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Tag: portrait

How to Photograph People in Harsh Midday Light

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How to Photograph People in Harsh Midday Light

Everyone loves the beautiful, diffused light of the golden hour right before the sunset, but our lives exist outside of that hour. Often, it’s impossible to avoid harsh midday light. The results are blown highlights, severe shadows, and washed out images. Luckily, it is possible to outsmart the sun and the havoc it wreaks on your photography. Here are some things you can do to improve your midday photography.
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How To Do It: Blurred Backgrounds

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How To Do It: Blurred Backgrounds

You see it all the time in professional photographs; amazing portraits with the subject in front of a soft, blurred background. That beautiful baby or gorgeous model immediately draws your eye. How do they do that? Do you need years of training and top of the line equipment to make this happen? Definitely not! You do not need to be an expert or have an expensive lens to achieve this look. This is one of the easiest things you can try to add a new dimension to your photography. A little knowledge, your DSLR, and a kit lens are all that is required. I will describe simple adjustments you can make today to get that out-of-focus background and add artistic flair to your photos.
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9 Tips for Lifestyle Photography

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9 Tips for Lifestyle Photography

Often times, the photographs we feel the most connected to are simple. They freeze time, a moment as it is, instead of the contrived editorial work of fashion shoots and perfume ads. Babies sitting on a shiny hardwood floor, kids in an intense game of flag football, this season’s first snowfall. These photos are so easy to connect with because they are honest portrayals of life. This is called lifestyle photography. Lifestyle photography is a genre of photography which serves the purpose of documenting life honestly and artistically by capturing authentic, usually candid moments as they happen. What that actually translates to in regards to actual photographs depends on you the photographer and your artistic vision.
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Fine Tuning Portrait Poses

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Fine Tuning Portrait Poses

Most of the time, when you’re shooting portraits, you want your subject to be happy with the final photo. Not all the time, because honestly we all get a little bit of evil delight from catching a misbehaving toddler in full-tantrum mode, don’t we? But other than that and maybe a few other circumstances, it’s probably safe to say that when you’re shooting a portrait the photos are not just about your subject, they are for her, too.

And let’s face it, no one wants to look bad in a photo. And let’s also face this: it’s easy to make people look bad in pictures, even when they really look very good in person. If you’re going to be shooting a lot of portraits – especially if you plan to one day make them a part of your business – you need to know the tricks to posing your subjects so that they’ll look great in those photos. Here’s how.
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Capturing Personality in a Photo

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Capturing Personality in a Photo

The day of the family photo shoot arrives. The lighting is perfect, your camera settings are spot on, and the composition is perfect. You direct everyone to look at the camera and “say cheese”. You rush home to find an SD card full of stiff looking people with lots of teeth and all the personality of a driver’s license photo. What went wrong?

Sometimes we get so hung up on the technical aspects of portrait photography we forget about the subjects themselves. With visions of aperture and shutter speed dancing in our heads, we forget our job is to capture the essence of that person. We need to help them look natural and take a picture that reflects who they are. How do you do that? Read on for tips on capturing your subject’s personality.
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Photographing the Elderly

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Photographing the Elderly

The elderly members of our communities are some of our greatest assets. They have seen the roar of change, the cruelty or war, the upset of recession, and the power in our humanity at work. Photographing them gives us a chance to capture the history they have witnessed and participated in but there are some distinctive challenges that are paired with reaping these benefits. Here are some tips to make photographing elderly people an overall smoother experience.
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Keeping your subjects interested (and interesting)

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Keeping your subjects interested (and interesting)

If you’re a parent, you already know the situation I’m about to describe. You probably know it intimately. You’re trying to get a photo of your kids in their holiday finery, or maybe you just want a nice group shot of them on the first day of school. Or you just want to get that one best-of-the-best shot that you can send off to your far-away family. So you decide to take your child(ren) outside for a photo shoot, and it all goes downhill from there. Your kids don’t want to have their pictures taken. They don’t want to smile. They don’t want to go stand in that one place and do that one thing.

Take heart, you are not the only person who has ever had this problem. Even photographers who photograph adults have to deal with bored subjects quite regularly, because that’s just one of the hazards of taking pictures of human beings. And bored subjects usually (though not always) make for boring photographs. So what’s a portrait photographer (or a parent) to do? Let’s find out!
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Using a Reflector to Soften Hard Light

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Using a Reflector to Soften Hard Light

You know all about the “golden hour”, that hour after sunrise and before sunset, when the light is beautiful and soft. Photographers dream of this light that flatters their subject and makes their work look like a million bucks. Now back to reality. What about that afternoon birthday party you booked, or your own child’s first steps on the beach at midday? There are always occasions when you are forced to shoot in less than ideal lighting situations. The harsh, midday light casts shadows and makes your job as a photographer more difficult, but you can still get great pictures even when it is bright outside. If you are doing a lot of portrait photography, just add a simple, relatively inexpensive tool to your kit – the reflector (and maybe a personal assistant to go with it)!
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Photographing Dogs

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Photographing Dogs

Dogs are considered man’s best friend for a reason. They ignore our greatest flaws, fawn over us, always show up regardless of the circumstances, and their favorite activity, outside of eating, is staring up at us with that love drunk gaze. The world would be a better place if we could just all be the person our dog thinks we are!

Despite the undeniable bond we share with our canine companions, they are often some of our most difficult photography subjects because they wiggle and don’t really understand the purpose of the camera. While they present their own wiggle-based set of challenges, getting the shot is possible. Here are some pointers to up the ante on your pooch photography.
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Soft Light in Portrait Photography

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Soft Light in Portrait Photography

There are lots of things to think about when taking a portrait. You have your camera settings to worry about, the composition of the photo, and last but certainly not least the lighting. The lighting and how you position your subject with respect to the light dramatically changes the look and quality of your pictures. In some cases you may, for artistic reasons, choose hard light that casts dramatic shadows. However, if you are taking more of a standard portrait and want a beautiful result, soft light is key. Read on for tips and tricks to using soft light both outdoors and in.
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Taking Awesome Group Photos

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Taking Awesome Group Photos

We can’t avoid taking pictures of groups. They are part of every company picnic, Sunday night family dinner, and school picture day. They are also the first pictures pulled out when everyone in hunched over the photo album, reminiscing about all the fond memories associated with family gatherings and nights out with friends. While they are a common part of our lives as people and artists, they can sometimes be stressful to pull off and difficult to do well. Here are seven tips to help you achieve the best possible results.
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Single Point Focus

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Single Point Focus

Have you ever taken shots you are excited about only to find that they are blurry when you view them on your computer screen? It is so disappointing to realize that those 1st birthday shots are just not quite in focus. Nothing ruins a potentially great photo like blur. There are lots of things that you can do in post processing to improve your photos, but sadly making a blurry shot focused is not one of them! Focus is probably the single most important thing that you need to get right in camera. It is time to take steps toward taking tack sharp images.
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Photographing Grandparents with Their Grandchildren

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Photographing Grandparents with Their Grandchildren

Some of the sweetest, purest, and least complicated relationships that exist between people are seen in the bond grandparents share with their grandchildren. Capturing that relationship is a privilege but also presents specific challenges. Here are some tips and tricks to assure your multi-generational photo-shoot is a success and the photos you create become family heirlooms cherished for years to come.
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Five Surprising Uses for your Camera’s Self-Timer

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Five Surprising Uses for your Camera’s Self-Timer

Most modern cameras have a self-timer feature. You might know this feature best as that setting that allows you to actually be in the photo as well as your subjects. This is particularly great for photogra-moms and/or photogra-dads. You know, the person in your family who is always behind the camera and never in the photo. The person who, as a result, is so absent from the family album that viewers wonder if she or he actually comes along on any of those family outings.

Self timers are great for those family photographers because they allow the person behind the camera to get in front of the camera. But did you know self-timers have other uses too?
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Capturing the Heart and Soul of Your Subjects

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Capturing the Heart and Soul of Your Subjects

The difference between an acceptable photograph and an amazing one is often made not in camera or post-production but in your ability to connect with your subject. This becomes especially important that when those subjects are people. While cameras don’t steal souls like it was once believed in some cultures, they do give us the ability record and revisit people, places, and things as they once were. In order to capture the soul of your subject, you will need to think about how we interact with each other every day and pay attention to the small details that make us each unique.
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