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!

5 Sensible Ideas for Couples Boudoir Photography

During your career as a photographer working with people, if you manage to successfully transition from doing this as a hobby to becoming a pro, you will be approached by couples quite often. When two people feel happy together, when they are at the beginning or when they have simply reached a new relationship milestone, it is quite often that they want to celebrate that feeling by commissioning a series of couple photography. But on that note, you shouldn’t be surprised that sometimes they want to try couples boudoir photography, since it’s one of the most popular commercial trends of the present. It can’t be all wedding photography or classic portraits; but on the other hand you shouldn’t feel queasy about it: boudoir photography is by no means erotic photography, which is much more explicit or debatable. To prepare a bit for the time when you’ll receive a request like this, here are 5 sensible ideas for couples’ boudoir photography to achieve the ideal balance between enticing and tasteful.

1. Combine the niches of boudoir photography with maternity photography.

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Sometimes, pregnant mothers want to contract a photographer to help them immortalize their new bodies in a beautiful light. It is a way for them to feel beautiful at a time when their bodies are going through miraculous and tremendous change, and you need to be highly imaginative as a photographer to be able to capture the exact angle that will produce a suitable photo. The final result must be neither too revealing or overtly sexy, nor too abstract, as if you don’t want to show the body at all, nor focusing entirely on the belly. The good news is that if you get this right, your client will love it, and you will add a very desirable niche to your portfolio.

2. Use lights and shadows to highlight only one area or shape of your subjects’ bodies.

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When photographing bodies in a delicate and non-overtly erotic manner, the play of lights and shadows can be your friend. In the example above, the shadows help make the photo not too explicit, while the lights make the contours stand out in an alluring way. Tasteful boudoir photography can be easily achieved through light and shadow play, so it’s a trick you should keep in mind for every such photo shoot.

3. In couples’ boudoir photography, your people skills must be extra sharp.

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Brushing up on your people skills to make sure your subjects are relaxed enough to pose and to also prevent their exhaustion is an important part of any kind of photography work, but in the case of boudoir photography, perhaps it is even more so. A person’s body is the thing they often are the most self-conscious about, and it is your job to make them feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible. They must feel so throughout the photo shoot, and the results have to make them feel beautiful. Perhaps a talk with your subjects about the body parts they feel most self-conscious about or the body parts which they are proud of and would like to bring into focus can prove itself useful, if you are as tactful about it a possible.

4. Try shooting the photos from partially concealing angles.

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If you manage to tactfully find out what areas of their bodies your clients are comfortable with and what areas they would like concealed, you can use this as a guide. If there isn’t anything to be concealed for this reason, then just try to follow this rule of revealing something and concealing something else, in order to make sure the final result is tasteful and just slightly erotic. In couple’s boudoir photography, you have to deliver a result which will make your clients happy with their decision of posing for you even after a long while has passed.

5. As much of a cliché as it sounds, focus on the feeling of the overall setting than on the bodies per se.

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The décor is very important in couple’s boudoir photography, as it will set the whole feeling for the entire series of photos. Not only will this feeling be visible to the viewer of the photos, but the subjects themselves must be successfully be immersed in it to relax properly and glow. This setting includes not only the objects in the room, but also the way you choose to frame the image you want to capture.

If you manage to apply these few ideas for couples’ boudoir photography, your clients should feel very happy with both the shooting experience and the results of your work, and your reputation as a reliable photographer will have nothing but to gain from it.

The Best Photographers We’ve Encountered Online in 2013-2014

Talking about something as definite as “best photographers “ can be more than a little bold, if truth be told, since the visual arts in general and photography in particular are so highly subjective that picking absolutes is impossible. But since we’re not claiming to choose the best photographers of all time, but only a few select ones which caught our eye since last year and the months that passed from this one, we dared to give it a go.

1. Davina Palik and Daniel Kudish

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This couple of photographers, based in Montreal and Ottawa, specialize in wedding photography, taking beautiful pictures of couples around the world on their big day. Although wedding photography seem to be a field where you can’t improvise all that much, at least not in a completely innovate or shocking way, these two are some of the best photographers out there precisely because they can demonstrate the contrary.

Take a look at their superb portfolio here and see for yourself how fresh wedding photography can actually be with Davina and Daniel behind the camera. We especially love the occasionally funny moments captured, because one rarely gets to see something funny and romantic at the same time.

2. Spencer Murphy

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For the portrait photography niche, our favorite is Spencer Murphy, one of the best photographers in Britain, in our humble opinion. We especially like the serious air of his portraits, because sometimes, there’s just more to the realm of photography themes than autumn foliage (not that there’s anything wrong with being into that). Pictured above, you can admire the portrait of a female jump jockey right after the jump (part of a wider series of specialized portrait, which won him impressive awards).

You can take a better look at this photo series of his here.

3. Rafael Marchante

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This brilliant photographer from Portugal has reached a famous professional status on numerous websites after this iconic photograph of his was widely distributed in the aftermath of Nelson Mandela’s death. He managed to capture the spirit of the African leader’s legacy in a unique photograph of a well-made graffiti that was serious and playful and full of great impact all at the same time. His niche is taking pictures of seemingly banal street situations and homeless people, as opposed to most of our visitors who are mostly taking pictures of clients, but his images are a great inspiration nonetheless.

Take a look at his Facebook page here to browse some of the most amazing portraits you’ll ever see.

4. Camilla de Mafei

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This brilliant Italian lady truly deserves a spot in the best photographers of recent years. Her work is hard to put into just one box, as she seems to move effortlessly through landscape photography, sad and eerie portrait photography or still life shots.

Her official website, where you can browse more of her photos, is here.

5. Michael Roud

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One of the best photographers of Los Angeles, Michael Roud isn’t exactly a recent entry in the field of famous photography, but his works remain so edgy and impeccable that we couldn’t finish this list without him. Mostly into headshots (but also into wedding photography), he also impresses with his work as a director and with collaborations with celebrities. The one certainty about the work of this incredibly talented guy is that getting photographed by him is certainly an honor and privilege.

His official website and portfolio can be admired at will here.

These were, according to us, the best photographers of the recent years which you should check out every now and then for an inspiration bonus. All in all, there’s no improving your own skills without also getting familiarized with the work of as many photographers as possible, and they might as well be worthy of the attention.

7 Tips for Shooting Autumn Foliage

Summer’s gone and every photographer on Earth is looking forward to the amazing colors that autumn brings along with it. Summers are always busy; you’ve got weddings, holidays, trips and all sorts of events that involve subject and lots of light and heat. We’ve recently talked about how to take precaution to prevent your subject’s exhaustion, but what about the photographer’s exhaustion? At the beginning of this autumn, it’s time you took a little break and enjoyed nature; take your camera out and go on walks and photograph the lovely autumn foliage.

Autumn isn’t just about foliage and lovely colors, though, as it can prove to be quite a difficult season for a photographer: you’ve got less light, fog, shadows that will prove challenging, even to the more seasoned photographer. That’s why we decided to provide you with a few tips of shooting autumn foliage. Read on and take notes!

Do We Even Have to Mention that Location is Everything?

trees Tips for Shooting Autumn Foliage

If you want to get awesome photographs without much effort, then you need to go to where the magic happens in the falls. Places such as New England, Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Colorado Rockies and even New Hampshire are amazing in the fall. If you can’t afford to travel, or you simply do not have the time to do it, you can ask Google some question and it will deliver.

Exposure?

Our advice is to use Matrix metering for pretty much everything, but do make sure to check the histogram to see if highlights are being clipped. Another great tip regarding exposure is to push the ISO to keep the depth of field while maintaining a high shutter speed, in case there are too many clouds in the sky. The thing is that when you’re photographing landscapes you don’t want to open the aperture, because it’s going to take away from the depth of field.

Macro Works Great in the AutumnMilkweed Tips for Shooting Autumn Foliage

Autumn close-ups don’t necessarily need to be of foliage; think about how wonderful a close-up of a milkweed seed pod will look on film. It won’t look like an explosion of color, but it will still scream fall. Use the colors of the fall as an excuse to hit the woods and find great things that need photographing.

Water and Autumn Go Together Perfectly

Water simply becomes magical in the autumn, so focus on creeks, ponds, lakes, rivers or whatever puddle of water you’ve got around you and great results are to be expected. When choosing a fall location, take water in consideration, because it transforms any good location into a great one in the autumn. Try some long exposure when photographing and you’ll get texture that will make your photographs uniquely beautiful.

Long Lenses Capture Autumn’s Beauty

If you want to focus solely on autumn foliage photography, then our tip is to use a long-focus lens. Try an 85mm long lens and see if you are happy with the results. There would be no reason why you wouldn’t be.

Take Advantage of the Autumn Fog

fog Tips for Shooting Autumn Foliage

Fog and mist can be a photographer’s worst nightmare, but in the right circumstances (in the autumn, mostly), fog can make you achieve some spectacular results. Fog will soften colors and add mood and atmosphere, but it will take you a few shots until you get the hang of it.

Start Exploring

Fall is perfect for driving around and exploring the areas that have great potential. Grab a map and start searching for spots where you think the most color will be. Obviously, the more trees an area has, the more colors you will find there. You can even leave your camera behind the first time you do your exploring, so that you can simply scour the land for great spots and enjoy yourself. If you have the time, do your exploring in the afternoon, when the sun is softer.

Did you enjoy our tips for shooting autumn foliage? Would you like to share any more tips with us and our readers? Drop us a line in the comment section below. 

A Short Guide to Interacting with Your Models

Becoming a professional photographer is a hard enough job as it is if you only focus on the technical aspects of the work, but throwing the human relations part into the equation can sometimes make things more complicated. As we mentioned earlier, keep in mind that most of your models (meaning clients) are not professional models and are not trained to find their own focus point without a bit of help on your behalf. Also, they might not be comfortable in front of the camera, especially if this is the first or second time they see you, nor will they know how to properly pose.

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In addition to all this, a pushy attitude on your behalf might disturb the delicate balance within your working relationship and cause them to retract (first by not cooperating properly and then perhaps completely). So, what can you do to make sure your relationship with your models is as productive as possible for both you and them? First of all, abstain from being pushy or too firm and remember that these are either volunteers or even paying customers, so you can’t treat them like they’re your employees. Second of all, take a deep breath and try to follow these three tips or guidelines on interacting with your models.

Have one or two meetings before the shoot, explain the process and negotiate some rules.

Since these people or this person aren’t accustomed to being models on a regular basis, there are a whole number of things related to this lack of experience that can transform into draw-backs during the shoot. Your best way to prevent it is by meeting up with them once or twice before the actual photo shoot and try to discuss these aspects and inform them on what will take place. You can present the meeting as an opportunity for you to explain the process to them in order to create more comfort, and also ask them what it is they expect and want exactly. In addition to this, you can also use this opportunity to negotiate some ground rules which will activate during the shoot.

For example, let’s say that one of your customers wants a boudoir photo shoot. You can have a meeting in which she will outline her preferences and expectancies, and you will tell her how the basic posing takes place, how long will it take, that you can help her pose better by suggesting adjustments and movements and so on. Also let her know that there are some things that will not come naturally – like how to focalize her look – and that you will need to tell her what to do during the shoot. This way, she will know what to expect and won’t feel taken by surprise in a bad way when these things happen.

Show them the pose you want in a printed photo, and then gently guide them into it.

If you feel like your model misunderstood a pose suggestion after you told them the first time, don’t insist verbally the second time, as it will make them feel awkward for not getting it and perhaps they will even see you as pushy. Instead, if you feel like the subject is having a difficult time grasping exactly the pose you would want them to try, show them a picture of other models in the position you want them. It’s not only more efficient, but it’s more delicate to their ego and to the overall atmosphere.

Contribute to their confidence, but don’t exaggerate with the compliments.

If you’re dealing with a particularly shy subject, you can try punctuating the photo shoot with a few discreet compliments every now and then, especially when you intuitively feel it would be needed most. But make sure you don’t splurge on the compliments, or you risk giving off a creepy or at least unprofessional vibe. The point of working with a customer is precisely to make them feel as confident and amazing as actual models, at least for a day.

Take Precautions to Prevent Your Subject’s Exhaustion

As most of our readers are amateur photographer trying to make the transition to professional ones, we address this post to them as part of the things one must learn at the beginning of the journey. There are many things to learn, it seems, so many that at times all the effort you’re making can feel a little overwhelming. While no one can guarantee that you’re going to make it as a pro in the business, what we can promise is that if you do, things will get easier, and they only seem overwhelming for now, when paid gigs come in very rarely if they do at all. To most of us in the beginner days, putting that much effort and money into something that is still only a hobby can seem hopeless at times (especially if you also need to maintain an unrelated job for the time being). Since this post is about exhaustion, this is a point when you can feel a sort of exhaustion yourself, but if you persevere, better things will come, eventually.

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The point we are trying to make is that amidst all this info which you’re supposed to acquire, it’s easy to get lost in the technical details of ISO and lighting and forget the people skills which a good photographer needs. Helping your clients relax while you photograph them is very important, both for preventing exhaustion and for making sure the photos are actually good and don’t feel artificial or forced. The so-called bedside manner is indeed a requirement in many professions and photography is definitely one of them. Moreover, if you lack this quality or skill as a photographer, this can modify your whole work for the worse, unlike the other professions who only require it to make the people you work with be comfortable. Not that we’re implying that’s optional or anything.

The one thing to keep in mind is that most of the people you will photograph will not be professional models, familiar with the whole drill. They will be people hiring you to help immortalize a precious moment of their lives, like, for example, if you will become a wedding photographer. Since they are not used to the routine of posing, exhaustion will catch up with them rather quickly, leading to the portraits being less good than they could be, leading in turn to a lessened satisfaction with your services. But the good news is that you can keep this in mind throughout the photo shoot and take little precautions at all times to prevent your subjects from getting too tired too fast.

These precautions you can take would depend a bit on your personal style too, but an example of a good strategy you could develop is this: spend the first 10 minutes or so helping them relax and feel comfortable enough to pose, then ask for the poses you want in a series of more intense minutes, then tone down the rhythm and suggest breaks.

During the breaks, you could suggest refreshments like water or juice, then, after removing the drinks from the scene, you could allow a semi-break by telling them to act more natural or pose whichever way they feel like it. This may lead to very good photos (which is a win-win situation), or to not that good photos, which are still useful for the respite and for allowing you subjects to become more and more comfortable with posing. Few things beat exhaustion better than being allowed to pose however you want to every now and then, so if you only take one tip out of this post, take this one.

Making the Most of Your Wedding Portrait Photos: 3 Trends in 2014

As many artists will tell you, wedding portrait photos are an art in and of themselves. They are very important to the clients, of course, and can also greatly enrich your portfolio and enhance its overall value. That’s why, for today’s post, we’re taking a look at three trends that have been dictating the rules for this segment over the past months. They’ve been confirmed enough for us to assume that they’ll also be around until the end of the year; so, pay heed and make sure you’re doing everything right, in order to make the most of your wedding portrait photos.

1. Posed shots are the past

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It’s not just wedding portrait photos that have become more dynamic and focused on storytelling. In fact, as seasoned family or pet photographers will confirm, the entire niche of photographic portraiture has become far more focused on natural settings and dynamism. Most photographers nowadays choose to photograph their clients in natural outdoor environments, thus lending an air of freshness and vivacity to their shots. It also helps place the subjects in a setting they love, since this will help them feel far more relaxed in front of the camera.

Another trend, which only comes to complete the above, is that of wedding portrait photos that could easily pass for photojournalism. What does this mean, in terms of actual images? It means that both the photographer and the clients take on a more candid approach. The end images are more natural and raw, less processed, more creative, and with a more ‘in the moment’ feel to them than ever before. Since photojournalism is all about spontaneity and capturing a good story within an instant, it goes without saying that the photos created like this are far more unique, fun for everyone involved and creative.

2. Pricing goes up with experience

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Given today’s rather harsh economic climate, many wedding photographers are reluctant to increase the pricing of their services overall – and of their portrait sessions in particular. However, as seasoned pros will tell you, this is not necessarily a good approach. After all, if you’re investing in your business, it’s only natural to expect the prices to match your level of experience. What’s more, portrait photography can even be regarded as a separate niche within the wedding photography segment. It requires specialized equipment and technical skills. If you’re committed to creating ever better wedding portrait photos, you’re probably also investing in this. Classes, lenses, accessories and other investments should be reflected in your pricing options. What’s more, as you continue to grow your wedding photography business, it’s probably also a good idea to book more clients – in the long run, this increasing roster of customers will also act as an argument in your favor, when it comes to asking for higher fees.

3. Don’t underestimate the power of the print

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Sure, everyone is online these days: wedding portrait photos garner impressive amounts of likes on Facebook, they’re shared by your clients over Instagram, and maybe even featured on Pinterest. But the problem is that they all too often end up forgotten on a CD or DVD somewhere. To help your wedding portrait photos enjoy a longer lifespan, but also to help increase your business, you should perhaps try offering a special print as a bonus to your clients, thus encouraging them to print more photos.

Also, one clear 2014 trend is experimenting with print materials. Canvas is very popular at the moment, but there are so many options the list is virtually endless. Some photographers over shadow boxes, others print on glass or wood, while others are experimenting with artwork products like metal and acrylic.