Category Archives: Earning a living from photography

Want to Specialize in Wedding Photography?

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It is wedding season once again and if you are thinking about specializing in wedding photography now is the time to start. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

When putting together your portfolio, only include weddings, yes you might have some other amazing shots but they won’t interest your prospective clients, and it reinforces the point that you specialize in weddings.

As a specialist, your prices will/can increase, to decide on your price have a look around at what other specialist wedding photographers charge and also what you think you are worth.

Going the extra mile – As a specialist you should really go that extra mile and make them feel special. Gifting the couple a free extra (such as a photo book or big canvas/print) when handing over their photos, makes their experience with you that much better. This will mean they will keep you in mind for anniversary photos and recommend you to people. Obviously this will be reflected in your pricing if you feel you an charge enough in your local area.

Creative shots  – Think/do a few creative shots that will really work and show the couples personality, the more you do the more knowledge you will get and knowing what will and won’t work. A little different from the usual wedding photos.

Marketing – This is key to growing your business, try to set aside some time every week to work on marketing.

Plan out – Plan ahead what shots you want to take, keep an eye on the weather forecast, know where you are shooting, visit before the wedding or if you can’t look online at photos and see what is around, bear in might what the couple want, they might have some clear ideas of what they want, do theirs but also some of your own.

Candid photographs – Only show the couple the good ones. Naturally happy and smiley, don’t just shot the ceremony, shot the bride getting ready, waiting at the altar, literally everything you think will give the couple that little bit extra and make it that more special when they get their photos.

Turn over time – When telling them how long until the photos are ready for them, don’t underestimate, there is nothing more annoying, give yourself plenty of time so you will be done early and they will see it as a nice surprise and feel valued.

Back Up your photos – I’m sure this goes without saying but back up your photos on the wedding day and on your finished images.

Post processing – Do not show any photos until you have edited them, this might seem like an easy one but the couple will be eagerly awaiting the images they might ask to see the unedited so they know what there is. It is best to make them wait for the perfect images.

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PortraitPro and PortraitPro Body is a perfect companion for you, try out a free trial now to make the Bride and Groom look their very best.

Travel Photography 101: Everything You Need to Know

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Travel Photography sounds wonderful but there’s a fair bit to it, here are a few tips, equipment list suggestion and how to make money for Travel Photography.

Tips

Research – Look up where you are going, what is around and put together a list of places that you want to photograph. Be selective so you can spend a fair amount of time in each location to get the best shots possible.

Know your gear – Whether you are buying new gear or not, a little before you go, it is a good idea to have a play around a week or two before you go away. Just to refresh your memory.

Get up early/stay up late – In order to catch the best shots, sunrise and sunset usually are the best time to photograph, so take this into consideration when planning your shots.

Picking the right accommodation – Choosing the right location for accommodation is really important. Be close to where you want to shot.

Get inspired – Look at other photographers photographs of where you are going, to help you decide what locations you want to go to and to be inspired. Ask them where the photo was taken if it isn’t written anywhere.

Experience their culture – Whilst travelling try to immerse in their culture as much as possible – food, music and local markets, etc.

Travel light – Try to travel as light as possible, don’t load yourself down by trying to take every camera and lens you own with you, just take a main lens and one to zoom, especially if you are going trekking or hiking. You don’t want to be too loaded down.

Be selective of where you are visiting – Don’t try and squeeze absolutely every location there is to visit, pick your favorite and spend more time there taking pictures, rather than rushing around trying to capture everything.

Don’t always be behind your lens – Experience where you are rather than constantly being behind your camera.

High angle shot – Try to find somewhere to take a good birds eye shot.

Your camera doesn’t have to break the bank – Don’t feel the need to go out and buy a brand new top end camera for your trip, you can get great shots on the camera you already have.

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Equipment

  •  Camera body
  •  Backpack – One opens from the back, makes it safer and a lot of secure. Have it organised, using pouches is a good idea making being able to find things quickly.
  • Spare batteries – It’s a good idea to have at least one spare batteries in your backpack.
  • Lenses – only need one of two lenses.
  • Small Camera/Action Camera – Having an action camera/small camera to take quick photos. Action cameras can have window mounts and you can film travelling on train or car.
  • Back Up/Laptop – Backing up your images is super important, save at least one place if not two.
  • Portable Charger – To Keep your phone charged, they also work on charging some cameras as well, so check to see if it will work on yours.
  • Shoulder Strap/Camera Clip – Keeping your camera ready to go at all times.
  • Tripod
  • Camera Filters – Just like with lenses only take one or two.
  • Lenses cleaner
  • Mini Torch
  • Camera Remote

 

Settings for Camera When Moving

When travelling in a moving car/helicopter a good camera settings are:

Manual Mode

Shutter Speed – 1/1000 + (higher for  helicopter)

Aperture – wide depth of field f/8-11

ISO Auto mode

For in a car have the window open.

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Making Money as a Travel Photographer

Making money as a travel photographer can be a slow starter, as you already need to have a portfolio. Speculative or commission based are your two options.

Speculative is where you go to a location first then afterwards try to sell your images, either as stock images, prints or to advertising. This will mean you aren’t guaranteed to make back any money from your trips, so only plan to go to places you would go anyway.

Commission based is going somewhere you already know you will be paid some money for whether you were commissioned by an advertising firm or if you had contacted the tourism board/ local hotels and have an agreement, this will most likely not be the entire cost of your trip but could be a fee or free accommodation in exchange for your images to be used for their advertising.

Website

To be able to make it as a Travel Photographer you need a website and an Instagram account. Instagram account is becoming more and more the source that agencies and clients will go to first before your website, so both need to be uniform and relate to each other. This is your brand and you want one clear image of who you are to come across.

Post Processing

Don’t forget to edit your photos, to make your image look their very best. LandscapePro is great for editing your travel photos quickly, click here to download a free trial.

Becoming a Full-Time Photographer

smallBecoming a full time photographer is a big step to make, you aren’t just becoming a professional photographer but you are also running your own business, meaning your aim is to be profitable and make money.

Here are a few tips to keep your business moving:

Budgeting – This is so key, as if you don’t do this properly, your business won’t succeed. You need to know how much you have to make to meet your current living costs and set aside a little money every month to cover taxes, and also incase any of your equipment breaks and you need to replace.

Prioritizing your time – You are a lot more productive if you have even a rough schedule of what you want to have done each day.

Setting your rates – It can be hard trying to think of what you think you are worth, but it is important not to under sell yourself and you need to earn enough to live off of, also don’t calculate what to charge by assuming you will be fully booked. Base it on what you need, what you think you are worth and in comparison to other local photographers.

Setting aside time to keep your business finance side of things in order – This is the least interesting part of your business, but it is essential that it is not forgotten about. A few hours per week is better than nothing.

Keep building up your client base – you may be busy now but you still need to bring in more clients to make sure you are always busy.

Marketing/Networking – You need people to remember you, as well as bringing in new clients. Sending emails every now and then is helpful, every month or so it makes sure your past clients and people who were interested don’t just forget about you. Too many emails will annoy people and have the opposite effect.

Keep/ get an organiser – This is a great way to keep all the business side of things together in one place.

Appointments book – so you don’t double book, you might think that this is an easy one and it won’t happen to you but it’s easy to forget and write down on scraps of paper that are lying around.

Keep all your receipts for equipment you buy, as these are business expenses so will be taken off money made for the amount of tax you need to pay, try to keep them in date order, but just having them all in one place is enough. If you lose a receipt you can’t claim it.

Insurance – Make sure to insurance your equipment.

Post processing – editing your images to make them look their best is very important, but it can take an age, but with our software (PortraitPro, PortraitPro Body, LandscapePro and Smart Photo Editor) is it really cuts the time you spend editing your photographs.

Good Luck!

 

How to Get Your Photographs Noticed When You’re Getting Started

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Thinking of the best way to get yourself noticed as a photographer can be scary, and a bit daunting, where to upload your photos, should you try and approach galleries right away??

If you have to think whether it is a good idea to approach galleries, then you aren’t quite ready for that, you aren’t confident enough in your work just yet and that’s fine.

Here are some good first steps to take to make it seem more manageable and less daunting:

  • Create your own style, don’t try and copy photographers work you admire. By all means look at them for inspiration, but be yourself and it makes your work more memorable.
  • A first good step is setting up an Instagram and/or Facebook page for your photos; this is a good way to get people to see your work and doesn’t cost you a penny. If you feel nervous about this set the page to private until you feel confident enough to make it public and invite your friends to like your account/page. There are also a lot of forums out there, where you can upload your images and connect with people doing the same thing as you.
  • The next step is to set up your own website or blog (this step can be done with the previous step). You can have a blog for free or if you want a more professional feel, you should go straight for the .com. This will cost you a little but it looks a lot more professional, and depending on your budget you could sell prints of your work on your site. There are also websites out there were you can sell your prints and the company prints and sends them for you, this could be a good thing but you can’t rely purely on them for your work to sell. You still need to market yourself.
  • By this point, you will look a lot more professional and established when you approach galleries about your work, another good step if you are planning approaching them in person is to get some business cards printed.

 

“A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective.”

Irving Penn

Good luck and don’t forget to check out any of our photo editing software (PortraitPro, LandscapePro, PortraitPro Body and Smart Photo Editor), that will help your photos be their very best, and all are currently on offer with 50% off.

new years resolutions goal setting

Happy New Year!

At the beginning of the New Year it’s easy to have lots of good intentions for the coming year, and it’s easy to allow them to slide pretty quickly.

As a professional photographer, running your own business, it’s important to take the time to refocus on where you’re going and what you want to achieve in the coming year.

Here are some top tips for staying focused in the year to come.

  • Set goals.

Thinking about what you want to achieve in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, even 10 year’s time can help you figure out what you need to do now in order to get there.

  • Add milestones.

Having achievable milestones can help you feel that you are working towards achieving your bigger goal.  Set yourself small markers that will help you know that you’re on the way to achieving what you want.  Perhaps it’s a number of clients, or having a number of weddings booked for the year ahead that will help you know that you’re on your way.

  • Take Action

Take Massive Action – Make a Massive Action Plan. Like writing a business plan, writing a Massive Action Plan can help you stay focused on what you’re doing, on what you need to achieve, by when; and unlike a Business Plan, can give you that emotional connection and drive to achieve what it is that you want to achieve.

  • Don’t give up

Get used to the fact that the process of carrying out the day to day tasks may be boring.  You’re a photographer, maybe you don’t love doing your accounts, or advertising yourself, but in order to make your business work, you need to get used to, and learn to enjoy the tasks that keep everything else going.

  • Start now

The sooner you start doing something, even the smallest start means that you’re a little bit closer to achieving your goal.

Download the trial for PortraitPro now, and see how much time you can save on your photo editing.

7 Reasons why being thankful will help you improve your photography and your life.

The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles. ~ William Penn

Thanksgiving 2016

Thanksgiving is a great time to spend with family and loved ones, and as a photographer, it’s great to capture some great family moments.

It’s easy to remember what we’re thankful for when we’re surrounded by family and friends, but it’s an important thing to remember every other day of the year too.

  • Remembering to be thankful means that you’ll be more cheerful and generally happier; which is thought to be good for your health.
  • Being grateful makes you more likely to exercise; this is also good for your health.
  • Instead of focusing on the negative things, focus on the good. You have the skills and the knowledge to be a good photographer and to run your own business. Be grateful for the opportunity to do this.
  • Do a good turn for someone less fortunate than yourself, perhaps donating your images to a local hospital, or take photos for an animal adoption center? Be grateful that you have the time and the abilities to do this.
  • Be grateful for the family and friends you have around you who support you and care for you.
  • If you employ anyone other than just yourself, be grateful for your employee, and show them your gratitude for their hard work. Studies have found that expressions of gratitude are highly motivating, whereas criticism can be de-motivating.
  • Being grateful increases your self-esteem and your productivity. Be grateful for your creativity and your opportunity to work in a creative business.

Being happier and healthier will make it more enjoyable for your clients and anyone you work with. Your clients will enjoy spending their time with you in your studio or out on location, and their enjoyment will shine through your images, making them even better!

Happy Thanksgiving from all at Anthropics Technology!

Baby in pumpkin hat

Photo editing for New-Born baby portraits for Halloween

A new born baby swaddled in any wrap or blanket makes a good portrait, but Halloween themed portraits are particularly cute for any October baby.

In your collection of baby props, it’s a good idea to have some Halloween outfits for baby, perhaps a knitted pumpkin for baby to sleep in. A pumpkin themed wrap works for any autumn baby portrait, and a wicker basket could be wrapped in different colors for any occasion or season.

Neutral fabrics, and soft bean bags and blankets to curl the sleeping baby on will work for any season, and contrast with any color or outfit.  They’re a great investment for your business.

A sleeping baby in a peapod blanket

You can make or very easily purchase soft, knitted or crocheted blankets and wraps in a range of colors and textures. The simplest and softest fabrics and textures will give the most classic and timeless images.

  • It’s important to keep the baby safe, and warm and comfortable at all times. When working with children of any age, it’s always a little unpredictable, but there are some ways to make sure that your baby portrait sessions run as smoothly as possible.
  • It’s a good idea to ask that the baby has been fed and winded before the session, and then they’re at their most comfortable and most likely to fall asleep next.
  • Don’t attempt to put the baby into any potentially dangerous or uncomfortable positions.
  • Keep the parents around and on hand to help soothe the baby if they wake, or if you need an extra pair of hands to help position them.
  • It’s normal to take several shots of the baby, and combine them in post processing. If you’re not comfortable with combining several different shots, then keep your poses simple and safe.

Very little time and effort is needed to achieve beautiful baby portraits.

With Smart Photo Editor you can quickly and easily add vignettes and borders to your image, turn your image Black + White, or Sepia, and insert your watermark for web-ready images.

Try out Smart Photo Editor today.

Photo by Chuck Gloman

Interview with a Pro – Chuck Gloman

With the beginning of the new school year, we were inspired to chat to someone who teaches college classes in photography and film.  Chuck Gloman has been a long time user of PortraitPro.  He is Chair of the TV/Film Department, and Associate Professor of Professional Practice, at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania.  We were thrilled to talk to him about his film and photo editing work.  

PortraitPro: How did you get into the film and photography industry?

Chuck Gloman: I entered the film industry right out of graduate school. I have been fortunate to have shot over 950 TV commercials and 200 short films. My still images have appeared on seven magazine covers; I have seven published textbooks and over 400 published articles.

PortraitPro: Are there any films or commercials you’ve been involved with that PortraitPro blog readers might know?

Chuck Gloman: I just completed a short film called “Lester’s Collection” that spans over 500 years. All of the female characters through the five centuries owe their “period look” to ProtraitPro. Costumes were part of the process, but creating a 1600’s look, Jane Austin look, 1920’s, 1940’s Technicolor, 1950’s Vistavision, 1960’s graininess, and 21st Century 4K images were all done in the editing process through software.

PortraitPro: Does the equipment you take on a shoot vary depending on the job?

Chuck Gloman: I used to be a Nikon guy, but for the last five years I used the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Mark III always shooting in Raw and JPEG.

PortraitPro: What’s in your typical bag / cases?

Chuck Gloman: Canon 5D Mark II body, Canon 24 – 70mm F2.8, 70 – 200mm F2.8, and 300mm F4 lens. Although I’m old school and grew up shooting film and using filters, now all of that is accomplished in Photoshop.

PortraitPro: What equipment do you have in your personal work kit?

Chuck Gloman: Video cameras – Canon EOS C100 and C300 and the Mark III. In post besides PortraitPro, I use Abobe Photoshop CC and Premiere Pro CC for video editing.

PortraitPro: Do you enjoy using any kind of camera, for instance a smartphone camera for more casual shots, or does it have to be the camera you mentioned above?

Chuck Gloman: Again, because I grew up with film, I never use my smartphone for images. I prefer to use the cameras I’ve mentioned above.

PortraitPro: What advice would you give students wanting to study film or photography at university level?

Chuck Gloman: As a professor, I tell my students that it’s not the equipment. Anyone can make an image look good. It’s the lighting, composition, framing, and story that make the film. Going to film school provides the experience and access to new technologies. The concepts are also stressed too. Our students at DeSales University start shooting their first week and have thirty to fifty films completed upon graduation. That means a great reel, resume, and a variety of crew experience.

PortraitPro: What sort of jobs and careers can students studying film and photography hope to get into?

Chuck Gloman: When I recruit students, I tell them that there isn’t a business or industry on the planet that does not do some type of filmmaking/photography. Whether it’s entertainment, public relations, communications, marketing, corporate, or anything else – someone needs to be trained/educated by watching a video on the process. Someone has to make this – a filmmaker.

PortraitPro: Can you tell us a bit about the classes you teach and the photography department at your University?

Chuck Gloman: I teach a variety of classes from Cinematography; Producing; Editing, Sound and Lighting; Basic Studio Productions; and Funding to Distribution (getting financing through Crowdfunding sources). Our photography classes are basic Digital Photography, Digital Storyboarding, Photoshop, and Advance Photography. In one session with our advanced class, we invited our dance department to do strobe images where their movement was frozen in time. The class members learned new skills and the dancers had images given to them shot at 1/250th of a second.

PortraitPro: Do you teach PortraitPro in your photography classes?

Chuck Gloman: In our basic classes, yes. Personally, I don’t believe I’ve shot a portrait in the last five years that I have not used PortraitPro.

PortraitPro: We can’t all come and study with you, can PortraitPro blog readers learn more from you? (Books, public talks, websites etc?)

Chuck Gloman: You never stop learning and learning something everyday from my students and just capturing images. Most of my books are somewhat dated and have been written before I became a full-time faculty member. The best way to see my work is through TV Technology, Digital Video, Government Video, and Shutterbug Magazine.

before after with PortraitPro by Chuck Gloman

Photo by Chuck Gloman

PortraitPro: Anything else you might want to add?

Chuck Gloman: Never let anyone tell you that you’re not doing it correctly. The more you shoot the better you become. If you stop growing and learning as an artist, you stagnate. I wake up everyday (hopefully) loving what I am about to do. If that ever stops becoming fun – I’ll stop. Hopefully that won’t happen for another 80 years.

Thanks for sharing your professional knowledge and for helping to inspire the next generation of photographers with your work. 

Check out the Film and TV department at De Sales University, Pennsylvania.

Try out PortraitPro and PortraitPro Body today.

Senior portraits, high school boy

Portrait editing for your senior portraits Class of 2017

It’s time to start thinking about your next year’s high school seniors now.

Over the summer, while it’s still fresh in your mind from this season, it’s best to sit down and think about all the things that you think you could improve on from this year, for next year.

How could you have attracted more seniors?  More deals for groups of friends, offers on taking both Prom and Graduation photos, or an indoor / outdoor shoot package deal?

  • Next year recruit your brand ambassadors.  Pick a few key seniors to be your ambassadors for great high school memories. Ask candidates to apply and offer them their own photos free if they can bring you a certain number of clients, or a percentage of their class.  Be realistic on the numbers. If you live in a small town, you will never have huge numbers, but if a high percentage of the graduating class will remember your name over the next few months, you’re doing well.  Choose seniors who use their social media to share their images, and perhaps are involved with other school activities.  They might be able to get you on to other school related projects too.
  • Plan a questionnaire for your seniors to find out what they really like to do. This will help you think of locations and props that might be helpful for your sessions. Whatever they say, they’re probably not the only one in their class who likes those things.
  • Offer them advice on what to wear for their shoot. Their clothing should be what they’re comfortable in, but nothing too fashionable that will look dated in 10 or 20 years’ time.  Makeup should be natural, and hair for both boys and girls should be styled.  The more information and help you can offer them, the happier and more confident they will feel.  It’s a once in a lifetime moment that stay with them forever.
  • High School Seniors are likely to be the most nervous and self-conscious of your clients, so they need a little more reassurance that you can ensure that they will receive images that they will be happy to share with the family. With PortraitPro you can give them exactly that reassurance.
  • Use both indoor and outdoor locations for your seniors’ sessions.  With LandscapePro, you can also make sure your outdoor images  will stand the test of time too.
  • Use your own social media to reach out to your potential clients, and keep in touch with them throughout the process. Having a social media following can help increase your base of new clients.  Younger students will check out what older students have done before.

Check out our Pinterest board for inspiration on your senior portraits today.

How to survive making a living with Travel Photography.

Travel photography is not always going to make you a lot of money, but the freedom of the lifestyle can be particularly attractive.  Living life on your own terms and being your own boss can be a great motivator.  You have the flexibility to take on any project you want, and reject the ones you don’t.

working on the beach

You don’t have to take the plunge immediately; you can start by doing things in your vacation time, and spending weekends photographing in your own town.  Wherever you live, it’s exotic to someone else.

Here’s what else to do before you go:

  • Get all the education you possibly can while you can. Acquiring skills in writing, in technical photography knowledge, in geography, human interest and art is all going to be useful when you have only your skills and ideas to live by.
  • Build up a portfolio and put in the images that you want to be paid to shoot. Don’t use things that you don’t enjoy doing or you’ll end up doing more of them, because people will think you like them.
  • Set up a photography website to host and license your images. Choose one that links through to purchasing prints. This can save you time and makes it easier for the client to purchase your products.  It can be automated throughout the site, and the customer will have very little interaction with you. It’s very time effective for you.
  • If you have no obligations, mortgage contracts, loans, or people to take care of, then you can reduce your expenditure considerably. If you give up paying rent, you also don’t need to pay the gas and electricity bills either.  You can choose where to live, in hostels, hotels, camping, in any country you like.  ( Within visa restrictions etc.)
  • It may be helpful if you’re located somewhere that the exchange rate is favorable to your salary currency. This effectively makes your hotel bill cheaper, and you can afford a higher standard than you would elsewhere.
  • Be prepared to take any assignments. Be flexible and open minded on what jobs you take.
  • Set up accounts with micro stock sites. It may not make you a lot of money, but it should become a steady income. Think about the unusual images you could take for these sites, because the usual angle has already been done so many times.
  • Set up your laptop with all of your photo editing software. Have everything you could need ready, PortraitPro and LandscapePro will save you time on editing in Photoshop, and they can both be used as plugins to Photoshop.
  • Be prepared for anything you might find. Have an app for model releases; you don’t want to not be able to use the image because you missed getting the stranger to sign a release.
  • Look for apps that will save carrying extra things.  In fact, anything you can carry in an app effectively weighs nothing.  Maps, editing tools, ebooks, you can carry all kinds in an app and you’d have your smartphone with you anyway.
  • Keep your kit lightweight. Remember not to take everything you could possibly need. It weighs a lot and you’ll regret carrying that spare lens when you are so tired you can’t make it up the next staircase or mountain peak or down the next road to get the shot. The best camera is the one that you have with you, and having to make do with the reasonable camera you have with you can make you more creative to get the shot you want.

Girl with laptop and camera

When you do leave on your travels, there are some things you need to remember while you’re away to help you stay organized and productive:

  • Keep regular hours when you can. Do what you should to avoid jet lag; don’t work through the night because you’ve just left somewhere where you’d normally be awake at that time. Sometimes that means staying up a little longer, sometimes it means going to bed before you’re ready.
  • Stay focused every day. You need to stay focused on the 2 or 3 things that you need to achieve each day to continue making a living. Set achievable goals, and make sure you do them. Don’t get overloaded by trying to do too much in one day, just take each day at a time and make each day productive.
  • Make room for down-time. Every day that you take a break, is a day that you don’t make any income. This is tough when you’re your own boss. You still need to have the discipline to put in a day’s work, and also to give yourself a day’s break.  There’s no one to throw you out of the office if you’re still working at midnight.
  • Don’t underestimate the people you meet. You never know who you might meet when you’re traveling.  Travel is a great opportunity to meet people you wouldn’t otherwise have bumped into.  Step out of your comfort zone and go somewhere you wouldn’t usually think about going. You might be surprised, and you might find your next project.
  • Do your photo editing as you go. If you’re taking lots of images every day, then will need to back up your photos and should do your editing regularly. Discard the images that won’t make the cut often too, so you’re not storing images that you’ll really delete when you get home.
  • Doing your basic photo editing in PortraitPro or LandscapePro. Doing it while the original is still fresh in your mind, and while you still remember what you wanted to portray in your image is useful.