If you have a Glamour session you’d like featured, click here to send us your photos!

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Creating Golden Hour Lighting on a Rainy Day

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Today’s feature is from Sean Scheidt.

Sean says:

“This session was a fashion editorial shot for Girls Life Magazine maybe 4 years ago now. It still remains one of my favorite and (I think) a really good teaching model as to why being able to know your way around lighting is super important.”

Sean’s Photography Tip:

The exciting part of doing a fashion editorial for a national magazine or ad work is that you are a part of the creative team – from conception through finalization of the series.

The challenge there is that you have to deliver a specific number of images. In this case, 8 images. Every scene is planned out weeks, if not months, in advance.

We aren’t simply showing up at a location with models and a team and just shooting whatever looks cool. No, each shot was planned out and thought about in advance, including the overall story.

In this case we thought it would make a cute fashion story if two girls were hanging out at a diner after school. We wanted that warm golden hour light, bright oranges and chrome. So we scouted the perfect location, arranged wardrobe and found our models and set our date.

However, the day of the shoot was a partially cloudy one with on and off again rain – not ideal for the golden hour light we were trying to capture, but a crucial reminder of how important it is to be able to expertly use studio lighting since our shoot depended on that type of light.

Shoots like these can also take 8-10 hours, so relying on natural light just won’t cut it even on a beautiful day. So in order to achieve the lighting that we wanted and needed, we surround our diner (on one side) with sets of lights with CTO (orange-ish) gels.

Each of these lights would have a reflector dish (increasing the output of the light) and would be shooting through a large panel of theatre diffusion set up a few feet in front of each of them. This would ensure that we have an even, soft, beautifully warm light streaming in all day.

We set one of my assistants outside with a walkie talkie to monitor the lights during the shoot and make sure everything was firing. On the inside, I lit the models simply with one light with a Photek Softlighter, letting the light we were pumping in from the outside of the diner supply the majority of the light for the session.

The results were beautiful! Our lighting setup gave us that steady sunset look all day and made it possible for us to meet the clients’ expectations.

This for me is why pre-planning your shoots is the most important: shot lists, having more than enough lighting, knowing your lighting, and having the ability to troubleshoot allows me to never go into a shoot blind.

Sets are really active and lots can and do go wrong during the day. If you can have your end of the work as tightly controlled as possible it will help you to deal with all the other variables that are bound to arise without compromising the shots.

On a recent shoot (which is not out yet so I can’t share) we had everything go wrong but still were able to produce excellent images despite having a car broken into, wedding rings stolen, credit cards stolen, models late, flights delayed, broken rental equipment and really hot weather.

And we only pulled it off because we had a plan. So do your homework, plan each shot, and you’ll be much more likely to end up with a successful shoot.

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Sean used a Canon 5D Mark III (affiliate link) with a Canon 24-105mm L (affiliate link) lens to capture these images.

Sean Scheidt is a Baltimore, NYC, LA, and DC Portrait and Fashion photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Lighting.

 

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Making Something Ugly Into Something Beautiful

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Today’s feature is from .

Brooke says:

“These images are all from a photo series I am working on that were all photographed in a sewer or underpass.

The goal was to show how even a disgusting or disregarded place can be turned into something beautiful if the artist has a different vision of the space.

I utilized the naturally dark background and filled the space with something dreamy, whimsical, or even dark. I chose one main color for each image and worked from that inspiration.

I am always interested in life vs. death, and that also plays a big part in this series.”

Brooke’s Photography Tip:

I photographed these images mostly as self-portraits in which I place myself in the underpass.

Once there, the backdrop is naturally dark because of light falloff, and I use that to my advance to create a dark, night-like atmosphere.

I add in a different ground, be it clouds, a field, or a forest, and then make it look like I am standing in a different place.

From there it is a matter of making the color pop, some image compositing, and playing with overall light and composition to get the final look.

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Brooke used a Canon 5D Mark II with a Sigma 35mm f/1.4 lens and a Sigma 50mm 1.4 lens to capture these images.

Brooke Shaden is a Fine Art photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Location.


Need some help navigating Photoshop? Brooke clearly shows a mastery of the program, but not all of us are up to her level of talent.

However, Lynda.com is full of Photoshop tutorials and can help you learn how to master the program so you can be on your way to creating masterpieces like the ones shown in today’s feature! Click here to check out a 7-day free trial!

 

 

*Please note: some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and don’t affect you as the buyer but do help support us and keep this site free for everyone.

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An Introduction to Light Painting

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Today’s feature is from Michael Newcomer.

Michael says:

“Throughout my life, I have taken courses on painting, drawing, stained glass and jewelry making and have always been a visually creative person. It wasn’t until I picked up a digital camera that I found a medium where I was able to create the ideas I had in my head.

I have been studying light painting since 2010. I first discovered it when some friends presented images for a local meetup contest. I was amazed and instantly hooked! I’ve been exploring this craft ever since.”

Michael’s Photography Tip:

Photographers have been playing with this technique for quite a while (as early as the 1930’s even), and Man Ray holds the title for the first light painted image in 1935. Even Picasso did some light painting.

For those of you not familiar with light painting, it is the art of creating a hand-lit image in a single long exposure. It’s actually quite easy, and a lot of fun!

All you need to light paint is a tripod and a camera that can do a long exposure of at least 30 seconds (though most of image creations take several minutes to create). The camera specs and settings for a lot of the images in this post are also listed below the image if you’re curious to how I set up my gear.

Just open the exposure and wave some lights around in front of the camera and BOOM – you are light painting!

If you’re curious to see a little bit more about the world of light painting, check out either the Light Painting World Alliance (where the world’s best painters showcase their work), or 200 Orbs – a project that took place in the summer of 2014 where some light painting junkies got together in a field in VA to attempt a new world record of creating 200 orbs of light in a single long exposure image.

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Focal Length: 37mm
Exposure: 27s
Aperture: f/5.6
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Focal Length: 23mm
Exposure: 39s
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Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon 17-50mm
Focal Length: 21mm
Exposure: 80s
Aperture: f/8
ISO: 200

Michael Newcomer is a Charlotte, NC Fine Art and Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Lighting.

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Gear Selection and Unique Lens Affects

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Today’s feature is from Mark Serrano.

Mark says:

“These images are from a test shoot with a relatively new model, Amaia Mascó. I happened to have a scheduled shoot that was planned a month ago but the model decided to cancel, so I was left with a free day. Luckily, Amaia was available.

Since this wasn’t planned ahead, we had to develop a concept quickly and adapt. We also didn’t have a dedicated makeup artist or hair stylist booked, but fortunately my wife has studied makeup abroad and this was her chance to get her feet wet with makeup. For wardrobe, Amaia had an old dress she was able to use for the shoot.”

Mark’s Photography Tip:

My tip is really a series of multiple tips, everything from gear to posing. First, let’s start with gear.

For this shoot, I used a dual camera system with two full-frame Canon 6D cameras. The benefit of using two bodies is that you don’t need to switch lenses during shoots. And yes, you could shoot with one camera body and a zoom lens like a 24-105, but I find when I do that I tend to get lazy and stop moving to find better angles.

Having the dual camera setup with two different (non-zoom) lenses helps me stay on my toes and forces me to move around and be more creative.

I also chose the Canon 6D as my camera bodies because they are cheaper than 5D Mark III, but still capable of capturing great images.

For lenses, I used a Canon 50mm 1.4 and a Canon 85mm 1.8. The reason I used these lenses are they are prime lenses, decently sharp, and provide good shallow depth of field.  I also want to minimize distortion, so for full body shots I used the 50mm and for half-body or shoulder to headshots I used the 85mm.

When posing your subject, try to pose them without having them look at the camera. Then take a shot from where you are. Once you got your shot, move yourself. Pick a different spot and shoot again. Try taking shots from 5 different spots.  Then try switching your lenses to get different perspectives. You’ll be surprised that there are far better angles than what you initially thought!

And finally, to give these images that hazy, ethereal look, use a torn ziplock bag. All you need to do is put the ziplock in front of your lens, and areas where the ziplock is will tend to go hazy in the frame, giving your images a dream-like quality.

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Mark used a Canon 6D with a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens and a Canon 85mm 1.8 lens to capture these images.

Mark Serrano is a Chicago, IL Fashion, Landscape, Street, and Fine Art photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Gear, Client Direction, and DIY.


Mark’s gear selection was key in pulling this shoot together. If you’re looking to upgrade or swap out some gear, check out Adorama – they’ve got a plethora of cameras, gear, lenses, accessories, equipment, you name it. Check them out here.

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How To Create Forest Look In City Park

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Today’s feature is from .

The challenge that a lot of urban photographers face is taking photographs that look like they were taken in a serene area.  With the hustle and bustle of the city scene, a forest look is hard to come by without traveling outside of the city…or is it?

Marcela says:

“I got these shots of local model, Marlow Rae, right in downtown Seattle in Denny Park. We know we wanted to work together, and we threw together a very impromptu shoot. Marlow and I met downtown one evening as we were racing the sun.”

Marcela’s Photography Tip For a Forest Look:

I’m a big fan of the outdoors, and I’m luckily living in the Northwest. I have tons of outdoors to explore. However, sometimes you don’t get enough time to make the most use of the sun for a long drive out to the wilderness. There’s still plenty you can do.

Go to a park! Seattle has a ton of options to choose from. And lakes, too! But wherever you are, scout out a nice park, as well as lighting during different times of day. You want to make sure everything works out in your favor.

Change your perspective. You’d be surprised how much a difference getting either high or low can make. If there’s a lot of people in your otherwise seamless faux forest background, get up high. Shooting from a higher perspective gives you the opportunity to cut out any buildings or distractions and focus entirely on your subject.

Make do with what you’ve got. If all else fails, use your surroundings to the best of your advantage. We can’t always pretend we’re in the middle of nowhere when we’re actually in a city, but we sure as hell can try.

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Marcela used a Fujifilm XM-1 with a Canon FD 50mm 1.8 lens to capture these images.

Marcela Pulido is a Greater Pacific Northwest Region Portrait, Engagement & Wedding Photography photographer.

See more tips here about location.


Marcela makes a great point about making sure you’re always utilizing what you have. Sometimes though, that can be very tricky if your shooting environment is much different than what you anticipated.

Being able to work on the fly is a great skill to have, but having a solid understanding of composition is the only way you’ll be able to make it work. Brush up on your composition 101 to make sure you’re ready for anything!

 

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Turning fun shoots into paid shoots

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Today’s feature is from Tracy Waitkus.

Tracy says:

“On a beautiful day last November, I brought a few different teens to the Village of Arroyo Grande (California) for a vintage-inspired photo shoot.

This was a personal project that I had planned over several weeks and reflected my love for portrait photography and vintage clothing.

I sent out a model call (affiliate link) on my Facebook page and via email, and got great response from a number of girls who wanted to participate in the shoot.

Before the shoot, I communicated with the girls via email, sharing my vision with them and giving them guidelines for hair, makeup, and wardrobe.

They did a great job prepping themselves, and arrived ready to go!

We shot for about 90 minutes in the late afternoon, using several different locations including a public garden, the steps of a historical museum, and a bridge.

We had a great time together and both the girls and parents were really excited with the final images.”

Tracy’s Photography Tip:

Here’s something important that I’ve learned as I’ve been building my part-time photography business: make the time to do you own personal projects and shoots in addition to your work for paying clients.

I try to do at least two such shoots throughout the year, recruiting models from my client base and personal contacts. These personal projects end up being my favorite, most enjoyable shoots and yield some of my strongest images.

The benefits to doing personal projects are many:

  • You can plan a shoot that aligns completely with your artistic vision and style, including location, wardrobe, or even a theme.
  • It’s great practice for your paying gigs. You can try new locations, poses, gear, processing, etc. without risk of failing for a paying client.
  • If you do it right (affiliate link), you should be able to even end up with some sales from the shoot. I did!
  • You might end up with some fabulous images to add to your portfolio, images that speak to the type of work you’d most like to be hired for.
  • You’ll have a blast and be reminded of what you love about photography!

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Tracy used a Nikon D610 (affiliate link) with a Nikon 85mm 1.8 (affiliate link) lens to capture these images.

Tracy Waitkus is a San Luis Obispo County, California Portrait and Performing Arts photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Wardrobe.


Doing portfolio shoots (or even shoots just for fun!) can be rewarding just for the images you take during the event.

But if you work the event right, you can even sell prints from it like Tracy did.

 

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Portrait Posing in Dramatic Outfits

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Today’s feature is from .

Lindsay says:

“This is a glamour and fashion-themed portrait session that took place in a local park. I had this idea to make a huge skirt out of tulle – a fabric that seems to float and photographs very well.

The look I was going for in this shoot was romantic and whimsical. I wanted the model to shine and I wanted the look to be dramatic, hence the fullness in the skirt.

My aim in my photography is to bring elements of glamour and high fashion to portrait sessions for ordinary women, allowing them to step out of the norm and feel like a model for a day.”

Lindsay’s Photography Tip:

Sometimes less is more when it comes to posing. When dramatic props and wardrobe are used in a session, try not to over-pose clients. A model doesn’t always need to use big movement or gestures in a pose in order to produce an interesting image.

In this example, the model’s skirt was very large and took up a lot of space, creating a dramatic effect. We kept the posing very simple, but still effective. I believe that the basic poses combined with the wardrobe in this session made for a winning combination.

Glammed up model pondering at sunset
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Model in tulle skirt leans up on stone wall.
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Beautiful portrait captured on steps during sunset.

Lindsay used a Canon 5D Mark III (affiliate link) with a Tamron 28-75mm 2.8 lens (affiliate link) to capture these images.

Lindsay Carlisle is a San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Glamour Portrait Photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Wardrobe.


If you’re looking at doing your own dramatic dress shot but don’t want to make your own, we have good news – you can rent your own dress from Lindsay Adler.

 

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An Old Hollywood Throwback

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Today’s feature is from .

Yuliya says:

“I have always admired the style of old Hollywood. I am inspired by Audrey Hepburn and her impeccable sense of fashion and ability to accentuate every asset and hide every fault, as well as the sheer simplicity of her outfits and their endless sense of grace.

I loved Elizabeth Taylor’s purple eyes and the intense look she had when photographed. I’m also incredibly inspired by the work of the photographers at the time such as George Hurrell and Irving Penn. I adored the way light and shadow could tell a story in a shot, portraying the subject’s deepest thoughts and fears.

This old Hollywood-styled shoot is the product of hours of research, playing around with lighting setups and experimenting while shooting. I wanted to mimic the style of the classic photographers while retaining my sense of individuality in my shots, as I truly believe in making something your own and not just copying someone else’s style entirely.

This was one shoot in a line of many to come since it was incredibly enjoyable and very rewarding.”

Yuliya’s Photography Tip:

The crucial aspect in old Hollywood style shoots is the lighting. Most of the photographers of the classical Hollywood era used what was called paramount light, which entailed having one key light high above the subject that was directed down on their face. This created what is also known as the ‘butterfly’ under the subject’s nose.

I found it helpful to set up my lighting and bring the subject’s face into the light and then have her look up, as opposed to trying to set up lights wherever you already positioned the model.

Another key aspect is to have a hair light to separate your subject from the background and highlight those soft, wavy curls. Having a hair light to the right of where you are shooting will make for a more interesting photo.

The other crucial tip is to move around your subject. Try as many angles as possible, shoot from directly on but most importantly – from above. Keep moving around your subject and see how the light changes from a different perspective.

Adjust it as necessary, but don’t be afraid of the deep, dark shadows – they will only help make your photograph more interesting, mysterious, and, in a way, real.

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Yuliya used a Canon 5D Mark II (affiliate link) with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II lens (affiliate link) to capture these images.

Yuliya Rae is a Seattle, WA Women’s Portrait Photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Lighting.


Yulia has clearly mastered off-camera lighting, but that’s ok if you haven’t yet – we all have to start somewhere.

And there are tons of resources (affiliate link) out there to help you get started (or learn some new tricks, if you’re a seasoned pro).

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Emphasizing Similarities from People Around the World

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Today’s feature is from .

Oded says:

“During the last ten years, my work has brought me to meet a lot of really interesting people around the world: from hanging out with the young and very cool people of Tokyo, to traveling with a nomadic group in Kyrgyzstan.

Although I met what we like to call “exotic” groups of people, in my photography, I try to remove the differences and emphasize the similarities.”

Oded’s Photography Tip:

My best tip is – get closer. When photographing a person from a distance, it is easy to emphasize the “different” and “exotic”. I find this kind of photography a bit old-fashioned.

Instead, try to get closer in order to tell the story of the individual. Showing a person with a tribal hat is nice to watch, but telling a story about this person, for me, is much more interesting.

In order to make it easier to carry out the previous tip, here is another one – leave your tele-lens at home. If you take a tele-lens with you, you will use it. If you use it, you will keep photographing people from a distance.

A wide (less than 50mm lens) will force you to get closer. Now, a lens which is wider then 50mm may create a distortion (expand the subject). That’s true. But then, so what?! Let it add a unique aspect to your image instead.

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Oded used a Canon 5D Mark III (with a Canon 40D as a backup) with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II lens to capture these images.

Oded Wagenstein is an International Travel photographer and writer, and regular contributor to the National Geographic Traveler magazine.

And, if you think this tip is interesting, check out Oded’s newest eBook SNAPN TRAVEL and learn how to create better travel photographs on your next journey!

*Special thank from the author to Jane Cowan for help in writing this article.

Click here to see more tips on Client Personality.

 

 

*Please note: some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and don’t affect you as the buyer but do help support us and keep this site free for everyone.

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Making Something Ugly Into Something Beautiful

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Today’s feature is from .

Brooke says:

“These images are all from a photo series I am working on that were all photographed in a sewer or underpass.

The goal was to show how even a disgusting or disregarded place can be turned into something beautiful if the artist has a different vision of the space.

I utilized the naturally dark background and filled the space with something dreamy, whimsical, or even dark. I chose one main color for each image and worked from that inspiration.

I am always interested in life vs. death, and that also plays a big part in this series.”

Brooke’s Photography Tip:

I photographed these images mostly as self-portraits in which I place myself in the underpass.

Once there, the backdrop is naturally dark because of light falloff, and I use that to my advance to create a dark, night-like atmosphere.

I add in a different ground, be it clouds, a field, or a forest, and then make it look like I am standing in a different place.

From there it is a matter of making the color pop, some image compositing, and playing with overall light and composition to get the final look.

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Brooke used a Canon 5D Mark II with a Sigma 35mm f/1.4 lens and a Sigma 50mm 1.4 lens to capture these images.

Brooke Shaden is a Fine Art photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Location.


Need some help navigating Photoshop? Brooke clearly shows a mastery of the program, but not all of us are up to her level of talent.

However, Lynda.com is full of Photoshop tutorials and can help you learn how to master the program so you can be on your way to creating masterpieces like the ones shown in today’s feature! Click here to check out a 7-day free trial!

 

 

*Please note: some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and don’t affect you as the buyer but do help support us and keep this site free for everyone.

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The Dress Shot

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Today’s feature is from .

Some of the best artistic photographs involve dresses. The dress shot has become a niche of portrait photos with some amazing results!

Lindsay says:

“When I was first trying to create striking creative images, attaining beautiful wardrobe was always one of the hardest parts of the equation.

Either it was too expensive to get the clothing I envisioned, or I just couldn’t find an ideal piece, or it was too time consuming to track the clothing down.

To remedy the issue and fill the void, I recently started a business called Dream Shoot Rentals that provides avant garde dresses and headpieces (like the ones I was looking for) to photographers across the US in hopes of providing photographers like myself even more tools to create the images of their dreams.

This piece, the Ursula dress, was inspired by images by one of my favorite fashion photographers, Kristian Schuller.

I helped design and collaborate with a seamstress/designer in China to create this striking piece (and now have 3 sizes/colors available through our company!).

Because I loved this dress, I wanted to create an image that really captured the essence of it and what makes it so magical – the endless flowing and undulating trains that ripple like the waves in the sea, and the fact that it is elegant and soft, yet still aggressive.

I created this image in one of my favorite locations, the Metropolitan Building in NYC.”

Lindsay’s Photography Tip for the Perfect Dress Shot:

To create this image, I knew that I would want to do a composite (combine multiple shots together) in order to get the perfect movement in each train of the dress.

I started the session by shooting around the scene and finding the right angles, and then I locked down on a tripod.

Once I had the perfect angles set, I had my team start giving movement to the trains, like the images shown below.

I shot dozens of images, making sure my camera exposure and focus stayed consistent – something that would make it easier to combine the images together in Photoshop during post production.

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Once I had all the shots I looked through the images in Lightroom to find all of the right movements of the dress, and then started to combine them in Photoshop.

I also worked with the toning of the images to make them a bit more mysterious and theatrical.

The end results (below) I couldn’t be happier with!

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Lindsay used a Canon 5D Mark III with a Sigma 24-105mm 4.0 lens to capture these images.

Lindsay Adler is a New York, NY Portrait and Fashion photographer, and as already noted, creator of the company Dream Shoot Rentals.

The goal at Dream Shoot Rentals is to provide photographers a stunning piece of clothing that they could not get anywhere else – and they rent to anyone around the U.S.!

To celebrate their growing success, they’re running a giveaway a chance to win a $150 gift card to go towards a rental – and I already looked, $150 will get you almost any of the dresses on the site.

Check out the giveaway here! But don’t hesitate…it ends in a little over a week!

 

 

*Please note: some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and don’t affect you as the buyer but do help support us and keep this site free for everyone.

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Alexis Lawson’s Glamour Photography Sessions

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Today’s tutorial is from .

When doing glamour photography sessions, it is a good idea if your client is relaxed.  Part of the allure of glamour photography is that is looks natural and artistic at the same time.

Alexis says:

“I recently photographed Maggie, who is a 30 year old woman who has never had professional photos taken. In other words, she’s not used to being in front of a camera, and probably represents the majority of most photographer’s client base.

In this article, I’m going to walk you through an overview of how I approach my natural light glamour sessions, and focus on client direction and getting my clients to relax in front of a camera.”

Glamour Photography Lighting

In my studio, I have two large V-flat reflectors set up across from a window. I place a cushion in between the reflectors and place my subject on the cushion, which allows the reflectors to bounce natural light from the window back onto my subject’s face. You can see a couple examples of my setup below:

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Composition

My best tip when it comes to this type of photography is to really pay attention to the overall shapes the client’s body, hands, head, and shoulders are making. You want to look for diamonds and triangles. You also want to make sure their hands look soft and natural.

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Notice the triangle shape created with the subject’s face/shoulder, elbow, and hip.

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Soft, natural hands.

Client Direction

When photographing a portrait like this, you have to get strong connection in the eyes. The best way to do this is to continually move them through poses, always talking, so they forget the camera is there because they are so focused on what you are saying that they don’t have time for nervousness.

I often drop my camera when walking my clients through poses to show them what I want visually.

This is especially important with connection, because then you can show them exactly the look you want them to give you with their eyes (making sure the connection with the eyes is strong, as mentioned above).

This triggers a mirroring instinct which allows your client to more easily replicate the facial expressions you are showing them.

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Example of great eye connection with the subject.

Another tip is to not be afraid to be relaxed and even somewhat silly with your clients, as connection with the photographer behind the camera usually translates to connection with the camera.

Basically, anything you can do to get a client to relax and laugh in a session will help tremendously. It’s much easier to flow through your posing with a client who is relaxed and engaged and doesn’t give you “dead eyes.”

How It All Comes Together

Remember (as mentioned above), most of your clients haven’t been in front of the camera before, and are likely very nervous and self-conscious.

It is therefore important, above all, to keep your client happy and having fun during the shoot, while maintaining the air that you are knowledgeable so you can earn their trust.

The more they trust in you and your abilities, the more likely it is that they will relax and enjoy themselves and allow you to capture natural and effortless expressions and poses, leading to an overall better and higher quality final product.

Plus, a client that has had a good experience with their photographer will connect with the experience more when they see the final images, whereas a client that felt stressed out or awkward the whole photo shoot will revisit that emotion when they see the final result, which translates to less sales for you.

So be mindful of all of the items we’ve discussed – the technical aspects, like lighting and composition, but more specifically the experience you’re creating for the client.

The more they enjoy themselves, the more they’ll associate positive emotions with the session and be more likely to purchase more product.

Example of great eye connection with the subject.


For this session, Alexis used a Canon 7D with a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens to capture these images.

See more tips on Client Direction and Lighting.

P.S. Still having trouble with composition? The Incredibly Important Composition Skills guide from Photography Concentrate is definitely the place to start, and gives you super detailed and broken-down explanations behind photography composition. Check it out!

 

 

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The Perfect Time of Day for Natural Lighting

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Today’s feature is from .

Corinne says:

“I shot this session in Queens NY for a well-known Author C. Joybell C. She contacted me after she seen my work on Facebook and asked if I’d be interested in shooting her book cover for her upcoming book Wolves of the Sapphire Sun.

For the shoot, I photographed 3 models and a dog who resembled a wolf. It was a lot of fun, even though it was cold as we shot in January.”

Corinne’s Photography Tip:

I made sure to shoot at golden hour – in other words, the time of day just after sunrise or just before sunset, when the sun is near the horizon.

In NYC, golden hour would be around 3pm during the winter months. There is no action or photoshop trick to mimic the real thing.

If you’re mindful of the time of day you’re shooting, and make sure to schedule your shoot during the golden hour, you’ll get beautiful, creamy dream lighting.

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Corinne used a Nikon D700 with a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens and a Tamron 70-200MM f/2.8 lens to capture these images.

Corinne Rogers is a Long Island NY and NYC Portrait photographer.

See more tips on Lighting.

 

 

*Please note: some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and don’t affect you as the buyer but do help support us and keep this site free for everyone.

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Dramatic Glamour Portraits by Chris Loring

A beautiful glamour session with stormy skies by Chris Loring Photography in Denver, CO

Today’s feature is from .

Chris says:

“I did this modern beauty session with a colleague as an opportunity to concentrate on my art and have a little fun while also using the experience to help another photographer who would become one of my second shooters for weddings.

Our model showed up just as storm clouds started to roll in, which made me nervous that we were going to lose an incredible opportunity to work with her in the bright sun.

Instead of the beautiful back lighting I’m used to working with, these incredible blue and gray storm clouds rolled in and provided me with incredibly dynamic light and rich colors, unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. It was thrilling!

Even more thrilling was that for 15 minutes, we were stranded under a picnic area while the rain let loose. . .but once it stopped we were left with a rainbow and some rolling clouds.”

Chris’s Photography Tip:

Super-sharp, focused images are an art, especially when working with portraiture and a shallow depth of field. However, this will also give you the opportunity to distinctly separate your subjects from the background. For this, I love using prime lenses as I find they give me the ability to turn my backdrops into creamy bliss!

But I also have a little secret: you do not have to take your f/1.4 lens and shoot it at f/1.4 to blur the background! I do ‘wide open’ on occasion, but not for every image. There is a very beautiful look that comes from proper use of a lens wide open and I love to play with that concept, but I also love when my subject has clarity and detail.

By stopping down to f/2.8 (I found that to be the sweet spot on my 85mm f/1.8G) I am able to create a deep enough focal plane to have my whole subject in focus and still blur the background.

Another trick is to use a fast shutter speed! Nothing obliterates focus on an image like a little camera shake, right? I keep my shutter speed at 1/250 or faster unless I’m using speedlights, even if it means bumping my ISO.

Lastly, the one thing that absolutely changed my life when it comes to focus was when I learned how to toggle and choose my focus point! The focus-recompose technique is really popular, but with our high-resolution camera bodies and f/1.4 glass it’s not the most reliable way to compose a frame. The slight movement during the ‘recompose’ part is very likely to knock your subject out of the thin focal plane you’ve created by shooting at wide apertures.

I generally have my camera set on a single focus point that I choose by using a toggle on the back of my camera, and I center that point right on their eyes. I then follow that with a press of my back-button-focus to activate it.

This works well at weddings, and even with moving children! Just make sure to see the scene in your mind, fix your focus point, and wait for the scene to happen in the frame you’ve composed.

Good quality glass, a clean sensor, good exposure, and a proper post processing sharpening workflow also contribute to pin sharp focus.

If you follow these tips, you’ll get a sharp, beautiful focus and creamy, blurred backgrounds.

A beautiful glamour session with stormy skies by Chris Loring Photography in Denver, CO
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A beautiful glamour session with stormy skies by Chris Loring Photography in Denver, CO

Chris used a Nikon d700 with a Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G lens to capture these images.

Chris Loring is a Denver,Colorado Wedding, Couples, and Newborns photographer.

See more tips on Camera Settings.

 

 

*Please note: some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and don’t affect you as the buyer but do help support us and keep this site free for everyone.

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Ethereal Glamour Portraits by Britt Lanicek

Etheral Glamour Portraits in Northwest Ohio by Britt Lanicek Photography

Today’s feature is from .

Britt says:

“This portrait session was born out of a wish to take full advantage of the abundance of snow we’ve received this winter.

My goal in selecting the wardrobe and accessory items you see here was to create a contrast between their soft, warm hues / textures and the stark winter landscape. Essentially, I wanted to convey a sense that beneath a blanket of snow, the first stirrings of spring have begun.”

Britt’s Photography Tip:

I put a lot of thought into wardrobe and accessory selection for this set. There was a definite feel I was striving for that hinged largely on use of color and texture, along with camera settings that produces soft, creamy backgrounds (via shallow DOF) and an overall ethereal glow.

One of the things I love about use of winter landscapes in portrait photography is the sense of quiet and peace that takes over. Almost like nature is sleeping, and we should speak in hushed tones (soft, warm colors and textures) so as not to disturb her. Another benefit is the way a portrait subject really stands out against the neutral tones of leafless trees, dried grasses and snow.

But I think what I love best about shooting in the winter is the unique lighting provided by the reflective snow. Snow sessions can produce the most even, beautiful light available.

Consider your environment when planning your session. How will the available light affect your subject? Does the environment support the aesthetic you and your client are trying to achieve? Do the chosen wardrobe and accessories contribute to this as well? Which camera settings will provide optimum effect?

By considering these elements in advance and how the different pieces will come together in the final setup, you will find your end results are more cohesive and effective in conveying your intended look and feel.

Etheral Glamour Portraits in Northwest Ohio by Britt Lanicek Photography
Etheral Glamour Portraits in Northwest Ohio by Britt Lanicek Photography
Etheral Glamour Portraits in Northwest Ohio by Britt Lanicek Photography
Etheral Glamour Portraits in Northwest Ohio by Britt Lanicek Photography
Etheral Glamour Portraits in Northwest Ohio by Britt Lanicek Photography
Etheral Glamour Portraits in Northwest Ohio by Britt Lanicek Photography
Etheral Glamour Portraits in Northwest Ohio by Britt Lanicek Photography

Britt used a Nikon D700 with a Nikkor 85mm 1.8 lens to capture these images.

Britt Lanicek is a Northwest Ohio Glamour and Senior Portraits photographer.

See more tips on Lighting, Location, and Wardrobe.

 

*Please note: some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and don’t affect you as the buyer but do help support us and keep this site free for everyone.

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Boho Chic Glamour Portraits by Ann Bennett

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Today’s feature is from .

Ann says:

“I asked a gorgeous friend of mine to model for me for this “boho chic” styled session. I like to occasionally do for-fun styled sessions just to stretch my creativity and get my creative juices flowing.”

Ann’s Photography Tip:

Most of these images are shot “back lit” with the sun behind the subject. Shooting back lit tends to wash out the background when you properly expose for the subject’s face. To bring back some richness to the background of a back lit photo, I use a multiply adjustment layer in Photoshop with an inverted mask and “paint” richness back into the background.

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Boho chic styled session

Ann used a Nikon D3x with a Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 lens to capture these images.

Ann Bennett is a Northeast Oklahoma Portrait photographer.

See more tips on Editing.

 

*Please note: some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and don’t affect you as the buyer but do help support us and keep this site free for everyone.

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Decadent Glamour Portraits by Britt Lanicek

Gatsby Styled Vintage Glamour

Today’s feature is from .

Britt says:

“This amazing session features Lucy, a local high school student. Lucy shares my affinity for vintage glam and found this awesome dress – the perfect combination of Gatsby cool with a modern punch of color. Love, love, love this girl’s look! We put pin curls in her gorgeous curly dark hair, and splashes of diamond accessories everywhere. Honestly, I could shoot these vintage styled portraits every day and not get tired of it, and does Lucy ever deliver!”

Britt’s Photography Tip:

Aside from the killer wardrobe and styling, the dramatic lighting and contrast were essential to this set. Once I knew what Lucy’s dress looked like, I chose a starkly contrasting backdrop and set it up in the room in my studio that has blackout curtains.

To control the light and provide some deep shadowing with which to enhance the heavy feel of these images, I drew the blackout curtains almost closed, and positioned Lucy at the edge of the light stream.

I did not employ supplemental lighting here, as I wanted to use the dim lighting and slight grain produced by my chosen settings to enhance the vintage vibe. By using a shallow depth of field, I was able to create a sense of soft dreaminess that played well with the subdued lighting. I love how these elements combine and contrast with the vibrant, sunny color of her dress.

Lucy herself was positioned in a manner that put her curvy figure at its best advantage. We played up her shapely legs in the pull back shot by letting them drape over the side of the chair, and shot from above in other images to both elongate her neck and reveal her attractive decolletage. By stretching her out across her chair, we were able to slim her petite, curvy figure and give an air of poise and delicacy.

I spent some time talking through Lucy’s preferences and sensitivities, and then worked through each pose with her as we went (demonstrating where necessary) to help Lucy feel at ease and understand clearly how I wanted her to position herself.

Putting forethought into each session to ensure that wardrobe, accessories, hair and makeup, lighting, and backdrops all work together to evoke the intended vibe will make a huge difference in your end results. It also pays to think about preferred lenses and camera settings that will best produce the desired effect.

During the session, I recommend spending some time talking your client through each set, showing them how you want them to move, explaining why certain poses or movements are more flattering than others (taking their body type into consideration). This is huge in terms of putting them at ease and for getting the results you want. You will get your best images from a client who is comfortable with you and has a clear idea of what you need from them.

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Gatsby Styled Vintage Glamour
Gatsby Styled Vintage Glamour
Gatsby Styled Vintage Glamour
Gatsby Styled Vintage Glamour
Gatsby Styled Vintage Glamour
Gatsby Styled Vintage Glamour

Britt used a Nikon D700 with a Nikkor 24-70mm lens to capture these images.

Britt Lanicek is a Fostoria, OH photographer who specializes in senior portraits and glamour photography.

See more tips on Lighting and Wardrobe.

 

*Please note: some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and don’t affect you as the buyer but do help support us and keep this site free for everyone.

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Gorgeous Glamour Portraits by Molly Keyser

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Today’s feature is from .

Molly says:

“This beautiful family of ladies wanted to do a photo shoot of the three of them as a Christmas gift. The three had a fabulous afternoon with girl time- enjoying professional hair and makeup services, laughing, joking, and enjoying each other’s company. It was such a fun glamour-girl photo shoot!”

Molly’s Photography Tip:

Chat with your clients while they’re prepping for the shoot so that they feel comfortable with you and are able to open up during the photo shoot.

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Molly Keyser is a Eau Claire, WI Women’s Portraits photographer.

See more tips on Client Direction.

 

*Please note: some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and don’t affect you as the buyer but do help support us and keep this site free for everyone.