endless but here’s 8 that I’ve used and recommend to others when struggling with their creativity.(…)

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dad holding newborn photo by Beth Deschamp

5 Newborn Portraits You Must Take During the First 2 Weeks

Expectant parents are commonly told to savor every single moment with their little ones, as time goes by too fast and they will grow before you know it. It’s hard to imagine them being anything but tiny when you are holding them for the first time in your arms but, in a blink of an eye, they are quickly growing and you are begging time to slow down.

Well, time sure won’t slow down, but you can freeze it in time… through photographs. And because your new baby will start changing quickly during the first two weeks after birth, you are going to want to capture that brand newness right away. Amongst those few roles of photographs that you take, be sure that you capture these five portraits during the first two weeks.(…)

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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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after adding leaf overlays in Photoshop by Krista Campbell

5 Secrets to Amazing Fall Photos

I don’t know about you, but I just love fall. Apple crisp, brisk morning walks, warm clothing, football, pumpkin picking… what’s not to love? I want to capture every autumn sight, scent, and taste with my camera. Here are 5 Secrets to capturing amazing fall photographs.(…)

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backlit photo of girl in a field by Marissa Gifford

7 secrets to tack-sharp pictures

You see pretty light, a fleeting moment, or a stunning vista and rush to grab your camera to document it. You look at the back of your LCD screen only to be disappointed that you missed focus and your image is a blur. Your shutter speed was high enough to stop the motion, so what gives? Keep reading for a few tips to achieve sharply focused images.(…)

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kids playing on the beach by Mickie DeVries of Fresh Modern Photography

7 tips for getting a variety of shots from one location

During the summer months I often shoot at the beach at golden hour. My kids are happy to let me take photos of them because they get a night swim out of the deal. I try to make the most out of them being willing to be photographed! I particularly love getting shots of them backlit playing in the sand or water, but I also want to make the most out of the time I have with them without having all the shots look the same. Our beaches don’t offer too much in the terms of different spaces to shoot in as it is pretty much just sand and water with a very occasional tree if we are lucky. Even if your location doesn’t have different spaces to shoot in you can still get a lot of variety from any location. These tips are not specific for shooting at the beach, and are a great list to keep in mind anytime you are shooting!(…)

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Creativity Exercise: 4 exercises to help you find the light

This newest challenge is deceptively simple: to identify, shoot, and produce a photograph predicated entirely on light. It’s not enough that your image has beautiful light or that you use light to enhance your subject; the goal is capture an image that integrates light in a way that is so unusual, so beautiful, or so compelling that the viewer can’t help but remark on the light itself. It doesn’t mean that you can’t incorporate your normal subject matter if you wish (doing so can be a challenge in its own right), but your goal will be to ensure that the visual strength or interestingness of the light will be as noteworthy as your “main” subject (such as a person, object, or scene). (…)

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painterly nature photo by Anna VanDemark

Moving your camera to show motion in a photo

You’ve probably spent months perfecting the ability to get tack sharp focus in your photos. While this is an admirable and important skill to have in your photography tool box, today we’re going to throw sharp focus out the window, so to speak.

In the spirit of having fun, let us now play with “ICM”, Intentional Camera Movement. ICM is freeing – no photography police looking over your shoulder or need for perfectionism here. ICM is about embracing blur, experimentation, impressionism, and maybe even abstraction. With this blur and impressionistic representation of our world also comes the added possibility for engaging subjective emotion and viewer interpretation.(…)

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picture of girl wearing a scarf by Allison McSorley

4 tips to master the modern classic portrait

If you’ve ever walked out of a department store or mall studio chain disappointed in the outcome of your kids’ portrait session, you’re not alone.

In fact, many of us who either have children or photograph children regularly are familiar with the assembly-line business model that has given those places a reputation of producing dated, lifeless and oftentimes awkward formal portraits. The good news is, classic portraits of your kids or your clients’ kids do not have to look like they just won first prize in the annual awkward family photo contest!(…)

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olympus camera by Brittany Chandler

5 unexpected places to find inspiration

As a photographer, I am never short on finding inspiring and beautiful photos that make me want to take my camera out. Thanks to the Internet, and better yet, Pinterest, my newsfeeds are filled to the brim with my photog crushes’ original artwork. But when I’m feeling burnt out and overwhelmed, or tired of shooting the same subject day in and day out, I am usually at a loss of how to get out of this rut and shoot something new. That is, until I decided to start looking outside of the photography industry itself. This world is filled with unimaginable beauty, and one doesn’t have to look far to find a small piece of inspiration to get the creative juices flowing again. Here are my five tried and true places to find inspiration outside of the photography industry.(…)

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mom sitting in a bay window holding baby by Beth Ann Fricker

3 questions that will help you create natural newborn photos

Over a year ago, one newborn session completely changed my thinking about how I approach newborn photography.

The parents asked if I would take a photo of the dad feeding the baby in the kitchen. It wasn’t a place I would normally seek out but I obliged since it was important to them to document this moment. At the time, I would seek out rooms with what I thought had the best light in the house and control the posing of the parents. But this moment made me wonder what else I was missing out on at my sessions. It became important to me to figure out how to photograph more natural moments for these new families and make the experience more client-centered. I wanted clients to look back on their photographs and be drawn to the memories at that moment like the one of him feeding his son in the kitchen nook.(…)

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magical by Kristen Ryan

How to photograph the sunset

Have you ever photographed an unbelievable sunset and uploaded your image only to discover that it fails to capture the beauty of the sky you witnessed in person? Capturing the colors and details of a sunset is not as easy as it may look. Here are some tips to help you photograph your next sunset with confidence.(…)

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back to school photo by Tiffany Kelly 1

5 easy ways to photograph back-to-school memories

It’s almost time for school to start! Who is rejoicing with me?! My daughter adores pre-school and I miss our little school-day routine. I’m so excited for her to get back to school with her friends and I can’t wait to see what she learns this year. Let’s chat about five easy and fun ways to document this joyous back-to-school time! (…)

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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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final edited black and white picture by Cynthia Dawson

A classic black and white photo in 5 easy steps with Photoshop

There are two things that I am obsessed with…light and shadows. I strive to seek out light each and everyday and in finding the light I often find shadows. This way of shooting is what made me fall in love with classic, deep black and white conversions. I love how converting an image this way gives you so much tonal range. The eye isn’t just looking at black and white but the many, many shades of gray in between. Here are the steps I take to get a classic conversion. (…)

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