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Archive for November, 2010

5 Ways To Use Photography To Help Your Community

5 Ways To Use Photography To Help Your Community

There’s nothing quite like helping others just for the fun of it. With Thanksgiving upon us, and as the Christmas season approaches, we all want to do a little extra to make others feel special. You may not realize it, but your photography skills are very valuable to those who either don’t have the equipment or just don’t know how to get the best images possible. Here are 5 ways to help them out.

Take Photos Of Your Friends And Family

This is the easiest thing you can do, especially when you’re quite good at photography. The next time you’re with your family, do them a favor and snap a few photos they can use. You don’t have to do it all the time, but they will always appreciate it. Sometimes it’s fun to surprise them with pictures you took from an event that happened a long time ago.

The key to the fun is to keep it a surprise. As soon as you’re expected to be the family photographer, it isn’t nearly as fun anymore. Take pictures when you feel like it, and only give them because you want to do it.

Help A Friend Who Is Building A Business

If one of your friends is an entrepreneur, go ahead and do some pro-bono photography work. This will set your friend’s business apart from all of the other business that use stock photography for their website, brochures, and other marketing materials. If your friend sells a product, take a few nice pictures and give them away. When the business takes off, your friend will never forget what you’ve done.

Don’t just limit yourself to business images. Even if a friend of your is simply trying to sell something on Ebay, a nice picture can make all the difference. It only takes a few seconds.

Take Photos When You See Tourists

Whenever you’re near a landmark and you see a family or a couple that could use your help, don’t wait for them to ask you. Go up to them and ask them if they want you to take their picture. It’s a really simple gesture that really goes a long way. If it were your family, you would want everyone in the shot too.

It helps when you don’t have a big head about it. Don’t tell anyone that you’re really into photography. Just snap the picture and let them enjoy it.

Take Photos Of Community Events And Share Them With Others

Maybe your kids play soccer or they’re involved in a church program. The next time there’s a big game or a event, become the photographer and give everyone copies of your pictures. This is not only a great way to share your skills, it can become a nice way to market your photography services. You never know who will see the pictures.

I usually talk to parents as I’m taking the pictures. I have them leave their email addresses with me, and then I create a Flickr group with the images. Facebook is really good for this as well.

Teach Your Friends Your Photography Skills

If you’ve got a friend who’s just getting into photography, take some time to teach him or her the finer points of the art. Oftentimes, this involves having a few casual chats about camera settings while critiquing some work. It’s even more fun when you organize photo walks at sunrise and sunset. They’ll benefit from your knowledge, and you’ll get a new shooting buddy.

I like to help my community with photography workshops (and this blog). Find a popular gathering place (your recreation center, library, or local coffee shop), and post a few messages on the corkboard. It can really fun to get everyone involved. Plus, if you’re starting to build your own photography business, you might just find some new employees within your group. You never know with these things. One act of kindness and friendship can open many doors.

I know there are many more ways to help your community with your photography. That’s why I want to hear your take on it. Have you done something exceptional for your community with your photography skills? Send me an email. I’m excited to hear about it!

Photo Competition – Street Photography – Win US$50

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Photo Competition – Street Photography – Win US$50

Win a US$50 gift voucher from Amazon just by uploading your image to this week’s Photo Competition on Street Photography!

Update: This competition is now closed. See the winners or enter the current competition.

How To Enter

We’re looking for images that capture the essence of a street scene. It could be a photo that captures a specific moment, tells a story, or just looks great! It needs to be of a street (either city or country). It doesn’t need to be taken today (or even recently), but it does need to be taken with a digital camera, and taken by YOU.
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Take Timeless Newborn Baby Pictures

Take Timeless Newborn Baby Pictures

There is probably no more exciting time in life than the birth of a newborn baby. For many moms and dads, it’s the reason they got into photography in the first place. These pictures are the ones you’ll keep looking at for years to come. That’s why it’s so important to get them right, and to do it within the limited 3 to 4 month time window you have before they start growing up. Here are a few tips for taking timeless newborn baby pictures.
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How To Capture The Emotion Of Street Photography Without Angering The Masses (Too Much)

How To Capture The Emotion Of Street Photography Without Angering The Masses (Too Much)

The streets are packed full of emotion. From the embrace of two lovers to the excitement of the performers, there’s always something to capture. That said, most people are either too afraid to get great street photos, or they’re too weighed down by their equipment to capture the moment before it’s gone. With the following secrets, you won’t belong to either category. I’ll show you why.
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Featured Websites For 11 November 2010

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Featured Websites For 11 November 2010

There’s a lot happening in photography nowadays. This week I’m starting a new regular series where I summarise a few of the great articles on photography I find around the net during the week. They might be kooky, sad, interesting, or full of great info. But one thing I promise: they are all a good read.
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Candlelight Photography – Get Your Camera In The Mood

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Candlelight Photography – Get Your Camera In The Mood

It’s autumn, and winter isn’t too far away. Soon we’ll be spending our nights indoors by the roar of a fire, enjoying the flickering of candles. Have you ever wondered how to take pristine pictures under candlelight when you don’t have that much light to work with in the first place? The following tips will help you setup your camera so you can capture the mood you’re looking for.
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Six Quick Composition Tips

Six Quick Composition Tips

In a rut with your creativity? It can happen to the most practiced photographers. It is during these times that we need to take a step back and look at what we can do differently. Sometimes all we need is a change of framing or perspective. When we go out with a new goal in mind, we can find all kinds of interesting images to capture. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
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Histograms Deciphered!

Histograms Deciphered!

Have you ever had a look at the histogram on your camera’s LCD and wondered what it all means? It often seems like your camera is speaking a different language altogether. Luckily, you don’t need a degree in computer science to figure it out. Here are some basic things you need to know to get the most out of your LCD histogram.
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How To Take Stunning Pictures Of The (Super) Moon

How To Take Stunning Pictures Of The (Super) Moon

The moon is beautiful to look at, but it sure can be challenging to photograph. Here is what you need to know to get the best possible pictures of the moon.
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How To Use Focal Lock To Create More Precise Digital Images

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How To Use Focal Lock To Create More Precise Digital Images

If you’ve been reading some my articles on composition, you know that it isn’t always such a good idea to place your subject directly in the center of the frame. Unfortunately, whenever you place your subject a little to the right or to the left, you open up a whole new problem when you press the shutter button to focus. Instead of focusing on your subject, your camera ends up focusing on some unimportant piece of the background.
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