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10 Tips for Making Beautiful Bridal Portraits on the Wedding Day

Gifted photographers approach making beautiful bridal portraits on the wedding day in myriad ways. Drawing on a long tradition of wedding imagery from the past, some are classical in style; some are fashion-oriented, creating images that are grandiose, theatrical and sexy; still others focus on an unobtrusive, authentic documentation of events and wait for impromptu portraits that do not require any staging. For every approach, there is an optimal client who resonates with and appreciates the style of work that is made. Our diversity in approach is what creates connection with specific clients. Regardless of what approach you take when making bridal portraits on the wedding day, there are several simple ways to improve your work. As I thought about the specific strategies I have

“Mutt Mugshots” The Art of the Dog Portrait

If you’ve heard of fabulous lifestyle and wedding photographer Jules Bianchi, you’ve probably heard of Olive, Jules’ four legged side-kick. Jules’ love for her dog is well known, and many clients who feel the same way about their furry children have commissioned her to photograph their weddings and families. Dog portraiture can be a rewarding and lucrative genre of photography, as well as being a blast! Jules started photographing Olive over 14 years ago, when she adopted the tiny puppy who was only 4 weeks old. Olive has been her muse for every new lens and camera, a new lighting situation, or just because Jules can’t stop capturing her favorite subject. She started “An Olive A Day,” presenting a daily picture of Olive on her

5 Ways Wedding Photographers and Filmmakers Can Work Well Together

Ego checks go both ways. Every photographer has a story about videographers with multiple tripods, camping out in the aisles taking all the best angles, let alone getting too close to the couples. Likewise, every videographer has a story about a flash-happy, rapid-fire shutter photographer. But are tripods, flashes and cameras really the problem? Since most of us serve the wedding industry, it’s no mystery that over 50% of marriages end in divorce. Statistically, the most common reason listed for divorce is communication breakdowns! As professionals, we can make our lives much easier, and make our clients happier by not going down that same path. Let’s put our egos aside, and learn to simply respect the other artists we work with on wedding days. We

5 Simple Steps to Prepare for Professional Photography Workshops

Which professional photography workshop should you attend? It’s hard enough to sift through the overwhelming number of workshops available. When you actually choose one, you need to prepare so you’ll get the most out of your investment. Step 1: What type of education do you need? Hoping to learn to shoot in manual mode, build a successful brand, market your studio, master off-camera lighting, explore workflow systems, practice posing techniques…the list goes on and on. The critical step is identifying which specific topic you need to learn in order to improve your photography and your business. Make a list and review it a few times with a colleague or mentor. Ask them which topic seems to be your weakness. Constructive criticism will also prepare you

Women Who Changed the Face of Professional Photography

Women photographers made their mark long before there were camera bags designed for them, vintage camera T-shirts sold to them or magazines marketed to them. These women weren’t looking for accessories to make them appear feminine on shoots; they were looking through cameras to change the world. Other than their vision, all they brought to battle – or to the top of skyscrapers – was resolve. Their determination and courage paved the way for women in photography, regardless of the genre. They weren’t women with cameras. They were photographers who happened to be women. We can all learn from them. So, let’s start with three who changed the face of photography forever. Margaret Bourke-White She scaled the tallest building in America with her camera. Perched a thousand feet over

The Top 5 Photography Podcasts

It’s 98 degrees and your couch is calling your name. Since summer is keeping you inside or in your air-conditioned car, we’ve compiled the Best Photography Podcasts to keep you out of the heat wave! So, grab a cold drink and tune into these episodes that are sure to entertain and inspire you! 1. From the White House to Weddings Go behind-the-scenes with White House Photographers Paul Morse and Ralph Alswang to hear how years documenting the President of the United States paved the way to successful studios specializing in weddings. This incredible interview was part of The Photo Life’s launch and it has become a classic, must-listen lesson for all professional photographers. 2. Building Your Boudoir Photography Business Get a glimpse into the infectiously energetic

The Fear Every Photographer Must Conquer

There is one piece of photographic advice that is guaranteed to change your images. It is rooted in Robert Capa’s famous quote, “If your pictures are not good enough you are not close enough.” Simply put, conquer your fear of getting closer to your subject. I first learned this lesson from a college professor who was looking at my photographs and asked why I was so far away from the subjects? I replied that I didn’t have a telephoto lens. Which of course was the wrong answer. He asked if I had feet! Confused, I replied YES. He fired back by pointing at my feet, saying “There’s your telephoto lens. Get off you’re a$& and go make the picture!” Lesson learned. Fifteen years later, I

The Story Behind Millie Holloman’s “Shoots & Ladders” Sessions

It’s happened to all of us. You log in to Facebook and there is a status update from friends (who were once clients) saying they’ve added to their family with the arrival of a new child. To your surprise and sadness, they are posting photos of their little one taken by a large retail chain. Washed backdrops and cheesy props don’t match the quality of their wedding photos. What’s a couple to do when the cost of living is significantly increased by the arrival of a new mouth to feed, future plans for college, and don’t forget diapers! Grandma & Grandpa aren’t footing the bill for the rest of their lives; they gave up that luxury at the altar. Children grow fast, so it would

Six Steps to Amazing Family Photos on the Wedding Day

Family formal time is one of my favorite times of the whole wedding day. No, really it is! I love getting a picture of the bride with her Dad or making sure that the groom has a picture with his grandmother to keep forever. That’s why it’s always surprising to me when I hear a photographer say, “I hate family formals!” Today I want to talk about that because all I can think is…“then you must be doing it wrong!” :)

 Family formals don’t have to be a chore for everyone involved, or boring in the worst possible sense of the word. These photographs are guaranteed to be at the top of the list in importance as the years pass, so you might as well make them

A Challenge to Photographers Who Love the Craft

This is for the person who sees the world in photos, who loves the craft of photography and gets frustrated when they witness less “crafty” photographers hustling them in marketing, value creation and profits. If any of this sounds like you, my advice is simple: decide right now if you’re a glorified hobbyist or professional photographer. Who is the Glorified Hobbyist? Many of the most talented full-time photographers I know are actually glorified hobbyists. They enjoy the illusion of “busy-ness” but resent the challenge of business. They are dangerously impulsive or utterly indecisive and don’t do well with criticism. Their methods or workflows break under pressure. Until recently, I was a glorified hobbyist. Realizing this truth was at once terrifying and liberating. Below are some

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The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!
The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!