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!

How to decide which lens to use

by Kristin Dokoza

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

I have serious love for a couple of my lenses. Could I choose just one lens forever? Depends on the alternative! Which image speaks to you? What elements are included or excluded? All things to consider when selecting your choice of lens. These images were taken within a minute of each other. Just long enough to change lenses. All sooc crops on a full frame camera, and only bumped the exposure a little bit.

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Diaries of a Daily Photo Project: 3 years later

by Marie Masse

siblings playing photo by Marie Masse

When I started my photo project of my daughter in 2011, my goal was to take a “good” photo of her once a day for a year. I simply wanted to create a personal photo book so I could relive the days: the firsts, the lasts, the moments that go by in a flash. It would also make a great Christmas present for her Grandparents! I “ooooh’d” and “ahhhh’d” over photos I saw on Pinterest and yes… in 2012, I would try to replicate poses or similar scenes with my daughter (on a bed with holiday lights in the background, anyone?). I thought I had to mimic the cute set ups to make my photos perfect. I bought baskets and cute outfits just for my set ups and all of my effort and excitement were squashed with disappointment when I viewed the final photos.

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Photographing Your Kids: the good, the bad, and the everyday

by Felicia Chang

sister giggling together by Felicia Chang

It wasn’t that long ago that I started my photography journey in earnest by joining Clickin Moms. I read any tutorial I could get my hands on and poured over blogs for inspiration. That’s when I first found out about the 365 project. One picture a day, for the year. No easier way to practice and improve your photography.

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Bedroom Makeover: using photography to create wall art

by Christina Klahn

before and after of boys room makeover

Whenever I see a blank wall, I am tempted to fill it with something as quickly as possible. Sometimes I simply pick a few photos from my hard drive, print them large, hang them up, pat myself on the back for not procrastinating, and move on. And sometimes I plan the entire room around the photos, as was the case when I did a little makeover in my boys’ bedroom.

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Dear Self: a photography letter to myself 5 years ago

by Lissa Chandler

boy playing on the porch photograph by Lissa Chandler

Dear Twenty-Two Year Old, Wanna-Be Photographer Me, You’re cute. Like, really cute. I’ll be honest, I am kind of jealous of how cute you are. Right now, five years ago to this day, you have been married for two months and five days and, this very week, your husband has bought you your very first DSLR, a Canon 40d with a 50 f/1.8 and a zoom lens you found used on Amazon for $110.

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5 tips to get great skin tones

by Kristin Ingalls

tips for great skin tones in photos tutorial by Kristin Ingalls

Who doesn’t want the people in their images to look healthy and vibrant? Getting skin tones correct is a great start towards this goal. However, getting skin tones in your portraits to be correct and consistent isn’t as easy as it might seem. Paying attention to the light and white balance before you ever snap the shutter can go a long ways towards making that goal easier and to cutting down on your editing time.

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6 rules of portrait composition

by Georgia Nelson

rules of portrait composition tutorial by Georgia Nelson 4

Rules! Yay! Wait, why should I care? So what exactly is composition? To put it simply, it is all of the elements of your photograph that make it stand out, that draw the viewer in, and engages them emotionally in your work. Positioning, framing, lighting, the background, movement, and more all help tell your story. With portraits, there are some very basic rules that should not be broken, because it can confuse the viewer. Portraits are a whole ‘nother animal that require special handling.

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Not too Dark, Not too Bright: 3 steps to get exposure just right

by Lacey Meyers

smiling boy picture by Lacey Meyers

Like Goldilocks on the hunt for the perfect bed to nap in, we photographers are working to achieve the perfect exposure in our images.  Sometimes they’re too dark, sometimes they’re too bright, but with a few quick tips, you can get your exposures just right!

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White Balance: comparing the choices

by Bethney Backhaus

4 custom white balance Gray Card

Oh white balance. Why are there so many different ways to set you? I remember when I was new to photography I really wanted to see a side by side of images using all the common ways to set white balance so I could really compare them all. Well two years later, here we are! I really hope this is a help to some of you new to photography as well as the seasoned pros out there who just really love visual side by sides like I do.

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3 photography pullbacks you need to see

by Lissa Chandler

photography pullbacks with a twits tutorial by Lissa Chandler

I don’t know about y’all, but I love a good pullback. I mean, let’s be honest, they are pretty magical. There is something so awe inspiring, breathtaking even, about a wide angle shot of a location and, immediately after, seeing several photographs nestled underneath it taken in the exact same spot at nearly the exact same time. I find pullbacks to be incredibly inspiring and, today, when I sat down to write this post, I had every intention of sharing traditional pullbacks with y’all.

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3 must-have lenses for Tamara Lackey

by Tamara Lackey

mom and daughter portrait by Tamara Lackey

When Nikon photographer Tamara Lackey heads out on location for a family session, two lenses are almost guaranteed to be in her bag: the AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED and AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G, with the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II also a frequent flier. For this shoot, Tamara knew she’d be shooting both indoors and out, and these three lenses gave her the flexibility she needed.

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How to build your skills and portfolio as a hobbyist

by Sarah Vaughn

girl on the beach at sunset picture by Sarah Vaughn of Story Lane Photography

Skill building and portfolio building – it’s something we all do as photographers, continually. We often think of portfolio building as the sole domain of professional photographers, but the reality is that many photographers also build their skills and a body of work, shooting friends, family or acquaintances, while they still remain hobbyists. That was me.

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Can’t nail focus? Stop making these 3 mistakes!

by Lissa Chandler

get in focus pictures by Lissa Chandler

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?!” I thought to myself.

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5 simple tips to get rid of glasses glare in portraits

by Melissa Stottmann

how to photograph someone who wears glasses by Melissa Stottmann

About two years ago, my three-year-old daughter began having eye issues and it turned out that she needed glasses.  All of my studying and learning to find “good” light wasn’t always applicable when attempting to avoid the dreaded glasses glare.  I’ve learned some tips and tricks along the way and today I’m going to share them with you.

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