yawning baby by Kellie Bieser

11 pictures to take of your baby in the first month

You just had a baby, and whether you are inspired to pick-up that fancy camera for the first time or you are a seasoned pro, chances are you want to take a gazillion pictures of this new little soul who has just entered your world. Baby Bieser number four arrived this year and I know exactly how you feel. I also know that you are tired, overwhelmed, hormonal, and scatterbrained (at least I hope I am not the only one!).

I am here to help you out! Here is a list of 11 shots to get during baby’s first month of life. Check these off your list and you will be off to a great start documenting your new arrival.(…)

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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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Example photo of full frame vs crop sensor crop by Jessica Nelson

What the crop? Full frame and crop sensors explained.

As with many photographers, I started my interest in digital photography with a smaller and less expensive camera. I wanted to dabble without spending a ton of money. So in 2007 I bought the Canon 30D. I knew this camera was a crop sensor, or APS-C, when I bought it and I learned how to adjust the focal lengths of my lenses to make it work for me.

Let’s start with the basics, what is the sensor?(…)

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7 cures for the photographer blues

Let’s face it. The longer you make images, the harder it becomes to feel creative, and that leads to boredom and sometimes sadness. What used to send chills of excitement up your spine, now may make you feel a bit ‘meh’ about the whole thing. Ruts are just part of life and they are actually a good thing because they spur on growth. The true benefit comes when you jump over the hurdle and find the inspiration on the other side.(…)

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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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copyright Allison Corrin

6 traits of shooting and blogging as storytelling

As a former teacher, I spent years analyzing and editing my students’ writing, sorting through confusing bunny trails and illogical sequences to help them narrow their focus and communicate the heart of their subject. One of my strategies was to guide them through what experts have determined to be the six traits of strong writing:(…)

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kids playing in the sprinklers by Roxanne Bryant

100 Days of Summer: Lessons in Halves and Wholes

Sometimes you have to divide your world in half to see the whole story.

Six months after finishing my first 365, I ached to document my family’s daily life again. So I pledged myself to a smaller project – a photo a day for the 100 days of summer. I assumed the project would hum similar to my 365, but it became clear very quickly that one photo a day felt not enough. This time, each lone photo hung like a single note without its song. I found myself obsessively slicing photos. I broke and stitched, reworking the frames, weaving shapes and light and time back together. I found hidden stories. It wasn’t always perfect but it seemed the memories became stronger with the pairings. So I let creativity guide, knitting the days into diptychs – like a long, thin string of paper dolls – a net that wouldn’t let my mind forget – the beauty, the tiny details, the passing bits of our everyday.(…)

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Lightroom before and after clean edit by Carly Bingham

Before and After: clean edit in Lightroom

I am quite drawn to bright, vivid, colorful photos. I think of children and their love of color and wonder. They are naturally bright and happy and I love to portray that in my photos (since I mostly photograph children).

Ninety-nine percent of my workflow is done in Lightroom, so I’ll show you how I edit a photo, step by step in Lightroom (5.6).(…)

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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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8 ways to successfully grow your Instagram by April Nienhuis

8 ways to successfully grow your Instagram

Whether you’re running a full time business or just wanting to get your work out there to others, Instagram is a great and underutilized tool.

Instagram is by far my favorite social media outlet. I started using it personally just over 4 years ago (my first photo there was of my almost 5 year old toddling across the living room) and part of my focus at Clickin Moms has been curating the Instagram account for about 2 years now. I’ve learned a few things along the way and I’m excited to share them with you today!(…)

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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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5 tell-tale signs it's time for a new camera by Meredith Novario

5 tell-tale signs it’s time for a new camera

As fun as it is to fantasize about getting a new camera body, it isn’t always, or even often, the most practical course of action. Since photography is a wildly expensive pursuit, we need reason on our side before throwing cash at a new camera body. Give your daydreams a bowl of popcorn and a seat on the couch while we talk reason at the grown-up table.

You really, truly may need a new camera body. If you are hankering for one just because the newest models look “better”, bigger, or more professional then consider these signs to decide whether or not the time is right for a new camera. (…)

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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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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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newborn portrait by Texas photographer Jenni Jones

The gear that turns my vision into reality

There are things you just expect from your gear: that your lenses will focus, that they’ll attain apertures that deliver the impact of depth of field, that they’re tack-sharp — you know, table stakes. But then there’s the intangible, the hard-to-put-your-finger-on-it “thing” – the way your equipment renders an image, the way it handles depth of field, tonality, and light – that makes a camera and lens more desirable than any other.(…)

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