20 Tips for Getting People to Smile in Photos

One of the biggest challenges every photographer faces it getting people to smile naturally for a photo. Sure, you can ask someone to say “cheese!” and he or she will likely comply. But you’ll also probably end up with a cheesy smile that doesn’t look natural or attractive. After all, there’s a HUGE difference between a genuine smile and a fake one.

As a professional event photographer, spontaneously getting complete strangers to smile is a big part of my job, and I’ve picked up some proven techniques that I’ll share with you in this article. Note that I’ve broken up the sections into tips for photographing people by themselves, as couples, in groups, and children, but you can certainly mix and match. Also, be careful to always consider your audience and adjust your technique accordingly.

8 Tips for Mastering Your Portrait Photography

Becoming a master of portrait photography takes lots of patience and practice. It’s likely there are a few mistakes you are making with your portraits that hold them back from excellence. In this article, I will walk through eight tips to instantly boost your portrait photography game and take it to the next level.

#1 Adapt to the available light

Light is one of the most important elements to keep in mind when taking portraits – specifically how the light looks on your subject’s face. Proper lighting, or lack thereof, can make or break your image. Direct the person you are photographing to turn their head towards the main light source, whether it’s a street lamp or the sun. If you’re having them look towards the sun, tell them to look in a direction that won’t cause them to squint or be unpleasant for them. You don’t want people going blind on your shoot, right?

7 Things That Keep You From Charging What You’re Worth (and how to get over them)

Charging people money is scary. Having people I’ve never met ask me to produce something I have metaphorically promised the world I can do at a professional level, that may or may not meet their expectations, is terrifying. There is so much I can’t control – the weather, the mood of everyone involved, my camera suddenly deciding to jam without warning, that nerve condition I Googled last night where something snaps in your eyeball without warning and you go blind in mere seconds. Never mind that every single time I leave my house, I’m pretty sure that I am completely out of any possible creativity, creativity that will never renew itself, and it’s only a matter of time before everyone realizes I’m just a fraud that got lucky for a while.

And that’s on a good day.

How to Plan a Successful Sunset Portrait Session

In this article you will get some solid tips for planning and executing a sunset portrait session. Learn how to take the images that you and your subjects will love.

Plan ahead for a successful sunset portrait

Many photographers feel overwhelmed when they start photographing portraits, professionally or for fun.

Where should I shoot? How should I pose people? What lens should I use? What settings should I be using? When should I move them to/from a great spot? What should I say to get great emotion?

Why You Should Start Printing Your Photos

Since the birth of digital cameras, there has been less need to print your photos. Many of the newer photographers have never printed or even sent their photos to be printed at a lab. Why should you if your audience is all online?

Over the past few years, my prints have decreased, and I am sure I am not the only one for whom this is the case. However, when you actually have one of your photos printed, whether at home or from a print lab, there’s  magic that happens, and you discover a love for you art all over again. Once you hold that tangible beautiful print, you experience different feelings rather than simply viewing it on your computer screen. Fellow staff writer Paul Ashead recently wrote about how printing photos could make you a better photographer and save you money in this article. Try printing out your photos for clients and see how these might be different with prints in hand as opposed to looking at a screen if you are able to meet in person.

Shooting for Free - Is It Worth It?

As a full-time freelance photographer, we often ask ourselves why we should work for free, especially at the start of our careers. Are we being taken for a ride, or is it worth investing in our client for possible future returns? 

To give you a bit of background, I’m a photographer residing in Cape Town, South Africa. In my experience, photography is not really seen as something more than a mere hobby where I live. We have a handful of top professionals, who managed to break the international barrier. Yet, there are tons of photographers working under the international radar and trying their best to hit the big time jackpot. Unfortunately, most of them find it difficult to pay the bills at the end of the month as well as grab those high-end clients. So why should they accept free work? 

Portrait photography: a definitive journey through the customer experience

By

This article (and the journey, listed below) is a long one, so I’m going to keep the intro here very short. Let’s get right into an example journey (customer experience) that you can guide your clients through as a portrait photographer.

When the client is visiting your website

  • Have an outstanding portfolio. Make sure to keep some images “up your sleeve” though.
  • Make sure your images are large and look great (they’re sharp, not pixellated, etc.).
  • Make sure your website looks great on a mobile device.
  • Ensure your website delivers a simple, streamlined experience on the web.

Tips From a Pro: Shooting Swimming from Underwater

Photographer Marcus Swanson shares his tricks for photographing Olympic swimmers

Compared with basketball or football, and their constant possibilities for visual drama, swimming doesn’t really lend itself to photography from the sidelines. The athletes are submerged, usually face down, and all you see are arms and legs in a pool of splashing water. The best place to shoot this sport from is underwater, and that is where the fun begins for Portland, OR, photographer Marcus Swanson.

How To Get A Photo Pass for Concerts

Published by Brad Moore

“How do I get a photo pass for concerts?” This is the question I get asked most often, and it was a question I myself asked a just few years ago. Once I had the answer, I had a front row seat to just about any concert I wanted to see.

Here is the key… You’ve gotta be shooting for someone. That someone could be a newspaper, magazine, website, the venue, the artist, the promoter, a radio station, an instrument company, and the list goes on. But that’s going to be the first question you get asked when you request a photo pass. Who are you shooting for?

Capturing Love:

Posing Ideas for Incredible Couples Photography

Did you know that “nearly 40% of engagements occur between November and February”? Neither did we. Valentine’s Day marks the end of engagement season and since the weather is warming up I put together a gallery of some key poses and tips to prepare you for your next couples photo shoot.

When preparing for a photoshoot, it’s easy to get caught up making sure your gear is good to go and connecting with your clients, but one thing you don’t want to overlook is how to pose your couple. Awkward body language and posing are nearly impossible to fix in post-production.