Lenses for Getting Up Close and Personal


[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from .

Candice says:

“This session was a special one for me because it’s the first session I did for an up-and-coming e-book I have coming out in February. The couple  just nailed what I want and the look I was trying to achieve.”

Candice’s Photography Tip:

The one tip I can say about this session was don’t be afraid to go outside your box.

I use a 35mm lens because its makes go outside my comfort zone and makes me get personal and close with my subjects.

If you’re afraid, then do it. It’s what makes magic.


Candice used a Nikon D700 (affiliate link) with a 35mm 1.4 Sigma Art (affiliate link) lens to capture these images.

Candice Zugich is a Southern California Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Client Relations

Getting close to your clients is a great way to see detailed facial expressions. But if you tend to be a bit on the shy side, this can be tough.

Click here (affiliate link) to learn how one photographer got over their shyness in their photography business.


2014 Best Tips on Working With Children

Children’s photography can be a really fun time – they’re adorable, and energetic. But getting them to cooperate for you can present a challenge that you don’t get when photographing other age groups. Working with children can be a good experience for everyone involved with these tips.

In this article we’ve compiled our best tips on Children’s Portrait Photography that we’ve received in 2014.

Making Kids Feel Comfortable

Remember, kids don’t always really understand what’s going on when you shove a giant lens in their face, and it can make them really nervous and clam up a bit.

A good idea to get them warmed up to you is to put the camera down and just play with the kid(s) at the beginning of the session. That will help you earn their trust and make them less likely to get nervous once you do get out your camera.


This can also make it easier on the parents – once they see their kids having fun, they’ll be less anxious and worried about the session as well.

It’s also important too to remember that kids are kids (sounds obvious right?), so they’re not serious all the time. Sometimes a great way to get them to loosen up is to loosen up yourself!

Let go a little bit, and don’t hesitate to be a little silly to get them to smile and relax.


Directing Children

Once you get them to relax, the next challenge is getting them to (at least sort of) do what you want.

A great way to do that is to think like a child – if you were a kid, what would you want to do? What are fun things you like to do?

One of our featured photographers, Sarah Parker, used this idea to get the kids she was photographing to behave the way she wanted.


For this session (above), she had the older girl pretend she was reading the book to the younger girls, which gave them a task (that they enjoyed) that the photographer used to distract them and capture their natural facial expressions.

Working with Children to Keep Their Attention

Once the session has started, you’re not necessarily racing the clock so much as the kids’ attention spans. But there are a lot of tricks and ideas that our featured photographers use to help combat this that you might find useful as well.

If you’re using props in your session (like Sarah above), you can use those to distract the kids and help keep them still long enough to take a good picture.

seekjoyphotography-13-of-15 If the session is taking place somewhere where toys aren’t readily available, bring some of your own!

Baskets, dolls, games, etc. – all of these are great things you can bring that will entertain a child.

And a lot of times once they’ve started to play with the toys and relax a bit (instead of thinking they have to ‘sit still and behave for the photographer’ you can remove the toy and get some shots of them without it.

Sheets of fabric are even a cheap, fun item that can inspire play.

If you have older siblings present, sometimes they can help you out with the younger ones too. One of our featured photographers suggests ‘telling the oldest kid a secret,’ which is telling them to tickle their younger sibling(s) when you say ‘three’.

If you’ve got little girls in the crowd, you can get them to play by telling them to pretend they’re their favorite movie character, like Elsa from Frozen.

Little girl pretending she’s Elsa during a family session.

But at the end of the day – let them be kids.

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you can’t get the kids to do what you want.

And that’s ok.

You can use their energy to your advantage and capture natural interactions with the kids playing with their families and siblings.

If they’re wanting to run around and be active, have them run to their parents and be caught to capture those moments of fun between parent and child.

Mommy catching her active, energetic little boy.

If you’re able, sometimes it’s best to just step back and watch the kids as they are. Camera settings can help with this too, and one of our photographers, Jennifer N., uses a Canon 5D MKIII and 135mm lens (for example) and sets the aperture at its widest possible setting.

The MKII can handle the high ISO, but will give clearer images of busy-body kids with ants in their pants.

Jennifer stepping back and watching her kids do what they do best.

Watch Their Moods

Kids can be a bit unpredictable, but they generally wear their mood on their sleeves. So pay attention to this.

Kids have short attention spans (as we’ve mentioned), so try to keep the session moving at a good pace and try switching up your location regularly.


If you see them getting bored or antsy, take the session somewhere else – outside, nearby park, upstairs instead of downstairs, etc.

If you’re trying to get pictures of each kid separately, do the younger children first. They get sleepy, hungry, distracted, etc., faster, so work with them first in the session so they can be let go sooner.


Another idea is to try and schedule the session in the morning. Kids will have woken up not too long ago, so will be less prone to be tired or cranky.


Or talk to the family and see if there’s a better time of day for their little one(s).

Sometimes though, it doesn’t matter how many of these tips you try – the kids just won’t want to cooperate.

If that happens, just take a break. It doesn’t have to be a long one, but take a few minutes and let the kids do some running and get a little energy out of their system.




What Are Your Best Tip for Working With Kids?

Leave them in the comments below!

In-Camera Settings and Post Production


[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from .

Stephanie says:

“This photo session is pretty special to me because it was such a needed creative release for myself.

For a big chunk of the year I had been photographing the same types of shoots without having time to do any creative work on my own. So I grabbed one of my favorite models and we made an afternoon of it.”

Stephanie’s Photography Tip:

My biggest tip to photographers is to not shoot at a time where you don’t really have control of the sun.

You’re so limited at high noon that it’s hard to get that really pretty lighting that either early morning sunrise or sunset can achieve.

Another tip is to capture photos the way you want them to be edited.

For example, if I want my photos to be on the warm side, then I set my in-camera white balance to a little on the warm side so my images come straight out of camera closer to the way I want them to look as a finished product.

I do this to minimize the amount of post-processing and over-editng as much as possible.


Stephanie used a Nikon D4s (affiliate link) with a 35mm lens to capture these images.

Stephanie Parsley is a Central and Northwest Arkansas Wedding and Portrait photographer, but also shoots all over the country and internationally as well.

Click here to see more tips on Camera Settings.

If you still need a bit of help with the manual settings on your camera (which you need to know how to do to custom set white balance), one of our favorite quick-start guides by Photography Concentrate will put you on the fast path to nailing it!


Portrait Posing in Dramatic Outfits

Pool side glamour portrait

[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]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

Model in tulle skirt leans up on stone wall.
Model in skirt climbs steps.
Girl twirls in skirt at golden hour.
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.


Outdoor Baby Sessions


[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from Cassandra Jones.

Cassandra says:

“For this shoot I wanted to utilize as much of the natural surroundings as possible. I incorporated earth tones to give a rustic feel to the images and continue the natural theme.”

Cassandra’s Photography Tip:

Photographing newborns outdoors can be tricky. Successful newborn shoots require a warm, safe, and comfortable environment, and a sleepy baby.

This can be a tall order with varying weather conditions and temperatures, bugs, and an uncontrolled environment.

I typically will not shoot outdoors unless it is 27 degrees Celsius (about 81 degrees F) or warmer.

If it is less than 32 degrees C (about 90 degrees F) outdoors, I bring a portable heater with me to make sure that baby is nice and warm at all times. Newborns are much more likely to sleep if they are warm.

Aside from shooting when it is warm outside, the ideal shooting environment should be dry, as this reduces the likelihood of being swarmed by mosquitos!

If you end up shooting the day after heavy rainfall or in a marsh-like, damp environment, you run the risk of having the baby being nibbled on by bugs and mosquitos and that is not a risk that is ever worth taking.

I always have a spotter/helper that is on bug watch as well, to keep the baby safe and comfortable.

I also like to shoot on a cloudy day or in covered shade. I do this to keep baby safe from the sun, but I also much prefer the even exposure of skin tones and depth of the environment that comes with shooting in covered shade or cloud.

Ideally, I like to shoot at the end of the day when the sun is reliably low. That being said, sometimes the end of the day gets very cool and it is best to find covered shade in the afternoon when it is warmer.

Another thing to keep an eye out for are little rays of sun poking through the leaves – if they land on the baby they will blow out and overexpose patches of the baby’s skin.

If this is an issue, I hang a sheet or blanket from a nearby tree to block the sun or have an additional set of hands to hold one in place while I shoot.

Newborns are fabulous subjects to shoot outdoors as they are so tiny they only require a little piece of protected environment to make a beautiful portrait.

One can get away with photographing a newborn in places that would never work for a family session, or even an older child.

My favorite outdoor newborn portraits are those that do not require bulky props, and instead I am always on the lookout for little nooks, pretty foliage, mossy logs, enchanting tree roots.


Cassandra used a Canon 5d Mark III (affiliate link) with a Canon 50 mm f1.2L lens (affiliate link) to capture these images.

Cassandra Jones is a Grande Prairie, Alberta Baby and Children’s photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Location.

If you’re shooting on location and away from your studio, it’s important to make sure you have everything you need with you.

Bags designed specifically for photographers (affiliate link) are a great way to pack your gear for on-the-go shoots, and can even be very stylish!


Marketog: The Photography Marketing Course


The New Year is a great time to go over what you need to do to improve your business.

For a lot of people, it’s skill-related, like maybe they want to improve on their use of OCF.

Or maybe their goal is to go out and practice shooting every day and do something like a 365 project.

But we know that for a lot of you, it’s to increase your client base and kick some major butt in marketing.

And marketing isn’t necessarily an easy thing, nor does it come easy to a lot of people. And photography marketing is it’s own ball of wax too.

That’s why Jamie from The Modern Tog put together a marketing course – just for photographers.

Marketog: The Photography Marketing Course


Marketog is an online-based photography marketing course created by a photographer, for photographers.

It’s structured into six weeks of lessons, and each lesson includes a video, an audio file for download that you can listen to whenever you want, a written transcript, and a worksheet to help you really work through each of the lessons and make sure you get it.

You’ll cover everything to what you’re actually looking for in an ideal client, to methods for actually getting them in the door.

And again, since this course was created by a photographer, it’s better than the average marketing advice out there because it’s geared just for your industry.

Plus it comes with tons of bonus materials and interviews with other industry-leading experts.

And guess what?

Registration is open now!

Jamie only opens up the course a few times a year. And once registration is closed, it won’t open again for months.

Since she knows that a lot of people will be completely revamping their marketing strategy for the new year she wanted to make sure she gave photographers the tools they needed right off the bat.

And registration is only open for a week – only til January 18th!

Click here to check it out and sign up today!

Working with Distant Locations


[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from .

Tosha says:

“This session was very unique for me considering that I had never been to the shoot location before. This location meant so much to Anissa, because it’s the same Christian summer camp that she went to when she was a child and now works there as a leader.

I took some excellent steps to ensure that, even though I hadn’t shot at the location before, I could still give my client amazing images!”

Tosha’s Photography Tip:

Shooting at a location that I had never been to, and was so far away that I wasn’t about to test shoot there, absolutely made me nervous at first!

But now that I’ve done it, I have some excellent tips that can help you overcome those nerves and let your creative juices flow.

First, get an idea from your client of what’s at the location. I explained to Anissa and her mom that when I shoot at a location I like to know that there is a lot of variety to work with.

They explained that it was a wooded location that had little cabins, a little beach, and multiple little areas that the camp used for different events.

The second thing I did was use Google Earth to get an aerial view of the location, which helped me get an idea of where the sun would be while we were there.

The beach was tiny but seemed great to add that extra something to the images. My view was very wooded but I could tell there were various overturned logs and fallen trees that would make for great environmental backgrounds.

This got me super pumped to shoot there!

With all the prep work I had done, once I finally got to the location I felt pretty prepared! If I hadn’t, I would have been stressing out trying to find all of these little spots and may have missed the timeline for our second location, which was to take place in town during dusk.

Bonus tip: Be sure to charge for the extra travel and time. This location was an hour away, which extended my overall time of the shoot and travel from 2 hours to 4. Plus the drive was extra in gas, which needs to be accounted for.

Branch out of your comfort zone and take on new challenges. I hope this little tip helps!

Anissa beach
Anissa sitting
Anissa headshot
Anissa hat
Anissa laying

Tosha used a Nikon D700 (affiliate link) and a Nikon D300 (affiliate link) with a Nikkor 70-200mm 2.8 lens (affiliate link) and a Nikkor 50mm 1.8 lens (affiliate link) to capture these images.

Tosha Lijewski is a Great Lakes Bay Region, Michigan Senior Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Location.

One of the best ways to make sure all travel expenses are covered for travel outside of your usual radius is by putting all travel expenses and additional mileage in your senior portrait contract (affiliate link).

That way, the client understands from the beginning that they are responsible for those fees and it’s worked into their total session fee.


2014 Best Tips On Newborn Portrait Photography


Newborn portrait photography can be very rewarding – but since your subject can’t really talk to you or move on their own, it’s also a little bit different than your average portrait session.

We’ve compiled our best newborn photography tips that we received in 2014 to give you an idea of some of the things you need to consider before starting in on newborn portrait photography (or if you’re a seasoned pro, give you some new inspiration for future sessions!).


Safety is #1 when it comes to working with newborns. Their immune systems are underdeveloped, they can’t move on their own or tell you if they’re uncomfortable, and are completely dependent on you (and the parents) during the session.


Some of the most important things to consider before even starting the session include:

  • Immunizations – because of the delicate state of the newborn’s immune system, make sure you are up to date on your immunizations for at least two critical diseases: DTap (Diptheria, Tetanus, and pertussis), and MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella).
  • Personal Hygiene – keep your nails clean and well-trimmed with no chips in your nail polish, as this will help reduce the spread of germs that live underneath and around your nails.
  • Snacks – if you’re headed for a long day at a client’s home, you might want to bring your own snacks with you. But make sure you ask the parents first if anyone at the household has any food allergies, and/or just bring snacks without nuts.
  • Preparing clients – have your clients turn up their house temperature before you arrive (or turn up your studio temperature) to about 85 degrees, as newborns lose heat rapidly. This will help keep them comfy during the session and more likely to be pleasant babies.
  • Props – make sure all blankets and/or wraps that you bring with you are clean and that you wash and sanitize them between each and every session. Make sure to use unscented detergent that is free of perfumes and dyes

Also make sure that any props you are using are safe. Some props that are considered unsafe would be:

  • Props made of glass or anything that can break and/or shatter
  • Anything that requires placing the baby up high (like on a book shelf)
  • Placing the baby inside something that is prone to tipping (such as an unstable basket)
  • Putting the baby inside some type of appliance, like a mailbox, refrigerator, etc.
Example of a safe, sturdy prop
Example of a safe, sturdy prop

Relaxing The Baby

Having an upset baby during the session can make the session incredibly difficult, so keeping them happy and content is very important.

One of the best things you can do is make sure the parents prep the newborn for the session by feeding them beforehand so they’re more likely to sleep.

To prep you and your studio, make sure the studio is warm, or if you’re doing the session at your clients’ house, tell them to turn up the temperature in their house to about 85 before the session starts.

Also tell the parents to make sure the baby is fed right before the session so they’re more likely to sleep.

A couple other great things that come in handy is both a sound machine and warm hands – you can even take it one step further and use gloves when handing the newborn as many times adult hands can be cold and may startle a sleeping baby.


Don’t forget about parents either; often times, if the baby’s parents are anxious or nervous, it will rub off on the baby and they’ll be more likely to be fussy.

Another good idea is to have the parents sitting close to the baby during the session (but just out of frame, or in such a way that they can easily be cropped out) so they can reach out and comfort the baby or rock them between shots.

The infant's mother's hand is located just out of frame in this shot.
The infant’s mother’s hand is located just out of frame in this shot.

If you’re still having issues comforting the little one, one of our featured photographers, Renee Barber, also recommends reading through “The Happiest Baby on the Block” by Dr. Harvey Karp.

The book has a lot of tips on soothing and comforting babies, and Renee swears it’s one of the best things she’s done for her newborn photography business, as it gave her some great ideas on how to soothe and comfort a cranky newborn.



When it comes to posing, always consider safety first – if the infant is put in a situation where there is a risk of falling or being unstable, either don’t do the pose at all or do it as a composite image. Even then, you still may not wish to do the pose – and that’s ok.

A couple popular infant poses are the head-on-hand pose and the head-on-wrist pose (which is also known as the Froggie Pose).

When doing the head-on-hands pose, use a large bean bag and center the infant on the bean bag – that way if for some reason they squirm and start to tip, they won’t fall off the prop.

Secondly, use a lens you can shoot close to the baby with – like a 35mm. This will allow you to reach out a helping hand quickly and easily if the baby does start to tip.


Before doing the head-on-hands pose, it is absolutely crucial that you check with the baby’s parents and make sure that the newborn has not been diagnosed with Congenital Hip Dysplasia (CHD), because the positioning of the legs for this pose would cause the infant’s hips to be dislocated.

When doing the head-on-wrist pose, it’s best to do it as a composite as newborns have no control over their balance and could easily tip over when put in this position.

It’s best to do this pose in two shots – one shot with a helper holding the baby’s wrists, and a second shot with the helper stabilizing the baby’s head (see examples here).

When combined in Photoshop the extra pair of helping hands can be edited out, giving you the desired pose but without sacrificing the baby’s safety.

Composite image created from two separate images, both with different stabilization points.

And finally, when posing the baby in any pose, always keep an eye on their skin tones and color – if you see their skin turning purple or blue, their circulation is being cut off and they need readjusting.


One of the most common styles of lighting for newborns is soft, even lighting, which is often achieved when you correctly utilize the play between light and shadows and feather the light.

Even, feathered light on the baby’s front with depth created by shadows.

The lighting setup for creating this type of lighting is relatively simple, and includes a safe resting place for the baby (and most likely a backdrop of your choice), and a softbox (preferably one that is relatively large in size; a 50×50″ softbox would work perfectly).

Place the softbox at 180 angle and about 6 inches in front of the baby and backdrop setup. This placement will ‘feather’ the light onto the subject, which will create softer shadows and even lighting across their face.

Example of lighting setup used for feathering the light.
Final product of light feathering setup.


Baby skin can often be red and blotchy, which isn’t as appealing as smoother, creamy skin tones. To help with that, reduce the reds in post production to help even their skin tones out a bit.

You could even use a preset or action to do this for you, and may even be able to find one made specifically for newborn skin.


And Remember…

Babies are super cute, and we really hope this post gave you some inspiration for where to start if you’re just looking into newborn portrait photography, or just some new tips you maybe didn’t know if you’re already a seasoned pro.

But remember – at the end of the day, if a pose or prop or lighting setup or anything whatsoever seems unsafe for the baby, or you’re not completely comfortable with it – don’t try it! It’s not worth the risk to the little one.


Here are some other products we recommend for Newborn Portrait Photography:

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 4.31.02 PMTo really maximize your portrait sales, nothing beats in-person sales sessions. But just getting into them can be intimidating – which is why Matt and Katie have created a guide to teach you exactly how to conduct one. Complete with scripts for you to follow, it’ll help take the edge off of figuring it out on your own.

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 4.34.45 PMA lot of the lighting techniques above discuss off-camera lighting, but if you’re not familiar with off-camera lighting that immediately puts a damper on trying out some of the lighting ideas above. Andy from Simple SLR has put together a great guide on off-camera lighting, and even if you’re a seasoned pro it can serve as a great reference piece for future sessions.

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 4.41.34 PM

None of the information in this post is valid if you don’t have a solid contract in place. The Newborn Photography Contract is written by photographer-lawyer Rachel Brenke at The Law Tog, so you know it’ll cover all the legal basics and necessities (including the contract itself, model releases for adults and minors, print releases, and more).


Baby skin can sometimes be mottled and blotchy, so doing skin smoothing on newborn portraits can help give the image a cleaner, finished look. Doing it by hand can really eat up your time though. We love and recommend the Portraiture plugin from Imagenomics, which automatically does a lot of the skin smoothing for you in just a click of the button.

before-after-72111-1024x337Black and white images are a great way to evoke emotion, but oftentimes just cutting the saturation doesn’t quite have the same affect because it’s important to remember that you must edit a black and white image differently than a color image, and Photography Concentrate has created a guide to show you how to do just that.

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 4.46.27 PMIf there’s one thing new parents like to do, it’s show people pictures of their family’s newest addition. StickyAlbums is the mobile app made for just that, and allows clients to easy share pictures of their session with friends and family (which in turn is amazing free marketing for you!).


Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 4.52.35 PMA great way to get your client their images is with a personalized flash drive – no more burning files to a disc, just drag and drop onto a flash drive and send it along. Plus the personalization gives it that extra professional touch, and since CD drives are sort of on their way out, a flash drive will probably have greater longevity.


Thank you for using the links in this post, as they help us earn a commission and support the site, keeping it free for everyone.

When the session doesn’t go perfectly the first time

family by the window

[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from .

Bobbi-Jo says:

“Baby Max is one of my “Baby plan” babies, meaning he gets photographed 4 times over his first year. I took photos of Mom when she was pregnant with him, so it was exciting to finally meet Max!”

Bobbi-Jo’s Photography Tip:

This session was a tough one! It took place over two different dates, which is unusual – but sometimes necessary.

The first session was early evening. It was dark and about to rain and Baby Max was not feeling too happy, but we went ahead with the session anyway. You can see from the first few images with Mom and Dad that I had to place them close to the only window that was letting in any light.

Luckily for me, my style is often light filled and moody, so it worked! I had them sitting on the edge of the master bed facing the window, which did not leave a lot of room for myself and even though I was using a 35mm at that point, it was still a tight fit.

As I do with most lifestyle newborn sessions, I had Mom and Dad interact with the baby and walked around the room in a quiet manner, taking shots from different angles. I love that feeling of “peeking in” on a new family so I always try to get into a hallway or even behind a bathroom or closet door to create that feeling for a few shots.

As you can see, Baby Max was awake for most of the session with Mom and Dad and although he looks content, he often was not! We decided after an hour or so that I would come back another day to get more shots of just Max alone. He did not want to be put down and I could tell the parents were getting frustrated!

I don’t usually come back another day; however, these clients lived only 5 minutes away from me so I was able to pop by one morning when my kids went to school.

The second half of the session, Max was much more content! Grandma was also there to help calm and soothe the baby – in that way that only Grandmas can!

During lifestyle sessions I always try to use the “props” the family already has. For this session, Mom and Grandma actually owned a vintage shop so there were plenty of beautiful quilts and blankets to lay the baby on. His nursery was beautiful and we captured some images in there to show off the books and little deer details.

Overall this session was a success, although it took a little longer than usual. I never want a client to feel disappointed in their finished product so I will always do what I can to make them happy. The baby’s moods cannot be controlled so sometimes it takes that extra effort to make a session work!

family in colour
baby in mom's arms
baby on mom's lap

sleeping newborn
sleeping baby
baby sleeping

Bobbi-Jo used a Canon 6D (affiliate link) with a Canon 35mm lens and a Canon 85mm lens to capture these images.

Bobbi-Jo Stuart is a Toronto, Barrie, and Newmarket, Ontario Lifestyle Wedding and Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on in-home sessions.

If you’re thinking about getting into newborn photography, skill is only have the battle. Make sure you have all of your legal ducks in a row as well to make sure both you and your client are protected (affiliate link).

An Old Hollywood Throwback


[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]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.


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).

2014 Tips for In-Home Sessions


Lifestyle sessions are a lot of fun, but can seem a bit daunting if you’re just starting to get into them – especially if the client has asked you to do them in their home.

We’ve had some very experienced lifestyle photographers contribute some of their best tips on how to handle that situation, as well as ideas for what to photograph once you’re in the home.

But first —

Preparing for the Session: You and Your Client

First off, keep in mind that you’ll be doing the session in your client’s home – ok, it sounds obvious. But my point is that you won’t have access to everything you have at your studio.

Props, lighting, etc. – you can probably bring some reflectors with you, but ideally you won’t want to bring much more than that, your camera bodies, and your lenses.

You can try to bring all of your props and backdrops with you – but that can be a bit cumbersome and time-consuming.

Instead, plan your session ahead of time and think forward on what sort of props or backdrops you’d like to bring (if any). This will drastically cut down on packing/unpacking and time spent setting up gear.

Even simple newborn wraps are a great, simple, easily-transportable prop you can use.

Not only do you want to prepare for an in-home session, but you also want to make sure your clients are prepared as well.

Doing a pre-session consultation is a great way to go over information the family will need to know about the session before it happens (and is great for establishing a client relationship).

This will help clients to trust you and get to know you, which will help them be more relaxed in front of the camera on the day of the session. It’ll also give you a chance to go over how the session will run from the time you arrive at their home until you leave.


One of our featured family portrait photographers, Emily Lapish, puts it this way:

Since every family has their own unique dynamics and quirks, there is no way that pulling out the same tricks and trying the same poses and shots on each session can capture a family authentically – so this pre-session consult is vital.

Another one of our family portrait photographers, Maegan Hall, suggests telling the family to prep any activities at the home that they like doing together before you arrive.

This will insure that you capture some of the family’s favorite memories together instead of leaving it up to chance.


Once You Arrive

When you get to your client’s home, you’ll want to take note of a few things. First, make note of what time of day it is and what direction the light is coming into the house from in the various rooms. This can help you plan what rooms to shoot in at what time of day.

Secondly, take note of the paint on the walls. Dark walls will make your images look darker, walls with solid, vibrant colors will give your client’s skin a color cast, and of course, white walls will give the cleanest light and skin tones.

And of course, as you do your walkthrough, take note of the light quality and intensity in each room – ‘great natural light’ usually means something completely different to your clients as it does to you.

Perfect example of a well-lit in-home portrait.
Perfect example of a well-lit in-home portrait.

Ideas for In-Home Sessions

There are multiple ways you can approach an in-home session too. You can do a Lifestyle-type session, a session that’s more posed, newborn sessions, whole family sessions, etc. etc. – the list goes on.

For newborn and toddler sessions, a great way to approach it is to use your client’s home and things in the home to document the growth of the baby.

If you’ve done a newborn session of your client’s child in their home before, photograph them as a toddler next to or near places or items that you used in the newborn session to document how they’ve grown in their family home.

Or, if you’re planning a newborn session and hope to photograph their child again as a toddler, try to plan for areas like that in the home that you can use for future.

A picture of a toddler in their newborn crib is a great way to document the child’s growth.

If you’re doing a family + newborn session, doing the session in the home is a great idea because the parents will be more comfortable in their own space – which will rub off and affect the mood of the newborn.

Since parents will be holding their newborn for the majority of the session, you want to minimize the amount of moving around you do so as to keep the baby calm and relaxed.

Don’t worry though – this doesn’t necessarily mean that this limits your variety of photos, especially if you remember to work your angles and distances from your subject.

Michael Kormos, an experienced in-home newborn photographer, uses principles of cinematography to accomplish the same goal.

Many times, he will start out with a wide shot (like peeking around a doorway) that sets the tone for the rest of the session, and gives the sense of “peaking” in on the clients’ lives and tender moments with their newborn.

Once that’s established, he’ll start closing the distance between himself and his clients for the closeup shots, which are a great way to capture the emotion and attachment the parents feel with their newborn.

Both of these shots can be done while the client is seated in the same position, but it still provides a variety of images that can be included in a final collection.

If you’d like to forego posing altogether, Kirsten Lewis, suggests capturing the day naturally as it unfolds and taking a documentary-style approach.

She suggests making yourself (more or less) a member of the family for the day – whether the family is going grocery shopping, cleaning, swimming, playing outside, reading books, etc.

She even goes so far as not even bringing any additional lighting equipment, since her goal is to capture a family’s life and interactions exactly how they are – down to every detail.


Working With Multiple Ages

When you’re doing an in-home session (and even when you’re not), working with multiple age groups can be challenging. The older kids want to run around, but if there’s an infant or toddler in the picture, that’s not always an option if you want to get pictures of everyone.

That can be ok though – if your active children want to be active, let them burn off some energy! Capture some shots with mom or dad and baby in the meantime while one of the other parents supervises.

Or direct their energy a different way and have mom or dad play games with them while you capture their interactions – it will help hold their attention but still allow you to get in some good shots.




What are some of your best in-home session tips?

We’ve told you ours, now it’s your turn! Post some of your best tips for in-home sessions below!

Why Gently Directing Your Clients is Important


[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from .

Nikki says:

“David and Erin’s amazing engagement session took place near Lincoln, and I had the honor of visiting the ranch where Erin’s beloved horse live – a place that is both profoundly beautiful and deeply important to both Erin and David.

It never ceases to amaze me, this job of mine – it’s like a key that lets me “in,” like a confidant or a close friend, to some of the most important places and times in peoples’ lives.”

Nikki’s Photography Tip:

I always schedule my portrait shoots to begin a few hours before sunset, to take advantage of the prime light of the day. I love my golden hour…who doesn’t! This couple was easy to work with (and it shows) but even when a couple is really relaxed, I always guide them somewhat in their posing and interactions.

Taking charge (in a positive, easygoing way of course) is really important to the way I interact with my clients at a shoot. I direct them through most of the poses, giving them suggestions and often making changes to their pose/movements once they’ve gotten into it.

Even though it seems counterintuitive, gentle but thoughtful posing is really key to helping my clients relax and be themselves – they feel taken care of, and that they can focus on each other and not have to worry about if something looks “off.”

I love making sure my clients look their absolute best (and I always give them plenty of tips ahead of time to maximize the session). I see this as my job, not my clients’ job – after all, why would I expect my clients to know how to look good in a photo (unless perhaps they are professional models)?

I also love to have couples play little games for me, to get to their natural smiles and flirting expressions. I’ve found some inspiration in the Beloved type of shoot, although I don’t use those techniques at every session. I have quite a list of ideas and games to get them moving, which helps keep the mood happy and affectionate.



Nikki used a Canon 5D Mark II, with a 35L, 50L, 85 and 135L prime lens to capture these images.

Nikki Moore is a Lincoln, Nebraska Wedding and Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Client Direction and Lighting.

When you’re out in the countryside like this shoot here, it’s quite obvious you can’t quickly retrieve something you may have left behind.

Make sure you have everything with you when you leave for this type of shoot, and a professional, easy way of carrying it all.


*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.


Games to Play to Engage Children

Finding treasure on the beach

[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from .

Angela says:

“This photo session was great because I was able to get a lot of candids of the family enjoying Maui. I am always very conscious of the ocean and the amazing energy it brings to my photo sessions, and letting kids play in the surf aways brings out great candids!”

Angela’s Photography Tip:

This sweet family came all the way to Maui from Texas. To celebrate their time together as a family, they booked me for a session on the beach. It was a morning session, which is always best for young children as they are typically happy in the mornings.

There were three children ranging from ages 8 to 3, which is a pretty large age gap maturity-wise. So I knew this session would be all about playing games.

I immediately got the oldest, Ava, to be my assistant. She was going to help me with the younger ones because she was an expert with her younger siblings. Even if that meant calling her over before a posed shot to “tell her a secret”–which was just when I said “THREE!” she would give them a tickle!

The girls had long dresses, so I asked them to pretend they were Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen” and twirl around int he surf, which they loved. So they pretended to be princesses–and they took it hook, line, and sinker, and were easily won over by the idea.

The little boy, Pierce, was a different bundle of energy. He wanted to run, jump, climb and look for treasure!

So, naturally, we were monkeys! We had contests about how high we could jump, how fast we could run, and how high we could climb (but don’t worry, the branch wasn’t that far off the ground). We even found a coconut treasure!

As soon as the kids were playing, the parents were able to loosen up too. And before I knew it, the whole family was playing in the surf and having fun. It made for the absolute best candid session I have had!

Even mom got her dress wet in the surf!
Running to try the jump again! "This time I can jump HIGHER!" she said.
Jumping siblings
Letting the surf twirl her dress
Pierce pretended to be a monkey and climb the tree!

Angela used a Nikon D800e with a Nikkor 85mm 1.4 lens and a Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8 lens to capture these images.

Angela Nelson is a Maui Portrait and Wedding photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Working with Children.

Being a destination photographer can present a bit of a challenge since you’re generally not marketing to local people within your area of residence.

You really have to make sure that potential vacationing clients can not only clearly understand your website, but that they can also find it amongst the many photography websites out there.



*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.

2014 Best Photography Editing Tips

Editing is where a lot of us put the finishing touches on any portrait session, and each of us has our own style.

We’ve collected some of the best photography editing tips we’ve received throughout the year and compiled them into one article, as well as listed out some of our favorite editing tools and resources. 

Shooting Hybrid

Some photographers even like shooting a hybrid of both digital and film, and using presets to match the digital images to the film images.

This is accomplished by using what’s called an anchor image, and specially-created presets that mimic the look and feel of film (see the examples below).

*Click on each image above to embiggen.

These images above were edited by Kirk Mastin using the aforementioned specialty presets, and he gives a detailed explanation on how to use them along with a detailed explanation of how to edit film + digital images in this article here.

Skin Tones

But regardless of whether or not you’re shooting all film, all digital, or a mix, nailing the skin tones is still one of the most important parts.

One of our featured senior portraits artists discusses her method for making sure her skin tones are on point every time, using a combination of an ExpoDisc while shooting and information from the histogram during editing.


Of course, sometimes even when you’re following the tips above, the skin tones still aren’t quite what you’re looking for.

This is especially common when working with infants and newborns, who can tend to have red, blotchy skin. To remedy this, one of our featured newborn photographers suggests reducing the reds (with a preset, action, or on your own), which will create a beautiful, creamy looking skin tone.


Image Detail and Background

Once you’ve gotten the skin tones exactly where you want them, it’s time to turn your attention to the rest of the image.

Many times while editing, you’ll expose for the subject’s skin and face, but it will leave the background/foreground completely washed out and lacking detail.

Which sometimes can be ok, if you’re going for that bright, hazy afternoon look like this example from one of our senior portrait photographers:


Even so, it’s still recommended to bump the contrast just a bit to make sure you keep in some of the image’s details.

If that still isn’t doing the trick, there’s more you can do in Photoshop like using the multiply adjustment layer with an inverted mask to help bring the detail and richness back into the images.

Here’s a lovely example of one of our glamour photographers that’s done just that with these gorgeous backlit images:


Using Levels in Photoshop

To put the finishing touches on an image, using Levels in Photoshop can help in a couple ways.

First, if you’re still not happy with the amount of detail in the background, you can create a duplicate layer of the image in Photoshop and then open up Levels and increase the blacks (which will make it look less washed out).

That’s what this family portrait photographer did to keep all of the background bright and fresh in this winter session:


Levels is also another great way to bump up the color of an image and really make them pop.


The photographer above used levels to adjust the colors just how she wanted, using a combination of the highlights/shadows/etc. sliders available in Levels.

Then, since sometimes that can create odd colors and affects in areas it’s not wanted, she added a photo mask over the levels layer and used the black paint brush to remove the effect from areas of the images it was unflattering.

And finally…

Editing can be a lot of fun to really play with new styles and looks. Some photographers think it’s important to pick one and stick with it, but there are others that argue that it’s not necessary and even believe it can help them stand out in a market that’s become somewhat saturated.


So don’t hesitate to play around, whether you find a new style and stick with it or are always pushing your own boundaries – hopefully these tips will get you started!

Here are some products that we recommend for editing post-production:

10723218_10152742030955926_649590239_nFor editing digital images to look like film, Mastin Labs film presets are really a great place to start. Crafted by someone who regularly shoots hybrid (digital and film simultaneously), it’s a tried and tested product with highly accurate results.

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 2.46.15 PMPhotography Concentrate creates some of the best guides and how-to tutorials that we’ve come across. And their Super Editing Photo Skills tutorial is no different. If you’re not familiar with Lightroom but would like to step up your editing game with one of the industry standard post-production programs, then we absolutely recommend this guide.

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 2.50.18 PM

If you’re looking for a way to switch up your editing, Colorvale’s actions (and presets) are a great place to start.  They have a variety of styles and color palettes, and all are easy to use and come at very reasonable prices.


Skin smoothing and blemish removal can really give an image a clean, finished look. Doing it by hand can really eat up your time though. We love and recommend the Portraiture plugin from Imagenomics, which automatically does a lot of the skin smoothing for you in just a click of the button.

before-after-72111-1024x337Black and white images are a great way to evoke emotion, but oftentimes just cutting the saturation doesn’t quite have the same affect because it’s important to remember that you must edit a black and white image differently than a color image, and Photography Concentrate has created a guide to show you how to do just that.

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 9.09.00 AMIf you’re not 100% comfortable yet with Lightroom or Photoshop, Lynda.com has dozens of videos on all things digital taught by industry-leading professionals.  Plus it allows you to have a 7-day free trial, so even if you don’t stick with it you can still learn a ton in one week!

Water Droplet Portraits


[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from Nadia Stone.

Nadia says:

“We just moved into a new house with a big forest garden and  automatic sprinklers, so we decided to take advantage of our new surroundings and have some fun!”

Nadia’s Photography Tip:

My garden is exposed to the South, so I had my kids stand with their back to the light and had the sprinklers come in from camera left.

At first I had the sprinkler setting too high, and the water obscured their faces. But all I had to do was turn down the intensity of the sprinkler spray a little bit and the water droplet size was perfect.

We used two umbrellas to catch the water from the sprinklers, and I use a long shutter speed to stop the movement of the water.

For the editing, I just use a lot of clarity to really outline the droplets of water.


Hiding spot



Nadia used a Nikon D4 with a Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G lens to capture these images.

Nadia Stone is a Southwestern France (Labenne, Hossegor) Children, Family, Couples, and Wedding photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Camera Settings and Lighting.

Nadia’s black and white images are really lovely, but to really get a solid black and white image, remember that you have to edit them differently than you do your color images.



*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.

A Glimpse into Kristina’s 365 Project


[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from Kristina Dominianni.

Kristina says:

“I’m not a professional photographer – just a mom with a camera that loves capturing moments with my 3 year old. While I’ve been into photography for years, I’ve been a pretty lousy photographer for most of them.

By just picking up my camera and actually learning how to use it, day by day I’m getting better and making images my daughter will one day be proud of. While I still make mistakes and have my fair share of failures, my 365 project is my way of working though those failures and growing.”

Kristina’s Photography Tip:

I’m a hobbyist photographer and committed to a 365 project earlier this year. While there are times I hate it – I can truly say it is the single best thing to help me grow as a photographer. There is no better way to improve your photography skills than by picking up your camera and just shooting everyday.

Because I have a full time job, a spouse and dinner to make, I try give myself 20 minutes of shoot time a day. It’s not a lot of time, but I generally shoot with a plan in place and a vision of what kind of image (and how I want to edit it) in my head. I preplan what I can but still try to capture organic, storytelling moments – but just in an expedited way.

Shooting daily with a 365 has the obvious benefit of documenting our daily lives and telling our story – but beyond that, it is a great way for me to really visualize my progress and inspires me to keep going.

In only 145 days, my 365 has made me finally able to see the light and know how to use it. I know where the light is best in my yard/home/neighborhood at any given time and I can plan my shoot accordingly based on our schedule and based on the mood of the photo I want to create.

Shooting in manual is a breeze since I literally pick up my camera every day. I’ve learned to intuitively know what my settings should be before I check the meter, and taught myself how to use Kelvin. I streamlined and refined my editing workflow and keep it clean (but I’m still a sucker for matte processing… I can’t help it!).

The most important thing however, is that I can finally see my voice – my “visual style” forming all on its own. It’s really amazing to see!

Just to give you an idea of how far I’ve come, I’m sharing day my day 1 image (it’s not even in focus!) and some of my last few days. Proof positive shooting daily works!

1/365 - Day One



Kristina used a Canon 5D Mark III with a Canon 70-200 2.8 lens to capture these images.

Kristina Dominianni is a Middle Island, New York photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Camera Settings.

Kristina is right, in that shooting regularly is really the only way you’ll get to using your camera intuitively. But keep in mind there are guides out there to help jump-start you on the path.



*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.


Why Your Senior Model Program Isn’t Working


Everyone in your area is trying to get models to promote their studios. Except it’s not working for them because traditional rep programs don’t work.

Not only that, but the few models that those studios are getting aren’t ideal clients. Models who don’t place orders, expect everything for free and never refer anybody.

They are giving away more than they are bringing in!

And you know why?

You’re doing it wrong.

It’s time you started making more money in your senior business and attracted the right type of senior clients!

The Seniors Ignite Model Marketing System

Seniors Ignite is an industry-leading standard when it comes to Senior Portrait Photography, and are always on the ball when it comes to the changing marketing patterns of Senior Portraits Marketing.

Their Model Marketing System is a complete, proven system created by Jen Basford (one of the Seniors Ignite Masterminds), and is the exact blueprint she uses to bring in $30,000+ just from her model program each year.

In other words – let your competitors chase the ‘headache’ models and their high maintenance parents and let Seniors Ignite give you the tools you need to find the right models and learn exactly how to approach them. You’ll get them excited to work for you – for free!

The Model Marketing System is delivered in a simple-to-follow, go-at-your-own-pace package created for helping photographers market and grow their senior business with a senior model program.

It includes:

4 Teaching Calls
Jen Basford details the exact system she uses to bring in $30,000+ from her own, highly-successful Model Program

Beautifully Designed Marketing Templates (shown below)
Use the marketing pieces as is, or easily customize them to fit your own look. With Jen’s Senior Model Program templates all the work has been done for you. You simply drop in your own images, colors, and branding and you’re ready to go.


Copy + Paste Scripts
Jen has included her exact scripts, wording and forms that she uses in her own model program. No more guessing how to approach them, what to say, and how to word it – everything is already laid out and ready to go. No more struggling with when to contact them, what to say, or how to say it – it’s all right here, including her exact model contract that keeps her models in check all year long.

If you photograph seniors at all, you owe it to yourself to check out this program on how to run a successful senior model program.

Get $100 off!

The Model Marketing System usually runs for $499, but with the special Belovely You code belovelymms you can get the whole system for just $399 (a 20% savings).

But don’t wait!

I knew that Jen had already run the course LIVE this year, but she agreed to bundle the recorded teaching calls together and offer it again to you guys for just a few days – only through December 8th!

Check it out here and turn your Senior Portraits business around!



*Thank you for using the links above, as they help us earn a commission and support the site, keeping it free for everyone.

Senior Portrait Tips from Jessica Drossin


[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from .

Jessica says:

“The young woman in this session really wanted her senior portraits to be an urban session to express how much she loved visiting downtown LA.”

Jessica’s Photography Tip:

I’ve actually got a few different tips related to this session, so here goes:

1. Senior Portrait Success. I think a huge key to making a senior session a success is showing the model the work as it progresses by sharing the back of camera images somewhat regularly. Essentially, you are teaching them about what looks good in terms of modeling while also building trust. If they don’t like something (i.e. “my hair looks too messy”), you will hear about it early on so there are no surprise emails later.

2. Lighting in an Urban Setting. The biggest issue for me is always finding flattering light. This can sometimes be a little tricky in an urban environment with tall buildings casting shadows. We really timed the session around how the light was going to change, so I finished with my open sky images last and shot the open shade images first.

3. Color and Cohesiveness. For the overall color and feel of the session, I took some liberty and enjoyed playing with color and details. I used a variety of the tints I create in order to push the color palette and make the overall image feel unified.

There you have it! Enjoy my session, and try out some of these ideas in your next senior session!


Jessica used a Canon 5D Mark III with a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens to capture these images.

Jessica Drossin is a Los Angeles, CA Portrait, Fine Art, and Wedding photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Location and Lighting.

Jessica did a great job with the color palette in these images, but to do that she definitely had to have a solid knowledge and understanding of Photoshop and Lightroom.

If you’re looking to beef up your skills, check out a 7-day free trial at Lynda.com – there’s tons of tutorials on both programs that should get you started in the right 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.

Storytelling – It Doesn’t Need to be Complex


[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from Andrea Strunk.

Andrea says:

“I love to shoot toddlers, kids and teens, and this year have started with newborn sessions as well. And I sometimes do shoots for my friends with their children and adorable puppies.”

Andrea’s Photography Tip:

I always aim to tell a little and simple story with my images, so good planing is very important. When I approach children’s sessions, I first collect some ideas and scout locations, and then discuss ideas and locations with the parents.

For this session, I used a couple different short story ideas. For the images with the flowers, I used springtime as my inspiration and like to call it “Helping spring to come with planting some tulips.” For the picture of the little boy with the dog, it was very simple – “A little boy taking a walk with a huge dog.”

Since the kids are too young to understand something like a storyline, I instead just show them something that would be fun to do – like hang out with the family pet or pick flowers. Then I photograph them from a distance, mostly lying on the ground to make sure I’m on their level, and just document what they are doing.

Conceptual shoots that tell elaborate stories and portray elaborate messages are fantastic and super fun to put together – but don’t overlook the small, simple things in life either. They can make for just as good of a session.


Andrea used a Canon 6D with a Canon 70-200 2.8 lens set at 200mm to capture these images.

Andrea Strunk is a Wenden, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany Children’s Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Working With Children.

Keeping up with active kids can be tough, and you really need all hands on deck. Make sure you have the right equipment so everything you need is right within arm’s reach.



*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.

ShootProof Black Friday Deals

ShootProof is an easy to upload proofing software that allows you to view and share your client galleries.

And it’s on sale from Black Friday through Cyber Monday (11/28 – 12/1) for 50% off of any 1-year plan (including their new Unlimited Plan).

Yes, you read that right –

It’s only on sale through tomorrow, Monday, Dec 1st!

Ad - White Brick Window - Large

And it’s more than just a proofing system.

Define your products – ShootProof  allows you to define your own products and custom prices for each gallery you upload. It even allows you to create custom discounts, shipping rates, and tax settings based on you and your clients’ needs.

Client Purchases – Yes, it even allows your clients to purchase products and prints directly – whether it’s from a computer or from a mobile device. And credit card information is taken securely, but your client also has the option of paying with Authorize.net or with PayPal.

Order Fulfillment – With order fulfillment, once your client orders you can receive an email with the order details and submit them directly to ShootProof’s lab partners for printing. The lab can either then deliver the product to you or your client – whichever your order details specify.

So you have your proofing, ordering, and print ordering features and capabilities all in one product.

Um, yeah. Pretty awesome stuff, huh?

And a 1-year subscription is on sale for Black Friday through Cyber Monday for 50% off.

Head over and check it out and sign up today!



*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.


YouProof App Black Friday Sales

For 12 hours only, the YouProof proofing app will be on sale for just $14.99! That’s right, you can get YouProof for over 50% off – but only on Black Friday.

After Black Friday, it’ll still be on sale through Cyber Monday (December 1st), but at $24.99 (regular price is $34.99).

If you’ve been trying to figure out the best way to do a proofing session with your clients, look no further.

YouProof was created by photographers to fill that exact need.

And now is the time to buy!

YouProof will be releasing a major update in January. With the update, the retail price will increase but the update will be FREE for anyone who already owns YouProof.

Yes, everyone who purchases YouProof before the update comes out (including people who purchase it during the Black Friday sale) will get the update absolutely FREE.”

Built for the iPad, it was designed to be easy to use and present, and mobile – so you can do the proofing session anywhere you and your client are most comfortable.

A coffee shop, their home, on comfy chairs in your studio – anywhere.

It even allows you to take notes during the ordering session, and then review and email yourself and the client a PDF review of the order once the proofing session is done.

 Head over to their website and start using it today!



Please note: many of the links in this post are affiliate links, and help support us and keep this site free for everyone.

Blending Traditional With Modern

Senior Portrait with mom's favorite dress

[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from Dana Zebrowski.

Dana says:

“This was a very special photo session as it featured a senior from the dance studio I teach at. I have watched Hanna grow up and become a beautiful young lady and an amazing dancer.

Her mom had dreamed of having portraits taken of Hanna in a simple black leotard and skirt with pointe shoes, and I totally loved this idea. So simple, yet so glamorous and elegant!

Hanna and her mom had the best time shopping and coming up with outfits for Hanna to wear. They had lots of ideas for props and we managed to get it all in, so we shot the session all the way up until dark.

The gusts of wind and looming dark clouds couldn’t stop us! Hanna totally rocked it!”

Dana’s Photography Tip:

It can be challenging to balance a session when you have a parent who wants traditional photos and a senior who wants a more modern look, so my tip for this session is to combine classic and traditional poses and settings to please the parents with a more edgy and modern looks to please the senior.

During Hanna’s senior session, we chose outfits that both Hanna had picked out as well as her mom’s favorites. We also made sure to include poses and locations that made them both happy as well as showed off each of the styles they were looking for.

Hanna wanted the beach and her mom wanted something with flowers and a greener backdrop. Thankfully we found both at the marina location we chose.

Hanna and her mom couldn’t have been happier with the result. We covered the more traditional photos with Hanna holding a sign saying “Class of 2015” and posing on a green lawn and under flowering trees. For the more modern look, we did poses on the docks, the beach (Hanna’s choice) and with a more dramatic feel.

Her mom wanted photos of Hanna in a classic black leotard and skirt and we combined this look with a dramatic feel. A looming storm gave us the dark background and the poses added to the drama.

So when you have two very different ideas for a session, don’t panic. Just try to find a way to pick the most important aspects each person wants and work them in. It can be done, you may just have to use some creativity.

Senior Portrait dancer pose
Senior Portrait traditional pose on beach, a compromise
Senior Portrait dance pose, classic yet edgy

Dana used a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon 85mm 1.2 lens and a Canon 35mm 1.4 lens to capture these images.

Dana Zebrowski is a Hampton Roads Family, children, Wedding, and Couples photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Client Personality.

Seniors can be a lot of fun to work with, but marketing for seniors can be a little different than marketing for other types of portrait sessions.

The masterminds behind Seniors Ignite know this too, so make sure to check out what they have to say on the subject.



*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.


SimpleSLR Black Friday Deals – 40% off Everything!

Andy Lim of SimpleSLR is a great resource for lighting, and we love his stuff. With most of his stuff being exceptionally reasonably priced anyway, 40% off (with discount code BLACKFRIDAY40) is a total steal.

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 3.16.39 PMPortrait Lighting + Portrait Recipes (Normally $28.88, now $17.33!)

If you need a little help with off-camera lighting, look no further. Andy breaks it all down in this portrait Lighting Guide so you no longer have to be afraid of using flash. Plus it comes with 3 Volumes of his Portrait Recipes that contain 24 detailed lighting setups for you to try. Check it out here!

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 3.27.10 PM

The Hands-On Photography Guide (Normally $29.99, now $17.99!)

This guide is designed to get you up and running with your DSLR in 4 hours. Adapted from an actual photography workshop, it takes you by the hand and leads you through hands-on exercises to help you not only know your camera, but understand the various settings and when and how to change them. Even if you’re a more advanced shooter, for the Black Friday price it can serve as a great resource to look back on. Check it out here!

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 3.35.33 PMMulticultural Wedding Photography Lighting + Portrait Lighting + Recipes (Normally $55.00, now $22.00!

This bundle contains the Portrait Lighting guide and the Portrait Recipes, as well as the Multicultural Wedding Photography Lighting Guide. Each technique is documented with detailed lighting setups and illustrated with images from Andy’s own collection of images from multicultural weddings he’s photographed in the past. Check it out here!

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 3.42.08 PM

The Complete Bundle: Lighting Mastery (Wedding + Portrait) + Beginners Guide (Normally $65.00, now $26.00!

This one is the Big Kahuna, and includes all of the guides mentioned above. And since it’s Black Friday, you can get all 6 for just $26.00. That’s less than $5 per guide! Check it out here!


Don’t wait too long though, the sale only lasts from now until December 2nd!


Please note: many of the links in this post are affiliate links, and help support us and keep this site free for everyone.

Complete Black Friday Deals List For Photographers

Happy Holidays!

We’ve done all the work for you and compiled the best photography Black Friday deals in one spot!

And yes, just like the subject line says – you can enter for a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card – Scroll to the bottom to see how to enter!

And without further ado, here’s the best deals of the season:

(Please note: many of the links, but not all, in this post are affiliate links, and help support us and keep this site free for everyone.)

Ad - White Brick Window - Large ShootProof

We love ShootProof. It allows you to proof your images with your client, allows your client to take orders directly in ShootProof, and even allows you to send orders directly to the lab to one of ShootProof’s lab partners.

Black Friday Deal: Get 50% off a 1-year subscription from now through 12/1. Click to learn more and start your subscription today.


FOTOVELLA creates professionally designed custom Photoshop templates for photographers – anything from calendar templates to marketing pieces and social media templates.

Black Friday Deal: Get 50% off storewide 11/28-12/1. No code needed. Plus, for any orders over $20 (before discounts), you’ll get a free bonus gift of their 2015 Mini Accordion Calendar Template delivered right to your inbox within 24 hours of checkout. Click here to learn more and pick up some templates today!


Preveal is one of the leading wall art sales tools for the iPad, allowing you to display your products to your client as they would appear on the walls in their home. It’s one of the best ways to show your clients the value of your product and boost product sales at the same time.

Black Friday Deal: Get Preveal for $24.99 (regular price $75) for 12 hours only (midnight to noon on Black Friday), no code needed, or for $50 after that through 12/1. Preveal is also doing amazing sales on both their Salesographer system and Swift Galleries – click here to check out all of their deals!


YouProof was built for in-person sales and proofing. And now is the time to buy because they’re coming out with a major update in January, meaning the retail price will increase. But the update will be FREE to anyone who already owns the app (including people who purchased it on Black Friday!).

Black Friday Deal: Get 50% off the YouProof app for 12 hours only on Black Friday. After Black Friday, get the app for $24.99 (normal price $34.99) through 12/1. No code necessary. Click here to learn more.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 12.27.12 PMMatt and Katie | Photographers Guide to In-Person Sales

Matt and Katie are great at explaining the in’s and out’s of in-person sales. Their guide comes with a how-to portion as well as a script for you to use just starting out so you can learn how to turn an average few-hundred-dollar-sale into an average sale of $1,500!

Black Friday Deal: Get 30% off the guide at Matt and Katie | Photographers using discount code maytheforceofsavingsbewithyou valid 11/28-12/1. Click to learn more.

marketogMarketog Self-Study Course

Marketog is a marketing course designed especially for photographers to give you the tools and resources you need to start getting the clients you really want. Created by Jamie from The Modern Tog, this six week course intensive is available as a self-study course just for Black Friday for half the cost as the usual course price.

This will also be your last opportunity to sign up for Marketog, once the sale is over it won’t be available again until 2015!

Black Friday Deal: Get 50% off the Marketog self-study course now through 12/1. No code Needed.  Click to learn more.

imacgiveawayThe Modern Tog iMac Giveaway

Jamie from The Modern Tog is also giving away an iMac, plus a bunch of other really awesome products.

You can check out her giveaway here and enter for your chance to win!


The Modern Tog Business Bundle

This is a photography business superpack, with tools and resources to help you with everything from pricing and bookkeeping to workflow, client management, and tricky email responses.

These are on sale for a combined price of $399 – that’s a savings of over $250!

Check it out and pick up the bundle today. No code needed. Valid 11/27-12/1.

get-notice-2015-facebook-adFlaunt Your Site

Start the New Year off right, by learning how to boost your traffic and get that traffic to actually hire you. William Bay of Flaunt Your Site will be leading a 4 week webinar that shows you how to set up your site to maximize search traffic, and what potential buyers need. (WordPress site or blog is required.)

Black Friday Deal: Get 40% off the webinar price with code FlauntFriday 11/28-12/1. Click to learn more.

Other Great Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales for Photographers


Get $70 off Annual Membership at StickyAlbums using discount code bestdealofyear valid 11/28-12/1. Click to learn more.

StickyAlbums is also sponsoring a killer 27″ iMac Giveaway – click here for more details and to see how to enter for your chance to win!

lawtog photography contracts black friday sale The LawTog

Get 40% off all products from The LawTog, including Photography Contracts & Agreements, business tools, and more! at The LawTog using discount code BlackFriday40 valid 11/26-12/1. Click to learn more.

Psychology-For-Photographers-Irresistible-Website-Black-Friday-Sale Psychology For Photographers

Get $50 off Irresistible Words or Irresistible Website, or $109 off the Business Library Bundle at Psychology For Photographers valid 11/28-12/1. No codes needed. Click to learn more.

joyvertzbfJoy Vertz

Get 50% off Joy’s 3 Weeks to Pricing Perfection course with code blackfriday50 through 12/2. The course normally runs at $575 so 50% off will save you a couple hundred bucks! Click to learn more.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 12.00.04 PMSeniors Ignite

For a limited time Seniors Ignite is bringing back their five most popular senior portrait photography products, including special bundles that are only available for Black Friday. No code needed. Available now through 12/1. Click here to learn more.

photography concentrate black friday salePhotography Concentrate

Get anywhere from 40%-60% off all photography tutorials. You can also enter for a chance to win brand new cameras or a personal photography coaching session from Rob and Lim, the leaders of Photography Concentrate. Offers valid through 12/5. No code needed. Click here to learn more.

Simple SLR Black Friday DealsSimpleSLR

Get 40% off all products at Simple SLR using discount code BlackFriday40 through 12/2. Click here to learn more.


Boudie Shorts

Get $50 off Model call and 40% off the boudoir business camp at Boudie Shorts valid through 12/3. No code needed. The Camp normally runs at $498 so 50% off will save you at least a ocuple hundred bucks! Click to learn more about the camp and here to learn more about the Model Call.

joshblackfridayJosh Dunlop | Expert Photography

Get $50 off landscape photography video courses and Website Building Service for Photographers, and beginner and landscape photography eBooks for $5. No code needed. Valid 11/27-12/2. Click here to learn more.

Colorvale-Black-Friday-SaleColorvale Actions

Get 20% off all digital items with code November201 through 11/30 and 40% off all digital items with code ThanksWeekends2014 from 11/28-11/30. You can also enter their giveaway from now until 11/28. Click here to learn more.


Get 50% off the Photocrati WordPress theme. No code needed. Offer valid 11/28-12/1.  Click here to learn more.

rank-higher-boxPhotography Spark

Get the SEO Cookbook for $39 and the Business Planning Cookbook for $39  (reg. price $99 each) now through 12/2. No code needed. Click here to learn more.

http://www.belovelyyou.com/buy/mcpactionsMCP Actions

Get 25% off all actions, presets, guides and texture at MCP Actions with code mcpthanks. Code valid 11/26-12/1. Click here to learn more.

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 10.48.02 PM


Adorama is sponsoring a special sale JUST for Belovely You on select lighting gear items. Anything from $5 off to $20 off, and more! Valid through 12/1. Read more about it here.

copy-The-Dynamic-Range-Logo-longThe Dynamic Range

Get 30% off all of Susan Stripling’s books in the store 11/27-12/2. No code needed. Click here to learn more. *Note: Site will be live soon if not available yet, keep checking back!

prophoto-black-friday-deal-coupon-saleProPhoto Blogs
Get $10 off at ProPhoto Blogs using discount code JAMSWA556Click here to learn more.

Custom Flash Drives with no minimum ordersPhotoFlashDrive

Get 25% off entire order 11/28-12/5 with code BLACK2014, and free shipping for USA, Canada and Europe for Black Friday only.  Click here to learn more.

mastinMastin Labs

Get 40% off all film preset packs 11/28-12/1. No code needed.  Click here to learn more.

SLR Lounge
Get 25% to 33% off the entire store at SLR Lounge now thorugh 12/1 with code blkfriday25 or blkfriday33 (see site for details on when to use which code). Click here to learn more.

Rock the Shot
Get 40% off Rock the Shot Forum Membership at Rock the Shot using discount code BFCM40 through 12/1. Click here to learn more.

Totally Rad Actions
Get 33% off everything at Totally Rad actions and presets with code BLACKFRIDAY2014 11/28-12/2.Click here to learn more.

Borrow Lenses
Get 15% off gear rentals at Borrow Lenses through 11/30. Place an order that ships before 12/3 using coupon code BLFRIDAY14 to get a jump on the deals. Click here to learn more.

Design Aglow
Get 15% off both Frame Shop and Paper Shop (no exclusions or limits) at Design Aglow using discount code THANKFUL from26-11/28. Click here to learn more.

Bellevue Avenue
Get 50% off with coupon code BF50 (only 25 codes available) Get 50% off with coupon code BF50 (only 25 codes available),Get 40% off with coupon code BF40 (only 50 codes available),Get 30% off with coupon code BF30 (only 100 codes available), get 25% off with coupon code CW25 (no limit). Sales valid 11/27-12/2. Click here to learn more.

The Milky Way
Free 2015 Weekly Planner for everyone! Use this yearly planner to help define your 2015 goals and create some action-steps to get you there! Click here to learn more and download for free!

$40 off Master Workflow Lightroom Presets. No code needed. Click to learn more.

Christopher O’Donnell
Get the Complete Collection: Landscape Photography eBooks for $19 (retail $57) with discount code HOLIDAY 11/28-1/1. Click here to learn more.

Christopher O’Donnell
Get the Complete Collection: Landscape Photography eBooks for $19 (retail $57) with discount code HOLIDAY 11/28-1/1. Click here to learn more.

Digital Dark Room
Save 70% + get a $100 gift certificate when you spent $149 or more with code BlackFriday70 thru midnight 11/30 or save 90% off the Whole Store with coupon code Whole90 (discount code already includes $100 gift card.) Click to learn more.

Cheeta Stand
Save 50%  on all in-stock items on their website with code BF2014. No raincheck or backorders. Offer valid only on 11/28. Click to learn more.

Get 35% off any editing set with coupon code BLACKFRIDAY14 now thorugh 12/2.  Click to learn more.

B&H Photo
Sales storewide on cameras, lenses, memory cards, computers, camera accessories, lighting gear, you name it. Click to learn more.

All VSCO film packs on sale for %15 off, and an additional 25% off for owners of VSCO Film or VSCO Keys. No code needed. On sale now through 12/1. Click to learn more.

Topaz Labs
Get all products for $249.99 (regular value $429.99) with coupon code BLACKFRIDAY2014 11/28-12/1. Click to learn more.

Master Workflow Lightroom Presets
Get $40 off with code BLACKFRIDAY 11/28-12/1 professional Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets (sale price reflected in cart).  Click to learn more.

The Album Cafe
Get $50 off premium Photoshop templates with code BLACKFRIDAY from 11/28-12/1. Click to learn more.

Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions, Presets, and Overlays
Get 50% off storewide now through 12/1 with code BLACK50. Get an extra 10% off when you purchase 2 or more items. Click to learn more.

Get 50% off popular classes and videos now through 12/1. No code needed. Click to learn more.

Charlotte Reeves Photography
Get $25 off any e-book or $35 off the combo for Charlotte’s dog photography e-books with code BLACK from 11/27 thru midnight 12/1 (Australian Eastern Standard Time).  Click to learn more.

Get 73% off Pro annual membership at Snapknot (regular membership cost $735, sale price $199). No code needed. Sale active 11/26-11/29.  Click here to learn more.


Once you’ve entered the giveaway, a blue box will appear on the widget that will give you a unique URL you can share on social media.

For each friend that enters the giveaway through that link, you’ll get +1 entry into the giveaway (for up to 10 referrals).

So enter for your change to win, and share away!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sign up for the Belovely You Email Newsletter by entering your email below and get gorgeous images and free photography tips delivered to your inbox weekly!

Urban Engagement Session


[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from .

Kari says:

“This engagement session was photographed around the West Village in NYC. The couple wanted to get photos that captured their relationship without feeling too posed or structured.”

Kari’s Photography Tip:

It’s so important for your clients to feel natural while they’re having their photos taken. If clients are uncomfortable or nervous, it comes through in all the photos. Make sure that you spend time talking to your clients so they relax in front of the camera.

Joke with them! Real laughter is beautiful. Have the couple interact while you’re taking their photos.

Even though you’ll have to weed out photos of their mouths open while they’re talking, there are always a few fabulous photos that capture the true nature of the couple’s relationship–and those are the absolute best kind of photos!


Kari used a Canon 5D mark III with a Canon 35mm f/1.4 lens and a Canon 50mm f/1.2 lens to capture these images.

Kari Nichols is a New York, NY Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Client Personality.

Finding a new location or style of shooting is a great way to mix things up in your every day routine – but don’t forget about post! Try out a new action or preset and switch things up a bit!



*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.


Adorama Lighting Sale JUST for Belovely You!

Black Friday has come early and Adorama is doing a sale on some lighting gear just for the Belovely You audience through Cyber Monday (12/1) at 11:59pm Eastern Time.

Yup, that’s right. You guys are the only ones that know about it. It’s a special deal that they worked out just for us with code BYNOVEMBER

Here’s what they got for us:


Flashpoint Softbox

Normally $59.95,  On sale for Belovely You with code BYNOVEMBER for $49.95!

Comes with 70 watt Fluorescent Light Unit, Built-in 19.5×27.5″ Silver Soft Box, AC Plug, Spiral Fluorescent 5500K Bulb and Light Stand

octa II

Flashpoint Octa II Softbox

Normally $59.95, On sale for Belovely You with code BYNOVEMBER for $39.95!

24″ softbox used for continuous lighting and comes with 70W Fluorescent Lamp


beauty dish gridFlashpoint Beauty Dish

Normally $34.95, On sale for Belovely You with code BYNOVEMBER for $29.95!

20 degree Grid for 16″ Beauty Dish – an essential accessory for any lighting system and setup.


10x10' background stand

Flashpoint 10×10′ Background Support

Normally $89.95,  On sale for Belovely You with code BYNOVEMBER for $69.95!

Heavy Duty Steel Support Set comes with 2 upright stands, cross bar, and carrying bag.

 Mini SoftBox 12x8" (30x20cm) Diffuser, Large, for Shoe Mount FlashesFlashpoint Mini Softbox

Normally $15.95,  On sale for Belovely You with code BYNOVEMBER for $9.95!

Mini 12×8″ softbox diffuser for Shoe Mount Flash. Great for softbox-style lighting on-the-go.


36" PZ Octabox White interiorFlashpoint 36″ Octabox

Normally $149.95,  On sale for Belovely You with code BYNOVEMBER for $129.95! (current special ends on 11/20, but they’re extending it for us!)

36″ Octabox with white interior. Comes with carrying case, baffle, and front diffuser.


two light softbox kit

Flashpoint Two-Light Kit

Normally $109.95,  On sale for Belovely You with code BYNOVEMBER for $99.95!

Two-light softbox kit with two softboxes, two 70W fluorescent bulbs, two stand, and carrying case.



320 monolight kit 150 watt second

Flashpoint 320 Monolight Kit – 150 W Second

Normally $179.95,  On sale for Belovely You with code BYNOVEMBER for $169.95!

Comes with 8″ reflector, flashtube and protector, modeling lamp, power cord, sync cord, 24×24″ softbox, mounting ring, and stand.

620M Monolight Kit, One 300 Watt Second

Flashpoint 620M Monolight Kit – 300W Second

Normally $219.95,  On sale for Belovely You with code BYNOVEMBER for $189.95!

Comes with 1x 300W second monolight with 9.5′ stand and 40″ white umbrella, flashtube and protector, bulb,  and reflector.

Flashpoint 320M Monolight Kit

Flashpoint 320M Monolight Kit – 150W Second

Normally $179.95,  On sale for Belovely You with code BYNOVEMBER for $174.95!

Comes with 8″ reflector, flashtube and protector, modeling lamp, power cord and sync cord, 24×36″ softbox, mounting ring, and 9.5′ stand.

Don’t wait too long – sale ends 12/1 at 11:59pm!

Check them all out here!

And don’t forget to use the code BYNOVEMBER!



*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.

Working with Little Ones


[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from .

Katy says:

“This session was a family session featuring their newest addition.”

Katy’s Photography Tip:

For this session I focussed on getting that feeling of the unique time when there is something new in the house. I did this by looking for interesting light, moments that were evoking some kind of mood, or relational feeling.

After we were done shooting inside, we headed outside. The older sibling had a love of being free and running, running, running.  I feel like it is always really important to speak the language of your littlest client and allow them to put on their ‘show’ for you, so we tried to harness her energy by asking her to run and be caught.


Katy used a Canon 5D Mark III with a Canon 35mm 1.4 lens to capture these images.

Katy Tuttle is a Seattle, WA Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Working With Children.

Black and white images can be stunning, and invoke a certain level of emotion that colored images can’t. Don’t forget though – editing black and whites is different than editing colors.



*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.


Unexpected Locations

Christian & Tess

[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from .

Damien says:

“This engagement session took place on an island in Sydney Harbour in the middle of a popular art exhibition. This was a great location because there was lots to see and do and the shooting just sort of fell in-between, helping the couple to stay relaxed and have a good time, which really came through in the images.”

Damien’s Photography Tip:

This session was shot late afternoon in the middle of Sydney Harbour at the art biennial. It turned out to be the perfect location because of all of the industrial sheds and machinery, which gave us the opportunity to really play around with the direction of the light and use of color.

Some of the shots (including the last one) were even lit using lighting insulations, which is handy when a flash won’t do!

So don’t be afraid of places you don’t know or have never been – keep an open mind, some places may just surprise you!

Christian & Tess
Christian & Tess
Christian & Tess
Christian & Tess
Christian & Tess
Christian & Tess
Christian & Tess

Damien used a Canon 5D MKII with a Sigma Art 35mm 1.4 and Sigma 85mm 1.4 lens to capture these images.

Damien Furey is an Australian-Wide Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Location.



*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.

Creating Targeted Facebook Ads


Ok I know some of you are cringing already at the blog post title, because you’ve tried it and it didn’t work.

Or you tried to try it and it was all confusing and over your head and might as well have been written in Greek.

Or you even tried using The Googles to figure out how to do it, but the search results were for some other kind of product not related to photography or too general that you still didn’t know where to start.

Well as it turns out, Jamie from The Modern Tog has experienced all of these things, and after quite a bit of trial and error is willing to share with you what works, what doesn’t, and how to get it to work for your photography business.

For free.

No really, it’s a whole new freebie book created just for photographers about creating effective Facebook ads.

Plus information about why what you’ve been doing in the past (if you’ve tried it out) wasn’t working.

Ever tried boosting a post but to no avail?

Well, more people might be seeing your boosted post, that’s true, but it’s sort of like casting a really wide net and hoping you catch a tuna instead of a bunch of minnows.

(…did I just compare potential clients to fish? huh….well I like that analogy so we’re gonna roll with it.)

In other words, the people who are seeing the post could be literally anyone – people halfway around the world that aren’t interested in hiring you in the first place, people who have no need of your service even if they are close by (like people who’s children are all grown seeing an ad for newborn photography – chances are, they’re probably not going to hire you even if they live next door).

Or even more annoyingly, the profiles that are seeing your boosted post are fake profiles.

Super frustrating.

So how do you get Facebook advertising to work for you?

Because Facebook ad targeting can actually be a very beneficial marketing tool that does work (and I know a few photographers besides just Jamie from Modern Tog who have gotten it to work, and gotten bookings from using Facebook advertising).

You just have to know what sort of tactics work – and which don’t.

But enough already – head on over and read Jamie’s post and learn a little bit more about it, and to sign up and get your free eBook.

You’re welcome, and happy advertising!



*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.

Using Props to keep Children Engaged


[pinit count=”horizontal” description=”Check out this featured session on Belovely You http://www.belovelyyou.com”]Today’s feature is from .

Katie says:

“This session was a style shoot for a local children’s boutique. I love collaborating with others in creating styled sessions as it allows me to be creative and work with an array of children while providing the store with images they can use to promote their store and clothing brands.

At this particular session, we focused on a fall line of clothes for boys. I loved the preppy-meets-outdoors theme.”

Katie’s Photography Tip:

Photographing young kids can be challenging, and three active little boys even more so. To help with this, I suggest making sure you keep the children engaged.

For this shoot, we accomplished that by telling the little boys silly jokes, using humor, and encouraging them to play with the props.






Katie used a Nikon D800 with a Nikon 85 1.8G lens to capture these images.

Katie Preuss is a Greenville, SC Newborn and Children Portraits photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Working With Children.

Networking is a great way to work on getting future referrals, but don’t forget that it’s not just shop owners that network and send referrals, it’s your past clients too.

And there’s plenty of ways you can beef up and/or put together a solid referral program to give your clients an extra push to send their friends your way.



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