12 Common Newbie Photography Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by on Jan 14, 2016 in Featured, landscape, Photography Tips, portrait

12 Common Newbie Photography Mistakes to Avoid

None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. While some photographers might be naturally gifted, and just do amazing work from the moment a camera is put into their hands, that is not the case for most of us. Chances are, if you are new to photography, you are going to muck things up. You shouldn’t feel bad however, as you can be sure that many newbies have done exactly the same things. Here are a number of very common mistakes that new photographers make. Learn to avoid them, and you will improve your images. 1 – Centering everything in your images The horizon line is right in the middle, cutting the image in two. When most of us look back at our early images, we usually see the horizon line placed very much in the middle of the image (see photo above). This is one of the most common mistakes new photographers make when they start. Sometimes it’s a good thing to do, but not always. The problem is that it cuts the image in half, and leaves people looking at the image, unsure of which half to look at, which is the intended subject. When you take photos of landscapes, or anything with a horizon line, it is best to put the horizon on one of the third lines.The Rule of Thirds is one of the compositional guides for photography. As you get more into photography you will hear more and more about it. With the horizon in the top third, more ground is showing than sky, telling the viewer where to look It’s the same idea for your subjects. If you are photographing a person, put them to one side of the image, on one of the vertical third lines. Which line you use is up to you. Sometimes it is better to do both and see which one looks better. Experimenting is the key to getting great photographs. 2 – Taking attention away from the main focus in the image Without meaning to, you may include something in your frame, that takes the focus off the main subject in the image – things like bushes, or a light post that is just a line through the image. It goes back to the previous point about giving your subject so much attention, that you aren’t taking the time to look around it. 3 – Cutting things off at the edge of the frame It is amazing how many times you can look at someone’s photo and ask, “Why have you cut off their feet?” They then look back at you blankly, saying they had never noticed it before. Be careful not to cut off parts of limbs, like feet, when you are taking photos. It is a very typical thing that newbies do. It may not be the feet, but it could be someone’s...

Read More »

10 Ways to Continue Booking Photography Jobs All Winter Long

Posted by on Dec 29, 2015 in boudoir, Fashion, Featured, Food, Photography Tips, photoshop, portrait, Portraiture

10 Ways to Continue Booking Photography Jobs All Winter Long

Welcome to Time Out with Tanya, where I’ve put my fast paced graphic design career on hold in favor of adventures in motherhood. I’m capturing every moment on camera, and you can come along if you’d like. Sign up for my weekly email here so you’ll never miss a Time Out. I live in Spokane, Washington, which is practically in Canada, so during the winter season, we are buried in snow and freezing our patooties off. As a photographer who primarily shoots on-location, this can pose a problem. Booking photography jobs during the warmer months is tough enough, how does one stay busy during the freezing cold, snowy, dirty, muddy season? Many photographers in my area who specialize in weddings, family portraits or high school senior portraits (which are primarily shot during the spring, summer and fall), have a winter specialty or strategy for keeping busy during the cold weather months. Here are a few ways to continue booking photography jobs all winter long. Maybe one (or more of them) will work for you. 1. Shoot in the Snow Image by Heidi Pratt of Glimpse Photography A beautiful white blanket of snow can be a photographer’s dream backdrop. Many people are even creating snow backgrounds in Photoshop these days when they have no snow, so consider yourself lucky if you have a winter wonderland to play in. The trick is finding a willing model or two to brave the cold. Image by Clara Wilson of Smoke and Mirrors Photography I asked my friend Clara Wilson for her tips for shooting in snow. She lives on a large property out in the middle of nowhere north of Spokane where the snowy winters are just gorgeous. Here’s what she had to say: “When I shoot outside in the winter I tell clients/friends (because I do a lot of conceptual non-client work) to bring a warm bathrobe or coat to wear in between shot set-ups. I always have a toasty fire going inside the house to take breaks and warm up, also always have hot chocolate waiting! When location shooting in the winter, always, ALWAYS bring emergency gear. Water, flashlights, matches, blankets, etc. and always tell your friends and family which direction you are heading in case the need to send a search party.” Check out more tips for photographing in the cold in my article How to Totally Rock Your Portrait Sessions All Winter Long. 2. Tween Sessions If you have a studio space, you can focus on booking photography jobs within a specific niche, like tweens (kids age 10-12). This age can be photographed any time and the winter is a good time to focus on them so they won’t take time away from your busy wedding and high school senior clients in the warmer months. Find out how to market specifically for this niche by listening to a free...

Read More »

5 Essential Things You Need to Know About the Lightroom Library Module

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in Featured, lightroom, Photography Tips

5 Essential Things You Need to Know About the Lightroom Library Module

For those of you who have been following my Lightroom articles I thought it would be fun to test your knowledge. We’ll start with the Lightroom Library module because the work you do here, lays the foundation for everything you do inside Lightroom. Master the Library module and you’ll be well on your way to becoming an expert on the entire program. Ready? Let’s start with what is probably the most important thing of all – backing up your Catalog. 1. How to back up your Catalog This is really important. Your Lightroom Catalog is absolutely essential because it’s where Lightroom stores every piece of information it has about your photos. Not only does this include the location of your photos (i.e., where they are saved on your hard drive) but any metadata associated with them (from camera settings to keywords), Lightroom specific information (such as which Collections a photo belongs to) and any edits you have made in the Develop module. Yes, these are all stored in the Catalog. How much of a disaster would it be if you lost all this data? I’m sure it would be a major loss. That’s why it’s so important that you back up your Catalog regularly. You should also back it up to an external hard drive, not to an internal one, in case your computer is lost or stolen. You can check your back up settings by going to Lightroom > Catalog Settings. Click the General tab – Back up catalog should be set to Every Time Lightroom Exits as shown below. Connect the external hard drive on which you back up your Catalog, then exit Lightroom. Before Lightroom closes down, it displays the Back Up Catalog window. The Backup Folder setting should point to a folder on your external hard drive. If it doesn’t, click Choose and change it now. When you exit Lightroom is the only time you will see this popup box, and the only place you can change where it saves the backup of your catalog. Make sure the Test integrity before backing up and Optimize catalog after backing up boxes are ticked. When you’re done click the Back up button. Lightroom will save a backup of your Catalog to your external hard drive before closing. This may take some time, especially for a large Catalog, so be patient. Some important things to note about Catalog backups: You only need to keep the last two or three backups. You can delete older ones to free up hard drive space. If you have Lightroom 6 or Lightroom CC the backed up Catalogs are compressed, saving hard drive space. You should always back up your Lightroom Catalog to a different hard drive than the one the main Catalog is stored on. That way, if your main hard drive fails, the backed up Catalog is safe. Once a month...

Read More »

Can You Tell The Difference Between Golden Hour And Artificial Golden Hour?

Posted by on Dec 12, 2015 in canon, Featured, Photography Tips

Can You Tell The Difference Between Golden Hour And Artificial Golden Hour?

Can You Tell The Difference? Below we have two different shoots, a maternity session and an engagement session. One was shot at Golden Hour with the sun above the horizon, and one was shot when the sun had already set. Can you tell which is which? (Answers are at the bottom of the article). [REWIND: GOLDEN HOUR BY EXPOSURE | THE ELEGANT, FREE APP TO ALERT YOU TO ‘GOLDEN HOUR’] Maternity Shoot Engagement Shoot Like a Magician Now you would think recreating a giant 432,474 mile diameter ball of gas that’s 93 million miles away would be difficult, but it’s actually quite simple. All you need is a powerful strobe, move it up 92.999 million miles closer, and viola, Sun galore! Check out how Pye does it in the video below! Click to Subscribe! The Pledge During a wedding mood board review, the bride told Pye that she really liked “golden hour” shots. So when they began planning their wedding day, the bride and groom scheduled a 30-minute Golden Hour photo session. But like most weddings, things didn’t run on time. The Turn Although there was an epic golden hour on that wedding day, the bride had missed it. She had an outfit change for the reception, and because of an unfortunate turn of events, she was late to the planned photo shoot and the sun was gone. The Prestige I’ve worked closely with Pye for a few years now, and he is no slouch when it comes to his clients’ vision. He could have easily thrown his arms up in the air and said “we can wait another 23 hours for golden hour, but I will have to add another 24 hours of additional coverage to your package,” but he didn’t. Instead, he used the powerful Profoto B1 to bring the sun back. How He Shot It The Gear Canon 5D Mark III Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 is II Profoto B1 2 CTO Gels Karen Pye had his awesome lighting assistant Karen set up the Profoto B1 and put two Color Temperature Orange (CTO) gels on it. Why make the light so orange? Because as the Sun sets, its color frequency shifts to more orange and reds hues because of how far the light travels through the atmosphere (if any scientists would like to correct or expand on this, please do so in the comments below). Pye then instructed Karen to take the B1 about 200ft away behind some trees, identical to where the sun had just set from their point of view. Why so far? Because the strobe had to light everything the sun would have lit if it were still above the horizon. That means all the trees, architecture, and every significant object in the frame had to have a natural “sunlight” on them. Did It Work? Yes, and convincingly so. See for yourself. Did You Guess...

Read More »

Your Guide to Creating Unique Conceptual Photography

Posted by on Dec 6, 2015 in Adobe Photoshop, Featured, landscape, Photography Tips, photoshop, portrait, Portraiture

Your Guide to Creating Unique Conceptual Photography

What is conceptual photography? Have you heard about it, but not been able to work out what it is? Who are the artists doing it? How can you do it? If you have asked yourself any of these questions, then read on and see if they can be answered for you. Conceptual photography is a type of fine art photography. Like the latter, everyone you ask will give you a different definition. It is an art form that has been around for as long as people have been making art. It seems to be something that people have only started talking about in the last 10 years or so. The Tower of the Manchester Unity Building where the brief was to make it look like Batman lived there. So the sky was replaced and a lot of processing was done. What is Conceptual Photography? When I tell people about work that is conceptual the first thing many ask is, “What is it?” Conceptual photography is often very imaginative. It seems unreal. Often reality in the photos is distorted, and what you know as normal, is completely changed. Then there are also some people who are doing things that aren’t as imaginative. They are changing some things, or exaggerating reality to a lesser degree. Conceptual photography is about work that starts with a concept or an idea. In many instances, photography normally starts with an image or a place. You go out somewhere that you think will be interesting and take photos. Once you get home you put the photos on your computer, and for a lot of people, that is all besides some basic post-processing. There is nothing wrong with working that way, but conceptual photography starts out differently. In conceptual photography you start with an idea, or the concept, of what you want to do. At this stage you start working out what you want your final image to be about. You are working in the dark so to speak, as you won’t know the final result until you have processed it. A popular place in an artist retreat, but you can’t take photos with models. So this image was composited from the original, and one of the girl taken at a different time and place. Artists working conceptually Other artists (who aren’t photographers) often work this way. Sculptors have an idea of what they want to sculpt, but it isn’t until it is completed that they know if it will be any good. Many painters work the same way, especially abstract artists. The way they work can be fluid, but they have an idea of what they are trying to achieve. Again, it isn’t until the painting is finished, that the artist can judge whether it was successful. There is no reason why photographers cannot work the same way. Many photographers do, and if you like that...

Read More »