5 Essential Tips for Indian Wedding Photography

More and more spectacular and complex, Indian wedding photography has become over the years a niche in itself. You might be surprised by the popularity of this wedding theme as not only native-Indians want to add something eye-catching to their once-in-a-lifetime event. Many people all over the world choose the Indian style for their wedding. Wonder why? Well, who has watched at least one Bollywood movie, could see how sophisticated and luxurious everything is.

Whether they are made traditionally or according to a more contemporary fashion, Indian weddings will charm you. If you are to add an Indian wedding for the first time to your portofolio as a photographer, get ready to break the conventional. Here are a few tips that will help you prepare for the experience and push some boundaries.

indian wedding photography tips / holding hands

1. Do your Homework

Before planning your day, make sure you do a bit of research in relation to what you can expect from an Indian wedding. Did you know that there are many great award-winning Indian photographers specialized in wedding photography willing to travel the world for their clients? You can check their profile and learn more about the ‘industry’. Here is a useful list that will take you through a variety of styles and skills.

You should know that common Indian wedding photography requirements used to be quite old-fashioned. What was expected from the photographer was that he simply take snaps of all the guests, which, honestly, can be exhausting and less satisfying than anything.

indian wedding photography tips / wedding ceremony

Now, young Indian couples are more open. This means that you, as a creative professional photographer, can add depth and a sense of story to the wedding photographic album. Get your homework done first, and then be as imaginative as possible in accordance to their wishes.

2. Find the Ideal Photographic Technique

Indian weddings are very colorful. If you are a black-and-white-photography pro, you might want to think again! I have never heard of Indian brides wishing to go all black and white for their wedding photography. For this type of weddings, bridal portraiture and candid photography are the ideal photographic techniques to take into consideration.

indian wedding photography 2

Indian Bride Portrait

Be bold and transform the bride’s portraits into art.

Candid photos are the best choice for Indian weddings if you know how to capture special moments. Timing is really essential! It is all about capturing the emotions that the bride, the groom and the families feel and express during the event. These ‘paparazzi style’ shots require skill, special equipment and versatility.

For everything to look as natural as possible, you have to be everywhere and try to interact with everybody at the ceremony and party. Candid photography is of a special kind in terms of techniques as well. In order to get the most of it, you have to try not to use the flash, for instance, and always mix the perspective.

3. Get in touch with the couple and with the wedding planner

indian wedding photography / couple hugging

Try to get in touch as much as you can with the bride and the groom, and even with the family, but especially with the wedding planner if there is any. It is important to get familiar with how things generally work and also acknowledge their particular needs. It will be a lot easier for you as well to know them better. Their organization might seem to you a bit hectic as there may be events planned during several days and will need you to be there and capture every significant moment.

Depending on the budget, Indian weddings have teams of people hired to make everything run smoothly. Some Indian families even hire an astrologer to decide on the auspicious moment for performing the marriage ceremony. Speaking of which, ceremonies can take a long time. The average Indian wedding ceremony lasts around two hours, but some of them even have pre-wedding arrangements, so it might take three to four hours until the party starts.

4. Find the Perfect Venue for the Photo Album

You might wonder why you need to find a venue when there is already one the couple has paid for. If you wish to make the wedding photo album a memoir it takes more than comprising fine snaps from the ceremony. Be creative. Make something new and exciting. If you master nature photography, for instance, you can plan in advance a mini-photo session outdoors after the ceremony or even on a different day.

indian wedding photography / photo album example

For more inspiration you can have a look at South Asian bride magazines or check the photos of this fabulous Indian wedding in Chicago. Try to include the city as a character into the story if the couple agrees. Be it Houston, Dallas or New Jersey, there are some surprising venues to discover and artistically explore.

If the wedding is more traditional in style you can choose a temple. These may be the perfect locations for an after-wedding photo shooting session. One of the most impressive places for Indian wedding photography is Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Atlanta. ‘Mandir’ is a place of worship and spirituality for the Hindu, but it is also a social and cultural space where people can gather and hold different activities.

5. Keep Calm and Enjoy Every Moment!

A lot of unexpected things can happen during an Indian wedding. First, they are known to be not very punctual. So, don’t stress out if you get there on time and start your work after a few hours. Have a glass of something and enjoy the experience.

indian wedding photography / choosing the venue

Second, there’s the food. Do you fancy Indian cuisine? What you should know is that during Indian weddings, dinner might be served around midnight as they are accustomed to eat very late. However, if the couple is not that traditional, everything can run according to common wedding planning.

Even if you are a beginner don’t miss an ultimate Indian wedding experience. The secret ingredient that will make you stand out of the crowd is your mood and attitude, not your experience. Let the magic fill your soul and your photography.  Enjoy every moment and bring life and color to every snap.

We hope that these Indian photography tips will help you further expand your  portfolio.

Picture source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Traditions You May Want to Include in Your Southern Style Wedding!

If you are a proud Southern girl who is soon to become a bride, then you may want to include some of the charming Southern wedding traditions that have existed since the civil war in your own big day. Choosing a beautiful venue that really reflects Southern charm and style is the first thing to do, for example the Boondocks Event Center in North Carolina – a stunning old livery building now used to host events, weddings and other functions. Then you can incorporate all the great traditions you want into your event!

Ensure Sunshine on Your Wedding Day by ‘Burying the Bourbon’

This is a strange wedding tradition that according to Southern folklore will stop it from raining on your wedding day (not really a major risk in some Southern cities at certain times of year, but it is still a fun thing to do!). Exactly a month before the date of the wedding, someone from the wedding party is to go to the place where the bride and groom will marry, and bury a bottle of bourbon (it doesn’t matter what size – use a miniature if you want!) in the ground. It must be buried upside down (for some reason) and be unopened. Of course, after the wedding is over, you may want to dig it back up and drink it (or even on the wedding day if the magic doesn’t work and it rains!).

Give Your Man a Groom’s Cake

Another cute Southern tradition is for the bride to give her groom a special cake that is designed to reflect his personality or his hobbies and interests. This can be something you make yourself, or buy. It doesn’t have to be wedding themed, so in many ways can be more like a birthday cake in that it is just supposed to be a fun gift that suits him! This is a really nice touch because so much wedding stuff focuses on the bride, it is nice to have a tradition that gives the groom a little attention!

Bridal Portraits

Of course, in the modern day we would never dream of a wedding where no photos of the bride were taken, but in the past, not all weddings had such technology, so painted portraits were often the only way to keep a picture of the bride in her wedding finery for posterity. Many families would hang these in their homes. It is still traditional for some Southern brides to sit for a portrait, which while you may not want to have on your walls in 2015, still makes a beautiful memento of the big day, and is so much more interesting than posed photographic portraits!

These are just some of the interesting Southern wedding traditions you may like to consider using to add color to your Southern wedding. Of course, if you don’t even live in the South anymore and are having your wedding elsewhere, it is also a fun way to show your roots!

Tips for Portrait Photography for Shy Models

When looking at a portrait, the first thing we tend to notice is where the subject is looking or what message they are sending through their eyes. This post addresses both photographers and those having their photograph taken. You can use our tips for portrait photography to work with shy models.

Model Tips for Portrait Photography

First of all, it is not uncommon for some people to dread having their photo taken of, especially if it is a portrait. This can either come from insecurities we might be having regarding the way our face looks like, or maybe we consider ourselves totally un-photogenic, when in reality, it might only be about not knowing a few basic tricks.

Referring to portraits, people sometimes tend to look away from the camera, creating the illusion of depth, melancholy or distance. Stop. What you need to know is that looking away from the camera leads to a not so powerful photo, it shows insecurity from both the photographer and the poser, and gives an overall clumsy and unprofessional touch.

Portrait Photography tips

Eyes are the gateway to the soul. So, when you look straight into the camera, you let the viewer see a fraction of your soul. For this to happen, you should learn how to overcome your insecurities by following these simple steps.

  • #1 If you have time to prepare before your shoot, remember that light is the key to taking good photographs. Although natural light is best, there are plenty of ways you could enhance your features using artificial means, such as makeup. It does not matter what gender you are, you still need your face illuminated, corners shadowed and eyes enhanced.
  • #2 Avoid looking straight into the camera, because that pose is really hard to pull off when you are not so confident. Look above the camera, or a bit below, but never straight into it. The viewer is still going to think you are looking in the camera.
  • #3 Also, studies have shown that men who tilt their head backwards and women who tilt theirs forward in photos, are seen as more attractive.
  • #4 A smile is the best makeup someone can wear. But be careful. It has to be a real, candid smile, not the forced ‘say cheese’ one that instantly makes you look like a Japanese couple. Practice makes perfect, and mastering that perfect, natural smile which is an instant beautifier is no waste of your time.

Portrait Photography tips for shy models

To avoid looking weird or completely unnatural when smiling, do this: close your eyes and tilt your head down and count to 3; when you get to three, open your eyes, smile and lift your head. This way, you will seem like a natural and there will be no more awkwardness in your photos.

  • #5 If you want a photo to capture you and your friends and how much fun you’re having, fixating the camera won’t do much for you. Be natural, let you hair down. Laugh, look at each other or, in a relaxed manner, touch them, and create physical contact. Usually, when there are more people in the picture, you ought to emphasize the relationship between you and the link that brought you all there. While a photo of you and your work colleagues could have a more professional touch, given that you work together as a team, you could consider looking into the camera.

Portrait Photography tips for shy models

Adopt a professional, yet relaxed pose and add warmth to your eyes; you surely do not wish to scare the viewer. If you and your significant other want to have your photo taken, you could even consider looking into each other’s eyes. It doesn’t have to be a lustful look; it could be joyful and innocent. It all depends on the nature of your relationship.

Portrait Photography tips for shy models

  • #6 Usually, when you look at something that isn’t also in the pictures, you make everyone curious as to what it is. Of course, there are cases when being distant in a photo can truly capture your delicacy or fragile soul. However, you must make sure this pose suits you and that the context and background are appropriate. If you are in a studio and look up, it may look as if someone was dangling a toy in front of you, to keep you focused. On the other hand, if you’re in a public place, such as Edith Piaf in this picture, you could totally pull it off.

Portrait Photography tips for shy models

Photographers Tips for Portrait Photography

Yes, you too are responsible of how your model looks.

Portrait Photography tips for shy models

  • 1# Don’t intimidate your models. Use music, jokes, and an overall relaxed atmosphere to loosen up the nerves. Let them know that it’s not a problem if you take more than one shot. You would rather have something that both of you like, than make a compromise, try too hard with the post editing and ending up with both of you being disappointed. As a photographer, try to not be arrogant. True, you do possess a great amount of knowledge regarding poses, angles and light. But your model doesn’t, so be patient.
  • #2 As to what setting you should use, keep in mind that a sharp portrait is better than a fuzzy one. Adjust the sharpness accordingly. Too much make be too noisy. Too little puts both you and the model in a bad light. It reads into the model not being expressive enough.
  • #3 Admittedly, the Rule of Thirds, is the key to taking good, aesthetically correct photos. It means that by dividing your frame in three equal parts, your photo have correct proportions. This can easily be broken, because sometimes, placing your subject right in the center of the photo can create a powerful impact, or far right can give the subject room to look into. However, this can also be overlooked. In photography, rules serve merely as guidelines. The rest is up to you. There are no rules to making art.

Portrait Photography tips for shy models

  • #4 Take more than one shot. When taking several shots of the same subject, posing approximately the same, it’s easier to choose a good photo to work with. Also, you could take multiple shots of the same pose while experimenting with lightning or changing angles. You never know what could come out of it.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Wedding Photography Mistakes You Need to Avoid  

Weddings are serious events. So, if you are not actually a professional photographer yet but still want to venture in the vast world of wedding photography you need to keep your eyes open for some pieces of advice.

Here you will find some of the most common photography mistakes you need to avoid if you want to master the art of photography.

This list will include mistakes from both the photographer and the soon to be married couple’s points of view.

Wedding Photography Mistakes

Wedding Photography Mistakes From the Photographer’s Point of View

1. Not Knowing your Gear

It is very important to think ahead when it comes to any sort of serious event you are the designated photographer at. Always make sure you have a plan B when it comes to your equipment. At a wedding, you are usually set with having two cameras, a tripod and a couple of different lenses. This way, even if one of your cameras malfunctions or runs out of battery, you will not lose precious time and moments charging your camera or not being able to replace it.

Another problem is having expensive equipment and not knowing how to use it. Take your time to find out every little function your camera is capable of. A wedding is not exactly the right place to see what a new setting on your camera does.

2. Poor Exposure

Poor exposure is always a problem when it comes to big objects in a light color. You big, white object at a wedding is the bride’s wedding dress. You certainly do not want all of your shots with the bride to appear like someone sank in a large white mass, this is why you need to play around with the exposure.

An exposure set too high will make the bride’s dress look like its glowing while a too underexposed picture will make shadows look noisy and the white looking grey. Given the fact that you have a light dress to shoot, you can use a slight under exposure to capture all the shadows casted on the bride’s dress and a little underexposure can be edited fairly easy after the photoshoot.

3. Lack of Experience

Do not let anyone talk you into becoming the main photographer at an event if you are not sure that is what you want. Let’s say your best friends in high school are about to get married and they are almost forcing you into becoming their photographer even though you haven’t shot any weddings prior to theirs.

A wedding needs one of the happiest events in the married couple’s lives so do not consider the task of being a wedding photographer as easy. If you are not 100% certain you will be able to end the task successfully, offer your services as a secondary photographer, experiencing with different angles and details and let a professional photographer take the blame if the photos are not good enough.

4. Focusing too Much on the “Best Shot”

If you want your wedding photographs to really stand out, do not spend way too much time on taking the best shot of the married couple. Usually, a couple who wants beautiful wedding pictures with only the two of them will arrange a private photoshoot where they can focus on being with each other.

At the wedding, you need to capture moments rather than people. Group photos where half of the people are looking at your camera while the other half is looking on other cameras are starting to get really annoying. Focus you attention on how the wedding goes on and mark the most special moments with photographs of the soon-to-be married couple, their guests and also some their designs.

5. Choosing JPEG Format

You need as much detail as possible, especially when it comes to wedding photos. Most of your photos will most likely need some touch ups after the wedding so why not take advantage of you gear properly? Instead of choosing to shoot your pictures in a JPEG format, choose the RAW setting.

Wedding Photography Mistakes

From the Bride and Groom’s Point of View

1. Lack of Communication Between You & Your Photographer

Do not expect to find someone who will know exactly what, when and how to shoot right from the start. In order to get the best out of your wedding pictures you have to have good communication with your photographer.

Try pointing out what you actually want to see in your wedding pictures and what you expect out of all this wedding photography experience.

2. Not Finding a Focus Point

Do you want two dozen pictures with the two of you in different moments or do you want a collage made with pictures of your family and friends? Sort out what your photographer’s focus point should be, this way if he or she messes up, it will not be because you weren’t sure about what you wanted.

If you have ideas regarding what colors should be predominant or how you want the pictures to be taken, do not be afraid to share them with your photographer.

3. Details are not that Important

Thirty years from now, when you will be looking through your old wedding pictures you would have probably already forgotten what colors the napkins where or how uncle John spilled an entire bottle of champagne on aunt Mary. Photographs are special moment frozen in time, take advantage of them as much as you can.

Details and small moments are what you will remember from your special day so do not consider them less important.

4. Not Making Eye Contact

If you will constantly pose whenever you see the camera in your vicinity, you will automatically have dozens of dull pictures. Through posing you eliminate any trace of real emotion and you will constantly be distracted by the camera.

For your pictures to look as natural and as great as possible, always maintain a natural look and be spontaneous even when you see someone taking a picture of you.

5. Not hiring a Professional {Photographer

You may think you know enough about photography to trust your wedding photos in the hands of a beginner or a friend’s but without having some special training or experience in photography, you will most likely be disappointed of your photographer.

Although a professional photographer may be expensive and you might not consider him necessary, you will definitely love him after you see the actual pictures.

Wedding Photography Tips for Beginners

wedding photogaphy tips 2

So, you’ve made the big step! The big step being photographing weddings, of course. We’re here to provide you with some basic wedding photography tips that will help and guide you on your photography journey. Wedding photography is not easy, but it sure is beautiful; you’re helping create a piece of history that a group of people will forever cherish and remember. There are some wedding photography tips and tricks you need to keep in mind before you press the shutter button, so here are our wedding photography tips for beginners!

Before we begin, let’s take a look at the three wedding photography DON’Ts that every beginner should be aware of.

DON’T Use Stupid Props

The bride and groom aren’t the bosses, no matter how much they like to believe that. If they want you to take a photograph of them holding a shotgun, insist on how bad of an idea that is and if you don’t get through to them, simply refuse. We know it’s good money, but do not compromise with certain things, such as stupid props.

DON’T Let Relatives Get in the Way

No matter how unique and special some weddings are, at the end of the day, all weddings are the same and the following thing will happen: some relatives will get drunk and will want you to photograph them extensively or even worse, they’ll ask for your camera. Decline as swiftly as possible and try to avoid letting relatives get in the way.

DON’T Upset the Bride

The entire wedding is all about the bride and groom, or the bride alone. Brides love to be in the center of attention, so they will do pretty much everything to achieve their goal and that includes bugging you, the photographer. Try to be as diplomatic as possible, follow the bride as much as possible and don’t upset her. If she’s asking for something that you, as a photographer, cannot provide, then explain that to her in a calm manner.

With that in mind, here are some quick wedding photography tips for beginners that will guarantee your success.

wedding photogaphy tips

Redirect Your Light When Shooting Indoors

One of the most important indoor wedding photography tips is to redirect your light when you shoot indoors. It needs to bounce off the walls, so use a flash unit, umbrella or at least a Lightscoop. When shooting wedding photographs, everyone needs to come out looking great, so do whatever it takes to make that happen. Lighting is the most important aspect, start there.

Shoot in RAW

One of the best outdoor wedding photography tips you could ever get is to shoot in RAW. Almost everything can be fixed if you shoot in RAW: lighting can be fixed if you shot in RAW, as well as shadows and highlights, but remember that focus is the only thing that cannot be modified. When you shoot in RAW, you save the most information possible of the photograph taken, which makes it easier to fix flaws when editing. RAW photographs are huge in size, so make sure you have enough space on your SD card and one as a backup.

Ask Ahead if There is a Theme

You might not think this is important, but asking ahead if the wedding has a theme is really vital to getting great shots. It gives you the time and information you need to know before assembling your camera, lenses and gear. Shooting at the beach requires different tools from what shooting at the wedding reception at night does. An Indian wedding means lots of bright colors, which you should be able to capture perfectly.

Hope this helped, good luck with your wedding photography!

How to Help Babies and Mothers Relax During Newborn Photography

If you love babies, then newborn photography must be one of the most pleasurable types of photography in the world. The photographs that you take of a newborn will forever be cherished by the family and that is extremely satisfactory. But newborn photography is also quite challenging, as it can be very difficult to keep babies in poses and mothers relaxed about their newborns. We all know how new mothers are! That is why, in today’s article we’re going to offer you a guide of how to help babies and mothers relax during newborn photography. Here are our tips, tricks and ideas on this subject!

newborn photography

Create a great environment! Firstly, music is something that you must always have when creating the setup for your newborn photography. Both you and the baby will benefit from its soothing effects and it creates a wonderfully calm environment. Try some classical music or get one of those cheap CDs with relaxing music for newborns, they really do work!

Use as much natural light as possible, as lighting is really important when it comes to making subjects relaxed. You all know how important lighting is when it comes to photography in general, not just newborn photography. What you should know is that babies simply adore natural light and they’ll be putty in your hands if you let them have just a bit of it.

Be creative, do a bit of searching on the web and see what else you can do to make the baby and mother feel relaxed. We suggest you go to www.our365.com, a great blog/website where you can find pretty much all you need on advice about newborns and babies in general.

Learn how to make people relaxed! There are plenty of tutorials online about how to make someone feel relaxed. Watch at least one tutorial, take notes and apply what you’ve learned on your subjects. Or you can go to workshops and learn how to do it. A workshop will teach you much more than an online tutorial will. To be honest, everyone’s different and you will not get the same reaction every time you try it. Trial and error is really the key to newborn photography.

Don’t have too many props! Sometimes props can be intimidating to both the baby boy, baby girl and mother. Get some baskets, wraps (a wrap must always be present in any type of newborn photography), some cute little outfits, bean bags, blankets, cute bags with messages on them, a backdrop, a stand, some maternity clothes, some pink, blue, orange-colored toys, DYI props and maybe even some animals. Some dogs are great with babies and you must admit that dogs and newborn twins look amazing together.

Get the whole family involved! An outdoor shooting with some nice poses/posing will get you the money shot. Posing with a newborn baby doesn’t allow you too much space to move, so to speak, and that is why you need to find some inspiration. We suggest you find some photography companies that you like online and follow their work. Be it maternity photos, lifestyle or newborn photography, we all can learn from each other. Read the online reviews about the photo studios before you delve in.

Folks, there are a billion photography studios in the U.S.: there’s one in Portland, Philadelphia, Austin, TX, Houston, San Francisco Bay Area, Dallas, Seattle, Omaha, Orlando, Indianapolis, Sacramento, Milwaukee, Charlotte, San Diego, Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, Chicago, Utah, NYC, NY, Miami, FL, Raleigh, Phoenix, Hawaii, Birmingham, Des Moines, Oregon, Baton Rouge, Baltimore, Richmond, St. Louis, Buffalo, Newport, RI, Charleston, Jacksonville, FL, San Antonio, Columbus, Boston, Ohio, Las Vegan, Tampa, Kansas, Northern Lincoln, Tulsa, Long Island, Cincinnati, Michigan, Virginia, Madison, WI, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Washington, DC and there’s definitely one or two in Hollywood, CA.

There’s one in every city, so try to make yours special! Be it through pricing, packages or a smile on your face!

 

Tips on How to Start a Street Photography Project

Welcome to another article on street photography! On Friday we’ve given you a few tips on what to look for when out on the streets with your camera in hand and today it’s time we gave you a few tips on how to start your very own street photography project.

JH Engstrom is a Swedish photographer and artist who lives in Paris, France. His photographs are stunning portrayals of the human condition and its loneliness and absurdity. When he goes out in public spaces and photographs people and objects, he immerses himself in the atmosphere and you should do the same. Don’t copy other artists and photographers, but learn from them about the way they are approaching their subjects and their photography. JH famously said that he’s more interested in confusing rather than exxplaining, so find your approach very own approach to photography. Find what drives you to take photos in the first place and you’ll come up with a street photography project in no time.

street photography project JH Engström

Let’s assume that somehow you are fascinated by people with piercings. Make your street photography project about that. Learn where to go to find people with piercings, befriend some of them, talk to them and ask for more information that will help you create photographs that matter, that people would want to see.

Finding a street photography project is very important because it will help you stay focused when shooting and it will help you gain more insight into a subject. Let’s take a look at some tips on how to start a street photography project.

Focus on the work, rather on showing your work.

People get so excited these days. Whenever they take a good shot, they’re so eager to show it off and share it with friends. The great thing about a photography project is that you can’t (or should not) do that until your project is over. Some people think that a good time for a photography project would be one year. One year where you immerse yourself in a project and a subject would be enough to get you to be a connoisseur, if not an expert on that matter. It would give you enough time to get some great photographs and if you resist sharing them, the impact of you work would be so much greater.

Making projects is also much better from an artistic point of view than showcasing a single image. As powerful as it may be, one single image doesn’t have the ability to tell the stories that a project has.

Have an amazing street photography concept.

Really think about what you’re getting yourself into. You’re going to be spending one year if not more photographing people and places that deal with a single concept and subject. Make it worth your while, because if it doesn’t, then you would have wasted your precious time.

Think about what fascinates you, what scares you, rather than what you’re comfortable with. Don’t think about things that the world would be interested, but think about what you would be interested in. Be selfish and inquisitive!

Once you come up with a concept, leave it aside for a while and think about some more. When you get the right idea for a street photography project, you’ll be able to see the light bulb go off in your head.

Give cohesion to your images by staying consistent with your gear.

It may be hard to achieve, especially if you’re shooting for a long time, but do try to use the same camera, film type and lens. It will help the project look better.

Get feedback.

Feedback is really important in this line of work, so you should have someone you can rely on to give you constructive feedback. Because you won’t be publishing any photographs of your project for a long period of time, you are going to need some human input, someone who will tell you if you’re going in the right direction or not.

Edit, sequence and publish

Once you’re done shooting, comes the more laborious part of editing and sequencing your photographs. Try to keep it as simple as possible, especially if it’s your first project. When sequencing your photos, keep in mind that there should be cohesiveness and a certain degree of flow between the photographs. When all that is done, publish your project on Flickr, Facebook, your own personal Blog, or get a traditional publisher to publish your work in book.

Do you have any other thoughts on this matter that you would like to share with us? Drop us a line in the comment section below.

Street Photography – What to Look for When Out on the Streets?

Welcome back to our second article on street photography! Last Monday we promised you we would take a more in-depth look at street photography, and that time has come! Today we’re going to talk about what to look for when out on the streets to serve as inspiration.

So, you’ve got your camera with you and you’re out on the street, but you can’t aimlessly walk around holding your camera until you see something impressive and worth shooting. Or can you? Well, if you’re just starting out in the street photography field, then I’m afraid you are going to do a bit of wandering about until you start to see the street with new eyes. Because basically, that’s what you need to learn to do. You’re no longer a simple walker of the streets, you’re an observer and one needs to learn how to observe.

Put your most comfortable shoes and clothes on and walk the streets! Take a seat somewhere where there are a lot of people and start observing. People watching can really be an interesting thing and you can end up getting lost in it, which is a wonderful thing.

Almost all street photographers are talking about the decisive moment, a term coined by one of the earliest street photographers in the world, Henry Cartier-Bresson. That decisive moment is the moment when you know that what you’re seeing needs to be captured on camera. It’s when everything just comes together to create a close to perfect moment; it’s about timing! There may be many decisive moments when you’re out on the streets and that’s OK. Take out your camera and snap pictures every time you feel you’re having one of those moments. You’ll find out later if the moment gave you a good picture or not.

street photography ed peters

Ed Peters

The decisive moment usually comes from facial expressions, gestures, movement and action, so make sure you snap more pictures so that you have where to choose from.

The capture of emotion is mainly what drives the photographer to become a street photographer. Isn’t this what photography does best? Show us who we really are?

Strong emotion will give you the best photographs, but strong emotion is really hard to come by and harder to capture. Do you really have what it takes to go to a man who is crying on the street and take his picture? Can you do it? You’ll have to, if you want to be a street photographer!

Another fun and great tool for capturing street photography and creating amazing shots is juxtaposition. This refers to contrasting elements in your frame. Think about a man carrying a yellow umbrella in a crowd of people with black umbrellas. This is a perfect example of juxtaposition.

street photography Maria Serban-Temisan

Maria Serban-Temisan

Take the above photograph and see how much more powerful this image is thanks to the red background the soldier happened to walk by. It singles out the soldier, it makes him the star of the shot.

If you’re looking for using juxtaposition in your photographs, then you should start off by searching for an interesting background. Billboards and building walls make great places to start. What you could also do is juxtapose emotions. Go to a playground and capture the only crying child among the sea of laughing children. You get the idea!

Not all street photography needs to focus on emotions! You could find interesting shapes and shadows and play with them until you get something interesting and worth shooting. You need a bit of a trained eye to get the perfect angle, but practice will get you there!

street photography christophe agou

Christophe Agou

Another great tip for doing street photography is to focus on details. This will increase the mystery and will offer a clean and fresh view of objects and body parts. Sometimes we forget to look in people’s eyes or look at their hands and a photograph of those bits and pieces can really shake us up.

Also, don’t just look at the people when out on the streets! Look to the ground and see what you can find there. Again, use common objects to achieve uncommon photographs. Take them out of context, juxtapose them, do close-ups, play with them and with the camera until you get something good.

Do you have any more tips and tricks for getting out there on the streets and taking the perfect street photograph? Share them with us in the comment section below.

An Introduction to Street Photography

Have you ever seen something that inspired you on the street while you were walking and you wished you had your camera with you to immortalize the moment? I’m sure you have, all of us have. If this happens to you often, then maybe you should think about going into street photography.

In this article we’re going to take a look at what street photography is, we’re also going to discuss approaching strangers and how to overcome the fear or embarrassment you might feel when shooting in the street. This article is only the first one on street photography, but don’t worry, more will follow, in which we’ll discuss what to look for when out on the streets with your camera, which cameras to use, what settings and much, much more. But for now, let’s begin with the basics.

What is Street Photography?

street photography donato buccella

Donato Buccella

Well, it’s exactly what you think it is: it is the process of documenting everyday life and the society in which we live in. Street photography doesn’t even need to be shot in the street for it to be street photography. You can take pictures in malls, parks, airports and even subways (pretty much any public space) and it’s still going to be street photography.

What you almost always (notice the almost) need in order for street photography to be street photography is candidness. Almost all street photographs are done candidly, that is without permission or knowledge of the subjects involved. If you are not OK with this, then you could ask permission from the people you are photographing, and that is simply fine. A photograph doesn’t automatically become street photography if it is taken candidly, so relax and do things that make you feel the most comfortable. Street photography should capture emotion and humanity; it should be illustrate society and its rules and inhabitants. Street photography usually includes people, but it doesn’t always have to. Again, do things your way, but try to follow the general guidelines, which are: candidness, people and public spaces. Capturing emotional and powerful moments will create emotional and powerful images.

Approaching Strangers

street photography umberto verdoliva

Umberto Verdoliva

Approaching strangers can be a really hard thing to do for some people, while for others it comes naturally. If you’re one of those people who dread approaching people they don’t know, then I think you should think about the worst case scenario. What is the worst thing it can happen if you approach a stranger? Well, to be honest, they could reject you, which is totally fine. We’ve talked before about how to interact with your models, you should take a look at that.

The best way to approach strangers is to be honest about your intentions and do a lot of smiling. You would be surprised how much smiling matters in street photography. Sometimes you’ll look like a mad person, but if that’s going to get people to allow you to take their photograph, then it’s worth it!

How to Get Over the Fear of Shooting Street Photography

street photography ed peters

Ed Peters

Robert Capa, Hungarian war photographer and photojournalist, said that if your photos aren’t good enough, then you’re not close enough. Sorry to say that he’s pretty much right, which means that a lot of people are going to have a hard time getting close to capture the perfect shot. The best way to overcome your fear of shooting street photography is to know that what you’re doing is a good thing. Know that people can indeed react in different ways, but most people on the street are decent people who will appreciate a nice smile or a thank you.

You can also bring a friend with you, at the beginning if you think that it’s going to help you be a little more relaxed. Also, you can ask for people’s permission to shoot them, if you’re in doubt. Tell them why you’re taking their photo and if they don’t let you do it, respect their choice and move on.

Any more tips you would like to share with us on street photography? Drop us a line in the comment section below. Cheers!

5 Maternity Photography Ideas for Expecting Clients

Becoming a mother is a special, special time in the life of a woman who chooses to walk that path. As cliché as it might sound, women who want a child and manage to become pregnant with one are truly experiencing a touch of the miraculous in their lives, and expecting couples are often so touched by this experience that working with them as a photographer can be the source of great inspiration. It is very often that these couples – or women – want to immortalize the special time they are currently experience through a beautiful photo shoot, and this is where you come in. If you take these few maternity photography ideas into account when you get contacted by expecting clients, the results will surely make them happy, and make you a better photographer in the process.

1. Combine the maternity photography niche with the boudoir photography niche.

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Sometimes, the altered body appearance of a pregnant woman is the main thing which she wants to immortalize in the special photo session, and posing semi-naked for it almost comes naturally. Although for most photography outsiders, the ideas of maternity and of boudoir photography don’t mix very well, in professional practice they mix perfectly, and quite often (as we’ve shown you before in a post about boudoir photography). If you think about it, it actually makes perfect sense: a woman who wants to document her journey with professional photographs wants to beam with joy over her swollen belly, but wants to feel feminine and attractive too. Therefore, nude or semi-nude photos (perhaps just with a silhouette) are one of the best maternity photography ideas ever.

2. Make the belly important, but don’t make it your sole focus.

Styled maternity session at the Propel Workshop 2013

One of the most common novice mistakes when it comes to experimenting with maternity photography ideas is making the belly the main focus of each photo. Sure, the unborn baby is sort of the main point of the shoot, but if you center your photos on it, all of them will end up looking the same, and you will have missed other crucial aspects which should have been captured. Try alternating the focus and concentrate on other things like the people’s facial expressions, how your props are making the whole setting change and so on. Speaking of props, when shooting indoors in your studio (though it shouldn’t be a must, as we’ll develop further on later), some of the best maternity photography ideas include using unlikely pieces of furniture for comfortable poses. If the woman feels very comfy in an armchair, try creating the same pose with her in a kid’s wagon, for example, and so on.

3. When photographing couples, make the other partner feel important as well.

Butter Media Inc.

Another potential mistake you could make is to overlook the other partner or make them just a supporting character within the photos. Maternity photography ideas should be more than simply photographing the pregnant woman with her partner behind her and holding her or her belly. Ask them to play around until you find the potential for something funny, like the partner’s surprised facial expression being the focus of the photo, right next to the pregnancy itself. In real life as well as in photographs, the non-pregnant partner of expecting couples can sometimes feel like the third wheel, and it’s part of your job to counteract this effect in the photographs and make everyone feel like the united family they are.

4. Help your subjects relax and feel attractive.

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Keep in mind that your subjects are not only non-professionals who don’t know how to pose and how to not get tired by it, but they are also pregnant women who may have some trouble feeling attractive during this delicate time. The better they feel while posing, the better will the photos be, so do our best to help them feel relaxed, to prevent exhaustion and to keep their spirits up.

5. Don’t settle for classic poses and try something creative.

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Your first two or three couples who come to you for this kind of photos may challenge you enough just by requiring a classic maternity photo shoot, but after you become a bit more experienced in the field, you will soon notice how all studio photos will start looking more or less the same. After gaining a steady hand, try a more creative approach. Your artistry and your customers will both have to gain from the fresh view. For example, go outside the studio: try shooting the photos on the beach, if conditions will allow it, or simply somewhere outdoors. Some of the most creative maternity photography ideas we’ve seen around often involved being outdoors, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Have fun and good luck!