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  • Fri, 29 May 2020 11:30:32 +0000

    20+ Cute maternity photoshoot ideas to try in 2020

    From underwater portrait sessions to floral crowns and flowy fabric, recent trends have reinvigorated the field of maternity photos. If once the genre was considered radical (think: Demi Moore on the cover of Vanity Fair), it’s now entered the mainstream (think: Beyonce’s 2017 pregnancy photoshoot with twins).

    These days, maternity photos are equally at home in art galleries, family albums, and social media feeds, and parents-to-be are eager to capture this unique and special time in their lives through the lens of a professional photographer. In this genre, genuine enthusiasm and passion for the subject—and your clients’ vision—is a must. Below, you’ll find a quick guide to breaking into the business.

    Before & After by Mick Fuhrimann on

    Firstly, after your clients’ initial inquiry, take steps to make sure you understand what they want from your photoshoot:

    Schedule a call or a meet-up
    Listen for things that are meaningful to them that you can incorporate into the shoot.

    Bring lots of suggestions
    They may not know where to start, so you can get their creative juices flowing with some tried-and-true starter ideas.

    Direct them to Pinterest (or the idea saving/sharing platform of your choice)
    They can show you what they like more easily this way, even if something is difficult for them to describe.

    Now you’re ready for the fun part: planning a maternity portrait session that will have them coming back for updated family photos every year.

    Mother Nature's Child by Photocillin Photography on

    When to schedule a maternity photoshoot

    For pregnancy announcements, it’s good to meet sometime during the first trimester. Your client may already have pregnancy reveal photoshoot ideas to discuss with you, and you want to get that shot, edit it, and send it on before the surprise starts to show.

    For a true maternity shoot, ideally, you will start planning around month seven, with the shoot taking place during month eight. You’re more likely to get a nice, full bump this way, and the mother won’t be in one of those in-between phases as she transitions to maternity clothing. You also want to leave a little breathing room before the due date in case she goes into labor on the early side.

    Cute maternity shoot props and equipment

    Props are especially useful with maternity portraits since there are so many things to convey at once. It’s a good idea to stay plugged into Pinterest, Instagram, and 500px to keep an eye on current trends. You can always add to your prop kit, but consider some basic things to start with:

    Sweet waiting by Alberto Suárez on

    Baby paraphernalia
    A pair of baby shoes, a plain white onesie, a tiny bonnet—the parents-to-be will be busy getting themselves ready and off to the shoot, so they may not think to bring those little touches along. The best part is, they won’t take up much space in your kit.

    Susana y Armando.. Pregnancy announcement by Marisela Ochmac on

    Baby bump-sized objects
    Especially for pregnancy announcements, bump-sized objects are fun props to add to your photoshoot. Have your model hold a pumpkin in front of her belly (“Can’t wait to meet our little pumpkin!”) for something seasonal or use a basketball, soccer ball, etc. if your clients are sports fans.

    Pregnant women in a baby room. by Deyan Georgiev on

    The nursery
    Nothing says “baby” like a crib. Chances are, the parents-to-be have been carefully planning the baby’s space for months already, so a lifestyle shoot in the nursery is almost always a winner. It also opens the door to a gentle pitch for newborn photos in a few weeks; imagine the couple snuggled in front of the crib, then recreating that idea with their newborn wrapped up snug in their arms. It’s a before and after they’ll treasure for years.

    What your maternity clients should wear to the photoshoot

    Your clients will almost definitely want to talk about what they should wear to their maternity session. While the most important thing, of course, is for them to be comfortable, there are some things you can suggest:

    Expecting by QiQi Scarpellino on

    Empire waistlines
    Dresses and tops that fit through the bust and flow below are perfect for showcasing that telltale baby bump. They’re also great camouflage if your subject is shy about some of the recent changes in her shape.

    Expecting by Sifiso Masilela on

    Portrait of the young pregnant woman by Oleg Gekman on

    Maybe your subject is all about embracing her new figure, in which case bodycon dresses are a great fit. Keep in mind that movement may be more limited with these outfits. If you’re going through a couple of wardrobe changes, it may be a good idea to go from tightest to loosest. Your model might decide to use shapewear beneath her bodycon outfit, which will be a lot easier to take off than to put on during a shoot.

    Pregnancy and love... by Andrea Sichel on

    Peek-a-boo outfits
    Showing off that bump is the whole point of a maternity shoot. Maxi dresses that part in front or tops that can be pulled up will make it easy to flash a bit of belly skin. A button-down shirt can also be left open on the bottom half for some photos of the baby bump, then buttoned up for other shots.

    PinkBlush and Motherhood Maternity have formal and casual options that are ideal for maternity shoots, or your client could consider renting maternity outfits. Some maternity dress rental companies will work directly with photographers, so you could consider rolling that into your fee.

    The Miracle of Pregnancy by Diego Fotografia on

    Pregnancy photoshoot pose ideas

    The mother-to-be (and other subjects in these photos) can do a lot with her body language to keep the “maternity” in her maternity photoshoot:

    Materity by Jessica Drossin on

    Have your model keep her shoulders slightly back, which will accentuate her belly by naturally pushing it forward. This should look natural and not forced or uncomfortable. If she needs some help nailing the posture, have her lean back, and look over one shoulder.

    Loving Mom by Olga Batishcheva on

    Using hands automatically draws attention to certain parts of an image. Whether this is a finger heart around the belly button or your client holding a significant item, it’s an easy strategy for pointing (both literally and figuratively) to the most important thing in a photo.

    Baby Bump by Stephanie Juliet Algieri on

    The bump
    Baby bumps make great shelves in a maternity photoshoot. Place those baby shoes we talked about on top of it from different angles; your subject can be sitting, standing, or propped up on a bed. If your clients have brought sentimental items, you can use these as well.

    Schwangere Kenyanerin by Anna-Franziska Pankow on

    Proximity to your props
    For pregnancy announcements, remember that you’re helping your clients send a message to an audience that is not expecting it. So although the subject matter may be obvious to you, it could easily go right over Grandma Ruthie’s head. Unless your clients are intentionally going for a “Where’s Waldo?” approach, keep the baby props front and center for the big reveal photo.

    The 8th Month by Rodney Omeokachie on

    By putting your subject between the camera and a light source, you can get some high-impact shots of that classic preggo shape. You can also use this idea with her shadow. It’s an especially savvy tactic for shoots where you have limited space but want to capture something unique and different.

    Family maternity photoshoot ideas

    Can't wait. by Mbuto Machili on

    Although the mother-to-be is the star of the show in a maternity shoot, there’s always room for supporting players. Including other family members will add another layer of sentimentality that will become more meaningful as the years pass.

    mother brushing toddler daughter at home by Maria Kovalevskaya on

    Possibly to most excited members of the family will be the siblings-to-be. Capturing candids of them helping to prepare for the new arrival will help them feel involved in the process. There’s also the potential for sweet, belly-kissing photos. For smaller siblings, posing them carefully atop the bump with mom’s help is a fun way to highlight the strength of motherhood.

    Expecting by Wojtek Piatek on

    Other family members
    Reaction shots of family members being told the big news are comedy—and memory—gold. You can also involve grandparents, aunts- and uncles-to-be, and so on in the shoot as long as your clients feel comfortable doing so. If they can bring a bit of family history along as a prop, all the better. For example, you could have each person holding their baby picture in front of them while the expecting mother holds her own baby photo in one hand and a recent ultrasound photo over the baby bump.

    Young Expectant Mother by Landon Arnold on

    A new arrival impacts the furry members of a family, as well. Your clients can include their pets in the shoot if you feel comfortable with it.

    Best. Christmas. Gift. by Stefan Pasch on

    Working with bed rest mamas

    By the third trimester, some expectant mothers may be experiencing pregnancy complications. If a client is put on bed rest after booking a shoot with you, there are still many ways to get meaningful portraits without risking her health:

    Find your own beauty. by Cheri Detavernier on

    Milk baths
    Mothers who are on light bed rest may be allowed to do a milk bath shoot, as long as someone else does the prep work for her. You can use flowers or other props to add a pop of color (and help her relax at the same time).

     by Océane Hogé Photographie on

    Rocking chairs and gliders
    The mother-to-be may be allowed to sit upright for some nursery shots. Pose her sitting in the nursery chair, reading a book on motherhood, or gazing at the crib. Since nursery chairs are usually chosen to accommodate long, sleepless nights, it will hopefully be a comfortable experience for her. However, if the only seating available is a hard, family heirloom rocking chair, you can easily use some throw pillows to soften it up for her.

    Beautiful and tenderness pregnancy by Dmytro Gilitukha on

    The bed
    Strict bed rest should be respected at all costs. Be sure to pose your subject on her left side, if possible, to avoid straining her blood flow and certain organs. Putting up some netting or a sheer bed curtain can hide some of the medical bric-a-brac in the background and help to diffuse the lighting. Bringing in siblings to read a book and getting some shots of the father-to-be snuggling with her will add variety to the photoshoot.

    Pregnancy by Artur Cherkavsky on

    Preparation shots
    Folding baby clothes is an intimate moment that you can photograph with the mother in almost any position. Shots of her preparing to welcome the baby are possible at nearly any level of bed rest, and she’ll treasure those memories down the road just as much as the perfectly posed ones.

    Working with non-traditional family additions

    Parents-to-be come in all shapes and sizes, so don’t be surprised if you get asked about a maternity shoot by a family that’s not (technically) pregnant.

    A photoshoot with a surrogate can be every bit as special as a first-hand maternity photoshoot. Gauge everyone’s comfort level carefully and talk openly with the couple and their surrogate during the planning phase about what they do and do not want. Some surrogates develop (or already have) lifelong attachments with the family they’re carrying for, so this shoot should be every bit as unique and sentimental as a traditional maternity portrait session.

    Adoption timelines can be tricky, but the good news is that they come with a lot of props. The paperwork, while tedious, is something parents will always remember about the process. You can also have them put together a chalkboard with the information about the child, how many days they waited for adoption, or really anything meaningful about adding this person to their family.

    pregnancy announcement by shilpa on

    Working with a rainbow pregnancy

    Rainbow Baby by JenZphotography on

    Pregnancy loss is a delicate and painful topic, but many clients still want to remember all of their pregnancies when they find themselves approaching the end of a healthy one. A healthy pregnancy and birth that follows miscarriages or loss is often referred to as a “rainbow pregnancy.” If your clients would like to reference that in their session, they can do that through text on a chalkboard or added in post-processing (“After the storm comes a rainbow”) or rainbow colors in their wardrobe and/or props.

    Maternity photoshoots are some of the most exciting and special sessions you can book. Be ready with lots of ideas and information for the (probably stressed) parents-to-be and be flexible and understanding. Pregnancy is rarely predictable! For more maternity portrait session ideas, search an extensive 500px library here, or you can add your own maternal photo portfolio to 500px.

    You might also like these articles:
    50+ Adorable couple poses for beautiful couples photography
    Wedding photography checklist, the essentials
    Best photo shoot ideas and tips on producing your own
    35 Mobile photography tips for taking better smartphone shots

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    The post 20+ Cute maternity photoshoot ideas to try in 2020 appeared first on 500px.

  • Thu, 28 May 2020 11:30:01 +0000

    The Photographer’s Guide to Finding Models on Model Mayhem

    Searching for a model can be frustrating for photographers who are planning a photoshoot. Finding models on Model Mayhem is a simple solution to this problem, but only if you know how Model Mayhem works. You’ll need to know the best way to connect with models who meet your specifications while avoiding common pitfalls. Our guide will walk you through the Model Mayhem process and explain how to address any issues that might arise.

    Mame Anta by fabien Mir on

    How to use Model Mayhem

    Model Mayhem is a site that connects models with people who have both paid and unpaid work for them. Models can send out notices to let photographers and recruiters know they’re ready to work, or they can respond to casting calls.

    As a photographer searching for models, you can look through their’ profiles on the platform to find the right fit for your project. They may have references, previous work examples, and sample images to help you make your decision. Once you connect with a model, it’s up to you to communicate your needs clearly, work out the model release, and ask any necessary questions to confirm their suitability.

    Ana by Valeria schettino on

    Communication with Mayhem models

    Your plan will determine how many casting messages, friend requests, and message folders you can use, and when. (See the full breakdown of membership benefits across the three plans — Basic, Premium, and VIP — here.)

    When you do message with a potential model, provide some information about yourself. Explain why you’re doing this project and share your own qualifications. Offer to let them see your portfolio. Listen to any ideas they may have about your shoot (even if you already have a concrete plan, it will give you a clue about the kind of work they do). Keep your communications professional to set the tone for a professional working relationship.

    Let them know what to expect from you in terms of workflow, turnaround, and method of payment. Make sure they know what they’re getting into, so there are no hiccups on the day of the shoot. You should be able to perform basic communication, including attaching some files for reference, in the Model Mayhem system before switching to email or phone communication.

    Erika by Nicola Davide Furnari on

    Setting up casting calls

    To circulate information about your project, and get responses from models, send out a casting call. You can do this by selecting “Castings” from the menu at the top of Model Mayhem. Then enter the information about your project.

    Matyouz of the House of LaDurée by Alejandro Santiago on

    The number of casting calls you’re allowed per week depends on your Model Mayhem plan. The Basic plan comes with only one casting call per week, while Premium comes with five, and VIP comes with 10. Models will probably narrow down their searches, so a detailed casting call has a higher likelihood of getting responses that are a good fit.

    Use specific information in your title
    Include the type of model and shoot, as well as any location and date info.

    Add keywords in your description
    It will help models find you in a search.

    Be clear about deal breakers
    If there can be no tattoos, piercings, etc. then state that right away.

    Include payment information
    If the shoot is unpaid, mark it as TF or Unpaid Test. If there will be compensation, mark it as Paid. If you include a number in the rate (which you should if you can), note whether the number is hourly, daily, or in total.

    white by Renat Renee-Ell on

    Staying safe on Model Mayhem

    One of the biggest draws of Model Mayhem is its reputation for safe collaborations. However, take precautions any time you are working with internet strangers. The most important thing is to know that the person you’re working with is who they say they are. You can confirm this in the ways highlighted below.

    Check references

    A model’s work history should tell you a lot about how successful your collaboration will be. Checking references may seem like a hassle, but it’s the best way to hear firsthand about what to expect from your model. Look in their Credit Notes for more information, including collaborations they’ve done outside of Model Mayhem. If you don’t see helpful information on Model Mayhem, you can look at their other online presence as well.

    When you do make contact with a reference, ask about the model’s professionalism, what type of work they’ve done, and what impact their participation had on the project as a whole.

    Look for Verified Credits

    As you’re searching for references, you may see some models with Verified Credits. This means the model has worked with another Model Mayhem member, who confirmed their collaboration. A Verified Credit will show you, right there in the platform, definite experience the model has under their belt.

    Make sure someone knows where you are

    When you meet with a model for the first time, especially if you’re meeting alone, make sure someone knows where you’ll be. Tell them how long you’ll be there and make plans to text or call at a certain time afterward.

    Don’t neglect your paperwork

    Model Mayhem is a way to connect, not a CRM. You’ll need to work out a contract and model release on your own, along with a way to pay your model (or exchange images, if you are doing a Time for Print agreement).

    Know when something isn’t right

    If your spidey sense starts tingling, listen to it. Don’t give away personal or financial information that you aren’t comfortable with and only click third-party links that you know, for sure, are safe. Lastly, don’t communicate with someone claiming to be from Model Mayhem if you suspect they are lying. Model Mayhem will always contact you via an email address, and they will never email you asking for a username or password.

    Finding models on Model Mayhem is not difficult once you know the process and what to look out for. Once you’ve found the right model for your project, read more about working with models here on the 500px blog to ensure that your collaboration goes smoothly from that point on.

    The Power of Communication on a Photo Shoot
    5 Best Practices for Getting a Model Release
    -10 Tips for Working with Models

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    The post The Photographer’s Guide to Finding Models on Model Mayhem appeared first on 500px.

  • Wed, 27 May 2020 14:00:46 +0000

    Wedding Photography Checklist, The Essentials & Must-Have Shots [Examples & tips]

    How to avoid disappointment and take the shots your clients really want!


    I know you are wondering – “Do I really need a wedding photo checklist?” The answer is a unanimous yes,

    We put together this helpful wedding photography checklist as a lifesafer for that big day. Hope it helps.

    Wedding photography - Bride and the Photographer Excitement by Caglayan Sonmez on

    What is wedding photography?

    Wedding photography is the photography of activities related to weddings. It incorporates a mix of genres of photography including portraits, family and group photography, documentary, boudoir, event, and close up shots.

    The wedding photography trend dates back to Victorian England (circa 1885), but these days, it’s a whole new ball game. While most couples don’t know exactly what they want, they will still have high expectations. A brief and perfunctory shot list won’t cut it anymore; this generation of wedding photographers have to capture it all—without missing a beat.

    According to a survey on WeddingWire, an estimated 90% of couples hire a professional photographer for their weddings. That makes photographers the most in-demand wedding vendor of them all—beating out venues (86%), hair and makeup (80%), and wedding dresses (78%).

    C o U p L e by Lee Shin on

    Wedding photography business

    This is probably one of the most stressful areas of photography. If you accidentally delete a photo or lose the memory card, you are in trouble. But if you take great photos, you are a hero to the clients and are able to get referrals. Experienced wedding photographers can charge a lot for their services and make a lot of money.

    As a professional wedding photographer, a substantial amount of time is spent meeting, listening, and understanding your clients’ needs and wants before the wedding day.

    Wedding photography - BNO by Bruno Cervera on


    Wedding photography business advice I wish I’d known as a newbie

    Wedding photography is definitely one of the most stressful yet fulfilling areas to be in as a photographer. Being a wedding photographer is a dream for many to aspire to, but like all types of businesses, not everyone can make it past year one, and some don’t get off the ground running. That being said, it’s not impossible.

    As a wedding photographer, your clients tend to have high expectations because it’s more than one day for them, it’s about a lifetime of memories. It is about capturing moments, emotions, and letting your client relive the day with beautiful photos. It’s about the smiling moments that your client never knew happened because they were so busy on their day, about seeing the emotions on the faces of their family and friends, and the visual story that they will treasure forever.

    If you can remember this, you can make it as a wedding photographer.

    Closer by Brock Petrie on


    Top pitfalls of shooting weddings

    Most complications usually arise from the business side instead of the photography side. Deciding on a price, what to include in your wedding photography package, and asking the right questions prior to the shoot all play an important part in setting up and running your business.

    Whether it’s managing your time correctly or speaking to your clients, things don’t always go as planned. When it comes to common mistakes, there tend to be two kinds—avoidable mistakes and unavoidable mistakes. The avoidable mistakes are the ones that could have been avoided if you had asked a few questions or done some planning. The unavoidable mistakes are the ones that happen because of something that there was no way to plan for.

    Wedding photography - La cérémonie est terminée by Cédric Nicolle on

    How much do I charge for wedding photography?

    Wedding photography prices depend on many factors like location, coverage length (time), number of shooters, products included in the package, brand name of the photography, experience, and marketing skills.

    In general, according to Wedding Wire, prices in the US tend to range from $1150 and $3000, with the average wedding photography cost being around $2000. This will likely compromise of 12 percent of the overall wedding budget. This is a significant percentage of the average wedding budget, which makes sense because of the investment in the future.

    Wedding photography - The moment by Melli & Shayne  on

    7 fun and creative wedding and engagement photo ideas

    It’s important for the engaged couple to commemorate this occasion with romantic photos. But not all of them know exactly where to start. One thing for sure is that it’s important for the couple have an engagement shoot that turns out one-of-a-kind and feels right to them. There are a lot of cheesy and predictable photos out there, and it’s important to have a creative and fun array of wedding photo ideas for your couple to make it unique. Before you jump into the engagement shoot, here’s what you should talk to your clients to make it fun and one-of-a-kind.


    The couple’s favorite spot: Visit the couple’s favorite coffee shop where everyone knows both of them. Or a brewery where they meet for happy hour every week? Use these spots that are just theirs as inspiration for a great engagement shoot and to help them save memories of these places.

    The couple’s next vacation: If the couple is planning on traveling together, this is an exciting time to take photos of them. The hard part would be ensuring you can be where they are or working with another photographer in the region to have an engagement shoot from multiple regions.

    The couple’s first date: Revisit the spot of their first date together for a few touching shots.

    First Date by Luke Martin on

    First date OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA by Chang sik(nanal) Lim on

    Do your research

    For many couples, traditions play an integral role in the ceremony and reception. Last year, one in five couples incorporated cultural elements into their weddings, paying homage to their heritage and background.

    Read up on the history behind any traditional details or customs you’ll be photographing. In traditional Persian weddings, for example, you might find a Sofreh Aghd, or wedding spread; Indian ceremonies can take place over the course of several days, and Jewish ceremonies can take place under a chuppah, or bridal canopy.

    Monisha by Girish  Balgobin on

    A step by step beginner’s guide to photographing your first wedding

    If you are nervous about shooting your first wedding photos, or need a refresher on the type of photos to take, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide for you to ease your mind and help you look forward to capturing the couple’s day.

    Tips you need to know before shooting your first wedding

    Before you get started, you need to know that being an awesome wedding photographer is not all about photography. Having good photography skills is only about 30% of what it takes to be a fantastic photographer. The other 70% includes the soft skills that are intangible to being client-focused. They include:

    • Being able to smile, knowing people’s names, being genuinely interested in other people, and making an effort to learn how to build rapport with anyone. Clients will choose someone they like over a candidate they don’t enjoy being around, even if they are more talented.
    • Being a problem solver when things go wrong (e.g., equipment breaks, family drama arises, etc.)
    • Being bold and having the ability to establish common ground with people, so they will want to listen to you.

    Weddings around the world

    Cultures around the world have their own unique way of saying, “I do.” Some are sweet like in the Czech Republic, where an infant is placed on the couple’s bed to bless and enhance their fertility, while others are a little different, like in Congo, where couples are forbidden to smile on their wedding day.

    Many people are aware of the tossing of the bouquet and the first dance, but are you familiar with the money dance? Money is tossed at or pinned on the couple, as a way for friends and family to support them. There are many ways to say ‘I do.”

    To prepare for a cultural wedding, it’s all about the communication leading up to the event that matters the most. As a photographer, it’s essential to stay in the loop.

    7 ways to not mess up your wedding photos

    When it comes to great wedding photos, we’ve seen the good and the bad. Here are seven things that you should tell your clients to make sure their wedding photos are amazing.

    • Take engagement photos
    • Look to the past
    • Schedule a trial or two
    • Don’t try anything crazy
    • Consider your best sides
    • Pay attention to the little things
    • Drink water, lots of water

    Use a wedding photo checklist to avoid disappointment and take the shots your clients really want

    We compiled this must-have checklist with tips to help you avoid disappointment and get the shots your clients always wanted and dreamed of—even if they didn’t know to ask. We’ve also included a list of classic shots (e.g., vows, kiss, first dance) and incorporated a few moments most people might miss. Use it as a guide, and feel free to add your own shots as well.

    Meet the couple

    Wedding photography - Heck Yeah! by Ben Sasso on


    The average couple books their photographer about nine or ten months before the wedding, so you’ll have ample time to get acquainted. A scheduled interview (in person or over the phone) will suffice, but an engagement photoshoot is a natural way to learn more about them. Spurred by social media and wedding websites, these sessions are increasingly popular—and some wedding photographers include them as part of a package deal.

    An engagement shoot presents a great opportunity to get to know the couple, their love story, and—perhaps most importantly—their expectations going forward. Spend some time discussing what exactly they have in mind, and make sure they’ve prepared a shot list of their own so you can add it to yours. 30% of millennials create a Pinterest board for wedding planning, so check and see if they have one they’d like to share.

    B&I Wedding - East London - South Africa by Teddy Kubheka on

    Shot list: Before the ceremony

    From zipping up the gown to peering in the mirror, the “getting ready” shots are essential for any bride or groom. Plan in advance when you’ll arrive at the hotel, home, or venue, and be there to capture the morning’s excitement, laughter, and anticipation.

    The invitation and rings

    Grab some photos of the invitation, the rings, and any other meaningful accessories, including the “something” old, new, borrowed, or blue. Bring a macro lens to capture the inscriptions inside the rings, too.

    Wedding photography - wedding flower composition by Ruslan Olinchuk on


    Wedding photography - Invite by Stanislav Novak on


    Hair and makeup

    These “primping” shots aren’t just pretty—they’re also a chance to capture some of the quieter, more intimate moments before the day kicks off. Remember to include the mother(s) and bridesmaids.

    Wedding photography - wedding prep by Nora Biro on


    The veil

    Capture the moment the mother or maid of honor pins the veil on the bride, and zoom in close to capture the intricate details of the veil itself.

    Wedding photography - Veiled by Jonathan Hoomes on

    The dress and tux

    Get that “dress hanging by the window” shot before the bride puts it on, and then remember to catch the mother-of-the-bride as she helps her daughter zip it up. The groom’s outfit is also important, so don’t forget to include the tux and tie. The shoes complete the outfit, so grab some detail shots of those too.

    Wedding photography - Whiskey on the Rocks by Rick Lawrence on

    Wedding photography - ?? by ?? on


    Portraits with parents

    Throughout the day, take any opportunity you can to photograph the bride and groom with their parents. The morning is the perfect time to get mother/daughter, father/son, mother/son, and father/daughter portraits since everyone’s together in one place. Focus on reaction shots (e.g., the mom seeing the veil for the first time, the dad watching his son put on his tie, etc.).

    Wedding photography - A&A by alexander halin on


    Wedding photography - Bride, groom with parents posing for the photo at wedding reception outside in the backyard. by Jozef Polc on


    Father’s first look

    The moment when the groom sees the bride is a classic shot that is a must-have, but the father-daughter first look will steal people’s hearts. Making a plan to capture this first look will help set up a priceless photo.

    The father of the bride is typically one of the first to see the bride before she walks down the aisle, an incredible shot would be to capture the look on the father’s face when she is all done up.

    You could coordinate a private reveal so you can capture this moment without a lot of people, allowing the father to open up and express his emotions.

    Portraits with friends

    Grab plenty of photos of the bride and groom with their bridesmaids and groomsmen. Ask for some posed formal portraits, and don’t forget to capture those candid shots while they’re chatting and having fun.

    Grab plenty of photos of the bride and groom with their bridesmaids and groomsmen. Ask for some posed formal portraits, and don’t forget to capture those candid shots while they’re chatting and having fun.

    Wedding photography - Happy Bride by Manuel Orero on

    Wedding photography - Wedding party by Wayak Studio on

    Solo portraits

    No matter how busy the day is, make time for portraits of the bride and groom alone. If your bride and groom have written each other letters, make sure to capture the moment they read them before the ceremony.

    Fill the moment by Inga Korotonozhkina on

    Alexis by Sam Landreth on

    van gölü by FURKAN KARABULUT on

    The jewelry

    Wedding photography is all about the details—and that often includes jewelry that’s been passed down through the generations. Incorporate these pieces into a series of still life images, or capture the bride’s friends helping her to put them on.

    Wedding photography - Before "I Do" by Nicole Corbin on


    A Hindu Bestowment by Bryden Giving on

    Bouquets and boutonnières

    Couples also spend a lot of time and money on their flowers, so incorporate them wherever you can—in posed portraits, still lives, and candid shots.

    Wedding photography - Dreamy princess by Jovana Rikalo on

    Wedding photography - Beautiful bride  .. by Smoothy . on

    Wedding photography - Your Wedding Day by Manuel Orero on

    Wedding photography - Alexey & Irina Wedding by Romiros and Mila LoveReporters on

    The journey

    Transitions from house to ceremony to reception all allow for candid, on-the-go photos. Don’t put your camera away during the walk or drive—some of the best wedding photos are taken when you’re on the way from one place to another.

    A man with a girl and a guitar has the world. by Photocillin Photography on

    Wedding photography - He Protec by Felix Russell-Saw on

    Shot list: During the ceremony

    Coordinate with the couple and the officiant to ensure you know exactly what to expect during the ceremony. Avoid surprises by creating an exact timeline of what will happen, from prayers and readings to the reciting of vows. Some couples choose to do a private “first look” photoshoot and see each other before the ceremony, so give them that option.

    The venue

    Arrive at the venue before the crowd to get those stunning interior shots. From there, watch as the audience fills up, and guests start to mingle.

    Les mariés vu du ciel… by Cédric Nicolle on

    The arrival

    Photograph the bride and groom as they exit their wedding cars and enter the venue, accompanied by parents, siblings, and friends.

    The processional

    Photograph every person as they walk down the aisle, and remember to include some of those audience reactions too. Keep your eyes on the bride and groom from start to finish. This is an important moment, so consider bringing an assistant or colleague to take additional shots from different perspectives—you don’t want to miss anything.

    The reaction

    Even if you’ve already done a first look photoshoot, this is an essential shot for any wedding album. Make sure to get a close-up on the groom’s (or bride’s) face when they see their partner for the first time.

    That moment by Melli & Shayne  on

    The “giving away” of the bride (or groom)

    The final moment in the processional is just as important as the beginning. Look for those tender, spontaneous moments between parent and child.

    The vows

    The exchanging of vows and rings offers up ample time and opportunity to get those raw, emotional shots for the couple’s album. Remember to include as many angles as you can, and don’t forget the ring bearer.

    IMG by ????? ?????? on

    The rituals

    Traditions and rituals are part of what make a wedding unique. Learn about the important cultural moments that’ll take place during the ceremony, whether it’s breaking the glass, jumping the broom, or lighting the unity candle.

    Bride and Groom by Temesgen Park on

    Engagement for better and worse by RBV T on

    Wedding Culture, India by The Storygrapher on

    The kiss

    Confer with the officiant about the exact line or phrase to expect before the first kiss. In addition to the kiss itself, don’t forget to capture the moments immediately before and after it—when the couple is looking into each other’s eyes.

    Moving our feet, to the heartbeat by Jere Satamo on

    The recessional

    The recessional is the perfect time to capture celebratory, spontaneous moments between bride and groom—and their guests. If the couple has planned something special, like throwing confetti or birdseed, use it to your advantage.

    Joe and Gillian - Confetti by Robbie Khan on

    Wedding day - Series by Luca Vidini on

    Shot list: After the Ceremony

    This is your opportunity to get all your formal portraits and any funny wedding photos your couple has requested. If you’re shooting outdoors, make sure to scout your location on a different day. You won’t be able to reschedule the wedding, but you will be able to direct the wedding party to the spots where the light is most beautiful.

    The newlyweds

    Use these portraits to capture the couple’s personality. There’s no such thing as too many wedding photos of the bride and groom.

    StyleShootBB Bau by Anika Lauer on

    The kiss by Tran Phan Thanh on

    Anya & Vlad by Vlada Viele on

    The families

    Include every pairing you can imagine—bride/groom alone with mom, bride/groom alone with dad, bride/groom with grandparents, bride/groom with one set of parents, bride/groom with entire immediate family, etc.

    Wedding Walk by Julien Batard on

    Janine & Arvin by   on

    Mix it up with these combinations as well: groom with groomsmen, the bride with bridesmaids, the bride with the maid of honor, groom with best man, bride and groom plus bridesmaids, bride and groom plus groomsmen, bride and groom plus ring-bearer and flower girl, etc. Don’t forget to get some snaps of the entire wedding party together too.

    Sri Lankan beauties (B&W) by Olivier Schram on

    The wedding car

    There are a few classic car shots included in some of the best wedding photos: snaps of the exterior and interior, photos of the bride and groom in the backseat, close-ups of decorations.

    Shot list: At the reception

    The interior

    Focus on all the little things that make the venue come to life: the place settings, the decorations, the head table, and, of course, the centerpieces. Capture all the food and drink being served, especially any specialty drinks or hors d’oeuvres the couple has chosen.

    The entrance

    When documenting the arrival of the bride and groom, zoom in on their expressions and the expressions of their guests—especially parents and grandparents.

    NIV M&M by Niv  Photographie on

    The toasts

    Toasts and speeches are a great time to get candid, natural shots of those closest to the bride and groom. Remember to pay attention to their reactions too.

    The One by Václav Št?ch on

    The dancing

    This is another topic to bring up with the couple or wedding planner. Photos of their first dance as a married couple are essential, as are any mother-son or father-daughter dances. This is also a chance to photograph the generations—mom and dad dancing, grandma and grandpa dancing, etc.

    let’s dance again by Steven Cheah on

    let’s dance by Steven Cheah on

    The entertainment

    Whether they chose a live band or a DJ, the couple will want to remember the music.

    The DJ by Gerrit Phil  Baumann on

    The guests

    Work the crowd, and remember to circle back to everyone in the wedding party as much as you can throughout the night.

    dsc4138 by Chuan Jiang on

    Slow Dance by Rob Mould on

    Hinterland Stills by Kyle Wilson on

    Wedding photography - Guests dancing at wedding reception outside in the backyard. by Jozef Polc on

    The bouquet toss

    Remember to include those small but important memories—like the bouquet toss or garter toss—in the final album.

    Wedding photography - After the bouquet toss !  #weddingphotographer #weddinginitaly #mediterraneanphotography #vsco... by Sandro Di Vona on

    The cake-cutting

    Discuss when this will happen in advance, so you’re prepared to get the shot—no wedding photo album is complete without it. Take it as an opportunity to document some unscripted moments and funny wedding photos—and don’t forget to get plenty of still life photos of both cakes (bride and groom’s) before the cutting starts.

    Wedding photography - The cake cutting by Andrew Lanxon Hoyle on

    A day in the life of 500px Community wedding photographers

    A day in the life of acclaimed wedding photographer Ryan Brenizer

    Ryan Brenizer, an acclaimed wedding photographer from New York City, is hailed as one of the top photographers in the United States. From the drama of a wedding venue down to the details of a bride’s gown, Ryan Brenizer’s images portray the timeless and the candid moments of modern-day weddings.

    Wedding photography - Along the Path by Ryan Brenizer on

    A day in the life of wedding photographer Manuel Orero

    Manuel Orero is an internationally-acclaimed wedding photographer based in Spain. Known for capturing real moments and relaxed portraits, Manuel Orero’s images are a blend of storytelling and artistry—qualities of a good contemporary wedding photographer.

    Wedding photography - Simply Love "Color Version" by Manuel Orero on

    More 500px Community wedding inspiration

    Dear bride: Things your wedding photographer wants you to know

    Van Middle, an incredible wedding photographer, has an open letter and tips that every wedding photographer wishes brides knew. One crucial tip he gives is letting the bride know the day is all about them. His unique perspective is important going into a wedding, and he gives advice on how to make the couple feel important so that the process of photographing the wedding will be a more pleasant and incredible experience for them.

    Wedding photography - World At Their Feet by Van Middleton on

    How a dreamy photo shoot at Skogafoss led to a romantic wedding proposal

    Ryan Buchanan, a Texas-based photographer, proposed to his girlfriend during a visit to Iceland, right after shooting a portrait of her against the iconic Skógafoss falls. The sky, light, and strong emotions all came together as he proposed to her. Leave it to a landscape photographer to think of the most breathtaking spot to propose—and snag an unforgettable photo.

    Wedding photography - The Proposal by Ryan Buchanan on

    Romantic rainy wedding day photos

    There’s an old superstition that rain on a wedding day is good luck for the couple, but if you ask any bride what their biggest wedding-day fear is, most would say rain—after a no-show groom, of course. Rain can definitely hamper the atmosphere for outdoor weddings, but for the experienced wedding photographer rain can make for amazing wedding photos.

    If you are working with an open-minded couple, rain doesn’t just create a romantic atmosphere—you can get really creative with them and create some amazing wedding photos.

    Rockleigh Rain by Ryan Brenizer on

    Wedding photography - Wedding in the rain by Ivan Zamanuhin on

    Wedding photography - Down the wet aisle by Jonathan Ho on

    30 dreamy wedding photos in epic landscapes

    Help the couple remember the place where it all happened. Whether they are getting married in stunning Toronto or beautiful California, capturing an epic landscape photo of the bride and groom is essential. It makes for the perfect blown-up art print and looks amazing in a wedding album. Just imagine flipping through a beautiful wedding album and turning a page to an epic widespread from your wedding creative. It’s a true jewel to cherish for generations to come.

    Wedding photography - The Plains by Melli & Shayne  on

    Wedding photography - misty mountain top by Carey Nash on

    30 days of wedding photography

    500px featured a gallery called 30 Days of Weddings, highlighting individual photographers in the 500px Community who take amazing wedding photography shots year after year. Make sure to follow these accounts for inspiration.

    Wedding photography - L'attente by Cédric Nicolle on

    Truly epic wedding portraits by Carey Nash

    Carey Nash‘s wedding and engagement portraits ooze drama and grandeur—and we are suckers for drama and grandeur. From far away helicopter shots of the bride and groom running across an epic landscape, to a ‘trash the dress’ silhouette among swirling dust in Cabo, Carey gets the highest compliment we can pay a wedding photographer.

    Wedding photography - Mountain Bride by Carey Nash on

    Tips for photographing real moments in weddings

    Make sure you take photographs of the real moments happening during a wedding. Remember, you only get one chance when it comes to wedding photos, and after it is all over, the photos are the one thing that will stay with your client forever.

    It’s important to capture the myriad of feelings at play in the wedding. When focusing in on these feelings it is helpful to capture moments when your subjects are not looking directly at the camera. Especially if you are planning on submitting any of your wedding photography for Licensing. Buyers prefer to see the bride, groom, or other attendees interacting with their loved ones in those “in-between moments” (e.g, a quick kiss, a private joke, a whispered thought, etc.).

     by Allie Wynands on

    25 wedding photos to touch and inspire you

    Check out these 25 beautiful wedding photos have been submitted for Licensing. From wedding rings, to happy couples, to the ever-adorable flower girl, there is something in this collection to inspire your next shoot.

    Wedding photography - StyleShootBB Bau by Anika Lauer on


    In 2019, the boundaries between fine art, documentary, and wedding photography are murky at best, and that means this field is fertile ground for innovation. Wedding photography is evolving, and it’s taking its rightful place as an art form in and of itself.

    This article is a point of departure, but it’s also important to remember that every couple and family will have different expectations. Cater your approach to their individual personalities, and once you get all those boxes ticked, feel free to get creative. And always remember—some of the best wedding photos happen when you least expect them.

    Not on 500px yet? Sign up here to explore more impactful photography.

    The post Wedding Photography Checklist, The Essentials & Must-Have Shots [Examples & tips] appeared first on 500px.

  • Tue, 26 May 2020 15:35:13 +0000

    Photographer Navid Baraty launches at-home photo drive for COVID Relief Fund

    We love to use our global platform to tell the stories and share the work of our community. And with over 15 million creatives, there is never a shortage of interesting ideas and cool projects for us to help promote.

    Today we want to share an emotional initiative by 500px photographer, Navid Baraty; a project he created to help New York City in its COVID-19 relief efforts. Navid is a freelance photographer currently based in Seattle, but spent many years prior in NYC pursuing his love for photography. His photography style? Capturing dramatic landscapes and cities from above.

    When Navid reached out to us to share his project we were really drawn to the story, and once we saw the images we knew we had to share it with the community. Navid will be selling four limited-edition prints of incredible NYC images with the majority of the profits going to the NYC COVID-19 Relief Fund which provides support to a variety of vulnerable New Yorkers.

    Tells us about this project

    “New York City has given me so many images and opportunities over the years, so I wanted to do something to give back to the city in some way. It’s been heartbreaking to see how hard the city has been hit by the virus. A print drive was something that I could do right now and some way that I can try to make a difference while being stuck at home.

    When I think of NYC, I think of a city that is so dynamic and vibrant that it both inspires and challenges you to the extreme as an artist. I think of its incredible diversity of ethnicities and cultures that isn’t found anywhere else on Earth. I also think of the entirely selfless way that the people of New York come together and support each other in times of difficulty.”

    Tell us about where the proceeds are going and why that’s important to you

    “I’ll be donating the proceeds to the NYC COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund that provides support to health care workers and essential staff, local small businesses, and other vulnerable New Yorkers. It’s important to me that the proceeds go toward a fund that helps the many heroes who are risking their health and lives for others, while also providing support to those who are most vulnerable and in need.”

    Why these images?

    “I chose these four images because they represent very distinct fond memories that I have of NYC.”

    Hidden City I by Navid Baraty on

    Hidden City II by Navid Baraty on

    Hidden City I and II

    These images were taken from the rooftops of skyscrapers that I photographed from where I watched the rhythmic city life below and created my more well-known series of images looking down on Manhattan from high above.

    Bryant Park Movie Night by Navid Baraty on

    Bryant Park Movie

    This image is full of people gathered in Bryant Park for a summer movie night and reminds me of the many wonderful free events around the city where you can go be together with friends on a warm summer night or afternoon. Seeing all the people gathered so closely together seems so hard to believe now.

    Winter in New York by Navid Baraty on

    Winter in NY

    This photo is from just one of the many times where I’d eagerly anticipate some sort of inclement weather to hit the city so that I could go and capture the beauty and feeling of New York streets in winter.

    Do you want to take home one of these amazing limited edition prints, while also supporting the city of NY Learn more on Navid’s website

    Do you have a story you want us to share? Send us an email and let us know!

    You Might Also Like These Articles:

    The post Photographer Navid Baraty launches at-home photo drive for COVID Relief Fund appeared first on 500px.

  • Sun, 31 May 2020 10:00:12 +0000

    8 Core Lightroom Retouching Techniques to Enhance Your Photos

    The post 8 Core Lightroom Retouching Techniques to Enhance Your Photos appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.


    Adobe Lightroom is the preferred RAW editor for many photographers. It’s user friendly, yet has many powerful features to help you get the most out of your photos. Here are the core Lightroom retouching techniques to get more out of your photographs.

    Lightroom Retouching Techniques

    1. Start with your histogram

    The histogram is the first step in retouching using Lightroom. It mathematically represents the tonal range of a given photograph. The tonal range considers all the tones between the darkest part and the lightest part of your image.

    Lightroom Retouching Techniques

    The histogram maps out the brightness area in the photo in grayscale. Black is situated on the left side of the histogram, while white is on the right. You can find all the shades of grey in between. Every shade has a scale of brightness values. For a standard JPG image, there are 256 different recorded values of brightness, “0” being pure black and “255” pure white.

    Learning how to read your histogram is important because it will tell you whether your photo is properly exposed or not. If you have pixels touching the very ends of your histogram, your photo is either underexposed or overexposed

    Unfortunately, you can’t recover these missing details with Lightroom retouching techniques.

    2. Choose the correct Color Profile

    Lightroom Retouching Techniques

    Before you start the retouching process, you should decide on a color profile, as it will make a significant difference in the color and contrast in your photo.

    You can find the Color Profiles in the Basic panel. You can choose from Adobe profiles or from color profiles from your camera.

    Lightroom Retouching Techniques

    3. Get a base with the Tone Curve

    Before making exposure adjustments in the Basic panel, it’s a good idea to get a base with the Tone Curve.

    The Tone Curve is a graphical representation of the tones found throughout your image. By making tweaks to the curve, you can influence the look of the shadows and highlights.

    I recommend starting by lifting the curve at the midpoint when in the Point Curve. This will boost the midtones and contrast, which looks attractive in most images.

    Pull the curve down in the bottom quarter of the curve to deepen the shadows. These simple tweaks can make your image immediately look more dynamic.

    Lightroom Retouching TechniquesMid-tone lift in Tone Curve.

    If you’re new to the Tone Curve, you might be more comfortable starting with the sliders in the Region Curve. This won’t give you as much control as the Point Curve but will help you make significant changes to the aesthetic of your image.

    Once you’ve made other edits to your image, you can come back to the Tone Curve for further tweaks.

    Retouching is a process of building and assessing, so you’ll most likely have to jump around from one panel in Lightroom to another until you get a look that you’re satisfied with.

    Lightroom Retouching TechniquesTone Curve for apricots image.

    4. Tweak the Basic Panel

    Lightroom Retouching Techniquesthe Basic panel

    The next step is to correct your White Balance.

    Keep in mind that White Balance can be set in-camera to be 100% accurate, or can be used creatively if you’re not striving for a correct white. For example, if your style is warmer in tone, you can push your white balance above 6000+ to give it a golden look.

    I kept my image on the cooler side because I wanted to bring out the blue and emphasize the complementary color choice to make my apricots pop.

    Once you’ve made the best white balance, make any necessary edits to the Highlights, Shadows, and Whites and Blacks in the Basic Panel.

    If your image doesn’t look correctly exposed in these areas, you can then adjust the exposure. However, I don’t recommend starting there. It’ll boost the exposure in all those areas, which may not be what the image needs.

    5. Layer Contrast and add Vibrance in the Presence Panel

    When retouching in Lightroom, I recommend using the Vibrance slider instead of Saturation.

    Vibrance lifts the mid-tones. Saturation boosts all the color in the image, which can make it look unnatural and clownish. If you do choose to use the Saturation slider, watch how it affects your picture as you move the slider. A maximum of +10 is usually more than enough.

    Be sure to add a bit of Clarity, which will boost the contrast in the image. The best retouching is often the result of layering various effects at low numbers, rather than adding a high amount of any one tool, such as Contrast.

    To create contrast, you can use a combination of Contrast, Clarity, Texture, and the Tone Curve. Even a touch of Dehaze works great for a lot of images.

    6. Adjust color in the HSL Panel

    Lightroom Retouching Techniques

    Color has a huge impact on your image. Color is an aspect of composition and crucial to the aesthetic of your photography. The HSL panel in Lightroom is where you will do the most color treatment.

    Unless your aesthetic is quite warm, you might want to bring the orange saturation down a bit in your photos. It tends to look too strong. Also, pay attention to the Luminance sliders and use them instead of Saturation to control brightness, as they control the brightness of individual colors.

    Lightroom Retouching TechniquesBefore and After Lightroom Retouching – Shot at F9 on 50mm at 1/200 1SO 100

    7. Try Split Toning in the highlights and shadows

    Split Toning is a Lightroom tool that you can use to great effect when it comes to Lightroom retouching techniques. Split Toning adds color toning to the highlights and shadows individually, based on luminance.

    However, note that a little goes a long way.

    To add split toning, hold down the Alt/Option key while you move the sliders for Highlights and Shadows. This will allow you to see the variations for each color and pre-visualize how it will look applied to the image.

    Dial-in as much saturation as you feel appropriate for the image. This is usually a low number. A small amount is often all you need to make your images more dynamic.

    Split-toning is sometimes overlooked or used with too heavy of a hand, but with a subtle approach, it’s a very effective Lightroom retouching technique.

    Lightroom Retouching Techniques

    8. Enhance with local adjustments

    Local adjustments are applied to a localized area in an image rather than globally. They only affect the part of the image selected. This allows you to fine tune your photo and have more control over your final result. You can use them to correct problem areas or to create a certain effect.

    The local adjustment tools are:

    • the Graduated Filter
    8 Core Lightroom Retouching Techniques to Enhance Your Photos

    The Graduated Filter is for filtered effects and creating evenness throughout the image.

    • the Radial Filter
    8 Core Lightroom Retouching Techniques to Enhance Your Photos

    The Radial Filter helps you easily isolate subjects for retouching.

    • the Adjustment Brush
    8 Core Lightroom Retouching Techniques to Enhance Your Photos 8 Core Lightroom Retouching Techniques to Enhance Your PhotosLayer your local adjustments to create targeted and powerful results.

    The Adjustment Brush helps you create masks for localized retouching by brushing them on.

    • the Spot Removal tool
    8 Core Lightroom Retouching Techniques to Enhance Your Photos

    The Spot Removal tool gets rid of blemishes or small objects in the image. The Adjustment Brush is for creating free-form masks, while the Radial Filter is used to isolate subjects.

    Range masks have been added to three of the local adjustment tools to allow you to target color and luminance.

    The key to enhancing your images with local adjustments is to use a combination of the tools for subtle adjustments, as well as adjusting the opacity or feathering of the tool to create subtle transitions.

    Using local adjustments is one of the most powerful Lightroom retouching techniques.


    You’ll get the best result in Lightroom by layering the different tools. For example, don’t just use the Contrast slider to add contrast and call it a day. Layer the contrast with small adjustments to the Tone Curve, Dehaze, and Clarity for a subtle and effective look.

    Every photographer develops a workflow that works effectively for them. Hopefully, these core Lightroom retouching techniques will help you fine-tune your editing process.

    If you have any other Lightroom retouching techniques you’d like to share, please do so in the comments section.

    The post 8 Core Lightroom Retouching Techniques to Enhance Your Photos appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Darina Kopcok.

  • Sat, 30 May 2020 10:00:00 +0000

    Heaps of Fun Creative Photography Ideas to Keep Your Photography-Juices Flowing

    The post Heaps of Fun Creative Photography Ideas to Keep Your Photography-Juices Flowing appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

    This week, I thought I would compile a few videos of creative photography ideas that will get your photography juices flowing.

    These videos are from Jordi Koalitic, who shares some of his unique, fun ideas.

    Some of these you can do in your own home or out and about. Check them out, try them out, and share some of your photos with us in the comments section!

    Still looking for more creative ideas?

    Then you may also like:

    The post Heaps of Fun Creative Photography Ideas to Keep Your Photography-Juices Flowing appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

  • Fri, 29 May 2020 19:00:00 +0000

    Weekly Photography Challenge – Trees

    The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Trees appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

    This week’s weekly photography challenge – TREES!

    Weekly Photography Challenge – TreesThese images of trees I shot while out on walks, and they were just taken with my smartphone. I gave them a warmer tone when editing. © Caz Nowaczyk

    If you are still stuck indoors, photograph from your windows, or step out into the garden (if you are lucky enough to have one). Alternatively, go back through your archives and do some brand new edits on your photos, like false-color infrared or black and white.

    Use backlight, sunsets, sunrises, intentional camera movement or close-ups of foliage.

    The choice is yours! I look forward to seeing what you share 🙂

    Check out some of the articles below that give you tips on this week’s challenge.

    Weekly Photography Challenge – TreesYou may decide to look closer at trees like I did with these two shots of these Gum Trees. Again, these were shot with a smartphone. Sometimes the best camera is the one you have with you! © Caz Nowaczyk Weekly Photography Challenge – TreesSunset at Merimbula by Caz Nowaczyk. The tree is only a part of this composition, but it helps to frame the sunset. Weekly Photography Challenge – TreesSunset over Pambula River Mouth, NSW, Australia by Caz Nowaczyk. Again, simply taken with my smartphone, with no editing at all, but I still like the feel of this image.

    Tips for photographing TREES

    Simply upload your shot into the comment field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section) and they’ll get embedded for us all to see. Or, if you’d prefer, upload them to your favorite photo-sharing site and leave the link to them. Show me your best images in this week’s challenge.

    Share in the dPS Facebook Group

    You can also share your images in the dPS Facebook group as the challenge is posted there each week as well.

    If you tag your photos on Flickr, Instagram, Twitter or other sites – tag them as #DPStrees2020 to help others find them. Linking back to this page might also help others know what you’re doing so that they can share in the fun.

    The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Trees appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

  • Fri, 29 May 2020 12:30:00 +0000

    Black and White are Rarely Black or White

    The post Black and White are Rarely Black or White appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Herb Paynter.


    There are very few absolutes in this life. Most issues we face fall into more “gray areas” than the purely polar dictionary definitions of actual black and white. We use these terms rather cavalierly when expressing personal opinions even when real-life situations are anything but! This is also true in a number of photography-related issues. Since photography is the topic de jour, I’ll turn the conversation in that direction. I’ll explain to you how black and white are rarely black or white.

    Black and White are Rarely Black or WhiteTotal black and white can lose important detail. Occasionally this is appropriate for drama, but in general, even the darkest areas of an image should contain contrasting tones. f/9, 1/250, ISO 200, 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8.

    The hard facts

    Black is the total absence of light, as in a cave at midnight with your eyes closed. Nada, nothing, total emptiness. Nothing is quite as disorienting or scary as total blackness. Blackness is un-relational and unforgiving. Even our sense of balance is affected by our inability to orient ourselves to our environment. What we can’t see, we can’t relate to.

    Black and White are Rarely Black or White – waves crashing on rocksOpening up the darkest channel (unfortunately labeled “Black” in most software) can reveal a depth that otherwise gets buried in the D-max of the photographic medium.

    White is at the other end of the light measurement scale, defined as a direct unobstructed blast of light from the Sun at noon. Blinding, blazing, searing, scorching light.

    True white light would actually blow the rods out of our eyes and leave us (at least temporarily) blinded. Perhaps it is good that we don’t try to function either physically or psychologically in either of these two extremes.

    Dark and light vs black and white

    In the photographic film and darkroom world, “D-max” and “D-min” determined the total light range of photographic prints and transparencies. Actual black and white light measurements simply cannot (by definition) be replicated in photographic materials.

    D-max refers to the maximum light blocking capacity (density) of a particular film or print. D-max is the point of maximum development for either film or prints in a traditional (chemistry-emulsion) darkroom environment.

    D-max for an inkjet printer would be the darkest black that can be achieved by a particular ink on a particular paper (yes, some different inks and papers achieve different results).

    D-min would be the highest light-reflective measurement possible from a particular paper with no ink.

    In either case, neither “actual” black nor total white is possible. In truth, black and white cannot be expressed in the medium of photography, though we still employ the terms.

    Black and White are Rarely Black or White - an example of black tonesActual original image (left) and adjusted image (right). No kidding. RAW files deliver! f/2.8, 1/250, ISO 1600, 35-100mm, f/2.8.

    Real-life vision vs digital interpretation

    By contrast, we live our everyday lives in the natural world where we can experience this “actual” extreme range of natural light. We occasionally witness these extreme lighting conditions, and this reference to reality keeps our lives in clear focus.

    There exists a broad range of contrast in nature’s lighting that keeps our visual cortex amused and intrigued. We experience the extremes of light and dark almost every day, and our eyes adjust to these dynamics quite naturally. But in the subdued visual expression called photography, we are restricted to using a much more muted palette, which presents our minds with a different challenge.

    Our brains insist on detail to help us navigate this world, both visually and rationally. We are a relational species, and we rely on the existence of distinct details in our surroundings in order to relate and negotiate our way through those surroundings. The very same issue determines how we relate to things photographic, which brings me to my point – finally.

    Black and White are Rarely Black or WhiteEvery physical item that we describe as “black” must be distinguished from actual dictionary-definition “black” if it is to be seen as a dimensional object.

    Detail is all about contrast

    Contrast is the determining factor in detail. Without contrasting tones, there can be no detail.

    Our eyes get to experience the full dynamic range of light in real life. However, in photos, our perception is very limited by the whole visual D-max/D-min thing. We must learn to use what range we have to mimic the range that we don’t… get it? Pushing the internal tones around within an image will simulate the full range of tones that we normally see (and often take for granted) in real life.

    Black and White are Rarely Black or WhiteAnother example of extremes. The lighting was good on the female, but the male model was underlit. Some serious internal adjustments were made in one copy of the RAW file, and a masked copy of the correction was placed into the scene. Once again, tonal reproduction is key. f/3.2, 1/250, ISO 1600, 35-100mm, f/2.8.

    In a practical sense, the detail is created when a visual relationship is established. The greater the contrast between tones, the sharper the detail becomes.

    In order to express detail in a dark area, there must be a distinction between black and “almost black.” Without that distinct separation, there can be no detail.

    There is a cardinal rule when printing a photo on a printing press… “there are no absolute blacks and only specular (reflections) pure whites in print.” Even pure white must contain a tonal element to maintain dimension and texture – neither black nor white express detail.

    Black must be implied more than stated. Even a black hat or garment must contain tones of dark gray to carry the illusion of detail.

    black or whiteBlack is a relative term. Total black loses important detail and dimension. f/4.5, 1/50, ISO 1600, 35-100mm, f/2.8.

    Delivering the impression

    When a photo lacks internal contrast, it lacks detail. The tension of contrast creates both detail and definition. Of course, even detail is a relative thing. Not all images require the same dynamic appearance. If all pictures contained the same degree of (internal or overall) contrast, the monotony of sameness would probably drive us to boredom.

    The point I want to make here is that in order to keep the human mind amused, engaged, and involved, we must learn to use all the tone dynamics at our disposal.

    Fortunately, the human mind (and it’s willing accomplice, the visual cortex) provide us with a very forgiving and creative instrument that interprets (and believes) the limited dynamics of printed photos. When this tonal orchestration is successfully accomplished, the result can be breathtaking.

    We were designed to be very creative. Start believing that and watch the magic happen.

    The post Black and White are Rarely Black or White appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Herb Paynter.

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