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Finding Locations with Diversity

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Today’s feature is from Tracy Waitkus.

Tracy says:

“These images are from a Class of 2016 senior portrait session that I took in August.”

Tracy’s Photography Tip:

My tip is location, location, location!

I do a lot of two-hour senior portrait sessions, where we have lots of time to shoot different outfits and go to two separate locations.

This particular senior portrait session was only a one-hour session, but I still wanted to deliver to my client a nice variety of images with different backgrounds, colors, textures, and moods. So, choosing a versatile location was key.

We decided to shoot this session in the Village of Arroyo Grande, which is an historic downtown area. Within just a few blocks, we had access to storefronts, vintage buildings, a swinging foot bridge, a green park with white fencing and a gazebo, and a creek area with lots of foliage.

What more could you want? And with one outfit change and the addition of a denim jacket, I was able to get a lot of different looks for my client to choose from.

So, if your shoot time is limited, you can still get the illusion of a longer, multi-location session by finding a location with diversity.

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Tracy used a Nikon D610 (affiliate link) with a Nikkor 85mm 1.8G AF-S lens (affiliate link) to capture these images.

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

Click here to see more tips on Location.


If you’re looking for more tips on all things Seniors, we highly recommend you check out everything by Seniors Ignite. They provide tons of free info on their blog about the senior portrait photography biz, plus produce tons of products and opportunities to learn more.

Read more about Seniors Ignite here (affiliate link).

 

Tips for Urban Family Portraits

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Today’s feature is from Edyta Grazman.

Edyta says:

“This session was scheduled around the younger child’s 1st birthday, though I had previously photographed him when he was a newborn and when he was six months old.

I love returning clients! There are so many benefits to working with a family you know; everyone is more relaxed, comfortable, and knows just what to expect.”

Edyta’s Photography Tip:

This session was shot in downtown Chicago, where I shoot most of my sessions. The city look is fantastic, but it can get busy so you have to be careful to consciously choose what you want to include in the shot and not let things get distracting or full of clutter.

With that in mind, I shot this session wide open to separate my subjects from the busy backdrop.

I also picked a spot in the city where the sidewalks were light and would act as reflectors bouncing the light back onto my subjects along with pretty landscaping for the nice backdrop.

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Tips for Urban Family Portraits // Belovely You
Tips for Urban Family Portraits // Belovely You

Edyta used a Nikon D750 (affiliate link) with a Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 lens (affiliate link) and a Nikon 50mm 1.4 lens (affiliate link) to capture these images.

Edyta Grazman is a Chicago, San Francisco, and New York Children and Family photographer.

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


 

 

 

Making Something Ugly Into Something Beautiful

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Today’s feature is from .

Brooke says:

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

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

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

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

Brooke’s Photography Tip:

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

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

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

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

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

Brooke Shaden is a Fine Art photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Location.


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

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

 

 

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

Seeing Things in a New Light

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Today’s feature is from Julie Dessureault.

Julie says:

“Laurie and Nicolas’s story is so touching, beautiful and truthful that I wanted to share it.

Laurie used to be a competitive figure skater, but lately her biggest battle has been with cancer.

Her fiance Nicolas, however, was not a figure skater – until recently.

During the fall and winter, Nicolas secretly started learning how to figure skate. He would practice several times a week, sometimes with coaches, and sometimes alone, keeping it all a secret from their friends and families for months.

His idea? To create a figure skating choreography for his girlfriend that he would use to propose to her.

Nicolas wanted to prove his commitment to Laurie, and prove to her that no matter what, no matter how hard things got and how hard she had to fight, he was committed to her, loving her, and their life together.

Needless to say, she said yes.

Julie’s Photography Tip:

Even though I’ve photographed in Old Montreal a thousand times, I decided on this particular session to look at it as if I’ve never been there before.

I paid close attention to things I may otherwise overlook, and really focused on light, texture, and flection, and using them to my advantage.

This session also took place later in the day and the light was amazing. I made sure to take advantage of that by having my subjects face the sun with their chin up so as to beautifully expose their faces with lovely, Golden-Hour light.

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Julie used a Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon 5D Mark III with a Canon 35mm lens and a Canon 135mm lens to capture these images.

Julie Dessureault is a Montreal Wedding, Portrait and Headshot photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Lighting and Location.

Natural Love with a Circular Polarizer Filter

When to Use a Polarizing Filter

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Today’s feature is from .

Jes says:

“Marlene contacted me through Instagram and asked if I would want to come to her home to photograph her and her husband, Salo, in their natural environment to celebrate their pregnancy.

I believe she was around 5 months in these photos. After a bit of Instagram research, I couldn’t say yes fast enough.

She was half yogi, half fashion expert. Her hair was cropped and her face bare, but she made sure to ask my advice when choosing which Chanel or Jimmy Choo heels to throw on – “even if they aren’t in the photograph”.

Salo is a Grammy-winning Latin composer, and he serenaded us on the piano during the entire session, only taking his eyes off the keys to gaze at his wife. This was simply them, and I just happened to be in the room with a camera.

For the outdoor images, Marlene and I chose a white, Free People gown from her wardrobe, and we headed down the road to a nature reserve in Laguna Beach. She opted to go barefoot, of course.

Even though I had only known them for two hours, by the end of the session I felt as though I was part of their family.

By starting in their home and watching them go about their normal routine, (interacting with each other as if I wasn’t there), I felt perfectly comfortable posing them in a wide outdoor setting.

The arrangements felt natural for all of us, and I do believe it was because they had welcomed me into their personal environment versus a photographer hosting a family in the comfort of their own studio/common shooting location.

It was truly a magical session, and Marlene and Salo welcomed their baby boy, Julian, into the world just four weeks ago.”

Jes’s Photography Tip:

Soft, natural window light is my dream, and their home happened to have plenty of it. Even in areas that it didn’t, a little grain and a bumped ISO doesn’t bother me as it tends to add to the raw feeling of the photos.

For lens choice, the indoor space was also small, and I wanted to be as intimate as possible with my framing. I used my 50mm 1.4 and stayed between 1.4 and 2.0.

The outdoor light was also rare for Southern California – a thin blanket of sea fog had yet to burn off at our 1pm session, allowing for a softly-lit afternoon.

For this part of the session, I pulled out my 24-70 with a circular polarizer filter – which is a must for capturing the landscape and retaining the highlights of the sky and background in the bright California light.

There wasn’t any blue sky on this day, but the rocks and dress would have been more overexposed for my liking (had I exposed for the shadows without a polarizer). They save me every time!

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Jes used a Canon 5D MK III with a Canon 50 1.4 lens and a Canon 24-70 2.8 lens to capture these images.

Jes Workman is a Greater Los Angeles Area, CA Wedding and Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Camera Settings.


Maternity photos can be a lot of fun, especially when you get to photograph the mother during pregnancy, and then the newborn once they’ve been welcomed into the world.

One of the best ways to do that is set up a package that includes a maternity session and a newborn session. If you’re still struggling with pricing and packaging, there’s a lot of great resources out there to help you sort it all out.

How To Create Forest Look In City Park

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Today’s feature is from .

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

Marcela says:

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

Marcela’s Photography Tip For a Forest Look:

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

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

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

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

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

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

See more tips here about location.


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

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

 

Sunset Minus 2 Hours For Romantic Pictures

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Today’s feature is from Sussie Mellstedt.

People are always looking for romantic pictures for inspiration.  This photographer has a great tips for creating portraits with that edge of romance. With some practice, you can make photos like these, too!

Sussie says:

“I was in a smaller city called Nettuno, 1 hour from Rome in Italy. I wanted to have variety of locations. So, I brought the beautiful couple to a forest, then later into the medieval city and ended the session by the ocean.”

Sussie’s Photography Tip for Romantic Pictures:

The gear that I use is Nikon d800 and the lens is Sigma FineArt 50mm. That’s it.

Less is more. I like to feel free as a photographer, to be able to be present as much as possible in the moment. So I prefer to work with natural light and that’s what I also did in this photo shoot.

I took the photos just a couple of hours before the sunset, in order to get softer and romantic light.

I usually use Pinterest or Belovelyyou to get some inspiration for the poses, but during the photo shoot I try to take it as it comes. Maybe I see something different or find a creative subject that I can play around with.

I also like to think in colours, so I always suggest the colours of the clothes that will suit the location. I’m a big fan of VSCO, it matches my photography style. It’s a filter that you can add either in LR or PS and it adds the film feeling over it.

I would say that the majority of my photos are romantic, dreamy and soft, so that is my goal during the editing process.

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Sussie used a Adorama Nikon D800 with a Sigma art 50mm lens to capture these romantic pictures.

Sussie Mellstedt is a Stockholm, New York, Rome Weddings, Portrait, Maternity, Fine Art photographer.

Click here for more tips about lighting, editing, and location.


Film images definitely invoke a certain feeling and emotion. But if you’re not comfortable shooting film, don’t worry!  There are tons of amazing film presets and actions out there to help you capture that film feel.

Things to Remember when Location Scouting

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Today’s feature is from .

Susan says:

“This session took place a couple of hours away from Santa Rosa, CA where I am based. I had never seen the two locations we would be using before, but I had some photographs from my client to use in my planning process.

This family wanted photographs that captured the essence of their adorable little daughter and highlighted her spunky yet sweet spirit as well as some candid moments that captured of all three of them.

I work primarily in natural light, and always try to push myself to use the light available to me to create portraits that are artistically minded as well as emotive.

We had a great time photographing in the two hours before sunset, and were able to really highlight the strengths of golden hour lighting as well as the beautiful softness the end of the day brings to the world to create some unique images that speak of the relationships this couple holds most dear.”

Susan’s Photography Tip:

My favorite image of this entire set is the one of the family warming their hands over the fire in Grandma’s backyard. Sometimes natural light can be challenging, however there are always elements available to create unique shots that have that “wow, how did you do that?” factor using only what is around you.

Since I had never seen the areas we were going to shoot in before, I had to think on my feet to get the interesting perspectives that make a portrait go from good to great.

At our first location in a nearby golf course, I was able to use huge rocks to take shots of the little one from below — a great technique for photographing children, as they are usually shot from above.

Then we moved to Grandma’s backyard, and as my clients were changing outfits, I scanned the area for things that I could play with. The first thing that caught my eye was their beautiful pool.

I was able to play with reflections as the sun was setting to get some beautiful shots of just the two parents. I then espied the fire pots, and as twilight was setting, I placed them in a way that creatively harnessed the lighting situation I was in to create a shot unlike any other.

Having your “go-to” prompts and poses are a necessary part of lifestyle portraiture, but creatively using things like bodies of water, landscaping, and unorthodox sources of light in the settings you are in can introduce a certain artistry to the portraits you take.

The next time you are scouting a location, look for unique elements to play with as you position and direct your clients. You may be surprised at how easy it is to create artistic images that stop viewers in their tracks.

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Susan used a Nikon D800 (affiliate link) with a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens (affiliate link) and a Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 lens (affiliate link) to capture these images.

Susan Suard is a Santa Rosa, CA Lifestyle Family photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Location.

Tips on Seeing the Whole Picture

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Today’s feature is from Taylor McCutchan.

Taylor says:

“These photos are from an anniversary session of a couple whose wedding I shot last year. They love exploring and the mountains, so we decided to head to Castle Lake near Mt. Shasta.

I really wanted to focus on intimacy between the couple and compose them in a way that really showed the natural beauty of the area.”

Taylor’s Photography Tip:

The best words of advice I can offer are be aware of your surroundings and focus on not just what’s in front of you. I find a lot of the time when I shoot, I tend to get tunnel vision and just focus on the people standing right in front of me.

When that happens, I step back, take my time, and look at everything around me. From the foreground to the background, to the shadows and how all of these can be tied in together to create a unique photograph.

Don’t be afraid to get weird and try new things. Show movement, play with light, step back, get close, find reflections, make double exposures. Learn the craft and techniques and use those in as many different ways as you can think of. In the end, just have as much fun as possible.

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Taylor used a Mamiya 7 medium format (6×7) film camera (affiliate link) and Nikon FM2 35mm film camera with Portra 400(affiliate link) and tri-x 400 (affiliate link) film.

For his Mamiya camera he used an 80mm f/4 lens and for the Nikon he used a 28mm f/2.8 AIS lens. The images were developed and scanned by Indie Film Lab.

Taylor McCutchan is a Redding, California, and National Wedding and Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Location.


Taylor did a killer job shooting in film. But if you’re not quite comfortable shooting in film or like the control that digital gives you, there’s some amazing film presets (affiliate link) out there that can help you capture that film look.

Getting Your Images to Stand Out

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Today’s feature is from .

Jordan says:

“This session was for a couple who flew out from Texas to visit Seattle and have these photos taken.

When we were talking about location ideas, I asked them where they were willing to go. Their reply was, we will go anywhere, hike anything, we just want to go somewhere epic.

As a photographer, that is my favorite thing to hear from clients.

This session ended up being the longest session I have ever had, because we spent 20 hours together (leaving at 7am and arriving back home at 3am).

All in all, it was one of the best sessions I’ve ever had. It’s always great when clients become good friends afterwards.”

Jordan’s Photography Tip:

I love the outdoors and I love the amazing scenery the pacific northwest has to offer so I began trying to incorporate that into my photos.

It’s a no brainer that an epic location is going to make a photo more appealing to people, so my advice to other photographers would be to get out, explore, and make use of the beautiful nature that is around them.

Yes, it’s much easier in the Pacific Northwest as there is a lot of epic scenery but every state has unique scenery to that area.

I also put a lot of work into my sessions. I do not do 1-2 hour sessions. Instead, I spend around 8-12 hours with a couple (on average) depending on how far we’re driving/hiking.

Having more time during a session can help in many different ways.

First, it generally allows me to plan the shoot around the best times of the day to shoot.

Second, since I’ve been able to spend more time with the couple, when we do begin shooting, they are already comfortable enough with me and we can dive right into it.

With 1-2 hour sessions it can be tough getting couples to open up right away (especially when you’re limited on time). This tremendously helps with posing as well as it’s much easier to pose couples who are comfortable than ones that are nervous.

I tend to have my couples walk around quite a bit as well to loosen them up and capture some genuine moments between them as they walk together.

All in all, I think if photographers want their work to stand out more, they need to go to the places that no one has been to yet. The places less-traveled.

These are the unique photos people like to see because it’s not something they’re used to.

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Jordan used a Canon 5D Mark III (affiliate link) and Canon 5D Mark II (affiliate link) with a Canon 35L lens, a Canon 45mm lens, a Canon 50L lens, and a Canon 135L lens (affiliate link) to capture these images.

Jordan Voth is a Seattle/Tacoma Washington Engagement Portraits and Wedding photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Client Personality and Location.


Having your images stand out is great, but nowadays if you can’t get people to find your website online you’re pretty much out of luck.

If you’re not on the ball with website SEO, you’ll definitely be missing the boat here. Make sure you have your site SEO optimized (affiliate link) to make sure you’re getting found.

 

Bringing Seniors Out Of Their Shell

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Today’s feature is from .

Mitch says:

“These images are part of Luke’s senior portrait session that were taken in Anchorage, Alaska.

The first day we went out to photograph it was an absolute downpour of torrential rains, so we were mostly limited to photographing in areas with overhead cover.

For day two of Luke’s session we lucked out with better weather (which is always a blessing in Alaska!) and were able to walk around downtown to photograph in various locations.

We have a general rule at our studio too when it comes to finding great places to shoot – the more awful the place smells, and the more sketchy it looks, its likely the best place for pictures!”

Mitch’s Photography Tip:

One of my favorite parts about working with high school seniors is bringing them out of their shell and showing their character!

A lot of the times Senior Year is a year of self discovery, and oftentimes their senior photos are the first time they are expressing their newly found selves.

Conversation can be a bit awkward at first, but as the session evolves, its important to maintain high energy the entire time.

Most importantly, make sure they feel comfortable in their poses.

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Mitch used a Canon 5D Mark III (affiliate link) with a Canon 70-200mm 2.8 (affiliate link) lens, a Canon 24-70mm 2.8 (affiliate link) lens, and a Canon 50mm 1.8 (affiliate link) lens lens to capture these images.

Mitch Kitter is an Anchorage, Alaska and Destination Senior Portraits photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Client Personality and Location.


Working with seniors is a lot of fun, but marketing to them is a bit different than other portrait markets.

The leaders behind Seniors Ignite know this, and there are tons of free resources all about Senior Portrait marketing on their website. Check it out here!

 

Outdoor Baby Sessions

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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.

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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!

 

Working with Distant Locations

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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!

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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.

 

Senior Portrait Tips from Jessica Drossin

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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!

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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.

Unexpected Locations

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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!

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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.

Tips on Taking Amazing Winter Portraits

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Today’s feature is from .

Niki says:

“I live in Finland where there are really cold winters. Last year’s winter was exceptionally cold and without snow, and our lake froze quickly and had only a very thin layer of powder snow on top of the black ice.

Sunsets come here in winter around 3-4pm, which is an ideal time to take family portraits.”

Niki’s Photography Tip:

Since I am well-acclimated to working in the cold, I’m going to pass on my best tips for chilly weather sessions (though keep in mind these aren’t necessarily in order of importance):

1. Dress warmly. This doesn’t always mean that you have to have a winter jacket on either – adults or children (though it is a good idea to have one nearby in case someone gets super chilly). Layers of wool with more layers of functional winter underwear is really the ticket.

Gloves are a must, however, as are warm socks. It’s also helpful to have a thermo-bottle full of hot tea (and perhaps a splash of something sharper for adults).

2. No dry lips. Two words: lip balm! Don’t skip this, dry lips hurt and they will only get dryer. Treat your lips well before the shoot. Dry lips look bad, in real life and in pictures. Can I make it go away in Photoshop? Yes. Do I want spend my precious time like this? Not really. Lip balm!

3. Action. No matter how warmly dressed you are, if you are not moving, you will be freezing soon and there is really no reason to catch a pneumonia because of a photo. Have some fun action ready for your subjects. If you get cold, start running and jumping and doing crazy stuff. But as with everything, it only works if you put your heart in it, so have a ball!

4. No sitting on snow. If you must, supply something warm and fluffy (such as the winter jacket, currently not in use, or a fluffy blanket) or you risk a frozen bottom. You can always make it disappear in the photo with creative posing or clothing adjustments.

5. Planning. Scout your location, plan the time of day, plan the photos. If you can, plan it so you can take most of the images within a few minutes of a well heated home. Because the truth is, you will get cold.

Perhaps in half hour, most likely sooner, especially if it is windy. When your models start feeling cold, don’t push it – pack your gear and march home. Remember, locations are everywhere, you just have to start seeing them.

Good luck getting them awesome winter portraits!

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Niki used a Nikon D4 with a Nikkor 2.8 70-200mm lens to capture these images.

Niki Strbian is a Helsinki, Finland Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Location.


Family portraits are great, but if they only stay on a disc or USB drive it sort of defeats the purpose.

Make sure you’re giving your client a good assortment of physical products to choose from (and doing an in-person sales session to make sure they understand the value of physical products!).

 

 

*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 Environment to your Advantage

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Today’s feature is from .

James says:

“This day was a super sunny day for a couple’s engagement shoot and we took a boat out onto the river in Knaresborough to get something utterly unique.

It was hard not to constantly worry about losing all my kit to the bottom of the riverbed every time one of us moved in the boat, and the cramped conditions made it all the more difficult. But it was all completely worth it!

The scenario was so funny (especially with the bad rowing!), and it was a fun trip out that made it so easy to capture them both enjoying themselves with each other.”

James’s Photography Tip:

My tip is to help keep nervous couples relaxed in front of the camera by enabling them to create their own situations. Being in a boat meant they had something to focus on rather than building up that awkward feeling of being in front of the camera.

It also helped us create something new and unique rather than typical portrait photography. Controlling the light was rarely an issue as there were plenty of overhanging willow trees and bridges offering just the right amount of shade for good lighting – though navigating the boat into that shade was slightly more difficult!

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James used a Canon 5d MkIII with a Sigma 35 1.4 lens to capture these images.

James Lester is a Leeds, UK Wedding photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Location.


What’s a great add-on for your engagement sessions? Engagement sessions like this one are gorgeous – but what good are the images if they stay on a disc and never get looked at?

Albums are the perfect remedy for this, giving your client a wonderful keepsake of this time in their lives. If you’re not too keen on album creation, don’t worry – there are plenty of resources out there to help you get started.

 

 

*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 Senior Guys

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Today’s feature is from .

Suzanne says:

“Selecting locations for my high school seniors that truly represent who they are and incorporate the things they love is something I pride myself in and have built my business around.

Upon learning Aaron’s passion for music I knew instantly the perfect spot for his senior portraits – a grungy, urban band practice space in an old warehouse building in the city.

Utilizing a variety of locations in and around the building provided us some incredible light, color, and texture, and produced an amazing one-of-a-kind senior portraits session.”

Suzanne’s Photography Tip:

Many high school senior photographers shy away from working with senior guys. I, however, embrace them! The guys are so cool, laid-back, and fun. And believe it or not, just like the girls, they want awesome senior pictures too.

When working with senior guys you have to keep it real. No cutesy looks or awkward poses. Their body language has to flow naturally from one pose to another with a masculine feel. And make it quick – the last thing they want to do is stand around while you snap a hundred shots.

Mix their facial expressions up with some serious and some smiling (those are always Grandma’s favorite). To nail the serious look my trick is to have them look away from the camera. I’ll instruct them to look at me on the count of 3, which usually yields a perfect serious-but-inquisitive look every time.

Finally, pick a location that is of some interest to the senior. Many of my guy athletes want their senior portraits at the local high school – on the track, around the ball field, or in the stadium. I’ve taken my senior actors for shots outside the local theater, and of course, my musician, Aaron, at the band practice space.

Incorporating a senior guy’s likes and hobbies into their session also insures their interest and active participation, which nails a perfect image every time.

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Suzanne used a Nikon D610 with a Nikon 85mm f/1.8 lens to capture these images.

Suzanne neace is a Rochester, New York High School Senior Portraits photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Location and Client Personality.


Need a little more experience working with senior guys? Suzanne’s not wrong, in that a lot of photographers can sometimes shy away from working with the guys.

But like Suzanne also said, they can be a lot of fun! At the Seniors Ignite event in February, the senior models they use during the portfolio-building sessions is a mixed crowd of both guys and girls.

So if you’d like closer instruction on working with guys, we definitely suggest you check the event out – but don’t forget to use our special Belovely You discount code!

 

 

*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.

Metro Senior Sessions

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Today’s feature is from .

Teri says:

“This session was styled using metro-downtown as the setting at the specific request of our senior client. During the consultation, she said she wanted to design the shoot around fashion-edgy outfits in a modern setting that did not include a field or nature settings.

This is what prompted me to suggest a particular area of our metro downtown.”

Teri’s Photography Tip:

Shooting in a busy metro downtown area can be exciting and tricky. I have found that the time of day and the day of the week make a big difference. While traffic and headlights can create a great setting for telling the story, I prefer to have big open spaces and less traffic.

For this reason, I prefer to shoot an urban downtown session on a quiet Sunday late afternoon/evening. This ensures little to no traffic in the areas I want to shoot.

If you are interested in using your own metro area for a photo shoot, there may be restrictions to shooting on certain properties. Keep this in mind, so as not to be “shooed off” during your shoot.

Federal buildings and Federal grounds (such as the capital grounds of a city or the pretty park areas around your government buildings) typically are off-limits or at the very least require a permit. Yes, they are gorgeous, but it’s usually illegal to shoot there so just make sure to research and know your city.

My favorite areas to shoot in are alley ways because the light bouncing between the buildings can be phenomenal. This is another reason to consider a quiet weekend—city workers are not using the alleys and FedEx and UPS trucks are not parked there at that time.

Alleys also have great hidden treasures; however, they can also be unclean so warn your client and have things to use for them to sit on if they are wearing pretty dresses. They may not care, but some girls do so be prepared.

Parking garages are another fabulous source for great lighting and great views of the cityscape. Again, little to no cars on a Sunday evening means you can achieve amazing results with wide open spaces.

Look for great locations through the walls of the 2nd and 3rd stories of a parking garage and hover near the outer edge for amazing shifts of light.

Lots of stairs, steps, and interesting structures can also be found in the city so look for these. Have 3-4 key areas planned beforehand so you aren’t requiring your senior to walk for blocks and blocks in heels.

Tip: have her bring comfortable flat shoes for walking from area to area. Another tip: plan a scouting trip of your own downtown area to find the hidden treasures that are otherwise not seen by car.

Most metro areas are rather drab due to lots of concrete (though solid concrete walls can work wonderfully for a solid and creamy background with proper exposure), so be sure to help your senior design her wardrobe with lots of bold colors.

The main advantage to shooting metro is your senior will surely stand out as the main feature against the monotone concrete structures!

But also remember that there are many buildings that will have certain color tones that can work well to contrast and match many of your client’s outfits. Look for those.

Next time you have a senior asking for something other than the country-field look, consider your very own downtown city (whether small or large) for some interesting and unique looks.

And then mix it up each time you go metro by using new and varied areas with each of your seniors. Have fun and dare to seek the amazing nooks and crannies of your city!

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Teri used a Canon 5D MKII with a Canon 85mm 1.2 lens and a Canon 50mm1.2 lens to capture these images. She also works with Seniors Ignite and is one of the lead photographers at the Seniors Ignite event in February.

Teri Fode is a Sacramento, California Senior Portraits photographer. Teri is also one of the lead shooters at the Seniors Ignite event in San Diego in February 2015.

Click here to see more tips on Location.


Love Teri’s photos? Want the opportunity to work with her directly? As we mentioned, Teri is one of the lead photographers at the Seniors Ignite event, along with some of the other amazing photographers we’ve seen already like John, Brad, Jen, Allison, and Cheri.

These photographers will be leading some of the portfolio-building sessions at the event, giving you the opportunity to learn directly from them. Check out more about the event here, but don’t forget to use the special Belovely You discount code!

 

 

*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.

Making Something Ugly Into Something Beautiful

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Today’s feature is from .

Brooke says:

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

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

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

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

Brooke’s Photography Tip:

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

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

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

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

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

Brooke Shaden is a Fine Art photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Location.


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

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

 

 

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

How Location Can Inspire a Story

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Today’s feature is from .

Suzy says:

“This photo session is all about the location. This is a favorite location of mine, but after hearing the news of a fire there I went out to see which areas were affected.

I was instantly amazed at how beautiful it looked! I couldn’t wait to shoot in the charred areas. A friend (Edi Valcheva) and I had been talking about doing a shoot together, and I knew this spot would be perfect.

I’ve always been a fan of all types of music, and I feel music heals all wounds. Seeing the charred forest, I envisioned a model playing an instrument in the rubble.

The story then started to form in my mind – everything around her is destroyed but she still has her music, and from the rubble comes new life, light and hope.

Together Edi and I brought all of the elements together for a wonderful creative shoot.”

Suzy’s Photography Tip:

My photography tip would be do scout out interesting locations. Find something unique, something that can tell a story whether it be something creative or a location special to your client.

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Suzy used a Canon 6D with a Canon 70-200 II lens to capture these images.

Suzy Mead is a Southern Nevada Portrait photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Location.


Need a great way to show off your gorgeous sessions? This session from Suzy is just lovely – who wouldn’t want to show it off? One of the best ways to show off your sessions is by using StickyAlbums – the best digital photo album app made for mobile technology.

You can use it yourself, or set up an album for your clients to use and show their friends – which is absolutely perfect for the smart-phone loving senior crowd. Read more about StickyAlbums here!

 

 

*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.

Capturing Dancers In Motion

Senior Dancer

Today’s feature is from .

Darrel says:

“For this session I wanted to capture a dancer’s grace and motion. I have seen other tutorials on how to achieve the dust and dancer effect, but did not want to deal with indoor cleanup. Shooting into a large building provided a dark backdrop without the need for a physical backdrop or enclosed space.

We had a lot of fun with this shoot. The model would hold a pose that allowed us to cover her in flour. We would then step out of frame and she would perform a jump, spin, or other dance move. Timing is important in this so expect many shots that do not have the right spread of flour.”

Darrel’s Photography Tip:

To achieve this affect, you’ll need to shoot into a darkened area. As mentioned above, I used a barn. This allowed me to create the dark background and still use higher shutter speeds to stop the motion of the dancer.

I turned off auto-focus and used live preview, which allowed me to focus on the dancer before she jumped and meant that I could time the shutter release when the dancer is in action. If auto-focus is on you will miss the shot while auto-focus tries to find the focal point.

The lighting setup is simple. I used two speed lights behind the dancer at 45 degrees pointing toward the camera and a reflector in front of the dancer for fill. The reflector was able to catch some outdoor light and push it back onto the dancer.

We used 35 pounds of flour over the two hours we were shooting. The dancer was tired at the end, but the cold was actually more problematic than the length of the session, as there are built-in rest breaks while covering her for each shot.

By shooting into a shaded area you get a dark background that will provide the separation for the flour. This also allows you to shoot outdoors so you can minimize the after-shoot cleanup. The end result is amazing photos showcasing grace, motion, and the beauty of dance.

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Darrel used a Canon 7d with a Canon 28-135 lens to capture these images.

Darrel Summers is a Northwest Arkansas Senior Portrait photographer.

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


Still need help with using flash? Check out this guide that’s all about using flash in portraiture photography (and get started on your way to creating breathtaking images like these ones!).

 

 

*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 Location to Help Kids Relax

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Today’s feature is from .

Rebecca says:

“This was a portrait session for 2-year old Leeland which took place at The Farm in Door County, Wisconsin. While I don’t normally travel so far for a portrait session, I knew when I talked to Leeland’s Mom about the location that it would be totally worth it. And it was – it ended up being one of my favorite sessions from last year!”

Rebecca’s Photography Tip:

This session was successful because of our careful consideration for the location. When Leeland’s Mom and I spoke to plan his session, we brainstormed many different ideas.

We decided on The Farm in Door County because it’s one of Leeland’s most favorite places, he had been there numerous times, and there are tons of fun things for kids to do!

Having a complete stranger point a camera at you can be uncomfortable for anyone, but especially for toddlers! So choosing a location that they are really familiar with can make a huge difference in their level of ease.

It’s also helpful to have something interactive for them to do so they’re more apt to forget about your camera and have a good time.

At The Farm Leeland was able to feed the baby goats, watch new chicks hatch, climb on the tractors and wagons, play in the puddles, and run around…so I was able to get some great images of him playing and just being a happy kiddo!

Most toddlers won’t sit still for a photographer for more than 2 seconds…but you can still get great images that their parents will cherish!

Just choose a familiar environment and make sure there are lots of fun things for them to play with or do, and you’ll be able to capture a level of authenticity that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to achieve.

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Rebecca used a Canon 5d mark II with a Canon 24 – 105 L lens to capture these images.

Rebecca Pfeifer is a Sheboygan Portrait & Wedding photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Working With Children and 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.

Planning a Themed Photoshoot

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Today’s feature is from .

Allison says:

“We were one of the event leaders/shooters at the Seniors Ignite Event 2014 in Las Vegas. We were each given a creative concept to shoot and ours was steampunk-themed. We were pumped! The tip we want to share (below) is about planning your creative concept session.”

Allison’s Photography Tip:

We loved every part of planning/styling/executing this steampunk-themed shoot, which can be broken down into three different areas – location, research, and wardrobe.

1. Location. Steampunk style incorporates a lot of gears and gadgets, and can have a very old-world Victorian feel. The location we chose, which was a ghost town in Nelson, Nevada, was something we scouted the previous August and knew it had a lot of the steampunk elements we were looking to incorporate into our theme.

2. Research. To get a better handle on the steampunk style, we did a ton of research and sifting through photos and images to get ideas for the types of clothing and props we would want for the shoot.

3. Wardrobe. After sifting through tons of images and going back and forth with the model, we decided which items we wanted to create ourselves for the shoot and which ones we were going to purchase.

For the purchased items, we  found a little antique studio near our studio whom we discovered makes custom steampunk apparel, so we had some great options to choose from for the items we were looking to purchase.

The shoes, however, were something the model chose to create herself, and turned out fantastic!

The results of all of our planning were exactly what we had envisioned (down to the little gears on the model’s face)! So when you’re approaching a themed shoot such as this, make sure you plan everything down to the smallest detail and really have a solid feel for exactly what you need and what you’re looking for.

The effort and attention to detail you put into the planning process will absolutely be reflected in your final product, so the more you plan your creative concept shoot, the better it will be!

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Allison used a Nikon D700 with a Nikon 24-70 F2.8 lens, a Nikon 24-120 F4 lens, and a Nikon 70-200 F2.8 lens to capture these images.

Allison Ragsdale is a Durango, Colorado Senior Portraits photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Location and Wardrobe.


Want something to help save you time smoothing/airbrushing skin? This senior’s skin is gorgeous – but let’s face it, we all know that isn’t always the case.

One of the best tools I’ve found in working with seniors is the Portraiture plugin from Imagenomics. With just a few clicks of a button, the plugin smooths over and evens out skin tones and blemishes – literally saving me hours of retouching and skin smoothing.

It’s become such an essential part of my workflow that I use it for every single senior portrait session I do. Seriously.

Read our review of it here, or check out more details (and try a free trial) here!

 

 

 

*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.

 

 

 

Getting The Most Out Of a Single Location

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Today’s feature is from .

Sally says:

“This session was a just-for-me photography playdate with another photographer, and everything just came together – the gorgeous little models, the location, the swing, and the beautiful Texas evening weather.”

Sally’s Photography Tip:

I consider it vital, during a session, to pick a location that will provide a lot of variety (and this spot had it all!).

But don’t just change up your backgrounds – change up your lighting, your angles, your orientation (vertical and horizontal), how close up or far away you might be, etc.

Take detail shots, then back up and take far-away shots with a lot of environmental framing. Watch how the light changes quickly as the sun goes down, and observe how much the same spot can change over the course of the session.

The more aware you are of what one location can give you, the more interesting a set of pictures from a single session and single location will be. It’ll tell a fuller story, and give the clients a large variety of images to choose from (without having to change locations multiple times!).

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

Sally Molhoek is a Dallas/Ft Worth Portraiture and Wedding 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.

How to Always Keep a Fresh Perspective in Your Photography

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Today’s feature is from .

Christa says:

“I was out exploring the beautiful island we live on and by accident found this amazing and wonderful hot pink laundromat. I KNEW I had to take my 2 girls there for a stylized session.

We grabbed all of their hot pink and black clothing, including 80’s style gloves and sunglasses and headed over the small laundromat on a beautiful sunny day.

We were lucky that no one happened to be laundering at the time and had the entire place to ourselves to laugh and have fun.”

Christa’s Photography Tip:

Photos that convey a colorful and fun spirit are what speak to me in my own photography journey.

I think it’s important to keep photography fresh by exploring the area in which I live, looking for new and fun locations to take clients.

I often go on photo field trips looking for these fun locations (while also looking at light), as it really reignites the passion for why I do what I do.

It gets me excited to take my own family there for photos or present it to a client and discuss how we will make their session fun and colorful at the particular location.

If you’re always on the lookout for new and interesting places, and take the time to really search them out, you’ll always have a fresh perspective and a renewed energy in shooting at an unfamiliar location.

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Christa-Paustenbaugh-7
Sisterly Love

Christa used a Canon 6D with a 24-70mm L series lens to capture these images.

Christa Paustenbaugh is a Okinawa, Japan and (soon to be) Newport, Rhode Island Family, Maternity and Child photographer.

See more tips on Location.

 

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Authentic Family Portraits by Amy Kolodziej

A new photographer is born.

Today’s feature is from .

Amy says:

“This session was a natural light lifestyle session to celebrate the 6 month milestone of my littlest client featured in the images. I spent an hour in their home playing and laughing and documenting the joy that their new baby girl has brought to their family.

It was extra special when the older daughter asked her mom if she could take pictures too, and brought out her little camera. I was in the right place at the right time to document her mimicking my interactions with her baby sister…and it was simply adorable.”

Amy’s Photography Tip:

Sometimes it can be stressful going into a client’s home without the certainty that you would normally have in a location of your choice (or studio if you have one). Often times your definition of “great natural light” and the client’s definition can differ, leading to the dreaded panic attack when you walk into the unknown and it isn’t as described.

Once I have booked an in-home session I like to give the family a heads up that once I arrive I will quickly walk through their home to choose the best location for our session, or at least where to start.

I make sure that when I arrive I make note of the time of day and which way the sun will be moving so that as the session progresses I can have an idea of where the light will be in relation to the different rooms of their home.

Another thing to take into consideration when you are in a client’s home is the paint color on their walls. A dark color is always going to make your images seem darker, while a nice white wall is a pleasant surprise!

If you get the details out of the way first (such as light/location) you will be free to spend your time really enjoying the session and your clients. The more relaxed you are, the easier it will be for your clients to relax, leading to more genuine images.

She must have seen this a few times!
So engaging for only 6 months!
Cuddling with her lovey
A happy family moment
So very happy, and full of light.

Amy used a Nikon D600 with a Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art Series lens to capture these images.

Amy Kolodziej is a Charlotte, NC Wedding and Lifestyle photographer.

See more tips on In-Home Sessions, Lighting, and Location.

 

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Ethereal Glamour Portraits by Britt Lanicek

Etheral Glamour Portraits in Northwest Ohio by Britt Lanicek Photography

Today’s feature is from .

Britt says:

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

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

Britt’s Photography Tip:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See more tips on Lighting, Location, and Wardrobe.

 

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Rustic Family Portraits by Ryan MacDonald

Lifting Ruby.

Today’s feature is from .

Ryan says:

“The MacGillivray/MacDonald family session took place in Point Aconi, Cape Breton Island. The storm clouds were rolling in as the session started, so I knew we had a limited amount of time before the rain would start. Luckily, little Ruby was a dream to photograph…happy as a clam the entire session.”

Ryan’s Photography Tip:

I’m not much of a fan of green grass, but I love golden grass. From the end of summer through autumn, I try to use golden grass as much as possible because it always photographs warm and reflects making nice skin tones. We were on top of a giant cliff, surrounded by the Atlantic, so it was pretty cold and raining a bit.

I wanted to make sure Ruby was warm so we put her in the long grass to break some of the wind and I got down on my stomach and photographed the session from her level. The colour of the grass makes the session appear much warmer than it was.

By using your environment and surroundings, you can trick the eyes and tell a different story and turn a chilly day into a warm afternoon.

Father/Daughter.
Ruby close.
Snuggling in the grass.
Ruby, funny face.
Family on the ground.

Ryan used a Canon Mk III with a Canon 35mm f/1.4 lens to capture these images.

Ryan MacDonald is a Victoria, British Columbia and Nova Scotia Portrait and Wedding photographer.

See more tips on Location.

 

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Modern Family Portraits by Sally Ann Field

On the bridge.

Today’s feature is from .

Sally Ann says:

“Three sisters wanted to give the gift of family photographs to their parents.”

Sally Ann’s Photography Tip:

Know your location inside and out.

When first discussing this session with my friend/client Elizabeth, she mentioned a new park that might be a fun location for her extended family shoot. Google confirmed this location looked pretty cool, but for me, a scouting trip is mandatory. I visited the park a week before on the same day and time we would be shooting.

Fairly easy parking, not too crowded, and gorgeous light at that time of day. Check, check and check! I took some test shots and worked in some of the fun and modern features of the park. After reviewing my test shots I was even more excited for the shoot.

This was the largest family I had ever photographed so having a plan made all the difference. Going in, I had a shot list in my head so we moved from one shot to the next very easily, which left plenty of time for spontaneous shots as well. Of course, playground breaks to keep the kids (small and large) happy were also part of the plan. Thanks to scouting, this session was a walk in the park.

A smooth and relaxed session makes everyone happy.
On the playground.

In the sky.
The kiss.

Sally Ann used a Canon 5D Mark3 with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens to capture these images.

Sally Ann Field is a Los Angeles Lifestyle photographer.

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.