Category Archives: Miscellany

10 ways to improve your photography skills

As “Back to School” looms for the kids, it’s a good time to think of a new learning project for yourself too.

  • Take a college class, and learn from someone with a solid experience in photography.
  • Join a photographic society, camera club or a meetup group.
  • Ask trusted friends and family for critique.
  • Practice every day. No matter what the subject, or the weather, just keep taking pictures.
  • Learn to problem solve. You may not have the perfect equipment, but you’ll have something that will do a reasonable job.
  • Get to know your camera inside out. Knowing your way around your camera and other photography equipment can help you take a shot quicker when you need to be speedy.
  • Set yourself a photography challenge such as a 365 project. Working within a particular constraint can be interesting and challenging.
  • Get out and visit somewhere new. You’ll be inspired to take pictures of somewhere you haven’t seen before.
  • Get to know all of your photography equipment well, including your post processing equipment. There’s a wealth of tools in PortraitPro to help you make better pictures, and it’s very easy to get going very quickly.
  • Become an art student. Not just in the formal sense by taking a class, but start to consider yourself a student of art of all kinds. Photography is informed by other art forms, and is aesthetically pleasing when it conforms to the same rules as other art.

For instance, the artist Rembrandt is remembered for his style of painting light and shadow on faces, and this method is often employed by photographers. Chiaroscuro is another art term referring to the use of light and dark, and is often associated with the work of Caravaggio, who uses the light and dark in his paintings.

Man with rembrandt lightingFinding other art to photograph, such as sculpture, Haute Couture, or architecture, can help you learn about pleasing lines and composition, which can help you improve your own art.

Start experimenting with PortraitPro, download the free trial today.

Girl doing customer support

Your Questions Answered

Did you know that we offer all PortraitPro users free, life-time support?

If you have a question visit our support ticket system to get in touch with our support team.

This week our Customer Support team share the answers to some of their most frequently asked questions:

Q: My computer crashed and I lost my software! Do I need to buy it again? 

A: There’s no need to buy the software again. When you made your purchase you received an activation token and you can use this to re-install your software. If you have lost this, contact the support team with your name and the email address you used when you purchased, and they will help you locate it.

Q: Can I use PortraitPro as a plug-in with Photoshop/Lightroom?

A: The PortraitPro Studio and PortraitPro Studio Max editions can be set up as plug-ins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, and Aperture. You can learn more about the different editions of PortraitPro here.

Q: I want to retouch my portraits, but not change the face shape. Can I do that?

A: Of course! All the controls in PortraitPro can be turned on and off.  To turn off individual sliders, simply set them to 0. If you’d rather turn off a whole tool set, click the green circle next to that menu.

Q: How do I upgrade my software?

A: The easiest way to upgrade your software is through the license manager. There is a link to this at the top of the upgrade page. Enter the activation token of your current software and you will be taken to a page where you can purchase upgrades. Once you have received your upgrade token, apply this to your current license and download your new software.

Q: There is more than one person in my picture, will PortraitPro let me edit multiple people?

A: Yes. With PortraitPro 12 you can edit multiple people in a picture by clicking the ‘other faces’ button at the top of the screen.

Q: I love the software but the presets don’t suit my editing style. What can I do?

A: It’s easy to make your own presets for PortraitPro. Simply choose an image and make any edits that you want. Now, click ‘Save Preset’ and choose a name for your new preset. You can even set this as your default so that PortraitPro applies it automatically to every image.

In Venice on Vacation

Taking your photo editing software on vacation

Whether you’re jetting off to somewhere exotic , or staying closer to home, it’s easy to do your photo editing on the go.

PortraitPro 12 has time saving features so you can set a customized preset, and leave the software to do the hard work.  Set your own preset to be the default. Everytime you open an image, the software will choose the settings that you’ve designed.

You can take your software anywhere, if you purchase from here, then you get an instant download, ready to go in minutes.

Try it out for free

 

Try out Smart Photo Editor too!

Happy 4th July!

 

Family on 4th July

Whether it’s grilling out in the park, on the beach, or catching the fireworks, there’s something for everyone to see and do on 4th July.

If you’re at home, check out your local fireworks displays and if you’ve got a trip planned, don’t forget to find out what happens there too. You might find something you’ve never seen before.

Benjamin  Frankin said: “ Time is Money”.

PortraitPro Studio Max batch processing can save you time on your portrait editing this weekend, leaving you more time to spend with your family.

Enjoy the sunshine and the savings! Download a free trial today.

 

Motivation with Goals, Support, attitude

Motivation for photographers

We’ve talked about the importance of goal setting, and goal setting goes very well with motivation.

Goals tell you where you’re going, and working towards achieving them keeps you motivated.

But what is motivation and how is it important to a photographer and their business?

Motivation is the forces that cause a person to behave in a particular way or move in a particular direction.

Motivation is important to a professional photographer because if you’re in the situation of working for yourself, which many are, then you are your own motivator. If something doesn’t go so well, you have to have the inner drive to keep going despite any setbacks.

If you’re running your own business and employing more staff than just yourself, then you may find it useful in the workplace to consider a variety of motivational theories for instance, Herzberg’s two factor theory, which is an extension of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. These theories help us understand what helps people to stay motivated, or why they do what they do.

Staying motivated is important to people working in creative businesses. If you’re working alone, you have to have a great amount of self-esteem in order to keep promoting yourself. You are your product, your creativity is your unique selling point, and you have to believe in yourself so you can sell your work at a fair market value.  As Pedro Aguilar  told us last year, it’s important to also spend some time working on your own creative work, doing things not just for clients, but for yourself, and you’ll often find that you’ll get a commission based on something of your own work that captures the attention of a new client.

Keeping your ideas fresh when you’re working on your own initiative can be a challenge to anyone working for themselves. In a creative business it’s particularly important.

The Support team at Anthropics is here to help you keep your software up to date, and help you learn new skills with your software.

Want to learn something new with PortraitPro? Check back here!

Check out the blog on Smart Photo Editor for new ideas on getting more out of your photo editing software.

Don’t forget to share ideas with other PortraitPro users on our Facebook page too.

Photographing Street Art

Noticing the details is what street photography is about; capturing the essence of a place, or a person, to really give an insight in to the soul.

One of the often overlooked details in a place is the street art. So often graffiti is unsightly but it’s becoming a more recognized art form, and artist’s works such as Banksy (if they can be removed,) are selling for hundreds of thousands.

Many cities have specially designated places for street art and murals. One place that has a good street art project is the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia.

Street art, South Street Philly

Street art on the corner of 6th and South Streets, Philadelphia.

An image search for Mural Arts Philadelphia will find many, many more images like this.

South Street Philadelphia is particularly famous for its art. It’s off the beaten track, away from the tourist spots and the historical landmarks that Philly is known for; but for those in the know, South Street is a great place to capture the essence of the City of Brotherly Love.

As with any city, do your research before you go. Check out any particular points of interest and make a list of things you want to find, and then you can be more focused in your wanderings.

In San Francisco it’s Clarion Alley, and in London, you want to check out the East End, Shoreditch, Hoxton and Brick Lane, although Camden and Soho are also known for their street art too.

There is street art in every city, but some cities have really embraced providing legal space for the artists. Whatever kind of art you produce, whether it’s photography, paintings, paintings on walls, we’ve all got an opinion to express, and photographing the work can help its message to be transported even further.

Check out our Pinterest Board for more Street Art around the world.

If you’re photographing in a large city, it’s often hard to capture the image without people in the photo. You might want to keep those people in your images; they are all part of the urban landscape.  You can use your portrait editing software to ensure that these people look their natural best.

Smart Photo Editor can give you some great effects to really enhance your images.

Download a free trial of PortraitPro here, and Smart Photo Editor here.

Summer with a camera

50 Ideas for Summer Photo Challenge

If a 365 day photo challenge seems too much, how about a project just for the summer?

Taking on a project can help to stimulate your creativity.  Just as having a business goal can keep you focused on where you want to get to with your business, having a goal for your creativity can keep you focused on being creative; helping you to think outside the box.

Check out our 50 ideas for summer photos:

  1. Ice cream
  2. Fireworks
  3. A full moon
  4. Colorful flowers
  5. A picnic
  6. Childhood friends
  7. Daydreaming
  8. On the beach
  9. At the park
  10. Grilling out
  11. Chilling out
  12. Fun in the sun
  13. Cool drinks
  14. Sunglasses and sun lotion
  15. A June wedding
  16. 4th July
  17. August vacation
  18. Labor Day
  19. Museum visit
  20. A silhouette
  21. Pets enjoying the sun
  22. Summer sports games
  23. Sunrise
  24. Black and white
  25. Something red
  26. After dark
  27. A special occasion
  28. Making waves
  29. Something that flies
  30. My favorite food
  31. Close-up
  32. A new friend
  33. Things that grow
  34. A treasured moment
  35. My favorite place
  36. Something tiny
  37. Laughter
  38. Shadows
  39. All dressed up
  40. Something exotic
  41. Movement
  42. Words
  43. A low angle
  44. Curves
  45. Leading lines
  46. On the street
  47. A kiss
  48. A self-portrait
  49. Reflections
  50. Happiness

Don’t forget to use PortraitPro on your people photos, and why not try out Smart Photo Editor for everything else?

Now why not share the results with us on our Facebook page?

Check out our Pinterest pages for more inspiration.

Download your free trial of PortraitPro here.

 

Vote for us in the SWPP Awards

Vote in the SWPP awards

It’s less than a month to go… No, not to Christmas, but to the SWPP Convention in London, January 16 – 18  2015.

Will you be visiting the Convention? We’re looking forward to seeing you there.

It’s your unique chance to meet us in person, ask us any questions, and see a demo of the portrait editing software.

We know that lots of you have already voted for us in the awards, but if you haven’t already done it, then make sure you vote for us by December 31st to be in with a chance of winning tickets to the convention!

You can vote for us in the categories of Best Professional Software, Best Professional Studio Accessory or Best Professional Customer Service.

Let us know that you’ll be visiting, drop us a line and say Hello!

We’d love to hear from you on Twitter, or Facebook.

You can try the software for yourself with a free trial of Portrait Pro today.

 

image001

 

National Blog Posting Month

It’s National Blog Posting Month, or NaBloPoMo, and we wanted to take the opportunity to share our blogging with you.

We have been writing here at the PortraitPro blog for over 2 years, and we’re very glad you’re still with us. Recently we started a blog about our other software, Smart Photo Editor. We’d like to also take this opportunity to introduce Andrew Buchanan, and his own Smart Photo Editor blog.

We’re constantly thinking of you, our PortraitPro users, and how we can bring you more tips and tricks on getting the best out of your photo editing software every day.

This year we’ve been fortunate to be able to meet, and chat with some really great, professional photographers who use PortraitPro in their professional work flow, and to share those insights with you.

They all have their own blogs and websites, and they’ve often been kind enough to feature us on them too, so check out our new friends and their blogs.

Our PortraitPro friends:

  • There’s Pedro Aguilar, based in West London and working around the world, including with the soccer team at Camp Nou, FC Barcelona. See his variety of projects here.
Photo by Pedro Aguilar

Photo by Pedro Aguilar

  • Over on the other side of town, in cool East London, we met Sebastian and Rebecca at theprintspace. They’re helping photographers all over the world from theprintspace.
  • Also in the UK, based in Manchester is Neil Shearer, shooting sports portraits and Capoeira, new to photography and turning professional this year; alongside earning his Licentiate level qualification from SWPP earlier this year.  Read his blog and follow his success.
  • Living and working in Philadelphia, and often travelling around the world is former pro tennis photographer Jared Gruenwald. Read his blog to keep up with his travels.
Kelly Drive Flood, Philadelphia

Photo by Jared Gruenwald

  • On the West Coast of America, in Seattle, is young fashion photographer Kendra. See what she’s been up to recently on her blog.
  • In Texas, and from a Hollywood family, our first interviewee, Megan Parks shoots children’s portraits for terminally ill children, creating a lasting memory for their families.  See her images on her website.
  • Russian born Veronica Lounge is also a fashion photographer, living and working in Finland. Check out her work here. 
  • Also helping professionals take better baby portraits with training and accessories, we met Charlie Kaufman, CEO of Click Connection Corporation, who has an honorary Fellowship of SWPP.
Charlie Kaufman FSWPP Hon

Photo by Charlie Kaufman FSWPP Hon

  • Also creating an experience her clients will never forget is Nikki Harrison, who creates fantasy portraits, turning her visions into art. Follow her adventures and her blog.

We’re aware that many of our users are professional photographers and using professional quality portrait editing software is a key element in your business success. A professional photographer should keep their own blog for their own marketing purposes.

The internet is the first place people look for services that they require. If you need a local photographer, for family photography, or any kind of photography, you will probably want to carry out an internet search for professional photographers in your area, and then you will want to see examples of their work, and the easiest way to view it is through your own online gallery, or a blog post.

That’s what all our new friends have done, and it’s enabled us to share their work with you, our PortraitPro users. Check out our blog post on ideas to help you keep a blog as a professional photographer. It might even help you keep up to date with National Blog Posting Month.

Download the free trial of PortraitPro today, and see what they’re all talking about.

You can see all of our blog posts here too. Happy Blogging!