Category Archives: Photography Tips

Common Mistakes to make with Portraits

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A good Portrait can say a thousand words, but your portrait can easily be ruined by overlooking one of the following:

  • Don’t shot with a wide angle lens.
  • Make sure you are focusing on the whole face, including the eyes.
  • Pay attention to what your background is, you don’t want it to be distracting from the Subject.
  • Shot at the Subject’s eye level.
  • Lighting – try not to shot in direct harsh sunlight.
  • Depth of Field – don’t go too shallow or deep.
  • Don’t zoom in – Step closer to the Subject.
  • Posing – Make sure to direct the Subject as most people find posing unnatural.
  • Taking too many photos, quality over quantity.
  • Don’t overtweak the photo in editing after you have decided it’s done trust yourself.
  • Use PortraitPro for your editing to get the most flattering image of your subject within minutes.

Download your free trial now!

Capturing Animals in Motion

Animals in motion always look amazing in magazines with the colors popping out of the page but if your photos don’t live up to this, don’t worry just follow these tips and tutorial to get your images looking magazine ready.

  • Keep your shutter speed really higher, to make sure your images don’t come out blurry.
  • Know your camera, this may sound simple but makes all the difference.
  • Don’t try to have the perfect framed photo, this can be done in post processing, it is more important to get the image. Don’t zoom in too close, you might cut out part of your image, but you need to zoom in so your animal appears sharp enough.
  • Use a Tripod or rest your camera on a flat surface to prevent any camera shake.
  • Use continuous focus mode on your camera, so your image stays in focus.
  • Shoot in Shutter propriety mode.
  • Shoot in continuous mode.

Check out the tutorial below to  get the colors to really stand out in you photographs.

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Open your image up in LandscapePro.Untitled-2

Label your image then click Continue.

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The software does a reasonably good job of identifying what is what. But you will just need to correct and refine it using the Pull tool, in order to get the best results.

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Once you have finished, click on the Soften button on the left and go over the edges of the fur, this softens the edges where the animal meets the background that helps when applying presets to the image.Untitled-6

Click Continue, next comes up marking where the horizon is, if like mine you don’t have one, just click Continue again.Untitled-7

Click on Global Presets tab, select the preset called Improver, lower the slider until you think it looks it’s best. Untitled-9

Next click on the Animal Tab and scroll down to the Preset called Improver, lower the slider down to near the bottom.Untitled-10

Click the Ground Tab and chose the Preset Warm and adjust the slider accordingly.Untitled-12

The last step is to go to Depth and select the Preset Subtle and lower the slider quite far down.before and afterClick on the image to see bigger.

This was super easy to really big out the colors in your image and give it that great look.

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Building Your Photography Portfolio

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Whether you are just starting out or have been a photographer for years, continuing to work on your portfolio is important. Keeping your portfolio up to date with only your best images, shows you in the best possible light.

The first step before deciding on your images is to decide who your target audience are. Who you are aiming your portfolio at? Consider what it is your audience what to see and tailor your portfolio to them.

Show only your best work, this might seem quite straight forward but if it seems like your portfolio is quite short, it is tempting to add in more images to pad it out. Don’t as less is more, also put your best work at the beginning and end, start and finish strong.

Make sure your portfolio flows and that there is a similar style all the way through.

Don’t use images that need explaining, you need the images to be self-explanatory.

Think about what format you want your portfolio to be in, online or in book form or both. Take your time to decide exactly what you want the look to be, especially if you decide to do print. Deciding on the size you want the images to be, and how you want the book to look.

If you are just getting started as a photographer offering to do free work in order to get an image you really want for your portfolio.

Go through your portfolio at least a couple of times a year to add new things and remove older ones that aren’t as good as the new ones you are adding.

Getting a second option, before making your portfolio final, get a second option ideally to someone who would be your target audience. Get them to give you their absolute honest option.

Lastly do not forget to make sure all your images are post processed to keep them looking at their best, download a free trial of PortraitPro, PortraitPro Body, LandscapePro and Smart Photo Editor to see how our software will work for you and cut down your editing time.

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!

 

Posing Tips for Portraits

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Posing for portraits isn’t something I would call relaxing and as a photographer you want your clients to feel relaxed to get the best photos, so here are a few tips to help:

  • Try to build rapport with your clients, by asking them questions, keeping it light helps get that natural smile rather than a forced smile.
  • The background is important, if you are having a screen background, think about what color.
  • Instructing your clients where to put their hands really helps, as they always feel awkward when taking photographs, having a set place there to put them, helps the client relax.
  • Movement can be interesting in portrait photos, especially the hair can make a great image.
  • A 2/3rd turn is a very flattering position.
  • Don’t overdo the lighting as it can quickly go from being flattering to blinding, and your clients won’t feel relaxed with so much lighting pointed at them. Natural lighting is best, if possible.
  • People have a habit in photos to have their chin up too much, to get a good definition of the chin, your client should be looking at you, not down at the ground.
  • Guide your clients as to how to pose don’t say act natural with no directions, they aren’t models.
  • Clear communication is the most important thing to remember, you don’t want to confuse your client or getting them overthinking their poses.
  • Be happy and smile, you being in a good mood puts your client in a good mood.

I hope you found these useful, and don’t forget to try out PortraitPro, to give your portraits that extra wow factor.