Saturday, 1 March 2014

5 Secrets for Successful Family Photo Shoots

5 Secrets for Successful Family Photo Shoots

Link to PictureCorrect Photography Tips

5 Secrets for Successful Family Photo Shoots

Posted: 01 Mar 2014 02:20 AM PST

Bring out the best in your subjects and take memorable family portraits with these tips from author and professional photographer Kirk Tuck! Learn even more essential skills for capturing beautiful family portraits in his online Craftsy class, Professional Family Portraits (at no cost).

1. Set Up a Studio in Your Home

In a few simple steps you can transform any garage into a studio. When you lift a garage door you will get great ambient light coming in! If the garage is cluttered, bring a gray seamless backdrop. Be sure to consider the color of the walls and ceilings when bouncing flash, too, because colored walls can tint your images.


2. Pose Larger Groups Perfectly

When it comes to arranging and posing groups, odd numbers are best. Form triangles and have the family members slightly face each other to show a connection.


3. Captivate Toddlers and Capture Them

Toddlers are particularly hard to pose and it's typically difficult to maintain their attention; make the best of the small window you have with them by limiting their distractions. Get down on their level, and use simple items like a lit match or a phone ringtone to capture their attention (and get that wonderment-look).


4. Bring Out the Best in Mature Subjects

Use off-camera flash as your main light and use umbrellas (cheap and easy) to modify the light. Or situate your couple in their living room for stunning environmental portraits.


5. Get the Best Results with Your Digital Editing

No photo is complete until it has been taken into the digital darkroom: Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Use the healing tool to remove scars and soften wrinkles in Photoshop. And, use the sliders in your layers to make believable changes in skin blemishes, like wrinkles.

Sign up for Professional Family Portraits (at no cost), and learn advanced strategies for family portraiture as Kirk shares his best techniques for lighting, posing and composition to capture high-quality, engaging photos. Kirk will even critique your photos and answer any questions you have. Plus, since you'll own your class forever, you can learn at your preferred pace and revisit techniques before your next shoot.

What are some of your favorite tips and tricks for photographing your family?

Commercial photographer Kirk Tuck has photographed President Bill Clinton, Academy Award winner Renée Zellweger and more. He's also authored several books including Photographic Lighting Equipment: A Comprehensive Guide for Digital Photographers and Commercial Photography Handbook: Business Techniques for Professional Digital Photographers.

This has been a sponsored post kindly brought to us by Craftsy

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Travel Photography: What Should You Pack? (Video)

Posted: 28 Feb 2014 02:53 PM PST

How do you choose which camera gear to bring with you when you travel? Photographer David Hobby packed light on his vacation to Hong Kong.  Here he discusses exactly what he carries in his traveling camera pack:

Tips for Traveling Photographers

  • Pack Light. Hobby suggests only taking the most necessary items for taking photos while on vacation.
  • Go Compact. Opt for a tripod with several adjustable joints on the legs. This allows you to carry around a small piece of equipment that can quickly expand without the bulk of a full-sized tripod.
  • Eliminate Unnecessary Extras. Take extra memory cards and camera batteries, but leave heavier extras (like an extra flash) at home.
  • Take a Single Lens. Hobby opts for a simple 35mm lens for his travels but you may prefer a lens that offers multiple focal lengths, such as an 18-200mm, if you plan on shooting a variety of subjects at different ranges. Carrying multiple lenses will weigh you down, and constant lens swaps will cost you valuable vacation time.
  • Use a Shade and UV Filter. One of Hobby’s tricks is to use a cheap lens shade paired with a high-quality UV filter to avoid constantly removing and replacing his lens cap. Hobby says a high-quality UV filter is key, because in addition to protecting your lens, it will not alter your image quality too much and it’s easy to wipe clean with your shirt. This also ensures your camera is ready to go at all times, so you can capture those once-in-a-lifetime moments.
photographer gear

Hobby’s vacation photography gear only takes up a small spot on the lunch table.

When asked what camera he would like to have if he were ever stranded on a deserted island, Hobby says his go-to camera is the Fuji X100S. He says the compact size, the quick auto-focus, and the high-quality images produced by the X100S are his top reasons for choosing this camera. These reasons also make a camera like this ideal for travel photography.

“Enjoy the trip and slip into photographer mode every now and then. But you’re having experiences and this little black box is recording them. And that’s it. It’s as simple as that.”

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Interesting Photo of the Day: Sci-Fi Landscape

Posted: 28 Feb 2014 11:56 AM PST

Can you tell what planet this is? Photographer Stéphane Vetter hopes you guessed Venus or Jupiter, but he, in fact, grabbed this eerie shot on Earth. The photos was taken from Iceland’s geothermal Hverir, a northeastern area rich with boiling mudpools and fumaroles (a.k.a. fumes rising from cracks in the Earth’s crust):

northern lights iceland

Fumaroles Blasting Before the Northern Lights (Via NASA. Click for larger size.)

It must have been a crisp night, because the ghostly green of the aurora borealis is lively in the background. Vetter calls this shot “Night on a Spooky Planet”, and he has expertly captured the essence of a truly foreign land with a long exposure, complete with hints of a green reflection in the water itself. 

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Stories & Advice From a Famous Rock Photographer

Posted: 28 Feb 2014 11:13 AM PST

Rock music is a defining part of American culture, and rock musicians are some of our most beloved idols. Since few people ever get to meet these stars and experience their personalities firsthand, it’s up to photographers to shape their image–to provide a window into their lives and souls. Lynn Goldsmith is just such a photographer:

A native of Michigan, Goldsmith started taking photographs as a child (her father was an avid amateur photographer), and has not put down the camera since. “It’s almost like I have to do that to breathe,” she says. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, she was one of few female photographers documenting such megastars as the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and the Police.

Goldsmith has just released her twelfth book, titled “Rock and Roll Stories,” in which she shares both her photographs and the tales behind them. One of her favorites: when Michael Jackson shied away from her in a shoot, she put on James Brown and started dancing. He eventually loosened up and joined her.

It’s this playful spirit that seems to be the key to her success. For many of her photographs, Goldsmith would first set up a shot, pose in the way she wanted her subject to pose, and have them photograph her, creating a mutual empathy. She would also give subjects pieces of her own clothing to wear, such as a studded jacket that both Frank Zappa and Daryl Hall can be seen wearing in her pictures.

rock photographer

A candid portrait of Keith Richards, in which his pose echoes that of Bo Diddley on the wall behind him.

Though she has worked in sports and photojournalism as well, she creates an especially strong bond with musicians–she even had a relationship with Bruce Springsteen in the early days of his career. It ended when Goldsmith felt overshadowed by Springsteen’s fame, wanting to achieve renown on her own terms. She certainly has, as her portfolio of unforgettable portraits can attest.

“I understand the language of certain musicians, and they will use me to put out there what they want other people to see.”

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How to Create Broad Portrait Lighting in Your Home

Posted: 28 Feb 2014 10:20 AM PST

Family portrait photographers know too well how tricky it can be to create an effective lighting rig at home. Kids move, furniture is everywhere, windows vary in size. This video, hosted by portrait photographer Tamara Lackey, gives a solid overview of what might come up when working from home, and why a broad, basic lighting rig is the best option to cover your bases:

Lights: You Only Need Three

Tamara works with three lights and a wide open window. On a cloudy day like the one she’s shooting on, the window doesn’t do much good, but she balances it with a large foam card to bounce off the soft reflective light.

She creates a variation on the traditional three-point lighting rig by placing one large 220-volt portrait light in front of her subject–she uses the Westscott Spiderlite TD6 in front–and two smaller ones, like TD5s, on the subject’s sides, pointing in between the subject and the backdrop.


A broad lighting setup keeps kids lit up, even if they roam while you’re trying to shoot.

Though the broad lighting will light the image a bit flatly, the sacrifice is worth it–shadow adjustments can be made in Photoshop afterwards, but it’s harder to light up a dark face.


This type of lighting setup might not work in more cramped spaces, but the idea of using broad, even light can be modified to work in smaller homes or studios. It’s an especially useful technique for photographing children and pets who are prone to moving about during portrait sessions.

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

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