It’s Not Always Sunsets and Kittens: Photographing the Tougher things in Life

Not every shoot I’ve done is full of lollipop promises, cute matching (but not too matching) outfits, and happy families throwing their kids up into a perfect blue sky with puffy cloud dreams. In fact, typically the ones that didn’t, are among the most important pictures I have ever taken. The ones that there are no road maps for, no instructions, and no cheat sheets. Several years ago I photographed a beautiful wedding of a young couple deeply in love on a perfect July day. I shot the wedding, went home, and put those images at the bottom of my “waiting to be edited” stack. Which is where they stayed until I got a random call that the groom, a police officer, had gone missing in an attempt to save a young girl who had almost drowned in a fast moving river. For three days rescue teams searched for him, until they found his body a day shy of his and his new bride’s first month anniversary.

I Googled everything I could think of in an attempt to edit the images, perfectly and quickly with poise and professionalism, as I knew that they would now would hold a gravity beyond what I could have ever imagined when I shot them. I found nothing-no road map, no instructions, no guide for this massive task I had ahead of me. Instead I holed up in my office for a weekend with a bottle of scotch and a case of tissues, emerging in time for them to be delivered to his bride at his memorial service. Those images are now locked in a vault of sorts for me professionally, and I can only hope that by now they perhaps bring an amazing and strong woman great comfort and lovely memories of a beautiful day in her life.

Photography is a very powerful thing. And having the ability to do it is an incredible gift. Not all tough to photograph events will be dire, but do photography even just as a hobby for long enough and you will find yourself in situation beautiful in it’s complexity and the images you take poignant beyond words.

This is a picture of my dear friend, her son, and her son’s birth mom. It’s out of focus and isn’t properly exposed. The kid is wearing a Captain America costume and was feeling especially “spirited” on this day. It is all of the makings of disaster. Yet it is one of my favorite images and incredibly important to both myself and the people in it. A picture doesn’t have to be technically perfect to be amazing. Sometimes it’s just you being in the right place at the right time, hauling a camera in tow. Sometimes it’s a matter of you being invited to something very special because you have been trusted to document it. What a beautiful responsibility that is. Sometimes it’s not about the where and the how you do it; it’s about that you showed up and did it. The pictures you take may turn out perfect. They may not. Either way, they will be treasured as great gifts.


Every once in a while I get asked to photograph someone (or a pet) who is gravely ill, or a funeral or memorial service. I have never been in a situation personally to want a photographer at something like this, but I am always honored when asked to do something so significant. This is one of those situations where if you have any reservations at all, you should politely decline. It’s a heavy task, one that can only be done with complete focus and presence. The first thing I do if I’ve been asked to photograph something like this is make absolutely certain that the immediate family members are all in agreement in wanting my services and what exactly that means to them. While I have personal guidelines, I want to be sure that what they are wanting works with these, and also something I will be able to do with great compassion. Each time I’ve photographed this type of situation I have come across someone that didn’t feel I should be there or was confused by my presence and camera. My best advice is to reply very simply and quietly: “I was asked to be here today” and move on. Not everyone will understand why a photographer was requested. Often I don’t understand myself. But I know that I am doing something important as part of a healing process for another and that’s reason enough.



Sometimes the occasion is joyful and wonderful and still requiring of great tact and compassion. Homecomings, be them military or adoption or just long awaited, fall into this category. If you have been invited to something like this, take a moment to be a bit proud of yourself. Go on-I’ll wait. This means that you have been asked to be part of a moment so delicate and special that your abilities are obvious and you are trustworthy beyond measure. Your camera may have been your golden ticket in the door, but your skills is what will get the job done. This is one of the few times I stay completely out of the way and ask nothing of anyone. I am there only to document, not set-up moments or force poses and smiles. The event will happen so naturally and beautifully on it’s own that you need only to trust in yourself, stay alert and in the moment, and know that the most intense moments will happen very, very quickly.



In my humble opinion, there is no greater honor than being trusted to photograph someone. Making the honor of being asked to photograph a human coming into this world the highest of the high. If you ever get the chance the witness life start, I highly recommend it. Most of this is going to be common sense, but in this case, don’t shoot for the moon. You are documenting something so special, so amazing, there is no need to force a specific shot. In a perfect world, you’ll be allowed to stand near the mother, at the top of the bed (or similar), lessening the chances of angles that no one will want pictures of, and increasing the chances of being able to stay out of the way. Photographing a birth is one of the only times I truly have to use everything I have to hold it together and do my job. But it turns out you can focus (literally and figuratively) through a layer of tears pretty easily if you need to. Much like birth itself, this is pure adrenaline; nothing to plan, no way of knowing what shots you are going to get. I do like to always ask if there is something special that is hoped for-perhaps the first bath or a picture of the baby getting weighed. Things like that are usually possible and of importance for some. Photographing births is a game of hurry up and wait and only a couple of things are certain: good glass, a high ISO (no one wants a flash here and the room is often dark), and impeccable manners.



These type of images may not end up being part of your portfolio, they may not be technically perfect in any way, but likely to someone they will mean everything.

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

It’s Not Always Sunsets and Kittens: Photographing the Tougher things in Life

Newbie Tips for Working with a Model

Fashion photography model tips

If you’ve ever tried taking pictures of someone (or something) that isn’t extremely cute and fluffy like a baby or a puppy, you’ll know it can sometimes be difficult to capture people in a flattering way. Some people are extremely shy or don’t like getting their picture taken. Others really do like having their pictures taken. Some even make a living getting their picture taken. They are called models, and today we are going to consider what it is like working with models.

Where can you find a model to practice with?

There are two ways to go about working with a model.

One way to find a model to work with is by going to a model website like Model Mayhem that connects models, photographers, makeup artists, etc. In fact, Model Mayhem is the best resource for up and coming photographers to find models, because a lot of beginning models are on there looking to build their portfolio and will trade their time for pictures (see section below). Check it out today and see who is in your area, ready to shoot. Be clear and specific about times, what you want to shoot, and what they will be receiving. Some sites have a lot of models to choose from, and if you are courteous and professional through correspondence, you can connect with a model and set up a shoot.

Fashion photography model tips

Another way to find a model is to ask around your town or city. There is a good chance there is someone in your town who has the looks or aspirations to do some modeling, whether it’s on a national scale or a local one. If you don’t know someone directly, simply ask around or a make a call out on Facebook. I remember when I was taking a lighting class and needed someone on short notice due to a cancellation. I put out a request on Facebook for a model as replacement and I had two subjects willing to step in within an hour. Some people really love having their pictures taken, it’s simply a matter of putting yourself out there.

Either way, if you have someone who is interested in posing for you, now you have to decide what arrangement benefits both of you.

Trading Time for Pictures or Prints

There is a great rule of thumb that goes something like this – if the model is benefitting the photographer’s portfolio only, the model should be getting paid. If the photographer is benefitting the model’s portfolio only, then the photographer should be getting paid. But if you are both benefitting each other, meaning you both are trying to build up a portfolio of images and you are both more at less at the same stages in your career, then you can do what is called Time for Prints, or TFP.

Fashion photography model tips

Time for prints means the model is giving up his or her time in exchange for images at the end of the collaboration. This could be called a “trade” or, in the commercial modeling world a “test shoot.” It is not expected that you are actually printing images and delivering them to the model. I believe that is a term left over from the glory days of film.

Model Release

When working with a model, it would be wise for you to obtain a model release form. You can find them easily on the web (here’s a PDF you can download immediately), and there are even a few great apps that you can download. I use an app called Easy Release, which is powerful and lets you and the model sign right on your smart phone or tablet.”

A model release form, when signed by the model, grants you the photographer legal permission to use the photos online or in advertising.

If you don’t get a model release, the model has the right to ask you to remove images from websites and even sue you if you end up making money using those photos without permission. I’ve personally never had issues when I’ve forgotten to bring along a model release, but it is always better to be prepared.

Fashion photography model tips

Picking a Location and an Outfit

Now that you’ve done all the prep work, where do you shoot? What should the model wear? This is where the fun begins!

It makes the most sense to either start planning with an outfit or with a location (assuming you aren’t shooting in a studio). If you start with an outfit, say a summery dress on a girl, then the location should probably match the outfit. Maybe think about shooting in a field, or the beach, or in the forest. If you have an amazing location in mind, like a great old building with Victorian architecture, then think about what outfit would match that setting best, in terms of colors, shape, patterns, etc.

Just to give you a few ideas about location, I’ve shot in abandoned buildings, under piers, in wheat fields, in flower fields, at vineyards, against brick walls, yellow walls, graffiti walls, in studios, in parks, on carousels, in casinos, and more.

fashion photography model tips

Working with a Model

The next (and final) step in working with a model is to simply begin shooting. If you have an experienced model, you won’t have to say much to them in terms of posing, because they will already know what to do. The best models I’ve worked with will actually change poses or expressions every time they hear the camera click, so you’re never getting duplicate images.

If you have an inexperienced model consider getting some posing inspiration from sites like Pinterest,fashion magazines, and right here on dPS. Do your homework. Look at lots of images, practice those poses yourself so you can articulate what you want from your model. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Striking the Pose – dPS eBook
  • 67 Portrait Posing Printables – a PDF you can print and take with you to go with the eBook above
  • Posing guide for women part one – 21 different pose ideas
  • 8 Posing guides – for women, men, children, groups

A fun and easy rule to remember is “make triangles with the body” (see photo below). How many triangles can the model make using legs, arms, and body? This advice works better on women than on men, by the way. Sometimes working with models means stretching them in ways that might not feel natural but can look awesome. The best thing you can do is practice, practice, practice. The more you shoot, the easier directing models becomes.

Fashion photography model tips

Now let’s see some of those model photos, please share your images in the comments below and if you have any questions please ask.

The post Newbie Tips for Working with a Model by Phillip VanNostrand appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Posing Guide for Photographing Women: 7 More Poses to Get You 21 Different Photos [Part III]

A post by Kaspars Grinvalds from Posing App.

This is the third article in the series. You may want to look at the previous ones here: 7 standing poses [Part I] and 7 sitting poses [Part II].

Let’s move on with 7 lying down poses for women. And again I’ll briefly try to describe the process, how I tried to slightly adjust these poses in order to get three different photos for each pose.

Pose 1


Very simple pose to start with. After getting the model into initial position, ask her to raise the upper body as high as she comfortably can.

7poses3 1

Photo 1: The first picture is the result of recreating this simple pose. Notice that you should shoot from very low angle, nearly from the ground level.

Photo 2: With such a basic pose as this one, you always have different options to variate – different hand placements, head tilts, eye directions and face expressions. In this shot the only difference is hand placement and slightly lowered upper body.

Photo 3: And I continued by asking the model to lower down even more. Notice that tighter crop is also a nice option to differentiate your shots.

Pose 2


Very similar pose as the first one, but this angle is better for including longer model’s body line in the frame. And notice that one of the model’s legs is bent in the knee. This helps to raise her bum up for a better looking body shape.

7poses3 2

Photo 4: If you compare this shot with the first one, you will notice that it is nearly the same pose, but the changed angle gives different look to the image.

Photo 5: And again I continued with different hand placement. Note that hand doesn’t support the head, it actually doesn’t support anything, it’s just placed in the hair.

Photo 6: And one more hand placement variation and tighter cropping.

Pose 3


Another very similar pose to the previous ones, the main difference again is the shooting angle – right from the front. At this point the model hasn’t even moved from the initial position, it’s the photographer who moves gradually around her.

7poses3 3

Photo 7: Here the model already started to repeat the gestures from earlier shots. Don’t be afraid to take these nearly similar poses as these minor variations might be invaluable when selecting the final choice of images in post production.

Photo 8: The variations with both hands stretched in front.

Photo 9: And close-up crop again, but this time with the eyes closed.

Pose 4


We continued with the next easy and straightforward lying down pose.

7poses3 4

Photo 10: An easy to describe and really easy to execute pose.

Photo 11: Again, only couple of options to change here. Arms could be connected under the breast line as in this example. The arms could also be stretched back behind the head for another variation.

Photo 12: And in this photo the model tried to achieve kind of dreamy look with eyes closed and hands placed asymmetrically.

Pose 5


Lying down very low. Works very good as well for close-up portrait shots.

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Photo 13: As my model was lying on the sandy beach, I asked her to support the head on the hand, but in other settings the head might as well touch the ground.

Photo 14: Here I asked the model to raise the head higher and keep the hands placed asymmetrically.

Photo 15: And the next variation was sleeping pose with eyes closed.

Pose 6


Lying down on the side. Couple of points to check. The left leg is crossed over the right. The left arm is rested on the hip and partly hidden behind the body. The right hand is placed under the head but it supports it with only the tips of the fingers. If the model’s head would be fully supported by the hand the pose would just indicate tiredness.

7poses3 6

Photo 16: Following the previously described instructions, the model easily recreated the sample pose.

Photo 17: Here basically only the right hand’s placement is different. And placing it down on the ground instantly raises her upper body higher.

Photo 18: From there she straightened the supporting hand and raised the body even more higher.

Pose 7


And finally a bit more demanding pose. The biggest challenge for the model is to keep an air of relaxation. Ask her to fold her head back as far as possible while slightly facing it to the camera. And this posture for sure works best with eyes closed.

7poses3 7

Photo 19: If the model can manage to look relaxed, the results will be rewarding.

Photo 20: This pose is a nice variation to the previous one as it’s far more simple for the model to recreate.

Photo 21: And here I asked the model to raise higher up and took the shot from above.

So, together with the previous articles – 7 standing poses [Part I] and 7 sitting poses [Part II] – you now have lots of poses to choose from. For more variation and a more dynamic result I would suggest to choose a few from each article and mix them in a single shoot. You will very soon discover that even a small number of starting poses is more than enough to have a great, productive session.

All of these illustrations and many more posing samples are available on Posing App for your mobile devices.

Kaspars Grinvalds is a photographer working and living in Riga, Latvia. He is the author of Posing App where more poses and tips about people photography are available.

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

Posing Guide for Photographing Women: 7 More Poses to Get You 21 Different Photos [Part III]

How the Shot was Done: SNK Police Cosplay


I do a lot of cosplay (short for costume play) photography with friends, and I was asked by some to do a cosplay crossover photo shot (Shingeki no Kyojin / Psycho Pass) with them. They sent me some reference shots from which I decided to create a slightly futuristic, detective movie kind of look. I also thought I’d experiment with shooting to fit a wide movie crop to suit the look of the shoot. In this article I’ll show you how I set up, shot and processed two photos from the shoot, including the one above. If you’d like to see more photos from the shoot, you can do so here.

So on to how the shot was done . . .

The right location

Our location for the shoot was the rear of Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia. It’s a futuristic looking building with lots of metal, glass and interesting angles in its construction. For the shot above I wanted to take advantage of these textures to accentuate the futuristic look, so we first went to the alcove depicted below in this behind the scenes photo.


Lighting the shot

It was dusk so there was little light getting into the alcove from what became camera left. I wanted to keep that light in the shot as a fill, but my key light was going to be a ring flash – my Orbis ring flash. This kind of light gives a dramatic look with almost no shadow. It’s stark and flat but works well with this kind of scene. In my first test shot I noticed a fantastic unexpected effect of the brushed metal backdrop: anistropic reflection. This created a bright diagonal streak across the back of the shot.

To get the right balance of fill to key, I set the camera to 1/125sec f/2.8 ISO160 and adjusted the power on the flash to get the right brightness for the shot. This ended up being towards the bottom end of the flash power. Following is a lighting diagram and the photo as it came out of camera:



Processing the image

In post processing the major changes I made were to increase the contrast and clarity, as well as a significant temperature move towards blue, and tint shift to green. With a movie aspect ratio crop and heavy vignette, plus a few small tweaks to the exposure settings, I ended up with this final photo (below).


The second location shoot

I love the self-conscious, melodramatic, slow motion walking scenes in movies, and these guys’ outfits were perfect for a shot like that. I wanted to keep a consistent look with the first shot, but give this one its own twist. To do this I took the group out into an area with more space and a cool geometric glass patterned wall as the backdrop. I added a pair of flashes behind the group for some rim lighting, but I deliberately chose to keep them in view for some dramatic lens flares. I replaced the ring flash with an on-camera flash and balanced that to be under the exposure from the rim lighting. This gave me a low key dramatic look (drama was the theme of the night!). Again I set the camera exposure to just give a hint of the background – 1/40sec f/4.5 ISO500 – and dialed the power of the flash to get the balance I was after.

Rather than try and pose the shot, which would look too forced, I got them into a staggered starting position and simply asked them all to walk toward the camera. To get them in an appropriate mood and make them feel badass, I played this tune (which I consider to be the best slow walking music ever) on my phone and it totally did the trick.

Following is a lighting diagram and the photo straight out of the camera.



I processed this photo in essentially the same way as the previous shot, to get a consistent look and feel between it and the rest of the photos in the shoot. Please visit this gallery to see all the images at a decent size.


I really love cosplay photography because I get to go crazy and pull out all the creative stops, to make over the top photos, that suit the over the top characters and plot from anime. I’m fortunate to have fun, creative and energetic friends to work with to create these shots. If you’d like to see more of my cosplay and other photo shoots, you should like my Facebook page where I post photos regularly, and occasionally discuss how they were made.

Which of the two shots is your favourite, and why?

Models featured in these photos:

  • Ettelle
  • Jase Lube-Sama
  • KnRai
  • Kobito Cosplay
  • Mei at Play

The post How the Shot was Done: SNK Police Cosplay by Neil Creek appeared first on Digital Photography School.

32 Stunning Black and White Portraits of Homeless People by Lee Jeffries

Boost Inspiration – Web Design – Graphic Design – Photography Inspiration

We remember we showcased some time back faces of old people in black and white photography and today we bring you stunning black and white portraits of homeless people taken by Lee Jeffries.

Lee from United Kingdom started taking homeless people photos when he met a young homeless girl in the streets of London. This changed his artistic approach forever. Without having photography background or any training, his photographing skills are amazing. We hope you will also like these black and white photos of homeless people. Don’t forget to share these memorable pictures with your friends.

You can visit his 500px profile here.

If you like this article, you might be interested in other article on black and white photography of people.

Homeless People in Black and White Photos

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Web Design and Photography Blog
Waheed Akhtar
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You will definitely like these articles

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Conquering Crappy Light In Fashion Shoots: Mixed Shade

These tips are from fashion photographer Lindsay Adler – one of the instructors during this week’s CreativeLIVE Photo Week – an event being held this week that showcases teaching by 50 photographers across 3 tracks, including weddings and family.

Finding a shady spot during an outdoor shoot is a perfect way to snap beautiful pictures while still maintaining a sunny outdoor feel — but what happens when your model’s face is being hit by directional light sneaking through the side of your shady covering? Check out professional glamour and fashion photographer Lindsay Adler’s favorite tips for troubleshooting (literally!) working in mixed shade:

BEFORE in mixed shade

Block Off Overhead Light

Scout around your location and find a doorway that leads to the outside. If your model steps back into the doorframe, not only does it block overhead light, it blocks light coming from the left and right – and you’ll still have a nice glow coming in through the front. This option also creates great negative fill, which is especially handy if you’re doing a beauty shoot and want to highlight your model’s jawline and cheekbones.

OPTION ONE door way

Need even more contrast on the front of your model’s face? Try backing her up a little further into the doorway. You’ll be giving yourself a smaller light source that’s more directional, essentially creating a giant softbox effect. “I have used this setup for every single wedding I have ever done. And I have shot two of my favorite beauty editorials like this,” Lindsay says. “I’ve had the model stand in a doorway, and I’ve used black fill from left and right, and just gorgeous glowing light in the front.”

Diffuse Your Light and Add Fill

This method is super simple, and will definitely help you show the sun who’s boss. If you can’t swing placing your model in a door and you have no choice but to shoot her in direct sunlight, your first step is popping up a parabolic umbrella. It will diffuse and soften the light but not change the angle.

OPTION TWO Diffusion and Fill

The parabolic works pretty well on its own, but if you want the model’s eyes to catch the light and get extra sparkly, have an assistant hold a white reflector underneath her face to create some negative fill. “For commercial style portraits, this is actually my favorite,” Lindsay says.

Both Lindsay’s methods for conquering mixed shade work great, and will give you even skin tone, contrast, and nice catch-light so you can snap that perfect picture even when the sun is shining!

Learn more from Lindsay in this weeks Photo Week from CreativeLIVE.

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

Conquering Crappy Light In Fashion Shoots: Mixed Shade

Photographing Tweens and Teens

By Lori Peterson

Booking teens and tweens for photo shoots is always fun. They have so much energy and enthusiasm and it really shows once they step in front of the camera. For that time when they are in front of your camera they feel like they are celebrities. That can be good for fragile egos and low self-esteem, especially when their hair and makeup is done and they look absolutely gorgeous.

Teens and tweens of today have seen enough modelling shows that they know the drill for posing. Some of them even have that runway walk down too! It’s very easy as a photographer to get swept up in our posing and our images and we can forget how old (or young) our client really is.

Keeping yourself engaged with your client and talking about school, their friends, music they like (which you may have never even heard of!) can be easy ways to make them feel at ease and remind you of who is in front of your camera. Keep their posing simple, not too suggestive.

Tweens and Teens Photography 01

Wardrobe seems to be a fairly contentious subject when it comes to teens and tweens, but I have the rule that if the parents have seen the wardrobe and have no problem then it’s not for me to judge. You want them to look like themselves and you don’t want it to look too out of their norm or they won’t want to show the photos off to their friends.

Tweens and Teens Photography 02

You aren’t there to parent them or to lecture on them their choice of clothing; you are there to take portraits. This is why consults before the shoot are so important. Going over wardrobe is one component that you should incorporate into your shoots so that you can decide where best to pose them and what works best for each location. Going over wardrobe also includes shoes, jewellery, and even hair and makeup. Talking to the parents about their expectations for the shoot is also very important.

Go over your contract with both the client you are shooting and their parent and let them know what your own expectations are during the shoot. Let them know about whether you allow parents to take photos during the shoot with their cell phone or with another camera too. Let them know what your policies are regarding afterwards when the photos are posted to social media. A lot of photographers have issues with people re-editing their images or cropping out their watermark. If you outline your specific rules for your images verbally and in your contract then you have a smaller chance for clients violating those policies.

Tweens and Teens Photography 03

Working with teens and tweens can be a lot of fun for photographers. They might be a little uncomfortable in the beginning, but once you get them started with the shoot and talking, it will almost be second nature for them to be their natural selves and let their personalities shine through. A lot of parents prefer these types of photo shoots for their teens and tweens to the traditional school portraits because you can see their personalities and their uniqueness in the images.

Lori Peterson is an award winning photographer based out of the St. Louis Metro Area. Her dynamic work ranges from creative portraits to very unique fine art photography. Lori’s work can be seen at and also on her blog at You can follow her on Facebook at

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

Photographing Tweens and Teens

Achieving a ‘Big’ Look with little Gear | Using What You Have

A Guest post by Judd Green


There’s always, always an upgrade that I ‘need’ or a new lens I ‘can’t do without’. And I could easily convince myself, and the boss (the wife) I can’t do my next shoot without getting this strobe or lens or wireless system, it would make the shoot awesome! Turns out the gear doesn’t make you awesome, you make you awesome. I have consciously decided to not upgrade any of my gear yet, I’ve made the decision to push my knowledge and the gear that I have to achieve what I want to achieve.

I recently had a band approach me to do some promo shots for them. All they gave me to work with was ‘classy with an edge’ which sounded like fun. Straight away I’m thinking I wanted the ‘look’ of a big production, I organized to do the shoot in a warehouse to give the ‘edge’ and have a set up with a lounge, side table and lamp to add some class. I’ve seen with something like this you’d have strobes and reflectors and assistants running around everywhere. I had my 580exii, a $100 strobe I bought off ebay and my mate Dylan.

I did the shoot with my 5d2 (would love to get the mark 3) and a cactus v4 wireless system (would love to get a pocket wizard system) and my 24-70 lens that I have dropped in the past (would love to upgrade that too) and my 580exii and a cheap strobe.


We had no ambient light to work with and in order to light every band member up perfectly I had to shoot them one at a time as a composite image so it would be a simple cut and paste job later. One good tip also when doing this style of shoot is to get a ‘clean slate’ shot, a shot with nothing in it but the background, it just makes it easier to cut and paste onto.


Don’t let only having little gear stop you from achieving what you want to achieve, but make sure you work it all out before hand, you can never be too prepared when it comes to shoots as to not waste your clients time.


Pushing boundaries and my knowledge is what I love about photography, I had an idea and a goal set and then just made it happen. Learn the gear you have and become excellent at it. It’s always nice to get the latest and newest gear, and it often helps and makes things easier, but it’s not the gear that makes you awesome, it’s you.


Judd Green is a Photographer from Brisbane Australia. See more of his work at

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

Achieving a ‘Big’ Look with little Gear | Using What You Have

5 Tips For Capturing Great Street Portraits

A Guest Post by Desmond Louw

I just love street photography and with this comes street portraiture.

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It can be a bit daunting to go up to a stranger and ask them to take their photo, but after a day or two it becomes addictive! Here are some tricks that might make it a bit easier for you:

Trick number 1

?Always have your camera with you, don’t lug your whole photo bag or a tripod around like a tourist in your own town, just have your camera body and one lens handy. It sucks walking in the street and seeing something awesome and not having my camera with me!

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Trick number 2

?Have a good lens, this makes a huge impact. I like the 50mm F1.4/F1.8 and the 85mm F1.4/ F1.8, they are also small and relatively lightweight.

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The wide aperture isolates your subject nicely with a shallow depth of field.

Trick number 3

?Don’t use a flash! Remember you want to maintain a low profile. Rather push your ISO up if you have to. I personaly think an onboard flash could spoil a photo.

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Trick number 4

?Before approaching a person to ask him or her if you can take a photo, have your settings spot on. When they say yes, lift your arms and snap snap snap, say thank you, and walk away. Easy.

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Trick number 5

?If you are taking a shot of someone without them knowing, keep the auto focus assist light off, otherwise they will see it and spoil the mood.

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Connect with Desmnd Louw at his website and on instagram where his id is – desmond_in_capetown

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

5 Tips For Capturing Great Street Portraits

How to Take Extraordinary Photos by Thinking Creatively

A Guest Post by Piper Mackay from

The creativity in your photographs is what will make your imagery stand out. Most of us, if we commit the time, can technically master the craft of photography. Capturing a compelling image can be much more difficult especially when you are excited, experiencing something for the first time, and are visually overloaded.

You begin pointing and shooting at everything you see. You arrive home, look at your photographs, and see that you have captured extraordinary subjects or a beautiful location, but the images are somewhat mediocre. Taking an extraordinary photograph of and extraordinary subject is what you want to strive for.

I want to share with you a few tips that can quickly help elevate the creativity in your photography and help you to focus on the artistic side of photography; without the creative process, you are really only turning dials and pushing buttons.


Thinking creatively

The eyes are the windows to the soul. If you are going to place your subject in the center, get close, fill the frame and deeply connect with your subject.

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A more interesting portrait composition is to place your subject off center, looking into the frame at a slight angle, with a blurred out or clean background.

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Now up your game and add layers of impact by adding a simple, but beautiful background.

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Take it one step further by adding a second person to draw the viewer more deeply into the frame.

Drawing the Eye

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One of the basic rules of composition is leading lines, but if there is more than one, it can be more effective in keeping the viewer in the photograph longer. In this image there is a leading line from the bottom right to the top left and another one that leads the viewer back across the photograph.

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Using layers of impact makes for a very powerful image. When photographing people I love to use a wide-angle lens, getting up close to my main subject with something interesting in the background to draw the view into the photograph. Here my main subjects are interesting, positioned in front of a beautiful background along the Omo River that curves and leads to the women in the distance, creating layers of impact and depth in the image.

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I love using selective focus to draw the viewer’s eye exactly were I want it. This usually works best with repeating patterns and groups of items such as: spices or vegetables, crafts at a local market, flowers in a field or a herd of animals, as a few examples.

Change your Perspective


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Being at eye level with your subject makes for a more dynamic image. So, if your subject is down on the ground, hit the dirt and get dirty. Picture in your mind how this photograph would look if you stood and shot down on these subjects. This angle makes the viewer feel as though they are there.

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Most people would have just taken this photograph from the shore with a zoom lens but I wanted something more powerful. I planned to be in this area during the dry season, suffering in 110+ heat when the river would be at its lowest. I got into the river with my wide-angle lens and photographed this at eye level with the canoe. There were a lot of challenges, watching out for crocs was one of them, and although I did not get the photograph I had envisioned, I knew I and a unique perspective.

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Shoot from a different angle. Getting lower than your subject adds drama and power. The opposite can work as well-get above your subject and shoot down on them.

Most importantly, it does not have to be new; it has to be you. We all see things differently and express them differently. This is the reason many of us picked up the camera, to seek out places for ourselves that we have already viewed through someone else’s eyes. We want to experience it for ourselves, capturing our own vision. The way you express your unique view through the lens is what makes it new and interesting.

Piper Mackay is a professional travel and wildlife photographer whose work is heavily based in Eastern Africa. She is currently leading both wildlife and cultural safaris in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia. Her work is represented by Getty images and she is and instructor for the Travel and Editorial track at Calumet. View her work at

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

How to Take Extraordinary Photos by Thinking Creatively